I was watching Captain America Saturday night (and don’t worry, I finished at 10 PM leaving me plenty of time to roll out an embarrass myself at the local tavern. Mission accomplished). I gotta say that Chris Evans played the role well, but I’m also concerned that he invaded the comic universe twice since he also played Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, in both the Fantastic 4 films. Shouldn’t a fella be limited to one set of tights? Oh, and that Haley Atwell, how amazing did she look in that red dress?
Ryan Braun has reached 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored in each of the past four seasons (including this one). Braun has scored at least 90-runs in each of his six seasons. Braun has recorded 95 RBIs in each of his six seasons. Braun has also hit at least 32 homers in five of six seasons as well. So, to sum up, the worst numbers that Braun has ever posted are 25 homers, 97 RBIs, 91 runs and 14 steals. Those are his worst numbers. Damn impressive.
Adrian Gonzalez had two homers Sunday night. Normally that wouldn’t stand out in a such a way that I would feel like I had to mention it, but we aren’t dealing with a normal situation with AGone. Why? After hitting a homer in his first at-bat with the Dodgers, Gonzalez then went 105 at-bats without hitting his next long ball. The lack of power has been a season long issue with Adrian who has 18 homers on the year. Take a look at his decline in the homer column the past few years – 40, 31, 27 and then the 18 this year. One positive is that his GB/FB, which was out of control last year at 1.45, is back where it should be at 1.13 (career 1.10). On the downside his HR/F rate has been in hiding like Punxsutawney Phil. A career 16.1 percent mark in the HR/F column was virtually replicated the past two years as Gonzalez had identical marks of 16.4 percent. This year that number has caved to 10.1 percent. That number should rebound in 2012, even if Dodger Stadium isn’t exactly a homer haven (the park is slightly above average this year with a 1.059 HR mark according to Park Factors).
Wandy Rodriguez welcome to consistency town. Oh he’s been far from consistent this year alternating patches of dominance with an inability to consistently get batters out, but at least he’s bringing it as the season wears down (4-1, 2.58 ERA over his last seven starts). So why do I use the the term “consistent?” He has 11 wins, the same total he has reached each of the last two years. He has a 3.76 ERA. His mark the last two years is 3.53. His WHIP this year is 1.28. His mark has been between 1.24 and 1.32 each year from 2007-11. His GB/FB ratio is 1.52. The past two years it’s been in the low 1.40′s. Hey, it’s not a great skills set, especially since his K/9 rate is down to 5.99, light years from the 7.78 or better mark he has posted the last five years, but he’s still a pretty darn stable option on the bump if you’re willing to go through the up and downs. Seems like many at Fleaflicker aren’t willing to put up with it.
Fernando Rodney has a 0.64 ERA in 70.1 innings. Two things. First, that ERA is more than three full runs below his career 3.78 mark. He will also finish the year with an ERA under 4.24 for the first time in six years. Think about that. If you multiply his current ERA by SEVEN you would end up with a 4.48 ERA. His ERA the last five is 4.42. I’m speechless, and that never happens. Second, only one pitcher who has ever lived has thrown 70-innings in a season while posting a lower mark and that was Dennis Eckersley who had a 0.61 mark in 1990 for the Athletics.
Huston Street is back in action for the Padres. Street picked up a save Sunday, his 22nd of the season, he hasn’t blown even one chance this year, even though it was a bit bumpy. That’s totally beyond the point though. Street is sporting a 5-year best with his 10.95 K/9 mark, and his ERA is a career best at 0.97, two full runs below his 2.95 career mark. However, the truly astounding thing is that WHIP which is, wait for it, 0.59. That is not a misprint. In 37 innings Street has allowed 10 walks and just 12 hits. Amazing.
By Ray Flowers