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Monday September 6, 2010 11:56 pm

The Dog Days of September In MLB




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: MLB,

Cliff LeeIf the playoffs were to begin tomorrow, the eight teams that will have earned the postseason berths would make for some interesting divisional series. The Dog Days of August seem to have carried over into September for baseball’s leaders as half of them seem to have hit a wall. Of all the playoff leaders, only the Minnesota Twins have a current winning streak of more than a single game. For the final three weeks of the season, teams are putting a lot of extra pressure on themselves right now.

How the Padres remain in first place in the NL West seems mystifying. A losing streak of epic proportions has brought San Francisco and somehow even Colorado into the mix in the division. The old saying is that a team is never as bad as a bad losing streak makes them seem, but if San Diego doesn’t stop the bleeding soon, they’ll prove that theory unequivocally wrong. At this point they’ll struggle to win 90 games when less than two weeks ago they were on pace to win 100.

The Texas Rangers are also doing their best impression of the Padres in the AL West. At 3-7 in their last 10 with a four-game losing streak, the Rangers are just lucky that they have a commanding lead in their division. Cliff Lee’s record looks average at best, and now he’s suffering the injury bug. Jorge Cantu hasn’t had a single RBI since being traded to the Rangers in July. Limping into the playoffs as the victors of baseball’s weakest division is the formula for an early exit from the postseason in October.

The Tampa Bay Rays, who hole the AL Wild Card, have lost six of their last 11 games. Their considerable lead over the White Sox for the Wild Card spot gives them the breathing room they need to survive a slump like this, but losing a series to the Orioles in September like they did this past weekend should always be inexcusable. The playoff races are unnecessarily tight this season, and unless the teams in charge straighten up, we might see more than a few teams swap spots before Oct. 3.

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