Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2105 times:
This week, the baseball season reaches the 40-game mark, the first quarter of the year. Most "experts" believe that after 40 games you have a pretty good idea of what a team is going to be like for the year.
How's your team faring? What's it's prognosis in your eyes? It's strengths and weaknesses.
The Indians are 21-14, a game behind the Tigers in the AL Central. They've gotten, for the most part, outstanding starting pitching. C.C. Sabathia is 5-1; Fausto Carmona is 4-1. Paul Byrd has been solid. Cliff Lee and Jeremy Sowers have been up and down. Waiting for the phenom Adam Miller to make his appearance later this year in the rotation.
The bullpen has been solid, but there's problems there. Closer Joe Borowski, despite 12 saves, isn't the guy for the job. He's too prone to making it more than interesting trying to close games, and he doesn't have the bulldog mentality of Bob Wickman. He's blown two sure-fire wins this year, including sunday at Oakliand.
The offense has been scoring enough runs, yet what could be frightening for AL pitching staffs is that the team really hasn't hit its stride offensively. Pronk has been mired in a slump, and Casey Blake and Grady Sizemore haven't caught fire at the plate as of yet. But again, they're averaging like 6 runs a game.
They stay healthy, they'll challenge for the division title. If the offense does what it has done the last three years, which is go on a tear after June 1, they'll be tough to keep out of the playoffs.
So far, so good. The Braves are currently 1/2 game behind the Mets. They have pretty much been swapping the division lead all season thus far. Last night's injury to Smoltz may not be as serious as it appeared when it happened. Speculation centered around is wrist when I went to bed, but this morning they are saying it's his pinky, and he may not even miss a start. - That's good news for the Braves. BTW - Smoltz turns 40 today.
The other starters are doing well, and the bullpen is holding their own up to this point. I'd like to see Andruw Jones hitting better, and I think he'll come around. I like the kid they brought up from Richmond; Saltalamacchia. (yes - I had to look up the spelling) Longest last name in MLB history I heard one of the announcers say the other night. He'll be a great back-up to McCann behind the plate.
Chipper Jones, Edgar Renteria, Jeff Francoeur & Matt Diaz are all batting over 300, with Brian McCann and Kelly Johnson all nearing that mark.
Ok, one super nit picky thing here and I only say it because I got hammered on it by an English teacher many moons ago...you can't center around something. You can only center on something. Ok, grammar lesson over for the day. Good to have a Braves fan on here given the preponderance of Stankees and Mets fans lurking around.
Skyway1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2099 times:
Terrible......worst team in the majors.....and that would be the Cincinnati Reds. They have a roster of non caring f**ktards. They also have the worst coaching staffs around with Narron, Pole, Jacoby. Only coach that's worth a damn is first base coach Billy Hatcher. I will almost guarantee that Peavy will no hit them. And Falcon.....count 3 in the bank for the tribe later in the week against the Reds. Watch the games and you'll see what I mean....
KROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2086 times:
The Mets for the most part are living up to their potential, with their starting pitching being far better than expected. John Maine and Tommy Glavin are leading the rotation that has been hit by injuries with El-Duque going down way before his usual late July breakdown. Perez has been pitching really well some games that crappy others. If he could be consistant, he would win a lot of games. The Mets still need starting pitching though. Pelfrey has been sent packing and the Chan Ho Park experiement failed like anyone with their head not burried in the sand knew. The bullpen has been solid despite injuries as well and Billy Wagner is having a great season so far.
The Mets offense is cracking, although too many times they blow up a pitching staff one night and the next they fall flat. Jose Reyes continues to get better as and might be the best/most complete player in the game. Beltran has been mashing and carrying the offense. My boy David Wright has struggled much of the season but is showing signs of life finally. Carlos Delgado has been slumping since Opening Day but he will turn it around. Easley has been playing great ball filling in for Jose Valentin (who is not the Mets 2nd Base answer), and bench players like Endy Chavez with his contact hitting and great speed have been filling if for the (and this is a shock) injured Mosies Alou.
The mets need a solid bat and a pitcher or two and they should be able to keep the Braves back. All respect to Bobby's Braves this year. They are playing great ball!
CastleIsland From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2081 times:
The Red Sox hold the best record in baseball at 26-11, thanks largely to their pitching. It's too early to make too much of things, but it's nice to see some great defense from rookie Dustin Pedroia (2B) and veteran Julio Lugo (SS). Lowell has had some error problems, but has more than made up with it at the plate, batting .318 with 30 RBI.
If the pitching hold up, who knows? Games like Sunday afternoon, where the beat the Orioles 6-5 by scoring 6 runs in the 9th inning are the sort of game that really shapes a team early in the season.
Stretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2071 times:
The Tigers have suffered back to back ass-kickings, albeit by pretty good clubs (Twinkies and Bosox). They rattled off an 8-game winning streak before that, and I expect them to be at or near the top of the AL Central all season. The injuries to Kenny Rogers, Joel Zumaya, and backup catcher Vance Wilson are (hopefully) the worst we will face this season.
The bats are picking up, and the team has really been helped having Sheffield in the line-up. Maggs is putting up great numbers as a result. Polanco and Carlos Guillen are also solid at the plate. Other position players (Inge, Casey, CMo, Grenderson) have all contributed here and there. The team is more patient at the plate, and playing "small ball" better than last year.
This team will live and die on its pitching. Verlander is the real deal, as is Bonderman. Maroth has recovered niecly from his elbow surgery last season, and has a greta arsenal of smart pitches. Nate Robertson will brun up innings. Rodney has a killer change-up, but needs to work on hsi fielding. Closer Todd Jones throws strikes, but also gives up too many runs.
The X factor for the Tigers is Leyland. He is the best manager in baseball right now, and has these guys playing like a team. He won't let them get too high or too low. Shef will not melt down as he did in NY. Leyland was probably the MVP in last year's pennant-winning season (until the WS, that is).
For this team (and those cited above), injuries will determine the course. Again, I expect the WC from the AL Central again this year. I think the Tigers, Red Sox, and Angels will win their divisions, with the Tribe as the WC.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 22785 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2060 times:
Yankees have been crippled with injuries and a bad bullpen, and are coming up to a twelve game stretch against some very good teams (White Sox, Mets, Red Sox and Angels). Now 8.5 in back of the Red Sox, and they need to start gaining some ground - I'd like to see the deficit reduced by two by the end of the month. The Red Sox are going to come back to earth eventually, but the Yanks can't keep spotting them games.
Jeter and Posada are playing fantastically, Hughes and Clemens are on their way back, and I believe that Rivera will come around and be the elite closer he has been. Mussina, Pettite and Wang will be solid, and Matt DeSalvo showed some promise.
Damon, Abreu and Cano have not been hitting, but otherwise the offense is in decent shape. The Yankees will score enough runs to win them games - the only question is whether their pitching will be able to keep them in it.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
AirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2055 times:
Looks to be another long summer in Phoenix. The starting pitching and bull pen have been decent but if you don't score runs you can't win. One of the major disappointments has to be Connor Jackson, the starting first baseman, sitting a zero home runs and a .230 batting avg, then throw in his fielding ; at this rate his claim to fame will be his dad played the Admiral in JAG. As a whole the team batted .225 for May, not a way to win games.
Dragon-wings From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 4055 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2050 times:
Quoting KROC (Reply 6): The Mets still need starting pitching though.
When Pedro Martinez comes back he will help a little. I think he supposed to be back around August. His velocity may not be the same when he comes back, but if he has good control he will still be good. Look how good Glavine has been the last 2 or 3 years. His (Glavine) fastball has lost a little over the last few years but he has great control.
Copaair737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2021 times:
Great pic Castle.
Truthfully, despite the huge rash of injuries that have hit the A's, we are only a game or so back out of first, and poised to make a run once everybody gets healthy. Jack Cust has been a huge surprise.
Across the bay, the Gints look decent. Remains to be seen if they can hold up though.
Tom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2002 times:
The only reason I forgive Halls for kicking my butt in the fantasy league last week is that he and I see eye to eye on our Dodgers. Nice to see the boys leading the West.....the pitching is nails: Penny leads the majors in ERA, Saito up there in saves, though the hitting is average at best.
Btw, KROC, we may be doing Mets/Dodgers at the Ravine on our west coast roadie next month.
Tom at MSY (on the CrackBerry)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina