Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MLB Power Rankings

In the old days, the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers battled each other in the National League West.  Now, they are both red-hot, and they are battling at the top of the CBS Power Rankings.  (Actually, the Dodgers are beyond red-hot; they've won 83 percent of their games since June 21:

1.  Atlanta Braves:  73-47
2.  Los Angeles Dodgers:  69-50
3.  Boston Red Sox:  72-49
4.  Detroit Tigers:  69-49
5.  Pittsburgh Pirates:  70-48
6.  Texas Rangers:  69-51
7.  St. Louis Cardinals:  68-50
8.  Tampa Bay Devil Rays:  66-51
9.  Cincinnati Reds:  67-52
10.  Kansas City Royals:  62-55

 The Swingin' A's have dropped to 12th.  The Nats are still bumping along in 16th.


  1. Brewers 4 at Rangers 5
    Astros 2 at A's 1 in 11

    Oakland back two in division.

    Baseball. Urgh.

  2. Sonny Gray, hooray!

    A's 5, Astros 0. Oakland's first-round choice in the 2011 draft threw eight scoreless innings in his second start. Through two starts and a couple of relief appearances, Gray is 1-1 with a 1.00 earned-run average.

    Gray was drafted by the Cubs when he came out of Smyrna, Tenn., High, but he chose to not sign and instead attend Vanderbilt. As a junior in 2011, he was the stud pitcher on the first Commodores team to make the College World Series. He skipped his senior year and signed with the A's after Oakland drafted him 18th overall that spring.

    Incidentally, back at Smyrna, Gray also quarterbacked the Bulldog football team to their first-ever Tennessee state championship in his junior season, 2006. Then, in his senior year, he and Smyrna did it again.

  3. So, after a 7-3 win over Cleveland yesterday, Oakland is 3-3 two-thirds of the way through its run of nine homes games in nine days. The Mariners are in town for a three-game set starting tonight. The A's trail the Rangers by half a game in the American League West standings, and they are in second in the A.L. wild-card standings--a half game behind the Rays and 3.5 ahead of the Orioles.

    My main manager, Bob Melvin, is jostling both his pitching rotation and batting order as the season enters its final quarter.

    Pitchingwise, All-Star Bartolo Colon has gone to the disabled list. Brett Anderson, a left-hander who has started fewer and fewer games over the course of his five seasons, is apparently close to rejoining the major-league club from an injury-rehabilitation assignment. Tommy Milone, who had been demoted to the minors, was back up to start Sunday's series finale against Cleveland; he allowed one earned run, six hits and a walk in four and two-thirds innings.

    Hittingwise, Sunday's card had shortstop Jed Lowrie in the leadoff spot, and he came through with a couple of hits and two runs scored in five at-bats. Chris Young, the outfielder who surfaced in the leadoff spot for a few games last week, was bumped back down to sixth, and he responded with two hits and two strikeouts. One of the hits was a fifth-inning solo home run that pushed Oakland ahead of Cleveland for good. Melvin's favorite leadoff man, Coco Crisp, was mostly sidelined this weekend with a wrist injury.

    Whatevs ... we Swingin A's just keep moneyballin'.

    Now here come the Mariners. Seattle is 57-66 on the season and 13.5 back in the division, but the Ms have been mighty tough on the A's. These two teams opened the season with a four-game series against each other at Oakland. The Mariners won the first two games, and then the A's won two games. Since then, they've played three three-game series, and Seattle has won all three by two-games-to-one margins each time.

    I've always hated the Mariners. They came in to the league in 1977, when I was 9 and Charlie Finley had just finished up dismantling the three-time World Series champs. Seattle was horrible that season, finishing 64-98; of course, that was still a half-game better than Oakland, 63-98. I should've been mad at Charlie Finley, and I was--but still not nearly as mad as I was at the Mariners.

  4. The Nats are 5-20 against the Braves (4-12), the Dodgers (1-5), and the Cardinals (0-3). They are 55-43 against the rest of baseball.

  5. Mariners! HATE the Mariners! BASEBALL!!! Urgh.

    A's won the first game in this series and then turned around and fell from ahead (4-0 after one inning last night, 3-1 after three today) to lose the last two against Seattle. So, the A's go 4-5 on the nine-game home swing. Not good. At the moment, Oakland is two games behind Texas in the American League West (the Rangers play Houston tonight) and three ahead of Cleveland for second in the A.L. wild-card race (the Indians play Los Angeles tonight).

    Oakland is off tomorrow, and then it's three games over the weekend at Baltimore, four next week at Detroit and back home to Oakland for series with Tampa Bay, Texas and Houston. Starting Friday, the A's play every day through Sept. 8.

    I'll be honest with you. I don't know if we--I'm talking about the A's and me--are going to make it.

  6. And Bulgaria lost.

    And I caught part of a replay of the Dolphins' third preseason game today, and they looked awful in all the same ways they've looked awful for the last 10 years.

    And Heath doesn't have a football game Friday night or ever.

    Stupid baseball.