First things first. Stephen Strasburg might need Tommy John surgery. Holy Guacamole! Strasburg is the phenom, the next great power pitcher, the future of the Washington Nationals. We all know he started with a boom! And now…a bust. THIS IS HUGE. Not only does it leave the Nats and their fans anxious about his future, but also it just makes you wonder how much pitch counts and innings matter and how it’s all really about luck and physical make-up. Is the difference between Strasburg and Randy Johnson (besides which arm they throw with) simply how tough their tendons are? Yeah, I know this is supposed to be about the pennant races, but this is just blowing the Brain’s brain right now. OK, I will try and focus…
Things are knotted at the top right now with the Yankees and Rays tied for first place. I will go out on a limb and say that this weekend’s Rays vs. Red Sox series in Tampa is a must-sweep for Boston. If they can’t gain ground in these games they’ll be all but out of it come September 1st. I also think it’s time to start worrying about the Yankees. CC Sabathia is literally their only reliable pitcher right now with A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Javier Vazquez scuffling and Andy Pettitte still not back. Also, seriously, I can’t believe Strasburg might need Tommy John surgery and could be out for a year.
The Phillies just got swept, at home, in a four-game series by the Astros and the Braves lost three straight in Colorado. Wanna know a really bad way to mess up your playoff hopes? Losing a bunch of games to teams worse than you. Sheesh. What are they trying to do? Let the Mets back into the race? No seriously, these two teams confuse me. But I’m still going with Atlanta. If only because Eric Hinske is on their team and he’s a human good luck charm. Also, you know who isn’t in the race? The Nationals. And they might not be for a while because Stephen Strasburg might need Tommy John surgery. I simply can NOT get over it.
Cincinnati was my pick for a sleeper this season and I still like them. But St. Louis is way too experienced to overlook and we’re about to enter September where you can’t make mistakes. I’d honestly want almost any other team than the Cardinals chasing me. Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols have too much mojo together to think Cincy has this one locked up. They have a one and a half game lead going into a big series against the Cubs this weekend. And speaking of the Cubs, Professor Ulane wants me to mention that interim manager Mike Quade is undefeated. But I don’t care because I’m STILL freaking out about Strasburg. Get well soon, Stephen!!!!