Will the Braves catch the Mets? Will Aaron atlanta braves personalized jersey Judge and Albert Pujols stay on pace? September's big baseball questions

September 1, 2022 By Ryan Fagan 0

Albert Pujols, Adley Rutschman, Cionel Perez, Austin Riley (Getty Images)

“Wake Me Up When September Ends”

The song popped up on a random Spotify playlist the other day, and it got me thinking about the baseball season. That’s not shocking, of course, because a lot of things get me thinking about the baseball season. 

But let’s say a particularly tired baseball fan decided to take a long, long power nap with the request to wake him up when September ends. What baseball questions would he want answered right away? The regular season ends Oct. 5, so the final regular-season script won’t be written, but what storylines will be playing out? 

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Here are five questions I’m guessing that fan would ask. 

Are the Orioles still in wild-card contention? 

If we’re ranking feel-good stories from the 2022 season, the Orioles would be right there at or near the top of the list. This is a franchise that hasn’t been competitive in a full season (their weeks-long dabble with the expanded playoffs in the pandem atlanta braves big and tall ic-shortened 2020 season was enjoyable, though) in what feels like an eternity (but, really, was only 2016). And pretty much nobody expected them to do anything other than finish way, way down in the AL East cellar in 2022. The future looked bright, but 2023 seemed the best-case scenario.

And then, Adley arrived. 

So the O’s start play Thursday just two games out of the final wild-card spot in the AL. It’s a wonderful, stunning turn of events for a fan base that deserves better than what they’ve seen the past couple of years. Even if they falter this month — though the arrival of baseball’s No. 1 prospect, Gunnar Henderson, was a nice shot in the arm — it’s still a wonderful story. But if September ends and Baltimore is playing five meaningful games in October, that would be thrilling to watch. 

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Have Albert Pujols and Aaron Judge reached their round-number milestones?

Entering September, Pujols needs six home runs to reach 700 for his Cooperstown-bound career. Judge needs nine homers to join YankeesTrevor Story Red Sox Jerseys legends Babe Ruth and Roger Maris as the only members of the AL’s 60-homer club.

The Yankees have 32 games left, with six in October — including a double-header on Oct. 4 at Texas. The question here is this: Where will Judge be at the end of September? The Yankees have 14 home gamesGeorge Springer in Gerrit Cole Yankees Jerseys the month, as opposed to 11 on the road. That’s a good thing. One would assume that if he’s still on pace for 60, he’ll play every day. But it’s also worth wondering whether he’ll get a few days off if the Yankees are comfortably in the lead in the AL East — that’s not a given, considering how awful they were in August — because the larger team goal is to win a World Series, and having a healthy and rested Judge would help that goal. 

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And, if we’re talking storybook stuff here, it would be fitting for Judge to get to 60 at home. The club’s last home series is Sept. 30-Oct. 2 against the Orioles, and they finish with four on the road against the Rangers. 

For Pujols, rest MLB Cooperstown Collectionisn’t as big of a concern, considering that he’s not been an everyday player. He’ll get every start at DH vs. lefties the rest of the way, plus pinch-hit opportunities on a nightly basis when he doesn’t start. He needs six homers in the club’s final 31 games. He has 15 on the year, but has looked very much like his old self lately; in his past 34 games (25 starts) dating to July 10, he’s batting .356 with a 1.153 OPS, with 11 homers and 23 RBIs. Overall, he’s batting .375 in 109 PAs against lefties this year, with 11 home runs. He has four homers in 151 PAs aga atlanta braves jersey toddler boys inst right-handers.

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MORE: Tracking Albert Pujols’ chances to reach 700 homers

Like 60 with Judge, 700 career homers would not be a record, but don’t let anyone tell you it wouldn’t be special, to the player, to his team’s fans and to baseball as a whole. 

Have the Braves caught the Mets in the NL East?

Let’s be clear right up front: This isn’t asking the question “Will the Mets, y’know, pull a Mets?” These Mets look collapse-proof, barring any injuries. This is more about Atlanta often looking kind of unstoppable for long, long stretches lately.

At the end of May, the Braves were 23-27 and 10.5 games back of the Mets in the NL atlanta braves spencer strider East. Since then, the Mets have played to a .613 winning percentage — that’s a 99-win pace — even without Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Both are now back and pitching like aces. But since the end of May, the Braves have still cut 7.5 ga atlanta braves gear near me mes off the Mets’ division lead, playing at a .704 winning percentage. That’s a 114-win pace, folks.

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Atlanta went 21-6 in June, 18-8 in July and 18-10 in August. Another month like June or July and Atlanta could well catch the Mets by the end of the month, even if the Mets play well.

Why does this matter? Truth is, it doesn’t matter as much as it might have in the past. With the way the playoffs atlanta braves game jersey are set up and how the records in the NL are set up, the NL East winner would be the No. 2 playoff seed, and the second-place team in the NL East is basically locked into the top wild-card spot. The No. 2 seed gets a bye — a rest that would be welcomed, certainly — but the top wild-card spot gets three home games in a best-of-three series, which is still pretty solid.  

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