MLB Labor Day Happenings: Pirates In First, Puig Dinged Up, Other News…


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The waiver trade deadline is behind us, contending teams have stacked up with their last minute moves, the calendar has flipped to September, and it’s time to focus in on the key teams, matchups and events that will dictate who has a chance to be 2013 World Series champions.

Here are some news and notes from Monday’s Labor Day baseball games:

The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 and, in so doing, regained first place in the National League Central. New acquisitions Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd went a combined 0-for-7, but just seeing their presence in the order lengthens that lineup and pushes us one step further towards taking the Pirates seriously in their efforts toward winning the NL Central and avoiding the one game wild card game.

Yasiel Puig, not surprisingly, had an eventful day, as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies 10-8 at Coors Field. It started with a baserunner interference call early in the game, which led to a baserunning tutorial from Juan Uribe (who is also one of the hottest players in the league, because why wouldn’t he be?).

Eventually, and more importantly, he had to be removed from the game thanks to a banged up knee in the sixth inning. As if we didn’t know this already, he will be a major part of the story with the Dodgers between now and the end of the season, for baseball reasons and otherwise.

Finally, the New York Yankees roughed up the Chicago White Sox by a final score of 9-1 and continued their surge into the American League playoff picture. As much as some of us might want the Yankees not to matter, and as much as it might seem like they shouldn’t matter…they matter once again.

How’s an eight run inning for a path to victory? The damage came from a cast of veterans that included Mark Reynolds, Alfonso Soriano and none other than the captain Derek Jeter. Say this, the Yankees and their roster of veteran players make this playoff picture more interesting as September gets rolling.