Welcome to the first installment of Across The Diamond, where I will be providing a periodic analysis of players across all levels of professional baseball. The goal here is to track current statistical trends to see how players may perform in the following weeks and how to best take advantage of this in your fantasy baseball leagues.
In the back of his mind, Kevin Youkilis knew a trade was imminent. However, that didn’t him any less emotional when he took his final steps off the field at Fenway into the only dugout he’s known for the last nine years.
“It was definitely very surreal, and hit me like a ton of bricks when I got pinch-ran for,” Youkilis said in response to the standing ovation the fans gave him after coming out of Sunday’s game. “It was a great send-off. The Red Sox fans were unbelievable. They’ve always been unbelievable to me. I can’t thank them enough for all the great years I had there, how they treated my family and friends. A lot of great memories.” Read more...(341 words, estimated 1:22 mins reading time)
The White Sox and Cubs will renew Chicago’s crosstown rivalry tonight at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox will start 25 year old right hander Zach Stewart in his first start of the season. Stewart started eight games for the White Sox in 2011 but has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this season. The Cubs will counter with the much talked about Matt Garza. Despite his 2-5 record Garza has pitched well this season and could be dealt prior to the trade deadline as the Cubs seek to kick-start their rebuilding plan. The Cubs come into the series with baseball’s worst record at 22-44. The White Sox, who sit atop the American League Central at 35-31, figure to be in the market for another starting pitcher. Monday’s tilt could be an audition for Garza in front of the Southside brass. Read more...(475 words, estimated 1:54 mins reading time)
In the American League, the story for the first full week of June remains much the same as it has been for the entire 2012 season – Rangers lead the way.
The Texas Rangers are still the best in the American League after 55 games. The Rangers are 32-23 and have a .582 winning percentage. Of late though, they have fallen off a bit going 5-5 over the last 10 games. It has done little close the gap between other teams in the AL West however. The Angels have been playing much better ball than earlier in the season going 7-3 for their last 10 but they are still 4.5 games behind the Rangers. Tampa Bay and the White Sox lead the AL East and Central divisions with the exact same records 31-23. Read more...(408 words, 1 image, estimated 1:38 mins reading time)
Baseball is a game of heart-breaks and heart-throbs.
I want to tell you the tale of two pitchers. The first is Armando Galarraga, a former pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. On June 3, 2010 he was one out away from a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians. He threw a beautiful breaking ball to short stop Jason Donald, a breaking ball that Donald hit for a grounder up the middle. It wasn’t a difficult play and should have resulted in the last out of the game… but the umpire called Donald safe.
What made it infinitely worse was that replay later showed the runner was clearly out, and the umpire, Jim Joyce, had made a bad call. Joyce later apologized to Galarraga in tears. Galarraga was very classy and did not allow anger or bitterness to dominate how he responded to the situation. Nevertheless, the disappointment is unimaginable. Read more...(334 words, 1 image, estimated 1:20 mins reading time)
On Saturday, April 21, 2012, Philip Humber was perfect.
Humber, who underwent Tommy John surgery seven years ago, immortalized himself today by tossing the 21st perfect game in MLB history. Humber took care of all 27 Seattle Mariners he faced with nine strikeouts, five groundouts and 13 flyouts en route to a 4-0 win for the Chicago White Sox.
It was the first perfect game since Philadelphia‘sRoy Halladay threw one against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. It was the third in White Sox‘s history, joining Mark Buehrleagainst Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009, and Charles Robertson against Detroit on April 30, 1922.
“I don’t know that I dominated them,” Humber said. “Obviously the ball was hit at people. I’m thankful for that. It was a well-pitched game. Definitely something I’ll never forget.” Read more...(225 words, estimated 54 secs reading time)
In the American League, the early start to the season has become a tale of one team and the rest of them. The Rangers are far and away leading the AL and everyone else is just tagging along for the ride at this point.
The Rangers in 13 games to start the season are 11-2. They are 9-1 for their last 10. They have won 7 games in a row. They are a perfect 6-0 on the road. They have an .846 winning percentage that is far and away better than the rest of the American League. The Rangers started the season looking to be the team to beat and they have shown that prediction to be true so far. Read more...(418 words, 1 image, estimated 1:40 mins reading time)
It is pretty simple, the American League Central is the worst division in baseball. The Cleveland Indians were even capable of finishing as the runner-up in this division without so much as winning half of their games. Naturally, it has been since the Detroit Tigers unlikely World Series run in 2006 that the AL Central has been represented by the wild card slot, which has grown to be increasingly dominated by the east. There also may not be a division that seems like any more of a sure thing this season, with the trailing teams do very little to catch last year’s American League runner-up in the Tigers. Read more...(907 words, 1 image, estimated 3:38 mins reading time)