The Detroit Tigers just completed a three game sweep of what was the recently contending Chicago White Sox. Can you imagine what the White Sox fans are thinking right now? The team went out and declared themselves as contenders after a hot streak by obtaining two professional hitters, one a possible Hall of Famer, and they lose six of seven including three in a row to the Tigers. Ugh! The Tigers have won only 24 times which means that one sixth of their wins have come courtesy of the White Sox (these three and one earlier in the year).
Harold Reynolds of ESPN made a telling point that when you chance a lineup like the White Sox have, it takes a while for the batters to get used to the change. He believes the White Sox will come around. The Yankees have proven that theory several times this year as they have had trouble scoring at various times when players were inserted into the lineup that caused a major shift. When Jeter came back and moved Johnson down to ninth in the order when he was batting second and now that Bernie Williams is back, his entrance into the lineup affects the entire middle portion of that lineup.
It's too bad that the Yanks couldn't get some run support for Clemens who pitched another great game tonight...an AllStar caliber game, giving up only two runs in seven innings of work. But he gets a ND as the Yankees only managed two runs themselves. The game is in the ninth inning now with Posada on first with one out.
Last night, the Astros scored six runs in the first inning on their way to pounding the Reds 12-2. Tonight the Astros out-did that effort by scoring nine runs before they had any outs in the first inning. Paul Wilson was the victim or should that be, "villain," as he failed to get anyone out. Griffey hit another homer tonight so that at least is good news. Hey Cincy GM! It's time.
Sean Burroughs had a great night tonight for the Padres, as he was 3 for 5 with a homer and two doubles. His BA is now up to .306. As I mentioned earlier this season, he'll starting hitting more extra base hits once he gets comfortable and confident.
I have featured Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira in my writings all year but even as impressive so far comparitively to those two young players is their 26 year old teammate, Michael Young. Young is in his third year in MLB and has improved all of his important stats each year. He's having a terrific season batting .318 with 52 runs scored.
The Twins have lost eight of their last ten and are below .500 for the year. Fortunately for them and for Chicago, the leader, Kansas City, is still not too far ahead. I can't believe the Royals are still leading the division in July! Even more amazing since their best player has been out of the lineup. It's scary that Sweeney has been out this long with a back problem. That's a long time and seems to point at a big problem.
The Red Sox took care of the sinking Toronto Blue Jays. Pitching. They won't win with just Roy Halladay performing well.
The Red Sox really did a terrific job picking up players that are really helping them. David Ortiz is batting .302 with 46 RBI in just 62 games. Bill Mueller is at .337 with an OBP over .400 (he also went 4-4 tonight). Kevin Millar is batting .301 with 14 homers and 61 RBI. He's already had more RBI than all of his last season.
And the Red Sox magic touch continued as newly acquired Gabe Kapler has nine RBI in nine games. Mendoza gave the Sox his second great start in a row against Toronto tonight. The Red Sox as a team are now batting .294 with a team slugging percentage a hair under .600. Amazing.