By Sam McPherson
With so much focus on possible trades in baseball last week, some fans may have missed all these other moments in the sport. Here are the highlights from the last week of July.
Adrián Beltré gets his 3,000th hit to all but guarantee a ticket to Cooperstown
The Texas Rangers third baseman is a four-time All-Star selection and a winner of five Gold Glove awards. However, it will be Sunday’s double against the Baltimore Orioles that gets Beltré to the Hall of Fame.
Over 20 seasons now, Beltré has hit .286 and driven in 1,607 runs while knocking 454 balls out of the park. Six times he has finished in the Top 10 MVP balloting, and he now has the career crown jewel of 3,000 hits, too.
Madison Bumgarner finally wins his first game of 2017
If anyone had predicted that it would take almost four months of the season for the San Francisco Giants ace to win a start, they would have been laughed out of the room. MadBum has averaged 15.5 wins a year since 2011.
Bumgarner is now 1-4 this season with a 2.92 ERA after missing a few months of action due to an injury suffered off the field. The Giants are going nowhere this October, but at least their ace won’t go winless.
Three playoff-bound teams send aces to the disabled list
Last week, starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw, David Price and Stephen Strasburg all hit the disabled list, leaving their teams down an arm as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals, respectively, prepare for the stretch run and the postseason.
It’s been that kind of year for a lot of pitchers, actually, considering the situation of Bumgarner above and other stars like 2015 American League Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros. Staying healthy is sometimes hard to do.
Cleveland wins nine straight to take control of the AL Central Division
Last year, the Indians rolled to the World Series and pushed the eventual champions into extra innings in Game Seven. This season, the Tribe got off to a slow start, but all that is forgotten now.
Cleveland lost on Sunday, so the team didn’t reach double digits for its win streak, but on Monday, the Indians had a two-game lead in the AL Central over the Kansas City Royals. While the Tribe has not been more than three games of first all season, the team hasn’t looked dominant until now.
The Miami Marlins scores 22 runs in one game
It hasn’t been a memorable season for the Marlins, as the team is five games under .500 currently and unlikely to make the postseason. But last Wednesday, Miami sure looked like a world-beating squad.
The Marlins beat the Rangers, 22-10, behind four home runs and 22 hits overall. Overall this season, Miami is 16-17 in games decided by at least five runs. Chalk this one up in the win column!