Results tagged ‘ Home Run ’
It’s hard to believe but the 2013 MLB regular season is almost over. (Today marks exactly one month until the final games of the season, on September 29th.) Teams are making their final push for the post season, and every player is doing their best to finish out the season strong. With all of this going on, I thought I’d post an entry on the five main story lines I plan to keep an eye on throughout the final stretch.
American League Home Run Race
It’s a two-man race, between the Orioles’ Chris Davis and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, for who will receive the title of 2013 home run champion. But more importantly for Cabrera, he’s not just chasing down Davis for that title alone; Cabrera is trying to do what no one in the history of the game has ever been able to do: Win back-to-back Triple Crowns.
Davis currently holds a four home run lead over Cabrera (who is day-to-day, after suffering an injury in Thursday’s game) — Cabrera leads all of baseball in batting average and RBI’s — and with a mere month left of the season, it’s going to take a real display of power for Cabrera to overtake Davis. But if anyone can do it, Miguel Cabrera can.
Candidates for Rookie of the Year Award
The Rookie of the Year award is going to be a difficult award to decide, for both the American League and National League. Both leagues have several players that have strong cases, so it’s going to be interesting to see which player will have a great final month to move themselves above the rest.
Currently, top candidates from the American League, for the R.O.Y. award, include Wil Myers, Chris Archer and David Lough, while the National League has quite a few more top candidates, in Yasiel Puig, Matt Adams, Nolan Arenado, Jedd Gyorko, Evan Gattis, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jose Fernandez and Shelby Miller, among others. Making this a story line well worth watching.
National League Central Division
The National League Central is currently the closest of all the divisions in Major League Baseball. Less than four games separate the top three teams, being the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds. (This is the first season in 21 years that the Pirates will finish with a winning record.) With the Diamondback’s slowly falling out of the race to catch up — though there’s still a slight chance they could — it would appear to be between these three teams for who will win the division.
No matter which team is able to hold on in the final month of the season, to win the division, all three are likely to make the post season, with the extra Wild Card spot, that was added last season.
Max Scherzer’s Cy Young Quest
Of all of the great pitchers in the American League none have been as dominant throughout the entire season as Max Scherzer. Having gone 19-1 — only the third pitcher to ever start a season winning 19 out of their first 20 decisions — with a 2.90 ERA, Scherzer is well on his way to winning the Cy Young award, if he can keep up the great performance.
Though I think Yu Darvish will get a lot of consideration for the award — rightfully so, currently sitting at 12-5, with a 2.68 ERA, leading all of baseball in strikeouts — the award is currently Scherzer’s to lose, in the minds of many around the baseball world.
Houston Astros’ Loss Record
With 30 games left to play, the Houston Astros hold a win-loss record of 44-88 — the worst record in all of baseball. They currently sit 33.5 games out of first place in their division, and look to have a losing record for the fifth straight season. Having lost 107 games in 2012, and 106 in 2011, it will be interesting to see if the Astros can finish with fewer than 100 losses this season.
They’ll have to go 19-11, in their final 30 games, which isn’t impossible, but with it being the Astros, it’s not all that likely. It should be interesting to see if the Astros can at least finish out the year on a high note, after yet another disappointing season.
What’re you looking forward to? Leave a comment below.
Miguel Cabrera has been on fire all season long, but lately he’s been producing at an absurd rate. In his last 10 games, Cabrera has gone 15-41 (.366 average), with three home runs and thirteen RBI’s. An incredible performance, without question, but even with all of this recent success, in his chase for a second straight Triple Crown Cabrera is still short in one major category: Home Runs.
The one person standing in Cabrera’s way of doing something that has never been done in MLB history — winning back-to-back Triple Crowns — is the Orioles’ Chris Davis, who currently holds a four homer lead over Cabrera.
But there’s still a month of baseball left to be played, in which Cabrera could easily catch up.
Leading all of baseball in RBI’s, with 128, and batting average, at .360, Cabrera is well on his way to winning yet another Triple Crown award, if he can harness his power in the coming weeks.
Regardless of whether or not the hot-hitting Cabrera can win back-to-back Triple Crowns, it’s still very likely that he’ll do something nearly as impressive: Win back-to-back MVP awards.
But just as one of baseball’s biggest stars is heating up, another has had his season stopped in its tracks.
Mets Ace, Matt Harvey, received the unfortunate news on Monday afternoon that he has a partially torn UCL in his right elbow, after undergoing an MRI. While there’s still the chance that Harvey won’t need surgery, the Mets are taking a great deal of caution by shutting down Harvey for the remainder of the season.
“There is some swelling in the forearm; may be some in the elbow”, said Mets’ general manager, Sandy Alderson, in a news conference. “He’s had forearm issues for some time that have been treated….[Harvey’s been] getting preventive elbow treatment since Spring Training.”
“[We’re] not going to do anything to jeopardize Matt’s future with the Mets. [We] wouldn’t expect him to pitch the rest of the season….By no means is this a career ending injury.”
According to Matt Harvey, who has gone 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA this season, the arm soreness has been going on for some time, however, it was at its worst after his most recent start on Saturday, when he gave up a career high thirteen hits–prompting Harvey to get an MRI.
“It was something I felt like I could pitch through and schedule treatment on”, said Harvey. “When I heard the news, I was pretty shocked….I’m still very optimistic. I’m going to do everything I can so I don’t have to get surgery….I’m going to do whatever I can to prepare for next year.”
While Harvey was scheduled to be shut down later this season anyway, once he hit his innings limit, this is still a major disappointment for both Harvey and the Mets. Though they were out of things, playoff wise, Harvey is the type of guy fans love to come out to watch pitch.
But more importantly, this injury doesn’t just end Harvey’s season, it also ends his case for 2013 National League Cy Young. A true shame after the great season Harvey has been able to put together.
The decision by the Royals to not call up Wil Myers towards the end of last season, in which he batted .314, with 37 home runs and 109 RBI’s, left many people scratching their head. Then, after an offseason trade that sent Myers to the Rays, many expected Myers to get moved to the big league club fairly quickly, especially with the great spring training he had. But once again, it didn’t happen. Myers was sent to Triple-A Durham, where he spent 65 games, before finally receiving the call that everyone has been waiting for.
After five seasons in the minor leagues, Wil Myers is going to the majors.
Pulled from Sunday’s Durham Bulls game, after doubling in the first inning, Myers is set to make his major league debut on Tuesday, up at Fenway Park, against the Red Sox. Myers truly left the Rays no choice but to bring him up, as he began to heat up over the past couple of weeks. After a short slump, Myers has been a hitting machine as of late, quickly increasing what started out as subpar numbers, by his standards, up to 14 homers and 58 RBI’s, this season at Triple-A. After the recent success, it will be interesting to see if Myers’ hot streak will continue into the majors.
But Rays manager, Joe Maddon, isn’t too concerned with Myers making a flawless transition, saying, “You’re not going to hear a lot of the high expectations coming from this particular desk or this chair. I want him to play. I want him to be a Ray. I want him to run hard to first base. I want him to try to do the right things on the field, continue to work on his defense, try to improve his baserunning.”
Many feel Myers will do all of that, and much more.
Myers is set to take over the right field position, wearing the number nine for the Rays, and is going to bat towards the bottom of the order, at least for now. As is to be expected when a player of Myers’ caliber is promoted to the big leagues–arguably the most hyped hitting prospect to reach the majors since Bryce Harper–nearly everyone is making their predictions as to how they feel Myers will perform. Having seen him play in five games this season, I have a fairly bold opinion as to how he will fare.
I may be placing the bar a bit too high for Myers, but I could easily see him hitting a home run in his first major league game. After all, the green monster at Fenway is nothing new to him, as the Bulls have a blue monster, and therefore, Myers is used to the challenge that comes along with the towering left field wall. But wall or no wall, there’s really no ballpark that can contain Myers’ power. The rare combination of the ability to hit for power AND average, as well as the skill to take the ball to all parts of the field, make Myers a very special player.
Wil Myers should become a major impact player for the Rays for many years to come.
The forecast for this game was rain; and rain it did–up until around 5:00, when I left for Durham, NC. Luckily, when I arrived to the ballpark at around 5:45, the dry spell continued, and I was able to grab a spot near the front of the line without having to get soaked.
Gate 1 already had tons of people lined up behind it when I arrived, so I headed over to Gate 2. Behind Gates 1 and 2 there were two lines (normally four) in which you could enter the ballpark, and just my luck, I picked the wrong one. The lady that was scanning tickets had no idea what she was doing. Heck, she couldn’t even figure out how to get the gate open, as she had to wave down an orange shirt employee to come help her out. (As you can kind of see in the left portion of this photo posted by the Durham Bulls):
I was able to cut my way into the other line, but it really didn’t help. I was stuck outside Gate 2, as people filed in through Gate 1.
All I could do was watch as dozens of people entered the ballpark–many of which I assumed were headed down to the dugouts (just like I was planning to do) to get autographs. Finally–after what seemed like an eternity of waiting–I made my way into the ballpark and down to the extremely crowded Pawtucket Red Sox dugout.
Going into this game I had made the decision that I wanted to go for autos from Pawtucket Red Sox’ players such as Danny Valencia, Bryce Brentz, etc., instead of Reno Aces standouts like Trevor Bauer, A.J. Pollock, etc. Unfortunately for me Danny Valencia didn’t sign, and Bryce Brentz signed for everyone BUT me. Meanwhile, I watched as the entire Reno Aces team (or so it seemed) signed for everyone who wanted an autograph.
It was one of those days.
After it became evident that I had failed in getting autos from the players I wanted, I made my first logical decision of the day. I knew American Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery was going to be throwing out the first pitch, so I made my way over to the Reno Aces dugout where I predicted he would come out from. Sure enough, after a few minutes of waiting, Scotty emerged from the clubhouse:
McCreery then proceeded to make his way out to the mound to throw out the first pitch:
The starting pitchers for both teams–Trevor Bauer, for the Aces, and Nelson Figueroa, for the Red Sox–had both been great so far in the post season…:
…but in the end only one could be crowned Triple-A National Champions. It was going to come down to which lineup performed better on this particular day, as you had to figure the pitching was going to be stellar.
My view at the start of the game (from my ticketed seat) was this:
Did you notice how empty the outfield seats were in the picture above? Well, the desire to snag a home run ball got the better of me, as this soon became my view:
Check out the view to my left (1) , right (2) , and behind me (3):
I sat out there for a few innings, but around the 6th inning it began to rain so I headed back to my original seat (which happened to sheltered). On my way back I was surprised at how many people were making their way towards the exits. I mean, come on. I realize the Red Sox were getting killed—the rain didn’t make it any better–but this was the Triple-A National Championship. How could you leave early?! I don’t get it.
By the time the ninth inning rolled around there weren’t that many people left:
Soon after taking that picture I decided to move down a little closer to the field. My view of the final out (and the victory celebration by the Reno Aces) came from the first base side of the ballpark…:
…but my view of the trophy presentation came from the third base side:
I want to take a second to say congrats to the Reno Aces. They were extremely impressive in their 10-3 victory. I had a feeling that they would come out on top–as they had top prospect Trevor Bauer on the mound, backed by an impressive lineup–but anytime you go up against a team that had gone 6-1 in the playoffs up to that point, you never really know what the outcome may be.
As stated in my last blog entry, this was my final baseball game of the year. This is not, however, my last blog entry of the year by any means. There’s still a couple weeks left in MLB’s regualr season, followed by the play offs, and the World Series, so I’ll have plenty to blog about in the weeks/months to come….
I decided to do something a little different today. Instead of blogging about the latest news, or my opinion on something, I decided just do an entry on home run milestones.
Below you’ll find a bulleted list of the home run milestones that *should* occur in 2012. I say should because there’s no guarantee that any given player on the list will reach the milestone; they could get injured, have a bad season, or whatever.
In order to make the list, the player had to meet the following criteria:
You can’t be a pitcher. Although there are some pitchers that can hit home runs, you won’t find any on my list. Reason being is that they’re not everyday players.
You have to have hit at least one home run in the Major Leagues. There are around 50 players going into 2012 that haven’t hit an MLB home run, but adding them to the below list just didn’t make sense.
You have to be closing in on an even milestone, like 100, 200, 300, etc. I din’t include anyone that’s a few homers away from number 50, 75, 125, etc. It just didn’t seem necessary.*
The list is organized by player name–team–milestone they’re going for–and how many home runs they are from that particular milestone:
2012 Home Run Milestones
Geoff Blum, Diamondbacks–Home Run number 100 (1 home run away)
Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks–Home Run number 100 (2 home runs away)
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners–Home Run number 100 (5 home runs away)
Mark Ellis, Dodgers–Home Run number 100 (8 home runs away)
Kelly Johnson, Blue Jays–Home Run number 100 (8 home runs away)
Justin Upton, Diamondbacks–Home Run number 100 (9 home runs away)
B.J. Upton, Rays–Home Run number 100 (10 home runs away)
Orlando Hudson, Padres–Home Run number 100 (10 home runs away)
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies–Home Run number 100 (23 home runs away)
Adam Jones, Orioles–Home Run number 100 (25 home runs away)
Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox–Home Run number 200 (5 home runs away)
Dan Uggla, Braves–Home Run number 200 (10 home runs away)
Travis Hafner, Indians–Home Run number 200 (11 home runs away)
Chase Utley, Phillies–Home Run number 200 (12 home runs away)
Justin Morneau, Twins–Home Run number 200 (15 home runs away)
Nick Swisher, Yankees–Home Run number 200 (15 home runs away)
David Wright, Mets–Home Run number 200 (17 home runs away)
Curtis Granderson, Yankees–Home Run number 200 (33 home runs away)
Jose Bautsta, Blue Jays–Home Run number 200 (44 home runs away)
Ryan Howard, Phillies–Home Run number 300 (14 home runs away)
Bobby Abreu, Angels–Home Run number 300 (16 home runs away)
Torii Hunter, Angels–Home Run number 300 (19 home runs away)
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers–Home Run number 300 (23 home runs away)
Paul Konerko, White Sox–Home Run number 400 (4 home runs away)
David Ortiz, Red Sox–Home Run number 400 (22 home runs away)
Jim Thome, Phillies–Home Run #610 to pass Sammy Sosa (6 HR’s away)
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees–Home Run #631 to pass Ken Griffey Jr. (2 HR’s away)
I don’t know whether or not you noticed the asterisk on criteria number three, but I did it because Jim Thome and Alex Rodriguez don’t meet the criteria of having to be going for an even number such as 100, or 200. Thome and A-rod were included in the list just for the fact that they’ve hit SO many home runs that they’re going for milestone home runs such as passing the games greats.
Whether or not you found the above information useful, I hope you at least found it enjoyable to read. I’m planning on doing a stats blog entry the first day of every month during the season, of the leaders of different categories from month to month. Similar to the one I did last season. So be looking out for that starting May 1st.
I apologize for being lazy and not blogging for nearly two weeks. I couldn’t seem to motivate myself to type one up, but I’m back now, and ready to go. Look for at least three blog entries a week starting Monday.
The Rangers went into last night’s game with their backs against the wall. A loss would give the Cardinal’s a chance to win the World Series in the very next game. While a win would at least guarantee a trip back to St. Louis. As Kevin Millar said, on yesterday’s episode of ‘Intentional Talk’, “It’s as close to a must win as it gets.”
On the mound for the Rangers in this game was their young lefty, Derek Holland. Holland, who’s had his good games and bad games in the past, would have to pitch the best game of his life to keep the hot Cardinal bats from scoring in the early innings. He got off to a good start in the first, as he set down the first three batters, 1-2-3, including a strikeout of Allen Craig.
Moving on to the bottom of the first, the Cardinal’s had Edwin Jackson as their pitcher. His last start didn’t go as planned, and thus he was looking for a little bit of redemption in this game. But things didn’t go as planned again, as after a single by Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton hit a double down the right field line, allowing Andrus to score all the way from first. The score was 1-0, Rangers, just like that.
Moving onto the bottom of the sixth inning, Edwin Jackson found himself in a bit of a jam, after walking the second two batters of the inning. Tony LaRussa had seen enough, as he made the call to the bullpen to bring in Mitchell Boggs. Things didn’t turn out as LaRussa had wished, as the first pitch thrown by Boggs was crushed by Mike Napoli over the left field wall. With that home run, Napoli became the first catcher to hit two homers in a Series since Mike Piazza of the Mets in 2000. The score now had the Rangers leading 4-0. With Holland pitching the way he was, you could pretty much feel that the game was as good as over.
Derek Holland, as mentioned earlier, had to pitch the game of his life in order for the Rangers to have a chance at winning. Well, not only did he pitch the game of his life , but he still had a shutout going into the ninth inning. Could he hold on for the complete game shutout? That’s the question everyone, including Ranger’s manager Ron Washington, was asking themselves. Everyone was on the edge of their seat in anticipation. Holland retired the first batter of the inning on a groundout. Then after walking the next batter, Washington felt that Holland’s night was over, as he makes the trip out to the mound. You can tell by the look on Derek’s face that he wanted nothing more than to stay in the game, but Washington wouldn’t hear of it, as he called in Neftali Feliz to shut things down. That he did. Final score 4-0, Rangers. The series is now tied at two games a piece.