This week in baseball saw a lot of extra innings, a lot of close calls, and a lot of pitching heroics as the American and National Leagues continue their early series.
Several pitchers caught the eye of fans and pundits alike this weekend by leading their teams to victory. Trevor Bauer of the Cleveland Indians started against the indomitable Colorado Rockies and threw six innings with 70 pitches for strikes.
After a mediocre game against the Baltimore Orioles earlier this week, coaches and managers were hoping to see him turn his hand back to basics. Last season, Bauer tended to move around the mound, depending on the batter and adjusting his style to suit his opponent. This season, Bauer’s clearly focused on changing his pitches rather than his style, and his hard work and talent seem enough of an opponent for any batter this season.
Meanwhile, Ruby De La Rosa of the Boston Red Sox faced the Tampa Bay Rays. As a pitcher with a solid average already, his work has been nothing particularly impressive, nothing particularly worrying. Over 10 starts last season, he struck out nearly a batter every inning and did not permit a single home run.
Pundits hoped to see a stronger pitch efficiency from his this season, putting practice and stability to his talent. With his 100+ mph fastball and forcing 17 swings and misses by Tampa Bay batters, according to ESPN.com, he helped Boston earn its sixth consecutive win this weekend.
Friday May 30 saw the Oakland Athletics power over the Los Angeles Angels, winning with a score of 9-5. The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Kansas City Royals by 6-1, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners by 6-3.
The legendary Yankees lost to the Minnesota Twins, and the Baltimore Orioles lost 2-1 to the Houston Astros. The San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals with a 9-4 win. The Atlanta Braves had a close call with the Miami Marlins, winning with 3-2. They went on to win the series against the Marlins by Sunday night with 3 win to Miami’s 0.
The Nationals defeated the Texas Rangers 9-2. The Philadelphia Phillies pulled a close win against the New York Mets with a score of 6-5 and a couple of heroes. Reid Brignac’s RBI single in the 14th inning gave the Phillies the final win, but Domonic Brown’s three-run homer and the four runs he drove home set Philadelphia up to end the Met’s six-game winning streak.
However, the Mets met the Phillies in the two team’s second 5+ hour game this weekend on Saturday with emergency pitcher Buddy Carlyle throwing three scoreless extra innings, leading to a win of 5-4 for New York. It was David Wright’s RBI single with two outs in the 14th inning that finally pulled New York to the win. New York had its third win with a score of 4-3 in 11 innings on Sunday.
Saturday May 31 saw the Washington Nationals bolt past the Texas Rangers for a win of 10-2, which included four home runs. The Toronto Blue Jays similarly powered past the Kansas City Royals for a 12-2 win, and the Chicago Cubs dominated the Milwaukee Brewers with a 8-0 win after Milwaukee beat Chicago 11-5 the day before.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates played Saturday ending in a 12-2 win for LA. Hanley Ramirez made two homers, drove home five runs, and scored himself four times, championing the team to LA’s 12-2 win against the Pirates. A few games were a little closer, with the Yankees beating the Twins by 3-1 and the Cardinals winning a scoreless game against the Giants 2-0.
The standings in the Leagues are close, but it’s still early enough in the season. In the American League, the Oakland Athletics have won 3 in a row, and with 35 wins they’re at the top of the table, with the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers following close behind with 34 and 31 wins, respectively. The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are sitting in the middle with 29 and 28 wins, respectively. The Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays trail. Houston’s won 24 games and lost 34; Tampa Bay’s won only 23 and sits at the end of a six game losing streak.
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants dominate with 37 wins; Milwaukee Brewers follow with 34, and the Atlanta Braves with 31. St. Louis Cardinals are fourth behind Atlanta, with the Los Angeles Dodgers right behind them. The Washington Nationals and the New York Mets sit comfortably in the middle, each with 27 wins. Washington’s had 28 losses to the Mets’ 29 losses. The Chicago Cubs trail behind with only 20 wins and 34 losses.
Sarah Elizabeth, Pundit Arena.
Featured Image: By User werkunz1 on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “Fenway Stadium”) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.