Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Boomer's Diamond Notes: Pujols, No-Hitters, Suspensions OH MY!

Jered Weaver's No-Hitter vs. the Twins 5/2/2012

Over the past week, some news worthy events happened in the game of baseball. First, last Wednesday night, Jered Weaver pitched a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins, the 2nd already this season. This could be the turning point for the Angels season as things were not looking good for the Halo's up till then. Then on Sunday some more good news for the LA Angels, slugger Albert Pujols finally hit his first HR of the season after going homeless in his previous 139 at-bats (33 games) dating back to last season. All I can say is, "its about time". Lets see what those two events this past week does for the Angels (13-17) 6.5 games behind the first place Rangers in the AL West.

In other news, 19 year old phenom Bryce Harper has left a pretty good first impression with the Washington Nationals highlighted by this play on Sunday Night Baseball, HE'S GOING!!!

To wrap up the week we had a couple suspensions handed out to players. A 5-game (meaningless) suspension to Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels for hitting Bryce Harper, then talking about it after the game referring to being "old school" and "welcoming the kid to the big leagues". San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Guillermo Mota was suspended 100 games for testing positive on a drug test, the third baseball player penalized twice for a + test. Lastly, Yankees closer and all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera ended his 2012 season when he blew out his right knee shagging fly balls during Yankees battling practice. Yes, you read that right, shagging fly balls! A game day routine for the pitcher, but Com' On Man! A-Rod's reaction was priceless #blameitonlebron.

AL East
No...that's no misprint when you look at the AL East standings. The Baltimore Orioles (19-10) are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays (19-10) for 1st place in the division. The fighting Showalter's are surprising a lot of people around the league and look to be a surprise contender all season. The Toronto Blue Jays (16-13) and New York Yankees (15-13) are right behind the top two, but how will the Yankees fair without the aid of all-time saves leader, Mario Rivera, who was lost last week to a knee injury. The Boston Red Sox (12-16) continue to ride the roller coaster that has been their 2012 season so far, sit 6.5 games behind the leaders of the division.

AL Central
Well, look what we have here. The AL Central looks to have a clearer leader to this point of the season, after several weeks of a 3-team music chairs. The Cleveland Indians (17-11) after a successful last week, have taken over sole possession of 1st place and sit 3 games above the Detroit Tigers (14-14) and 5 games above the Chicago White Sox (13-17). The Kansas City Royals (9-19) finally got their first won at home this past week (2-13 mark at home), sit in 4th place in the division, while the Minnesota Twins (7-21) have the worse record in the Major Leagues.

AL West
The Texas Rangers (19-10) have come back down to earth a bit this past week, winning just 4 out of their last 10 games. The bright side, they are in a division with the Oakland A's (15-14), Seattle Mariners (14-17) and LA Angels (13-17). Look for the Angels to make a run as they received a boast with Jered Weaver's no-no and Albert Pujols homer last week, winners of 7 out of 10 games. The Rangers-Angels have a showdown series this weekend with 3-games in Arlington (Sunday Night Baseball, 8 PM EST).

American League Standings

NL East
The makings of a great race heading into summer, as all five teams are within 5 games of each other. The current leaders, the Washington Nationals (19-10) showed they are for real this past weekend, taken 2 out of 3 games vs. big brothers of the division Philadelphia Phillies (14-16), who currently sit in last place. Players are each team look to stir/create a rivalry between each other. The Atlanta Braves (18-12) are 1 game behind the Nat's and are just taking it one game at a time at this point. The NY Mets (16-13) continue to impress winning 3 straight. As for the Miami Marlins (15-14) things look to be on a up swing as they have tallied 7 straight wins and winners of 8 out of their last 10 games.

NL Central
The St. Louis Cardinals (18-11) continue to lead the NL Central division, while the Cincinnati Reds (15-13) are right on their tails 2.5 games behind. The Cardinals/Reds look to turn this division  into a two-team race, while the Houston Astros (13-16), Pittsburgh Pirates (12-16), Milwaukee Brewers (12-17) and Chicago Cubs (12-17) try and play catch up to the top two teams.

NL West
The LA Dodgers (19-10) continue to lead the NL West, and have the largest lead of any division in baseball to this point of the season. The Dodgers have played well in front of the home fans this season winning 11 out of 13 games so far at home. The SF Giants (14-15) and Arizona Diamondbacks (14-16),  look to be the Dodgers serious competition. While the Colorado Rockies (12-16) and San Diego Padres (10-20) round out the NL West division.

National League Standings

Boomer's Clubhouse Chat

Cleveland Indians: 17-11
Games this week: 2 vs. White Sox, 4 @ Boston, 1 @ Minnesota

A little deja vu, for the Cleveland Indians. At this point last season, the Indians were 22-11 and off to a very surprising start for fans in the Cleveland area as well as around the rest of the league. The Indians came back to reality and finished two games below .500 (80-82). For different results this time around, the Indians need to continue getting some quality pitching and timely hitting. This past week the Indians were able to win two out of 3 vs. the White Sox (up in Chicago) and surprising vs. the Texas Rangers in Cleveland. With the DH sweep yesterday vs. the White Sox the Indians have taken a three game lead over the Detroit Tigers. Continuing to win series (3 straight; 6 out of 7) will go a long way and will have the Indians right there where they want to be as the season progresses. Let's Go Tribe. Beat Detroit!

Cincinnati Reds: 15-13
Games this week: 2 @ Milwaukee, 3 vs. the Nationals, 1 @ Atlanta

After taking 2 out of 3 over the weekend over in Pittsburgh vs. the Pirates, the Reds got some outstanding pitching from their top two starters in the wins. Johnny Cueto, continues to be a dominate force for the Reds starting rotation, and you can bet the Reds will win when Cueto's on the mound. A nice outing by newly acquired Matt Latos over the weekend has the fans in the Queen City very happy. Latos was able to chalk up 11 K's vs. the Pirates and has pitched well in his last 2 out of 3 starts, with the Reds winning in his past three starts. If the Reds can continue to get quality pitching out of their starters, which includes veteran Bronson Arroyo, theres no question they can keep pace and/or pass the St. Louis Cardinals for 1st place in the NL Central. Let's Go Reds! Beat St. Louis!