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Sox and Nationals Reverse Roles

08.13.2009 · Posted in Recreation Articles

Entering last week, things looked good for the Red Sox. Just 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees and awaiting a weekend series at Yankee Stadium, the Sox had a chance to close in on the Yankees, and perhaps even take the lead on them. The team was 8-0 against the Yankees in 2009, so things were encouraging.nnUnfortunately for us Sox fans, the Yankees needed to get out their brooms. Not only did the Yankees sweep the Red Sox, but they did so in a dominating fashion. The Yanks have been extremely hot since the All-Star break, whereas the Sox have been ice cold, and their respective streaks continued. nnAt this point, it looks like the Yankees have asserted themselves as the favorite to win the division. Boston needs not only worry about winning the division, but must make sure it even makes the playoffs. The Sox have a race of their own with Texas, as both teams are tied for the Wild Card lead.nnBoston did nothing that it needed to do during its weekend series in New York. Twice, the team failed to score a run in a game. The hitting, however, is less of a concern than the team’s pitching may be. nnNow, with Wakefield and Dice-K on the DL, Buchholz struggling, and Smoltz being designated for assignment (after eight dismal starts), the Sox need some immediate pitching help. If they don’t get any, they might not even make it to the playoffs.nnIn another interesting twist, the Washington Nationals have never looked better than they do now. With an 8-game winning streak and 12 wins out of 16 since July 25th, the Nats have a better record than any other baseball team in that period.nnTheir relievers have been great for them too. With a 2.98 ERA since the All-Star break, their bullpen is allowing nearly half the runs it allowed during the first half of the season. Closer Mike MacDougal has stepped it up this past month, averting many of the blown saves the team saw through the All-Star break.nnMy final MLB news of the day is centered around Arizona Diamondbacks’ Mark Reynolds. Reynolds has been the hottest player in baseball lately. In the past ten days, he’s raised his BA from .275 to .290, and he has 8 HR’s, 12 RBI’s, and 2 SB’s. This kind of stat line is exceptional. Of course, he did singlehandedly beat me in fantasy baseball this week, which somewhat dampens his performance in my eyes.

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