The Red Sox just keep winning. I'm still not convinced they are winning a Division or Wild Card this year, but man it is fun seeing them win.
One refrain I kept hearing from Sox fans was "wait until everyone is healthy."
Well the Red Sox are far from healthy. But when the likes of Daniel Nava, Franklin Morales, Cody Ross and Aaron Cook are kicking this much butt, maybe their injured players should spend more time in the trainers room.
What Red Sox fan would rather hear the dreaded words "Now pitching, John Lackey" instead of giving Aaron Cook another shot. Cook pitched an 81 pitch masterpiece today. I think Clay Buchholz averaged 81 pitches an inning.
THIS Red Sox team is fun and has guys who aren't cashing the big checks and breaking down.
If Carl Crawford comes back, does that send Daniel Nava and his .902 OPS to the bench?
Or maybe Cody Ross and HIS .915 OPS will get cobwebs while Crawford cashes a check.
I don't think so.
Come on Sox. Play the players who are actually winning games and appease the fans.
We all know Crawford and Lackey are making a lot of money. Doesn't mean you have to play them!
A little more than a month ago, the Giants were 1 game above .500 and seven games behind the Dodgers.
12 days ago, the Giants were 5 games out of first place.
This morning, Giants fans will wake up knowing their team is in first place by themselves.
On the heels of Madison Bumgarner's 1 hit masterpiece, the Giants have climbed into the penthouse by themselves.
Any combination of Giants wins and Dodgers losses equaling 128 will clinch the NL West for the Giants.
The Jesus Montero trade blew up in the Yankees face once Michael Pineda went down for the year. But now it looks even larger as the Yankees desperately need to make a trade for a starting pitcher, and they've already cashed in their best trade chip.
It's that time of the year again... the time when we immortalize a player for being an All Star based upon a good first half or by being a mandatory pick from a lousy team.
It's the All Star ballot time!
Now last year they handed out All Star roster spots like a T-Ball League hands out trophies. Evidently everyone got one.
My rosters will be a little more reserved. I have 34 spots including the nine starters (and DH), reserves and pitchers (with a smattering of lefties thrown in.)
Each team is represented.
AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL STARS
– A. J. PIERZYNSKI, White Sox
Base – PAUL KONERKO, White Sox
Base – ROBINSON CANO, Yankees
– DEREK JETER, Yankees
Base - MIGUEL CABRERA, Tigers
Field – JOSH HAMILTON, Rangers
Field – ADAM JONES, Orioles
Field - MARK TRUMBO, Angels
Hitter – DAVID ORTIZ, Red Sox
Pitcher – JUSTIN VERLANDER, Tigers
Catcher – JOE MAUER, Twins
Catcher – MATT WIETERS, Orioles
First Baseman – PRINCE FIELDER, Tigers
Second Baseman – JASON KIPNIS, Indians
Shortstop – ELVIS ANDRUS, Rangers
Shortstop – ASDRUBAL CABRERA, Indians
Third Baseman – ADRIAN BELTRE, Rangers
Outfielder –BILLY BUTLER, Royals
Outfielder –EDWIN ENCARNACION, Blue Jays
Outfielder –JOSH REDDICK, Athletics
Outfielder –ALEX RIOS, White Sox
Outfielder – MIKE TROUT, Angels
JASON HAMMEL, Orioles
FELIX HERNANDEZ, Mariners
JAKE PEAVY, White Sox
DAVID PRICE, Rays
CHRIS SALE, White Sox
JERED WEAVER, Angels
C. J. WILSON, Angels
JONATHAN BROXTON, Royals
JIM JOHNSON, Orioles
JOE NATHAN, Rangers
CHRIS PEREZ, Indians
FERNANDO RODNEY, Rays
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL STARS
– YADIER MOLINA, Cardinals
Base – JOEY VOTTO, Reds
Base – BRANDON PHILLIPS, Reds
– STARLIN CASTRO, Cubs
Base – DAVID WRIGHT, Mets
Field – CARLOS GONZALEZ, Rockies
Field – ANDREW McCUTCHEN, Pirates
Field – CARLOS BELTRAN, Cardinals
Hitter –RYAN BRAUN, Brewers
Pitcher – R. A. DICKEY, Mets
Catcher – CARLOS RUIZ, Phillies
Catcher – BUSTER POSEY, Giants
First Baseman – ADAM LaROCHE, Nationals
Second Baseman – JOSE ALTUVE, Astros
Second Baseman– AARON HILL, Diamondbacks
Shortstop – RAFAEL FURCAL, Cardinals
Third Baseman – DAVID FREESE, Cardinals
Outfielder – MICHAEL BOURN, Braves
Outfielder – MELKY CABRERA, Giants
Outfielder – ANDRE ETHIER, Dodgers
Outfielder – MATT HOLLIDAY, Cardinals
Outfielder – GIANCARLO STANTON, Marlins
JOHNNY CUETO, Reds
GIO GONZALEZ, Nationals
ZACK GREINKE, Brewers
COLE HAMELS, Phillies
JAMES McDONALD, Pirates
WADE MILEY, Diamondbacks
STEPHEN STRASBURG, Nationals
AROLDIS CHAPMAN, Reds
TYLER CLIPPARD, Nationals
CRAIG KIMBRELL, Braves
HUSTON STREET, Padres
A few notes...
- You can't accuse me of being a homer. I have more Royals (2) than Red Sox (1) on the All Star Squad.
- I put both Billy Butler and Jonathan Broxton on the squad to appease the home town fans. Jose Bautista was the odd man out.
- I opted for Alex Rios over Curtis Granderson. I have a feeling that pick will come back to bite me.
- Josh Reddick and his power put him on the club as the A's rep.
- Nobody on the Mariners deserves a trip. I selected Felix Hernandez because at least he had earned it in the past. Nobody should add "All Star" to their resume on the Mariners without earning it.
- I picked Huston Street over Carlos Quentin for the Padres rep. Neither has played enough to merit selection, but at least Street has a good save total. Also he has never been an All Star and deserved to be when with either Oakland or Colorado.
- Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo should be All Stars. Albert Pujols should not be. Who predicted that?
- Most A.L. All Stars? According to me, the White Sox! Who predicted that? Nobody.
- Most N. L. All Stars? According to me, the Cardinals! Things could look good for the Defending Champs!
We'll see how many get picked. As I wrote last year, I think the season should START the season with the All Star Game. But nobody listens to me.
It always seems unfair when a small market team loses a star in the off season. But is it always a bad thing? Sure the Padres stink this year. But at least they are not being bogged down by big contracts for Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell.
In my latest for Bleacher Report, I talk about why appeasing the fan base for one winter can potentially be disastrous for many summers.
He threw out Dee Gordon in a key 9th inning situation helping put the A's in position to win in the bottom of the ninth. But that isn't why I am writing about him.
Look at this guy. He's what a catcher is supposed to look like. Stocky. Tough. Grizzled. Possibly angry.
Just in terms of visual aesthetics, this bearded intimidating figure is what you want in a catcher.
And so far he has caught one game in the bigs and the A's let up a single run and he threw out the go ahead run in the 9th inning trying to steal. So at least in his first game, he passed the catchers test.
The A's were criticized for making so many deals this off season, sending young pitchers like Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey, reinforcing a cheapskate image without the heroic Scott Hatteberg Moneyball home run to redeem the team.
But Josh Reddick, brought over from Boston, already has 15 homers while Bailey has yet to pitch a game for the Red Sox.
Cahill has pitched well for Arizona. However Jarrod Parker, the main chip in the trade, is pitching to a lower ERA. And the A's also got from the D-Backs Ryan Cook, who has been outstanding in the bullpen and Collin Cowgill, who has played well in the outfield.
And while Gio Gonzalez is a Cy Young contender in Washington, the A's haul in that deal has been on display each of the last two games.
Pitcher Tommy Milone threw a complete game victory yesterday to raise his record to 7-5. And Derek Norris showed today that he is ready behind the plate.
In the end, the Athletics might very well have the last laugh on all of the trade. However it does not look like Norris will be laughing at anything any time soon.
So as the Athletics out together their latest playoff team for Oakland (or San Jose or Fremont or wherever they will end up), they appear to have a catcher straight out of central casting.
I took a few days off of blogging to take care of some non Sully Baseball matters.
It serves me right not blogging.
I missed a pair of no hitters. One a perfect game by one of the game's elite pitchers, Matt Cain.
Another a six pitcher marathon.
In a way, Kevin Millwood was diplomatic when he left the 1-0 no hitter with an injury.
Millwood threw a complete game no hitter for the Phillies on April 27, 2003.
Instead of throwing going all 9, his injuries forced him out of the June 8 game against the Dodgers.
What are the chances of Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen getting listed in the All Time No Hitter tally?
Slim. But they are there now.
Let's update the list.
THE MOST RECENT NO HITTERS FOR EACH FRANCHISE
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Matt Cain - June 13, 2012.
10-0 over Houston.
Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge,
Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen - June 8, 2012.
1-0 over L.A. Dodgers.
NEW YORK METS
Johan Santana - June 1, 2012
8-0 over St. Louis.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
Jered Weaver - May 2, 2012.
9-0 over Minnesota.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
Phillip Humber - April 21, 2012
4-0 over Seattle. (Perfect Game.)
Justin Verlander - May 7, 2011.
9-0 over Toronto.
Francisco Liriano - May 3, 2011
1-0 over Chicago White Sox
Roy Halladay - October 6, 2010
4-0 over Cincinnati. (Playoff Game)
TAMPA PAY RAYS
Matt Garza - July 26th, 2010
5-0 over Detroit.
Edwin Jackson - June 25, 2010
1-0 over Tampa Bay
Dallas Braden - May 9, 2010
4-0 over Tampa Bay. (Perfect Game.)
Ubaldo Jimenez - April 17, 2010
4-0 over Atlanta.
Carlos Zambrano - September 14, 2008.
5-0 over Houston.
BOSTON RED SOX
Jon Lester - May 19, 2008.
7-0 over Kansas City.
Anibal Sanchez - September 6, 2006.
2-0 over Arizona.
Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner -
June 11, 2003.
8-0 over New York Yankees.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Bud Smith - September 3, 2001
4-0 over San Diego.
NEW YORK YANKEES
David Cone - July 18, 1999.
6-0 over Montreal. (Perfect Game.)
Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon - July 12, 1997.
3-0 over Houston. (10 innings.)
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Hideo Nomo - September 17, 1996.
9-0 over Colorado.
Kenny Rogers - July 28, 1994.
4-0 over California. (Perfect Game.)
Kent Mercker - April 8, 1994.
6-0 over Los Angeles.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Bret Saberhagen - August 26, 1991
7-0 over Chicago White Sox.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AS MONTREAL EXPOS)
Dennis Martinez - July 28, 1991.
2-0 over Los Angeles. (Perfect Game.)
Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson - July 13, 1991.
2-0 over Oakland.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Dave Steib - September 2, 1990.
3-0 over Cleveland.
Tom Browning - September 16, 1988.
1-0 over Los Angeles. (Perfect Game.)
Juan Nieves - April 15, 1987.
7-0 over Baltimore.
Len Barker - May 15, 1981.
3-0 over Toronto. (Perfect Game.)
Bonus WASHINGTON SENATORS
Bobby Burke - August 8, 1931
5-0 over Boston.
Still waiting for the Padres.
The way this year is going with no hitters, it could happen at any minute.