Oh, it was not a good week. The Reds were 4-3, but the Nats were 3-4 and the Giants were a woeful 1-6. What's more, I am going to be forced to root against the Nats once again Tuesday-Thursday verses the Reds this week.
Reds (21-11, first place)
Sweeping the Deadbirds was a sweet, sweet feeling! Take that, Sir Albert and Company!
Maybe Reds fans are just spoiled, but I consider the 2-3 roadtrip that followed to be a bad one. Yes, the Reds did get some good pitching (though not in Sunday's win, oddly), but the bats were silent in many of the games, including the shutout handed to them by the Rockies in Coors "Supposed to be a launching pad" Field. Granted, both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks were first place teams during the week, but so are the Reds!
Stupid errors! They aren't going to remain in first place if they continue to commit the atrocious errors they perpetrated this week. Lopez led the way with three errors; Encarnacion had one; Hatteberg had one; Freel had one; Phillips had one; Aurilia had one. That's eight errors in five games. Sounds like Little League.
Some of this week's offensive horrors were alleviated by Sunday's slugfest against the D'Backs, in which Dunn, Hatteberg, Kearns, and Encarnacion went deep. Encarnacion's proved to be the game winner, since David Weathers was awful and loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, giving up a run in the process.
The highlight of the week was Aaron Harang's gem against the Rockies. Red Bull threw 8.1 innings of one run baseball, striking out a career high 12 to temporarily take the Major League lead in Ks. Harang is now 5-1 and starting to get some national attention. Yes, skeptics, this guy is for real.
Reds saint of the week (formerly known as player of the week): Austin Kearns. Kearns is playing how everyone always said he could play. This week he went 12-26 (.462) with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 4 RBI, 6 runs, and a .962 OPS. His seven game hit streak was stopped on Saturday, but he started a new one on Sunday. It's nice to see the other half of the Dunnandkearns Show swing the bat like that.
Nats (11-21, fourth place)
Swept by the AAA Fish in a two game series. Ugh. Were beaten really badly on Thursday, 11-3. Ugh. Simply Uggly.
Beating the Mets in one of two games was an accomplishment and helped the Nats go 3-4 this week. Hey, it's better than 2-5, 1-6, or 0-7, right?
Yes, the Nats took two of three from the second worst team in baseball, the Bucs, but they blew a sweep in the 11th inning of Saturday's game, which I watched in despair.
The offense was pathetic. Soriano went 6-33, Guillen 6-33, Johnson 5-27, Vidro 5-20, and Clayton 3-23, and those who did alright still didn't do spectacularly, as Zimmerman was 8-27, Byrd 7-25, and Schneider 7-21, the best clip for the week. That makes the regulars 47-209 for a measley .225 average for the week. You can't win too many games with that type of production.
Nats saint of the week: Ted Lerner. Why not? No one else did anything well this week, except for maybe Jon Rauch, who did not give up a run in five appearances this week. Or Irish, who was 2-0, though he did not pitch great in today's win. Hopefully Lerner's first move will be to fire that guy whom Marty Brennaman refuses to call by name. If so, Ted will earn his second player of the week honors.
Giants (14-17, last place. Groan.)
What is with this team? 1-6 for the week at a time when two other teams in their division run off 8 game win streaks? And then they lose their most productive player, Moises Alou, to an ankle sprain? Oh, I am so disgusted with this week's play that I don't even want to talk about it.
I will say one thing, though: 712! 713!
Giants saint of the week: Jason Schmidt. Schmidt was the only bright spot in this entire week, throwing a complete game shutout, giving up only five hits and striking out seven Brewers. It was only Schmidt's second win of the year, but it was a return to form. Hopefully, he'll throw a few more games like that in the immediate future. God knows the Giants need them.
Around the Horn
After seeing the Rockies up close this week, I am still wondering how they are winning. Jeff Francis pitched well on Tuesday to shutout the mighty Reds in homer haven, but the Reds pounded the team the next day. Still, they sit atop the NL West after sweeping the Asstros. (Thank you, Rox! Now do it to the Deadbirds!)
The Deadbirds swept the AAA Fish, who were fresh off of their two game sweep of the Nats. The Marlins just aren't picking the right time for their few wins.
Both the blessed Red Sox and the hated Yankees pulled off sweeps this weekend to stayed tied for first place. Someone start pounding the Yankees, please. Torre earned his 1000th Yankee win.
Big baby Billy Wagner pissed off his ex-Phillies teammates by whining about how they were against him. Like they wanted him to screw up and lose games for them? What is he smoking in the Mets clubhouse? Wah!!!
There were a lot of injuries to key players this week. Here's the injury report: Victor Zambrano is out for the season; Cristian Guzman is out for the season; Darin Erstad 15 day DL; Moises Alou 15 day DL; Rich Aurilia 15 day DL; Chris Burke 15 day DL; Sidney Ponson left a game early; Gary Sheffield's wrist is keeping him out of the lineup; Milton Bradley 15 day DL; Joe Randa 15 day DL; Ben Sheets misses a start, Prince Fielder leaves game early. I'm probably missing some, but it wasn't a healthy week for MLB.
Demon of the Week
Jose Guillen. Or at least his girlfriend. What kind of crackwhore goes to a shady check cashing place to cash a $12,000 check? And then she gets mugged carrying around $10,000 in her Louis Vuitton purse? And why do those places carry that much cash? Hey, Jose, have you ever heard of a bank?