The Windup (cont.)
Player of the Week
With much of the Braves' lineup hurt, slow-starting Mark Teixeira has taken the load on himself and carried it well. In his last seven games, starting with a three-homer game against the Mariners on June 22, the Braves' first baseman has cranked six home runs and driven in 11, hitting .429 in the stretch. Last weekend, he had a homer in each of the first two games against the Blue Jays. So Sunday, with Atlanta's Chipper Jones out of the lineup for the eighth straight game, Toronto got smart and walked Teixeira three times, twice intentionally. The Braves lost, 1-0.
Team of the Week
During their 10-game winning streak, which ended with a loss to the Brewers on Saturday, the upstart Twins hit .309 and averaged 6.3 runs a game. But manager Ron Gardenhire was quick to point out that the real strength of his team during the run was the pitching staff, which gave up only 2.5 runs a game in the stretch -- though it has to be pointed out that nine of those games were against the Nationals, the skidding Diamondbacks and the Padres. Still, just to prove Gardy's point, after losing to Milwaukee on Saturday, the Twins started a new streak Sunday against the Brewers with a complete-game three-hit shutout from Kevin Slowey.
Lines of the Week
Matt Garza, TB vs. FLA, June 26
9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K
The only hit allowed was a homer to Hanley Ramirez in the seventh; Garza was throwing 96 mph in the ninth inning.
Carlos Delgado, NYM at NYY, June 27
3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 1 K, 9 RBI
Delgado hit a two-run double, a three-run homer and a grand slam off three different pitchers.
Quote of the Week
''It's a great win. No win's embarrassing.''
-- Third baseman Blake DeWitt, after his Dodgers beat the Angels on Saturday night, 1-0, despite getting no-hit by a pair of pitchers. The run scored on a couple of errors and a sacrifice fly.
Series to Watch
The Cubs, still with the best record in the National League, are hitting a rough patch. They've lost five of their last six games, including a three-game sweep by the crosstown White Sox over the weekend. This week, the Cubs head out on the road -- OK, further out on the road -- with a trip that ends in a three-game series in St. Louis. The Cardinals, 2 1/2 games back in the NL Central, finally return home after a stretch of 24 games in which 18 were away from Busch Stadium. The Cards are one of only two NL teams (the Phillies are the other) that have a winning record both home and away.
Matchup to Watch
Delmon Young maybe hasn't been quite what Twins fans expected. But the former Tampa Bay outfielder, landed in an offseason trade for infielder Jason Bartlett and starter Matt Garza, is starting to hit better (.325 in June) and has begun to show at least a little bit of power. Sunday, Young cranked his second homer of the year in a win over Milwaukee. Next weekend, he'll get another crack at the Indians (.059 lifetime against them). For the Twins to keep the pressure on in the AL Central, Young's going to have to continue to improve.