Biggest Winners and Losers of MLB Week 17
The 17th week of the 2013 Major League Baseball season included a bunch of hype. Wednesday was the last day for teams to make non-waiver trades, and the speculation of which players were going to go to which team was at its highest.
Overall, however, the action at the trade deadline was fairly minimal this year. Only a handful of major trades took place, with many teams still feeling they are in contention for the playoffs.
There was more than trades that happened this past week, of course. We saw a team establish a new franchise record. There were several dominating pitching performances this week, as well as some clutch offensive heroes.
Of course, there was much talk with the unfortunate events surrounding the players whose names have been linked to Biogenesis. Let's take a look back at the winners and losers of Week 17.
Winners: Los Angeles Dodgers
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With Sunday's victory in Chicago, completing a four-game sweep, the Los Angeles Dodgers have now won 14 consecutive road games, a streak which started back on July 7 in San Francisco. Their win on Saturday, the 13th straight road win, set a new all-time franchise record. The Dodgers are now just three road victories away from tying the National League record of 17, set by the New York Giants in 1916.
Overall, the Dodgers won all but one game this week. They are also now 14-2 since the All-Star break and own a comfortable five-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
However, the Dodgers are holding their breath, as shortstop Hanley Ramirez left Sunday's game with a jammed right shoulder. Ramirez has already missed a large chunk of the season with various injuries, and the Dodgers can ill-afford to lose him for any more.
Loser: David Wright
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There's no arguing that David Wright has been a real gamer this year. "Captain America" has received just two days off this year, while playing through a myriad of nagging injuries. He also played seven innings of the All-Star Game a couple of weeks ago.
However, in the midst of another fine season for the New York Mets, Wright injured his hamstring while trying to beat out an infield single on Friday against the Kansas City Royals.
Wright went for an MRI on Saturday and was diagnosed with a strained right hamstring. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and is likely to miss three to five weeks. And though the Mets have no playoff hopes for 2013, his presence (or lack thereof) will be missed in the lineup and on the field.
Winners: Boston Red Sox and Jake Peavy
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Jake Peavy may not be the pitcher he used to be when he was in his prime with the San Diego Padres, but the right-hander can still pitch. So, evidently in need of a starting pitcher, the Boston Red Sox spun a three-team deal to acquire Peavy from the Chicago White Sox earlier this week.
Peavy made his Boston Red Sox debut Saturday night, defeating the Diamondbacks, 6-2. He allowed two earned runs on four hits, striking out seven in seven innings. He was pretty much dominant from the get-go, allowing just a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt and an Aaron Hill RBI.
Boston's rotation becomes even stronger now, as it already included Jon Lester, John Lackey, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster, each of whom have had an up-and-down season so far in 2013.
Peavy hasn't been stellar himself prior ti changing the color of his Sox, but Boston now has a solid rotation of steady veterans who can eat up innings, at the very least.
Loser: Alex Rodriguez
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It's certainly been a rough week for Alex Rodriguez. Heck, the last several months have been tough for A-Rod, and the rest of the players reportedly linked to the Biogenesis scandal.
Rodriguez has been rehabbing an injury that has kept him out of the New York Yankees' lineup all season. However, a recent report, by Paul Hagen of MLB.com, indicates that Rodriguez is expected to be in the lineup Monday when the Yankees take on the White Sox in Chicago.
Yet, the same report also notes that MLB is expected to hand out a suspension through the 2014 season to the Bombers' third baseman.
Other current major leaguers are expected to receive suspensions, including Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli and Everth Cabrera. Ryan Braun has already accepted a 65-game suspension, keeping him out for the rest of the 2013 season.
Monday could be remembered as a dark day in the game's glorious history. Let us hope that the game will not forever be tainted for what is to come.
Winners: Pittsburgh Pirates
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Ladies and gentlemen, the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates are for real. After taking four of five from the St. Louis Cardinals this week, they took two out of three from the Colorado Rockies. The Pirates still have the best record in baseball, and despite the Cardinals' 15-2 drubbing of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, the Pirates own a 1.5 game lead in the NL Central.
The Buccos have received a nice balance of pitching and offense during this latest run, which has seen them win seven of their last 11 games. Though they did lose one game, 13-0, they have been generally solid in all aspects of the game and look strong heading into the season's home stretch.
Losers: Cincinnati Reds
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The Cincinnati Reds are in trouble. With the Pirates and the Cardinals duking it out first place in the division, the Reds are going the other way. They lost five of the six games they played this week, including 13-3 and 15-2 spankings at the hands of the Cardinals.
Overall, the Reds have lost eight of their last 12 games, and sit 5.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. Fortunately for the Reds, their strong start to the 2013 season has helped them maintain a place as the National League's second wild-card team.
But things aren't going to get any easier for Dusty Baker's group the rest of the way, and if they can't right the ship, they could be in danger of missing October baseball this year.
Winners: Kansas City Royals
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Actually, the Kansas City Royals are winners and losers this week. Despite capping of a nine-game win streak and winning 10 of 11 overall, the Royals are really in no better shape in their division than they were before the streak started.
On July 23, the Royals found themselves in third place, eight games back of the first-place Detroit Tigers. And though they won their next nine contests, plus Sunday's affair with the Mets, the Royals still find themselves in third place, now 7.5 games behind first-place Detroit.
During the Royals' impressive run, the Tigers and Cleveland Indians have kept pace, leaving the Royals running in place. But, this stretch of winning has at least turned the Royals from sellers to buyers, and now, there seems to be a small window of opportunity for the team to make a run for the division crown.
Loser: Derek Jeter
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The Yankees' captain has been limited to just five games in the 2013 season, spending two separate stints on the disabled list. Well, Derek Jeter could be staring trip No. 3 in the face as we speak.
Jeter had an MRI on his right calf on Saturday, which revealed a Grade 1 strain. According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Jeter has felt something in his calf since he last came off the DL last week. This sort of injury was the same ailment that sidelined the shortstop in 2011 and could potentially put what's left of his season in jeopardy.
No matter what happens going forward, it's been a forgettable season for Jeter. And at age 39, one has to wonder just how much more he has left in him for future seasons.