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Getaway Day: August baseball gets off to an unpredictable start

August 6th, 2017 at 2:43 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) is congratulated by designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (13) after his two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park on Aug. 3, 2017 as the prospect continues to lead the Sox forward towards the pennant.  Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

August is in full swing now, and with the much-discussed trade deadline (mostly) in the rear view, we finally have an idea of how each team will look headed down the stretch of the final two months of the season.

What cannot be planned for are the rogue comments from a disgruntled star (Houston and St. Louis can relate), a surprisingly persistent spoiler (hello, Braves), Bartolo Colon equaling a feat pulled off by Nolan Ryan, a 19-year-old setting history in Beantown, and Panda ultimately resurfacing with an appropriate return to the Bay in the “unpredictable as heck” category.

It was the week that nobody saw coming, and we have all of this and more in this week’s edition of the Getaway Day.

American League

Baltimore Orioles: Coming out of Monday’s trade deadline, the Orioles caught grief from many critics for failing to face being a team that needed to put its biggest stars (namely, Manny Machado and Zach Britton) on the trade block, especially after a season that has tanked since a promising early start. And while that sell-off is now simply a delayed eventuality, the Orioles did respond by playing their most meaningful baseball since early May, rattling off five straight wins against the Rangers and Royals and pulling themselves within a far-fetched-but-real range in the wild card race.

Boston Red Sox: The latest chapter in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry sees the two old foes pitted against each other atop the AL East in a fight that looks to go to the regular season wire and into October. And the first place BoSox could be lead down the stretch by their top prospect, Rafael Devers. The 19-year-old third baseman became the first  player in modern (since 1900) MLB history with at least 13 hits and three bombs in his first eight career games – as the youngest player in baseball currently, no less. 

Chicago White Sox: Don’t worry White Sox fans, it’s almost over. Every week won’t bring six- game losing streaks. A lot of them may, but not all of them.

Cleveland Indians center fielder Austin Jackson falls over the wall after making a catch to rob Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez (not pictured) of a home run during the fifth inning at Fenway Park on Aug. 1, 2017. Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians: It was quite the week in Cleveland, as the Indians continue to fend off the Royals atop the AL East. Corey Kluber had yet another exclamation point performance, when he joined Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson as the only players to strikeout eight or more in 12 straight games, when he set down 11 in the process of upstaging Sonny Gray’s Yankee debut on Thursday.  However, the highlight of the week – or perhaps the decade – goes to Austin Jackson who on Thursday made one of the most athletic and improbable grabs ever as he somersaulted into the Red Sox bullpen while making a one-handed grab to rob a home run. He may deserve to wear an actual gold glove from here on out, as a reminder and recognition of one of the biggest ‘wow’ plays of all-time. 

Detroit Tigers: As mentioned here last week, Al Avila should be up for father of the year, as he did actually trade away his son from the Detroit baseball dumpster fire last week. And now he can move on to trying to pull off the magic trick that will be required to trade away franchise legend Justin Verlander and the $50+ million left on his deal, as the righty cleared trade waivers after the deadline. All is not dead in Detroit, as a four-game win streak over the Yankees and Orioles offered a teasing glimmer of hope, but it should be filed away underneath the tease category, more so than a rally.  

Houston Astros: Yes, the Astros are still 14.5 games up and will reach magic number range quicker than any other team in the AL, but if one were to argue that doesn’t guarantee anything once the standings reset in the postseason, they would likely have a friend in Dallas Keuchel. The Astro ace was critical of the lack of major action (sorry, Francisco Liriano) by the team at the trade deadline. While their peers in the league made tweaks and fortifications, the Astros opted instead to ride with the hand that has been working. Although dropping three of four to the wild card-worthy Rays over the week did not help to disprove Keuchel’s concerns in the least. 

Kansas City Royals: The Royals stayed together and are staying firmly in the both the AL Central and wild card races, but took a blow on Sunday when their indispensable backstop Salvador Perez was placed on the disabled list with an intercostal injury. It comes at a time when the Royals face what could be a trap week, with a split between the I-70 series with their in-state rivals in St. Louis this week followed by a weekend series in Chicago with the spoiler-prone White Sox.

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout reacts after he hits a solo home run in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Aug. 6, 2017. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels: It shouldn’t be completely surprising that although Mike Trout missed over a month, he still is firmly in the AL MVP conversation. While the Halos ran up their win total over the week against the Phillies and A’s, the 25-year-old added another notch in a history-making belt that will be full of them. With his 20th home run on Wednesday, he joined Alex Rodriguez, Tony Conigliaro and Mickey Mantle as the only players to ever to reach the mark six times before turning 26.

Minnesota Twins: The …

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