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Top Ten Power Rankings 6/28/2010

In Random Rants on June 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

There has been some movement amongst teams the past few weeks and some clubs separating themselves from the pack even more. The Texas Rangers have made the most positive strides the past three weeks which has propelled them extremely high in my rankings while some clubs have been able to maintain consistency throughout their division leading up to the All-Star game.

1.) New York Yankees (47-28) – The A.L. East looks like it will be a tight battle leading up to the All-Star game in Anaheim. The Yankees have been battling with some of the more premier teams throughout baseball and have come out basically unscathed and still atop of the East. They will finish out the month of June against the Mariners and then will face the Blue Jays, Athletics and then complete the first half against the Mariners. Robinson Cano has been the All-star for this club and should be making a trip out west as he leads the Yankees in home-runs, batting average and hits. Alex Rodriguez is still putting up his typical stats as he leads team in RBIs. Their starting rotation is still as dominate as ever with the exception of A.J Burnett who has struggled as he has gone 0-5 since his last victory May 30th against the Indians.

2.) Texas Rangers (46-29)- Definitely the hottest team in baseball in the month of June, it looks like the Rangers have finally figured out how to put a strong winning streak together without a losing streak to follow. Texas has gone 20-5 in the month of June and put an eleven game winning streak together before losing to Houston. With their recent series win over the Astros, the Rangers have once again claimed the Silver boot for the fourth year straight. Also they are tied with the Padres with the biggest lead margin in their division at 4.5 games. Josh Hamilton has probably been the hottest player throughout baseball this month as he has been able to bring his batting average from .289 to .346. Also he is currently riding a 21 game hitting streak. The Rangers also lead the majors in total batting average at .283.

3.) Boston Red Sox ( 46-31) – It looks likes the Red Sox have finally found their stride as they are now in second place in the East. A team that looked too old at the beginning of season to compete has now become the third best team in baseball. Outside of the Blue Jays, Boston have become the new Bronx Bombers as they currently sit second in home-runs at 103. They also have scored the most runs in baseball with 423 and have the most the most doubles at 185. David Ortiz who has been pretty irrelevant all season looks like he has saved himself from being traded as he been a big bat as of lately belting 3 home-runs over a course of nine games. With those three dingers, he now leads the team in home-runs with 16. Clay Buchholz is tied for second in the majors with ten wins while his teammate Jon Lester sits with nine.

4.) San Diego Padres ( 45-30)- I am surprised that the Padres haven’t hit a wall yet and surrender their lead that they have been able to maintain all season. They are the only team in the N.L to have a winning percentage that clips the .600 marks. Like the Texas Rangers, they hold a 4.5 game lead over their division foe. What still shocks me is that the Padres are still not a very good hitting ball club as they sit 26 overall in hitting. They do not score many runs, hardly any home-runs and they have one of the lowest batting average. The one they do prove throughout baseball is with a strong pitching staff, mediocre hitting is enough as of now to carry them to the promise land. They do have a second half to play and with a pitching staff that isn’t filled with an all-star roster, will they be able to maintain this consistency?Their starters by just wins only have two pitchers with eight wins but each with four or more losses. Their not a big strikeout team but somehow can get the important outs.

5.) Atlanta Braves ( 44-32) – The National League East is definitely tighter than I thought it would be with the Braves leading. With three teams within 3.5 games it does make it one of the most exciting divisions to watch. Out of all the teams leading their division the Braves do post the worst road record at 18-24 but have been absolutely dominant at home with a 26-8 record. They are the only club to have less than ten losses at home. They will have two more home series against the Nationals and Marlins before they head on the road to face the Phillies and Mets to close out of the first half. Their series against the Nationals will match up Tim Hudson vs rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg. This team is getting solid production throughout the lineup with no real stud leading the team in stats. Martin Prado does have 108 hits which correlates to his high batting average. Troy Glaus leads the team in home-runs and RBIs.

6.) Tampa Bay Rays (44-31)- Despite reeling the second half of June, the Rays are still one of the better teams in the league. With their recent club house disagreements between Longoria and Upton being squashed, the Rays look to regain their lead in the East. Since their series at the Atlanta Braves, they Rays have only won four games while losing eight. Their bats have gone cold as they have been able to score only 2 or 3 runs a game which is unusual since they are one of the highest scoring teams in the league. David Price has been the best pitcher in the rotation with now 11 wins and only three losses. His 2.44 ERA is the second lowest in the A.L. behind Cliff Lee. Closer Rafael Soriano has eighteen saves and only blown one. Carl Crawford leads the team in batting average and is second overall in the league with 26 steals. Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist have been the other big bats in the lineup and despite Carlos Pena low batting average, he does manage to hit home-runs.

7.) Cincinnati Reds ( 42-34) – The Reds have played typical Reds baseball beating teams they are supposed to and losing to the stronger clubs. They still some how manage to keep playing into extra innings as they boast a 6-2 record. They hold a half a game lead over the Cardinals but are sepereating themselves over the rest of the N.L. Central. Their pitching staff has the highest ERA for teams leading their division which doesn’t bold well for the future. If they make it to the playoffs, they will need to upgrade otherwise they will see an early exit. Much like the Atlanta Braves, there isn’t a stallion that carries the club. Phillips, Votto, Rolen, Gomes and Bruce are all batting above .280 which does make this lineup dangerous. Their starting pitching numbers on paper are not impressive but they are reliable especially in the weak Central. They do have one of the best closers in the league with Francisco Cordero at 20 saves.

8.) Minnesota Twins ( 41-34) – The Twins should be better than their numbers show. They still do lead their division but their lead has slimmed down quite significantly. They are a very hot and cold team and but when the go cold, they basically are stagnant. They do have a pretty high batting average but have hit in the most double plays with 85. Also with a 1015 ground ball outs, they sit with some of the worst teams in the league. Pitching could be better as three of five starters have an ERA over 4.00. Their bullpen is what is really been their backbone as of now. It has been the Justin Morneau show as he has been the team leader for the majority of the season. Joe Mauer and Delmon Young have been pretty solid too but the rest of the team goes on too many hot and cold streaks to maintain any consistency.

9.) New York Mets ( 43-32) – After a terrible May, the Mets have turned in around and have had one of the best months so far this season in June. Only losing six games, the Mets went on an eight game winning streak and did quite well against the A.L. during interleague play. They will face two division leaders before the break, one of them being their division leaders the Atlanta Braves. If they can maintain their winning ways up to the Braves series, they could be leading this division come All-Star week. Despite the Braves having the best home winning percentage, the Mets are the only club to win 28 games at home in the N.L. After a mediocre 2009 season, David Wright looks to be right back on track has he already has surpassed his home-run total from 09 and is only 11 RBIs from tying last year. They are a great base running team as they avoid getting into bad situations. Jose Reyes has 19 stolen bases which places him in the top twenty but has the best ratio in SB/CS. Fielding, the Mets only have committed 36 errors which places them six overall.

10.) Los Angeles Angels ( 43-35) – With the Athletics falling apart, Angels have been able to capitalize and jump into second place in the West. They started off the month of June extremely hot winning seven of ten but have slowed down a bit towards the end. Like most teams in the top ten, the Angels are one of the better hitting clubs. They do not have a great overall batting average but are clutch when they need to be. Pitching  they do not post a very pleasing ERA but due to their key hits, their starting pitchers do manage to notch a good amount of wins. Weaver, Pineiro and Santana all have seven wins or more. Weaver leads the majors in strikeouts at 118 and doesn’t surrender many walks. The line up when clicking can be dangerous and they strike hard too when they do. Any of their players can hit home-runs and they score in bunches. Their upcoming series with the Texas Rangers will be important if they want to try to gain any ground before hosting the All-Star game.

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Lone Star Series

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on June 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Houston will travel to Texas to continue the Lone Star Series. Already down 0-3 in the series, the Astros look to continue their two game win steak as they were able to take 2 of 3. The Texas Rangers have been the hottest team in baseball the past two weeks winning eleven straight and the last 14 of 15. They also sit comfortably atop of the A.L. West by 4.5 games. This series means a lot to both ball clubs as they Rangers would like to maintain the Silver Boot for the fourth straight year. Also if the Rangers can win the series, it will help maintain their lead over the Angels before they head to Angel Stadium in their next series. For the Astros, redemption is obviously in their eyes. A sweep over the Rangers would tie the series for the season and salvage some respect. Houston does sit 4.5 back of the Brewers who have won four straight.

Brian Moehler will take the mound for the Astros as he is still searching for his first win, 0-4. Moehler last outing was versus the Rangers where he only gave up one two runs through six innings. Unfortunately the Astros only salvaged one run and Moehler was notched with his fourth loss. Hunter Pence has been hot as of lately batting over .320 in his last nine games. New catcher Jason Castro will be making his fourth start of the season. Castro was able to go 2 for 3 with a home-run in a 7-5 victory over the Giants.

Texas will have 7-4 Colby Lewis taking the mound for them. Lewis has won his last three starts and has only given up four runs in those three starts. The Rangers offense ranks third overall behind the Red Sox and Yankees. They are tied with the Kansas City Royals with the highest batting average. Josh Hamilton has continued his hot streak has he is now batting .345 which puts him third overall. He also is riding an 18 game hitting streak. During this streak, Hamilton has hit eight home-runs, 24 RBI and helped sky-rocket his batting avg. by .45. Another big bat that will be a concern for Houston is Vladimir Guerrero. He has been the most consistent hitter all season and this has shown as he is second overall in RBIs.

If you were a betting man, putting money on the Rangers to win the series would be a smart thing. I could see them easily sweep the Astros as now they will be at home. If Houston has any shot of taking a game, it will be when Roy Oswalt takes the mound in game 3. Also his performance could determine how hard the Rangers come after him for a trade.

GOAL!

In Random Rants on June 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm

UnStoppAble

What could go down as one of the greatest games in United States soccer history, the Yanks are heading to the round of 16. All the Americans had to do is win and they would be through. It took more than just 90 minutes to accomplish this feat but with Landon Donovan’s goal in the 91st minute, the dream is still alive. A nation full of hope surrounding its locals bars and tvs’ to root on their country as this could change the view of soccer throughout the United States. An early exit could spell disaster for this U.S. squad as question will be asked about players and coaches. Also thousands and even millions of fans could lose hope in the sport they fell in love with the past three weeks.

A win is all that was needed but a tie could work if England and Slovenia tied. Against a squad that just previously tied England, the Americans knew this wasn’t going to be easy. The game started off like most U.S. matches and that was with an early chance for the opposing team to score. Luckily this time, the ball glanced off the top of the goal and all was saved. The United States had opportunity throughout the whole match to put one in the back of the net. Dempsey, Altidore, Gomez, Bradley, Buddle and Bornstein all had chances but couldn’t come through. Than when news came that England had gone up 1-0 on Slovenia, the pressure was really put on. Even a tie wouldn’t put the US through but a victory was needed. Coach Bob Bradley had to take a chance and just load up with strikers leaving the defense vunerable and the coverage wide open. Algeria made they march down the field in stoppage time where they had a great opporutnity to put on in but Tim Howard was in the right spot to stop it. Than just like that with Howard tossing the ball downfield, Landon Donovan took off with the ball. As he reached the box, he passed the ball off to Altidore where then he passed the ball in the middle to Dempsey. Dempsey shot blocked once again but the keeper couldn’t hold onto the ball and it  deflected back into the middle. Than Donovan comes racing through to put the ball back into the net and seal the victory for the Yanks. U.S. fans and supporters all over the world exploded into pandemonium as hugs, high five and cheering spread amongst the world. All the U.S. had to do was hold on. With about 2 min left in stoppage time, Algeria was showing frustrations as Antar Yahia was given a red card after a corner kick and than the celebrations commenced.

The United States has made it through and was waiting to see who their next foe would be from group D. Ghana and Germany were atop of the group and they both faced each other in the last match of their pool play. Also Australia and Serbia faced off and could have an impact if the right team won and enough goals were scored. At the end of the day though, Germany beat Ghana and took first but since Australia didn’t score enough goals over Serbia, Ghana came second. This relieving a lot of Americans as they avoid playing Germany and get to rematch against their 2006 nemesis Ghana. So the stage is set. June 26 at 1:30 PM CT, the United States vs Ghana will become the next biggest match in U.S. history. A win would be epic and could solidify soccer as a serious sport. A loss would but disappointing but soccer would still be alive. Whatever happens, the United States is now on the soccer map.

A Nation Filled With Hidden Passion

In Random Rants on June 22, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Sports fans all over the world recognize how big the World Cup event is. You can be a fan of any other sport but when majority of the world stops to watch their country compete in historic events, than right there you know that the game of soccer is on another level. For the Americans, the game of soccer “futbol” is on the verge of finally breaking through. Many people in this country do not like to admit their admiration for the game because they feel like it isn’t “good” enough for them. We live in a country where baseball is the past time sport but where football is the most popular. Then you have basketball, racing and hockey. There are so many options to choose from and majority of these options when turning pro pay a lot better than the MLS. But with time, the sport of soccer has been growing and at a pretty rapid pace. It seems now where ever you walk you will run into a soccer fanatic and even one that is rooting for the U.S.

Does the world view the Yanks as an everyday threat? Yes, I believe this country has proven itself numerous times that it can compete with the big boys of the world. Does the world view the Yanks as a nation of true soccer supporters? I don’t believe so and this is supported by the the simple fact when it comes to our true compassion, it lies somewhere else. Americans were behind the U.S. hockey national team come the Olympics and the NHL hoped that this would boost interest in the sport. Well ESPN, Fox, ABC and so on couldn’t have been more wrong and disappointed. Would I like to see the sport of hockey grow? Sure, why not? There is nothing wrong with having multiple sports where its popularity and support rises comes when it is time to strap up. You hear people say that soccer isn’t a tough enough sport and that is why they do not root for it. Than why not root for hockey? I mean, the NHL basically promotes itself as the toughest sport out there. That is pretty much proven when about 90% players are missing teeth and have bruised eyes when the game is done.

So than what is the answer for soccer? What needs to be done to make sure this sport doesn’t like dormant for years to come. One huge factor is the success of the United States men team. They are one win away from advancing to the round of 16. A win versus Algeria could do much more than just send them on but help create a solid following around the nation. If people can see that this country has supporters and can compete, than those people will develop a passion for the sport, not matter how small it is. All you need is that one moment in life that can change the way you view things. Soccer is a game of beauty, something that most sports do not have. Yes, we all over high scoring games and people being leveled. It is in our blood, we are American. What soccer brings is those gorgeous passes and fluid movement that can capture our eyes like we have never seen before. Those passes that some how make it through three defenders and create opportunity for that one gracious goal. When we see that ball sneak by the keeper and land in the back of the net, we get a feeling that like no other. It can come in the first five minute or the 89th. The emotion is the same.

We all are not fans of every sport that is played. We all acknowledge though that there is a strong following within this country for that sport. So those that cannot and will not ever enjoy the sport of soccer. That is fine, just realize that it is the worlds most popular sport for a reason. If you can just get by your reasons why you do not like it, just take ten minutes to watch the game, especially if you can watch your country compete. Just be supportive of your nation because they are not just playing for themselves but they are playing for you. They are going out there to try to show not just us but the world that the United States is a legit soccer country.

Astros Update

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on June 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Nothing much has changed since my last post after Houston was swept by the Yankees. They went to Kansas City to face the Royals to drop 2 of 3 and now have started their Lone Star Series against the Texas Rangers by losing the first game. Most ball clubs tend to improve despite how bad they are during the season. There are usually part of the line up that sees promise or even the bull pen. The thing is when I look at the Astros stats and analyze the percentage, Houston hasn’t shown hope.

Carlos Lee started of the season terrible. Batting around .210 for majority of the year, Lee finally snapped out of his slump to bring his average up to .268. Then the last past two weeks, his average has dropped significantly again and now sits a .224. Michael Bourn who was batting over .310 for all of May and into June, now is barely clipping the .250 mark. The return of Lance Berkman helped the Astros go on a winning streak at the beginning of the year but since then, he hasn’t performed to his normal standards. The rest of the line-up basically has the same story with the same sad ending. Maybe the one player that seems to be showing any signs of a quality MLB player is Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger started the season on the bench playing behind Tommy Manzella, Keppinger started getting playing time and has done extremely well considering how terrible the rest of the team has been.

The pitching is a mess. That is all that really needs to honestly be said. Roy wants out and the rest of the rotation needs to be back in the minors. I was hoping Wandy Rodriguez would be really proving himself as a number two ace, but his 3-10 record has proven me wrong. Brett Myers is doing his part but really isn’t a threat when he takes the mound. Paulino had a nice pitching streak over his last five starts before giving up 8 runs in 4.2 innings to the Royals. The bullpen can go and should. The club needs to have a fire house sale and dump everyone. Surprising how negative this all sounds, the Astros are not the worst team in baseball nor the worst team in their division. I am sure they wish All-Star break was the end of their season but maybe there will be some significant adjustments before the second half to make the rest of the season more tolerable.

Despite Recent Sweep, Astros Maintain Fifth Spot

In Houston Astros 2010 Season on June 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Houston rolled up north to visit the New York Yankees and left Yankees Stadium going 0-3. Previously, the Astros were 8-2 and were able to move into fifth place in the N.L. Central. Carlos Lee was coming around and finally showing signs of power blasting four home-runs and bringing his batting average from .240 to .263. Houston were able to go from the worst hitting ball club to the 28th spot. I knew this magical run of theirs would probably come to a halt when they had to travel to New York. I was actually quite impressed by their performance, especially taking 3 of 4 at the Colorado Rockies. I would have liked to see the starting pitchers notch some wins toward their seasonal record but at the same time it was good to see the bullpen put on strong showings.

I wish I was able to catch a couple of the Yankees and Astros games. I knew majority of the games were probably going to be a blow out. Best offense vs the worst offense. Number nine overall pitching vs number 23. The lineups are comparing a varsity squad vs a pop warner team. Even the Yankees reserved would be consistent starters for the Astros. The Astros have way too many AAA and AA players starting on their team that shouldn’t just because they screwed up their farm system.

Ex Houston Astros Andy Pettitte took the mound game one vs Brett Myers. The Yankees came out strong with no surprises scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the first. Great-fully, Houston didn’t crumble and scored two in the top of the second. Myers did settle down going seven innings while surrendering four and striking out five. Pettitte though topped him also pitching 7.1 innings but only giving up three. Chamberlin came in and was able to notch a hold and then Rivera came to get his 15th save of the season. Alex Rodriguez did not play due to injury. The top four in the batting order for the Astros went 0-16 with four strike outs. I was definitely shocked that the Stros’ only gave up four runs. It probably helped that Houston brought in Gustavo Chacin who has been the best reliever in the pen all season.

Game two was a typical Wandy Rodriguez implosion. Eight runs through five innings could send him down to the minors soon. This is his second time to give up eight runs in five innings or less and his fifth time not to last 7 innings without giving up 3 or more runs. New York once again scored in the bottom of the first but the Astros were able to gain the lead scoring one in the second and third. Then the bottom of the fifth, hell broke loose as Posada was able to hit a Grand Slam. Already scoring one in the fifth due to Nick Swisher’s RBI, the Bronx Bombers went up 6-2. It could have stopped there but in the sixth, Jeter hit his second home-run of the night bringing the final score to 9-3. Houston’s top of the order performed better as Jeff Keppinger went 3 of 4 and Carlos Lee drove in the a run. Lance Berkman though still went hitless going 0-4 which brought his series total 0-8 and 0-12 in the past three games.

The final game in the series didn’t look any prettier on paper as the Yankees once again rolled. Brian Moehler is proving why he is not ready to be a starter by not lasting more than 4.2 innings. Even though Phil Hughes was able to extend his record to 9-1, he did struggle giving up 5 runs. Jorge Posada stole the show once again sending his second grand – slam in back to back nights. The Astros were able to cut in the deficit by scoring four runs in the top of the fifth but the Yankees extended their lead by bringing two home in the bottom of the frame. Berkman got a day off due to his struggles.

Houston now continues their A.L. road trip heading to Kansas City then to come home to face the Rangers and Giants. Taking two of three againts the Royals would be much-needed because I could see the Astros going 1-5 after that. Currenlty Houston has a 25-39 record and sit fifth in the Central.

England vs United States

In Uncategorized on June 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

The day has finally arrived. June 12, 2010, the United States and England will face off against each other for the tenth time in history. Unfortunately for the Americans, England holds a 2-7 lead but this game tomorrow could be the biggest in history. The United States enters this game as the clear underdogs but not hopeless. After a stunning performance in the Confederation Cup, the U.S. has shown the world that it can play with the big boys of the soccer world. That is all this squad needs is to get other teams back on its heals as their style of play is very typical American like, aggressive and fast pace. They Yanks will be looking to catch this English squad out-of-place to make their attacks. Unlike most opponents the Americans have faced recently, England comes loaded at all position except for the maybe the most important one the goalie. Even with that hole, England is much more talent and can handle the ball and pass the ball more efficiently than the American squad. The U.S. relies more on its stars rather than its overall depth per game. Overall though, their depth isn’t terrible if they can make it further into the tournament.

The main stars to watch for England’s Wayne Rooney and John Terry. Rooney, who many consider one of the top 3 players in the world will give this mediocre American defensive line fits all game. If the U.S. cannot maintain its defensive pressure and allows a single gap, Rooney will exploit it and most likely put the ball in the back of the net. John Terry is basically the backbone of the England’s defensive. One of the toughest players to maneuver around and seems to always be in the right place at the right time. The one knock on Terry is he is sometimes caught out of position from deep passes which would fit perfectly for the Americans two stars in Donovan and Dempsey. Donovan is basically Team USA. Without his presence, this squad wouldn’t have much to lean on. He can create chances, shoot and even is very

shifty off the ball. He has 42 international career goals for US which is the most out of any player and the most caps. Clint Dempsey, who is a mid fielder is also a scoring threat for the USA. As of lately, he has been one of the main stars on this squad with his smart play and ability to read and slice through defenses.

Sadly for the Americans, most of the action I believe will be down toward Tim Howard. He will definitely have his work cut out for him all day and will need be sharp from the starting whistle to the ending whistle. If the U.S. can steal a ball while England is not set, they have the speed and ball control to move down field in a hurry. The U.S. defense doesn’t need to try to do anything fancy and just get the ball out of their area as much as possible. Rooney will find holes regardless how many players are in the box. I honestly think the U.S. is well prepared for this battle and the final score will end in a draw, 2-2.

Top 10 MLB Rankings 6/7/2010

In Around The League on June 7, 2010 at 11:46 am

Things have really not changed a lot since my last top rankings release. Most of your big name clubs that you expect to be leading are and you are starting to see some cinderella teams emerge. Once again, The Hot Corner has Tampa Bay Rays leading off with most of the same teams in the top ten, just switching spots.

1.) Tampa Bay Rays ( 37-20)- Still the best team in baseball, the Rays have been able to keep a lead in the tight A.L. East. They have struggled since they took the series against the Astros, going 5-8 while dispensing a lot of runs. This could be blamed on the Rays hitting their meat of their May schedule but they havent faired too well starting in June. Their next five series do not show any signs of relief as they will face four teams with winnings records and are contending for first. The hitting hasn’t let up any but the pen isn’t performing as well as they should. They actually boast a far better road record 22-8, than a home record, 15-12.

2.) New York Yankees ( 35-22)- The Bronx Bombers have been playing well but not great. With the Rays not playing any better though, the Yankees have been able to make a ground and tighten the gap between them by two games. After dominating the Twins and Indians, the Yankees have been able to boost their record vs. the Central to 10-7. Their dominance over the Orioles also help close the gap on the Rays, only to fall a game back by losing the series to the Blue Jays. Next NY faces the two worst teams in baseball in the Orioles and Astros. A clean sweep vs. these two ball clubs could propel them into first.

3.) San Diego Padres ( 33-23)- It is still odd to see the Padres in the top 10, neither less the top five. But the boys from the West Coast have been making noise by defeating their tougher opponents. Unfortunately the team they suffered losses to were the Dodgers who have made huge strides to get back into contention. Out of all the teams leading their respected division, the Padres have scored the least amount of runs at 239. Still the same story from three weeks ago, out of all the teams leading their division, the Padres have allowed the fewest amount of runs at 187. With this, they have one of the top positive differentials in the league.

4.) Atlanta Braves ( 33-24) – With the Mets and Phillies playing up and down baseball the past two weeks, the Braves have been able to take advantage. Sitting in third for majority of the season, Atlanta has gone 10-3 in their past four series and are now sitting in first. Martin Prado is still tearing it up has he has 80 hits, 26 more than the next leading guy, Tony Glaus. Rookie sensation Jason Heyward has the highest OBP for a starter and second most HR on the team at 10. Starting pitchers Derek Lowe, Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson are all dominating as they been able to double their win to loss total.

5.) St. Louis Cardinals ( 33-24) – For the past two and half weeks, the Cardinals have been battling it out with the Reds for first place. Now they both sit atop of the N.L. Central tied with about a month and half until All-Star break. The Cardinals hitting isn’t as near as dominate as last year but they are getting solid production from their whole line up. Their number one and two pitchers are still dominating, possibly making them the best 1-2 combo in the Central. Inter-league play is about to kick in as they face the Athletics, Mariners, Blue Jays and Royals. The toughest club as of now will be the Blue Jays and the Athletics could poise problems.

6.) Minnesota Twins ( 33-24) – There are currently five teams boasting a 33-24 record and one of them is the Twins. Minnesota though is the only team out of the A.L. to match this record and maintain a three game lead over the Tigers. Justin Morneau still leads the major with his batting average of .370. He also leads his team in home-runs, RBIs, OBP and hits. He also has 30 more total bases than the next leading candidate , Michael Cuddyer. The Twins starting five are pitching well but not great. They all have pretty inflated ERAs but are able to rack up quality starts.

7.) Boston Red Sox ( 33-25)- Finally the Red Sox look like what many hope to expect. After 20-20 start, Boston has now turned it on and gone 13-5 propelling them into a tie for third and now only 4.5 games back. The Red Sox are tied with the Yankees for runs scored and lead baseball overall in hitting. Jonathan Pabelbon is tied fifth in saves while starting pitcher Clay Buchholz leads the team in wins with 8. After their next series with the Indians, the Red Sox will face five N.L. teams, starting off with the Philadelphia Phillies. Then the next four opponents will all be from the West except the division leading Padres.

8.) Los Angeles Dodgers ( 33-24)– For awhile, it looked like the Dodgers where going to have a very destructive season. Than in the month of May, L.A. went 19-8 and only .5 games back of the Padres. With the return of Andre Ethier, L.A. has been able to keep up their winnings ways in the month of June. Kemp, Etheir and Loney are the big bats as they all lead their respected categories. Their isn’t a real dominated ace right now on the squad but there is enough dominance throughout the order to maintain winning baseball. With Jonathan Broxton dominating the closer roll, this has helped take tax off the bullpen. The rest of June, L.A. possibly has the hardest schedule as they face the Cardinals, Angels, Yankees, Red Sox, Reds and Giants.

9.) Cincinnati Reds ( 33-24) – Not much has changed for the Reds throughout the month of May and into June. Still winning and trying to maintain in first. This teams overall schedule in May wasn’t that tough but June should tell a different story. The Reds should walk out of June with a winning record but could have a pretty big dint in their overall record. The Cardinals, who are currently tied for first with the Reds, have about the same type of schedule. Luckily, most of June is interleague play, so not a lot of ground could be loss but unfortunately, not a lot of ground could be gained.

10.) Toronto Blue Jays ( 33-25) – This team doesn’t seem to go away and they look like they are here to stay. They ended the month of May on a four game winning streak and just took their first series in June against the Yankees. This team doesn’t look fancy on paper but they carry huge bats. Leading the league in home-runs with 97, the Jays are well ahead of the Red Sox who have 79. Their starting pitchers have good records with Ricky Romero leading the squad. Romero is in second behind Tim Lincecum in strikeouts and has pitch the fourth most innings at 85.1. The Jays interleague schedule is pretty tough as they will face two first place teams, two second place teams and then a resilient Rockies squad.

Armando Galarraga’s Perfect Game Ruined

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Trying to become the third pitcher in the 2010 season to toss a perfect game, Armando Galarraga was one out from tossing the 21st perfect game in history. Jason Donald, the number nine hitter in Cleveland’s lineup was the last man to stand in the way of Armando’s perfect game. On a 1-1 count, Donald hit the ball between first and second where 1st baseman Miguel Cabrera was able to snag the ball up and toss it to the covering Galarraga on first. On what looked to be a very close play wasn’t at all. Donald was a full stride behind as the ball reached Gallarga’s glove was called same by Jim Joyce. Boos started to rain down upon the ump and players started to express their feelings. Gallaraga was able to record the next out but 28 batters should have never been able to take stride in the box.

Now the question of instant replay should be used outside of home-run calls. Situations this big should be examined and not ignored. History in the making should never be tampered with despite how pure baseball has been able to maintained throughout the years. With all this being said, Gallaraga should end up with a rare positive asterix next to his name in the history books. As of now, Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay have made 2010 history but we shall not forget Armando Gallaraga.