New York Surviving

New York Surviving, Chicago Thriving in MLB September


By David A. Avila

Something’s wrong in New York.

Injuries depleted both the New York Yankees and New York Mets but despite the lack of healthy bodies, the American League Bronx Bombers remain in contention. But not the Mets.

Who would have thought you would hear those words?

The powerful Yankee team was the overwhelming favorite in Major League Baseball to win the whole thing. After out-bidding teams for free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole during the off season, many expected the Yanks to slaughter the opposition.

But like every season in the past five years, injuries have decimated the New York lineup especially with the loss of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton among others. Those big hitters seem to swing from the heels and pull muscles at the same time.

This year Yankee pitching has also suffered untimely injuries to starting pitchers James Paxton and Luis Severino, plus reliever Zack Britton. Add various other injuries to position players like Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshala and you get the idea the Yanks are jinxed.

After two weeks of more losses than wins the Yankees finally pulled themselves together and jumped into a sudden hot streak. Just when it looked like Toronto would overtake the New York team for good and Baltimore might catch them too, the Yankees pulled up their bootstraps and destroyed the Orioles. They currently have a seven-game winning streak.

The Bronx Bombers were back.

Led by first baseman Luke Voit, the Yanks have found their groove again. It might be too plate to catch the Tampa Bay Rays, but New York can feel comfortable they will be participating in the playoffs. Voit has clobbered 19 homers so far.


Meanwhile the New York Mets continue to be riddled by injuries, starting with pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Dellin Betances. Offensively the Mets have delivered, some feel even more than expected despite the fizzle of last year’s home run king Pete Alonso. Pitching remains their Achilles heel.

Ace pitcher Jacob DeGrom continues to be the Mets only guarantee for a win, but he needs a lot of help from the other hurlers. The addition of Michael Wacha from St. Louis has not been enough to make up for losing Zack Wheeler to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Playoff Look

Eight teams from each league will make the best of three playoffs.

Leading the National League has been the Los Angeles Dodgers who have the most wins in the Major Leagues with 35 wins and only 15 losses. For just a brief few days it looked like the upstart San Diego Padres would catch the Dodgers but in a head-to-head meeting the L.A. team took two of three games. A 7-5 win on Wednesday clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Dodgers. They are the only NL team to clinch as of Thursday Sept. 17.

In the American League the Chicago White Sox lead with 32 wins and 17 losses. Though not a surprise to be doing well, not many picked them to be as strong as they have shown. Pitching has been a strength led by Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel. The success of the Sox has led to the belief that an All-Chicago World Series is a distinct possibility. The White Sox clinched a spot in the playoffs too.

In the Chicago northside the Cubs also lead their division in the National League behind pitchers Yu Darvish and Alec Mills, the team seems to be headed to the playoffs with a full head of steam. Last week Mills fired a no-hitter. Where did he come from?

The Cubs and White Sox very well could be facing each other. But offensively, the White Sox are a youthful bunch with Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Mocada and Luis Robert adding additional punch to the powerful hitting tandem of Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson.

Abreu leads the AL in numerous power categories including homeruns and Anderson is among the top hitters with a .365 batting average.

Chicago is enjoying a weird but productive year on both sides of the town. It was supposed to be New York’s year, but 2020 has been one of the strangest in history for many reasons.