Week 10 in the East: Athletic Socks roll past rivals
Boston Red Sox (32-26) --> (38-26) wk 6-0
New York Yankees (32-24) --> (35-27) wk 3-3 2 back
Tampa Bay Rays (30-28) --> (34-30) wk 4-2 4 back
Toronto Blue Jays (29-29) --> (32-33) wk 3-4 6.5 back
Baltimore Orioles (26-30) --> (30-32) wk 4-2 7 back
Red Sox swept, but the division is hanging close. A NY ouch with bruises. The surprise is that everyone is nearby, with the uncertainty of interleague games ahead. How well have the Sox played? Over the last 7 days, they hit 124 points better than opponents (the next best team was only at 67 points), scored 31 more runs, 6 wins, slugged at 550, and pitched to an ERA of 3.50. Best yet, these were on the road where they haven't usually played as well as at home, and against AL East rivals. Add sunscreen for the Rays.
I had warned that their hitting with RISP was due to get better - last month it was 220, 37 points *below* their BA then of 257. Now it's up 38 points to 258 with a BA rise of 17 points. The true value theory at work, along with the resulting surge in runs. They still have too many runners left on base. For now.
How does the streak hold up against NL pitching in Milwaukee, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (I won't mention Houston)? How well do the starters hold up at the plate... shades of Chin Ming Wang? But the standings reflect what we all expected: Good hitting leads a close division, with improvement possible on the pitching side. The DL is getting crowded everywhere - buy stock in TJ surgery. Does anyone have emerging AAA phenom's? Bring 'em.
About 100 games to go so no one should be crowing. Enjoy the nitrous injection and hold the wheel tight. Theme of the week seems like Hit That Batter. Hold the hamstrings and pray.