Mike Trout Doing Mike Trout Things: The Angels are still struggling. They lost last night to the Mariners. The Angels lost two out of three games to the Rangers this week. The one game the Angels did win this week against the Rangers was because of this game-saving catch by Mike Trout.
AL East Dominance and AL East Dominated: Last year the Oakland A's dominated the AL East especially down the stretch. They took eight out of nine out of Boston alone and I remember specifically the A's destroying the AL East down the stretch in 2012 and that helped them catch the Texas Rangers. So far this year the A's are 1-7 against the AL East and still have three more games against the Orioles through this weekend. They were swept by a Rays team that earlier couldn't do anything right. Thankfully for the A's sake they're done playing the AL East until.............next Friday! Yep they have to travel to the East Coast again for the 2nd weekend in the past three weeks to play in New York. Hold on A's.
Jose Valverde and Bruce Rondon Won't Help The Tigers Bullpen: Richard Justice had a column on the return of Jose Valverde to Detroit to help their bullpen. The Tigers also brought up from the minors Bruce Rondon. It doesn't matter, the Tigers bullpen is still awful. Rondon gave up a run yesterday and then Phil Coke gave up a grand slam that would be a game-winner for the Kansas City Royals. The big problem with the Tigers bullpen is how many walks they give up. Rondon and Valverde haven't pitched enough yet to accumulate stats but the rest of that bullpen averages about 5 walks per 9 innings and that is terrible.
Ron Washington Pulls a Jim Leyland: It's well known that Jim Leyland likes to smoke his Lucky Strikes or Marlboro's or whatever he likes to smoke. It's also known Leyland isn't pleased he can't smoke near the dugout or even in the halls anymore. So that's why I'm pretty sure he's jealous of Ron Washington here. (.gif courtesy of Getting Blanked)
Dave Cameron found an answer. The Cardinals are great in situational hitting or sequence hitting when there are men on base. With men on base the Cardinals have an astounding 132 +wWC and a 142 +wRC with runners in scoring position. I've watched Cardinals games and they definitely kill teams when men reach base. They'll regress a little but at the same time hitters like Freese and Craig should improve so they'll offset each other. Situational hitting at it's finest.
Games Of the Weekend: Looking at the important games and pitching matchups of the weekend.
Friday, Cincinnati at Washington, Bailey vs. Zimmerman: The Reds and Nats have already played this year in Cincinnati and the Reds swept the Nats. Now you're thinking the same thing is going to happen again but remember this, the Reds are 1-6 on the road so far this year. Either the Nats are going to get revenge or the Reds will finally break out of this malaise they've been in on the road.
Saturday, Pittsburgh at St. Louis, Burnett vs Westbrook: The Pirates have been on a roll lately. They've won 7 out of their last 10 games and took 3 out of 4 in Philly all while Andrew McCutchen has been struggling. Now the Pirates pitching staff has been the ones who have really carried this team and unfortunately for them they have the lowest BABIP which means they'll probably regress. I'm rooting for the Pirates though this weekend.
Sunday, Atlanta at Detroit, Minor vs. Fister: A Minor is going to Fister! Get it? Sorry for the lame humor but I'm pretty sure this is the type of series MLB was thinking of when they decided to go with Interleague year around. That pitching matchup plus the Braves lineup vs the Tigers lineup is just too sexy of a matchup not to watch.