MLB Round-Up Dog Days Edition

The only thing hotter than the temperature is… screw it, there’s nothing hotter than the August sun right now. As the remaining games dwindle, the races get tighter.

Team of the Week

American League – Toronto Blue Jays. I thought the great birds of the North would slowly fall southward in the standings as the season progressed, and they have to a degree. However, they’re still managing to stay in a thick AL East race. Sure, they’re 8 games behind the first place Yankees, but they are 59-52 to date and just completed a 3 game smack-down of the Rays.

National League – Cincinnati Reds. The first place Reds continue to stay ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals with the third best record in the Senior Circuit. They’ve also won 4 straight games and have posted an 8-2 record in the last 10 games. They start a crucial series with the Cards tonight in Cincy.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Chone Figgins (Seattle). The free agent signing has been a big disappointment this season after leaving the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This past 7 days he looked liked the player of old. He batted .522 and scored 3 runs with 3 stolen bases.

National League – Ryan Braun (Milwaukee). The Brewers continue to be an intriguing team looking like a contender one week while looking horrible the next. Braun posted an MLB-best .538 average.

Player of the Week

American League – Trevor Cahill (Oakland). 17 innings pitched, 0 earned runs, 2 wins, 1 complete game, and 1 shutout in 2 games for the young Oakland pitcher.

National League – Tim Hudson (Atlanta). The Braves ace pitched in 2 games the past 7 days. He recorded 2 wins with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings with 9 strikeouts.

MLB Round-Up Post Trade Deadline and a Day Late Edition

MLB Round-Up’s reserved Monday posting was delayed by an 8 hour car ride. It’s amazing how much energy that can take out of a person. Anyway, we’re back and ready to give out awards.

Team of the Week

American League – Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay hit a minor speed-bump in an otherwise healthy season around mid-June which allowed the Yankees to control the AL East for about a month. However, the Rays continued playing, made a few moves at the deadline, and now find themselves tied with the Yankees. Can you see exciting race to the end?

National League – San Francisco Giants. I admit it. I thought this team did not have enough offense to win the division. And they may not as there is plenty of time left for them to fade away like the last few seasons. Regardless, the Giants are winning now. They’re keeping withing striking distance of first place San Diego.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Jose Bautista (Toronto). Bautista leads MLB in home runs and he’s never hit more than 16 in a season until now. And this past week, he batted .500 and smashed 4 more homers with 12 RBIs. It’s also easy to see that Bautista leaves Toronto at the end of the season as a free agent, some mid-level team gives him a bunch of money ($60-80 million), and he returns to normal next season. Happens all the time.

National League – Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado). The Rockie outfielder batted .520 with a slugging percentage 1.160. Gonzalez also scored 9 runs and collected 29 total bases. Can the Rockies ever mount a serious push though?

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Trevor Cahill (Oakland). 2 starts, 2 wins, 17 (out of 18 possible) innings pitched, a complete game shutout, and no runs (earned or otherwise) allowed. Ladies and gentleman, Trevor Cahill.

National League – Tim Hudson (Atlanta). The Braves needed a stopper during their recent road struggles, and ace Tim Hudson did just that. In 2 starts, he won twice, gave up 2 earned runs, posted a 1.32 ERA, and pitched 13.2 innings.

MLB Round-Up Trade Deadline Bonanza Edition

The magical (and sometimes sleepless depending upon your viewpoint) non-waiver trade deadline is 5 days away for Major League Baseball. A few moves have been made (most notably pitchers Cliff Lee and Dan Haren), but the real flurries will begin around Friday and go throughout the day and night.

Team of the Week

American League – Minnesota Twins. In a week when no team truly stood out, the Twins have pulled out 7 wins in their last 10 games and have seemed to recapture some momentum after a mid-season stumble. They are notorious for furious finishes and could be buyers at the trade deadline which would be against their recent trends.

National League – San Francisco Giants. The one team with more than enough pitching seems to have hit its stride as of late. The Giants have won 4 straight, cut the gap from first place to 3 games, and have an awakening offense.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Miguel Cabrera (Detroit). I’m not sure how many times I’ve given this award to Miggy, but he could probably win it every week. A legitimate triple crown candidate, the Detroit first baseman blasted 2 homers, 6 doubles, drove in 9 runs, batted .500, slugged .929, and reached base 51% of the time. Then again, that’s just another week in the life of Miguel Cabrera.

National League – Jason Heyward (Atlanta). The 20 year old rookie phenom is also no stranger to this award, but he has rebounded from a June slump partially induced by an inflamed thumb. The young man batted .535 last week while also totaling 5 walks. His .613 on-base percentage shows his maturation at a young age.

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Wade Davis (Tampa Bay). The weekly awards are full of rookies this week with Heyward and now Davis. 14.1 innings pitched, 2 wins, 2 walks total, and a 1.88 ERA were Davis’ numbers for the week. David Price, Matt Garza, and Wade Davis are one helluva future trio for the Rays.

National League – Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati). In 2 starts this week, the Reds pitcher threw 14 innings, struck out 10, and recorded a 1.29 ERA. Cincinnati will need their young pitcher for the stretch runs against the Cardinals.

MLB Round-Up 7/19 Edition

The All-Star Break has surpassed us, and we are now one weekend into MLB’s crucial second half.

Team of the Week

American League – Oakland Athletics. The money ball A’s have won 5 games in a row and pulled within 7 games of the first place Texas Rangers. Oakland isn’t exactly threatening the Rangers, but they needed to win some games to keep it within striking distance.

National League – N.L. All-Star team. They finally won again. Remember, this time, just like the previous 6 times, it counted.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Gordon Beckham (Chicago). The South-sider second baseman struggled early and often in his sophomore campaign, but the first round pick turned it around in his four games after the All-Star break. Beckham had a .643 average with a .929 slugging percentage. His 9 hits in 4 games also repaid GM Ken Williams’ faith in not trading him despite a plethora of calls from other teams.

National League – Brian McCann (Atlanta). McCann’s bases clearing, 3 RBI double in the 7th inning of the All-Star game became the game winner. He also added a grand slam for his Braves Sunday which helped even the four game series at two apiece.

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Fausto Carmona (Cleveland). Since the pitching stats for this week are somewhat bare, we’ll give a last place team a little love. Carmona gave the Indians a much needed victory with 7 solid innings and only 3 earned runs.

National League – Bronson Arroyo (Cincinnati). Arroyo continued his good season for the first place Reds. He pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 runs, and struck out 4 batters in his second half debut.

MLB Round-Up 7/5 edition

The last pre-All Star game MLB Round-up is served today, hot and fresh.

Team of the Week

American League – New York Yankees. No team really stood out in the Junior Circuit over the past seven days, but this award is for the half-season mark. The Yankees have been the most consistent team in baseball. Sure, they trialed the hot-starting Rays early on, but the Yanks remained on their heels the entire time. Their team is still in need of some help before the trade deadline, but right now, New York looks to be the favorite representing the AL in the Fall Classic.

National League – San Diego Padres. 7-3 in their last ten games and a three game win streak have landed the Padres the award. They lead the Atlanta Braves by one game for best record in the NL. But have the Padres been given enough respect? They’ve led the NL West from the beginning. Adrian Gonzalez is a superstar and their pitching staff may not include house-hold names, but it is talented.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Miguel Cabrera (Detroit). The Tigers first baseman rebounded from last season’s late-night-partying debacle to put up one of the best first halves in baseball. This past week he was exceptional with his .467 batting average, five RBIs, and four doubles. In the process, he helped the Tigers reach a tie with the Twins for first place.

National League – Rafael Furcal (Los Angeles). The Dodger short stop was the only player in baseball to post a batting average over .500 in the past week (.538). His two home runs and two doubles boosted his slugging percentage to .923 for the week. If the Dodgers want to catch the Padres, they a healthy Furcal performing his best at the top of the lineup.

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Cliff Lee (Seattle). Seventeen innings, thirteen strikeouts, a complete game, a 2.12 ERA, and two wins spells what exactly? Trade bait. Lee has pitched extremely well since returning from injury. However, with Seattle’s last place residence, Cliff Lee will be bringing in some young prospects for Seattle by July 31.

National League – Adam Wainwright (St. Louis). Wainwright has ascended to one of the game’s best pitchers. His 0.59 ERA in two wins (one complete game) and sixteen strikeouts in fifteen plus innings was outstanding. He’s also 9-0 at home this season.

MLB Round-Up 6/28 Edition

MLB Round-Up is back for the week. Let’s get it started.

Team of the Week

American League – Texas Rangers. The Rangers become a two time winner in the team of the week category. They continued their hot play over the last seven days. Too bad their ownership situation will probably keep them from acquiring a much-needed ace and making them into a true pennant contender.

National League – San Diego Padres. The National League’s best team (yes, that’s correct) continued their solid play by ending the week with a sweep of the Florida Marlins. Instead of wondering where Adrian Gonzalez would be headed in mid-July, the Padres will be buyers at the deadline.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Miguel Tejada (Baltimore). The former MVP continues to produce despite questions of his age. Tejada batted .481 for the week with 13 hits and 7 RBIs.

National League – David Wright (New York). Arizona’s Justin Upton was deserving of this award, but considering Wright had been the offensive catalyst for New York’s resurgence, he gets the nod. Wright batted .500 with 8 RBIs and 2 homers.

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Tommy Hunter (Texas). The 24 year old pitcher has provided a boost to the Texas rotation, especially last week. He started twice, registering 12 innings combined with an ERA of 2.25. Most importantly, he won both starts.

National League – Jaime Moyer (Philadelphia). The ageless lefty helped Philly start to play better baseball with his 1.80 ERA in 15 innings in the last 7 days. Moyer also recorded 15 strikeouts.

MLB Round-Up 6/21 Edition

It’s Monday (unfortunately) which means it’s time for the weekly MLB Round-Up entry (fortunately).

Team of the Week

American League – Texas Rangers. The Chicago White Sox were also deserving of this award, but the Rangers win it. Texas was undefeated last week and own an eight game winning streak, best in the majors. In the process, they increased their first place lead over the hard-charging Angels to 3.5 games.

National League – Atlanta Braves. Can you say National League’s best team? Residents of Hotlanta can. The Braves have been on a hot streak since mid-May akin to the increasing temperatures of northern Georgia. They took two out of three against the Rays at home mid-week before sweeping the hapless Royals over the weekend.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Josh Hamilton (Texas). Want to know why the Rangers have suddenly taken off? Look no further than number 32. True, Texas has played well all season, but their recent burst can be attributed to an awakened Josh Hamilton. He had a .593 average over the past seven days and slugged .815. He also scored six runs and recorded six RBIs.

National League – Matt Holliday (St. Louis). After signing a big off-season contract, Holliday has played mediocre by his own standards. He’s alive now. A .435 batting average, 1.000 slugging percentage, 8 RBIs, and 4 home runs are just some of the highlights of his past seven days.

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Carl Pavano (Minnesota). Since he left the Florida Marlins following the 2003 championship season, Pavano has been a disappointment, especially under the bright lights of New York City. This past week, Pavano pitched 16 innings (including a complete game) with a 2.25 ERA and 2 wins.

National League – Adam Wainwright (Cardinals). Wainwright has steadily become one of the best pitchers in baseball since ascending to the rotation after the Cardinals 2006 championship in which he notably played the role of closer. Wainwright pitched 15 innings, struck out 10 batters, posted a 1.80 ERA, and recorded 2 wins.

Series to Watch

As Interleague play winds down before the All-Star push, we highlight some intriguing match-ups for the rest of this week.

Atlanta Braves vs Chicago White Sox (midweek)

Detroit Tigers vs New York Mets (midweek)

Minnesota vs New York Mets (weekend)

Detroit Tigers vs Atlanta Braves (weekend)

New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Dodgers (weekend)

Boston Red Sox vs San Francisco Giants (weekend)

MLB Round-Up 6/14 edition

The weekly MLB Round-Up post is back amidst World Cup phenomenon. In case you forgot, we will detail a team of the week, position player of the week, and pitcher of the week in each league. Let’s begin.

Team of the Week

American League – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Los Angeles’ other team swept the Dodgers over the weekend Interleague series and, in the process, have reached a season-high 6 games over .500. The Angels have also closed their AL West deficit to a .5 game. The Angels seem to lose key players and replace them with less than high profile free agents, yet they always start playing great baseball around the end of May. Watch our for them.

National League – New York Mets. Has there been a more up-and-down team in the majors this season? One week, the Mets look like serious division and pennant contenders only to look like a team competing for a high draft pick the next? A patchwork rotation has allowed the Mets to close Atlanta’s division lead to 1.5 games.

Position Player of the Week

American League – Johnny Damon (Detroit). The Tigers off-season acquisition played in 6 games in the past week posting a .476 batting average. Damon was the catalyst for a Tigers offense that helped them sweep the Pirates over the weekend.

National League – Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati). The Reds are just 5-5 in their last 10 games, but Brandon Phillips cannot be blamed for the mediocrity. He batted .538 and slugged .808. Phillips added 3 RBIs and 6 runs scored.

Pitcher of the Week

American League – Colby Lewis (Texas). Despite a shrinking division lead, Lewis kept his Rangers in first place with 2 wins in the past 7 days. His 1.80 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 15 innings was as impressive as anyone in the same time span.

National League – Matt Cain (San Francisco). When a hugely-hyped phenom gets 2 wins in his first 2 starts in the majors while giving up 3 runs, they usually get Pitcher of the Week honors. Unfortunately for Stephen Strasburg, Matt Cain was just better. Cain posted a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings helping the Giants gain ground on the first place Padres.

Series of the Week – Tampa Bay Rays vs Atlanta Braves. It doesn’t get any better than a 3 game, mid-week series between 2 first place teams. The Rays take a 22-8 road record to Turner Field where the Braves 19-6, which is the fewest losses at home by any team in the majors. Something has to give in Hotlanta.