Ken Griffey Jr. is third in the NL All-Star voting for the outfield and about 120,000 votes ahead of fourth place Matt Holliday. He has been an All-Star thirteen times, but has only been on the team three times in this century. He had a much better season last year, but this season, he is not even the best on his team in homers, RBI's and batting average.
Nate McLouth of the Pittsburgh Pirates is 11th in the voting, yet he is second in the league in hits behind Ryan Braun, who is only 10th in voting. Griffey Jr. is 25th in hits, yet is far ahead of McLouth and Braun in voting. Braun also leads the outfielders in homers (16), while Griffey Jr. has 6. Carlos Lee has 47 RBI's, while Griffey Jr. has only 27.
Aaron Rowand is leading NL outfielders who have had at least 200 at-bats with a .328 batting average, yet isn't even listed in the top 15 in All-Star voting. Griffey Jr. is listed 51st in batting average at mlb.com, yet he is 3rd in All Star voting. The sad part is that players like Braun and McLouth may miss a chance of being on the All-Star team because fans are voting for a sentimental favorite like Griffey who is having an non-All Star season.
It is surprising that so many Cubs are near the top in all the position voting. Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome lead in the outfield voting. I can't understand why voters would give Fukudome over 552,000 votes, while Braun has received over 304,000 votes.
I can understand Geovany Soto leading the catchers in votes since he is leading NL catchers in homers and RBI's but Benjie Molina is only one RBI behind Soto, and is leading NL catchers in batting with a .328 average yet is not even in the Top 5 in voting. Even Chris Snyder, who is hitting .262 received more votes than Molina.
Right now, there will be three Cubs in the starting lineup with Soto, Soriano, and Fukudome far ahead in the voting. Utley leads in votes with over 847,000 votes cast for him.
Dan Uggla should not be 4th in voting for second base behind Mark DeRosa and Kazuo Matsui. Matsui has one homer and 12 RBI's, while Uggla has 18 homers and 41 RBI's, yet Matsui is ahead of Uggla and may prevent Uggla from making the team.
The problem with All-Star voting is that too often voters vote on name recognition and what a player has done in the past rather than what they are doing in the current season. Let us hope voters come to their senses before the balloting is finished.
Justin Duchscherer would be leading the American League in ERA with his 2.32 mark, but he is 6 innings short of qualifying for the title. A pitcher has to pitch as many innings as the number of games the team has played and with the team playing 60 games he only has 54 innings.
The Boston Red Sox won without David Ortiz, and it looks like Coco Crisp will be playing regularly until Ortiz returns with Manny Ramirez being the DH. Crisp made a hard slide into second base during the game that didn't sit well with manager Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays or with the ESPN announcers in the booth. Crisp said it was payback for Jason Bartlett injuring his thumb with his knee in front of second base, but Akinori Iwamura was the one who received the payback when Crisp slid hard into him later in the game.
Mike Mussina (9-4) continued to make his case for being on the 2008 AL All-Star team, as he won his 9th game, tying him with Cliff Lee and Joe Saunders for the AL lead in that category. It was the 8th win for Mussina in his last 9 starts. Six Yankees have more RBI's than Alex Rodriguez, who has only 23.
Cleveland Indians' Cliff Lee (9-1) didn't have his best stuff, allowing 6 runs and 9 hits in 5 innings, but he still came away with the win since his counterpart Sidney Ponson pitched just as badly and Elizardo Ramirez, making his first appearance of the season, pitched even worse than Ponson, giving up 9 runs and 8 hits in 2 2/3 innings giving him an ERA of 30.37. He may have written his ticket back to the Minors with that shoddy relief work. His Major League record now stands at 4-15 with a 6.40 ERA, so he may have made his first and last appearance of the season on the same day.
The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox battled for 15 innings until Paul Konerko hit a two run walkoff homer in the bottom of the 15th inning. Alex Gordon and Orlando Cabrera went 0-for-7 in the contest.
Tom Glavine (2-2) was the victim of shoddy bullpen work and didn't receive a decision instead of posting his third win of the season. Manny Acosta gave up two run homers in the 9th inning to Mike Rabelo and Hanley Ramirez to seal the loss for the Atlanta Braves.
Manny Parra (4-2) took the win over Micah Owings (6-4), as Owings had his second consecutive bad outing. In his last nine innings encompassing his last two starts, Owings has allowed 11 runs and 16 hits. Gabe Kapler continued to hit well for the Milwaukee Brewers with a 4-for-5 game, raising his average to .330. Corey Hart drove in four runs and Ryan Braun drove in two runs giving him 46 RBI's for the season. On this date last season Braun, had only 6 RBI's, yet still had 97 RBI's last season. The Brewers are the hottest team in baseball with a 6 game winning streak.
Aaron Cook (8-3) took the win in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw (0-1) took the loss. Kershaw only allowed 2 runs in 5 innings but the Dodger offense could only muster 6 singles in the game.
John Maine (6-4) allowed one run in 6 innings to pitch the Mets to a 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants. Matt Cain (2-4) took the loss and his record combined with that of Barry Zito's (1-9) is 3-13 for the season. Last year, Cain was 7-16 and Zito was 11-13 for a combined 18-29 record. In the last two years, including 2008, Cain is 9-20 and Zito is 12-22 for a combined 21-42 record in 2007 and 2008.
Edinson Volquez (8-2) overshadowed Brett Myers (3-7), who pitched his best game of the season, allowing one run and one hit in 7 1/3 innings. Volquez is two wins short of leading in all of the NL Triple Crown for all three pitcher categories. He currently has 8 wins, which is two behind Brandon Webb, who has 10 wins, and has a Major League leading ERA of 1.32, with Tim Lincecum next in the Majors with a 2.23 ERA and Volquez also leads in strikeouts with 91 which leads Josh Beckett with 80 strikeouts. In his last three seasons, with the Texas Rangers he had a 3-11 record. In his first two seasons with the Rangers, he allowed an astronomical 77 hits in 44 innings, while in 2008, he has allowed only 49 hits in 75 innings.
Zach Duke (3-4) took the win for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as they defeated the Houston Astros 5-2. Roy Oswalt (4-6) took the loss, and his ERA of this season is 5.38 so far, which is pretty bad compared to his 3.18 ERA last season. Oswalt lost his 6th game last season on July 14th. Worst of all, the loss came on a day when the Cubs lost so the Astros, lost a chance to move closer to the Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals, and the loss enabled the Brewers to pass them in the standings as the Brewers moved into third place.
It was a vintage Greg Maddux game last night in San Diego when he pitched 7 innings while allowing only one run and three hits, as the San Diego Padres ended the Cubs' winning streak at nine with a 2-1 win.