The Mets lead Major League Baseball with a 9-game win streak and an 11-3 record, their first such start since the ’86 championship campaign. Last night young Wilmer Flores, whom the team spent most of the off-season trying to replace, went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .250, and lefty reliever Alex Torres (he of the foam hat) got his second “hold” by freezing Freddy Freeman–say that three times fast–on a called third strike in the seventh inning. Alberto Callaspo came on as a pinch-hitter for Atlanta and grounded into a double play, but a Maracaibo maid told me Alberto isn’t a nice man, so I don’t feel so bad.
To avoid accusations of boosterism, I turn to the rest of MLB. Pablo Sandoval had a hit to raise his average to .286 for the streaking Red Sox over Tampa; on the opposite bench Asdrubal Cabrera is slow out of the gate at .186. (he hasn’t a hit in 10 days.)
Toronto DH Dioner Navarro went 3-for-5 in a big 13-5 Jays win over the Venezuelan-less Orioles. Unfortunately, Caraqueño Navarro was supplanted at catcher this season by free agent Russell Martin and would like to be traded, as knuckleball-catching specialist Josh Thole (for R.A. Dickey) will also get time behind the plate.
Zuliano Odubel Herrera remains atop the Phillies lineup at .298 and fast Freddy Galvis of Punto Fijo knocked in a pair with a home run as the Phillies improved to 5-9; miserable Miami’s Martin Prado is struggling a bit at .260, but we’re not out of April yet.
Nice comeback, Carlos Carrasco: he gave up a bomb to Chisox Cuban missile Jose Abreu in the first but completed five full innings to get another win, after being smashed in the face with a Melky Cabrera liner only last Thursday. Avisail Garcia, late of Anzoátegui, has played in 12 games for the White Sox and is at .279 with a round-tripper against his former Detroit mates last Friday.
On the North Side, Guatire-born Héctor Rondón dresses to impress on the mound with 3 saves and a win for the pennant-hungry Cubbies; he’s looking to improve on a 29-save 2014. Caraqueño catcher “Microwave” Montero hasn’t quite settled in Chi-town yet (.186) but did blast two homers off Padre pitching over the weekend.
The Yankees’ weird hold over Detroit’s Venezuelans continued, as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez struggled for the second straight night in the Motor City and the VZ-less Bombers beat them 5-2.
Kansas City’s (11-3) criollo contingent stays hot, with Alcides Escobar at .314 and Gold-Glove receiver Salvador Perez at .370. Oswaldo Arcia is getting some at-bats for the Twins and is at .200 with a home run. He’ll turn 24 in a few weeks.
King Félix Abraham Hernández García has had two 10+ strikeout games and had to leave his other start against Oakland with some muscle stiffness; he’s 2-0 with 23 strikeouts: a typical month for Seattle’s Cy Younger. Jesús Montero didn’t make the Mariners’ roster out of camp, despite losing 40 pounds in the off-season while trying to leave last season’s ice-cream-sandwich fight and a Biogenesis suspension behind.