Wasn’t it just two weeks ago when we were in awe of the guts and drive of the San Diego Padres and wondered if their blockbuster trade could finally lead to the first World Series in franchise history champion?
We’re not already picking the New York Yankees in the All-Star Game as one of the greatest teams in baseball history, believing they can win more than any team in their illustrious history race?
Isn’t New York City already planning for the subway series, for the 2000 sequel?
How about the folks at the MLB offices on Park Avenue, fantasizing about the big TV ratings NY-LA World Series matchup?
It’s been a whole month since the All-Star break, and suddenly the Yankees can’t even win a game.
The Dodgers, who were on one of the worst winning streaks in franchise history, couldn’t stay healthy or finish a game.
The Padres have done little but can recover against their collapsed year away when they lost 34 of their last 46 games and missed the playoffs.
We may see history this October, but maybe not in the way anyone imagined, with Atlanta The Warriors and Houston Astros became the first teams to play in consecutive World Series since the Yankees and Dodgers in 1977-78 in a potential collision.
Oh, what a difference a month can make.
New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo on August 10 Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray reacts at T-Mobile Park during Sunday’s game.
For the first time all season Yankees and Dodgers Vulnerable before the playoffs.
There is no reason to panic. Each of them will win their division. But you try to tell them the fanbase that knows if it’s the World Series or a bust.
The Dodgers, 80-35, are up 250 points with a 35-7 run since June 29 and built a surreal 17-game lead in the West of Holland, but they Going into the playoffs, it’s not known who will lead their playoff rotation or who will be closer to them.
Ace Walker Buehler is out this season with elbow surgery scheduled for next week. Three-time Cy Young champion Clayton Kershaw has been sidelined for the past two weeks with a back injury and is not expected to return until mid-September. Dustin May will make his 2022 debut on Saturday. Craig Kimbrel failed to hold a one-point lead all season. And they didn’t get any pitching help at the trade deadline.
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They need Julio Urias (6-0, 0.95 ERA) to keep him Second-half dominance, Tony Gonsolin (14-1, 2.24 ERA) and Tyler Anderson (13-2, 2.81 ERA) continue their magic and hope it’s good enough.
If they happen to face the New York Mets in the playoffs, how do you expect their chances against Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom?
The Yankees who have been cruising all season lost their magic somewhere in the baggage claim to the great.
They are only 8-17 since the All-Star break, the worst record of any contender in baseball, and they have lost 11 of their last 13 games, five in a row. . Their offense has gone, scoring 9 points on a .154 shooting percentage over the past seven games, the worst in franchise history. They haven’t been the same since All-Star MVP Giancarlo Stanton injured his Achilles on July 24.
The Yankees are 9 games ahead of the East in the AL and shouldn’t be worried about winning the division, but suddenly they have more problems than the Astros.
“As for the lead and the press,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters Tuesday night, “Welcome to MLB and play the pennant. It’s stressful. “
The flaws exposed by the two biggest boys on the block could create chaos on this year’s expanded playoff highway with no clear favorites.
The Mets looked like they might be the team to beat until Atlanta lost starters Carlos Carrasco and Tyjuan Walker on consecutive nights, both 18- 1 total loss, and their NL East lead suddenly dropped to 3 ½ games.
The Padres first baseman Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals, infielder Brandon Drury from Cincinnati and Milwaukee’s All-Star Josh Hader looks like they might be the most fearsome team in the playoffs.
San Diego Padres Three Baseman Manny Machado reacts after being called for a strike in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 5.
Now, let’s see if they can get there . They have lost eight of their last 12 games. Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and was unable to come to the rescue. Bell took no hits in his final 23 at-bats after the Padres dumped first baseman Eric Hosmer and Luke Voight to make room for him.
The Padres still control their fortunes, but they have the toughest National League contender remaining on their schedule, including nine games remaining against the mighty Dodgers.
Cardinals who flirted with Washington in Soto lottery pick starters Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana in undisclosed trades, and watch them play in five games Thrive in the game (3-0, 1.61 ERA, 18 hits, 28 innings). They should maintain their lead in the NL Central with corner All-Star infielders Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado winning MVP seasons, while Adam Wainwright and Albert Puyol Sri Lanka found the source of youth.
It also helps that they have the easiest remaining fixtures in the National League, with just 13 games remaining against teams with a winning record.
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NL East runners-up, Atlanta or Mets, should lock in the first wild card seed, leaving the Padres, Philadelphia The Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants battle for the final two spots.
American League playoff competition is more open, with 10 teams fighting for six spots.
The Astros and Yankees locked their division championships, leaving eight teams fighting for the final four spots.
The most interesting divisional game in baseball is the AL Central with three teams — Cle Wayland, Minnesota and Chicago — all within a single game.
While the White Sox have been the worst team in baseball, despite their five-game winning streak, the Guards got their biggest surprise outside of Baltimore. Minnesota is the only team in the division struggling to improve at the trade deadline since acquiring starter Taylor Marle, All-Star closeman Jorge Lopez, pitcher Michael Fulmer and catcher Sandy Leon. , their record is only 6-7.
The Twins took control of their fortunes in 17 games against the Guardians and White Sox in September, with just eight games remaining against the winning team.
The Orioles are baseball’s biggest surprise still lingering in the playoffs. They’ve been the laughing stock of baseball since 2018 — having lost at least 108 games over the past three full seasons — but now it’s been noticed that they’ve only been in the wild-card berth for half a game.
They continue to win even if they wave the white flag at the trade deadline. They ditched outfielders Trey Mancini and Lopez and still led 10-4. You wonder when the glass slipper will break, but no one thought the Cinderella story would last this long.
The Boston Red Sox were supposed to die and be buried, preparing for an ugly winter for Xander Bogaerts could leave in free agency and Rafael Devers could leave in a year. They’re still last, one game below .500, but they refuse to leave, just four games away from the wild-card spot.
The Toronto Blue Jays won nine of their first 10 games after firing manager Charlie Montoyo, but have played fairly flat baseball since. They swept the Red Sox 40-10 after the All-Star break, but have now lost 11 of their past 18 games.
The usual tricks, again for maximum benefit. Just when you think it’s their salary constraints catching up with their season, they continue to wreak havoc and hold a second wild-card berth.
The biggest sleeper, and perhaps the most dangerous threat to knock out the Astros and Yankees, is the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners, who won the pitching market award in Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo, have become a force. Castillo, as advertised, produced a 2.18 ERA in his three starts, allowing just 14 hits in 20⅔ innings.
The Mariners are the best Los Angeles Angels in the American League with a 30-14 record since their feud with the Mariners on June 26. Their series record during that period is 12-3-1, their best 16-game series record since 2001.
Anyone who volunteered for a first-round matchup with Castillo and defending Cy Young champ Robbie against Seattle is Ray waiting for you?
In the meantime, sit back, grab your remote, and get ready for the dizzying final six weeks, when everything we thought we knew a month ago was turned upside down
Maybe, to stay sane, we should follow the advice of Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
“I’ll think about what the standings look like,” Baldelli told reporters recently, “on the last day of the season.”
Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @nightingale
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB Standings: Playoff Game Chaos, Yankees, Padres Struggle