MLB HITS and MISSES – August 8th Edition

Posted: August 8, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
Tags: , , , , , ,

Welcome back to the CHEAP SEATS week that was around the MLB. The lineup is the same as the weeks before, so if you’re familiar stay comfortable. If you’re not, start getting warmed up, because this is everything that baseball was and is headed into the second week of August.

 

Some distance is getting made from the pack in a few cases such as in Philly, Boston, Atlanta and New York. The East on both sides of the game looks pretty safe to have two reps in the Playoffs this year once more. However, the other four division’s races are just heating up, especially in the National League Central where a 3 game difference will be brought into three game series in St. Louis this week.

 

This top 1o could look quite different this time next week, but for now here’s how it shakes and the division leaders are in bold and wild card reps get the “+”.

 

Cano and the Yanks have bettered nearly every AL squad so far, except the one directly above them

1. Philadelphia Phillies (same)

2. Boston Red Sox (same)

3. + New York Yankees (same) +

4. Milwaukee Brewers (6)

5. + Atlanta Braves (same)

6. Texas Rangers (4)

7. San Francisco Giants (same)

8. Arizona D’Backs (9)

9. Detroit Tigers (10)

10. St. Louis Cardinals (11)

11. Los Angeles Angels (8)

12. Tampa Bay Rays (same)

13. Cleveland Indians (16)

14. Toronto Blue Jays (same)

15. Chicago White Sox (19)

16. New York Mets (13)

17. Cincinnati Reds (same)

18. Florida Marlins (same)

19. Washington Nationals (21)

20. Pittsburgh Pirates (15)

21. Colorado Rockies (20)

22. Los Angeles Dodgers (23)

23. San Diego Padres (25)

24. Minnesota Twins (22)

25. Oakland A’s (24)

26. Chicago Cubs (27)

27. Kansas City Royals (26)

28. Seattle Mariners (29)

29. Baltimore Orioles (28)

30. Houston Astros (same)

THREE UP

 1. The Prodigal Son Has Returned: Last summer all that was heard was the in-depth word on every single pitch the Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg tossed. He was popping the gun at 100 miles per hour with little effort, and there were times when it seemed like batter were fortunate to just make contact over getting hits (92 strikeouts in his first 68 big league innings). He was on an unstoppable train of momentum until he shredded his elbow up and Tommy John surgery effectively killed all buzz for at least a year.

 

Arm injuries are scary, especially to top pick, once in a generation-level talent, but now the crisis seems to be averted, as Stras made his first trip to a mound in over a  year, although that mound was in Hagerstown, Maryland and only consisted of 31 pitches over not even two full innings. But he was back up to 98 mph and is showing form to make a few starts in Washington this year a reality.

 

Young could be on the way to becoming the most understated member of a prestigious group.

2. Quiet 2K: Very few hitters in the game have put together a more quietly impressive resume than Michael Young. The amicable Rangers’ DH topped the 2000 hit mark in his 10th season, and could be a very real candidate to be the most surprising member of the 3,000 hit club eventually. He has five seasons of at least 200 hits, and his only year under 150 was his rookie year. He doesn’t miss time; he’s suited up in at least 150 games in all but two seasons. Remember when Craig Biggio somehow just ran up on 3,000 hits out of nowhere and is now Hall-bound in a few summers? This could easily be a remix of that song right here happening in Texas.

 

3. Brave’s New World: Dan Uggla was looking like the biggest bust of any move made to boost a contender this season consistently throughout the first half. However, the only thing that resembles him from then to now is the name on the jersey, because he’s on another planet right now. While the 28 game hitting streak he’s on is getting the headlines, his overall production is what is really driving the Braves towards locking up the Wild Card berth with little competition. Coming into Monday he’s hitting .352 in the 2nd half, after heading into the All-Star break at .185. Add in his 9 home runs and 21 RBI in the last 3 weeks and it doesn’t take many fingers to name the guys that have been as good as him recently.

THREE DOWN

 

1. Clipped: Cinderella has broke the glass slipper and stepped in the glass. After holding down first place for their own just a bit over two weeks ago, the Bucs have slid all the way into fourth place in the National League Central and are approaching Mariner-levels in the losing streak world. Sunday marked their 10th straight L and dropped them 10 games out the picture for what would’ve been one of the most surprising division wins in many, many years.

 

2. Watch the Throne: Pittsburgh has stumbled in their attempt to go from the outhouse to the penthouse, but out West the dream still lives due to the champs potentially falling victim to their own tricks. The Giants pulled a hijacking of sorts when they came back from behind to take the NL West and riding that momentum all way to October. By dropping eight of their last ten games with the Diamondbacks sitting in great shape just a half game behind them.

 

3. The Soprano Life: Apparently, Alex Rodriguez won’t be disciplined by Major League Baseball for his participation in some high stakes poker games, with some potentially questionable figures/activities going on. Which is good, because with the Yanks not engaging in the trade deadline to boost their production they need the rehabbing A-Rod to be back in pinstripes much sooner than later if they intend to finish their recent rise back to challenging the Red Sox for beast of the East.

 

The safe money is that this isn't the game face the Yankees want A-Rod to return with.

HITS AND RUNS – August 8, 2011

Biggest Lead: Phillies – 8.5 games, NL East

Smallest Lead: Giants – .5 game, NL West

Biggest Bats by side: Adrian Gonzalez – Red Sox (.348), Jose Reyes – Mets (.336)

Top 3 Yard Workers: Jose Bautista – Blue Jays (33), Mark Teixeira – Yankees (32), Curtis Granderson – Yankees/Lance Berkman – Cardinals (28)

Big Winners: CC Sabathia – Yankees/Justin Verlander – Tigers (16)

Top Stoppers: Brian Wilson – Giants/Craig Kimbrel – Braves (34)

Biggest Debut: Brett Lawrie – Blue Jays

 

 

For more on the day to day race around the sack (take that as you will), follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan and @STLSport360

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