Did you know… that Hiroki Kuroda has a 2.88 ERA, better than Matt Cain (3.00), Ian Kennedy (3.12) and Tim Hudson (3.18) to name a few? So why does Kuroda get no respect? His record. He’s only 8-14 on the year, the 14 loses are tied for the NL lead with J.A. Happ. Still, amongst pitchers who have thrown at least 300 innings since the start of last season Kuroda’s 3.17 ERA is 14th best in baseball ahead of a slew of big arms like David Price (3.18), Jon Lester (3.28), Tommy Hanson (3.44) and Dan Haren (3.49). Maybe you should give Kuroda a look if you need a boost off the wire if your league mates are down on him cause of that win-loss record.
Did you know… that if we remove the week of death when Brandon League lost four games and had three blown saves, that his ERA would be 2.03? Or how about that his WHIP would drop to 0.79. It’s not like his season long numbers are bad (2.85 and 0.99), but think about how amazing they would look if he hadn’t forgotten how to pitch for a week. As it is he has racked up 29 saves leaving him one from becoming just the third man in the AL to hit that total (Mariano Rivera has 30 while Jose Valverde has 35 in 35 chances).
Did you know… that Justin Morneau is back on the field? I’m sure you did, but before you get all pumped up because he had a nice run over a week in the minors, realize that the guy is hitting .222 with a .611 OPS. Those are roughly the numbers of Lyle Overbay who is hitting .227 with a .648 OPS. Think about that. Lyle Overbay who was cut loose by the Pirates of all teams (he’s now with the D’backs), has a better average and OPS than Justin Morneau.
Did you know… that despite struggles and injuries, that Albert Pujols is still on pace for 39 bombs, 101 RBI and 108 runs scored? As a result of a rescent surger, Pujols has 29 homers, the most amongst all first basemen in the National League (the only first sacker with more is Mark Teixeira of the Yankees – he has 32). Pujols has also upped his average to .288 giving him a legit shot to finish the year with a .300-30-100 line for the 11th straight season. He already holds the all-time record with 10-straight such seasons.
Did you know… over the last three weeks the best starting pitcher in baseball has been Ervin Santana. He has gone 4-0 with a 0.76 ERA and 0.79 WHIP? He’s also posted a 5.00 K/BB ratio for the Angels during that time. This has been key. He just isn’t walking anyone with a total of 11 walks over his last eight trips to the hill. Moreover, he’s emerged with a “W” in each of his last five outings and in four of his last five trips to the hill he has gone at least 8.1 innings. He’s also allowed one or zero earned runs in each of his last five outings and six of his last eight trips to the mound. He’s as locked in as a pitcher can get.
Did you know… over his last 796 big league at-bats that Grady Sizemore is hitting .239? He was never a big average type of guy, but his career mark is still .270, well ahead of his pace from the past three years (moreover, Sizemore hit .279 from 2004-2008 before his recent work dragged down his career numbers). A four time 20 steal man, he swiped a career best 38 bases in 2008, Sizemore has stolen 17 bases over his last 200 games. Over his last 200 games he’s also gone deep only 28 times. From 2006-08 he averaged 28 homers a season. Face it, his body may just not be capable of handling the pounding of playing baseball on a daily basis.
By Ray Flowers