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Welcome to the first weekend of September, which means the intensity of each game picks up as each day ticks off in the last full month of the regular season. Things are bound to get bumpy the rest of the way, especially with a third wild card in each league.
Yankees’ Lead Dwindles To 5
Once a juggernaut with the biggest division lead in MLB, the New York Yankees are suddenly like a veteran boxer in the late rounds of a big fight. The legs are heavy and the punches are landing like they did previously. Now, the Yankees, who once led the American League East by 15½ games, are seemingly in trouble. The Tampa Bay Rays knocked off the Yankees 9-0 to pull within five games. To open this three-game series, it was the Rays’ fourth straight victory and the Yankees’ fifth loss in six games.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) September 3, 2022
Guardians Put Plesac, Civale On IL
The Cleveland Guard, who lead the AL Central by one game, lost two members of the starting rotation as right-handers Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale were placed on the injured list. Civale went on the IL for the third time this season, this time with right forearm inflammation. After a breakthrough 2021 season, Civale has struggled in 16 starts this season, going 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA. Plesac’s injury is more troubling as he broke his right pinkie, possibly by punching the ground after surrendering a home run. Plesac is only 3-11 in 23 starts with a 4.50 ERA.
Tigers’ Meadows To Miss Rest Of Season
Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows, who has been sidelined much of this season with a variety of ailments, took to Twitter to say he has been “struggling with [his] mental health.” He will not play the rest of the season, but Meadows will be around the team.
— Austin Meadows (@austin_meadows) September 2, 2022
Knee Surgery Ends Belt’s Season
San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt will have season-ending knee surgery Saturday. It is possible Belt has played his last game in a Giants uniform as the 34-year-old, who is making $18.4 million this season, will be a free agent. Belt, a key member of two World Series teams who has expressed a desire to return, has been limited to 78 games this season, slashing .213/.326/.350 with eight homers and 23 RBIs.
Mistrial In Wetteland Case
A mistrial was declared in Denton, Texas, in the sexual abuse case against former MLB closer John Wetteland. A male relative of Wetteland alleged the three-time All-Star forced him to perform oral sex three times between 2004 and 2006, beginning when he was 4. The jury of nine men and three women deliberated for eight hours and sent three notes to the judge before a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors said it was too early to determine whether charges will be refiled.
Best Moments From Yesterday
Cancer Kids Sketch Giants
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and teams around MLB are wearing yellow ribbons and more to raise awareness. The Giants went one step further with kids who have faced a cancer diagnosis and made sketches of all the team’s players. They were used on the scoreboard instead of their traditional photo. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle made sure to post a large number of them on Twitter.
Instead of having their photos on the scoreboard, tonight the Giants are using drawings from children who have faced a cancer diagnosis. The artists are from Kids & Art, Family House, Camp Okizu and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. A very, very cool idea: pic.twitter.com/Qf2wsUDsMa
— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) September 3, 2022
A Long And Winding Road
September is all about MLB debuts, but those are generally for top prospects since rosters have expanded. But Fernando Cruz took a different path. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals and, well, finally made his MLB debut Friday at age 32.
The Fernando Cruz story is amazing:
? Drafted in 2007 as a position player
? 500+ games in the minors
? 200+ games playing in other countries
? 40+ games in indy ball
Tonight, he made his MLB debut and recorded his first K❗️ pic.twitter.com/Zo0OM3mG0O
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 3, 2022
Injuries and Other Moves
Articles You Should Read
Reliving Albert Pujols’ magical August — Jayson Stark, The Athletic
Morgantown, W.Va., is a special place for Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah — Jon Paul Morosi, NBCSports.com
Who are the best college baseball players also playing football? — Ted Cahill, Baseball America
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)