MLB Week 8 Sluggers and Slugs
Summer is upon us and its time for our three favorite B’s – beaches, BBQs and baseball. We have wrapped up the second month of the season, and the pennant races, like the temperature, are heating up.
The Boston Red Sox fan base can flip the cover back over the panic button for now winning 7 of 10, including a sweep of the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays.
Although the Philadelphia Phillies have been struggling, their ace Roy Halladay gave us the 2nd perfect game of the season against the Florida Marlins.
The Los Angeles Angels’ first baseman, Kendry Morales joined the list of worst victory celebrations in the history of sports. After hitting a walk-off grand-slam, Morales jumped on home plate surrounded by his teammates and fractured a bone in his lower leg.
The Atlanta Braves’ offense is coming around, but which NL team made a charge to the top of the division and entered the penthouse power rankings?
Several men stepped to the plate attempting to do their best hero impersonation in the first two months, but which players’ powers reigned supreme?
No. 1 – The Rays remain at the top even though they struggled this past week losing 5 of 7. All teams are going to hit rough patches throughout the season, but when you do and still maintain a 3.5 game lead on the New York Yankees, you’re the best team in baseball.
No. 2 – The San Diego Padres continue to win! I have made some foolish bets in my time and would have bet my eyebrows that the Padres wouldn’t be in 1st place after Memorial Day. If San Diego can stay classy till the all-star break, the 2nd half is going to be very interesting.
No. 3 – The Cincinnati Reds have taken over the NL Central! They have done so by crushing the ball from the entire lineup. Its tough to make the playoffs with only offense so if the can get some pitching the Reds will be dangerous down the stretch.
No. 4 – The Yankees are playing good baseball right now and I believe are capable of great baseball. When C.C. Sabathia turns it on and that line up hits it stride, they will take over the AL East and never look back.
No. 5 – The Minnesota Twins seem to always be 6 of 10. This isn’t overly impressive, but what it will do for sure is win the AL Central and put the Twins in the playoffs. I love to cheer for an organization from a small market that is competitive.
No. 26 – The Seattle Mariners have disappointed me, theirs fans and hopefully themselves. This team was my pick to win the AL West, and they may not even win 70 games this season. They will probably trade most of their high-priced players without long term deals.
No. 27 – The Arizona Diamondbacks have so many problems I can’t believe things aren’t worse. They have injuries in the pitching staff, terrible middle and short relief, a bum closer, and the batting order is just ok 1 – 9. D-Backs season is over!
No. 28 – The Cleveland Indians have the chance to be the premier sports franchise in the city with possible exit of LeBron James from the Cavilers. If the organization doesn’t want to spend money on free agents, then acquire and develop young prospects.
No. 29 – The Houston Astros will soon have to give away tickets to get fans to come to the games. The only reason they may not finish with worst record in baseball is because the Baltimore Orioles play in the AL East.
No. 30 – The more I watch the Orioles, the more I notice small pieces coming together that could someday form a solid team. Not a team that could compete for the division in the AL East.
Heros and Zeros
Without question, the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera has been the most sensational player with lumber. Cabrera is hitting .352 with 14 HRs and 48 RBIs. These are the kind of numbers that could herald a triple crown.
All baseball fans are familiar with the Twins’ Joe Mauer, but the guy who has powered the twinkies is Justin Morneau. The Twins’ first baseman is hitting a league leading .368 with 11 HRs and 36 RBIs.
A big contributor to the early season success the Rays’ are having is David Price. This kid is going to be a special part of the Rays’ organization for a long time. Price has an ERA of 2.57 with 7 wins and 50 strikeouts.
The Yankees’ Mark Teixeria is notoriously a slow starter, but this is getting down right unacceptable for a Yankee. Teixeria power numbers have started to come around, but the batting average is only .221. This number is not ok for a guy making 20 million a year.
The Yankees’ Javier Vasquez struggles have been slightly forgotten due to the success of Phil Hughes. Vasquez’s second stint with the Yanks it is looking similar to the first with only 3 wins and a 6.86 ERA.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun has been one of the few reasons for Brewers’ fans to celebrate with a brew. Braun is hitting .318 with 8 HRs, 32 RBIs and 38 runs scored. The Brewers must find a way to lockup Braun and Prince Fielder for a long time.
Even though Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Andre Ethier is coming off a 15 day DL stint he is still among NL leaders in all major offensive categories. Ethier is hitting an amazing .392 with 11 HRs, 38 RBIs, and 1.201 OPS.
Although Halladay has the perfect game, the Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez has a no-hitter. On top of Jimenez’s no-hitter is an microscopic 0.88 ERA with 9 wins and 61 strikeouts. Jimenez is sporting some CY Young type stuff in the first two months.
The Chicago Cubs’ struggles can be attributed to many things, but I give the majority of the blame to sluggers Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Their averages are at .237 (Lee) and .166 (Ramirez). Lee and Ramirez have combined for 10 HRs; 19 players have single-handedly hit more by themselves.
Its kind of unfair to do this but the Astros’ Wandy Rodriguez is pitching like he has nothing to play for, probably because he doesn’t. Rodriguez has ace type stuff on the mound, but his 5.37 ERA says otherwise.