In Antwort auf
9) Dean Kremer, RHP, Orioles (No. 10)
The first Israeli citizen to sign with a Major League organization also became the first to pick up a Major League win when he made his big league debut on Sunday. The right-hander, who came to the Orioles in the Manny Machado trade, was called up to face the Yankees and threw six innings of one-hit ball, allowing one run while walking three and striking out seven, providing another lift in the O's youth movement.
10) Tony Gonsolin, RHP, Dodgers
A bit under-appreciated at times among the Dodgers' deep stable of young pitchers, Gonsolin has been incredibly good this season, though he's yet to collect a win for his efforts. It was more of the same on Saturday, when the right-hander went six strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits while walking none and striking out eight. For the season, Gonsolin has a 0.76 ERA over five starts with a .150 BAA and 0.72 WHIP.
With the top two teams in each division getting an automatic berth to the postseason, some of those races might appear to be already decided – at first glance.
But take a closer look at some of the teams we may not be giving a lot of attention, due to their sub-.500 records. The Mariners, for example, are 18-22, but, after winning five in a row, they're only three games behind the Astros for second place in the American League West.
The Marlins, who have been pretty steady all season despite not playing as much as most other clubs, are also hanging in there in the National League East, lagging behind the second-place Phillies by only a 1 1/2 games. And the Mets are just behind Miami, 2 1/2 games out of second place.
In the NL Central, the Brewers, who are three games under .500, aren't that far behind the second-place Cardinals. They're 2 1/2 back entering their off-day Monday.
Biggest jump: The Cardinals jumped four spots, from No. 18 to No. 14. While most teams are two-thirds through the schedule, the Cardinals actually just reached the halfway mark on Saturday. Starting Monday, they have 26 games over 21 days, and that doesn't even include two games in Detroit that need to be rescheduled. So here's a hat tip to the Cardinals for winning enough to stay in contention, despite the upheaval this season.
Biggest drop: The Rockies dropped four, from No. 14 to No. 18. Several Rockies regulars are struggling, and the team is still searching for some consistency after laboring to string together wins. They have lost 17 of 26.
1. Dodgers (30-12; 1 last week)
The first team in baseball to reach 30 wins, the Dodgers recently matched their best 40-game start in franchise history. They also started this way through their first 40 in 1888, 1955 and 1977. Additionally, they became the fifth team in the expansion era (since 1961) to win at least 30 of its first 40 games. The other four: the 1984 Tigers (won the World Series); 1998 Yankees (won the World Series), 2001 Mariners (lost the ALCS); and the '77 Dodgers (lost the World Series).
2. Rays (28-13; 2)
The Rays are in a favorable position as the baseball schedule whittles down to its final three weeks. Tampa Bay has no more games with the Blue Jays or Yankees, but those two teams play each other 10 times over the next 2 1/2 weeks. All the Rays have to do is keep winning at a decent clip and hope the Jays and Yanks come close to splitting their games, and Tampa Bay should be able to coast to the AL East title. The Rays also play only one team the rest of the season currently playing at a .500 clip or better – the Phillies, whom they host the final weekend.
3. A's (23-14; 3)
By midweek, we'll probably know much more about how the AL West will shake out. The Astros and A's will play five games in the next four days, and if the A's win three or more, it's realistic to assume they'll be on their way to winning the division. Oakland has played only five games in the past week and a half, and of those five games, it won only one. That's only slightly better than the Astros, who just got swept in four games in Anaheim. So this week should be interesting.
4. Padres (25-17; 5)
Since there's no such thing as too much information about Fernando Tatis Jr., let's use this space once again to gush about the Padres' wunderkind. Tatis is tied with Mike Trout for the Major League lead with 15 home runs, the most by any player 21 years or younger in his team's first 42 games of the season in the modern era.
5. White Sox (26-15; 6)
Who could have guessed when this season started the most competitive division in baseball would be the AL Central? The race is still tight, even with the White Sox rolling. Over the past three weeks, dating back to Aug. 16, the Sox are tied with the Dodgers for the best record in baseball at 16-4. José Abreu is batting .386 (32-for-83) with 10 homers and 28 RBIs during a 20-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in baseball. And still, with all the winning, the White Sox still hold only a half-game lead on the Indians and a 1 1/2-game lead over the Twins. This will be a fun one down the stretch.
If their last starts are an indication, it's going to be a real battle among Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urías for the Dodgers' final starter spot going into the postseason's best-of-three first round.
Gonsolin, cemented into the current rotation with the Deadline trade of Ross Stripling to Toronto on Monday, rewarded management's confidence Saturday night with six solid innings in the Dodgers' 5-2 loss to the Rockies at Dodger Stadium that snapped a six-game win streak.
Colorado defeated reliever Blake Treinen and the Dodgers' defensive shift in the top of the ninth inning with three consecutive hits the other way, then a two-run opposite-field double by pinch-hitter Josh Fuentes off Alex Wood.
But Gonsolin struck out eight without a walk and was charged with two runs (one earned) on three hits in a 75-pitch no-decision, Charlie Blackmon homering for one run and doubling before scoring the other. On a strict pitch count, Gonsolin has no decisions in all five starts and hasn't thrown more than 84 pitches.
“Overall, really good,” manager Dave Roberts said in the postgame critique. “The slider was good, the fastball velocity was good. The command wasn't good with the fastball, there was a lot of middle-middle. But he and [catcher Austin Barnes] worked really well with the split-change. He didn't have it early, but I thought he got into a rhythm there the last couple of innings. He continues to grow and get better each outing.”
Notes: Justin Turner, Will Smith, Joe Kelly
Gonsolin was coming off a three-inning no-decision in Texas, where he had to work out of a lengthy bases-loaded jam to keep the game close.
“I had a rough outing in [Arlington], so to come out and have a performance like today is awesome for me, confidence-wise,” he said.
This was Gonsolin's fifth start this season and first allowing more than one run. He hasn't allowed more than three hits in any of those starts.
“Goes to show my stuff is working,” said Gonsolin. “I feel like I'm competent when I throw the ball across the plate -- they won't hit it or will get soft contact, and if they hit it well, our positioning has been great. Early on with the splitty not really working, the slider was there, so I went to it a little bit more. It was sharp and breaking later, so I kind of rolled with it. It was great to have it and hope it stays there.”
Walker Buehler owns share in Kentucky Derby winner
May threw 5 2/3 effective innings on Friday night with a breaking ball breakthrough and Urías gets the ball Sunday coming off his best start of the year as the tryout plays out throughout the month of September.
In Gonsolin's start, the slider provided a third pitch when he couldn't rely on fastball command.
“He had really good sliders to [Nolan] Arenado and [Trevor] Story,” Roberts said. “Just having weapons to get left and right out, if something isn't on point one night you can still have a secondary to get to. This is a fastball-hitting league, so you've got to have something else to keep guys off balance.”
Gonsolin had trouble with only one Rockies batter. Their first run scored in the second inning on an error by Mookie Betts, of all people. After Blackmon's leadoff double, Kevin Pillar sent Betts to the wall to haul in his high fly. With Blackmon tagging to third, Betts dropped the ball on the transfer and Blackmon scored from second.
Blackmon took care of Colorado's second run by himself in the fourth inning, curling a 3-2 splitter inside the right-field foul pole for his fifth home run.
“I missed a few balls over the plate to him and he made me pay,” Gonsolin said of Blackmon. “Took a really good swing on the splitter for the home run. Just need to make better pitches.” Rockies right fielder Sam Hilliard, who's already hit five home runs at Dodger Stadium, stole one in the bottom of the fourth, reaching over the top of the fence to rob Cody Bellinger. The Dodgers have become so adept at winning baseball games, they are now conquering other sports.
During their game against the Rockies Saturday night, Hall of Fame thoroughbred trainer Bob Baffert revealed that Dodgers starting pitcher and Lexington, Ky., native Walker Buehler has a microshare ownership in Authentic, who is trained by Baffert and who won the Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
Baffert said Buehler and former skiing great Bode Miller are among more than 4,000 micro-owners in Authentic through the MyRaceHorse.com syndication.
Authentic, who originally sold as a yearling for $350,000, has $2,871,200 in earnings with five wins in six starts. He is majority owned by billionaire B. Wayne Hughes and his Spendthrift Farm. Hughes made his fortune as the CEO of Public Storage.
Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing are also part owners.
"Bode Miller, he was checking in before: How's our horse?" Baffert told Mark Story of the Louisville Courier Journal. "Walker Buehler from the Dodgers: How we looking? I said, if they give us the lead, it's adios. That's what happened.