Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Downside of Overexposure


It's fitting in a year where my two favorite teams are among the best in baseball that two of my least favorite teams have acted as the spoilers this month. The Cardinals' Alec Burleson famously sent a comeback to Ranger Suarez's hand, which he thankfully rebounded from. And then the Red Sox, who I was actually beginning to tolerate, have used this weekend to chip away at both of these teams, starting with the Phils and moving to the Yanks, during an explosive homestand.

So while both the Yankees and the Phillies are still looking very good, this week has definitely humbled both of them a tad. It's...wild that the Red Sox were the chief force to do this, but...I mean, honestly, good for them.

The Phillies have had the hardest time out of everybody, as they followed their Sox series with an extremely tense back-and-forth with the Orioles. They managed to secure a win in extras to start it off, but the O's wouldn't make it that simple for the rest of it. I think the way the AL East is structured, the O's have the toughest schedule of the two top competitors, and so they may be a more formidable team than the Yanks [at least right now], even if they have the worse record. So the O's rolling out Henderson, Santander and Rutschman against these guys, and battering down even Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, that's understandable. It's not really a 'something is wrong with this team' moment, the O's are just better at this specific point in time. 

And the Phils are still doing so much right. Ranger Suarez is still unhittable, and he's 10-1 with a 1.77 ERA in June, which is pretty fantastic. Bryce Harper is exceeding the standard, and has 15 homers and 46 RBIs with a .901 OPS. Edmundo Sosa's been so good at short that it's been sparking serious conversations about what to do when Trea Turner returns this week. Marsh's injury was such a non-factor that he's already back, and that at least prepares this team more for a month or so without Realmuto. So the team's still great, and with the Padres coming to town I'm not exactly worried about losing much momentum. 

The Yankees aren't exactly worrying me either, but seeing as I'm seeing them in a week I've gotta be at least a little worried. This Sox series has been their most substantial bloodloss since the Dodgers were in town. LA I can understand, they had Mookie and Yamamoto healthy that week, they're also a really well-put-together team. The Red Sox just have enough guys that can slow us down. They got to Carlos Rodon last night, and we couldn't even get to Cooper Criswell. You're seeing new guys like Enmanuel Valdez and Jamie Westbrook get RBIs against us, all while Volpe, Dugie and Gleyber stay silent. This is not the ideal outcome for a Yanks-Sox series when we know we're better than them.

Even if Rodon and Cortes have slipped, the pitching is still better than most teams. We're probably gonna get Cole back within the week, but even if there's a setback I'm loving Cody Poteet's stuff. It's looking like I'll be seeing Marcus Stroman next Sunday, and I'm perfectly fine with those odds, even if his away ERA is lower than his home ERA [which we knew would be the case]. The 'pen is still pretty good. Soto's injury was exaggerated and he's back to what he was doing before. Stanton and Judge are hot [Judge hit #26 as I was writing this]. This team's been looking pretty complete, and I really hope they keep hanging on.

People are gonna wanna use this weekend to undercut the legitimacy of these two teams, and I still think they're the best in the league, and have so much more to build. These two teams will face off at the end of July. It'll be interesting to see what they look like at that point.

Coming Tomorrow- The summation of what it means to be a super-ute in 2024.

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