Back at the baseball trade deadline the Chicago White Sox some how managed to ignore the advice of the baseball pundits and experts that said they just had to trade Chris Sale. Sale is 27 years old and is signed through 2017 with team options for 2018 and 2019. Now if the White Sox could have recieved five or six major league ready or close to ready young players then maybe they would’ve dealt Sale. I fully supported the White Sox hanging on to Sale and there’s no way I’m moving a pitcher of this quality. What I am wondering though; is Chris Sale out of gas? Sale was 14-3 going into the All-Star break. He’s made 5 starts since the All-Star break and he is 0-3 and the White Sox have won just 1 of his 5 starts. Sale has pitched 35 2/3rd innings since the All-Star break. He’s giving up 12 earned run for a post All-Star break ERA of 3.03. Sale game log Of course maybe Sale’s not the problem and it’s the White Sox offense that’s just not doing the job. If you consider this a struggle for Sale; do you think the White Sox will trade him in the off season? Looking at the stats it seems as though it’s a White Sox offensive thing more than it is a Sale pitching thing. It would be difficult to see the White Sox deal a perennial Cy Young award contender, but I guess stranger things have happen. Ask our friend Schaumburg Stu about the Chicago Cubs trading Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Are we watching the San Francisco Giants fade out of the playoffs? The Giants lost their 3rd straight last night; 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. That loss with the Los Angeles Dodgers 15-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies gives the Dodgers the lead in the NL West by a 1/2 game. The Giants are 9-20 since July 15th and haven’t been able to win more than 2 games in a row during that stretch. Even with the struggles the Giants have had and even with the Dodgers moving into 1st place San Francisco is still the top wild card team. The Giants hold a 3 game lead on the St. Louis Cardinals who hold the second wild card spot. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins are 4 games behind San Francisco. With the troubles the Giants have had is it possible we see them slide all the way out of the wild card game. I’m sure you’ve heard the it’s an even year theory and maybe that’s what you’re holding onto if you’re rooting for San Francisco, but you have to wonder why this team has been tanking and not in the NBA way. You would’ve thought the return of Hunter Pence would be enough to get the Giants back on track. Pence was looking like an MVP candidate before he got injured. Pence has played in 16 games since returning from injury. He’s hitting just .203 with 1 home run and 4 RBI’s. As Pence gets more and more at bats and should return to form; will that be enough to get the San Francisco ship righted?
Everyone including myself thought the pick up of Eduardo Nunez was a great get for the Giants. In 17 games for San Francisco Nunez is hitting .214 with 1 home run and 3 RBI’s; on the plus side he does have 2 triples. Is it possible that coming from the last place Minnesota Twins and joining a 1st place team has mounted pressure on Nunez and he’s struggling to deal with it. Nunez isn’t the only Giants trade acquisition that hasn’t really worked out. Matt Moore is 0-2 in 3 starts with an ERA of 4.50 over 18 innings. Left handed set up guy Will Smith was brought in to help settled down a bullpen that’s been missing the retired Jeremy Affeldt. Smith has appeared in 7 games covering 3 2/3rd innings. Smith is 0-1 with an ERA of 12.27 and has blown a save chance. These looked like three very good moves by the Giants and as of right now they just haven;t worked out. Now there’s no reason at all that Nunez, Smith and Moore can’t return to the form they had when they where traded for. If they could rectify their issues since coming to San Francisco there’s no reason the Giants can’t get into the playoffs as either a wild card team or even the NL West winner. Of course once your in the playoffs anything can happen.
Now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had last weekend off, but the X-Finity Series ran the Mid-Ohio Challenge at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday. Now we Don’t talk about the X-Finity Series at all, but I wanted to bring this race up because if you didn’t see it they kept the race going even after it started to rain. The race started out under sunny conditions, but that only lasted two laps as the rain started and the drivers ended up coming to pit road to put there rain radial tires. Now the rain made for a different style of racing that we’re not use to seeing in the Sprint Cup Series. It made for an entertaining race as the cars where sliding into and around every corner and sometimes even in the straight-aways. When it was all said and done Justin Marks got his 1st career X-Finity victory. Sam Hornish Jr. finished 2nd about 4 seconds behind Marks. Ryan Blaney was 3rd, Ty Dillon was 4th and Justin Allgaier round out the Top 5 in 5th place.
The Sprint Cup drivers return to the track for the Bass Pro Shop NRA Night Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. The Bristol Motor Speedway is a concrete shirt track as it’s just a little over a half mile. It’s 0.53 miles around to be exact. Carl Edwards won the April race at Bristol. Will Edwards get another Bristol win? Will we see someone who already has a win get to victory lane? Or will we manage to get a driver looking for his first win this season and a way into The Chase. Including Saturday nights race there are only 4 races left before The Chase starts. So drivers looking for a win to get into The Chase are quickly running out of time.
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