This Week in Baseball will be a new series of articles that will appear every week, recapping the previous seven days of baseball.
A lot of moves were made by contenders leading up to the deadline. Cole Hamels (Rangers), Johnny Cueto (Royals), Yoenis Cespedes (Mets), Troy Tulowitzki/David Price (Blue Jays) all switched teams before Friday’s deadline. Cespedes certainly has experience at Citi Field, as that is where he won the Home Run Derby in 2013. Tulowitzki has been injury-prone his whole career and playing on artificial turf should not help that cause.
WHO’S HOT/WHO’S NOT
WHO’s HOT- The Blue Jays are coming fresh off a four-game series win against the Royals. Toronto was able to take three while averaging 3.75 runs allowed and 5.75 runs scored. This seems to be the winning formula with the Jays, who arguably have the best lineup in the American Leauge, if not baseball, with sluggers like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, and now Tulowitzki. Mark Teixeira of the Yankees had himself a great four days, homering five times in the past four games while driving in nine during that stretch. On Friday night, “Tex” homered from both sides of the plate for the 14th time, breaking former teammate Nick Swisher’s record of 13. That’s who’s hot, now here’s who’s not.
WHO’S NOT- The Boston Red Sox continue to struggle mightily. Since the break, Boston has gone 5-12 since the break. The Sox have shown flashes of being great, but they are now tied with Oakland for the worst record in the American League. Worst of all, they were not able to even trade their impending free agents away before the deadline, like the struggling Mike Napoli or Junichi Tazawa. Remember Joc Pederson? Just like Boston, Joc has struggled mightly since the break. The Dodgers slugger has just one home run since then after getting off to a torrid start to his career. In the last month, Joc is hitting at a Stephen Drew-like .177 with a .240 on base percentage. However, some of the blame belongs to his manager Don Mattingly, who bats Pederson lead off or in the bottom third of the Dodger lineup. Joc’s makeup screams middle of the order type hitter.
Now our main story of the week, the sizzling New York Mets. For the better part of this year, the Mets were able to stay afloat due to their young starters like Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and fan-favorite Matt Harvey. However, the aforementioned pitchers were at times the vocal points of the Met lineup. Sandy Alderson, to many a Met fan’s suprise, acquired Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and most notably Yoenis Cespedes to shore up the Mets offensive woes. This weekend, the Mets were able to sweep away the Nationals, who have had numerous chances to distance themselves from the Mets this year. The sweep puts the Mets in a virtual tie for first place. With new offensive additions, life from the fans at Citi Field, Lucas Duda heating up, and the young stud pitchers looking better than ever, the Mets have a real shot to not only compete in, but win the NL East.