Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-6-2

6/2/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

Billy-Ball – From the diamond to your desktop…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Monday, June 2, 2008

Top of the 1st
FIRST OBSERVATIONS
As we will do on the first day of every month during the season is take a quick look at the big picture as reflected in the standings.

June 1, 2008 American League
EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA
Tampa Bay 34 22 .607 – 23-10 11-12 253 225
Boston 34 24 .586 1 21-5 13-19 290 251
Toronto 31 27 .534 4 15-11 16-16 235 206
NY Yankees 28 27 .509 5.5 14-12 14-15 249 252
Baltimore 26 28 .481 7 16-10 10-18 220 236

* Every team in the AL East has a winning record at home, but none better than the Sox, 21-5. The three best home records in the American League are Boston, Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The Jays are the only East team at the .500 mark on the road. The Sox have won 10 straight at home and have four series sweeps..
* Believe it or not the Rays success is because they are so strong against the other teams in their division, going 21-12 so far this season. All the other teams are below .500 intra-divisionally.
* The Red Sox and Jays feast against the Central, while the Yankees are 9-11 vs. the AL Central after having a 30-11 record against them in 2007.
* The Yanks 6-0 record against the West is really only 6-0 against the Mariners.
* The Rays are 5-1 vs. the Jays and were 19-10 in May. Only the Blue Jays at 20-10 had a better month in the majors.
* The Rays have been in first place or tied for first 19 days this season, four more than their combined total for their first 10 seasons. In addition, Tampa Bay has been over .500 for 36 consecutive days and 40 total on the season, both club records. They had never been more than four games over at any point in their history entering this season.
* Last year at this point, the Devil Rays were 22-29.
* The Rays are 8-7 in one-run games but 10-2 in two-run games.
* Boston is 7-2 against lefties. The Yanks have face an AL-high 20 games against lefty starters going 9-11 but have won five of their last seven.
* Boston is 5-2 against Detroit.
* The Sox have 15 come-from-behind victories this season.
* The Red Sox were 16-12 in May. They were 20-8 in May 2007.
* The Sox led the league with 37 May homers. Big Papi tied Josh Hamilton for the AL May lead with 8 homers
* The Sox bullpen has inherited 86 runners and allowed 27 of them to score. Hideki Okajima has allowed 11 of 14 and Manny Delcarmen, 8 of 17.
* The Blue Jays were 20-10 in May. It’s a long, long, road, just five teams in the majors have winning records away from their own friendly confines and it may come as a shock to know that the Blue Jays, who have been a collective 53 games under .500 in the four previous seasons, are the sixth at .500.
* Tampa Bay was 19-10 in May.
* The Yankees have won 8 of 10 and are 8-3 since A-Rod came off the DL
* The Blue Jays starters lead the AL in complete games, innings pitched and strikeouts. Their bullpen ranks first in the majors in ERA.
* The O’s are 6-1 vs. the M’s.
* The O’s have come from two runs or more behind to win 12 times this year.
* The Orioles are 12-8 in one-run games this year after going 13-31 in 2007.
* In their 26 wins this season, the Orioles have scored 162 runs (6.23 runs per game). In their 28 losses, the O’s have scored 61 runs (2.18 runs per game).
* The Jays are 4-0 against the White Sox and 4-2 against the Red Sox.

CENTRAL W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA
Chicago Sox 30 25 .545 – 13-9 17-16 238 202
Minnesota 28 27 .509 2 16-14 12-13 256 268
Cleveland 25 30 .455 5 16-16 9-14 225 210
Detroit 23 32 .418 7 12-14 11-18 261 279
Kansas City 22 34 .393 8.5 11-16 11-18 201 259

* The White Sox are 14-8 in their division while the Twins are a strong 18-9. The Royals are 11-11 intra-divisionally.
* The ChiSox are 6-3 against the Tribe.
* The White Sox have been in first place for 41 days this season. Chicago has used 36 different lineups this season. They went 16-12 in May after going 12-14 in May, 2007.
* Minnesota has gone 7-2 against the Royals, but the Royals are 6-0 against Detroit.
* The Twins hit .273 in May after hitting .260 in March/April. They were 15-13 in May. They still don’t have a home run from the catcher or left fielder’s positions.
* The Indians were 12-15 in May producing back-to-back losing records in consecutive months (13-15 in April) for the first time since June/July last year.
* The Indians offense ranks last in the AL in average (.234) and are 1-22 when trailing after 8 innings.
* The Tigers have been shut out nine times this season. They have a 1-29 record when scoring four runs or less. Detroit starters have a 5.05 ERA and their bullpen has a 4.23 ERA.
* The Royals were 10-19 in May. The Royals only have 13 homers out of their 3-4-5 slots this season.

WEST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA
LA Angels 33 24 .579 – 17-13 16-11 241 237
Oakland 29 27 .518 3.5 17-13 12-14 241 210
Texas 29 28 .509 4 14-11 15-17 300 308
Seattle 21 35 .375 11.5 14-15 7-20 226 283

* The Angels were 15-13 in May. Dating back to last season, the Halos have spent 225 of a possible 242 days in first place. The Angels are 16-9 against the Central Division. Los Angeles is 10-2 against lefties. The only team the Angels have a losing record with is Tampa Bay, 0-3.
* Texas is 6-2 against Oakland. Texas was 19-10 in May, the most ever for the club in May and the most wins in any month for Texas, since going 19-9 in June,1983. The Rangers have won 7 of 10, 16 of 24, 20 of 30, and 22 of its last 34 games and the they led the league with 170 runs.
* The A’s were 12-15 in May but have been over .500 for 54 days; this matches their season total from all of last season.
* The A’s stole 18 bases in May. The only time in the last 10 years that the A’s stole more bases in one month was in August of 2001.
* Oakland only has 36 home runs for the season, no grand-slams, no-pinch homers, no lead-off homers, and non back-to-back homers.
* The Mariners, who finished May 8-20, have a losing record at home, on the road, against each division against righties, against lefties, but have a 2-1 interleague record. The Mariners have held a lead at some point in 14 of their 35 losses. May was the Mariners eighth 20-loss month in club history. Their last 20-loss month prior to May was June, 1998. This year they established a May club record for losses with 20.

June 1, 2008 National League
EAST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA
Florida 31 23 .574 – 18-12 13-11 264 257
Philadelphia 32 25 .561 .5 17-12 15-13 308 247
Atlanta 29 27 .518 3 22-7 7-20 265 212
NY Mets 27 27 .500 4 16-11 11-16 259 254
Washington 24 33 .421 8.5 13-15 11-18 217 268

* Florida is 8-1 against the Nationals.
* The Marlins with have 79 dingers. Last season, the Marlins hit a club-record 201 homers and are on pace for 237 homers. Florida hit 43 home runs in May, most in the majors and most-ever in club history in any month. The previous club mark for homers in a month was 41, July 2006. The only other time the team hit 40 homers in a month was Aug. 2007 when they hit 40.
* The Marlins have 16 comeback wins but are 1-20 when trailing after 7 innings.
* The Phils have come from two runs or more behind to win 12 times this year.
* The Phils were 17-12 in May, 15-13 last May.
* The Phillies have 38 stolen bases and have only been caught 6 times, an 86.4% stolen base rate which is the best in the majors. They also lead the majors with 83 homers.
* Atlanta is 7-2 against the Mets.
* The Mets are 13-7 against lefty starters.
* The Braves have the best home record in the National League. They rank second in the majors with a .307 home batting average and rank fourth with a 3.12 home ERA. On the other hand, Atlanta’s 7-20 record on the road is the worst in the NL and tied for the worst in the majors with Seattle. The Braves have averaged nearly two more runs per game at home (5.6) than on the road (3.8) this season. They are 2-16 in one run decisions.
* Atlanta has grounded into 57 double plays on the year – tops in the NL
* The Mets were 13-15 in May.
* The Nationals went 13-16 in May and have a losing record at home, on the road and against each division, but are 5-3 against the Braves and 3-1 against Pittsburgh. The Nationals committed just 13 errors in May and ranked 2nd in the NL with a .988 fielding percentage. The Padres also posted a .988 fielding percentage but had more total chances. The Nats are 20-0 when leading after seven, but 0-28 when trailing after eight.

CENTRAL W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA
Chicago Cubs 35 21 .625 – 25-8 10-13 319 229
St. Louis 33 24 .579 2.5 20-12 13-12 259 239
Houston 30 27 .526 5.5 15-9 15-18 266 269
Milwaukee 28 28 .500 7 15-10 13-18 238 261
Cincinnati 27 29 .482 8 18-10 9-19 256 278
Pittsburgh 26 29 .473 8.5 15-11 11-18 276 300

* This is the first time since 1908 the Cubs have entered June 1 with the best record in baseball. This was Chicago’s first winning May since going 14-13 in 2005. The 18 wins were their most since 1987. The Cubs are showing great balance with a .600 record against righties and a .667 against lefties. Chicago is 13-2 against the West. The Cubs are 9-3 vs. the Pirates and 4-1 against Colorado. The Cubs, Astros, and Phils all have 17 come from behind wins, the most in the NL. The Cubs 25-8 start at home is its best since going 25-8 to begin the 1977 home schedule (the last Cubs team to start 26-8 was the 1918 team). The Cubs lead the majors with a .389 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage and a .310 batting average at home. They hit 32 homers in May. Through 56 games last season, the Cubbies were 24-32.
* The Cardinals are 6-3 against the Astros.
* Houston has played 33 of its first 57 games away from Houston. Houston was 17-11 (.607) during May. The Astros had not had a winning record during the month of May since 2003 (18-12). They are 8-10-1 in their 19 series this season. Don’t come late to an Astros game, they have scored 45 runs in the 1st inning, their most in any inning, and has allowed its most runs in the 1st with 52.
* The Brewers were 13-16 in May but are 15-10 at home this season, including 4-3-2 in series. The Brewers went 51-30 at home last season, including 17-8-1 in series play, when they had the best home record in the NL.
* The Reds are 18-10 at home this season, they have seven walk-off wins this season, the most in the majors. The Reds are 6-2-2 in home series and are 2-6-1 in their nine road series. Cincinnati pitchers lead with 456 strikeouts and 8.17 Ks per nine innings.
* The Pirates are 5-2 vs. the Braves. The Bucs had a 24-31 record after 55 games last year. The Pirates posted a winning record in the month of May (15-13) for the first time since going 15-13 during the 2005 season.

WEST W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA
Arizona 31 25 .554 – 20-12 11-13 282 234
LA Dodgers 27 28 .491 3.5 15-11 12-17 248 236
San Francisco 23 33 .411 8 11-17 12-16 214 265
San Diego 23 34 .404 8.5 13-15 10-19 207 267
Colorado 20 36 .357 11 12-14 8-22 237 309

* The D-backs were 11-17 in May, their first losing month since September of 2006, when they went 12-15. The last time the D-backs lost at least 17 games in a month was August of 2006, when they went 10-18. Arizona is 20-8 in their division. The D-backs have been in sole possession of first place in the National League West since April 7, a streak of 50 straight games. The D-backs have hit 21 triples this season, leading the majors. Arizona has only scored 8 runs in 9th inning while giving up 23.
* The Dodgers were 13-15 in May. L.A. has 14 comeback wins this season and nine wins in their last at bat. They are 15-10 when they score first. They lead the NL with 62 steals.
* The Giants finished May 13-17 and are 12-12 in one-run games and has had 13 games decided in their last at bat (6-7). The Giants are 16-11 when they score first SF is 3rd in circuit with 429 strikeouts and is 3rd with 7.65 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. The Giants are second in the NL with 52 steals.
* San Diego went 12-17 in May. The Padres have 10 come from behind wins and are 15-10 when scoring first. Their starters are 16-21 with a 4.12 ERA and relievers are 7-13 with a 4.20 ERA and 11 saves.
* The Rockies finished May with an overall record of 9-19 (8-8 at home and 1-11 on the road), tied for the second-fewest amount of wins in the month of May in franchise history (also 9 wins in 2005). They hit .264 (249-for-943) in the month, 8th-best in the N.L. and the pitching staff posted a 5.67 ERA (246.0 ip, 155 er), the highest figure of any team in the majors. Colorado is 7-20 in their division. Colorado is 1-8 vs. Arizona and 1-5 against the Dodgers. The Rox have lost their last 11 straight games on the road and have gone just 2-17 in their last 19 road games.

Top of the 2nd
FINALLY SOME GOOD METS NEWS
Willie Randolph and company can finally look at themselves in the mirror this morning. The team won their fifth of six, beating the Dodgers last night, 3-2. Johan Santana (7-3) won his 100th major league game. Ryan Church returned from a concussion with three hits, including a two-run homer. Carlos Beltr