Many veterans have fallen victim to the injury bug, but some teams aren't letting the disabled list affect their success. There are a lot of impressive seasons underway in the National League. Here's the latest and greatest from around the league this week.
Philadelphia Phillies (39-27) - Jamie Moyer is 45 years young, but
he continues to have great success as a MLB pitcher. Moyer is 5-1 in his last
six decisions and is 6-3 this season. Meanwhile Shane Victorino has been beating
opponents with both his defense and offense. In the past week Victorino has
three home runs and six RBI, and he made a phenomenal throw to home plate Friday
night nabbing Gregor Blanco for the
final out in a 4-3 win over the Braves.
Florida Marlins (35-29) - Hanley Ramirez's bat awakened with
authority. The slugging shortstop is slugging once again. In the past week,
Ramirez has belted six home runs and driven in eight RBI. Mark Hendrickson is in need of his
own wake-up call. Hendrickson started the season ablazin' with a 7-2 record. In
his last three starts, Hendrickson has given up 19 earned runs in just 12
innings of work.
Atlanta Braves (32-33) - The injury bug is running wild
in Atlanta, and
the old-timers are dropping like flies. John Smoltz had season-ending
surgery to repair his shoulder, and Tom Glavine left the game early
Tuesday night with an elbow strain. Glavine is expected to get an MRI and will
likely land on the DL. Meanwhile, Chipper Jones, sat out of his
second straight game with a strain in his quadriceps muscle, but he did get a
walk while pinch-hitting Tuesday night against the Cubs.
York Mets (30-33) - Ryan Church, who had been leading
all Mets hitters with a .300 batting average, landed on the DL this week. He
sustained a concussion on May 20, and he reported still does not feel quite
right. The news was not good as the club is reeling having lost five
Washington Nationals (26-40) - Starting pitcher John Lannan has a 4-6 record
through 12 starts. Unfortunately, he's pitched much better than that record
would indicate and is simply plagued with an offense that isn't producing a lot
of runs. Lannan has the team's best ERA at 3.47. The Nationals offense did come
to life, though, Tuesday against the Pirates. Washington cranked five home runs, including
two by Ronnie
Chicago Cubs (41-24) - Despite dropping three of four
in a sequence this week, the Cubs rebounded with back-to-back wins and still
maintain the best record in baseball. Kerry Wood is seemingly starting to
come into his own as the Cubs closer. With a solid setup staff on fire in front
of him, Wood has converted his last eight save opportunities and has dropped his
ERA from 3.51 to 2.62. Meanwhile, Mark DeRosa continues to
show Lou Piniella he
needs to play as much as possible. DeRosa has increased his power, having
knocked eight home runs already this season and thanks to seven more RBI this
week, his season tally is at 34.
St. Louis Cardinals (39-27) - The Cardinals took a big blow
on Tuesday night. Albert Pujols left the game with a strained calf muscle in a scene that
didn't look good on the field. Though his status is unknown at this time, there
shouldn't be any need to fret. The Cardinals have been defying odds all season
with a team full of youngsters. Heck, Pujols isn't even leading the team in RBI.
Ryan Ludwick, who
drove in four more runs Tuesday against Cincinnati, now has 50 on the
Milwaukee Brewers (33-31) - Don't look now, but
Russell Branyan is
making one nice comeback. Branyan has played in 11 games now this season and is
batting .333 with five home runs and seven RBI. With the way Bill Hall, Mike Cameron, and Rickie Weeks have been hitting, the
Brewers could use the help. Hall, Cameron, and Weeks have batting averages of
.223, .214, and .210 respectively. And because Cameron has been struggling so
much, this week manager Ned
Yost has opted to give Cameron some bench time, which isn't
going over all that well.
Houston Astros (33-32) - In need of a big win after
dropping four of five games this past week, Roy Oswalt showed up in a big way
against the Brewers Tuesday night. Oswalt tossed seven very strong innings,
giving up just one run on five hits and racking up double digits in strikeouts
with 10. Lance Berkman continued his path of destruction with a three-hit,
five-RBI night to lead the Astros offense.
Pittsburgh Pirates (31-34) - Catcher Ryan Doumit had a 4-for-4 evening
Tuesday with a pair of home runs, bringing his season batting average up to .345
through 119 at-bats. Zach
Duke rattled off back-to-back wins for the second time this
season, improving to 4-4 on the year with a 4.10 ERA. Don't get too excited,
though, Duke can be streaky and it's tough to say if the momentum will retain
Cincinnati Reds (31-35) - Edinson Volquez got right back to
his winning ways this week posting back-to-back wins and bringing his season win
total to nine. What's most impressive, though, is his MLB-leading ERA of 1.56.
Aaron Harang, who is
2-9 this season, is clearly capable of Cy Young Award-caliber stuff. Harang has
lost four straight decisions and the team has lost all five of those starts. If
he can get his act together and return to the Aaron Harang we know and love,
these two pitchers could make a fearsome duo in the second half of the
the best record in baseball not too long ago, but a tough stretch has left the
team with just the fifth-best record in the NL. The one thing they have going
for them is that the NL West is just awful this season, which leaves them atop
the divisional standings. Mark Reynolds, whose power numbers fizzled for a little while, is
back on track, having blasted three home runs and driven in four runs in the
final two games in Pittsburgh this weekend.
Angeles Dodgers (31-33) - Coming off his worst outing of
the year against the Mets on June 1, in which he lasted just 2.2 innings and
surrendered six runs, Hiroki Kuroda pitched an absolute gem Friday night against the Cubs.
Kuroda went the distance and handed the Cubs a shutout loss while striking out
Francisco Giants (29-36) - The Giants swept the Nationals
this past weekend in a four-game series. Brian Wilson continues to prove to
be a legitimate closer, picking up two more saves over the weekend to bring his
season total to 18. But who has had the hot bat in San Francisco? None other
than Bengie Molina
who continues to hit around .333 and is leading the team with 41
Diego Padres (28-38) - The Padres won five straight
prior to dropping the series opener against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. In
fact, they won four straight games against the Cubs and Mets by a score of 2-1.
Trevor Hoffman was
the big winner this past week, having tallied three saves and a win in five days
Colorado Rockies (25-39) - Matt Holliday returned from the DL
Tuesday. Though he had an 0-for-3 evening, he did score a run and his presence
alone made a difference for the Rockies, who
beat the Giants 10-5. Aaron Cook won his ninth game of the season, and with a 3.21 ERA,
continues to be a pleasant surprise this season.
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