Yesterday, I was thinking that with the return of Alex Rodriguez to the Yankee lineup, they would probably get a boost from his presence and start playing like they did last season after they were 14 and a half games back and started moving up in the standings.
Instead of seeing what I predicted to happened, I checked their score at mlb.com and saw that the Baltimore Orioles had scored seven runs in the first inning. Then I was checking to see who the starter was for the Yankees, and it was Mike Mussina, and was thinking he had pitched a terrible game, but only one run was charged to him since six runs had crossed the plate after the throwing error of Derek Jeter. Mussina can't be absolved of the blame since he gave up five hits and two walks in two thirds of an inning.
Then Ross Ohlendorf entered the game and gave up 3 runs but only one of them was earned because two runs scored after a Johnny Damon fielding error. The final score was 12-2 in favor of the Orioles, but without the unearned runs, the score would have been a 4-2 Orioles victory. This game can either be a low point of the season for the Yankees or a wakeup call that they need to get it together if they are going to make a serious run for the AL East title.
A-Rod did hit his 5th homer of the season and drive in his 13th run but he still needs about 37 more RBI's to catch up with Josh Hamilton. You can be sure the Steinbrenners were not happy campers after that embarrassing loss last night. If Jeter misses an extended time with the injury after being hit by a pitch on the hand, it may signal even more problems for the Yankees in a season which has not seen a fourth or fifth starter win a game until Darrell Rasner joined the team recently.
It has been a month since Andy Pettitte last won a game and he has lost four games in his last five starts after having a 3-1 record on April 20th. Ian Kennedy and Philip Hughes have a combined 0-7 record and they are allowing a run to score every inning they pitch and they have pitched 50 innings combined. It is still way too early to predict the demise of the Yankees this season after the way they turned around the season last year after a terrible start but if they are still in last place by the middle of June it could be a very long season.
Around the Bases
Rookie pitcher Greg Smith (2-4) of the Oakland Athletics pitched 7 innings and allowed only two runs to score for the Tampa Bay Rays, but he still took the loss. Scott Kazmir (3-1) pitched even better allowing one run in 7 innings and lowered his ERA to 1.57. Lefthanded batters are hitting .100 against Kazmir and righthanded batters are hitting .222 against him. His night ERA is 0.69.
Justin Masterson (1-0) 1.46 defeated the Kansas City Royals 2-1. In his first two Major League starts, the 6'6" 250 pounder born in Kingston Jamaica has only allowed 2 runs in 12 innings.
The Detroit Tigers jumped out to a 11-1 lead over the Seattle Mariners, but let the M's back into the game, and eventually hung on to win by a 12-8 score. Justin Verlander gave up one run in 6 innings, but a shaky Tigers bullpen allowed 7 more runs to score over the last 3 innings. Edgar Renteria was the hitting star for the Tigers going 4-for-4 and driving in 5 runs. John Lackey is back and won his first game of the season. In two starts, he has allowed 2 runs in 14 innings for a 1.29 ERA.
Carlos Quentin is now the home run leader in the AL after hitting his 12th homer of the season. I checked to see who the Chicago White Sox had given up to acquire Quentin, and it was Chris Carter, who hit 25 homers in A ball last year. Quentin has shown what he thinks about being traded for a Minor Leaguer by hitting a league leading 12 home runs and driving in 38 runs in 43 games. Last season, he played in 81 games and only hit 5 home runs and drove in 31 runs.
The Atlanta Braves outscored the New York Mets 12-3 in a doubleheader win yesterday, taking 6-1 and 6-2 wins. Tom Glavine (2-1) and Jorge Campillo (1-0) took the wins, with Campillo winning his first Major League game. The Braves had signed Campillo in 1996 and then released him in 1997. 8 years later, he signed with the Mariners in 2005, and was then released by the in 2006.
Baseballcube.com does not show him playing in the Minors until 2005, so I have no idea what he did between 1996 and 2005. Anyway, Bobby Cox saw him in Spring Training when Campillo was invited to spring training camp and liked him. Campillo has given up only 3 runs in 27 innings this season for a 0.99 ERA. He has a night ERA of 0.47. Campillo did so well in his first start of the season Cox plans to start him against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday against Randy Johnson.
Manny Parra (2-2) pitched the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and moved them both into a fourth place tie. A Brewers win today would give them sole possession of fourth place in NL Central. It was the first time the Brewers' pitching staff has held an opponent to two runs or less since the April 18th win over the Cincinnati Reds by a 5-2 score. Eric Gagne gave it his best shot to let the Pirates back in the game, but he could only manage to give up 2 runs in relief, if you call that relief. It is more like anguish when he comes into a game.
It was 85 degrees and clear weather at Dolphin Stadium, but only 10,696 fans showed up to see their Florida Marlins defeat the Diamondbacks 3-2. If the fans won't support the Marlins when they are in first place, imagine how few will show up if they start to slide down the standings. Dan Uggla hit his 14th homer of the season in the contest. Uggla had 4 homers and 12 RBI's at the end of April. After the first 20 days in May, he has hit 12 homers and drove in 20 runs so far this month. His batting average in April was .255 and he is hitting .441 in May. His April on-base percentage was .333 compared to .521 in May and his slugging has improved from .480 in April to 1.085 in May.
The Philadelphia Phillies have scored a total of one run in their last two games, but that one run enabled them to win 1-0 last night when pinch hitter Greg Dobbs singled in the winning run in the 9th inning after Cole Hamels had pitched 7 scoreless innings while striking out 11. The win tied them with the Braves for second place behind the Mets in the NL East with a chance to move into second place by themselves. Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin, and Hamels are all hitting above the .183 average of Ryan Howard with Hamels hitting .296. Howard has only had 6 games this season in which he didn't strikeout and has 20 games in which he struck out at least twice. One encouraging stat for Howard is that he had 5 homers and 12 RBI's in April and after 20 days in May he has 5 homers and 13 RBI's.
Tim Lincecum (6-1) pitched the San Francisco Giants to a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. Lincecum may not be the official ace of the Giants, but he is pitching like the ace and Barry Zito sure can't be called the ace with his 0-8 record.
In an unusual game, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cincinnati Reds 4-1. There were no extra base hits in the game, and the Dodgers moved to only four games behind the Diamondbacks after the Diamondbacks lost their game.