The Road To Elimination
The defending champion San Francisco Giants will head out on their final road trip of the season on Tuesday, and unless they can put together a miraculous winning streak, they will likely be eliminated from post-season contention before returning home to AT&T Park. The Giants have lost seven of their last 10 on the road, and four of seven at San Diego in the season series. Trailing the Dodgers by 7.5 games with just 13 games to play the it’s obvious that the end is near.
Kluber Getting Clobbered
Last year’s AL Cy Young winner has been one of this year’s biggest disappointments, with a record of 8-14 with a 3.44 ERA. He’s winless in his last four starts, allowing 13 runs over 23 2/3 innings. His next start comes on the road at Minnesota Wednesday, and these teams have a history of playing high scoring games, going over in seven of the last 10 in the series. Kluber is just 3-7 with a 3.95 ERA in 15 starts on the road this year.
The Brewers won five straight at the beginning of September, but they’ve since lost 12 of 15. They are in Chicago this week, and they’ve lost eight in a row to the Cubs. Chicago on the other hand has been red hot, winning 21 of it’s last 27 at Wrigley.
WAG of the Day
The Giants might not make the playoffs, but Alexis Cozombolidis is a great consolation prize for outfielder Hunter Pence.
*The Washington Nationals lead the major leagues in runs scored in September, batting .288 so far this month. Much of the damage has come off the bat of Bryce Harper, who it hitting .435 in September, and batting a major league best .343 this season.
*Shin Soo Choo is swinging a hot bat in Texas, hitting .520 over the last seven days, and .441 since September 1st. He’ll face Felix Doubront of Oakland on Wednesday, and he’s 3-for-7 with a home run lifetime versus the left-hander.
*Jake Arrieta failed to record his 20th win of the season despite tossing a gem at Pittsburgh his last time out. Arrieta went eight innings, allowing one earned run and striking out five, but the Cubs needed extra-innings to get by the Pirates and Jake got the no-decision. He’ll get another chance on Tuesday against the Brewers.
*Phil Hughes was sent to the bullpen after allowing three runs on six hits in just three innings in his first start after missing over a month with back pain. He’s allowed 14 runs on 21 hits over 13 2/3 innings in his last four appearances. His next start comes Wednesday at home versus Cleveland, and he’s 1-2 with an 8.44 ERA against the Indians this season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won the series opener in Colorado by a score of 9-3, and high scoring games have been the norm at Coors Field lately. The Pirates have seen their fair share of high scoring contests as well, going over in 15 of their last 21 overall. The over is 18-7-2 in the Rockies last 27 home games versus a team with a winning road record.
*Billy Hamilton will need season ending surgery to repair an injured shoulder. The Reds center-fielder leads the majors with 57 stolen bases this season.
*Yadier Molina injured a ligament in his thumb during a play at the plate in Sunday’s game versus the Cubs. He’s hoping to return to the Cardinals before the end of the regular season.