MLB Thoughts & Theories 8/21/12
Thoughts & Theories
-Oakland desperately needed shortstop help and got it by acquiring Stephen Drew from Arizona for a single-A shortstop. Collectively, A’s shortstops are batting .190/.255/.294, which rank 30th, 30th and 28th in baseball respectively. Drew hasn’t done much this season, but neither has Oakland’s options. The Diamondbacks wanted to shed a little salary and go with the more versatile Willie Bloomquist, who is expected to return Friday from the DL. The Snakes are five games out of both the NL West and Wild Card races.
-Would you believe that the AL’s best team over the last 40 days has been the Seattle Mariners? The M’s are 23-13 since the All-Star break and won its 13th home game in 14 tries on Monday after a 5-3 triumph over Cleveland. It’s the sixth win in a row overall for the Mariners, who are now even in run differential. Michael Saunders smacked two home runs as one of baseball’s hottest hitters over the last week. Seattle trails the Angels by just 3 1/2 games for third in the AL West, but it’s certainly encouraging to see progress from this young team.
-The pitching is obviously the main cause of Boston’s demise this season, and the reason for pitching coach Bob McClure’s overdue ouster (he didn’t even talk to manager Bobby Valentine) but the hitting issues the team has recently encountered mainly stems from David Ortiz’s absence. Peter Gammons pointed out that the Red Sox scored five runs per game with a .330 team OBP and a .771 OPS before Ortiz got hurt on July 16. Since then? A .303 team OBP, a .717 OPS and 4.18 runs per game. That’s how valuable Ortiz is to the team.
Quotes Of The Day
“It was almost like a playoff game. They had their chances. We had our chances. It was that kind of game.” –Nationals Manager Davey Johnson after Washington scored a run on an infield single in the 13th inning to beat Atlanta 5-4 to take a six game NL East lead.
“We’re playing well, but it’s a tough place to play and they’re playing very, very well. Their starting pitching’s outstanding.” –Royals Manager Ned Yost after the Rays won 5-1 behind Jeremy Hellickson. Tampa Bay’s pitching staff has the best team ERA in the AL.
“Obviously, he’s a great addition for them. We did what we could do. Didn’t hit many balls hard off of him. He kept the ball off the center of the plate. We ran into a pretty good pitcher.” –Baltimore Manager Buck Showalter after being shut down for one run over eight innings by Rangers starter Ryan Dempster.
“I mean I’m not going to lie. When you play against a former team you obviously want to go out there and try and do well.” –Former Yankee Dewayne Wise, who hit a two-run homer for the White Sox against the team that released him just a few weeks ago.
“He has missed half a year and he still has 20-something home runs. That is how talented he is.” –Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen speaking about Giancarlo Stanton, who is third in the major leagues with seven August home runs and 26 overall.
“He gives you a lot of angles with that crossfire (delivery), and that cutter kind of comes out of his shoulder. We didn’t have a whole lot of chances.” –Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly after his team was beat 2-1 by Madison Bumgarner and the Giants. Clayton Kershaw took the loss.