It’s Labor Day, so I hope all of you are pulling back on a beer, sitting poolside, and just enjoying life while I soldier on at the keyboard (I know, I’m, such a martyr aren’t I?).
Franklin Gutierrez is likely done for the year with a strained oblique muscle. He’s been bad for so long that you may have forgotten that he avereged 16 homers, 67 RBI, 73 runs and 21 steals the past two years. Well, he hit one homer, knocked in 19 runners, scored 26 times and stole 13 bases in 92 games for the Mariners this season. Yeah, that qualifies as a massive letdown. Don’t get me started on his teammate Chone Figgins (.188-1-15-24-11).
Remeber that story about Josh Hamilton not being able to see during the day time because he had light colored eyes (What’s on Tap)? Well, Hamilton has apparently settled on a routine of drops and sunglasses to help cure his woes, and it’s showing as he has hit .342 in day games since the All-Star break. I still find this story so fascinating. Is he really the only player in baseball with light colored eyes? I’m no optomitrist, but still.
I bet you might be unware of this fact but Aaron Hill is finally hitting. I know, shocking to think isn’t it? Not only has he hit .381 since he joined the surging D’backs he’s also been smoking hot of late going 11-for-22. That’s a .500 average folks. It’s not time to put behind him all the all struggles he’s shown the past two years, but he’s finally starting to perform like the All-Star level second baseman that he has shown himself to be previously.
Speaking of hot bats, have you been keeping an eye on Carlos Lee? Of course you haven’t, and why would you since he plays for the Astros. However, if you haven’t checked lately you will have missed the fact that he’s hit, get this, .457 the past two weeks. His current hot streak has pushed him up to a pace that would nedt hit a line of .277-16-89. That’s not great production by any means, but it’s a usuable line in deep mixed leagues.
Cliff Pennington the last two weeks – .359 with 15 RBI. One word for that – wow.
Grady Sizemore has been activated from the DL. He’s hitting .237 without a single steal in 61 games this season. Remember back when he was a 30/30 performer in 2008 as he was finishing up a 4-year run of at least 22 homers, 76 RBI, 101 runs and 22 steals?
Example 1,873,279 of why being a major league pitcher isn’t always fair. Ian Kennedy leads the NL with an 18-4 record while teammate Daniel Hudson is 15-9. Those two D’back hurlers have ERAs of 2.96 and 3.53, while their WHIPs are 1.12 and 1.22. Tim Lincecum is 12-12 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while Matt Cain is 11-9 with a 2.85 ERA an a 1.07 WHIP. Speaking of poor records, Lincecum, Cain, Ryan Vogelsong (2.62) and Madison Bumgarner (3.43) are all in the top-16 in the NL in ERA (if you remove MadBum the other trio of Giants hurlers are all in the top-8). That foursome has combined to go 42-39 for the sinking Giants.
by Ray Flowers