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2012 MLB Mid-Season Recap

Posted by: Princeton Group | Posted on: July 20th, 2012 | 0 Comments

Major League Baseball has just begun the second half of its season following their annual “Midsummer Classic,” which was held at Kauffman midsummer classic, all star gameStadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  The National League dominated the American League 8-0 to win their third straight All-Star Game and gain home-field advantage for the World Series.  The NL jumped-out to a big lead in the first inning, scoring 5 runs off of Detroit Tigers ace and reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander.  The big hit in the inning came from San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who hit a bases-clearing three-run triple.  Giants’ center fielder Melky Cabrera secured the All-Star Game MVP award when he hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to increase the NL’s already large lead.  The night before the All-Star Game, MLB held its annual Home Run Derby in front of the Kansas City fans.  Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder won the event over Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista.  Fielder hit 12 home runs in the final round, while Bautista only managed 7.  Fielder hit a total of 28 home runs for the whole competition, with his longest being 476 feet.

The first half of Major League Baseball’s regular season has been full of surprises, especially from which teams are leading some of the division races.  In the National League Central, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have not had a winning season since 1992, entered the All-Star break with a one-game lead on the Cincinnati Reds, with the reigning World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals lurking just 2 ½ games back.  The Washington Nationals entered the break with a 4 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, with the New York Mets third, 4 ½ games behind.  In the American League Central, the Detroit Tigers, the favorites for the division crown coming out of Spring Training, are in third place, 3 ½ games behind the first place Chicago White Sox.  The Cleveland Indians are currently second, 3 games behind the White Sox.  The other division leaders at the break are the New York Yankees in the AL East, the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.  The first half of MLB’s regular season saw 2 perfect games and 3 other no-hitters.  Phillip Humber of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners in April, while Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants threw one against the Houston Astros in June.  Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins on May 2, while the Seattle Mariners had 6 pitchers combine for a no-hitter against the Dodgers on June 8.  History was made on June 1 in New York when Johan Santana of the Mets threw the first no-hitter in the history of the Mets franchise against the Cardinals.

The second half of the 2012 MLB season is shaping up to be a really exciting dog fight, as several playoff berths should go right down to the wire.  Coming out of the All-Star break, there are 21 teams within 5 games of a playoff spot.  With so many teams having a realistic chance at making the playoffs, the weeks before the July 31 trade deadline should be really interesting.  With many more teams in contention, the amount of trades made should increase compared to previous years.  As the summer moves on and October nears, expect in the American League for the Yankees to hold on and win the East, for the Rangers and Angels to battle for the West, with one of them winning the division and the other taking a Wild Card Spot.  In the AL Central, look for the White Sox and Tigers to go down to the wire, with the team not winning the division in the Wild Card mix.  It will be interesting to see if the Orioles, Indians, Rays, Athletics, and Blue Jays can stay in the Wild Card hunt.  The National League should be extremely exciting.  The biggest second half stories will be if the Pirates and Nationals can hold their positions and return to the playoffs for the first time in many years for both franchises.  The Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks should go down to the wire battling for the NL West.  Will the Marlins, Mets, Braves, Reds, and Cardinals stay in contention deep or will any of them falter?  With an extra playoff spot available in each league this season, this could be the most exciting September in MLB history!