Another week in sports has come and gone and in a lot of ways was probably as disappointing as any given week. However, there were some things that really set this week apart from the rest, in a way only sports really can. Let’s take a look at the week gone by.
The Bright Side
- Dodgers Make History
The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the New York Mets Saturday, even after the Mets went ahead 3-0 in the first inning on a trio of home runs. After the first inning however, Rich Hill settled in, allowing no further damage. Seth Lugo pitched well at the start, holding the best team in baseball hitless for 4 2/3 innings. However in the sixth, the Dodgers tied the game at 3 on a pair of homers. LA never looked back, marching to their 43rd victory in 50 games. That marks the best 50 game record since the 1912 New York Giants, and the first time the Dodgers are 46 games above .500 for the first time since 1962. Fans are hoping that this team, including their monster deadline additions, can capture their first World Series title since 1988.
2. Arenado Walks the Rockies off… Twice
In a three game set against the Mets, the NL Wild Card leading Rockies took two out of three games. They would have completed a sweep, but the Mets came back from five runs down against Tyler Chatwood to win 10-5. However, the Rockies have Nolan Arenado on their team which is just an incredibly large leg up. In the first game, Arenado came to bat with the bases loaded, and delivered a walk-off single in the ninth against Hansel Robles. On Thursday, Arenado got to play hero again, this time drawing a bases loaded walk from Robles, again to give the Rockies the win, and the series victory.
3. Kluber Dominant in Gray Debut
Sonny Gray made his Yankees debut against the Indians. He pitched well, allowing two earned runs and four hits across six innings of work. Normally that would be enough to be in line for a win, but not in Gray’s debut. Gray faced, and lost to Corey Kluber who dominated the Yankees in a three-hit complete game shutout. The Cleveland ace showed what makes him one of the best in the game, as well as reaffrim how intimidating he could be in October.
4. Darvish Dominant
Yeah, the Dodgers again. They’re a really good baseball team, what do you want from me? Friday saw the Dodgers come to Citi Field for the first time this season. Jacob deGrom matched up against Yu Darvish in what sounded like a classic pitcher’s duel. However, the game ended up being one sided from the start, as deGrom was good, but gave up two quick home runs and Darvish allowed no runs, and only ran into first inning trouble. Darvish helped himself with this catch on a hard liner from Curtis Granderson, and had little trouble the rest of the game. Darvish went seven scoreless, and makes the Dodgers even scarier for October baseball. Yes, it’s possible.
5. Cleveland Activates Kipnis
If you were expecting more from the defending AL Champions, odds are so was the person sitting next to you. The Indians hold just a three-game lead over the suddenly resurgent Royals in the AL central, a division they were widely expected to sprint away with. Part of the reason for their slow play to this point has been the injury to 2016 All-Star Jason Kipnis. To be fair, Kipnis didn’t set the league on fire when he did play this season, slashing just 232/.292/.402. However he is a welcome return for a Cleveland team that didn’t do much to set itself apart at the trade deadline; their biggest splash being relief pitcher Joe Smith. Kipnis, if right, could be a huge piece of the Cleveland stretch run, as they would love to win the division and not have to burn Kluber in a play-in game.
6. NFL Hall of Fame Induction
Morten Anderson, Terrell Davis, Kenny Easley, Jerry Jones, Jason Taylor, Ladainian Tomlinson, and Kurt Warner have been enshrined forever in the Football Hall of Fame. Players who would likely be remembered forever, no matter what, have now found their rightful places alongside the legends of the sport. The seven new members of the hall were inducted Saturday in Canton, Ohio for their skill and service to the game. Congratulations class of 2017.
The Way Less Bright Side
- Hansel Robles Airmails Ball Four
In Thursday’s game against Colorado, Mets reliever Hansel Robles again found himself on the mound with the game on the line. He faced Jonathon Lucroy in the bottom of the ninth trying to force extra innings, but he hit Lucroy, got a SAC bunt, intentionally walked Charlie Blackmon, walked DJ LaMahieu to load the bases, only to see MVP candidate Nolan Arenado. Robles went ahead 0-2, but it quickly unravelled from there as Robles threw four straight balls, including ball four over Arenado’s head, to walk in the winning run. After the game, Robles complained of a numb arm for his poor performance.
2. Yankees Injuries Pile Up
Yankees DH Matt Holliday has found his way onto a disappointingly full Yankees disabled list. Injuries have hurt the Yankees for much of the season with Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, and Gary Sanchez all missing significant time. Now Holliday joins Michael Pineda on the DL as another injury that could cause a stumble to the bombers. At this point in the season, Brian Cashman has made some great moves to bolster an injury harmed roster, moving for Sonny Gray and Todd Frazier, but still mounting injuries can be demoralizing, see the New York Mets for evidence.
3. Keuchel Calls out Houston Front Office
Dallas Keuchel stated his disappointment with the Astros front office, for not doing much at the trading deadline. Houston, the clear favorite to win the AL West, and possibly to clinch the AL pennant, came away from the trade deadline looking very much the way they did before it. The Astros big addition was of LHP Fransisco Liriano. For a team connected to names like Zach Britton and Sonny Gray, coming away with Liriano has to hurt, and Keuchel made his feelings clear. “I’m not going to lie; disappointment is a little bit of an understatement,” Keuchel said. Another team ravaged by injuries, it will be interesting to see if the Astros will have enough pitching for a deep October run, or if this is just a preview for Keuchel’s disappointment.
4. Pittsburgh Falling Short
In a division that is still very much up for grabs, the Pirates came out of the deadline as one of baseball’s hottest teams, winning seven of their first 10 second half games. The surge led some to think that maybe the Pirates could climb back into the wide opened NL Central race. However, Pittsburgh has done its best to rid the world of these theories as they have lost seven of their last 10 and traded Tony Watson at the deadline. Their still only 5.5 games out of first, but don’t expect another late surge from the Bucs.
5. Melo Saga Continues
Carmelo Anthony is still a member of the New York Knicks. Anthony has said multiple times that given the nature of the last season with the Knicks and the drama surrounding the franchise, that he has little interest in returning to the Knicks. Anthony has been pursuing a trade to the Rockets to play with James Harden and friend Chris Paul. However, trade talks have stalled. Moreover, Carmelo Anthony has also stated that he would not be interested in playing in Cleveland anymore given the drama surrounding the franchise and Kyrie Irving. Just a hunch, but this story may never end.