MLB weekend recap: Yankees sweep Cubs to keep up incredible pace; Dodgers’ woes get worse vs. Giants

It’s mid-June, which means the “winter” sports are preparing to wrap things up, and there will be a pre-football season window that will be all about baseball among America’s major professional sports of men turns. It’s just grind season in our world. We know this is a 162 game marathon with ups and downs.

What did this weekend bring us? Let’s take a look.

highlight of the weekend

Let’s see these moves, Randy Arozarena:

Pretty impressive stuff and a great call from the MLB social media person pointing out Twister. are people still playing this? hmm…

Either way, the Rays would prevail in Minnesota on Sunday to save one of three ahead of a big series next week (we’ll get to that in a bit).

Giants finish sweep of Dodgers

It’s been a tough sled for the Dodgers the past two weeks, and they have to hope this weekend against the Giants was the rock bottom. The Dodgers were defeated in three games – San Francisco won Sunday’s Finals 2-0 – and also lost ace Walker Buehler to an elbow injury. He will miss a lot of time.

Los Angeles went 2 for 24 with runners in goal position in the three games, leading manager Dave Roberts to say his offense lacked a team-oriented “mentality.” Austin Slater and Mike Yastrzemski hit solo home runs from Julio Urías in Sunday’s first inning, and Carlos Rodón and the Giants’ bullpen ensured the two runs got up to complete the sweep.

The Dodgers are 37-23 and have lost nine of their last 13 games. They still lead the NL West, although their lead over the Padres is down to half a game. The Giants are now 33-26 and 3 1/2 games away in the division.

José is a walking machine

Guardians third baseman Jose Ramírez has been one of the best players in baseball for a while and could well be a career year behind him. At least as far as series production is concerned, it is. It was on display on Sunday. The A’s went 1-0 up in the first inning, but Ramírez’s two-RBI double in the bottom half gave Cleveland the lead for good. Ramírez hit a homer on Thursday and Friday and then drove in three runs for a five-RBI streak on Sunday while the Guardians won three of four. They’ve won 10 out of 13 and are within striking distance of the Twins at AL Central.

Ramírez now has 59 RBI in 56 Guardians games. Since Manny Ramirez’s 165 RBI in 1999, no player has returned more runs when his team has played games on a busy schedule. In fact, this is the only season of its kind since the schedule expanded to 162 games. There is an awfully long way here, but it deserves our attention.

Go Streaking

The weekend saw some fairly lengthy streaks, both on the positive and negative sides. The A’s went on a 10-game losing streak with a win on Saturday. The Brewers broke an eight-game losing streak with Sunday’s win. The Phillies had won nine straight games before finally losing on Sunday. However, the Braves emerged from the weekend with their streak intact. Won 11 times in a row.

Those long streaks from three contenders (hopeful contenders, at least) are a good example of how quickly things can change if you play every day.

Not entirely surprising, the Yankees completed a three-game sweep against the Cubs. They are the much better team. They needed 13 innings on Friday before they finally got going, but then they beat away the Cubs 8-0 on Saturday and totally bullied them in Sunday’s 18-4 win. Again not shocking.

It’s notable, however, because the Yankees are playing at a ridiculous pace. They are now 44-16 for a 162-game-119-win pace. The record for single-season wins is 116, shared by the 1906 Cubs and 2001 Mariners. Do you remember the Yankees Dynasty at the turn of the century? Most games won by this group in a regular season was 114 in 1998. This is also the franchise record for wins.

Perhaps also worth noting: The Yankees have won at least 105 games five times in franchise history. All five of these teams won the World Series.

On board

Rays at Yankees (three games beginning Tuesday)/Yankees at Blue Jays (three games beginning Friday): The AL East race is not close. Right now, the Yankees have an 8-1/2 game lead over the Blue Jays and nine over the Rays. There are opportunities here, it just depends on who takes them. The Yankees could really hurt the Rays and Jays by winning both series and taking this thing into double figures. On the other hand, if both trailing teams win streaks, the picture of the division will cloud over as the Yankees get back into the pack a bit.

Brewers at Mets (three games starting Tuesday): It’s a possible playoff preview, so those are always to be highlighted. But these two teams are worth seeing right now. The Brewers just came off an eight-game losing streak. During that streak, they lost sight of first place. The Mets still lead in NL East, but the Braves’ surge has made it a race again instead of a breakaway. There is potential here for a fun series with many others keeping an eye on things.

Angels at Dodgers (two games starting Tuesday): It’s Los Angeles vs. “Los Angeles,” right? Whatever you want to call this series, it’s a fun interleague match with tons of star power. The Angels have recently endured a crippling losing streak while the Dodgers haven’t played well either, but this streak remains a must.

Cardinals at Red Sox: Another preview of the World Series? It seems like a long way to go at this point, but the 2021 Braves and the 2019 Nationals are two recent examples of why it would be foolish to knock out a team like this Red Sox. Both teams are currently in the playoffs as well. We’ve seen the matchup in the Fall Classics twice recently, in 2004 and 2013. It also happened in 1946 and 1967.

White Sox at Astros: It’s a rematch of the ALDS from last season, but it would be far more notable to keep an eye on how things are going for the White Sox. They were one of the most disappointing teams this season and coach Tony La Russa starts Hearing chants from the home crowd in favor of his dismissal. This is a tough series anyway, but will the White Sox play for La Russa’s job?

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