Cream of the crop:
Separating themselves from the pack:
1-Dodgers (8-0) – The Dodgers just keep on rolling, beating the Mariners twice WEEK FIVE. Johnny Costa continues his dominance on the carpet and with the bat, getting two wins (5-0 record), knocking in both runs game 1 and hitting HR in game 2. The Dodgers play the Brewers and Royals week # 6 and look to be in good shape to end the day at 10-0.
2-Padres – (7-1) The Padres like the Dodgers keep on rolling after beating the Giants and Yankees WEEK FIVE. Sean Ryan started game one on the carpet but could not shake the rust off. He was charged with 2 earned runs in the 1st innings and had to be relieved by Kyle Vonschleusingen who shut the door. Jordan Robles was the hitting star, hitting four (4) home runs off of Dave Fisher. Robles then promptly took the mound game two against the Yankees, giving up only three hits (one of which was a homer to Mike Weiner) but the Padres won 5-1. The Padres upped their runs scored total to 20 on the season and are now tied for 4th in the league in runs scored. That along with the fact that they have given up the least runs means they will continue to rack up wins.
Should secure themselves a top 4 playoff seeding:
3-Expos (7-3) – I got to see Tyler Wegerzn this past week for the first time. It’s no wonder the Expos are 7-3. Ty is a two headed monster in that he hits and he pitches. In addition, the man in intense and barley cracked a smile all day, you would have thought the Royals owed him some money or something the way he was throwing. He dealt with the 94 degree heat, shrugged off a debatable play which did not go in his favor and found himself in a bases loaded 1 out situation in the last inning up 2-1. The man stepped up his game and started throwing harder at that point than he did all game. Hats off to the dude, he is a great competitor. Didio not to be outdone has now pitched 22 innings and only given up 1 run all year. They seem to be hitting their stride. Oh yea, Ty is also 3rd in the league in batting avg. (.339), pitchers beware…..
4-Diamondbacks (6-4): The D-Backs got two wins this week and are back to a respectable 6-4 record. The D-Backs have the Yankees this coming week. A likely scenario is a split here and a 7-5 record going into the all-star break. They are on cruise control, have a winning record and the league is waiting for them to hit the turbo button and get a fresh Devin Torres started on the mound. The D-Backs are now 3rd in the league in runs scored, 1st in homers and 5th in hits after a slow start.
In the hunt for the 5th and 6th playoff spot:
5-Giants (5-5) – The Giants played all last year with one dominate starter and waited till this season so that both McElraths brothers could strut their stuff on the carpet at the same time however the injury bug struck again. They are in a better position than they were last year in that they have # 2 capable of wins in the Palisades but one has to think if Tim McElrath cannot pitch come playoff time, the Giants may come up short of a spot or an early exit. If Ryan McElrath is willing to strap the team on his back and risk injury he could get the team past the first round but there’s a lot of innings on those McElrath arms.
6-Mariners (3-7) – The Mariners got through the rough part of their schedule which is probably due to their winning record last year. At 3-7 they got some work to do. I have had confidence in their ability to get it going and claim a playoff spot but the road starts this coming week. They can ill afford a 3-9 start. They will need at least a split against the Giants. This is their remaining schedule; Giants / Giants (5-5), Royals/Royals (4-4), Yankees (5-5) /Expos (7-3), Astros/Astros (1-7), Cardinals/Cardinals (3-7), Brewers/Brewers (2-8). It may take 11 wins to make the playoffs and their last 6 games are against teams currently ranked 9, 10 and 11 in the standings, which could equal a 6-0 record to close the season.
7-Yankees (5-5) – The Yankees earned a must win vs the Giants this past week, when Bo Muschinsky (just steps away from obtaining an AARP card) hit an opposite field home run against Ryan McElrath in the bottom of the 5th to secure the win for Mike Weiner. The win keeps them at a .500 record. The Yankees face the Diamondbacks just before the all-star break and face the Dodgers upon return, both teams with winning records.
8-Royals (4-4) –The Royals completed a deal with the Brewers to obtain Dakota Kenny to attempt maintain a .500 record throughout the season. It’s not often you get the chance to obtain a proven Palisades pitcher and you have to jump at the opportunity when it arises. The Royals play the Dodgers and Brewers this coming week. We have to wait and see how adding Dakota to the lineup and rotation helps the Royals. Is it enough to get some key wins and get to playoffs or will they come up short?
9-Cardinals (3-7) –The Cardinals earned two crucial wins this past week but face Padres this coming week. The timing is not great, two more wins would put them right in the thick of things but the Padres look like they are pulling away from the pack. If the Cardinals end up 3-9 they will need to go 8-2 over their last 10 games against this schedule; (D-Backs/Astros, Giants/Giants, Expos/Expos, Mariners/Mariners, Expos/D-Backs). Being that the Mariners (3-7) have also started out slow and will be forced to maximize their wins, one will likely knock the other out of the playoffs week 10 when they face each other.
May be in rebuilding mode:
10-Brewers (2-8) With the trade of Dakota Kenny, Anthony Bevilacqua (A-Bev) will take over as the staff ace and Nick Gallo moves into the rotation. A-Bev has some starts under his belt after taking a year off is ready to anchor the staff. The problem is that the Brewers will have to wait a few starts until Nick Gallo gets some work in as he tries to work himself back to a younger version of himself on the mound.
11-Astros (1-7) – Gerard Fitzgerald (Fitz) continues to have quality outings on the carpet. He now has pitched 21 innings and has 40 k’s and a 1.41 ERA. If Fitz was a # 2 starter he would possibly have a better record on the season but he has been forced to take the role as the staff ace. With one win on the season I have to rank the Astros here for the time being.