The Yankees haven’t been in first place all season. As late as June 10 they were a half game back. But starting then they began to build a lead. By July 18 it was a ten game lead. Since July 18 it has been whittled down to a single game.
The Orioles, fresh off taking two of three from New York, beat the Blue Jays in convincing fashion today, shutting them out behind a strong outing from Joe Saunders. Meanwhile, down in Tampa, the Yankess lost 4-3 despite having their ace on the hill.
New York has a couple more against Tampa Bay — themselves only two and a half out — then a four game series against the Orioles. Oh, and then three more against the Rays after a quick trip to Boston. Oh, and Robinson Cano is hurting too, having done something bad to his hip in this game, which will most likely cause him to miss tomorrow’s.
Are they going to escape this stretch alive?
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.