Miguel Tejada leads the majors with a .425 average (break out the Ted Williams stories!), topping a Baltimore team that ranks second only to the Indians in runs scored. (Sharp-eyed PRs fans may notice that the O's have played more games; never mind that.) If Leo Mazzone could only get the pitchers to throw strikes (88 walks, tops in the league), we would all feel a lot better.
After two straight losses to the Royals -- my God, the ignominy -- I could pick on a lot of guys. But let's just stick with Aaron Boone. As the Indians stumbled to four losses in their past seven games, Boone was 4 for 21 (.190) with a homer and four RBIs. They have to be better than that. They can't lose series to the Royals.
"He doesn't like to admit that he's 42 years old," former Yanks pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said of Randy Johnson in the New York Daily News. "Not that he'll be tired, but he's going to feel his age from time to time." The Unit was shelled by the Jays last Tuesday, but on Sunday he checked the Orioles on three hits over eight innings. Mel knows.
Closer Francisco Cordero is all over the place -- the Rangers had to pull him from a game earlier in the week -- but Texas still jumped 11 spots in the PRs after a 5-1 week. "I'd rather win than be aesthetically pleasing," manager Buck Showalter said. Hey, Skip, nobody said you couldn't do both.
GM J.P. Ricciardi's worst nightmare -- I'm assuming that, 'cause I don't want to know otherwise -- is playing itself out. Starter A.J. Burnett will see noted surgeon James Andrews early this week about the soreness in his throwing elbow, an ominous sign if ever there was one. Yes, Toronto can pound the ball. But if the Jays don't steady their rotation, it will be just another year behind the Yankees and Red Sox in the American League East.
Sunday's win against the Giants gave the Rockies their third winning series of the season, a 4-5 record in their recent homestand and a share of first place in the NL West. I'm not sure the Rockies can actually feel good about any of that. But in that division, you take what you can get.
When the hitting's not going, the pitching is holding up the Braves. When the pitching is rotten -- and it has been -- the hitting comes around. "Apparently the rule right now is one or the other has to [stink]," first baseman Adam LaRoche told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "That's how we're going to stay fresh for the stretch drive." It's a theory.
It's not every week you see five homers in one inning -- Bill Hall, Damian Miller, Brady Clark, J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder all went deep in the fourth inning of last Saturday's game against the Reds -- and still have to drop a team this far in the PRs. But too many more weeks like this 2-5 one and you can kiss that winning season bye-bye.
Remember when the Twins knew how to pitch? Their starters now have a 6.98 ERA, worst in the majors. They have trailed in every game this season. The White Sox just swept them. But a state government committee has approved a new ballpark. A full vote (and probable approval) is expected this week. Hey, if lousy pitching was all it took, why didn't they do it sooner?
It was another so-so week for the Dodgers in a so-so season in another so-so NL West so-called race. "You can't play .500 baseball for six months," starter Derek Lowe said the other day, "and expect to have a chance." So, Derek, have you been paying attention for the past year or so?