Grading the weekday series: Toronto rising?
Let's hand out some grades for the weekday series that wrapped up on Wednesday and Thursday. Might the Jays finally earn high marks?
Now that the weekday series -- the ones that started on Monday and Tuesday and wrapped up on Wednesday and Thursday -- are in the books, it's time to hand out some unsparing and authoritative grades. Keep in mind that we're considering just those series that have already ended for this week, not those that began Thursday and will run through the weekend.
As for baseball events that will figure prominently in our grading, we saw sweeps in Toronto and Miami and decisive four-game sets in St. Louis and Pittsburgh. Survey says ...
|A||Carmelo AnthonyToronto has already enjoyed two off days this week, but between those off days was a two-game ritual pounding of the world-champion Giants. Over the course of the two-game home set, the Jays outscored the Giants by a margin of 21-9. The Jays remain in a hole thanks to their miserable start to 2013, but they've now won four in a row and seven of their last 10. They're not dead just yet.|
|A-||The Reds are here because of their sweep of the Marlins. Said sweep entailed playing, as mentioned, the Marlins, so how impressive could it be? There was also an Aroldis Chapman blown save in the mix. Still, the Reds entered this series in Miami with a 6-10 record on the road, so taking all three games is notable. In fact, the Reds have now won six in a row away from GABP. The Cardinals are getting all the press these days, but Cincy at this writing is tied for third-best record in all of baseball.|
|B||By taking two of three on the road in Minnesota and by winning Thursday's series opener in Anaheim, the White Sox pulled to within four games of first place in the AL Central. Yes, they're presently in last, but it's fast becoming a tightly compressed division. Robin Ventura's club is now a respectable 8-6 for the month of May. Alexeir Ramirez went 6-for-13 in Minny|
|D||Mitigating factors: The Mets were on the road against the Cardinals, one of the best teams in baseball, and ace Matt Harvey wasn't slated to start in the four-game set. They also beat Adam Wainwright in the Thursday finale. The grim reality: The Mets dropped three of four and, even after Thursday's salvage, are closer in the standings to the lowliest Marlins than to the first-place Braves.|
|F||What a maddeningly inconsistent team. They started the season 2-8 and then proceeded to win nine in a row. And then they dropped 15 of their next 20. The latter backslide includes dropping three of four to the Pirates to the start this week. What's more, coming into this series the Brewers since 2007 were an astounding 71-25 against the Buccos. Thursday night's 7-1 loss also dropped Milwaukee into last place in the NL Central. Yes, behind even the Cubs.|
Kinsler will slot in at second base for the Angels
The Marlins got a better return for Ozuna than Stanton or Gordon
The two teams are going about things in very different ways
The Marlins are indeed in teardown mode under new ownership
The Marlins still have more attractive pieces
The A's need outfield help, and the Cardinals have a glut