We’re just a month into the season and we’re starting to see our surprise teams: The Detroit Tigers. The Colorado Rockies. And the Cincinnati Reds. While it may be too early to tell, the NL West just might be a skosh better than the NL East. Among the respectable teams from last year that need to get their act together: The San Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins, both at 9-15.
If there was any question about Albert Pujols as the premiere hitter in baseball or the Red Sox’ rotation, they are no longer asked by sane men.
Now to see what the blogs are saying:
• Bonds is in the mood for a Slurpee — he hits No. 711. — Mays Field
• Patience, young Jedi: Jeff Francoeur, in 98 at-bats, has not walked this season. Still hitting pretty well, though. — MLB Rumors Clearinghouse
• A pitching matchup of Chien-Ming Wang and Seth McClung? Yeah, go for the ’80s reference by all means. Everybody Wang McClung tonight! – Baseball Crank
• Jeffrey Maier is a good sport by playing himself in his own anti-fan movie. – Blogcritics | Dan’s Take
• On Wednesday, the Yankees walked 14 times, the D-Rays reached base 12 times. Still, the D-Rays won. – Baseball Musings
• Alex Rodriguez, um, must really love that bat. — Deadspin | YouTube
• And you thought Bronson Arroyo was cast off to the Reds to wallow in mediocrity. He’s 4-0. – Red Reporter
The Nine Most Wanted:
(Stats from April 24-30)
C: Johnny Estrada, Diamondbacks: 7-for-14 (.500), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1.286 OPS
1B: Ben Broussard, Indians: 10-for-16 (.625), 4 HR, 13 RBI, 2.085 OPS
2B: Brian Roberts, Orioles: 7-for-19 (.368), 0 HR, 3 RBI, .883 OPS
SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees: 11-for-24 (.458), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1.260 OPS
3B: Bill Hall, Brewers: 7-for-14 (.500), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1.676 OPS
LF: Pat Burrell, Phillies: 10-for-24 (.417), 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1.158 OPS
CF: Johnny Damon, Yankees: 9-for-21 (.429), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1.361 OPS
RF: Moises Alou, Giants: 12-for-24 (.500), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 1.455 OPS
DH: Kevin Mench, Rangers: 10-for-23 (.435), 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1.397 OPS
Ace: Chris Capuano, Brewers: 2-0, 16 IP, 1 ER (0.56 ERA), 0.56 WHIP, 12 K
Second: Mike Mussina, Yankees: 2-0, 12 IP, 2 ER (1.50 ERA), 1.08 WHIP, 14 K
Third: Jeff Suppan, Cardinals: 2-0, 13 IP, 2 ER (1.38 ERA), 0.85 WHIP, 6 K
Fourth: Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks: 2-0, 16 IP, 3 ER (1.69 ERA), 0.75 WHIP, 9 K
Fifth: Kenny Rogers, Tigers: 1-1, 15 IP, 2 ER (1.20 ERA), 0.67 WHIP, 7 K
Billy Wagner, Mets: 3-for-3 saves, 4 IP, 0 ER (0.00 ERA), 1.25 WHIP, 7 K
Detroit Tigers (4-2): Homer pick? Indeed, they lost two of three at Los Angeles but they not only swept the Twins in Minneapolis, they picked them up by the feet and swung them around St. Paul, outscoring them 33-1 in a three-game series.
The week in MLB, as always, is brought to you in 1000 words or less guaranteed. Look for it every Tuesday. Except next Tuesday. I’ll be off next Tuesday. So look next next Tuesday.