The 9th Inning: These Red Sox cannot be stopped and some interesting players of the week

Welcome to the 9th Inning. This is a weekly column each Sunday evening on Pro Sports Fandom in which I roundup the week’s biggest happenings in the baseball realm. I give my personal thoughts on a few events as well as tell you what to look forward to in the following week. I also give out weekly awards for team of the week and player of the week. It’s basically a baseball podcast squeezed into an article that will happen every week. This is the second article of this column and I hope for some immense success with this column. If you’d like, be sure to share with your friends, social media, and family! I’d love my column to reach as big a global outreach as possible.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?

*Record for the week is in parentheses.

Hot:

The Boston Red Sox (4-1)

The Oakland Athletics (5-1)

The Atlanta Braves (5-1)

The Philadelphia Phillies (5-1)

Not:

The New York Yankees (2-4)

The Seattle Mariners (2-5)

The Tampa Bay Rays (3-3)

The Weekly Awards:

The Team of the Week is the …

The Boston Red Sox (4-1)

There is no doubt in my mind, as a New York Yankees fan, that these Red Sox are the clear best team in baseball as of today. It hurts me to say it but I cannot avoid speaking the truth. Look at what they did to the Yankees over the past weekend, taking three straight and going for the sweep currently as I’m writing this. They also took their only loss of the week (so far) to the Philadelphia Phillies, who have been hot as of late and are certain to be one of the NL’s premier teams. This Boston team is one of the most well-balanced teams in recent MLB history with a powerful offense led by Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, combined with a Cy Young contender in Chris Sale and a Cy Young winner in Rick Porcello. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget about their all-star closer in Craig Kimbrel. The Red Sox had a great week and truly deserve this honor.

The Hitter of the Week is …

Arizona Diamondbacks SS Nick Ahmed

This might be a shocking name for the hitter of the week for you guys, but Ahmed is certainly delivering some offense for the Snakes out West. In six games during this week, Ahmed hit .529, hit three home runs, collected six runs and 8 RBIs. The shortstop also had a ridiculous 1.854 OPS this week. He is providing some unexpected offense for a D-Backs team that will certainly need it down the stretch as they are in a tough battle in the NL West.

The Pitcher of the Week is …

New York Mets SP Zack Wheeler

Yes, I know, it is shocking that a New York Met has earned an award of some sort in 2018. Well, it’s based on Wheeler’s individual performance, which was ridiculous over the past week. Wheeler had been frequently talked about in trades with other teams but it’s easy to see why the Mets held onto him. In two starts this week, he was 2-0 in 13 innings, while allowing zero earned runs, and having a 1.16 FIP. He certainly deserves it.

Series to Watch This Week:

Houston Astros @ San Francisco Giants

Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals

Philadelphia Phillies @ Arizona D-Backs

LA Dodgers @ Oakland Athletics

This Weekend?:

Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros

LA Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies

Washington Nationals @ Chicago Cubs

Milwaukee Brewers @ Atlanta Braves

Anyways, thanks for reading the second ever edition of the 9th Inning column! I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to share with your friends, family, and on social media! Feel free to contact me on my Twitter @TBeckmann24 if you have any questions! I’ll be back next time! Peace!

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The 9th Inning: Newcomb’s Tragedy, A Terrific HOF Class, A Rollercoaster Week for the Yankees, and The Tale of DeGrom

Welcome to the 9th Inning. This is going to be a weekly column each Sunday evening on Pro Sports Fandom in which I roundup the week’s biggest happenings in the baseball realm. I also give my personal thoughts on a few events as well as tell you what to look forward to in the following week. I will also be giving out weekly awards for team of the week and player of the week. It’s basically a baseball podcast squeezed into an article that will happen every week. This is the debut article of this column and I hope for some immense success with this column. If you’d like, be sure to share with your friends, social media, and family! I’d love my column to reach as big a global outreach as possible.

I’m going to start the 9th Inning column out with a few rounded-up thoughts in recap of this week’s action both on the field and off.

A Truly Deserving Hall of Fame Class of 2018

I know it’s not current baseball talk, but I have to tip my cap to all of the voters for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018 is one of the most deserving ones in years. It was an amazing ceremony and it fulfilled fans in attendance. Perhaps the most deserving inductees were none other than Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. Jones, the sensational switch-hitting third baseman, more than deserves this recognition, as he truly revitalized the third base position heading into the modern era. Guerrero, whose son is going to make a name for himself in the big leagues soon, also truly deserves this honor, as one of the most iconic players in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Congratulations to all of the six men who were inducted into Cooperstown this year!

The Sad Story That Is Jacob deGrom

Ok, it’s sad, but we have to address it. All jokes aside (including the Mets Franchise), Jacob deGrom is pitching his way to one of the greatest single seasons for a pitcher in recent baseball history. He is defying the shift in the newfound era of the home run ball. But the Mets offense seems to hate him. He won’t be getting traded this summer sadly and I think about every realistic baseball mind knows that. In his last 12 starts, Jacob deGrom has a 1.87 ERA in 87 innings on the mound with 95 strikeouts, 65 hits, and 18 earned runs. His record in those 12 starts? 1-6. The Mets offense doesn’t support him and the bullpen doesn’t finish off the unbelievable outings he has consistently put together. He’s on pace to finish with a 2.23 ERA and a 10-9 record, and because he doesn’t have a pretty record, people are worrying that he’ll be overlooked as a Cy Young candidate. Move aside, if the season ended now, the kid would be a lock to win the award.

The Yankees Rollercoaster Week

If I told you that the Yankees would’ve acquired Zach Britton and J.A. Happ before this week began, would you have been HAPPy? (See what I did there). Most likely you would’ve been ecstatic if you were a Yankees fan. They bolstered their bullpen by trading for the left-handed Britton and then replenished their starting rotation by adding another left hander in veteran J.A. Happ. But why are Yankees fans still acting disappointed and negative after this week? The first reason: their division rival Red Sox do not seem to lose much at all, and they trail them by 5 1/2 games in the AL East. Secondly, they have lost their superstar outfielder Aaron Judge for three weeks due to a chip fracture in his wrist. The negativity seems like it won’t stop coming! But as I said in my article yesterday, RELAX Yankees Fans!

Newcomb’s Tragic Final Out

A few weeks after Josh Hader caught the nation’s heat for some old racist, sexist, and homophobic tweets that were dug up, Atlanta Braves starter Sean Newcomb experienced the exact same issue. This is definitely not a good look for the MLB or baseball as a whole, so let’s hope that this doesn’t start becoming a trend. But what made it even more upsetting was the fact that Newcomb had just thrown his best outing ever in the major leagues, and was at an all-time high before he found out. He dominated the Dodgers lineup on Sunday afternoon, but he also dominated the media. He was one strike away from a no-hitter, which would’ve also set the Internet on fire. But a single from Chris Taylor ended his hopes. Such tragedy happens in the major leagues.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?

Hot:

The Boston Red Sox (7-3 in Last Ten)

The Pittsburgh Pirates (7-3 in Last Ten)

The Colorado Rockies (8-2 in Last Ten)

Not:

The San Francisco Giants (3-7 in Last Ten)

The Houston Astros (4-6 in Last Ten)

The San Diego Padres (2-8 in Last Ten)

The Tampa Bay Rays (4-6 in Last Ten)

The Seattle Mariners (4-6 in Last Ten)

The Weekly Awards

The Team of the Week is the …

Colorado Rockies (4-2 record)

The Rockies started off the week with a split two game series against the Houston Astros, but finished the week with an impressive three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics to finish the week with a 4-2 record. Both the Athletics and Astros are playoff contending teams in the AL, so it’s an extremely impressive week for the Rox. They sit just a game out of first place in the NL West as they mark their quest to a postseason berth!

The Hitter of the Week is …

Milwaukee Brewers OF Christian Yelich

Christian Yelich has had an extremely productive 2018 campaign in his first season with the Brew Crew. He continued his excellence this week with a fantastic seven day stretch. He had 30 plate appearances in seven games, hit three home runs, scored eight runs, had 10 RBIs, and maintained a prolific batting average of .536 with a 0.9 WAR for the week. Dating back to July 14th, the outfielder is on a 12-game hitting streak.

The Pitcher of the Week is …

Boston Red Sox LHP Chris Sale

It pains me a bit to say this but Chris Sale is the best pitcher in the American League. He further asserted his dominance with two fantastic outings this week en route to this honor. He pitched 12 innings, surrendered five hits, zero runs, while striking out 19 batters, walking only two, and having a 1-0 record for the week. He seems to be stretching out his cushion on the rest of the American League in terms of the Cy Young award race, but we will see if this continues.

What to Look Forward To:

In this upcoming week, there is a lot of baseball to look forward to! But the most notable even going on in the baseball realm is the trade deadline on Tuesday, July 31st. Everybody should be excited to see who is on the move on deadline day! Look forward to an action-packed Tuesday of moves!

There are plenty of series between great teams to start the week but I’ll name a few, such as the Brewers-Dodgers, Astros-Mariners, Phillies-Red Sox, and Cubs-Pirates. To close out the week, we will get to see four games of the Yankees-Red Sox at Fenway, three games of a World Series rematch between the Astros and Dodgers, and a three game stretch between playoff contending teams in the Rockies and Brewers.

Thanks for reading the debut of the 9th Inning column! I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to share with your friends, family, and on social media! Feel free to contact me on my Twitter @TBeckmann24 if you have any questions! I’ll be back next time! Peace!

R.E.L.A.X.: Why Yankees fans need to relax about the Aaron Judge situation and stay positive

It’s been an up and down week for Yankee fans. Brian Cashman has pulled off two solid trades to bolster their starting rotation and bullpen. Sonny Gray has looked very good in his last few starts and it seemed like something was starting to click with this Yankee squad. But on this night in which the Bronx Bombers celebrated a dominant victory over the Royals, there was one really bad issue.

Yankees fans cringed when they saw the trainers come out to check on their 6’7 superstar outfielder, Aaron Judge, after he was hit in the right wrist with a 93-mph fastball by Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis. They breathed a sigh of relief when they saw trainers walk off the field and Judge still at first base, but that wasn’t the last of the issue. After hitting a weak infield single in the third, Judge was removed from the game as DH and replaced by rookie sensation Miguel Andujar.

And then Yankees fans saw the reports that Judge had been taken to a nearby hospital for an MRI and CT scan. How bad could it be? Would the season be on the line? Numerous Yankee fans had these thoughts swirling in their head. But after the game when they found out that Judge had sustained a chip fracture in his wrist, it seemed like nobody understand that there should be no reason to panic. In fact, Yankees fans should be relieved that the injury Judge sustained does not require surgery and is only a three or four week absence.

Instead of thanking the lord for Judge not having a fully broken wrist, Yankees fans scoured social media and dumped out all the possible negative scenarios with the Aaron Judge injury. What if he doesn’t come back as the same hitter? What if he can’t successfully rehab on time? Yes, these things can happen and maybe they will, but I’ve got one word for Yankee fans across the globe, RELAX.

I realize that Aaron Judge is a huge part of the Yankees team, he is a do-it all persona and he is much of the reason that this Yankee team is one of the best in recent history. Yes, it is a huge loss for one of the MLB’s best offenses. He is perhaps the biggest part of their offense, leading the team in home runs, runs, OBP, SLG, and base on balls. A three week absence from Judge isn’t great by any means, but it could’ve been much worse.

Judge could’ve had a worse wrist injury, such as a fully broken wrist or an even tougher fracture. But he luckily walked away with a chip fracture and a three-week absence. He will be back by the end of August and should be fully capable of helping the Yankees chase the Red Sox in the AL East pennant race.

And without Judge, there’s no reason to doubt the Yankees lineup and whether it can provide production itself. They have a reigning NL MVP in slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has been extremely hot in the last month or so, hitting .323 with four home runs in the last 30 days. Didi Gregorius is starting to get back up to the level of play that he started the year with. Miguel Andujar is an absolutely sensational young hitter who has been terrific all season long. Greg Bird is starting to get comfortable in the lineup. Aaron Hicks is providing a good offensive punch as well as a defensive one. Gleyber Torres has been great all season and is back from his stint on the DL. Veteran Neil Walker should able to eat up ABs, and heck, even he’s been really hot as of late.

This offense is more than capable of carrying the load for a couple of weeks while Judge’s wrist heals. The last reason that Yankee fans should not panic is because of the schedule that is coming up while Judge will be out. He only misses one key series and while it is a big one versus the Red Sox at Fenway, we can live with it. The Yankees only play one other team with an above .500 record in the span that Judge is expected to miss, that being the Tampa Bay Rays. They have an easy schedule and therefore his absence should not hurt them too much. So please Yankees fans, just don’t panic, relax, and enjoy the rest of the baseball season. And the season is not over!

Ultimate MLB Second Half Guide: Analysis and Predictions for Trade Deadline, Standings, Awards, and the Playoffs

We are one week away from the MLB All-Star break and inching ever closer to the July 31st league-wide non-waiver trade deadline. We have watched more than one half of the season and we are starting to get a good idea of the playoff picture, trade fits, standings, and award candidates. That’s why I felt that it was the perfect time to release a massive guide to the second half of the baseball season. My guide is here, complete with predictions and analysis on the trade deadline, final standings, playoffs, and season awards.

Table of Contents:

Trade Deadline Predictions- PG. 2

Standings Predictions- PG. 3

AL Playoff Predictions- PG. 4

NL Playoff Predictions- PG. 5

World Series Predictions- PG. 6

Season Awards Predictions- PG. 7

Concluding Thoughts- PG. 8

Sonny Gray is Headed to New York for Three Prospects 

The Oakland Athletics have moved their top trade piece in pitcher Sonny Gray to the Yankees Per multiple reports. 
The Basics: 
Sonny Gray has posted a 3.43 ERA in 97.0 innings of work to this point in 2017. Gray has struck-out 94 batters and accumulated a decent WHIP of 1.175. He is slated to become a free agent at the end of the 2019 season.
How Gray Can Help: 
Gray will be a huge help to the struggling Yankees rotation who currently only have 2 pitchers with under a 3.75 ERA. Right now the Yankees are in first place in the AL East and this trade will make their fans feel much better about keeping that lead. The Red Soxs and Rays are both on the Yankees tails.
The Return: Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo, and James Kaprelian are headed to the A’s. Right now Fowler and Keprelian are both out due to injuries. Mateo has a .300 average in 120 in the minors this year. This is a huge deal, who do you think won?
Follow us on twitter @1N2W_ for more information on the trade deadline.

Could The Cubs Be Out On Sonny Gray?

Rumors have been surfacing the past few days saying that the Cubs could be one of the teams to acquire Gray, well it might not be that way any more. 
Brett Taylor at BleacherNation.com stated that @KenRosenthal believed the Cubs will not go after Gray anymore. Rosenthal stated that Gray would cost the Cubs “Ian Happ or one of the other top young position players on the big league roster.” 
The Cubs could still make a move for Gray, but it is now looking more unlikely. Rosenthal says the Cubs will probably stick what they have and explore free agency. 
Do you believe the Cubs will still make a move? Let us know on twitter @1N2W_
                                                        @Jteeter67

Heads Up! The Cubs Are Still Going After Sonny Gray

sonny-gray.jpg

According to @JonMorosi at MLBN the Cubs are still interested in RHP Sonny Gray, even after the Jose Quintana trade.

Gray has not had a great year, but he has the potential to be a great picther. He currently has a 4.00 ERA, but back in 2015 he posted a 2.73 ERA in 208 innings pitched. I believe Gray would be a good get for the Cubs, and it would also keep the division leading Brewers from getting him.

Chicago has some talent that they might be able to get him with. Some of these players include Jeimer Candelario, Addison Russell, and maybe even Javier Baez.

Do you believe the Cubs will make a trade, and if so who do the Cubs trade for Gray? Let us know on our twitter @1N2W_

@Jteeter67