October 2, 2022

The MLB trade deadline is in the rearview mirror and the dog days of summer have arrived. With just over eight weeks left in the 2022 regular season, the postseason races are really starting to heat up. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about this weekend’s action.

Highlight of the weekend: Vin Scully tribute

The world lost a titan of the sports broadcasting industry earlier this week. The great Vin Scully has passed away at the age of 94. Scully called Dodgers games for 67 years, starting when the team was still in Brooklyn, before retiring in 2016. On Friday, the Dodgers played their first home game since Scully’s death, and the pregame tribute was emotional and touching.

Scully is believed to have pitched over 9,000 games in his career, including 18 no-hitters and three perfect games. Here are 10 of his most memorable calls.

The NL Central race has been turned upside down since the trade deadline. On the morning of deadline day, the Brewers held a two-game lead over the Cardinals. St. Louis hasn’t lost since, going a perfect 6-0 since then, including sweeping the Yankees at home this weekend. Nolan Arenado had a big hit in Sunday’s 12-9 win with a three-run homer against Yankee rookie Frankie Montas. The series marked the first time the Yankees were swept in a three-game (or four-game) series this year.

The Brewers, meanwhile, are 1-5 since the trade deadline. They were swept in Pittsburgh earlier this week and have blown leads in all three games after Josh Hader was ejected. They then dropped two of three at home to the Reds this weekend. Devin Williams, the new closer after Hunter, coughed up two runs in the tenth inning and took the loss on Sunday.

In less than a week, the Cardinals went from two games behind the Brewers to two games ahead of the Brewers. The two clubs still have seven games remaining, including three next weekend in St. Louis, but the landscape of this division has changed a lot in a short amount of time.

I’m not sure the Nationals will reach 45 wins this season. After Sunday’s loss, they are 36-74 and just traded their two best players. The Phillies outscored them 45-12 in this weekend’s four-game sweep and were outscored 14-1 with a game shortened to five innings due to rain. Reese Hoskins went deep in all four games.

The Phillies record for homers in five consecutive games hit multiple times: Odúbel Herrera (2018), Hoskins (2017), Chase Utley (twice in 2008), Bobby Abreu (2005), Mike Schmidt (1979) and Dick Allen ( 1969). Philadelphia has an off day Monday, then Hoskins will try to go deep in his fifth straight game Tuesday against Marlins lefty Braxton Garrett.

On the deck

Field of Dreams game: MLB returns to Iowa next Thursday with the second (annual?) Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville. This year’s Field of Dreams Game won’t have much major racing drama — it’s Cubs vs. Reds — though baseball in different places is always fun, and if last year’s game was any indication, we’re in for some fireworks. The Yankees and White Sox combined for eight home runs in last year’s Field of Dreams Game, including multiple lead changes in the ninth inning.

Brewers at Cardinals (three games): The Cardinals are red, the Brewers are frozen and the St. Louis entered Sunday’s game in sole possession of first place for the first time since June 22. Needless to say, these three games at Busch Stadium will be monumentally important in the NL Central, especially given what comes next. After the series in St. Louis, the Brewers will play seven of their next 10 games against the Dodgers. The Cardinals will play their next 11 games against the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Cubs. A couple of crucial weeks in the NL Central are on the horizon.

Orioles at Rays (three games): The new Orioles are just two games back of the Rays for the third and final wild card spot in the American League. The two AL East rivals will play three games at Tropicana Field next weekend, so it’s entirely possible that Baltimore will be in a postseason position by the time you read next week’s weekend recap. The season series is 8-8 with the Rays holding a 5-1 home advantage. This is the final regular season series between these two clubs and keep in mind there are no more Game 163 tiebreakers. All bonds are mathematically broken now, even ties in which one team will make the postseason and the other will not. The winner of next weekend’s series will hold the tiebreaker if the two clubs finish with the same record.

Yankees at Red Sox (three games): Professional baseball writer regulations require me to mention the Yankees and Red Sox renewing The Rivalry™ next weekend at Fenway Park, even though it will (probably) be a first-place team against a last-place team and we’re all oversaturated with Yankees- Red Sox. Sarcasm aside, the Yankees and Red Sox tend to play eventful games regardless of where each team sits in the standings. If you are a chaosball fan, this is the series for you.

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