Hi again, Everybody. I had a friend of mine tell me yesterday that I must watch more out-of-town baseball than anyone he knows and I think he's right. I get the mlb.tv package and I spend a lot of time watching games. So, with that in mind, here's everything I know about Baseball as of April 28, 2010...
The Tigers are a disappointment. I know a lot of you thought they'd be a .500 team this year and it looks like a lot of you are right. I thought they'd be better. I thought they'd contend for the AL Central title (and to be fair they still might, we're only 21 games in and they play 162) because I thought they'd be able to pitch. So far they haven't. Detroit's starters have the worst ERA in the AL (5.56) and their bullpen has pitched more innings (72.2) than any other team in the league. What's saved the 11-10 Tigers from getting off to a much, much worse start, is that that oft-called-upon bullpen has posted a 2.48 ERA. Only Minnesota's relief pitchers (2.33 ERA) have been better. It was a tough loss last night as Detroit lost to the division-leading Twins without allowing Minnesota an earned run.
I've sort of adopted the Washington Nationals. I went to a game in their ballpark when the family was in D.C. for Spring Break (Nationals Park is really nice--10x or so better than Comerica Park) and have, for some reason, been keeping my eye on them ever since. They're not bad. They're a game over .500 and play some exciting ball. The Nats as they are called, are tied for the MLB lead with 23 steals (Detroit has 6) and have a fun-to-watch centerfielder named Nyjer Morgan who already has 5 triples. Turns out Morgan was 10th in the NL in hitting last year (.307) something I would not have know had I not been knocking around the internet.
The Dodgers are lousy, the Giants are not. LA, 8-12, tied for the worst record in the NL, leads the Majors in errors while San Fran, 12-8, leads the NL West--or are at least tied for the lead with the San Diego Padres. (I have no earthly explanation as to why the Padres, 20 games out of first last year, have gotten off to a 12-8 start this year.) I have been watching the Giants and they look pretty good to me. They had a hiccup last week when, after starting the season 7-2, they dropped 5 of 6 in a road trip to Los Angeles and San Diego. They've won 4 of their last 5 since, taking two of three at home against the Cardinals and two straight against the defending NL Champion Phillies heading into the series finale at Pac Bell Park this afternoon. The player they love over there is third baseman Pablo Sandoval. He's called "the Ku Fu Panda" and fans have taken to dressing up as Pandas at Giants home games, which seems fun. Sandoval leads the NL with a .372 batting average which also seems fun.
Milwaukee's Trevor Hoffman is in deep trouble. The all-time saves leader (594) all of a sudden looks like he might not make it to 600. Hoffman blew his 3rd save of the season last night--he's 3/6 in save situations this year--by giving up two homers in the 9th inning in Pittsburgh's 7-3 win, including the 1st grand slam anyone's ever hit off him. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hoffman had faced he most batters in bases-loaded situtions (135) without giving up a granny of any active pitcher in the majors until last night. Hoffman's ERA is 13-and-a-half and he's allowed 5 home runs in 8 innings of work this year. Last season, he worked 54 innings and gave up 2. As an aside, Pittsburgh had lost 22 straight games in Milwaukee, the second-longest losing streak by one team on the road against an opponent in the history of baseball.
Well, it turns out there is more I know, but that's going to do it for now. (I can watch the Cubs on TV and 3-4 other games on the computer right now, so I have to go.)
The Wings surprised and impressed last night and now get the Sharks, and we'll share some thoughts on that shortly. I have to tell you, I was worried when the Wings outshot Phoenix 17-6 in the first period last night and there was still no score as I was thinking about Washington getting 50+ shots on the Montreal net the night before and scoring only once and losing, but it all turned out just fine. How many times to you see as series where the road team wins five of the seven games? Not often, I'm guessing, but that was the story of round one for the Red Wings. And don't forget Washington-Montreal tonight. They play Game 7 as Canadiens, the #8 seed in the East, go for the upset of the top-seeded Caps.