A review of underperforming teams helps capture what to look for next season in finding ‘fade’ situations down the stretch.
Chicago White Sox (63-99, -32.1 Units)
Chicago found itself tanking down the season’s middle and late stretches, swept in road sets with the playoff-bound Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. White Sox slugger Adam Dunn saw his BA finish below .220 for a third straight year, while he and mates were held to a lowly 3.7 RPG.
Houston’s move to the American League gave the team a cruel summer, finishing far beneath its already-low expectations. Bo Porter’s club had the year’s loosest pitching in all of MLB (4.79 ERA), while losing Bud Norris to the Baltimore Orioles for the season’s last two months.
Los Angeles found itself on the losing end of slugfests throughout the year, while first baseman Albert Pujols missed two months of action with a foot injury. The Angels were unable to recover from April’s 9-17 start, suffering from improbable home sweeps to the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Philadelphia missed the playoffs for a second straight year, sliding further from its era of five consecutive National League East titles in 2007-2011. Charlie Manuel was fired as the club’s manager in August, failing to ignite the club after going 1-5 in replacement Ryne Sandberg’s first six games.
San Francisco fell out of contention thanks to a 2-14 slump before the season’s All-Star break. The Giants went a subpar 26-36 in 62 starts from the duo of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, while unable to make a late rally in this year’s fiercely-battled race for the National League’s Wild Card spots.
Seattle Mariners (71-91, -15.9 Units)
Seattle went downhill after an eight-game winning streak in July, finishing a distant 25 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the American League West. Mariners sluggers Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales united for 52 homers, but the octane was not enough to make up for the team’s .237 BA overall.
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Chicago Cubs (66-96, -15 Units)
Dale Sveum was unable to get the Chicago Cubs on a winning track, suffering a second straight losing year before departing the team at the season’s finish. Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney slumped with a .208 BA, while outfielder Alfonso Soriano left in July to rejoin the New York Yankees.
Miami Marlins (62-100, -14 Units)
Miami failed to have success under new manager Mike Redmond, beginning with April’s 5-13 slide in the team’s first 18 contests. The Marlins were held to meager MLB-low’s in scoring (3.2 RPG), hitting (.231 BA), and long balls (95 HRs).
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