September Recap: Central

Another exciting Major League Baseball season is in the books and we’re headed to the postseason. This month’s recap will be a standard monthly recap, then I’ll get to season recaps later with a different format.

This month we’re going to start with the American and National League Central Divisions.

American League

  1. Cleveland Indians (102-60)

The Indians enter postseason play without back-to-back losses since Aug. 22-23. A 22-game winning streak, which started after those losses to the Boston Red Sox, contributed to a 26-4 stretch through the end of the season. Cleveland is rolling headed into the postseason.

  1. Minnesota Twins (85-77)

With a 14-14 September, the Twins sure did everything they could to avoid clinching the second Wild Card spot, but some timely losses by the LA Angels and Kansas City Royals helped get Minnesota into the postseason.

  1. Kansas City Royals (80-82)

Despite a .500 finish in the final month of the season, the Royals played some good baseball in the final week of the season by winning four of six games. Unfortunately, the damage had been done and the postseason was out of reach.

  1. Chicago White Sox (67-95)

Having essentially been eliminated from the postseason race in July, the White Sox didn’t have much to play for in September besides playing spoilers, which they did by taking two out of three in a series against the Royals and eliminating the Angels from postseason contention.

  1. Detroit Tigers (64-98)

The offseason must have started early in Detroit. I looked as though the Tigers took the months of September and October off and coasted to a 6-24 record. While the hitting stayed mostly consistent, Tigers pitching spiked with a 6.59 ERA in the final month, up from 5.69 the previous month.

National League

  1. Chicago Cubs (92-70)

The Cubs are ready for the postseason, as evidenced by the 15-4 record over their final 19 games. With the way the Cubs are playing right now, we could see a repeat of last year’s World Series.

  1. Milwaukee Brewers (86-76)

It came down to the 161st game of the season, but the Brewers narrowly missed the postseason. Aside from four games against the Cubs, the Brewers had a favorable schedule down the stretch to catch the Colorado Rockies for the second Wild Card spot, but they just couldn’t quite get it done.

  1. St. Louis Cardinals (83-79)

The Cardinals were red-hot to start September at 9-3, but it wasn’t sustainable. They crashed and burned to finish the season 2-7 over the final week and a half.

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates (75-87)

A 2-13 stretch through the middle of September did little to improve things in Pittsburgh after returning below .500 with a disappointing August. On the bright side, All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen started trending back upward to end the season with seven doubles and a .287 batting average in September.

  1. Cincinnati Red (68-94)

After they notched their first month of the season over .500, the Reds dipped back down to 11-17 to finish the season. All-Star first baseman Joey Votto was the lone bright spot with a .320 average, 36 homers and 100 RBIs.

Photo by Brigham Berthold

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