news about Jason Grimsley is sparking some interesting debate across all
of baseball. Just how much did he witness, and just how truthful has he been or,
more so, will he be? And will there be any evidence to corroborate his story.
These steroid and performance enhancing ghosts aren't just going to disappear.
It's clear that many people out there want as many of the skeletons brought to
light as possible. And some of these people might just have the power to do
it. In many ways, following Major
League Baseball this season is like walking the streets of the country or
playing the stock market for the first year or so after 9/11 – waiting for the
next strike, tentative to do just about anything that used to be routine. There
is that uneasy feeling that something is there, looming in the shadows, just
waiting to be uncovered – something big ready to knock you into reality just
when you let your guard down and really start enjoying baseball again. Was Jason
Grimsley the tip of that iceberg? Time will only tell, but the Diamondbacks can
definitely attest to the stress of the Grimsley Factor as can the Giants, who
have been dealing with this controversy surrounding Barry Bonds for
years. And let's not forget our friends in
But enough is enough, let's get to the latest and greatest from the clubhouses from around the National League:
Mets are hot! Leading the charge is last week's National League Player of the
Week Carlos Beltran. The former killer bee is finally paying big
Mike Lieberthal landed on the 15-day disabled list once again; this time with a strained right hip. He might be missed, but with that monster lineup, it will only be for a little bit. Hitting isn't the Phils problem. With 22 home runs and 54 RBI, Ryan Howard is the centerpiece of a frightening lineup. But finding good starting pitching has been the chore this season. Brett Myers is 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA, but after him the next regular starting pitcher is Cory Lidle with a 4.68 ERA. Ouch!
The longtime defending NL East Champs are struggling. Their 2-10 start to the month of June has dropped them five games under .500. Their run production has been poor during this stretch, scoring more than four runs in only two games. Jorge Sosa definitely hasn't helped the cause. After a stellar 13-3 season with a 2.55 ERA, he's been jacked in the jaw with a stiff reality punch that has him reeling with a 1-8 record and 5.58 ERA. When you factor in Rafael Furcal's departure and look at Marcus Giles' measly .235 batting average replacing him in the leadoff spot, you see why this team is doing so poorly.
Jose Guillen was
activated after a stint on the DL and is 4-for-7 with four RBI and a home run
since his return. Starting pitcher Shawn Hill looked impressive on Sunday
pitching 7.0 innings of two-hit, shutout ball against the Phillies in earning
his first win in almost two years. That dates back to the days of miniscule
crowds in that stark, grayish dome in
If you haven't figured it out yet, Josh Johnson is for real. He won his fifth game Tuesday holding the Braves to just one run on seven hits, while striking out seven. With that performance he dropped his ERA to an impressive 2.05. Stud shortstop Hanley Ramirez did have to get helped off the field after taking a spill going after a ball in the stands on Sunday, but he's doing fine and was in the lineup Tuesday against the Braves, though he posted an unsatisfactory grade with an 0-for-4 performance.
without Albert Pujols is a bit easier to deal with when you have Chris Carpenter pitching every fifth day. Carpenter returned to form on Tuesday in
Reds took over first place in the division for about a half-day. Then the Cubs
took three straight from the short-term division leaders, knocking them back
into second. Falling into a slump, they dropped their first two against
Astros are starting to play better ball, and Roy Oswalt is expected to be
back in the starting rotation Wednesday night in
The Brewers were beating the Cardinals 6-0 Friday night, giving Mark Mulder and the Redbirds something to think about. In a flash, the Brewers were down 10-6 and went on to lose the game. Baseball is funny that way. A game is never in hand, no matter what you might think. After blowing three saves in four chances a couple weeks ago, Derrick Turnbow has settled back down. He's given up just two hits in his last five outings and has boosted his saves total to 19. Carlos Lee is also starting to mash the ball again. He's got seven RBI in his last five games.
roller coaster ride just won't stop in
money third baseman Joe Randa was activated after a six-week stint on the
DL. Starting pitcher Ian Snell is starting to mop up his opponents. Snell
is 5-0 in his last five starts and has dropped his ERA from 6.00 to 4.75. His
last stellar performance came in
$22 million write-off? Well, it's not really a write-off, but that's how much
money the D'Backs decided to take as a loss when they dumped Russ Ortiz
this week. It's been a rough week for
Eric Gagne landed back on the disabled list again with stiffness in his elbow, but the Dodgers were able to reactivate Jeff Kent. Rafael Furcal still continues to struggle, though. He's batting just .252 and his .334 on-base percentage is the bottom of the team's everyday players. If this leadoff man can figure out his woes, the Dodgers will be even a bigger storm building in the West.
Khalil Greene hasn't hit a long ball since May 20th, but he still manages to lead the team with nine home runs. Dave Roberts has the top batting average amongst the everyday players, and he's posting a .294 mark, which isn't exactly competing for top honors in the league. Factor in that Jake Peavy is 4-7 with a 4.96 ERA and you wonder how in the world this team is still playing above the .500-mark. Seven wins against the Cubs at their worst time helped a lot.
First baseman Lance Niekro was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season, this time with a strained groin muscle. With a .255 average, four home runs, and 26 RBI, Niekro wasn't exactly lighting it up this season, but the loss comes at a time when the Giants are in the middle of a four-game skid. But, hey, how about the return or Armando Benitez? Sure, he's blown two of six save opportunities, but he's got a vulture-like 4-0 record and a 1.88 ERA. Now if the Giants can just get games into his hands, they'll be all right.
Luis Gonzalez was activated from the disabled list and then immediately
optioned to the club's Triple-A affiliate. He's been struggling with
inflammation in his wrists, so there's hope that he might mount a comeback, but
with Jamey Carroll swinging a hot stick and batting .329 it's highly
unlikely. Now if only the team can find some way for Clint Barmes to
improve on his ghastly .209 batting average and pitiful .234 on-base percentage,
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