A lot happens over the course of a 162-game MLB season. We understand you may not catch everything that happens in all those games. Last week in baseball is your recap to everything notable that happened over the course of the previous week of games.
From the walk-offs, sweeps, ridiculous catches, outstanding individual performances frustrating slumps and beyond, we’ve got you covered.
The trade deadline came an went. The Red Sox and Yankees reconvened the rivalry and it brought an unexpected result. There were walk offs, there was a blowout and much more more. Take a look back at the Last Week in Baseball…
1) The deadline
The trade deadline brought plenty of fanfare as a number of notable players changed hands before Tuesday’s 4 pm buzzer. The Braves showed they’re not messing around by acquiring slugger Adam Duvall from the Reds, and later snagged Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day from Baltimore to bolster their roster. Cleveland didn’t add a huge name like they had been linked to, but added Leonys Martin for a little extra pop. Brad Ziegler went back to Arizona. Wilson Ramos changed hands to Philadelphia. After adding Mike Moustakas a few days before the deadline, Milwaukee also made a deal for Baltimore’s Jonathan Schoop. Meanwhile the Dodgers got richer by swinging a deal for Brian Dozier. And the biggest deal of the day went to the playoff hopeful Pittsburgh Pirates, who traded a duo of highly touted prospects to Tampa Bay for ace Chris Archer. What a day it was.
2) Get out the broom
All the build up to a massive Red Sox, Yankees four-game series ended in the most lopsided outcome imaginable: a clean sweep for Boston, who outscored the pinstripes 28-13. They also used a dramatic ninth-inning rally and extra-inning walk-off to win on Sunday and complete the sweep. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time the Red Sox swept a series of at least four games against an opponent that entered the matchup at least 30 games over .500 since July 1939 against the Yankees. It also pushed their lead in the division to nine and a half games, which – barring a 2011 like collapse – should be enough separation for the Red Sox to avoid the wild card round.
3) Franco saves the day
The Phillies have been one of baseball’s biggest surprises and this week featured their play of the year. Trailing the Marlins 2-1 on Thursday entering the 9th and in danger of losing their place atop the NL East standings, Maikel Franco saved the day with this memorable walk-off grand slam.
This will be a moment worth remembering if the Phillies go on to win the division.
4) Thames FTW
Let’s recognize another walk-off, this one courtesy of the Brewers Eric Thames. It came in the scenario every baseball player envisions growing up: two outs, bottom of the ninth, down 3-2.
Take a look…
5) The wild west
By sweeping the Yankees, Boston built a nine and a half game lead on their biggest rival and are in the driver’s seat to win the division. In general, the AL division races are sort of dull, minus the AL West where Oakland sits just four games behind the Astros. The NL races in general are set up to be much more exciting over the final month with the top two teams in each division divided by no more than one and a half games. In particular, the NL West is extremely tight. As the Dodgers and Diamondbacks sit tied for first with identical 62-51 records. And lurking in the shadows is the Colorado Rockies just two games back. That’s a division race worth watching the rest of the way.
6) Blown out
Losses stink, but a 25-4 loss is flat out demoralizing. That’s how badly the Nationals stuck it to the Mets on Tuesday night, in what could easily be described as rock bottom for New York’s season. It all unraveled pretty quickly for the Mets as Steven Matz surrendered seven runs in the first inning. The game even featured a pitching appearance from José Reyes. As you can imagine, it didn’t go well.
7) Mantle 2.0
It’s remarkable how eerily similar Mike Trout’s career numbers compare to those of Mickey Mantle’s first eight years in the league. This week he drew comparisons to another baseball great, joining Willie Mays as the only players in MLB history to record three seasons of 30 home runs and 20 stolen bases before turning 26.
8) Sweet 15
This season has not gone as planned for the Washington Nationals. They currently find themselves 6 games back in the NL East, behind two teams in the Phillies and Braves that weren’t supposed to be ready to contend this year. The Nats are in serious danger of missing the playoffs, but it’s not without Max Scherzrer’s fault. The reigning NL Cy Young winner has been his usual dominant self and this week earned his league-best 15th win of the season – a 10-4 win over the Reds on Thursday. Scherzer has now ecclipsed the 15-win mark in seven of the last eight seasons.
9) Sale to the DL
The Red Sox don’t seem to be too phased by all the injuries that have plagued their team. That squad just keeps on winning regardless. But their lastest injury is a major one that could haunt them come October. Earlier in the week the team announced that lefty-ace Chris Sale was headed to the DL with shouler inflamation, as mostly a precautionary move. For what it’s worth, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski didn’t seem too worried about the injury, calling it a “short-term thing.” Still, Dombrowski also said it’s something that has bothered Sale throughout the season, so if it lingers it could prove detrimental to Boston’s World Series aspirations.
10) Sandlot Prequel
A report out of Hollywood this week revealed that 20th Century Fox is developing, yes, a prequel to the classic baseball movie Sandlot. Luckily, David Mickey Evans – the man who wrote and directed the original movie baseball fans know and love so much – is said to be handling the same responsibilities for the project, which bodes well for the storylines staying in sync. Now the question is, how will people perceive a modernized cast of Squints, Ham, Smalls and the rest of the gang? Guess we’ll be finding out.