The trade deadline is now just a distant memory as the baseball season heads into a crucial few weeks. August will be a decisive months for several teams on the cusp of contention, and we’ve already witnessed some cracking performances, games and series.
It’s week 17 of the MLB season (give or take), so here are our awards for the best and worst moments of the last seven days…
Performance of the Week
Not many expected Steve Pearce to make a massive difference to the American League East when the Red Sox acquired him from the Blue Jays last month. He had other ideas.
Pearce became the first Boston hitter since 2004 to hit three homers in a game against the Yankees as the Red Sox tightened their grip on the division. These are the sort of acquisitions that can be real difference makers. Pearce couldn’t have done much more to endear himself to the Fenway faithful.
Start of the Week
The solitary blemish on his record was a home run given up to youngster Miguel Andujar, but Porcello dominated throughout. Boston need more of the same come October if they are to improve on last season.
Defensive Play of the Week
Brett Phillips was traded by the Brewers to the Royals at the deadline. The young outfielder didn’t take long to show off his brilliant arm with this throw from centre field.
.@Royals fans: Meet your new standout defender!@Brett_Phillips8 is letting the AL Central know his arm is not to be tested. This 100.1 mph throw home is the 4th-hardest OF assist tracked by #Statcast in 2018. pic.twitter.com/BP6xESO3El
— #Statcast (@statcast) August 2, 2018
Kansas City are in a rough spot after their few years as contenders. Phillips could be flipped for prospects in the next couple of years, or become the cornerstone of the franchise as they look to return to the playoffs.
Nightmare of the Week
The New York Mets. Yes, the Mets could have got this one most weeks of the season, but their record-breaking 25-4 loss to the Nationals takes the biscuit.
Jose Reyes even pitched in this one, and it did not go well. Nothing is going all that well for the Mets right now, but even by their high standards this was a disastrous day. At least it was amusing.