Uggla, Braun on Home Run Rampage
Dan Uggla is a player you don't hear that much about. He is putting together his third solid season in the Majors with the Florida Marlins. In his 2006 rookie season, he hit 27 homers and drove in 90 runs while hitting .282. His average fell to .245 in 2007, but he had 49 doubles, 31 homers, and drove in 88 runs. He had 83 extra base hits, which tied him with his teammate Hanley Ramirez for fourth in the Majors; only Matt Holliday (92), Jimmy Rollins (88), and Prince Fielder (87) had more extra base hits. Uggla and Ramirez have to be one of the best second base-shortstop tandems ever when it comes to hitting with power.
This season, Uggla already has 25 extra base hits in less than a fourth of the season, while slugging .652. Only 9 NL players have had 100 or more extra base hits in a season, and four of them did it in 2001. They were Luis Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Todd Helton (the only player to do it twice), and Barry Bonds. Uggla is second in Majors in home runs with 12, with Chase Utley and Lance Berkman ahead of him with 13 each.
During March and April, Uggla had a total of 4 homers and 12 RBI's in 98 at-bats, but in May, he has 8 homers and 16 RBI's in 36 at-bats. He has homered in his last 3 games, and has hit 4 homers and 8 RBI's in his last 9 at-bats.
Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers has also had a good May. He was off to a slow start in March and April with only 3 homers and a decent RBI total of 17. If a player has 20 a month for a full season, he would have 120 RBI's. His batting average bottomed out on the 20th of April with a .222 average, but he pulled it up to .288.
So far this month, Braun has hit 6 homers and has driven in 9 runs. His on-base percentage in April was .300, but in May it is .380. He slugged .448 in April, but in May he is slugging like he did last season with an .804 mark. He has had back-to-back two homer games, with all of them being solo homers. Braun is in an eight way tie for fourth in homers (9).
While we are talking about the Brewers it is hard to believe that J.J. Hardy hit 26 homers last season but only has one this season in 127 at bats. When you couple that with Prince Fielder (who hit 50 last season, but only has 5 so far this season), that is a total of 6 homers in a fourth of a season from players who hit 76 homers between them last season. And then you have Bill Hall, who is hitting for power with 8 homers, but his average is only .199. Worst of all, the Brewers have three regulars hitting below the Mendoza line: Hall (.199), Rickie Weeks (.188), and Mike Cameron (.180).
Around the Bases
Cliff Lee threw nine shutout innings, but didn't get the decision when the so-called "closer" Rafael Betancourt entered the game in the 10th inning of a 0-0 pitching duel between Lee and Shaun Marcum. Lee walked two batters, which equaled his total of walks for the season coming into the game. Instead of closing the door on the Toronto Blue Jays, Betancourt opened the floodgates, as three runs scored in the tenth inning giving the Indians a 3-0 victory. Asdrubal Cabrera made the fourth unassisted triple play since the turn of the century in the fifth inning. Troy Tulowitzki did it last season, Randy Velarde did it in 2000, and Rafael Furcal had one in 2003.
The New York Yankees have been 5-7 since Alex Rodriguez played his last game. Rodriguez is only fourth on the team in homers with 4. Six Yankees have more RBI's than the 11 of Rodriguez. Jason Giambi leads in homers with 7, but is hitting .177 while Robinson Cano is hitting .188. Kei Igawa has an ERA of 18.00 after his first start of the season. He pitched 3 innings and gave up 6 runs and 11 hits to the Detroit Tigers in his last start. The Yankees still have not had a win from their fifth starter, which explains why their longest winning streak this season is only 3 games.
Manny Ramirez hit his 498th homer of his career yesterday. It was only his second homer since April 19th. It seems like when players get close to milestone numbers, they stop hitting homers. Ken Griffey Jr. has not homered in his last 16 games since hitting No. 597. Gary Sheffield may not even make it to 500. He is stuck on 482, and has only 2 homers in 95 at-bats this season. He is hitting only .158 against lefthanders, while most righthanded hitters of his stature feast on the offerings of portsiders. He will be 40 in November and has been a big part of the early season struggles of the Tigers. They expected him to have more than 7 RBI's on the 13th of May.
Looking at the Stats
Chipper Jones leads the Majors in hits with 56, with Lance Berkman in second place with 55. Berkman also leads in doubles with 16, with Dustin Pedroia next with 14. Jose Reyes leads in triples so far with 5. Berkman and Chase Utley lead in homers with 13, with Dan Uggla second with 12. Josh Hamilton leads the majors in RBI's with 43, and in second is none other than Lance Berkman with 38.http://www.armchairgm.com/index.php?title=Article:Baseball_Notebook:_Uggla%2C_Braun_on_Home_Run_Rampage&action=edit
Berkman leads in total bases with 112, with Utley next with 102. Albert Pujols leads in walks with 38. Ryan Howard has the most strikeouts with 54 with Mark Reynolds next with 52. Michael Bourn leads in stolen bases with 17 with Carlos Gomez and Ichiro Suzuki next with 16. Berkman leads in total bases with 30, with Utley being next with 26. Only 15 players have had 100 extra base hits in a season, and Berkman and Utley are on a pace to reach 100 this season.
Pujols leads in on base percentage with a .500 mark and next in line is Berkman with a .470 percentage. Berkman leads in slugging with an .800 percentage, with Ryan Ludwick is next with a .721 slugging percentage. Chipper Jones has the highest batting average (.406), with Berkman next at .393. Berkman has 112 total bases, Jones has 102, and both are on pace to have 400 total bases; this has been done only 29 times. Nobody has had 400 total bases since 2001 when Todd Helton, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Luis Gonzalez all reached the 400 total bases plateau. Berkman also has the highest OPS of 1.270, with Jones next with 1.146.
Brandon Webb leads in wins with 8, with 9 pitchers tied with 6 wins each. Barry Zito continues to hold on to his lead for most losses with 7, with Justin Verlander nipping at his heels with 6 losses. Cliff Lee leads in ERA with a 0.67 mark with Edinson Volquez next at 1.06. Roy Halladay leads in complete games with 4 with James Shields next with 2. Shields leads in shutouts with 2 with 7 pitchers tied with one each. Francisco Rodriguez leads in saves with 15, and George Sherrill is next with 14. Joe Blanton leads in most hits allowed with 73 in 61 innings while second place Livan Hernandez has given up 72 hits in 57 innings.
Justin Verlander has allowed the most earned runs this season with 35 while C.C. Sabathia is next with 33. Brett Myers and Roy Oswalt have given up the most homers with 12 each with Paul Byrd and Carlos Villanueva next with 10 each. Fausto Carmona has issued 35 walks in 48 innings to lead the category, while Daisuke Matsuzaka has given up 30 walks in 47 innings (good for second place). Tim Lincecum leads in strikeouts with 53 in 50 innings while four players are tied with 52 each. Rich Harden leads the majors in most strikeouts per 9 innings pitched with a 12.27 mark and John Smoltz is next with 12.00 strikeouts per 9 innings.