The 3-2 pitch

Three observations …

• Over the past nine days, we have seen a no-hitter (by Edinson Volquez), a 600th career home run (by Albert Pujols), seven grand slams in one day, a four-homer game (by Scooter Gennett) and a four-stolen base game (by Cameron Maybin). It doesn’t get any better than that.

• What has happened to the Cardinals? They are averaging fewer than three runs a game this month, they are making defensive mistakes, and there are rumblings about Mike Matheny’s job security. This is not the Cardinals we’re used to seeing.

• This is the Aaron Hicks the Twins envisioned when they drafted him in 2008 — just not in a Yankees uniform. And it is why they should be patient with Byron Buxton while he searches for his offense.

… and two predictions

• The Giants will be sellers at the trade deadline, a rarity during the Bruce Bochy era.

• Boston will pass the Yankees and be in first place in the AL East by the All-Star break.