There's no need to sugarcoat this… the National League teams have been getting tossed around like a rag doll by their interleague opponents. It's embarrassingly clear that most teams in the American League Central (and based on recent performance, there really is no need to exclude the Royals) can wipe the floor with just about anyone the National League can put up there right now. Here's a novel idea: Screw the "This One Counts" advertising campaign for the All-Star game. If we can't follow suit like the other sports and just have the team with the best record get home field advantage throughout the playoffs, how about we give the honors to the league that wins the most interleague battles?
Thank goodness this nonsense is almost over and the National League can soon return to its mediocrity of head-to-head play without that thing they call the designated hitter. And so, here's the latest and greatest from around the league:
Tom Glavine became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to earn 11 wins this season, and the Mets just continue to roll. Carlos Beltran is hitting his stride and now has 60 RBI, while David Wright posted another monster week with nine RBI bringing his total to 64. Oh yeah, and how about Jose Reyes? The phenom had three four-hit games this week, including one where he hit for the cycle. Reyes was kept hitless just twice in June and has lifted his average from .246 on June 11 to .297. At least there is one team doing the rest of the National League proud.
The Phils had to deal with two rainouts this week - one against the Red Sox on Sunday that was made up on Monday and now one on Tuesday against the Orioles that will be made up Thursday. Brett Myers was involved in a domestic altercation where he allegedly hit his wife in the face. The story has been plastered across the media and will undoubtedly affect the team in a negative way as Myers takes a leave of absence through the All-Star break. Jon Lieber is almost ready to return after making his second rehab start, but without Myers the Phils are going to have a rough time trying to hang in the wild card race, let alone try to chase the Mets.
out, Philly. You're next to move into the Marlins rearview mirror. Over their
last ten games, the Marlins are the best team in the National League. They
dropped two one-run games to the Yankees in New York, but salvaged the last game
of the series when recent call-up Anibal Sanchez tossed 5.2 innings of
shutout ball and earned his first MLB win. Sanchez will likely get at least one
more start. It's really impressive how young talent continues to perform in
there is one thing that is consistent in
The Braves had an awful run in June, but they're finishing it up with some respect. Chuck James returned from the DL to start Sunday against the Devil Rays, and he tossed a gem - 8.0 shutout innings. On the offensive front, Andruw Jones is starting to drive the ball having knocked two homers in the last week, but Edgar Renteria is slumping and has seen his average drop from the .328 he was hitting in mid-June to the .303 he's bringing home today.
Albert Pujols is
back, but the winning ways in
Ken Griffey Jr. hit home run number 550 Tuesday, a mark we all thought he was going to reach five years ago. It was also his 14th homer on the season, and second in as many games. The Reds still dropped the game to the Royals 9-8. It was particularly notable because it demonstrated the weakness of the Reds bullpen, which continues to be an Achilles Heel in their race for the division lead. The game was also another poor outing by Eric Milton, who has returned to his charitable ways by giving up five home runs in his last two starts.
week passes, and the Brewers are once again around the .500 mark. Chris Capuano had a two-start week, and well, he rattled off two Ws – one
impressive win against that formidable
In 11.1 solid innings and two starts Roger Clemens has given up just three earned runs, but he's 0-2 to begin his season. Some things just don't change. The Astros on Tuesday got a taste of the lesson the Cubs and Cardinals learned this past week – that the Detroit Tigers are everything they're cracked up to be this season. On the bright side, Chris Burke continues to get serious playing time, and he's just smoking the baseball with his bat. His eight-game hitting streak was snapped on Tuesday, but he's batting an impressive .313 this season.
The Cubs are 0-8 at the not-so Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field this June. Mark Prior's return from the DL has been so-so, although he looked better in his second loss in as many starts. And with injuries to Tony Womack (back spasms) and Freddie Bynum (shoulder), Derrek Lee got the call-up from Triple-A Iowa Saturday night a little earlier than expected. Lee has mustered a few hits, but his timing has been off in his first few games back. It should be no big surprise that Lee and Prior aren't in peak performance shape right now, but if this club doesn't pull out a few Ws soon, the Cubdom faithful are going to be looking for Dusty Baker's head on a platter.
it wasn't for the horrid play of the Pirates, Baker might already be gone. The
Bucs have dropped 12 straight. With a lot of high-priced veterans on the squad,
Trevor Hoffman is in his 14th season, and though fears of injury always seem to loom around him, he continues to be nothing but lights out. Hoffman earned save number 19 Tuesday night and dropped his daunting ERA to 1.24 with another scoreless inning. He's a big part of the reason why the Padres are in first place despite a dismal offense. Another big factor has been Scott Linebrink, Hoffman's setup man. He's got 16 holds this season, a 2.52 ERA, and a vulture-like 5-2 record out of the bullpen.
catcher Russell Martin has looked like a veteran behind the plate and
with the bat, boasting a .301 batting average. His performance prompted the
Dodgers to trade Dioner Navarro to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a
four-player deal that brought, most notably, lefty-starter Mark Hendrickson to the City of
just knows how to hit a baseball. He had two more three-hit games this week,
including a three-double performance Tuesday night as the
finally had a big game on Tuesday. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and three
RBI. Matt Morris, who started the game for the Giants Tuesday, is finally
appearing to hit his stride in
At one point the crown jewel of the NL West, the D'Backs have won just three games since June 5 – a 3-18 slide into the cellar. Brandon Webb, who was lighting up the league earlier this season, has dropped his last three decisions. Though he didn't get the loss Tuesday night, he gave up nine hits and seven runs in the no-decision.
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