MLB Power Rankings | Week 4

Our beloved Giants almost overtook the dreaded Bums this week after sweeping them in Chavez Ravine, but lost their series opener in Arizona on Friday. Still, the G-men spring boarded up 11 spots to No. 7, while both the Dodgers and Padres dropped five spots in our rankings.

After a month into the season, we've witnessed streaks that have nearly turned our leader boards upside down. The Bronx Bombers lost a week's worth of games, while the Astros were equally awful and appalling. Meanwhile, the Tribe rode the coat tails of MVP hopeful Grady Sizemore to six straight victories.

Who else leap-frogged the competition? Which teams took nose dives of historical proportions?

Let's take a look at where each team stands in Week 4 of the season (stats through April 27).

This week's installment of's Power Rankings:

Team (W-L, LW Rk)
Boston Red Sox (15-7, 4)

After a miserable 2006 campaign (5.01 ERA, 26 gopher balls served), Josh Beckett has adjusted to the AL. With a victory Thursday, Beckett (5-0) became the first Sox pitcher to win his first five starts of the season since Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat in 2000.

Cleveland Indians (13-7, 14)

Grady Sizemore, this column's offseason prediction to win the AL MVP, is off to a solid April with a .914 on-base plus slugging percentage, six steals, and 21 runs scored. The durable Sizemore has played in 213 consecutive games and hit a rare inside-the-park homer on Friday.

Atlanta Braves (14-8, 2)

"I'd love to do this until the day I die, but that wouldn't be normal." -- Manager Bobby Cox.


Francisco Cordero picked up his ninth save of the season Friday with a scoreless inning of work against the Astros. Cordero has yet to allow a run and has 19 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.

New York Mets (13-8, 3)

Moises Alou collected three more hits on Friday night, raising his batting average to .397, leading the NL. The multi-hit game was his 11th of the season.


Thud. The Dodgers lost four in a row before salvaging a win Friday to take back first place in the NL West. Meanwhile, Jason Schmidt returned to the Dodgers after taking time off to visit his wife, Bethany, and their newborn son. His return to the team, however, doesn't mean he's returning to the mound anytime soon. There is no timetable for when Schmidt will return to pitching.


Eight was enough for the Giants, whose winning streak ended Friday in Arizona, partly because Ray Durham -- the man who must hit to prevent teams from walking Bonds -- didn't come through after the Diamondbacks repeatedly put Barry Bonds on base.

Chicago White Sox (12-9, 15)

Former Giant favorite A.J. "D.P." Pierzynski is barely above the Mendoza Line (.206) with a pedestrian on-base plus slugging percentage of .633. Ugh.

Minnesota Twins (13-10, 5)
Boof Bonser walked seven and struck out eight in five scoreless innings Thursday against the Royals. Bonser has fanned 30 and walked 16 in 25 2/3 innings. He doesn't have a victory yet, but he's been decent in four of his five starts.
Detroit Tigers (12-10, 11)

Not cooking: Gary Sheffield, aka "The Shef," is off to a horrific start. The 38-year-old slugger is hitting .167 with a .250 slugging percentage. Nice way to spend $14 million a year.


Arizona D-Backs (13-11, 12)

"I know that's his antics on the mound. He wasn't showing me up, (but) when a guy does that every time, it's like he expects to blow the game, and when he doesn't blow it, he's happy for it." -- Padres 1B Adrian Gonzalez on Diamondbacks closer Jose Valverde, whose wild celebratory gestures on the mound often rub hitters the wrong way.

San Diego Padres (12-11, 7)

Trevor Time's Run Out? For the first time since April 26-29, 1997, all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman blew saves in back-to-back appearances Wednesday and Friday night.

Los Angeles Angels (12-11, 19)
The Angels won six of seven games on their current homestand, which saw the offensive-starved team score 55 runs in the same span.
Seattle Mariners (9-9, 21)

The M's have won four in a row with closer J.J. Putz finally getting save opportunities (3-for-3 this past week).


Oakland Athletics (11-12, 8)

The A's acquired outfielder Chris Denorfia from the Reds for two players to be named and cash. Denorfia, 26, will miss the rest of 2007 following Tommy John surgery. Oakland has until next season to learn to correctly pronounce his name.

Pittsburgh Pirates (11-10, 22)

"I'm out there trying to pitch like Greg Maddux; trying to hit my spots, trying to have pinpoint accuracy with all my pitches," Torres said. "I can't pitch like that." Well then, Sal, at least you know.

St. Louis Cardinals (10-12, 20)

Tony La Russa, who had been upset with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a tongue-in-cheek article in the paper about the Cubs' 99 years without winning a World Series, angrily refused to answer questions from a Post-Dispatch reporter during a post-game press conference after the game Friday. We've always liked La Russa around these parts. This display of solidarity strengthens that respect.

Toronto Blue Jays (11-11, 17)

Worth the money? Vernon Wells is 9-for-12 with four extra-base hits and three steals in his last three games. A .945 on-base plus slugging percentage and gold glove defense seem to indicate he is.


Baltimore Orioles (11-12, 10)

The Birds have lost four in a row after being ranked at No. 10 on our board.

The Phils won six of the last seven games to slide into third place in the NL East and just four games from first. Not a bad turnaround for this column's offseason pick to win the division.

Florida Marlins (10-12, 26)

"First one this century." -- Jason Wood, 37, after hitting his first home run Saturday since July 23, 1999, as a member of the Tigers against the Red Sox at old Tiger Stadium.

22 James Shields struck out nine in eight innings Friday after fanning 12 in his previous start. Although James has given up seven homers this season, his 37/7 - K/BB ratio and 3.75 ERA is stellar.
Cincinnati Reds (10-13, 16)

"The one thing about our bullpen from the right side is that it is all basically the same type of stuff. We don't have a power guy to throw in the mid-90s," manager Jerry Narron said. Former A's farmhand Jared Burton is rehabbing in Triple-A, but could provide that spark when he returns.

Texas Rangers (9-13, 25)

It sure didn't take him long. After 3 1/3 innings of work this season, Eric Gagne (hip strain) came out of an April 22nd game after facing one batter, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Chicago Cubs (9-13, 27)

Have we seen the last of Mark Prior? Prior had his right shoulder cleaned out and had a few repairs made by Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday, effectively shutting down the 2007 season. Prior is scheduled to make $3,575,000 this season.

Houston Astros (9-13, 6)
Astronomical Slide: The 'Stros have lost seven in a row and have plummeted a record 20 spots in our rankings.
New York Yankees (8-13, 13)

Alas, such is the New York media. Surefire Hall-of-Fame manager Joe Torre's job is on the line after the Bronx Bombers lost seven in a row this past week.


Kansas City Royals (7-16, 29)

"I blame it on management. They're not putting the best product on the field. They're making plenty of money in the collective bargaining agreement and in turn not putting it into the product they put on the field." -- White Sox reliever Andrew Sisco on his two years in KC.

Colorado Rockies (9-14, 23)

Power outage? The Rockies have tied a franchise record by going five home games without a homerun.


Record-breakers: The Nats have gone 22 consecutive games without scoring a first-inning run -- a National League record.

Phil De La Cruz served as the managing editor for SF State University's college publication, The Golden Gate [X]press Online, in 2006. He continues to edit and publish articles for's San Francisco Giants affiliate and can be reached at

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