Wednesday, September 17, 2014
|(Photo By Cliff Welch)|
|(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)|
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
|Before (L) and After (R)|
First base—Steve Pearce, Orioles. While he's moved around the diamond a bit this year, he is now—with Chris Davis' suspension—the de facto first baseman for the division-leading Birds. Pearce has played in 95 games, hitting .294 with 17 HRs and a .373 OBP. His OPS is an amazing .907 and his WAR is 5.5.
Second base—Howie Kendrick, Angels. While Robinson Cano and Jose Altuve get most of the attention at second base, Kendrick is quietly having another very good season. Kendrick is hitting .292 with 71 RBIs. He has a 5.0 WAR.
Shortstop—Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals. The 32-year old Peralta has been a steady force for the Redbirds this year, hitting .264 with 21 HRs and a .796 OPS. Moreover, he is always among the leaders in defensive runs saved. His WAR is 5.8.
Third base—Kyle Seager, Mariners. For most of the year, the AL West keystone corner player that got most of the ink (and deservedly so) was Oakland's Josh Donaldson. But up the coast a piece, Seager has quietly put together a terrific year. He's hit .274 with 23 HRs and 88 RBIs. He's paired a .342 OPB with an OPS of .808. His WAR is 5.5.
Left Field—J.D. Martinez, Tigers. The Astros let this guy go for nothing, and the brilliant Dave Dombrowski scooped him up. Martinez has hit .310 with 22 HRs (many of them huge) and 72 RBIs. He's slugging at a .562 pace and has a .972 OPS.
Center Field—Marcell Ozuna, Marlins. Ozuna may the best everyday outfielder nobody has heard of. He's played 147 games for the Fish and is hitting .269 with 23 HRs and 85 RBIs. He has a .776 OPS.
Right Field—Kole Calhoun, Angels. Not only is Calhoun the lead-off hitter on the team with the best record in baseball, he's got 16 HRs and 56 RBIs atop the powerful Halo order. He has a .797 OPS.
Catcher—Devin Mesoraco, Reds. Mesoraco has really reached his potential this year, hitting .278 with 23 HRs and 74 RBIs. He has a .365 OBP and an OPS of .901. He has a 4.7 WAR—and is a good defensive backstop to boot.
DH—Chris Carter, Astros. While Carter strikes out a lot (166 times so far this year), he's clouted 36 HRs and knocked in 85. He's also collected 20 doubles and has an OPS of .826.
Starting Pitcher—Corey Kluber, Indians. One of the big reasons the Tribe has stayed competitive for a post-season berth is Kluber. He's already pitched 212.2 innings and delivered 15 wins for Terry Francona. He's struck out 230 and walked just 46. His ERA is 2.45 with a 1.10 WHIP.
Relief Pitcher—Jean Machi, Giants. You've probably never heard of this guy either, but he has been incredibly consistent this year for San Francisco. He's thrown 62 innings out of the pen and posted a 1.89 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. He's yielded just 39 hits all year.
Rookie—Danny Santana, Twins. Another guy who has flown way under the radar, Santana has complied 355 at-bats in 90 games for the Twinkies. He's hitting .318 with 7 HRs and 37 RBIs and has an .826 OPS.
1-0 loss to Tampa spelled the end of any 2014 AL East Championship hopes for The Bronx Embalmers. And, a whopping 16,000 people were in Tampa to see the historic event. The Evil Ones are a pathetic sideshow—likely missing the playoffs entirely for the second straight year. Over the last six games, the offense-challenged Yankees are 4-for-33 (.121) with runners in scoring position. They are six games out of a Wild Card spot with 13 to play. Music to our ears! Manager Joe Girardi gave his best Scarlett O'Hara impression after the game, "It’s not what you want, we have to respond. Tomorrow is a new day." Not it's not, Joe! Happy golfing!
Monday, September 15, 2014
|(Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)|
Ah, the memories. Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon was ejected from yesterday's game after giving up four ninth-inning runs in a blown save at Citizens Bank Park. As he left the field to boos, Papelbon grabbed his crotch in a perverse salute to the fanbase. After that little move, umpire Joe West tossed the big righty. Entering the ninth ahead 4-1, Pap gave up a slew of hits—including a lead-off double to another Ex-Carmine Hoser, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The scenario brings back bad vibes from the final game of the 2009 Division Series against the Angels.
|(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)|
Sunday, September 14, 2014
|(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)|
Saturday, September 13, 2014
|(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)|