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  • Writer's pictureBrian Attard

Consider this—We could see another ‘Red October’


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Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer. As the temperatures continue to rise, along comes the middle third of the season in Major League Baseball. Teams are all around 55 games or so through their 162-game slate, and we are starting to see some separation between the have’s and have-not’s in the divisional races.


In the American League, it appears that the East will come down to the Yankees and Orioles, the former holding a two-game lead over the latter entering play on Memorial Day. The Guardians and Royals look to be in a fight for the top spot in the Central, while the only team in the West above .500 is the Mariners.

In the National League, it sure feels like the deep-pocketed Dodgers will run away with the West. The Brewers have the lead in the Central, but not so much that the Cubs, or even the Cardinals, can’t catch them.


In the East, the race of most interest around these parts, the Phillies enter play on Memorial Day with a six-game lead over the Braves, who just lost superstar outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season with a torn ACL. This comes after the Braves also lost ace starter Spencer Strider in early April to a UCL injury.


The Nationals and Marlins weren’t expected to challenge for the division crown. The Mets were, but they’re the Mets, and they find new and exciting ways to underperform annually. Noise is getting louder that billionaire owner Steve Cohen could be looking to blow up the roster and start over.


Everything seems to be coming up Phillies as of late. Following a 2-4 start with series losses to the Braves and Reds, the Phillies have been on an absolute tear. The Phillies had not lost a series in fourteen, prior to dropping 2 of 3 to the Rockies. Winning 36 of their last 48 games is a very impressive string.


As of Memorial Day, the Phillies are second in the National League in home runs, tops in MLB in RBI, and second in MLB in batting average. It’s not just the offense. The Phillies pitchers lead the National League in ERA, quality starts, and are second in strikeouts. For a team that’s been very reliant on the long ball offensively the last few years, their pitchers are certainly doing their part.


It’s not as if the Phillies don’t have their own injury issues to deal with. Trea Turner has been limited to 33 games so far as he works through a strained left hamstring. The team can only get better when Turner returns, and you know they’ll be aggressive in the trade market as well.


It feels very much like the East is the Phillies’ to lose. They are certainly playing well, but with the Braves losing their best pitcher and hitter for the year, it’s a tall task to ask them to catch up to a Phillies team that’s just firing on all cylinders.


It may be late May, but it will soon be Red October once again.


Brian Attard is a lifelong resident of Hammonton, avid sports fan and host on The Sports Box Network (@SportsBoxSports on all social media platforms).

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