MLB Memorial Day Musings
Big Papi has been on a tear in May, hitting 10 home runs.
Things I Didn't Think That I'd Think By the End of May
Big Papi Perks Up
David Ortiz seems to have turned it around in May, which is good news for Red Sox fans. The robust slugger finally looks confident at the plate again, hitting safely in 18 of his last 20 games. Ortiz finished the first month of the season with a .143 batting average, but by the end of May he has managed to bring it up to .272. The Red Sox DH has also started driving them out of the park again, with 10 roundtrippers since May 1.
Mark's Terrible May
Mark Teixeira is known for his slow starts, but after hitting a meager .136 in April, the slugger hasn't managed to fully rebound yet. The Yankees' first baseman still only has 43 hits, 8 home runs and a .217 batting average...and it's the end of May. Teixeira's struggles rarely last this long, so the lack of power and production is starting to get troublesome. But there are signs that he can return to form in June. Teix hit a single and nailed a two-run home run in the seventh inning of the Yankees game Sunday to give New York the lead.
Mets Might Not Be a Mess After All
Well that's not entirely true...the franchise is certainly still in disarray. Now they just happen to be wining ballgames as well. The Mets managed to take five of six from the Yankees and Phillies earlier this month, and actually kept the Phils from scoring during a three-game sweep. Even more impressive is that New York swept Philly with two unknowns taking the hill in Hisanori Takahashi and R.A. Dickey.
That Mike Pelfrey -- their third starter during the series -- is no longer considered an unknown is a big reason the Mets are doing well. Pelfrey finally seems ready to live up to the high expectations the franchise has for him. The starter has a 7-1 record and 2.54 ERA so far this season.
If Pelfrey can keep it up, maybe the Mets can too. They are currently 26-25, a game over .500, and three games out of first place in the NL East. Of course they have to bypass the Braves and Phillies (and prove they can win on the road) to get there.
Things I Knew I'd Know
Philadelphia's ace starter, Roy Halladay, threw a perfect game against the Marlins on Saturday, which came as no surprise to anybody with a passing knowledge of the sport. Halladay has been one of the best -- if not the best -- starters in the league for the last few years, and when he finally got out of the treacherous AL East last season everybody knew it was only a matter of time before he threw a perfect-o.
Halladay did just that on Saturday, striking out 11 during his brilliant 27 up, 27 down performance against the Marlins. While playing for the Toronto Blue Jays , the 33-year-old starter was stuck on a bad team in a great division. Now that the ace is on a great team in a decent division, the sky is the limit. National League batters take warning. This man is a machine.
Karma Catches Up During Bombastic Celebration
You knew it was bound to happen -- hell it has plenty of times before. Only this time it was serious. Kendry Morales suffered a broken ankle during the Angels' celebration of his walk-off grand slam on Saturday. As the team danced and leapt around Morales, the slugger's leg inexplicably snapped and will now require surgery. The injury will keep the first baseman out of the lineup for a few months.
Boozin' in the Booth?
John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have been calling Yankees games together since 2005 -- and the two never cease to amaze with their inaccuracies and irrelevant tangents. Sterling is famous for his self-important home run calls that make somewhat clever, albeit tacky, use of the player's names -- such as "An A-Bomb from A-Rod," or "You're on the Mark Teixeira;" as well as his drawn out ending to games when the team wins. I can't say I don't like hearing Sterling's "Tha Yankees Win! Thaaaaaaa Yankees Win!" I just find it stunning that a grown man does it.
Here's a small sampling of the verbal wanderings in the booth this season: During one game, John Sterling went on at length about his plans for dinner with a friend later that night -- despite the fact that the inning was still going on. During another game, Sterling referred to batters by the wrong name, said the wrong pitcher was on the mound and said, "It is high. It is far. It is gone." The problem? The ball hadn't left the infield.
In addition to her general tendency to make irrelevant comments and add absolute drivel to the broadcast, Suzyn Waldman has also referred to the Yankee manager as Joe Torre no fewer than four times this season -- despite the fact that Torre hasn't managed the team the last three seasons.
What's wrong with these two? Are they boozin' in the booth?