By Sam McPherson
As the Major League Baseball season saw a trade deadline pass on Monday, here is what happened to get us to that point.
Cubs are the Comeback Kids in 2016
They did it again, although we’re really not quite sure how. The Chicago Cubs are still the prohibitive favorites to win the World Series, and they showed why on Sunday night against the Seattle Mariners—rallying from a 6-0 deficit in the fifth inning to tie the game in the ninth inning and then win it in extras.
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The tying scored on a wild pitch, and the winning run scored on a squeeze bunt by a starting pitcher in the 12th inning. Meanwhile, the Cubs used another pitcher in left field as well during the game. Yes, it might be Chicago’s year.
The Red Sox aren’t far behind, however, when it comes to miracles
In Boston, the fans probably want some attention for their team’s comeback abilities, too. The Red Sox had their own miracle on Sunday, beating the Los Angeles Angels, 5-3, after trailing by three runs in the ninth inning. L.A. closer Huston Street had a disastrous outing, giving up four hits and a walk. All five base runners scored as Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia hit a three-run homer to give the Red Sox the lead, and Xander Bogaerts added a solo shot to provide the final margin of victory for Boston on the road.
A perfect week for Motown on the dirt diamond
The Detroit Tigers are just 4.5 games behind the American League Central leaders from Cleveland now, thanks to a perfect week that featured six wins over Boston on the road and Houston at home. Four of the wins came by a total of five runs, and the other two victories were blowouts.
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Remember, the Tigers lost two straight walk-off decisions to the Chicago White Sox to end the previous week, so this win against Houston on Saturday was extra special—even if there was a delay in confirming the victory. Perhaps even sweeter was Justin Verlander’s complete-game effort, though, as he turned back the clock five years while striking out 11 Astros batters.
The defending champs are done: Long live the defending champs!
It’s hard to fault Kansas City after two straight World Series appearances, including the 2015 MLB championship. Teams get tired playing that much high-intensity ball, both mentally and physically. Alas, the Royals are just 1-8 over their last nine games, and the team is now six games under .500 for the season. After losing to the Angels, 13-0, last Tuesday at home, Kansas City went to Texas and dropped four straight games over the weekend. These are not last year’s Royals, and it’s time to look toward 2017 in Kansas City.
Washington turns a unique triple play in San Francisco
The Nationals were beating the host Giants at AT&T Park last Friday night when San Francisco loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning. Brandon Crawford lined the ball almost right to Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, and what happened after that left everyone stunned by the Bay.
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Zimmerman caught Crawford’s liner on the fly, and he then stepped on first base to double off Buster Posey. Then the Nats first baseman calmly threw across the diamond to third base, where Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon stepped on the bag to get the third out. Denard Span had broken for home on contact and was unaware that Zimmerman had caught the ball before it hit the ground. The Nationals went on to win the game, of course.
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf and fantasy sports for CBS Local. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach. Follow him on Twitter @sxmcp, because he’s quite prolific despite also being a college English professor and a certified copy editor.