Local Activities | September 1, 2016
In late August, MLB.com’s playoff probability machine was giving the Baltimore Orioles a 52 percent chance of advancing to the postseason. Baltimore is trailing both the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox by a slim margin in the American League East. However, despite being slotted in third place in their division, the Orioles are also holding off the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card spot in the AL at the moment.
Meanwhile, the crosstown Washington Nationals 2016 Playoff Race is nearly over. They lead the second-place Miami Marlins by nearly 10 games in the National League East. If not for the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs, and American League West leading Texas Rangers, the Nats would have the best record in all of baseball. Bryce Harper and company also appear increasingly ready for the challenge ahead as the 2016 Nationals playoffs push winds down.
A Washington, D.C. vs Baltimore, Maryland battle has never occurred on Major League Baseball’s biggest stage since the Nationals came into existence. But the possibility of such a neighborhood showdown in the World Series is certainly in play this year. Despite their success, the Nationals continued to get better by adding a veteran reliever with September approaching to help bolster their bullpen.
Washington adds Marc Rzepczynski for the 2016 Nationals Playoffs Race according to The Associated Press :
“The Washington Nationals acquired reliever Marc Rzepczynski from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, giving the NL East leaders another left-hander in the bullpen. Oakland also sent $500,000 to be paid on Sept. 30 to the Nationals for minor league infielder Max Schrock. The Nationals have reshaped their relief corps in the last month. They added closer Marc Melancon, traded Felipe Rivero, cut Jonathan Papelbon and put Sammy Solis on the disabled list. The 30-year-old Rzepczynski is 1-0 with a 3.00 earned-run average in 56 games this season.”
The Orioles continue to demonstrate their ability to hit the long ball as well, going on a home-run tear during the month of August, as ESPN.com explained:
“The Orioles had homered five times in their previous five games but homered six times in the win. This was the third time the Orioles have hit at least six home runs in a game this season. It’s also the sixth game in which the Orioles have hit at least five home runs in a game this season. The only teams to have more five-homer games are the 1977 Red Sox (8) and the 1996 Athletics (7). The Orioles are the only team to twice hit at least five home runs in a game six times in a season. The 1996 team, which lost to the Yankees in the ALCS, also did it.”
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