September is a really great month for seeing different colors pop up all around us. Same is true in the sports world.
… Cardinal Red bursts out for Albert first! The historic 700 level has not only charged up the Birds fans but it seems across the entire MLB landscape. Even, the usually stoic, late-arriving Dodgers fans, showed all kinds of “luv” for Albert on his big day! It was exciting!!
….The Black, but not so much the Gold, continues to be Mizzou football color. The Heart-breaking defeat to a very mediocre Auburn team was brutal. Mizzou’s All-American kicker Harrison Mevis missed a game-winning 26-yard field goal as the clock wound down to 0:00 in the 4th quarter and running back Nathaniel Peat fumbled the would be game-winning TD into the end zone for a touchback to ensure the loss. With respect to the use of Luther Burden by Mizzou
my thoughts are invisible, just like Burden was on Saturday!
…a heavy GREEN color floods our way—lots of it. Betting on himself last off-season, Aaron Judge turned down a $213.5 million extension offer from the Yanks, but he has actually elevated his value. His self confidence & unbelievable 2022 performance has raised his value!! In 2022, he has 60 HR’s, 128 RBI’s, 125 runs scored, holds a .314 average, .420 OBP, .696 Slugging and a stunning 1.116 OPS along with 16 stolen Baes. All the numbers above (except the stolen bases)are the best numbers in the entire AL!!! Sooo…he’ll actually be bargaining for a better position this off-season than last year! Only drawbacks…1) he will be 31 years of age next April 26; 2) there are a limited number of teams who will actually pay that mega-salary to any player.
…Orange & Black popped up next—it brings to mind one of the biggest SURPRISES across the MLB in 2022 –the Baltimore Orioles. Last season the O’s posted a horrible 52-110 record. No one expected much more in 2022. Another 90-100 loss season seemed inevitable for the O’s. Nine games below .500 in early July, the O’s won 10 consecutive games to surpass the .500 mark and went 17-10 in August. Currently they hold a 79-72 record which puts them in 4th place in the tough AL-East division. With that same record the O’s would be in 2nd place in the AL Central and 3rd place in the AL West, NL Cen & NL West divisions.
…It was Crimson & Blue that we saw next…the colors of Kansas. KU is off to an unbelievable start in 2022. The Jayhawks haven’t won 4 games in a season in 13 seasons! Yet…there they are 4-0 after they knocked off previously unbeaten Duke 35-27. Much of credit has to go to Junior QB Jalon Davis. He’s completed 83% of his passes for 324 yards passing & 83 yards rushing. He was part of 5 TD’s in the win over previously unbeaten Duke.
…Cardinal Red appears again! The Tremendous play of Brendan Donovan. Drafted in the 7th round in 2018 as the 213th pick of the draft, he’s shot by many drafted before him. At Peoria (High A level), he batted .266 in 2019. He was shut out in 2020 by covid. In 2021, he raced through the MiLB levels, going from Peoria to Springfield (AA) to Memphis (AAA).He began 2022 in Memphis. After holding impressive credentials—avg- .298; OB%-.385; slugging %-.404 and an OPS of .789, he was promoted to the Cardinals. I particularly like that his “drive” is to get on base—Walks, Hits to the opposite field, and even bunts!! Currently, he’s 2nd on the team in On-Base % (OBP);4th on the Cardinals in Hits & Runs Scored! While the game has become a game of HR, doubles, strikeouts & walks, players who get on base force the pitchers to go off the stretch. I feel like many of the MLB pitchers just aren’t as effective off the stretch as the windup. According to experts, there doesn’t seem to be any difference physically. However, I believe that the runners on base do, to some degree, impact the pitchers. It seems to me that pitchers have their concentration divided between batter & runner. Likely, some hurry their pitch to the plate (to prevent the steal).
…coming next on our screen is Navy Blue & Orange…the colors of the Asstroes (not forgiven yet in this blog for their cheating in the 2017 World Series( I don’t hold a grudge or anything)😊) But…it’s not the Asstroes, it’s 1 of their pitchers-Justin Verlander. This 39 year old starting pitcher watched as much younger, early season pitching stars Like 24 year Old Alek Manoah(Tor), 25 year old Tampa Bay hurler Shane McClanahan controlled the headlines. More recently, it was CWS 26 year Dylan Cease who was the “talk of the town”. Cease pitched in 14 consecutive starts in which he didn’t allow more than 1 earned run. Youngsters…step aside now as the man-Justin Verlander leads the way. He leads the AL in wins with 15, an ERA of 1.82, and a WHIP of 0.86 for 2022. 17 of his 21 starts have been “quality starts including 3 games where he allowed 0 runs and surrendered only 3 hits/walks combined!! Forget his age—he’s the best AL Hurler in 2022!
….seemingly, looking through “Rosy” glasses, some of the Cardinal fans were surprised that the Birds could not hit against on their California part of their trip against two of the better NL teams—the Padres & Dodgers. Prior to that trip, for 4 about weeks, the Cards had 24 of 27 games against some of the weaker teams in the MLB. It was the Cubs for 8 games; Nationals-4 games; Reds-3; Pirates-3; Diamondbacks-3 & Rockies-3 games. There are two TOTALLY different levels of pitching there. The better teams have the better pitching staffs and the weaker teams DO NOT! No mystery there. Clearly, you won’t hit the Padres & Dodgers hurlers like the teams listed above.
….Well I’m seeing a Red Light flashing now…it’s a STOP SIGN! I’m anxious to read YOUR thoughts on any part of the blog-YOU have the Green Light—post them on Bob Ryan Facebook page or send to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) & I’ll post it for you with your initials (or name if you prefer). Please help spread the word to your family/friends of this sports blog! You can send them to my webpage—www.bobryansportsblog.com to get a “taste” of the blogs. Thanks! Wishing you a Green Light Week! Bob