Posts Tagged ‘Mariners’

AL Cy Young Race Isn’t Really a Race

September 30th, 2010 by Johnny G | 2 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General

King Felix Reigns Supreme

I’ll admit I thought the entire fan base of baseball as a whole, had taken at least a couple of steps forward as far as throwing old, ridiculous myths and falsehoods out the window. Apparently, I was wrong. In reality, there should be no need for an article to discuss who should win the AL Cy Young award because this isn’t even close. If not for the people who still grasp at a pitcher’s record to judge how their season played out, this would be a unanimous vote. I really honestly have gotten to the point where I feel bad for people who will say “Felix Hernandez can’t win the Cy Young! He only has 13 wins!”. Oh, he only has 13 wins? So what?

I’m going to show you on the most basic levels why wins for a pitcher are meaningless and why Felix Hernandez should be your unanimous Cy Young winner.

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Lets first start by analyzing two different situations. Pitcher A goes 8 innings while allowing 1 earned run and striking out 10. Pitcher B goes 5 innings while allowing 4 earned runs and striking out 2. Pitcher A’s offense is shutout for the entire game and Pitcher B’s offense explodes for 10 runs. Well, Pitcher A gets tagged with the loss and pitcher B gets a gift wrapped win. This is the most basic level of why wins and losses are practically meaningless for a pitcher. For anyone who is still putting emphasis on wins and losses, I have a simple question for you. Do you still believe the earth is flat? Because that is the same type of logic we’re using here.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 11

June 14th, 2010 by Johnny G | 74 Comments | Filed in General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (40-23)- The Rays almost get bounced from the top spot in this week’s rankings, but ultimately their consistency gives them the benefit of the doubt. After taking two of three from the Blue Jays, the Rays dropped two of three from their in-state rivals, the Marlins. The starting pitching has shown some signs of weakness but Carlos Pena is really starting to heat up. Pena homered in six consecutive games at one point and BJ Upton’s average has been on the rise, as well. The Rays are finally dealing with a little bit of adversity. Let’s see how they deal with it before removing them from the top spot.

2. New York Yankees (2) (40-23)- I wish I could list the Yankees right next to the Rays this week, but that is not an option. The Yankees have dealt with their fair share of injuries to this point and continue to win games at a consistent pace. That is a testament to Joe Girardi and the job Brian Cashman has done to give this organization some depth in the minor leagues. It seems like every week I say the same thing but Robinson Cano is really coming into his own. We are looking at a perennial MVP candidate, perennial batting title contender, and a tremendous defensive second basemen. With Chase Utley slumping, Cano is the best second basemen in the game.

3. Atlanta Braves (4) (37-27)- The Braves end week 11 fresh off a series win over the Twins and continue to lead the pack in the NL East. Martin Prado leads the league in hits with 90 and Troy Glaus has his average up to .290 with 13 long-balls after hitting under .200 in April. Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson have been a tremendous duo atop the rotation and Billy Wagner has been lights out in the back end of the bullpen.

4. Boston Red Sox (5) (37-28)- Here we are, more than 60 games into the season, and we have three teams in the AL East in the top four spots in these power rankings. Looking back at my pre-season rankings, I was pretty close, with all three of these squads in the top five. Adrian Beltre’s season has flown under the radar for some reason. Beltre is hitting .335 with 9 homeruns and 44 RBI’s. Jon Lester and Clay Bucholz continue to lock down this Red Sox rotation as John Lackey and the rest of the bunch search for some consistency. If the back end of this rotation does find their stuff, the sky is the limit for the Bosox.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers (6) (36-27)- The Dodgers impressed me early in the week with a sweep of the Cardinals and then severely disappointed me by getting swept by the Angels. Clayton Kershaw is starting to go deeper in the games along with Chad Billingsley. That is the recipe for success for this Dodgers team. The offense is doing more than enough to keep the wins coming but there has to be some concern for Manny Ramirez. He only has five homeruns so far but he is getting on base at a very good clip. Same old same old for Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning. He has a 0.95 ERA with 42 strikeouts and only 3 walks. Amazing.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 9 & 10

June 7th, 2010 by Johnny G | 40 Comments | Filed in Baseball, General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (37-20)- The Rays starting rotation came back to earth, as expected, but the team as a whole continues to plug along. No matter what the issue has been this season they have battled through it. John Jaso hitting leadoff? No problem. Carlos Pena hitting well below .200? No problem. Ben Zobrist has come on strong and has his average over .300 with some decent power after going homer-less for the first month of the season. As long as this young staff can keep going deep into games, the Rays have a playoff spot waiting for them.

2. New York Yankees (2) (35-22)- How good is Robbie Cano? .363 batting average along with 45 RBI’s and 41 runs scored and a 1.013 OPS. That is absolutely incredible. The struggles for Mark Teixeira have continued, though. That has to be concerning as it is starting to get too late in the season to use the excuse that “it’s early yet”. Make no mistake about it, if the Yankees want to win, Tex has to hit.

3. Minnesota Twins (3) (33-24)- Justin Morneau continues to absolutely carry this offense and leads the Twins in just about every category. He has a .370 average, 13 homeruns, 40 RBI’s, a .483 OBP, 71 hits, and 43 walks, all best on the team. The other part of this two-headed monster, Joe Mauer, has been in a bit of a slump, seeing his average drop to a human .313. Even with the injuries the Twins have dealt with, they still hold a comfortable 3.5 game lead in the division and look like they could improve.

4. Atlanta Braves (13) (33-24)- Wow, what a roll this team is currently on. Finally this offense has come around and what a difference it has made. Suddenly Troy Glaus is a middle of the order threat and Martin Prado has continued to rake. Chipper Jones was starting to come around before yet another nagging hand injury and Eric Hinske has taken advantage of his increase in at-bats. The Braves currently hold a two game lead in the NL East. How great of a story would it be to see Bobby Cox go out a winner? This team has the talent to make that happen.

5. Boston Red Sox (8) (33-25)- Where are all those people who said “this isn’t the Red Sox year”, “the Red Sox just aren’t good this year”, “you are biased because you are on the East Coast”. Let’s break this down simply. When you build a team with strong pitching (check), phenomenal defense (check), a phenomenal bullpen (check), and a very solid lineup (check), that team is probably going to win its fair share of games. I realize everybody hates the Red Sox but why don’t we all get a clue and sit back and learn something about the game of baseball. Like I said in week one and every week thereafter, pitching wins and this team has one of the best pitching staffs in the majors.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 8

May 24th, 2010 by Johnny G | 36 Comments | Filed in General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (32-12)- The Rays continue to cruise and as they stretch their lead in the AL East, they are beginning to approach some modern day records. This is the 4th best start in American league history and they have outscored their opponents by over 100 runs through only 44 games. Ben Zobrist is now hitting over .300 with his first two homeruns of the season this week. This squad is going to get very scary to play against if you can add Ben Zobrist to the mix playing like he did in 2009.

2. New York Yankees (2) (26-18)- The Yankees are really struggling with some injuries right now but they better be careful. After being swept in a mini two game set by the Rays, they now sit six games back of the division. Jorge Posada is on the DL, along with Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. Whenever a team of the Yankees caliber drops a series to a team like the Mets, there is always room for concern.

3.Philadelphia Phillies (3) (26-17)- The Phillies start inter-league play off with some less than stellar play, as they do every year. Jimmy Rollins and Brad Lidge are both back on the DL and Rollins absence in the lineup is really starting to show at this point. Carlos Ruiz’ hot start is a distant memory, as his plate approach and pitch selection has reverted back to the old Carlos Ruiz. Roy Halladay was roughed up by the Red Sox on Sunday, which will bring all of the questions out of the wood work about whether or not Manuel has overworked Doc. Everybody Relax. He will be fine.

4. Minnesota Twins (4) (26-18)- It is absolutely insane the numbers Justin Morneau is throwing up right now. .383 batting average with 11 homeruns 24 RBI’s and 35 walks. His OBP is .497 and his OPS is a ridiculous 1.199. Joe Mauer is still plugging along with a .343 average and the rest of the offense has continued to produce. All the starter’s ERAs have come back down to earth but this is an overall solid team throughout.

5. San Diego Padres (5) (26-18)- The fairytale continues for the San Diego Padres. In a recent Sports Illustrated Heath Bell was questioned about the possibility of a fire sale, where he and Adrian Gonzalez would be traded. He said both he and Adrian discussed it during Spring Training and came to the following conclusion. “Lets just win so much that they can’t break this team up.” It really looks like the rest of this crew has taken the same attitude, because if they continue to play like this, the Padres roster might be making additions come the trade deadline.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 7

May 17th, 2010 by Johnny G | 30 Comments | Filed in General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (2) (26-11)- The Rays take over the top spot once again, as they also retain possession of the best record in baseball. You become a very difficult team to beat when you have a 2.78 ERA as a team, leading the league. Combine that with the fact they have scored the 2nd most runs in the AL and there is no mystery as to why the Rays have been dominant. On Saturday, the Rays designated former Phillie Pat Burrell for assignment, replacing him with Hank Blalock. Best wishes to Pat the Bat.

2. New York Yankees (1) (24-13)- Mariano Rivera gave up his first runs of the season on Sunday as he blew a rare save opportunity. Jason Kubel hit a Grand Slam in the 8th inning off of Mariano to give the Twins a lead they would not relinquish. After another week of play, the Yankees now sit two games back of the Rays for first place in the AL East. Robinson Cano has come back to earth slightly with a .326 average and a .975 OPS. Javier Vazquez is now being moved into the bullpen for what is said to be a “temporary” time period but it could be permanent if Sergio Mitre takes advantage of his opportunity.

3. Philadelphia Phillies (4) (23-13)- Nice 4-1 week for the Phils as they continue to play through injuries to critical pieces of the team. Brad Lidge is back on the DL and Jimmy Rollins has been out for quite some time. Rollins should be returning early this week and Jose Contreras has pitched absolutely phenomenal out of the bullpen and appears to be the closer at this point. The Phillies are first in the league in batting average, slugging, and OPS. They are also 4th in the league in ERA, which makes for a pretty solid recipe for success. They have outscored opponents by 48 runs so far and once everyone returns from injury, there is no telling how far this team can go.

4. Minnesota Twins (3) (23-14)- The Twins picked up their first win in New York since 2007 on Sunday, incredible. Overall a pretty mediocre week for the Twins, though as they struggled with the White Sox and were largely outplayed by the Yankees until Mariano had a rare hiccup. Joe Mauer finally hit his 2nd homerun of the season and Justin Morneau is having the best season of his career so far. Jon Rauch continues to pitch well in the absence of Joe Nathan as well.

5. San Diego Padres (9) (22-15)- Could this team really pull it off? I doubt it, but I will be rooting for them all the way to the end. Mat Latos came oh so close to a perfect game in his last start this week, with the lone hit being a comebacker off of his throwing hand that trickled too far away from him to retire Eli Whiteside. Latos is an immensely talented right hander that not many have discovered yet and if he continues to produce with the way Garland, Leblanc, and Correia are throwing, this team could legitimately win the West.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 6

May 10th, 2010 by Johnny G | 28 Comments | Filed in General

1. New York Yankees (2) (21-9)- The Bronx Bombers regain the top spot in the rankings and continue to play phenomenal baseball this year. If Javier Vazquez was not struggling so badly, this team may be 26-4 at this point. This team as a whole is throwing some impressive numbers out there. They are first in the AL in average, runs, OBP, OPS, and slugging. In addition to the offensive numbers, the Yanks are 2nd in the league in ERA, batting average against, OPS, and WHIP. This team might win 115 games. Very impressive squad.

2. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (22-9)- The Rays still own the best record in baseball and I could have kept them in the same spot atop the rankings but their offensive production throughout the past week has been alarming. Anytime a pitcher like Dallas Braden throws a perfect game against you, there is reason to be concerned. With that all being said, every pitcher in the rotation has en ERA under 3.50 and only two pitchers on the entire roster have ERAs over 4.00. I have a feeling the Rays and Yanks will be jockeying for the top stop all season long.

3. Minnesota Twins (3) (21-11)- The Twins swept the Tigers at home and then split their series with the Orioles, all with superstar Joe Mauer on the shelf for the week. Mauer did come back on Sunday to DH and appears to be ok going forward. Francisco Liriano continues to dominate with a 2.36 ERA and Mauer and Morneau are hitting .341 and .339, respectively. This team is the real deal, folks.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (5) (19-12)- If Jayson Werth is not the front-runner for the MVP award right now, I’m not sure who is. This guy is just spraying balls all over the yard and it is truly impressive to watch. The Phillies had a very impressive week, taking 3 of 4 from the Cardinals and 2 of 3 from the Braves. Carlos Ruiz leads the league in OBP and this lineup continues to pummel opposing pitchers. In years past Ruiz was the only “break” in the lineup for opposing pitchers but now with his new plate approach this lineup is just murder.

5. St. Louis Cardinals (4) (20-12)- The Cards pretty much treaded water this week, but due to the impressive performance by the Phillies, they move down this week. Colby Rasmus is sporting a flashy 1.028 OPS and rookie Jaime Garcia has a 1.18 ERA in addition to the usual weapons this team has on a nightly basis. The team leads the league in ERA and the starting staff has given up so few homerun balls, you can count them on one hand. Here is some bad news for the NL Central, Albert hasn’t even gotten hot yet.

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Johnny G’s MLB Power Rankings Part 5

May 3rd, 2010 by Johnny G | 10 Comments | Filed in General

1. Tampa Bay Rays (1) (18-7)- The young Rays still own the best record in baseball after going 4-2 in the 5th week of the season. This team has a collective 3.14 ERA on the season and are first in batting average against, whip, quality starts, and runs scored. They are also in the top 5 in every other offensive category you can imagine. No pitcher in the starting rotation has an ERA above 3.38 and that belongs to James Shields. After Shields it is Garza with a 2.06 ERA, Jeff Niemann 2.76 ERA, David Price 2.34 ERA, and finally rookie Wade Davis with a 2.79 ERA. Unbelievable what this team is doing.

2.New York Yankees (2) (16-8)- The Bronx Bombers continue to play well after a week where they took both of their series. Robinson Cano is absolutely ripping the cover off the ball right now and leads the team in batting average, RBI’s, runs scored, and OPS. With the Rays and Yankees playing like this, the rest of the AL better win their division to get into the playoffs, because the wild-card is off limits at this point.

3. Minnesota Twins (3) (16-9)- The top several spots here have stayed pretty much the same with no one really distancing themselves from the field. I’m sure Twins fans expected more this week than a split but still an impressive week for Francisco Liriano, who has a 1.50 ERA after his impressive start on Sunday. Justin Morneau continues to hit well despite his lower back issue early in the week but Joe Mauer has a bruised heel that has kept him out for several days. This team will struggle if Mauer misses significant time.

4. St. Louis Cardinals (4) (17-8)- Very, very impressive showing for the Red Birds this week. After a four game sweep at home over Atlanta, the Cardinals took the final series of the week over the Reds. This team is top 10 in any category you can imagine, offensively or pitching-wise. Chris Carpenter is just fine after having some early season scares and Colby Rasmus is blossoming into a pure superstar right in front of our eyes. Carpenter, Wainwright, Penny, and Garcia all have ERAs under 3.00. Simply Amazing.

5. Philadelphia Phillies (5) (14-10)- I can’t quite figure this team out. Every time I think they don’t have nearly enough pitching to win consistently, they go out and totally out-slug their opponents like they did to Johan Santana on Sunday. Believe it or not Raul Ibanez is on a four game hitting streak, raising his average to a whopping .224. Nice work Rauuuul. Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer at the back end are putting too many innings on the bullpen but they are winning games right now. Blanton will be back soon and that will shore up some loose ends on the pitching staff.

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