Everyone is throwing their two cents in on the Willie Randolph controversy, so I guess I should add my perspective. I’ve avoided comment on Willie’s situation for some time now because, in reality, there is no easy answer here. Fire Willie, and, yes, the demons of last year might be exorcised. But on the flip side, a mid-year managerial shakeup could drive the team apart. Of course, it has been extensively reported that the Mets clubhouse is divisive as it is, so maybe this wouldn’t hurt as much as it could.
If I have to pick a side, and I feel like I do, I’m more on the “Keep Willie” side. It’s not that I have complete confidence in the manager. I agree with Willie’s critics that he doesn’t motivate the team enough. I’ve commented on his poor managerial decisions in the past. But, ultimately, the responsibility for this year’s mediocre play, in my view (and I know a lot of people will disagree with me here) belongs to Omar Minaya, not Willie.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Brian Bannister, Chris Aguila, Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, Heath Bell, Jeff Keppinger, Marlon Anderson, Mets, Mike Jacobs, Moises Alou, Nick Evans, NL East, Omar Minaya, Orlando Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, Ryan Church, Trot Nixon, Willie Randolph
The Marlins Beast of the Week is…
2B Dan Uggla, again. We’ve spent enough time explaining why this former Rule-V draft pick is a Beast (he won the distinction of Beast of the East the last two weeks running), so here are his stats from the last seven days: .333, .417, .905, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 1.321 OPS (ridiculous).
Runners-Up: Jorge Cantu, Kevin Gregg, Andrew Miller
The Marlins least of the week is…
1B Mike Jacobs. Nine strikeouts in 19 at-bats is just not going to cut it. Jacobs’ stats for the week: .158, .158, .158 (is this possible?), 0 HR, 0 RBI, .316 OPS. Jacobs is a crucial bat for the Marlins; he needs to improve for the Fish to stay hot.
Runners-down: Jeremy Hermida, Hanley Ramirez
Posted in Marlins
Tagged Andrew Miller, Beast of the East, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Jeremy Hermida, Jorge Cantu, Kevin Gregg, Least of the East, Marlins, Mike Jacobs, NL East
The Marlins Beast of the Week is…
Dan Uggla, 2B. Whatever Dan Uggla is drinking, the entire team needs to start following suit. For the past week, Uggla hit .545, .615, 1.000 with 2 HR and 4 RBIs for an OPS of 1.615. He is now fourth in Major League Baseball for OPS on the year (1.066). How do you describe Dan Uggla? Beast.
Runners-Up: Wes Helms, Matt Lindstrom, Mike Jacobs
And the least of the week is…
Alfredo Amezaga, Util. Amezaga, who is platooning with Cody Ross in center field, did not have a good week (.211, .211, .263). It has been speculated that Jacques Jones could win the starting job altogether, shifting Amezaga back to his role as utility infielder off the bench. That would probably be better for everyone.
Runners-down: Hanley Ramirez, Taylor Tankersley, Mark Hendrickson
Diamondbacks 10-Mets 4
Mike Pelfrey did not pitch well for the Mets, throwing more than 100 pitches in 5 innings, allowing 5 earned runs, walking 4 and striking out 1. He was charged with the loss, and is 2-2 on the year Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb pitched well enough, but was not dominant, giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 7 full innings of work with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Augie Ojeda, replacing the injured Orlando Hudson, terrorized the Mets, driving in 6 runs. For the Mets, Carlos Delgado hit a 3-run shot, but was one of the only Mets whose bat showed up. Combined, Jose Reyes and David Wright were 0-7 with a walk on the day. Duaner Sanchez‘s line on the day: (0.1 innings, 4 H, 5 ER) Ouch.
Nationals 9-Pirates 8
The Nats barely squeaked one out against the Bucs, as mediocre pitching gave way to clutch offense from the Nats. Cristian Guzman was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, and totaled 6 RBIs on the day. Guzman and Felipe Lopez jumpstarted the Nats offense, combining to go 6-9 on the day in the 1 and 2 spots. Matt Chico might have bought himself some more time to try and fix his pitching woes, but was not all that good, going 4.1 and letting up 5 runs, 4 earned, with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Jesus Colome picked up the win and Jon Rauch notched his 7th save of the year.
Giants 3-Phillies 2
The Phillies lost a heartbreaker as Bengie Molina hit a go-ahead RBI double off of Rudy Seanez in the 10th. Brett Myers pitched very well, going 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 earned runs, walking 3 and striking out 10. But he received almost no run support other than home runs by Chase Utley (again) and Geoff Jenkins and an RBI from Pat Burrell. Giants starter Matt Cain was very effective, shutting the Phils down on 7 innings of 3-hit ball, striking out 8 and walking 1.
Braves 9-Reds 1
Yunel Escobar led the Braves to a hit parade Saturday as he went 3-4 with 2 runs and an RBI. The Braves had 15 hits on the day compared to 4 for the Reds. Jo-Jo Reyes pitched well for Atlanta, allowing just 1 earned run on 5.1 innings, striking out 5 and walking 3. Brian McCann had 2 RBIs for the Braves, who now sit just a game below .500.
Padres 7-Marlins 2
Young Ricky Nolasco continues to struggle for the Marlins, giving up 10 hits over 4.2 innings of work yesterday as Padres ace Jake Peavy cruised. Peavy went 5.2 and struck out 8, allowing just 2 earned runs. Mike Jacobs‘ 2 run blast in the bottom of the first was all the offense the Marlins could muster. After a hot start, the Marlins are just 4-6 in their last 10.
Posted in Braves, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies
Tagged Augie Ojeda, Bengie Molina, Brandon Webb, Braves, Brett Myers, Brian McCann, Carlos Delgado, Chase Utley, Cristian Guzman, David Wright, Diamondbacks, Duaner Sanchez, Felipe Lopez, Geoff Jenkins, Giants, Jake Peavy, Jesus Colome, Jo-Jo Reyes, Jon Rauch, Jose Reyes, Marlins, Matt Cain, Matt Chico, Mets, Mike Jacobs, Mike Pelfrey, Nationals, Orlando Hudson, Padres, Pat Burrell, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Ricky Nolasco, Rudy Seanez, Yunel Escobar
It’s almost May and I have the following observations to make about the following standings:
The Orioles and Rays are in first and second place in the AL East.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m on the Rays bandwagon this year (I’m a big fan of Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, Scott Kazmir–obviously–and James Shields), but they are shocking everyone with their quality of play. And how about the Orioles? The team that was supposed to be one of the worst in the major leagues is actually playing good baseball (first place) riding behind their newly acquired closer George Sherrill, who came over in the Erik Bedard trade and has converted 9 of 9 save opportunities so far. No one expects this to last as the Red Sox are playing good baseball, but the Yankees and Jays are both struggling so who knows?
Now back to our division, ladies and gentlemen, your first place Florida Marlins. They’re 15-10 and hitting the skin off of the ball. The Fish are back, this is not as much of a fluke as it seems. Sure, the pitching is mediocre to say the least. But this lineup is formidable. There are at least 5 guys on this team who scare any pitcher in the division. Hanley Ramirez is living up to his billing as the premier shortstop in the NL East, hitting .337 with 8 HR and 18 RBIs (and 9 stolen bases). His OBP? .405. Rollins, Reyes and Escobar, who? Behind Hanley, Josh Willingham is hitting .341 with 6 HR and 16 RBIs, Mike Jacobs has 7 HR and 17 RBIs. Jeremy Hermida was injured to start the year but is on his way back with 10 RBIs to start the year. Sure, the Marlins pitching needs work. But behind LHP Andrew Miller, who was acquired from Detroit in the Cabrera/Willis trade, the young staff has embarked on a rebuilding quest. The Marlins won’t be in first place a month from now, maybe not a week from now, but they’ll contend soon enough.
Now for your NL Beast standings:
1: Florida (15-10)
2: New York (13-11) 1.5 GB
3: Philadelphia (14-12) 1.5 GB
4: Atlanta (12-13) 3 GB
5: Washington (9-17) 6.5 GB
Posted in Braves, General, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Phillies
Tagged AL East, Andrew Miller, Braves, Carl Crawford, Erik Bedard, Evan Longoria, George Sherrill, Hanley Ramirez, James Shields, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Marlins, Mets, Mike Jacobs, Nationals, Orioles, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox, Scott Kazmir, Yankees