Tuesday night was another banner night for milestones in Major League Baseball, with one likely (AL) MVP doing his damage in a losing cause and one possible (NL) MVP bringing his team ever closer to a division title. Congratulations to Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers for becoming the youngest player ever to hit 50 home runs in a season (and the youngest since Willie Mays did it back in 1955!) His two blasts against the Cardinals helped reduce the Cubbies’ lead in the division to 2 games with 5 to go–Chicago’s on the road and the Brew Crew is at home, so who knows what can happen. And Fielder just keeps cranking along, now with 50 HRs and 119 RBI while hitting a very respectable .291 for a power hitter. Whether or not that’s good enough to earn him a National League MVP award may depend on what happens the rest of this week. But even if they finish 2nd, he’s got to be in the running with those stats. Now if he could just bury the hatchet with his estranged dad, former All-Star Cecil Fielder–that whole situation is just sad, really sad.
Back around these parts, A-Rod was hitting yet another Grand Slam to put the Yankees up 5-0 in the 3rd on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with NY only needing one win or Detroit loss to guarantee themselves a playoff spot (so it’s only a matter of time). But those pesky Rays (read:spoilers, see Washington Nationals also) roughed up the Yankee bullpen and put up a 6-spot in the sixth inning, and ended up winning it on a walk-off homer in 10th. A shocking turn of events, giving the Red Sox a 3-game division lead with 5 to play–perhaps Boston fans can finally exhale. Despite the loss, Alex Rodriguez keeps doing his thing, which will surely earn him the AL MVP at season’s end. The man now has 53 HRs and 151 RBI and is hitting .311, unbelievable stats that will only be diminished if he flames out in the playoffs. Those numbers (at least 50 home runs and 150+ RBI) put him in a highly exclusive club with only 3 other players in baseball history: Sammy Sosa (in 1998 and 2001, more than likely with a little help from science don’t you think?), JImmie Foxx in the 1930s (twice), and Babe Ruth in the 1920s (3 times!). Rarified air indeed.