Welcome back to the CHEAP.SEATS. walk around the week that was, and is, Major League Baseball. As usual, the lineup reads the full power ranks for each team in the game, followed by Three Up/Down of the news week around that game, and finally leaders and miscellaneous info around the ballparks.
(Division Leaders in Bold)
1.Philadelphia Phillies (same)
2. Boston Red Sox (same)
3. New York Yankees (same)
4. Texas Rangers (same)
5. San Francisco Giants (6)
6. Atlanta Braves (5)
7. Detroit Tigers (8)
8. St. Louis Cardinals (9) (tie)
9. Milwaukee Brewers (7) (tie)
10. Tampa Bay Rays (11)
11. Arizona Diamondbacks (12)
12. Pittsburgh Pirates (13) (tie)
13. Los Angeles Angels (14)
14. Cleveland Indians (10)
15. Cincinnati Reds (16)
16. Toronto Blue Jays (17)
17. New York Mets (15)
18. Chicago White Sox (19)
19. Florida Marlins (20)
20. Washington Nationals (18)
21. Minnesota Twins (22)
22. Colorado Rockies (21)
23. Los Angeles Dodgers (23)
24. Oakland Athletics (25)
25. San Diego Padres (26)
26. Chicago Cubs (29)
27. Kansas City Royals (same)
28. Baltimore Orioles (same)
29. Seattle Mariners (24)
30. Houston Astros (same)
1.Walk with the Giants: On Sunday, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven joined the ranks of the immortals and entered the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Alomar made it on his second year eligible, after coming up a few votes short a year ago (mostly due to a final punishment leveled on him by voters for the spitting incident in 1996. However, Alomar is by many accounts the greatest defensive second baseman ever and became the first player to be inducted into the Hall as a Toronto Blue Jay (but I’ve covered Alomar’s greatness before here).
Blyleven’s path was more travelled. He made it on his 14th year eligible, but deserves it none the less. His 60 shutouts are the ninth most ever, and his 3,701 strikeouts are fifth most in history still.
Former Blue Jays General Manager Pat Gillick, who constructed their Championship teams of the early 90’s as well as the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, was also inducted.
2. Godzilla Lives: The A’s Hideki Matsui hit his 168th career Major League home run this past week. Nothing to be too remarkable, right? Well that 168th home run on North American soil also was his 500th career homer as well, counting the 332 he hit in Japan before joining the Yankees in 2003. He is the first player to accomplish this task via the Japanese and American major baseball leagues combined.
3. From Ashy to Classy: The Pittsburgh Pirates held first place for their own over Tuesday and Wednesday of last week for the first time since 1997. They are still on track to have their first winning record since 1992, when Barry Bonds was still a member of the club in the old six-team National League East when they went 96-66, taking the division by 6 games over the Montreal Expos.
1.M’s Down: Speaking of losing, there is nothing close to the free fall that is happening in Seattle right now. In last week’s Hits and Misses, they were in this section due to prolonged losing streak. Well, a week later they are still here…and still riding the same streak, which has reached 15 games. Yesterday’s loss in Boston set the club record for most consecutive losses, and is the longest losing streak since the 19 game mark the Royals hit in 2005.
2. Shell-shocked: The Padres pasted the Marlins on Tuesday, scoring 13 of their 14 runs for the night in the first two innings. What’s even uglier is that Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco was on the hook for nine of them (all earned) in only 1.1 innings. That gave him a robust 60.75 ERA for the day, and jumped his season total up half a run to 4.08.
3. Glass Cleats: The Indians’ Cinderella story may be coming to close. They enter Monday having fallen two games behind the Tigers in the AL Central and out of first place, and have dropped four games in a row to the two clubs immediately behind them, the White Sox and Twins.
Are they a threat to reach the longest ever? They’ve got a ways to go before they get in that neighborhood. Those “honors” belong to the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies, who took 23 straight L’s and set the modern record in the column along the way.
HITS AND RUNS for Monday, July 25, 2011
Biggest Lead: Philadelphia Phillies, 6 game in NL East
Smallest Lead: Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals & Milwaukee Brewers, tied in the NL Central
Leading Hitter: Jose Reyes, Mets (.353)
Top 3 Sluggers: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays (31), Lance Berkman – Cardinals/Curtis Granderson – Yankees (27)
Most Wins: CC Sabathia, Yankees (14)
Biggest Debut: Desmond Jennings, Rays (July 23rd)
Best/Worst Record: Phillies (64-36; .640%) and Astros (33-68; .327%)