Watch the Mariners
The Mariners are not an awful team; they are just a team that has played awful to this point in the season. In April, they were a mediocre 11-12 and in May, they were a miserable 8-19. That is why I suspect that they will have a good month of June. While I look for some teams to have a June Swoon (hello, Oakland, Toronto and San Diego), this team has already stunk out the joint and I suspect that their talent will right the ship this month.
It started in good fashion last night as they topped the Twins, 7-1. They had another good start from Jason Vargas (4-2) who, over seven innings, gave up six hits, walked three and struck out two and lowered his earned-run average to 2.92. It was his eighth quality start of the season. Nick Blackburn (6-2), who was 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA in May for Minnesota, took the loss.
The Mariner bats are showing some signs of progressing to the mean. Jose Lopez is hitting .400 over an eight-game hitting streak and has raised his average to .239. He had 25 homers last season; last night he hit his third. Chone Figgins doubled, walked, stole a base and is hitting .308 over his past 14 games to raise his average from .182 to .217. Ichiro had three hits.
Up next, the Twins have to face the M’s dynamic mound duo who thus far this season have seen less than stellar results. Since Cliff Lee has returned from the DL at the start of the season, the Mariners are 3-3 in his starts. More shockingly, the Mariners have dropped seven in a row with King Felix Hernandez on the mound. I don’t expect these negative results to continue.
Watch for the Mariners in June.
Braves win their seventh straight
Troy Glaus hit a three-run homer as the Atlanta Braves extended their lead to 1.5 games in the NL East with a 7-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Glaus had an NL-leading 28 RBI in May.
Tim Hudson (6-1) threw six innings for his fifth straight win. He has a 2.30 ERA. He also has a five game hitting streak and is hitting .286.
Double your pleasure
The Boston Red Sox spotted the Oakland A’s as Jon Lackey struggled again, but then came back with nine runs to give Lackey (6-3) a 9-4 victory. Victor Martinez, who has been red-hot of late, had five hits including four doubles. V-Mart is now hitting .279 since garnering multiple hits six times in nine games since May 18 when he was hitting .227.
Lackey gave up four runs on 12 hits and four walks and struck out two. Boston has won their three straight and 8 of 10. Manny Delcarmen pitched a hitless inning Opponents are hitting .128 against Delcarmen, which is best among AL relievers.
It’s about time
Bob Watson, the vice president in charge of discipline, rules and on-field operations for MLB, says umpire Bill Hohn will be addressed “in a very stern way” after quickly ejecting Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt on Monday and Oswalt will not be penalized further.
After missing the strike zone, Oswalt had looked toward the first base line and yelled berating himself. Hohn took off his mask and yelled at Oswalt, who responded, “I ain’t talking to you!” Hohn then ejected Oswalt.
My hope is that umpire Joe West has had a call from Watson as well.
West was peripherally involved in another confrontation last night in Toronto that resulted in Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon getting ejected. With the Blue Jays up 5-3 in the 9th, the Rays had runners on first and third and Carlos Pena at the plate. Pena was called out on a third strike looking after he was denied a timeout call by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Pena said he sensed Toronto pitcher Kevin Gregg speeding up his delivery when he realized what was happening.
Maddon came out to argue and was ejected by Hernandez and then argued with crew chief Joe West at third base. West earlier this season spoke out about the length of time of Red Sox/Yankee games.
Complete Baseball Encyclopedia from Lee Sinins
In 2009, Joe Mauer became only the 3rd player in AL history to win back to back batting titles, one year being below the league average in HR, the next year being above. Who were the other two? Who was the only player, other than Mickey Mantle, to lead AL switch hitters in HR in a season between 1952-68? Who were the only 2 players to lead the league in HR, despite having an OPS below the league average?
The answers to these questions, and so many more, are contained in the new edition of the encyclopedia. Place your order today.
Indians 3, Tigers 2, Jake Westbrook (3-3) picks up the win. Look for teams to bidding on him as the trade deadline approaches.
Yankees 3, Orioles 1, Javier Vasquez allowed four hits and one run in seven innings and has lowered his ERA from 9.78 to 6.06.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 6, Tampa Bay scored four in the top of the 9th for the win. Tampa Bay has won seven of its last nine road games.
Rangers 9, White Sox 6, Mark Buehrle is now 3-6.
Royals 6, Angels 3, Joel Pineiro is now 3-6.
Red Sox 9, A’s 4
Mariners 7, Twins 1
Pirates 3, Cubs 2, Pirates improved to 7-1 against the Cubs this season.
Marlins 6, Brewers 4, Trevor Hoffman (1-4) allowed three runs in one inning, leaving him with an 11.65 ERA.
Mets 4, Padres 2, Mike Pelfrey (8-1) allowed one run on four hits in eight innings and lowered his earned run average to 2.39.
Rockies 2, Giants 1 (11), the Giants can’t hit.
Braves 7, Phillies 3
Astros 8, Nationals 7
Reds 9, Cardinals 8
Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0 (10)
On this date
In 1941, Lou Gehrig died at age 37 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. For more information about ALS.
Indians (Fausto Carmona) at Tigers (Armando Galarraga), 7:05
Orioles (Brad Bergesen) at Yankees (Phil Hughes), 7:05
Rays (David Price) at Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum), 7:07
A’s (Ben Sheets) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka), 7:10
Rangers (Scott Feldman) at White Sox (Gavin Floyd), 8:10
Angels (Scott Kazmir) at Royals (Kyle Davies), 8:10
Twins (Kevin Slowey) at Mariners (Cliff Lee), 10:10
Phillies (Kyle Kendrick) at Braves (Derek Lowe), 1:05
Diamondbacks (Edwin Jackson) at Dodgers (Carlos Monasterios), 3:10
Mets (Johan Santana) at Padres (Clayton Richard), 6:35
Cubs (Carlos Zambrano) at Pirates (Zach Duke), 7:05
Brewers (Yovani Gallardo) at Marlins (Chris Volstad), 7:10
Nationals (John Lannan) at Astros (Wandy Rodriguez), 8:05
Reds (Sam LeCure) at Cardinals (Chris Carpenter), 8:15
Rockies (Jeff Francis) at Giants (Matt Cain), 10:15
To three old Yankee infielders
Jerry Lumpe, 77
Gene Michael, 72
Horace Clarke, 70
Check out Tyler Kepner in the NY Times. Kepner is consistently a good writer and his piece today on the success of the Reds due to the leadership of Scott Rolen makes you wonder who is the leader of your favorite team?
Meanwhile, last night, Rolen homered twice and doubled and drove home four as the Reds topped the Cardinals, 9-8. Joey Votto homered and had four hits.
The Reds led the majors in hits (301), average (.299) and slugging percentage (.507) in May, and led the NL in homers (45), RBIs (160) and on-base percentage (.366) while going 18-11. I like this team a lot and even more after reading the Kepner piece.
Arizona picked up Dontrelle Willis in a trade that sent pitcher Billy Buckner to Detroit. Willis is penciled in to make his D-Backs debut on Saturday against Colorado at Chase Field.
I Love Walkoffs
The Washington Strasburgs had scored two runs in the top of the 9th to take a 6-5 lead over the Hapless Astros which made a Lance Berkman two-outs walkoff single with the bases loaded off NL saves leader Matt Capps so delicious, I think I gained weight.
Capps (0-2) leads the league with 17 saves and had only blown one opportunity. Berkman finished with five RBI. He’s reached base safely by walk or hit in 21 of his last 22 games.
I Love Walkoffs
Congrats to Matt Kemp who hit his first career walkoff home run to give the Dodgers a 1-0 10-inning victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers have won 17 of 22 while the D-Backs have lost nine straight.
Juan Gutierrez (0-5) extended Arizona’s streak to 12 consecutive games in which the pitching staff has allowed a home run.