It’s time to hand out some props to the Houston Astros. Understandably overwhelmed in Dave Clark’s first game as interim skipper, the Astros showed some backbone against the Central
leaders last night. Backed by a solid performance from Carlos Lee at the plate and young Bud Norris on the mound, the Astros folded the Cards 3-0. Lee posted a 2 for 3 line that included 2 RBIs. Norris’ cool performance on the mound meant that the champagne in the visitors dugout would have to remain on ice until Colorado. It was great to see the Texas boys show their true grit. Here’s spit in your eye and hopefully a sign of great things to come in Houston.
More props go out to the Florida Marlins who came back to fend off the Phils in a must win
game that keeps the Fish in the Wild Card pond. Brett Carroll sealed the win with a walk off
Pinch Hit single. Nice job Brett. The Marlins picked up ground on the Rockies and now trail by only 4 1/2.
Will Venable was responsible for that Rockies loss as the impressive Padre right fielder put up a super hitting line of 2 for 4 with 4 big Ribs capped by a Home Run. He also scored twice and walked. The Padres beat up Colorado who now have to host those champagne thirsty Cardinals in a weekend set.
Not to be left behind, the Braves and the Giants also posted important W’s to keep the
heat on the cooling Rockies. Adam LaRoche led the Braves over the Mets by rapping out a 3 for 5 day and plating 2 Ribeyes in a 5-2 win that puts them 4 back in the Wild Card. Meanwhile Juan Uribe put up a great set of numbers in Arizona as the Giants knocked off the D-Backs by the same 5-2 score. Uribe homered in his 2 for 3 3RBI day that included a run and a walk. The Giants are also 4 back and host the Cubs this weekend.
In a game that has no impact whatsoever on the ’09 season, Joey Votto remains a hot Red. He posted a magnificent 4 for 5 game. Unfortunately he didn’t have much on the plate in the production category. He scored 3 times and had but one Rib. Still, a nice game for Joey who is having a super year at .314 with 22 HRs and 74 RBIs.
Over in the AL there were plenty of fireworks as well. Big Papi did his part to keep the Red
Sox hopeful of an AL East championship. With their 9-3 crowning of the KC Royals the Sox remain only 6 games back of NY and head to the Bronx for a huge weekend series. Ortiz’ 4 RBIs included his 25th Home Run of the year. Not bad for a guy who had major league struggles to start the ’09 campaign.
In Oakland it was Hammerin Hank Blalock that put up the big numbers for Texas. He also put 4 big Ribeyes on his plate and clubbed his 25th Home Run. Weird huh? Blalock scored twice as the Rangers nipped the A’s in a 9-8 slugfest.
In the games that decide the closest race in baseball we had some real top notch performers. In the Windy City the White Sox were trying their best not to say goodbye to the ’09 season. Jermaine Dye did all he good to fight back the surging Minnesota Twins. Dye’s game was huge. He was 3 for 4 with 2 Home Runs and 4 RBIs. Unfortunately for the Sox that just wasn’t enough as the Twins continued their drive toward the top of the AL Central with an 8-6 win. The Twins were powered by Nick Punto’s bat as he carded a 3 Rib outing on 2 for 3. Punto scored twice and walked to keep the Twins in the rear view mirror of the Tigers.
Which brings us to our Yesterday’s Hitter.
Finally healthy, Carlos Guillen was a big part of the offense that took apart Cleveland’s pitching and sent the Indians to their 10th straight loss (sorry Ted)…. their season high. Carlos belted 2 Home Runs, one from each side of the plate. His 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored were a big chunk of the 11-3 route. It’s a real good sign for Jim Leyland that Carlos is back to his switch hitting ways. The Tigers will needed all the muscle they can muster to hold off the Twins. Way to go Carlos, You are Yesterday’s Hitter!
|Avg. HR RBI Runs|
|.246 11 38 31|
Fire it Up! There’s a couple of teams that have definitely decided that the ’09 season is NOT over.. at least in their minds. Take the Twins for example:
They puttered away several chances as the Tigers took a siesta, failing to gain much ground while Detroit went on a 5 game skid. Well, don’t look now but the Twinkies have racked up 3 games in a row and are sniffing at the tail of the Tigers. Nick Punto provided the spark going 3 for 4 with a couple of ribeyes. They still trail Detroit by 4 1/2 games with only 17 to play. But, here’s the kicker… 7 of those are head to head. Who’s got the most fight in them down the stretch? My money’s on the Twins.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s looking like the Rangers have packed it in. They were so close and really had a shot at both the Wild Card and the AL West.. but… no. Last night they got drubbed again by the last place A’s behind Rajai Davis. This is happening in TEXAS. Not good for Rangers fans.
Davis has been raking lately since his insertion as a regular player. He had a very complete hitters line on Tuesday – going 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs, a walk, a run scored and a steal to boot. Very nice Rajai, but you are a long way from YH. : )
Speaking of firing it up. How about that Battle in the Bronx?
The Yankees may be 40 games over .500 but you’d never know it. This team plays with fire no matter what. Not good for the rest of the league. They had their heels cooled a little by Doc on the mound and Travis Snider at the dish.
Travis cracked two Home Runs yesterday and knocked in 3 RBIs as the Blue Jays made the Bronx faithful a little bluer on the way home. Nice job Travis. In a limited time he has put up 8HRs and 20 RBIs.. maybe this time he’ll stick with the parent club.
Here’s a couple of guys that are no stranger to the Yesterday’s Hitter title. Big Papi and New Papi : )
David Ortiz became the all time leader in Home Runs as a Designated Hitter with his 270th smash in that role. He surpassed another Big fella.. Big Frank Thomas (who probably should still be playing somewhere). Does anybody recall the horrific start this guy had at the beginning of the year? Didn’t think so. Suddenly the Halos look a bit vulnerable to the East.
And the other Papi? Well, just pencil this guy in everyday for the rest of the year. What a roll he’s on. Derrek Lee went 2-2 yesterday and knocked in 3 RBIs to give him 101 for the season. He’s a pillar in the middle of the lineup.
From the old guard to the new… Remember all the hype that surrounded Matt Wieters’ call up? There have been some rumblings that maybe he just isn’t all that was expected. I respectfully disagree. I think the numbers he’s put up are pretty darn good; .272 6HR 32RBI Yesterday he was popping the ball all over the park as he posted a 3 for 5 night with a career high 5 RBIs. I really like his sweet swing, and he does it from both sides of the plate.
Next up are the real contenders. Who is this guy? I thought Jerry West was Mr. Clutch!
But.. no, Andre the Giant is an absolute highlight reel this season. He has 6 Walk off game winners and 4 of those are Home Runs. Last night was no different. He smashed the very first pitch he saw in the 13th inning to give the Dodgers a much needed come from behind win over Pittsburgh. What a shot! What a shot in the arm for LA… they stretch out their lead over the slipping Rocks to 5 Games. Watch this bomb!
As great as that was there’s always something to say about perfection. The Braves have been perfect for the past 5 games and are one of those teams that have decided that ’09 is still the present and they are not giving up without a fight. Enter Adam LaRoche – Yesterday’s Hitter!
Adam LaRoche’s 2009 Stats