Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Surprise, surprise

Since we're nearly halfway through the baseball season and things have solidified themselves from being 'hot starts' or 'Yeah but it's only May' to actual trends for the season, I figured I would comment on some of the surprises so far this season.

NOTE: All stats are as of Monday afternoon.

In no particular order.

Colorado Rockies: At the end of April I wrote 'when your best starting pitcher is Jason Hirsch, your closer is Brian Fuentes, and your pitching staff includes Byung-Hyun Kim I don't have much hope for you'. Kim is now gone and Fuentes is fourth in the NL with 20 saves. But the biggest shock is the blossoming of Kaz Matsui. Remember that Mets bust second baseman? Him. His hitting .308, with an OPS over .800. Where did this come from? Guy looked totally lost in New York. At 38-37, they aren't a juggernaut, but they are in a weak division and kicked the Sox asses in Fenway. Lot to like about this team.

Chicago White Sox: An offensive force the last two years, this team ranks dead last in nearly every offensive category in the AL. What the hell is going on? They're currently 29-42, 14.5 out of first, and on the verge of being broken up so they can start over. Never saw an entire team slump all at once before and it isn't pretty.

Pop quiz, Hot Shot. When you think of the worst team in the AL East, what's the first team that comes to mind? You all just thought Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but it's actually....

Baltimore Orioles: First team to fire their manager, too. This team went south in a hurry and they looked atrocious doing it. Still have some raw pitching gems with Cabrera and Bedard, but they don't seem to be improving.

Sammy Sosa: Be honest, who saw this coming? I thought Texas signing him was more of a publicity stunt than anything else. Two years ago he was given up for dead. After spending a year out of the game, he's come back to hit 13 homer with 59 RBIs and it isn't even the end of June. Try not to fall out of your chairs, but he may even represent the Rangers in the All Star game.

Seattle Mariners: I gave up on these guys in May. They looked horrible and King Felix went down with an bizzare injury and nobody knew when, or if, he would be back. So I ignored them for a bit and next thing I know they're 39-33 and keeping their heads above water in the AL West race against a smoking hot Angels team. Honestly, I have no idea how their doing it. At one point they won 5 - count 'em 5 - straight games in their last at bat.

Washington Nationals: I considered putting them here and joking that they're not as horrible as I thought they would be, but then I looked at the standings. Did you know they're only ten games out? TEN! And the Mets, Phillies and Braves are in the same division. I'm filing them and the Mariners under the 'What the fuck?' section.

Chris Young: Besides throwing an impressive looking punch at Derek Lee's head last week, check out these numbers: 90.2 innings - 2.08 ERA - 81 strikeouts - 35 walks. Did I mention he's a 6 foot 10 lefty and pitches behind Jake Peavy?

San Fransico Giants: If I were a Giants fan and held season tickets, I would be suing for my money back. What a joke. They basically sold their soul to the devil (in this case Bonds) in order to put asses in the seats. They suck in so many different ways, I don't even know where to begin. Bond only hits home runs or walks now. Nobody can hit behind him so more and more teams are just putting him on first and taking their chances with everyone else. Zito is the first pitcher in history to have his ERA go UP in the National League. Their one bright spot is Linecum who's been shelled his last three starts and has his ERA balloon to 5.88, worst on the team.

Joe Torre: I was giving him the benefit of the doubt until I saw him use Roger Clemens in relief against the Giants. Normally, this would have been understandable IF IT WAS THE WORLD SERIES!! This is a meaningless game in the middle of June and he's using his most expensive starting pitcher in relief? Has he completely lost it? Was he trying to show everyone what a team player Clemens really is? I'm still trying to figure out what is more amazing - that Torre called on Clemens or that Clemens was actually with the team at the time. My secret theory is that Torre hates Cashman and is trying to get him fired by pulling these boneheaded moves. I'd also like to see if Clemens develops some sort of injury the next week or so.

Today's distraction: Check out the Padre's pitching stats. Amazing team ERA of 3.02. Yeah, they play in that huge park, but that only explains half of it.


French said...

Kaz Matsui is a small market player. He's Julio Lugo, basically. And he blew the game for them last night, by the way...I know your stats were as of yesterday, though.

BeachBum said...

I have a response to this, but I think it deserves it's own entry. Check in soon.