CLINCH WATCH 2021 – Third Clinch Activated! – 9/17-18/20201

padres cracking up

Two Game Recap and Another Clinch

Apologies for missing a recap, the R key on my laptop stopped working and I’m not smart clever good enough to figure out how to write without using the letter R and command+v was real frustrating.

Anyways, it’s fixed so we’re back from the IL and ready to roll!

The Brewers clinched a playoff spot yesterday with a 6-4 win over the Cubs.  Magic number for a Brewers NL Central Division title is 3.

Dodgers Drop One, Pick Up One on Reds

Dodger fans have had to curb the Nick Castellanos thirst during this series, as the hot-hitting outfielder has been a thorn in the league’s side the entire season and boy do the Dodgers not need any more thorns right now.

Castellanos, who came into the series hitting .310, has been relatively quiet (for him) at the plate, putting up a single in the 6th on Friday and bupkis on Saturday.  He lowered his BA to .307 – fortunate for the Dodgers but not my fantasy team quarterfinal. But the Dodgers will continue to pitch him carefully, as we all know bad things happen when Nick Castellanos homers.

The Dodgers came out cold behind Walker Buehler, who admittedly didn’t have his best stuff on display.  Still, he put up four scoreless with traffic before he gave up a single that scored Kyle Farmer.

Oh boy.  Kyle Farmer.  The Dodgers drafted Farmer in 2013 and converted the shortstop into a catcher, though he continued to play around the infield as well.  His very first Major League at-bat in 2017 was a walk-off double against the Giants.  Nothing more Dodgers than that!

But, well, there just wasn’t an open spot on the roster for him.  Farmer mostly pinch hit for the rest of the season and ambled around the infield until he was traded to the Reds as part of the 2018 deal that brought Puig, Wood, and Kemp to LA.  Farmer finally became a regular starter this year, putting up his first real full season at shortstop and getting decent numbers.

I think he had something to prove to his old franchise.  And prove it he did.  His two RBI made the difference in the game on Friday, putting the Reds on top of Walker Buehler.

Saturday was a different story.  Other have expounded on the excellence of Scherzer in Dodger Blue, but hot damn.  Scherzer truly is excellent in Dodger Blue.  He put up seven scoreless, two-hit innings against the Reds, lowering his ERA to 2.08.  The bullpen bolstered him, and the only run the Red garnered was unearned off a Seager throwing error against Kyle Farmer.

Kyle Farmer Revenge Series, I suppose.

Dodgers still drop a game to the red-hot Giants and move the season record to 95-54.  

Giants Devil Magic Still Operating At Full Strength

The Giants won in extras against the Braves on Friday then shut them out for a 2-0 win on Saturday.  On Friday, it was home runs that got the job done.  On Saturday, one solitary 2-RBI single.  Devil.  Magic.

Former Dodger Alex Wood made his first appearance Saturday after coming back from the COVID IL.  According to Wood, he had a more strenuous case but he seems to have recovered well.  He put up three scoreless with four strikeouts before turning the ball over to the bullpen.

As mentioned in this series before, the Braves are the current NL East leaders.  With these two losses, the Phillies are now only one game back.  The Phillies are in a series with the Mets and poised to sweep them in at home in New York.  We might just see a new division leader by the end of the day. 

Not only would that knock the Braves out of the division lead, their record would put them several places out of the wildcard spot as well.  The Braves need to come out focused and angry today.

Giants improve to 97-52.  Braves sit at 76-70.

Padres Continue to Implode

It seems like the massive amount of pressure put on the Padres by both MLB and the fans is starting to show some cracks.  And honestly?  Kinda can’t blame them.  The FO finally spent the money they needed to get some talent and it just hasn’t been working for them.  And in a year when THEY were supposed to be the contenders and finally take their place in a grand rivalry, all eyes are on the Giants and Dodgers.  Just like Dodger fans taunted them with.

I have a little bit of sympathy for that.  This series against the Cardinals, who hold the current wildcard spot they took from the Padres, could have put them back in contention.  Instead, they slide further from the postseason and the hunger pangs grow stronger.  

It can’t be easy to have the feast laid out before you and watch someone else eat it.  

After dropping two to the Cardinals, Padres have a 76-72 record and might, if things continue to trend this way, just might finish under .500.  This is bad news for the Dodgers, as a few Padre wins against the Giants would sure make life easier.  Still, the Padres are scrappy.  And if the air is cleared after the Machado-Tatís Jr. dust up, they just might see their way to the postseason after all.

Rockies Stay Hot Against Nationals

The Rockies have quietly been building a very respectable second half.  Granted, the Nationals all but announced they were removing themselves from contention when they traded away Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, but they still have a solid lineup and the Rockies handled them well.

The Friday night game was a tense, back-and-forth that ended with the Rockies on top.  Saturday night?  The Rockies rolled over them hard in a 6-0 shutout.

One extremely touching moment came in the 6th inning on Friday, when Sam Hilliard hit a 2-run go-ahead rocket 436 feet into the right field bleachers.  Just before touching home, he paused and pointed skyward.  Hilliard’s father passed away just days before after a long battle with ALS.  Hilliard also singled and stole second base in the ninth inning, allowing him to score the winning run on a Brendan Rogers single.  It was an emotional night for the entire team, but especially for Rogers, who is particularly close with Sam.

The Rockies aren’t going to be the easy target that some folks might assume, especially since the games will be played at Coors Field, where weird things seem to happen, most of them to the detriment of the Dodgers.  The Rockies are 45-27 at home and have won seven of their last three.  

Rockies improve to 70-78 and have one more game against Washington then an off-day before facing off with the Dodgers.

Diamondbacks Still A Team

And you know what?  They’re doing ok!  Today will be a rubber match with the Astros in Houston.  The dropped Friday’s game by only one run and beat the Stros in extras 6-4 last night.  

The biggest takeaway is that Daulton Varsho is going to be a big part of the Diamondback future.  His hella clutch two run homer in the 10th inning gave the D-backs the insurance they needed to get the job done.  

The Diamondbacks drafted Varsho in 2017 and have moved him along nicely.  He primarily catches, but has also made starts in the outfield, usually center.  His numbers don’t exactly reflect his potential yet, but he’s come up clutch more than a few times for Arizona.

Diamondbacks move to 48-100.  But hey.  They’re not the Orioles.  And that’s ok.


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