Random homers, tipping pitches, idiotic lineup changes, injuries, playoff races and even a little NFL talk. That’s right. I’m a one stop shop in this entry.
Garrett Atkins went deep on Thursday, his first home run at Coors Field since April 25th. How the hell does anyone, let alone a perennial 20 homer bat like Atkins, go over four months between home runs at home? Simply amazing, though I’m still more shocked to see that he is hitting just .227 on the year, this after batting .329, .301 and .286 the past three years. Talk about a guy who needs a change of scenery.
Looks like Jeremy Hermida might be done for the year with that troublesome right oblique strain as he has yet to do much of anything other than shower and shave for the past week. “We’ve done as much as we can for it. It’s unfortunately one of those injuries you can’t really rush,” Hermida said. As a result, Cameron Maybin becomes a potentially big play down the stretch for those that held on to him all year or took a chance on picking him up when he was recalled recently. Over the 21 at-bats since he was recalled Maybin has seven hits leading to a .333 average, and he has gone deep once while scoring seven runs. As encouraging, he seems to have a much better grasp of what he is doing at the dish as he has walked six times with only five strikeouts, this after posting eight walks against 31 strikeouts earlier in the year. Now that’s progress.
Luke Hochevar has found out why he has been hit so hard of late- he has been tipping his pitches. So now we know why his ERA is over eight in his last eight starts. Either that or because he is just awful. I think I might lean toward option #2.
I’m glad the Phillies finally decided to bench Brad Lidge and replace him with Ryan Madson (you can read about it in Around the Horn). Oh yeah, I’m also happy that I benched Madson this week because of some struggles of late (four earned runs in his last five innings) in favor of Brandon Lyon who was supposed to take over closing duties with Fernando Rodney serving a suspension for the Tigers. Of course, Rodney appealed the suspension remaining active, and Madson was given the closing role in Philly. I’m two saves from moving into third place overall in my National Fantasy Baseball Championship league, so care to guess how many saves I’ve lost out on this week? Two of course. Ever feel like no matter what move you make that it just won’t work? So frustrating. Where is my ripple? I know it’s around here someplace.
Is it possible that the Rockies won’t just win the Wild Card in the National League, but that they will catch the Dodgers for the NL West title? Crazy as it sounds, the Rockies are now closer to the Dodgers (two games behind) and than the Giants are to them in the Wild Card standings (4.5 games back). No team has every gone from 15.5 games down in a season to capture the division title. The Rockies could be the first.
For those of you counting the seconds for the NFL to get under way —
Michael Crabtree remains on the sidelines, still unsigned as the NFL regular season begins. Don’t know how that makes any sense at all. Maybe he is being advised by Alex Rodriguez.
The Cowboys have the most expensive ticket in the NFL this season at $159.65 according to Team Marketing Report’s survey. To compare, the average NFL ticket will set you back about $75. There is no truth to the rumor that Cowboys games are twice as fun, that the team will be twice as good, or that the seats are twice as comfortable. You will get to look at a massively oversized television screen that hangs above the field and interrupts play when hit by punts though. Only in Texas.
By Ray Flowers