MLB Hits The Home Stretch…

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Aaron Judge being on pace to eclipse Roger Maris’ home run total in a single season.  Back then Judge was on pace to hit 64 home runs.  As of this morning Judge has hit 51 home runs putting him on a pace to hit 63 for the season.  It will be an interesting chase, but his “margin for error” has shrunk.

Since only two of the six MLB division races are even marginally in doubt, it probably behooves baseball fans to focus on some of the “individual dramas” that will unfold down the stretch to the 2022 season.  Aaron Judge’s chase of the Roger Maris standard is one of three that I think will be interesting.

  • Albert Pujols:  He has said he will retire at the end of the 2022 season; assuming that to be the case, he has 32 games left in his MLB career.   As of this morning, he has hit a total of 694 home runs, which puts him in 5th place on the all-time list.  A-Rod hit 696 home runs; Pujols has an excellent chance to pass him and be 4th on the all-time list.  Moreover, he has a shot at hitting 700 home runs for his career – – a mark reached only by Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth.  Thirty-two games and counting…
  • Paul Goldschmidt:  As of this morning, he is in an excellent position to win the National League Triple Crown.  The Triple Crown is a big deal; the last time anyone achieved that feat in the National League was in 1933 when Chuck Klein (Phillies) did it.  The last player to win the AL Triple Crown was Miguel Cabrera in 2012.  As of this morning, Goldschmidt is hitting  .333 putting him .007 ahead of Freddie Freeman.  Goldschmidt is  tied with Pete Alonso with 105 RBIs and Goldschmidt is second in the NL in home runs trailing Kyle Schwarber by 2 home runs.

There will be no nail biting while wondering who is going to win the NL West or the AL West.  But the efforts of Messrs. Judge, Pujols and Goldschmidt should provide events worth following in September.

The reason there will be no drama in the NL West is that the Dodgers have maintained a torrid pace for the 2022 season.  The Yankees started out 2022 on a roll and at times projected to be a 120-game winner for this year.  However, the Yankees hit a rough patch after the All-Star Game and now only project to win 98 games.  The Dodgers have had no such “slump”; right now, the Dodgers are on place to win 113 games and currently lead the second place Padres by 19.5 games.  Assuming that the Dodgers keep their foot on the gas pedal, they re on track to set a franchise record:

  • The Dodgers’ franchise record for wins in a single season going all the way back to 1884 is 106 wins.
  • Dodgers’ teams have hit that mark twice (in 2021 and in 2019) indicating that the Dodgers have been dominant in recent times.
  • At the current pace in 2022, the Dodgers could pass that mark with about two weeks left to go.

[Aside #1:  When we are all driving electric cars, will we still call that thing on the car floor the “gas pedal?]

[Aside #2:  The Dodgers might challenge the 2001 Mariners’ record of 116 wins in a season but would need to win more than three-quarters of their remaining games to do so.  Possible – – but not likely…]

And since I mentioned the San Diego Padres in passing above, let me insert here something from Gregg Drinnan’s blog, Keeping Score:

THE BEST LAID PLANS: When the San Diego Padres’ marketing team scheduled its 2022 promotions, it put a Fernando Tatis Jr. bobblehead game on the calendar for Sept. 7. But then Tatis Jr. tested positive for a PED and drew an 80-game suspension. That took care of the bobblehead promotion. So now that Sept. 7 come-on will involve a Juan Soto City Connect shirt. And that’s what you call a great job of stick-handling around a sticky situation.”

One more baseball thing for today…  Am I the only one who is fed up to my earbrows with irrelevant “advanced stats” from baseball broadcasts and telecasts?  This has really gotten a bit out of hand.  I do not care even a little bit about the velocity of the ball as it comes off the bat nor do I care about the launch angle of a batted ball.  I have a passing interest in the length of a home run that made it to the seats, but the exit velocity of a single to right field is stats for the sake of stats.  Here is what I want to know from broadcasters/telecasters about batted balls:

  1. Was it fair or foul?
  2. Was it a hit or an out?

That’s it; that’s the list!

Finally, let me close today with two small capsule movie descriptions that I found in The Illustrated Dictionary of Snark:

West Side Story:  The whitest gangs ever who break into song every time they’re supposed to fight.”

And …

High Noon:  Three men come into town to kill a sheriff with no facial expressions or any discernible acting ability.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



6 thoughts on “MLB Hits The Home Stretch…”

  1. Acronyms and advanced stats: I have not understood baseball statistics for over a decade.

  2. And also the wild cards are not great this year… one of the two division races… the Braves are trying to run down the Mets. But it’s the team tied for the fourth best record in baseball trying to catch #3. The Mets can get caught, then their lead over the first non-playoff team for the wild card is a razor thin 12 1/2. the Mets can lose out and still finish over .500.

    As to Aside #1: well, how many people still “tape” things on their DVR?

  3. Well, we do always see the three hardest hit balls by the 7th, but it does say the result – double/hr/hr tonight. Best record in MLB facing the third best. Soft tossing lefty vs. fireballing righty. A great home run saving catch. Good entertainment. And a 7:05 start, and the last pitch was… 9:29. No 4 hour game today. 2-1 Mets over LA.

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