The Call to the Pen: July 5th, 2016

Welcome back to The Call to the Pen! Another quick strike this week. The 4th of July is a great baseball day but it’s tough to get a post up before the 11am game in DC. I’ve gone to the past few but remained in Philadelphia to see my Phillies pummel the Braves. We’re seeing the polarization of the National League begin to widen as two divisional races in the AL are starting to look finished before the All Star Break. Let’s get to the Power Rankings…

Power Rankings

The Bottom:

30) Minnesota Twins (27-55): Even
29) Atlanta Braves (28-55): Even
28) Cincinnati Reds (30-54): Even
27) Tampa Bay Rays (34-48): Even 

26) LA Angels of Anaheim (33-50): Down 1
25) Milwaukee Brewers (36-46): Down

24) Oakland Athletics (36-47): Even 
23) Philadelphia Phillies (38-46): Up 3 
22) San Diego Padres (36-47): Up 1
21) Arizona Diamondbacks (37-48): Down 1

The Middle:

20) Colorado Rockies (37-45): Up 1 
19) New York Yankees (40-42): Down 3  
18) Miami Marlins (43-40): Down 6 
17) Kansas City Royals (43-39): Down 7 
16) Chicago White Sox (43-40): Up 1
15) Detroit Tigers (44-39): Up 2
14) Pittsburgh Pirates (42-41): Up 5
13) Houston Astros (44-39): Up 1
12) Seattle Mariners (43-40): Up 3
11) St. Louis Cardinals (43-39): Even

The Top:

10) New York Mets (45-37): Up 3 
9) Toronto Blue Jays (46-39): Even
8) Boston Red Sox (45-37): Down 1
7) Baltimore Orioles (47-35): Down 2
6) LA Dodgers (48-37): Up 2
5) Washington Nationals (50-34): Up 1 

4) Texas Rangers (52-32): Down 1
3) San Francisco Giants (52-32): Down 1
2) Cleveland Indians (50-32): Up 2
1) Chicago Cubs (52-30): Even

Once again combing everything into one paragraph here. Next week, we’ll get back into summaries for each section. The Bottom is settling more and more each week as most teams barely moved aside from the Phillies’ 5-1 week against the D-Backs and Royals. Despite a six-game losing streak, the Rockies are still putting up a lot of runs and are barely in the red for run differential. KC is still awful on the road and could never put the Phils away last weekend. The Astros and Mariners are starting to return to form but the Ranger’s still have a comfortable lead in the AL West right now (7.5 on HOU). The Pirates and Mets are both currently riding five-game winning streaks; Pittsburgh’s has been on the road and NYM’s includes a sweep of the Cubs. In fact, the Mets have won their last eight games against the Cubbies, including last year’s NLCS. The sweep by the Nats over the Mets helps extend Washington’s lead in the NL East though. It took nearly two weeks after the NBA Finals ended but the Indians finally lost a game. In fact their streak was even more eerily similar to the Cav’s run: sweep of Detroit, sweep of Atlanta, win the first two and then losing the second two against Toronto. Sports are weirdly cool like that. The Giants, Rangers and Cubs all had decent weeks. Cleveland’s streak is enough push

Phillies Update:

The offense keeps scoring runs! The sweep of the D-Backs was fantastic to see, two high scoring affairs and three straight one-run games including the series opener against the Royals. In all three of those games, the opponent failed to put away the Phils and they phought back (had to be punny). The other games, including the only loss this week, were more one-sided but the Phillies are scoring in bunches. The best part is that the scoring has come from both small ball hustle and the long ball (thank you Maikel Franco). As we approach the All-Star Break, we’ll probably see only Odubel Herrera named to the NL team but the rest of the squad is exciting to watch. Tommy Joseph is looking more comfortable and Jerad Eickhoff is further proving that records are not an indicator of pitching talent. Most importantly, they’re having fun. Case in point:

The 2016 Phillies won’t add any pennants to the collection at CBP. But they are certainly fun to watch.

Disagree with the Rankings? How about my All Star votes? Let me know in the comments

(cover photo via)

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2 thoughts on “The Call to the Pen: July 5th, 2016

  1. I’m finally starting to warm up to this Phillies team – and happy to see Ryan Howard embracing his role of the don of the clubhouse. This young talent needs someone who has been there to show them the way….hopefully to a parade down Broad Street.

    Liked by 1 person

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