With one day left in the season, and so much left to be decided with the Rays/Sox and Braves/Cards tied for the Wild Card, you gotta love it. I hope the Rays and Cards make it. Just my personal preference.
Adam Dunn is having one of the worst seasons in the history of baseball. He was threatening to become just the second player ever, Rob Deer is the lucky winner, to have a batting average that is less than the players strikeout total. Oh Dunn has that trick pulled off with 177 punchouts and a .159 average, but it won’t officially be recognized because he is a handful of plate appearances below the number needed (502) to qualify for the batting title. In addition to that dreadful bit of news, Dunn has also lost one of the most impressive homer streaks in league history. From 2004-10, Dunn hit at least 38 homers in every season. This year he’s scored 36 runs. I don’t know what to say other than this is, like I wrote at the top, one of the worst performances in the history of baseball.
Matt Garza is one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. He only went 10-10 in his first year in the NL, but he did strike out a career best 197 batters in 198 innings. Garza has made at least 30 starts and thrown at least 184.2 innings each of the past four years. Even more than that, look at his BAA marks – .245, .233, .248 and .245. How about his WHIP you say? I thought you would never ask – 1.24, 1.26, 1.25 and 1.26. I’m not making that up. Check it out.
Micah Owing is 8-0 as a reliever for the D’backs (he did make four starts). Bartolo Colon made 26 starts for the Yankees and recorded only eight wins.
Brandon Phillips is one hell of a ballplayer. He’ll end the 2011 season, he has a strained left quad, hitting .300 with 18 homers, 82 RBI, 94 runs scored and 14 steals. Since he joined the Reds in 2006 he’s tied for 4th at the position with 124 homers, he is 4th with 486 RBI, he’s 5th with 524 runs scored and 3rd with 135 steals. Like I said, he’s a hell of a ballplayer.
Jimmy Rollins would like to sign a 5-year contract this offseason to take him through his 38 year old season. I don’t know if anyone will give him that long a deal, but he proved he still has a lot left to give after an injury plagued 2010 season (Rollins has 16 homers, 63 RBI, 87 runs and 30 steals in 141 games for the Phillies). He’s also hit .271, a three year high. Moreover, for the 7th straight time in which he’s appeared in 135 games he stole 30 bags with 10 homers, 50 RBI and 75 runs. Those aren’t fantastic numbers, but for a shortstop they are strong.
Alfonso Soriano was nowhere near as bad as Adam Dunn, but it’s not like he hasn’t had some issues of his own in 2011. Soriano has hit 26 homers with 88 RBI, solid totals for the Cubs’ outfielder. Here is where it gets interesting. Soriano is hitting a terrible .244, and given that he has walked a mere 27 times, his OBP this season is a sickly .289. As a result of not getting on base very often, and the fact that 81 percent of his at-bats have come out of the 6th and 7th spots in the lineup, Soriano has scored only 50 runs. I’ll save you a trip to the calculator. That means Soriano has scored 52 percent of his runs on his own home runs.
By Ray Flowers