Home MLB'Weekly' Hit Ground Ball Weekly Hit Ground Ball: One week

Weekly Hit Ground Ball: One week

by Matt Smith

WHGB11A week is a long time in politics, so they say, but how long is it in MLB?

There are many different ways that you could look at it. In the context of a 162 game regular season, one week perhaps doesn’t count for too much and therefore shouldn’t overly concern anyone. However, that’s not so easy a position to adopt in the second half of September when one week can define a season.

Similarly, early on in the season teams are often bunched together; therefore a good or bad week can see spirits rise or fall more markedly as the immediate impact of those results is more pronounced.

Take the last seven days as an example.

AL East

26 April 2014

3 May 2014

NY Yankees 14-10 NY Yankees 16-13
Baltimore 12-11 Baltimore 15-13
Boston 12-13 Boston 15-16
Toronto 11-13 Tampa Bay 14-17
Tampa Bay 11-13 Toronto 13-17


The AL East fell into a holding pattern over the past week, with the Yankees and Blue Jays both adding two wins to their totals and the Orioles, Red Sox and Rays all adding three. New York and Baltimore are still the only two teams to be playing over .500 and that’s a little surprising as coming into the season the AL East was labelled by many as being the best division in the Majors. That could still prove to be the case if the Red Sox and Rays can overcome their faltering form.

AL Central

26 April 2014

3 May 2014

Detroit 12-9 Detroit 16-9
Minnesota 12-11 Kansas City 14-15
Chicago WS 12-13 Minnesota 13-15
Kansas City 11-12 Chicago WS 14-17
Cleveland 11-13 Cleveland 13-17


Detroit came into the season heralded as the class of the Central and they started living up to that title this week by putting some distance between themselves and the rest of the division. The Tigers’ game against Minnesota was postponed last Sunday and they also had two off-days this week as well. Still, they made the games they did play count by winning all four of them.

The Twins, White Sox and Indians all lost four times over the week, allowing the Royals to climb up to second by playing .500, starting with wins against the Orioles (1) and Blue Jays (2) before dropping the final game of their series against Toronto and then losing twice to the Tigers.

AL West

26 April 2014

3 May 2014

Oakland 15-9 Oakland 18-12
Texas 15-9 Texas 16-14
LA Angels 11-12 LA Angels 15-14
Seattle 9-14 Seattle 13-15
Houston 8-17 Houston 10-20


The best way to make a quick difference in the standings is to sweep a series against a division rival. That’s exactly what the A’s did over the Rangers this week, hitting back after Texas had swept them in three games the week before. Even one month into the season, the division is taking shape in the way most expected, with the Mariners and Astros loitering at the bottom, the A’s and Rangers battling at the top and the Angels being the team in the middle.

The big question in this division is whether LA can make it a three-way battle for the division title and/or get into the Wild Card mix. Four wins on the week suggest they might, although it depends how you want to see the three wins courtesy of a sweep against Cleveland. Are they ruthlessly picking up wins or playing the role of ‘flat track bullies’?

NL East

26 April 2014

3 May 2014

Atlanta 16-7 Atlanta 17-12
Washington 14-11 Washington 17-13
NY Mets 13-11 NY Mets 15-14
Philadelphia 12-12 Philadelphia 14-14
Miami 11-13 Miami 15-15


The best thing that can be said for the Braves this week is that at least they ended it still at the top of the division. It started well enough with a win on Sunday against the Reds to complete a three-game sweep, but three losses in Miami and then two at home against San Francisco have seen their early lead over the Nationals cut drastically.

What jumps out the most is that prior to Sunday’s games, this is the only division in which none of the five teams have a losing record. You wouldn’t have put much money on that heading into the season.

NL Central

26 April 2014

3 May 2014

Milwaukee 18-6 Milwaukee 21-10
St. Louis 13-12 St. Louis 15-16
Cincinnati 11-13 Cincinnati 14-16
Pittsburgh 10-15 Pittsburgh 12-18
Chicago Cubs 7-16 Chicago Cubs 11-17


The Brewers entered the week with the best record in MLB and their three-game series in St. Louis was seen as an early test of their potential staying power. They took two of three from the Cardinals, despite playing short-handed with injuries mounting up on their roster, to make it a fairly positive week even though they went 3-4 overall with a loss to the Cubs and a 1-2 record from the first three games of a four-game series against the Reds.

Much as the overall record of the NL East is a surprise, you wouldn’t have thought only one team in the NL Central would be .500 or better on 3 May. The Cardinals and Reds are not too far away so that could change quickly, although the Pirates are giving themselves a lot to do if they are to repeat their feel-good story of 2013.

NL West

26 April 2014

3 May 2014

San Francisco 14-10 San Francisco 19-11
LA Dodgers 14-11 Colorado 19-13
Colorado 13-12 LA Dodgers 18-13
San Diego 11-14 San Diego 13-18
Arizona 8-19 Arizona 11-22


Finally in the NL West, take your hat off to the Colorado Rockies who went 6-1 on the week to leap past the Dodgers into second place, building on some good recent form. Since losing two of three against the Giants over 11-13 April, they’ve split a four-game series against the Padres and then taken two from three in series against the Phillies, Dodgers and D-Backs, before starting their current series against the New York Mets with three wins.

Meanwhile the Giants have won eight of their last nine games whilst the dangerous Dodgers swept three games in a bitterly cold Minnesota to keep them close.

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