1. The Biggest Losers: The Philadelphia Phillies became the first team in MLB history to lose 10,000 games after getting blown out 10-2 by the Cardinals. Albert Pujols hit two of the Cardinals’ six homers, giving the slugger 20 on the season. The Phillies had avoided the embarrassing mark for a while thanks to a three-game win streak, but now they officially are the league’s all-time losingest team. This mark, it should be noted, comes with an asterisk, because the Phils aren’t exactly the worst team of all time. They have a better winning percentage than the Rockies, Padres, Rangers, and Devil Rays, who have all been around a much shorter time than Philadelphia and therefore aren’t near 10,000 losses. Also, the Phillies have at least won 5 pennants and a World Series, something the Rangers or Nationals can’t claim in their 40+ year histories. In case you were wondering, the winningest team is the Giants with 10,151 victories in the same 124-year time period that the Phillies have been around.
2. The NL Heats Up: In June, the only National League divisional race that was close was in the West division as the Mets and Brewers were dominant. Now, however, the Braves and Cubs have been hot enough to inch closer to their division leaders. The Braves started off an easy homestand (Pirates, Reds, Cardinals) well by sweeping Pittsburgh. Their 5-1 win on Sunday gave them 50 wins on the season and put them 1.5 games back of New York. No longer can the Mets by simply penciled in for a playoff spot in the NL, as the Braves could pass them by next week (the Mets travel to San Diego and Los Angeles). Meanwhile, the Cubs completed a sweep of the Astros to move within 3.5 games of Milwaukee. They are one of the hottest teams in baseball, with a 15-4 record since June 22. As these divisional races are tightening up, the NL West remains close as the Dodgers lead the Padres by one game.
3. Are the A’s done? Though not many are talking about it, the Oakland A’s are one of the year’s most disappointing teams. They made the ALCS last year, but now find themselves 11.5 games back in the division. Oakland has dropped seven in a row, giving them a 44-48 record. They were recently swept in four games by the Twins, the first four-game sweep for Minnesota since last August. The problem with the A’s is clearly offense; they have only scored 21 runs in their last ten games. With their AL-best pitching staff, it’s unfortunate they can’t get any run support.
Player of the Day: Miguel Cabrera, Marlins: 2-2, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 2 walks. How awesome is that line? It’s common to see an all-1 line, but I’ve never seen it with 2’s before.