MLB Teams Fading Down the Stretch

Story posted September 18, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

With the shortened 2020 MLB season coming to an end, all it takes is one cold stretch to knock a team out of the playoff race. In a 16 team playoff, every series is important at this point for both seeding and a playoff berth in general. Here are three teams who might need to go on one last winning streak before the season ends.

Cleveland Indians

The AL Central used to be a three team race just last week as the White Sox, Twins and Indians were all a game apart from each other competing for first. That was until the Indians went on an eight game losing streak.

The streak began on Sept. 8 when the Indians lost 8-6 against the last place Royals. In that loss, the Indians blew a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning when they gave up two runs in the next two innings. That game was the last time the Indians have had a lead late in a game. They’ve been fighting from behind ever since. During the streak they’ve also been swept by the previously mentioned Twins and the Chicago Cubs.

The offense just hasn’t been there as they’ve only scored five or more runs in three of the eight games.

Currently sitting as the eighth and final seed, the Indians aren’t in a position to fall out of the race but they have to pick up the pace if they want to stay in it.

Philadelphia Phillies

While not on a massive losing streak like the Indians, the lack of rest for the Phillies has started to affect them.

Philadelphia has played in three doubleheaders in the last week with two of them being against the Marlins, who are surprisingly in second place in the NL East. With those games being must wins, the Phillies only won two of the seven games they played against the Marlins.

The Phillies have also had to deal with the injury bug as first baseman Rhys Hoskins is on the 10 day IL and catcher J.T. Realmuto hasn’t played since Sept. 12 with a hip injury.

Not to mention, superstar Bryce Harper has been ice cold during all of this as his average now sits at a measly .243.

The road for Philly doesn’t get much easier with two more double headers this year and will play most of the season’s final games away from Citizens Bank Park.

Toronto Blue Jays

Last week, the Blue Jays had a firm grip on second place in the AL East as the Yankees were basically out of the race. Then the Bronx Bombers went on a seven game winning steak and the Blue Jays have played .500 baseball over the last ten games.

While only on a two game losing streak, the Blue Jays have been outscored 33-8 by none other than the New York Yankees.

The pitching has been a true cause of concern lately as their entire bullpen looked lost in that Yankees series, and one brutal error in the first game accounted for six unearned runs on starter Taijuan Walker. Even when they played the Mets, an offense that has had trouble bringing in runs, New York scored 18 and brought in 10 in one inning.

Although the Blue Jays are still fighting for the seventh seed with the Indians they could’ve been in a much better position had they kept their foot on the gas.

 

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email lxb5412@psu.edu.

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blue jays , indians , mlb , phillies