Dodgers, Braves are trade deadline winners so far
Max Scherzer has been dominant for the Dodgers. Adam Frazier has struggled for San Diego. Javier Báez has played well for the Mets — while also getting himself in hot water with the New York fans not long after arriving.
There were so many major deals at this year’s trade deadline, it’s no surprise that many of the players who switched teams are having a significant impact on the postseason races.
At the end of July, the Dodgers and Padres were each in solid shape to earn at least a wild card. Since then, the teams have gone in different directions. Los Angeles is still in second place in the NL West, but the Dodgers are now 15 games ahead of San Diego, which is trying to survive a multiteam race for the second wild card.
Scherzer isn’t the only reason for that, but he’s been a difference maker for Los Angeles, going 6-0 with an 0.88 ERA in eight starts since arriving from Washington. On Sunday, Scherzer reached the 3,000-strikeout milestone and pitched eight one-hit innings in an 8-0 victory over San Diego.
The Padres traded for Frazier in late July, but his fortunes have mirrored those of his new team. After hitting .324 for Pittsburgh this year, he’s batted 90 points lower than that for San Diego, posting an OPS of just .576 since the deal.
Aside from the Dodgers, the other big winners from the trade deadline are the Atlanta Braves. Jorge Soler hit .192 for Kansas City, but since coming over to the Braves, he’s batted .281 with 10 homers in 38 games. Adam Duvall has a dozen homers in that same number of games since being dealt from Miami to Atlanta.
As for Báez, he and Francisco Lindor had to apologize last month for a thumbs-down gesture directed at New York fans, but since being traded to the Mets from the Chicago Cubs, Báez has hit .306 with eight homers and a .949 OPS.
In 1987, Doyle Alexander famously went 9-0 for Detroit after being acquired from Atlanta in a trade that season. Alexander helped the Tigers narrowly win the AL East, but Detroit gave up future Hall of Famer John Smoltz in that deal.
What many don’t remember is that Alexander was involved in another significant trade the previous year when he went from Toronto to Atlanta. Which future All-Star did the Blue Jays receive in that deal?
LINE OF THE WEEK
A terrific season for Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes got even better Saturday night, when he pitched eight no-hit innings in a 3-0 win at Cleveland. Josh Hader then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, giving the major leagues a record nine no-hitters this season. Burnes struck out 14 and walked one.
It was the third time Cleveland was no-hit this year, which is also a record.
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK
The Baltimore Orioles ended the week by allowing 44 runs in their final three games against Toronto — in under 24 hours. The beginning of the week went better, however. On Wednesday night, the Orioles scored nine runs in the bottom of the eighth, turning a 5-0 deficit into a four-run lead against Kansas City. Baltimore eventually won 9-8.
The Orioles had a 1.5% chance of winning after seven innings, according to Baseball Savant.
Lindor capped a three-homer game with a drive to right field in the eighth inning Sunday night, lifting the Mets to a contentious 7-6 win over the Yankees in the final game of an emotional Subway Series.
The Blue Jays acquired Duane Ward for Alexander in 1986. He would be a key part of the bullpen when Toronto won the World Series in 1992 and 1993. Ward had 45 saves in ’93.
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