The excitment builds! 2 weeks left in the season and a couple of exciting races are continuing to emerge. Most notably, the NL Wild Card which could have gotten even tighter had Ryan Howard not single handedly scalped the Braves’ 7 game winning streak. Howard crushed a couple of looooong balls (he loves hitting in Atlanta) to fill up a pretty good line; 2-4 2HR 3RBIs. That gives him 40 taters on the year!
The Braves lost a chance to get within 3 1/2 and join the melee with the Marlins (4 back) and the Giants keep snuggling up to the Rockies a little at a time.
It was a good day for Ryan’s… Ryan Roberts had himself a Vin Scully kind of day to help keep Colorado within reach. He was a perfect 2 for 2, with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 2 walks to boot. Did I mention he plays 2nd? Kinda cool Ryan .. Nice game. Watch his dinger here!
Since we’re talking about 2’s … What about the Twins? I had a notion that Michael Cuddyer was going to do something special in this series and he didn’t waste any time. His 2 run HR was all the Twins needed to close the gap to 3 on the Tigers! Watch out! Cuddyer’s line wasn’t the best.. but it was pretty big. Jason Kubel had a nice 2-4 2R day.. riding home on the heels of Cuddyer’s big blast.
In a game that didn’t have much impact anywhere (except maybe arbitration rooms), The Rays had a couple of great hitting performances from Crawford and Longoria. Carl went 4-5 with 3 runs scored and a Ribby, while Evan hit his 31st HR and posted a 2-4 day with 3 Runs, 3 big Ribeyes and a walk. Two very nice games… but no banana.
How about Miguel Olivo spoiiling any chance of Chicago sneaking into the Central race… this guy’s got 23 dingers… 2 of them yesterday in an 11-0 pasting of the Pale Hose. Miguel put up 6 RBIs!! If nothing else the Royals are gathering a nice collection of young talent and may be on their way up.
One team that refuses to die… and faces the daunting task of playing in the mouth of the league leading sharks of the NL West… the Giants battled to a huge win over the Dodgers on the strength of their little guy. Leadoff hitter Eugenio Velez came up Big! He set the tone with his first at bat, getting to a 3-2 count and then battling off close pitches until he met one. Right on the Sweet Spot. Say Goodbye to My li’l Friend!
Bye Bye baaaaaaaby. A Home Run to lead off the game in that series! Are you kidding? Just what the Giants needed. And did they ever follow suit. Hammering out key hit after key hit to win it 8-4. Eugenio Velez ended up 3 for 5 with that big HR and 2 RBIs, he threw in a couple of runs scored to fill up his line. Awesome! But sorry, you’ve been upstaged by a legend….
Yes, it’s the Ichiro monster slaying Godzilla and the Yankees! What a game! If you’re on the East Coast I’m sure you couldn’t stay awake for the late inning heroics of Suzuki. Down by a run and facing Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th. Ichiro mashed a 2 Run Bronx Bomb to walk off a winner… again! What a night for Ichiro who posted a 4-5 2 RBI night. We can only marvel at this man’s hitting talent. He is simply FUN to watch! Congratulation Ichiro.. .You are Yesterday’s Hitter!
Oh My.. September, September.. it’s just a bit cooler in the air but NOT on the field OR in the clubhouse. The tensions are rising (just ask the Marlins), the passion is brewing, the job of hitting is getting harder. Suddenly the games are not nearly as fun as they are ferociously played, with each pitch. And so, the task of choosing Yesterday’s Hitter becomes that much more convoluted. I have a set criteria, sure.. but late in the season the dynamics of a Hitter’s role change.
Enter Jason Giambi. It’s been said that hitting a baseball is the hardest task in sports. Try upping the ante to Jason Giambi’s situation; a new team, called on to pinch hit in the 8th inning of a tie game, bases loaded… and oh yeah, you’re in the middle of a Wild Card race. What did Jason do? Stroked a perfect, game winning 2 RBI single to center field is all. Watch Here!
Honorable Mention; Pat Burrell, Evan Longoria, Wes Helms, A-Rod, Johnny Damon