As the last few weeks of the baseball season dies out, making way for the postseason, they must also clear space for the start of football. As pennant chases come to a close, a whole new season begins for both college and professional stars. The past week has had its good and bad highlights across each sport. Let’s have a look at some.
- Indians Refuse to Lose: The last time the Cleveland Indians took a loss was on August 23rd against the Red Sox. Over the past 19 games, the Indians have beaten all challengers including sweeping the last 5 series. Cleveland has put up 132 runs over this win streak and have given up just 32. Not only have they solidified their hold on the AL Central, but they have also usurped Houston’s claim for best record in the junior circuit. The MLB record for most consecutive team wins stands with the 2002 Oakland A’s with 20 and the Indians play host to a Tigers team that is 22 games under .500 at time of writing, and won the first game handily, by a score of 11-0.
- Nationals Clinch: Everyone knew it was coming, but the Nationals made it official on Sunday and won the NL East. Currently at a decisive 20 games in front of the second place Marlins, the Nationals can coast the rest of the way. Rest their starters, continue to get pieces healthy, and give an extended look to top prospect, Victor Robles. What was supposed to be a more competitive division than last year proved to be anything but, as the Nats have’t really been threatened since (very) early April. With the Division finally sealed, Washington can prepare for its toughest test, the NLDS.
- Chiefs Beat Up the Champs: Games that count! Praise be! The first game of the newly minted NFL season saw the defending champion New England Patriots playing host to the Kansas City Chiefs. New England looked to start the season off right on Thursday Night Football, but that didn’t go as planned. Kansas City put up 21 points in the fourth quarter, while holding New England to 0. The Chiefs marched to a 42-27 victory over the Patriots, lead by Quarterback, Alex Smith, who had a dominating 368 yard, four touchdown performance. Another standout was rookie running back Kareem Hunt, made a big impact in his NFL debut. Strong start in KC.
- Lamar Jackson’s Strong Start: Lamar Jackson is following up last year’s Heisman Trophy season with one of a similar ilk. Out to prove those who doubted his deserving of the Heisman wrong, Jackson backed up his great season opener against Purdue, with a truly irresponsibly good game. Saturday against North Carolina, fans got to see the Junior Quarterback put up outlandish numbers as he was responsible for 525 total yards and six touchdowns in Louisville’s 47-35 win. Jackson threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns, while also supplying another 132 yards and another three TD’s on the ground. This performance, coupled with the season opener, Jackson has 1,010 total yards this season. Scary good.
- Stephen Strasburg when Healthy…: Is a very, very good pitcher. Stephen Strasburg when healthy in a rotation with Max Scherzer and a Cy Young caliber Gio Gonzalez, makes for one of the most dastardly postseason rotations since Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux. As the Nationals gear-up for what they hope to be a deep postseason run, Strasburg is more than doing his part, compiling 34 straight scoreless innings. In five starts since returning from the disabled list Strasburg has allowed 2 earned runs across 35 innings. With his 34 inning scoreless streak, Strasburg has the longest such streak of the year. The longest in MLB history belongs to Orel Hershiser who, in 1988, compiled 59 consecutive scoreless innings.
- David Johnson Suffers Dislocated Wrist: One of the most electrifying offensive forces in the league last season will have to miss some time. The Arizona Cardinals dynamic running back David Johnson went down with a dislocated wrist in the season opener against the Detroit Lions. In a game many thought Arizona would win, they lost quite a bit. Not only did they lose 35-23 to Detroit, but a presence in their offense that is difficult, nigh-impossible to replace. Last year he accounted for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing, while also contributing 879 yards and four touchdowns receiving. There was early optimism that Johnson could return by next week, however, he remains a question mark.
- Dodgers Drop 10 Straight: The Dodgers still have a nine game lead over the Diamondbacks with a magic number of 11 to clinch the NL West. This is not a post to tell sports fans that the sky is falling in LA. It isn’t. The Dodgers are still the only team above 90 wins, and are a very scary October team. That said, that have lost 10 consecutive games, including being swept by the Diamondbacks, and Rockies. Clayton Kershaw did not look at all himself in his last outing allowing 4 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Also don’t look now, but a team once touted as being a 117 win team, is close to losing honor of best NL record, as the Nationals sit just 4 games behind LA for home field advantage in the postseason.
- J-E-T-S Just Endure The Suffering: The New York Jets have gotten off to the start that many expected coming into the year. After trading Sheldon Richardson on the eve of the season, some predicted the Jets would go defeated in the 2017 season. Sunday brought little reason to suspect otherwise as the Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills 21-12. 38 year-old veteran QB Josh McCown threw 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns, as the Jets offense mustered little against Buffalo. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed. If this is any indication, there is little to look forward to for New York Jets fans.
- Fulmer to have Elbow Surgery: 2016 AL Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer’s season is officially done. Fulmer will undergo ulnar nerve transposition surgery to relieve numbness and tingling that had bothered the righty for some time. Though he hoped to avoid surgery, Fulmer eventually decided to have the surgery, and is expected to take 3-4 months to recover. He is expected to be ready for spring training, as the Tigers can use Fulmer who has impressed since making his debut last year. Fulmer, though not as dominant as his Rookie of the Year campaign, was still strong for a bad Detroit team, pitching to a 10-12 record with a 3.83 ERA.