Alas, here's the latest and greatest from around the league that can't seem to piece together a roster that can win the All-Star Game.
Philadelphia Phillies (48-38) – The Phillies wrapped up the first half of the season winning nine of their last 10 games, ending on a five-game win streak. They then went out and signed veteran pitcher and three-time Cy Young award winner, Pedro Martinez, to a one-year deal worth $1 million plus performance-based incentives. It's still unclear if this move could take them out of the running for Roy Halladay.
Florida Marlins (46-44) – After
going 0-1 in his last three starts, All-Star Josh Johnson pitched 6.2 innings en
route to a 8-1 win against
New York Mets (42-45) – At the break the Mets are, no doubt, underachieving, in large part due to the myriad of injuries they have experienced this season. To try to fill their offensive void, they picked up outfielder Jeff Francoeur from the Braves in exchange from Ryan Church. Perhaps both teams are hoping a change of scenery is all these hitters need to finally live up to their potential.
St. Louis Cardinals (49-42) – With a win in the second game Sunday of a day/night doubleheader with the Cubs, the Cardinals salvaged a split of the four-game series. Strapped to find consistent offense from players other than Albert Pujols, the Cards were excited to see Ryan Ludwick returning to his form from last year. Ludwick drove in all four Cardinal runs Sunday night via two home runs. In his past seven games he has four home runs and 15 RBI.
Houston Astros (44-44) – Hunter Pence joined Miguel Tejada on the All-Star team this year for the National League. No Carlos Lee. No Lance Berkman. No Roy Oswalt. But with those players alone on the roster, you'd think this Astros team could be a sleeping giant waiting to wake up in the second half of the season.
Pittsburgh Pirates (38-50) –
Despite being in last place in the division, the Pirates still landed two
players on the NL All-Star roster (one more than the Cubs, incidentally, who had
eight on the 2008 roster). Freddy Sanchez made the team, as did starting pitcher Zach Duke, who was a late roster add
San Francisco Giants (49-39) – Matt Cain was a late scratch from the NL All-Star roster after the Giants realized they didn't want to mess around with Cain's bruised elbow after getting hit by a line drive over the weekend. Better safe than sorry when you've got the second best record in the league. Talk about young and up-and-coming, Pablo Sandoval has a .333 average, 15 home runs, and 55 RBI in the first half of what should be his first full season in the bigs. Oh yeah, and don't forget about Jonathan Sanchez. He went 0-4 over his last five starts, was relegated to the bullpen, but managed to produce MLB's first no-hitter of the season last Friday night at home against the Padres.
Colorado Rockies (47-41) –
Starting pitcher Jason Marquis, who
leads the league with 11 wins, did not pitch in the All-Star game Tuesday. He's
traditionally a first-half pitcher that really struggles down the stretch, so
perhaps the extra rest will do him some good.
Arizona Diamondbacks (38-51) – Despite 24 home runs and 62 RBI, Mark Reynolds was not a National League All-Star. He is just four home runs away from tying last year's mark, which was a career high. His 123 strikeouts the first half of the season might just put him on-pace to break his impressive 204 strikeout mark set last season.
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