The latest on Miguel Cabrera’s chase for the Triple Crown:
1. Miguel Cabrera .329
2. Mike Trout .325
3. Joe Mauer .322
Home Run Leaders
1. Miguel Cabrera 44
2. Josh Hamilton 43
3. Edwin Encarnacion 42
1. Miguel Cabrera 137
2. Josh Hamilton 127
Among those leaders, the only player on a team with something left to play for is Hamilton, whose Rangers are trying to fend off the A’s for the AL West. In light of that, one question worth asking is whether Jim Leyland give Cabrera a day off either today or tomorrow?
If the Triple Crown wasn’t on the line it would seem like a no-brainer — rest the horse you rode to get here — but with such a slim lead in the home run chase and Hamilton’s ability to hit them in bunches, who knows? Of course a day off could theoretically help him in the batting average race. Though after a 4 for 5 day, he is kinda hot.
Oh well. Something to watch for if you don’t care about the A’s-Rangers or the Cardinals-Dodgers.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.