It’s a sad day for many in the world of baseball as this is the final day of the regular season. Hopefully your team is in the playoff mix, and your fantasy team still has something to play for on this final day of the 2012 regular season.
Miguel Cabrera is on the cusp of the Triple Crown which would be the first since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera has a seven point lead over Mike Trout in the batting race (.331 to .324), a one homer lead over Josh Hamilton (44 to 43), and an 11 RBI lead over Hamilton (139 to 128). Cabrera also leads the AL in SLG (.608) and OPS (1.002) and as great as Trout has been, that’s going to be hard for him to overcome when ballots are cast for the AL MVP Award.
Clayton Kershaw (hip) will make his final start today even though the Dodgers have been eliminated from the playoffs (the Dodgers went 32-31 after they picked up Hanley Ramirez, 29-27 after they added Shane Victorino, and 17-18 after they brought to town Adrian Gonzalez). Why? He’s chasing the Cy Young Award. Currently first in the NL in ERA (2.58) and WHIP (1.03) he needs 10 Ks to pass R.A. Dickey (230) for the NL lead in strikeouts as he chases his 14th victory. Even if he gets there I would bet that either Dickey or Gio Gonzalez wins the award given how the voters have traditionally cast their ballots.
Buster Posey pushed his average up to .337, .010 points clear of Andrew McCutchen for the NL Lead. Posey will obviously ended the year as the leader in the NL and it seems quite likely that he will also lead baseball in batting average. Of course, that’s not really accurate as Melky Cabrera hit .346 this season but MLB took the easy way out and removed him from consideration for the award to save face by changing the rule book mid season to remove from consideration players that were suspended for PED use.
I still can’t believe it, but Jimmy Rollins went 20/20 this season from June 1st on.
Carlos Ruiz had one hell of a season that was marred by injury. Each of the past two years he had hit better than .280, and he always walked as many times as he struck out, but that doesn’t come close to explaining his .326 batting average, especially since he posted a career worst 0.58 BB/K ratio (it was 1.00 or better the previous four seasons). At the same time, I can’t decide if the batting average or the power output was the bigger surprise. Having never hit more than nine homers in a season, and totaling 14 the past two years, Ruiz somehow went out and hit 16 bombs this year. The fact that he more than doubled his HR/F ratio this season was the reason, especially since he had a four year low in his fly ball rate. Don’t overdraft him next season – he’s not hitting .326 or going deep 16 times again.
Just for the hell of it. Who says beautiful women and baseball don’t go together?
Think you had a rough Tuesday? James Shields tossed a nine inning complete game… and lost. If that wasn’t bad enough, he authored one of the greatest complete game loses in baseball history. Shields allowed just one run in the game, two hits, and didn’t walk a batter. He also struck out a Rays’ all-time record 15 batters in the outing (no one has noticed, but Shields will end the year with 223 Ks which right now is tied with King Felix for fourth in baseball). That outing by Shields enabled him to become the first pitcher of the modern era, since 1900, to strikeout 15 batters without walking one with 15 or more strikeouts and just one run allowed.
What’s more surprising – Chase Headley knocking in 113 runs, Alfonso Soriano platting 108 or Justin Upton sitting at 67 RBIs?
By Ray Flowers
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Alfonso Soriano, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Headley, Clayton Kershaw, James Shields, Jimmy Rollins, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton, Melky Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout