If you saw my previous article written earlier today, you know that the Red Sox have the best record in baseball. After one month, the Red Sox, Royals and Pirates are all alone in first place, and after Colorado lost two to Arizona this weekend, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are now tied for the division lead. Take that for what it’s worth, we’ve seen it before.
With that in mind, here are some notes from the last week of this great baseball season.
- As mentioned in my Red Sox article, Boston is 14-0 in games that Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Felix Doubront pitch.
- Boston’s schedule through May 30 includes 27 games against the Twins, Blue Jays, White Sox, Indians, Rays and Phillies.
- Red Sox hit 29 doubles in seven games last week (ten more than anyone else).
- After a slow start, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 11-4 against the Cardinals, Reds, Braves and D-Backs.
- The Pirates’ pitching staff, statistically one of the best, is led by A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, and Jeff Locke. Who would have guessed.
- As of Saturday those free-spending Angels, Dodgers and Blue Jays were all under .500 (Dodgers now at 12-12).
- Justin Upton has as many home runs as the Miami Marlins team.
- Saturday was the first time the Braves had lost a game in which Justin Upton had homered. They were 10-0.
- Surprise! Despite all that was written prior to the season about losing Swisher, Ibanez, Martin, A-Rod, Granderson and Teixeira, the Yankees have hit the most home runs in the American League.
- Rays have homered in 14 straight games. They had zero the six games before that.
- Without a doubt, Angels Joe Blanton has been the worst pitcher in baseball. In five starts he has allowed 47 hits (including 18 extra-base hits and four stolen bases) in about 27 innings. Only four individual batters (Bryce Harper, Chris Davis, Justin Upton and Carlos Santana) have a higher OPS than he has allowed.
- A lot of big-time hitters are in serious slumps. Andrew McCutchen was 1-22 (.045) last week, Albert Pujols 3-27, Carlos Gonzalez 2-24, Mike Trout 3-24, and Adam LaRoche 0-24.
- Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista hit a combined 8 home runs in a five-game stretch this week, yet the Blue Jays went 1-4 in those games.
- And now my crusade going after terrible relievers and pitchers who can’t throw strikes:
– Baltimore Orioles had won 17 straight extra-innings games. How did that end? Closer Jim Johnson hits a batter to load the bases and then walks Maicer Izturis, of all people (on four pitches), to lose the game.
– In the same inning, Blue Jays’ Aaron Laffey walked Yankees’ Ben Francisco (backup DH), Chris Stewart (backup catcher) and Jayson Nix (backup third baseman).
– In that game, Blue Jays’ pitchers walked ten Yankees and and Francisco, Stewart, Nix, Ichiro and Brett Gardner accounted for seven of those.
– He didn’t account for all of them, but two of Felix Doubront’s last three games had 15 walks issued by both teams. In Saturday’s game there were eight bases-on-balls in the first two innings. Yawn…
– In a tie game in the seventh inning on Saturday, Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal was pulled after walking a batter. His replacement Joe Kelly threw a wild pitch, hit a batter, then walked in the go-ahead run.
– Cubs Carlos Marmol has walked six batters in his last four innings. On the season he has 10 BB in less than 11 innings pitched. (Do you trust him?)
Players of the Week
Couple of unlikely candidates.
AL: Josh Donaldson. The Athletics third baseman had 12 hits with 7 doubles and 7 walks, and knocked in 10 runs.
NL: Russell Martin. After a dreadful start, Martin (along with all the Pirates) have really picked up. Martin hit .171 the first two weeks and .409 the last two weeks, including four home runs last week leading Pittsburgh on a 4-2 road trip.