Beatdown in Beantown … Again
For the second time this season, the Toronto Blue Jays came into Fenway park and absolutely killed the Boston Red Sox. This time the Jays won 13-1.
Eduardo Rodriguez was roughed up and couldn’t even last 4 innings as Toronto scored 3 runs in the 1st, another in the 2nd, and 2 more in the 4th before Vladimir Guerrero Jr really broke things open with a 3-run homer in the 5th inning to put the Jays up 9-0.
The day went according to script for Toronto and it flew off the rails for Boston. Each Toronto starter had at least one RBI while Sox position player Kevin Plawecki was brought on to pitch the 9th inning for Boston.
Boston has no time to reflect on this horrible home loss. They now begin their longest road trip of the season (10 games) where they will hit Tampa, Detroit, and then Buffalo to rematch with the Blue Jays.
Nation Rejoices As Yankees Lose Big
Down south, The Tampa Bay Rays demolished the New York Yankees 14-0.
Take away the 6th inning and this game wasn’t so bad for New York. In that fateful 6th, Tampa sent 15 batters into the box versus 3 different New York pitchers. The Rays scored 10 runs on 8 hits – 3 of them being home runs.
The Rays have not scored so many runs in one inning since 2008 against the Marlins… which doesn’t even really count cuz it’s the Marlins.
Never before have the Tampa Bay Rays won a shutout by so much. Only 2 other times have the Rays won a game by more than 14 runs in franchise history.
Both of the other victories were also against AL East opponents (Yankees again and Orioles). The Rays have never beaten a non-division opponent by this many runs. I guess those closest to you can hurt you the most.
This win puts Tampa one game closer to Boston in the standings – now down by just 1.5 games in the AL East. The Rays maintain a 4-game lead over Oakland in the Wild Card. Currently Tampa Bay is the first Wild Card team while Oakland is second.
The Yankees and Red Sox lost by a combined score of 27-1 on Thursday. I’m not even going to look anything up. I don’t think I’m going out on too dangerous a limb when I postulate that the Yankees and Red Sox have never had this bad of a day collectively.
Major Deals as Scherzer, Turner, Gallo Need Moving Trucks
The on-field action Thursday pales in comparison to what was going on in front offices around the MLB. Major names like Joey Gallo, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, and Anthony Rizzo changed teams.
Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo to New York Yankees
Joey Gallo was traded from the Texas Rangers to the New York Yankees. This trade was broken by members of the media late Wednesday night.
The writing was on the wall for Joey Gallo. He knew a trade was imminent as he thanked the Rangers fans following what he knew would be his final home game in Texas earlier in the week.
As a 27-year-old on a 1-year contract, Gallo is technically just a rental but he’s not even old enough yet to become an unrestricted free agent. The Yankees will be able to keep him through the arbitration process in 2022. He will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Texas received a slew of prospects for Gallo and the Internet was abuzz projecting Yankees lineups with Gallo in the middle … that is until New York decided to add another piece.
Thursday evening, news broke that Texas had also acquired long-time Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in exchange for 2 prospects.
Rizzo is in the final year of his contract so he is a true rental. It is not crazy to think that Rizzo might even resign with Chicago in the off-season. It’s the ole, “Go win a championship kid, we’ll see ya in the spring.”
Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers
We barely had time to let the Joey Gallo trade sink in before an even bigger deal was announced Thursday night.
Rumors had Max Scherzer being dealt to either Tampa or San Francisco, but it was the Dodgers who swooped in and bought not only Mad Max but his star teammate Trea Turner.
The Nationals are retooling their farm system, adding 4 of the Dodgers’ top prospects in exchange for the 2 established stars.
Scherzer is having an outstanding season. He started the National League All-Star game and has a sub-3 ERA with 8 wins on the season.
Scherzer had 10-and-5 rights as a veteran player, meaning he was allowed to veto any trade. He gladly accepted a move to the West Coast, however. Max is a competitor and relishes the opportunity to pitch in a pennant race.
Scherzer is a true rental, eligible for free agency at the end of this season. Trea Turner still has one more year on his deal and will be without a contract after 2022.
This move adds $100 trillion to the Dodgers payroll (or something like that) and easily makes LA the most expensive team in the league. The Dodgers’ payroll is $85 million more than the 2nd-place New York Yankees who just added a couple of players themselves.
Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman is no stranger to making a big splash at the trade deadline. He brought in Yu Darvish for the playoff run in 2017 and bought Manny Machado for the homestretch in 2018.
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that the Dodgers are just the 7th team ever to grab multiple players at the deadline who were both All-Stars that year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers odds to win the 2021 World Series were hovering around (+360) to (+370) but have now shortened to (+330) following these acquisitions.
The New York Yankees are still down at (+2200) – which is tied for 10th-best odds in the league. New York is 8.5 back in their own division and still 3.5 back in the Wild Card race with 2 full months to go.
Kyle Schwarber to Boston
In less exciting news, The Boston Red Sox acquired Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals late Thursday night. Schwarber is best known for clubbing 16 home runs during the month of June and earning a spot on the National League All-Star team. Schwarber’s line on the season is .253/25/53.
This is all before Schwarber strained his hamstring and put himself on the injured list – a place that the 28-year-old is all too familiar with in his short career.
The Red Sox will have to wait for Schwarber’s hamstring to heal up before he can help them down the stretch. The Nationals are getting a Minor League pitcher in return who is also injured. When’s the last time you saw teams swap injured players at the trade deadline?
Schwarber is also a rental, being in the last year of his deal. He does have a mutual option for 2022, meaning that Boston could keep them around if they like the fit.
The Tigers Aren’t Terrible For Once
Just to get my home team some love I will throw in a little Detroit Tigers talk here. The Detroit Tigers are hot hot hot improving their record to 50-55, which is the closest we’ve been to .500 in a long time.
Amid rumors that he is going to be sold, Jonathan Schoop had 2 hits and scored 2 runs while Miguel Cabrera continued his resurgence – going 3-3 from the plate with 2 solo home runs.
Tigers rookie catcher Eric Haase also netted 2 hits in 3 at bats with 2 runs driven in. Haase along with centerfielder Akil Baddoo is in the Rookie of the Year conversation in the American League.
The Michigan native is hitting .250 on the season with 17 home runs in 43 runs driven in in just 56 games played and 200 at bats.
In the past week, Haase is hitting over .290 with 3 home runs, 12 RBIs, and 7 runs scored.
The Tigers have now won 3 games in a row and are just 3 games behind the Cleveland Indians (soon to be Guardians) for 2nd place in the AL Central.