After 30 days in non-baseball territory, the blog returns in time for the September stretch run.
I understand Felix Hernandez‘ August 15 meltdown against Boston (10 earned runs). After all, Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, and the anniversary must haunt the living King. Still and all, he’s 16-8 and just maybe might get those 20 wins for the first time this season.
Wilmer Flores has settled in as a Met after the near-trade and now has 15 home runs, including a blast in the Mets’ 7-0 win over Miami on Saturday. From the other side, Maracay’s Martin Prado won Friday’s game with a walk-off double.
Those fragile pitching arms….it looks like Anibal Sanchez of Detroit might sit out the rest of the season with recurring shoulder pain. The Tigers are a bit out of the race, and Anibal had surgery and missed a good chunk of last season. On the other hand (or shoulder), Martin Perez of Guarane and Texas has upped his game since coming back from Tomasito Juan surgery last season. We need another lefty from VZ-land because who the heck knows about Johan Santana?
After missing six weeks with leg troubles, All-Universe batsman Miguel Cabrera returned to the Tigers and continues to scorch the ball at a .361 pace. If he gets enough at-bats–and it looks like he will–the batting title is his by thirty points.
With their respective posses of Venezuelans, Kansas City and Houston continue to lead the American League Central and West, respectively. Alcides Escobar, Salvador Perez and Omar Infante are not burning up the league but remain steady contributors for the AL’s reigning champions, while Jose Altuve leads a trio of criollos in Houston, at .312 while Marwin Gonzalez and Luis Valbuena each have more than 300 plate appearances for the first-place ‘Stros.
Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco has had quite an up-and-down season but has reached career highs in wins, appearances and strikeouts. Some shoulder inflammation put him on the DL for two weeks but he’s due to return this Tuesday, seeking win #13 for the still-contending Indians.
Milwaukee’s far removed from contention, but Francisco Rodriguez continues to impress with 34 saves (the team has only won 59 games). Meanwhile, Hector Rondon of Guatire and the North Side has 26 saves and a sterling 1.48 ERA for the wildcard-hopeful Cubbies.
And the man with the sweetest left-hand swing in baseball, Carlos Gonzalez of Colorado, slammed a 455-foot homer on Friday to knock the defending champion Giants back another peg. Cargo leads the NL with 36 round-trippers. That tops his career-best 34 in 2010, with a month left to play.
Well, my writing is as rusty as Anibal Sanchez’ shoulder, so I’ll check you all soon.