American League Mid-Season Report

“Are we there yet?!”

No, but we’re about half way there….

As MLB teams approach the midway point of the season (no, the All-Star Game is not the midway point of the season), it’s time to get judgmental:

American League

Best Team – Houston Astros

astros

While I wanted to write the Yankees in , they simply aren’t the best team in the American League. When push comes to shove, especially in the postseason, great pitching beats great hitting. While Dallas Keuchel has regressed BIG TIME, he’s still light years better than every other #5 starter on the planet. If, and when, the Yankees acquire a good starting pitcher, they’ll assuredly leap frog the Astros.

Biggest Surprise – Seattle Mariners

mariners

This is the biggest surprise in MLB this season. It’s not even close. The Mariners, despite losing arguably their best player, Robinson Cano (suspension), have the 4th best record in baseball (50-31). If you can name five players on the Mariners, I’ll give you a cookie. Go ahead….

I didn’t think so.

Behind the performances of Nelson Cruz (20 home runs), Dee Gordon (21 steals), Ryon Healy (15 home runs), Edwin Diaz (30 saves), and Mike Leake (8 wins), the Mariners are quietly having one of the more impressive seasons in MLB.

MVP – Mike Trout

mike trout

While there are other worthy candidates for AL MVP (Mookie Betts and JD Martinez), Mike Trout is the best baseball player in the world. He has been for six years. Having played exactly half of the season, Trout is on pace for his most home runs in a season (46), to go along with 26 steals, while hitting .323. The man is not a man at all. He is a machine. An MVP machine.

CY Young – Luis Severino 

severino

Luis Severino is the best pitcher in the American League. I’m aware of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Chris Sale’s accomplishments, but Severino is outperforming them all. With the most pitches of 99 m.p.h. or more in all of baseball, Severino’s stuff is electric. He’s also singlehandedly holding the Yankees’ pitching staff up with one hand, while throwing absolute, unhittable gas with the other.

Check back with DaveTalksSports tomorrow for your National League mid-season report!!

 

 

Astros Outlast Dodgers In Craziest World Series Game Ever

bregman

Clayton Kershaw vs. Dallas Keuchel.

Must have been a 1-0 pitcher’s duel, right??

WRONG!!

Instead, a 7-home run, 13-12, extra inning slugfest. A game, some will call, ‘the craziest game ever played’.

You couldn’t have scripted a more evenly matched game if you tried. Both teams….

  • Had 14 hits
  • Made 1 error
  • Used 7 pitchers
  • Used 11 offensive players
  • Scored 3+ runs in 3 innings

Honestly, I feel bad for the Dodgers. With no rooting interest, all I’ve been hoping for is good baseball. CHECK. But hey, somebody has to lose.

You know who else lost?? ME!! Why the hell does this game need to start at 8:15 P.M. EST on a Sunday?! I understand time zones, but we’re talking about Sunday. This 5 hour and 17 minute marathon, lasted until approximately 1:32 A.M. EST.

This game would see 8 lead changes, or ties, in what can only be described as pure insanity….

1st Inning

The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead, hanging 3 runs on Dallas Keuchel. Clayton Kershaw was cruising, allowing just 1 hit through 3 innings. And then, the bottom of the 4th inning happened.

4th Inning

The Dodgers added another run, bringing their lead to a seemingly insurmountable 4-0. An rbi-double and a 3-run home run later, the game was tied.

5th Inning

Cody Bellinger and Jose Altuve would swap 3-run home runs, bringing the calamity to 7-7 through 5 innings.

7th Inning

The Dodgers would retake the lead (8-7) on an rbi-triple, by who else, Cody Bellinger. The Astros would strike back with a 3-run inning of their own. George Springer hit a monstrous, 448-foot home run, Altuve had an rbi-double, and Carlos Correa would add a 2-run home run of his own, bringing this home run derby to a score of 11-8.

8th Inning

Each team would add another run in the 8th, bringing us to 12-9 heading to the 9th inning.

You didn’t think the madness would end here did you??

9th inning

A 2-run, Yasiel Puig home run shot life back into the Dodgers, bringing them within 1 run (12-11). Puig’s home run broke the record for most home runs in a postseason series (22). And with 2 strikes, and 2 outs, Chris Taylor would drive in the game tying run!! Insane!!

To Extras we go….

10th inning

After 2 quick outs by super closer, Kenley Jansen, he hit and walked consecutive batters. Enter Alex Bregman. Bregman wasted no time, as he was 1st pitch swinging. A drive up the middle would bring pinch running, Derek Fisher to the plate. And in dramatic fashion, the Houston Astros, took a 3-2 series lead.

These teams will have a much needed day off Monday, as they travel to Los Angeles. Catch game 6 on FOX, Tuesday @ 8:20 P.M. EST. Justin Verlander and Rich Hill will take the mound for a Halloween matchup.

 

Was Game 5 the craziest World Series game in MLB history?? If not, prove me wrong in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Clayton Kershaw Makes Quick Work Of Astros In Game 1

clayton kershaw

There’s no time to waste!!

After taking their time getting back to the World Series, 29 years to be exact, the Los Angeles Dodgers wasted little time acclimating themselves. Dodgers’ leadoff man, Chris Taylor, took the 1st pitch he saw deep to left field. Taylor’s home run travelled 447 feet, the 2nd longest home run of this postseason. Dallas Keuchel would settle in, retiring 11 of the next 13 batters he faced. His counterpart, Clayton Kershaw, was Clayton Kershaw. No alter ego. No embattled postseason reputation. Just nasty, filthy, Clayton Kershaw stuff.

Clayton Kershaw’s Day: 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, and 11 strikeouts

Kershaw neutralized the Houston Astros, making quick work of MLB’s top offense. Speaking of quick work, this game took just 2 hours and 28 minutes. That’s like 20 minutes in 2017 time!! Maybe they’re channeling the ’88 Dodgers. Kershaw, who was born in ’88, was incredibly efficient Tuesday evening. He threw just 83 pitches in 7 innings. Considering he struck out 11 batters, that is remarkable. Now, he should be well rested for Game 4, and Game 7 (if necessary).

Justin Turner, aka Chewbacca, continued to swing a hot bat, taking Dallas Keuchel deep in the bottom of the 6th inning. I’m not sure which is hotter, Turner’s bat, or the 103-degree temperature recorded at 1st pitch. Yes you read that right — 103-degrees!!

Kershaw would hand a 3-1 lead over to Brandon Morrow, who would pitch a scoreless 8th inning. And in the 9th, the best closer in baseball, Kenley Jansen, slammed the door on the Astros. The Dodgers bullpen extended their scoreless innings streak to 25. And the 1-0 lead the Dodgers were hoping for is in their back pocket. With the loss, the Astros remain winless on the road this postseason. They’ll look to steer this ship in a different direction in Game 2.

You can catch all the action Wednesday evening @ 8:09 P.M. EST on FOX. Justin Verlander will face off with Rich Hill, to see which old dude can be the last geezer standing. Verlander has dominated this postseason, and I don’t expect that to cease in ‘La La Land’. The Astros will get their 1st road win this postseason tonight against Rich Hill.

Score Prediction: Astros 4, Dodgers 2

Series Prediction: Dodgers in 7

Sleep Prediction: Me, on my couch, by 9:30 p.m.

 

Who do you think will win the World Series?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

 

Tanaka Shows Emotion For The 1st Time..Ever — Shuts Out Astros In Game 5

tanaka game 5

2, 2, 1, 4, and 0. No, that’s not my ATM pin number, it’s the number of runs scored by the Houston Astros in the ALCS. While the storyline continues to revolve around Aaron Judge and the Yankees’ potent offense, the pitching staff continues to be overshadowed.

Yes, the bats needed to wake up, as they were limited to 1 run each of the first 2 games, but they wouldn’t be leading the ALCS 3 games to 2 without stellar pitching. Everyone knows how dominant their bullpen is, however, they’ve sported the best starting rotation so far this postseason. The only team who has performed near the level of the Yankees is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Heading into this season, the Yankees’ starting rotation was littered with question marks. How would Luis Severino perform in his 1st full season as a starter?? How much does CC Sabathia have left in the tank?? Can Michael Pineda stay healthy for an entire season?? Who will be the 5th starter??

The Yankees overachieved this season, so the majority of these questions were answered in the affirmative, however, they did falter at times. Pineda was shut down for the year in early July. Jordan Montgomery, who filled the 5th starter role to perfection, ran into an innings limit. And the 1 part of the rotation the Yankees assumed would be the foundation, Masahiro Tanaka, turned out to be the least consistent piece of the puzzle.

Come October, throw everything out the window. Except for my TV. Don’t throw that out the window. Postseason baseball breathes new life into the air. Some rise to the occasion, some succumb to the pressure. The Yankees have risen.

Last night, in a crucial Game 5, Masahiro Tanaka, pitched an absolute gem.

CAN I GET A SHUTOUT HERRREEEEE?!?!

Tanaka’s Day: 7 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts

The Astros have picked a bad time to go ice cold. 9 runs in 5 games is not going to cut it. Again, this is a testament to the Yankees’ pitching because the Astros are a powerful offense.

Here are the Astros’ offensive rankings in the regular season:

Hits (1,581) – 1st

Runs (896) – 1st

Home Runs (238) – 2nd

Batting Avg. (.282) – 1st

RBI’s (854) – 1st 

Luis Severino will look to keep those powerful bats at bay for 1 more game. Despite being pulled early from his last start, after getting struck with a ball, Severino will take the hill Friday night against Justin Verlander. Verlander mowed down the Yankees in Game 2, so the Yankees will be out for revenge. Hopefully they jump on Verlander early. He’s a rare breed that gets stronger as a game goes on.

Catch all the action tomorrow on FS1 @ 8:08 P.M. EST. When the Yankees win, they’ll return to their 1st World Series since 2009.

LET’S GO YANKEES!!

Score Prediction: Yankees 5, Astros 3 

Who do you think will win Game 6?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

Yanks Yank Game 4 From Astros

yankees-astros-2017-american-league-championship-series

Now that was a baseball game!! Game 4 of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros has been the best game of the postseason — so far.

Like I said yesterday, hits are contagious. Until the bottom of the 7th inning, a lonely single by Todd Frazier was the Yankees’ only hit. And then, THIS happened. Aaron Judge launched a majestic, 427-foot home run to straight away center field. Not only was this home run a thing of beauty, it was crucial. It got the Yankees on the board, bringing the score to 4-1. It got the crowd going. And most importantly, it forced A.J. Hinch to pull Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers, who 24 hours earlier didn’t know he would start Game 4, was spectacular. The Yankee fan in me wants to thank Astros Manager, A.J. Hinch, for his quick trigger. Letting the horrid Astros’ bullpen loose was the beginning of their end….

Chris Devenski was the 1st victim. He surrendered a triple, a sacrifice fly, and a walk. Devenski was promptly pulled for Joe Musgrove, who got out of the 7th inning unscathed. Little did he know, the 7th inning was just the appetizer. The main course was set for the bottom of the 8th inning. A combination of Musgrove, Ken Giles (the Astros’ closer), and Luke Gregerson allowed the Yankees to bat around, bringing 10 batters to the plate. What started with an innocent single by Todd Frazier, ended with a 2-rbi double by Gary Sanchez. And just like that, the 2-run Yankees’ deficit turned into a 2-run surplus.

If only someone had predicted a final score of 6-4….

Yes.

That’s what they call shameless self-promotion.

While it’s refreshing to see the bats come to life, it shouldn’t overshadow Sonny Gray’s pitching performance. Gray, the forgotten man, hadn’t pitched in 12 days. That is NOT easy. Like Hinch, Joe Girardi had a quick trigger with his starter, pulling Gray after just 85 pitches.

Sonny Gray’s Day: 5 innings, 1 hit, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts

You couldn’t ask for a better performance, in those circumstances, from a guy who hadn’t pitched in nearly 2 weeks. Part of Gray’s success can be tied to Austin Romine getting his 1st start of the postseason at catcher. Gray’s numbers are significantly better with Romine than Gary Sanchez. However, the Romine experiment needn’t last more than 1 day. He’s useless with the bat, and looked rusty with the glove. An ill-timed catcher’s interference didn’t help his cause either. Toss Sanchez back behind the plate, and slot Chase Headley in as the DH. Headley’s bat is finally heatin’ up. Headley, who is historically streaky, looks to be trending in the right direction.

Ride the wave Girardi!! Don’t fight your instincts. I know the robot in you hasn’t taken COMPLETE control of your body — yet.

Game 5 is coming at you today with another awkward 5:08 P.M. EST start. Tune in to FS1 for all the action, as Dallas Keuchel and Masahiro Tanaka will climb the hill. Saying Keuchel owns the Yankees is an understatement. He hasn’t allowed a home run against the Yankees in 217 innings. That trend, gets bucked, today.

Score Prediction: Yankees 3, Astros 2

 

Who do you think will win Game 5?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!