MLB 2012: Undefeated Teams after the first weekend of play

9 04 2012

The new Major League Baseball (MLB) season has started and a few teams started red hot to remain undefeated after the first weekend of action. Here are the undefeated teams after Easter Sunday action:

  1. Baltimore Orioles (3-0) – The Orioles started the new season at Camden yards by sweeping the Minnesota Twins. In the 3-game sweep, Baltimore only gave up 5 runs while the offense scored 15 runs. Nick Markakis is batting .556 and has 2 home runs already.
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (3-0) – The Rays tied the Orioles for the early AL East lead as they swept perennial division champs New York Yankees at home. The team is hitting at .333 and have an on-base percentage of .443.  The Rays will visit Detroit for their next series. Carlos Pena has 7 RBIs in their 3 game romp.
  3. Detroit Tigers (3-0) – The Tigers opened the Prince Fielder era with a sweep of Boston Red Sox. In 3 games, the Tigers scored 26 runs.  Lead off hitter Austin Jackson is batting .571 while Miguel Cabrera has 3 homers and 8 RBIs so far. The early series with the similarly undefeated Rays is a series to watch.
  4. New York Mets (3-0) – The Mets took an  early lead in the NL East standings as they beat the Atlanta Braves in 3 straight games. It is the first time in 5 years that NY Mets opened the season with a sweep. In the opening series, they only gave up 7 runs while scoring 15. The bullpen just gave up 1 run in 10 innings so far this season.
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks (3-0) –  The DBacks scored 3 1-run wins over the 2010 Champs San Francisco Giants. They rallied from being 6 runs down to complete the sweep. They won the first 2 games via a 5-4 score.

It is still early in the season but these 5 teams are making a statement that they want to contend this season. Most likely, at least 3 teams from this bunch will figure in their respective divisions races.





MLB Playoffs: Beltre belts 3 home runs to send Rangers to ALCS

5 10 2011
Adrian Beltre

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla – Adrina Beltre ‘s last name should be pronounced as  “belt 3″ after he belted 3 big home runs to single handedly eliminate the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 4 of their ALDS match-up. The defending AL champions got all their runs from home runs. Ian Kinsler had one in the first inning then Beltre homered in the 2nd, 4th, and 7th innings. The 4-3 win is the fifth straight road win of the Rangers in league division series.

Matt Harrison was credited for the win after he pitched 5 innings and giving up only 2 earned runs while striking out 9 batters. Neftali Pelez made his 3rd save of the series despite giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth. The Rangers will wait for the winner of the Detroit-NYY series.

 





MLB 2011 ALDS: Tigers, Rangers on the verge

4 10 2011
photo of Josh Hamilton playing.

Image via Wikipedia

The Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers won the Game 3 of their respective ALDS match-ups to be 1 win away from a spot in the ALCS. The Rangers won an way game in Tampa while Tigers defended Comerica Park.

With the Game 3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Rangers recovered the home field advantage should there be a do or die Game 5. Tampa Bay started the scoring in the 4th, as Desmond Jennings hit homer off Colby Lewis. The Texans answered with 4 runs in the 7th inning from a 2 run home run of Mike Napoli and 2 RBIs by Josh Hamilton.  The Rays tried to rally with runs in the 7th and 8th inning but the Texas bullpen was able to preserve the win.

The Tigers won the duel of the aces as  Justin Verlander lasted 8 innings to outpitch C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees. The Yankees struck first as they scored at the top of the first as ex-Tigers CF Curtis Granderson tripled Cabrera home and later scored a run off a fielder’s choice on an Alex Rodriguez at bat.

Detroit equalized in the 3rd innind via an RBI single by Ramon Santiago then by a fielder’s choice of a ground induced double play by Miguel Cabrera. They took the lead in 5th with Santiago doubled off the wall to score Brandon Inge. They doubled the lead when Jhonny Peralta scored Santiago with a double off the wall.

In the seventh inning, the Yanks struck back as Brett Gardner doubled scoring Jorge Posada and Russell Martin with 2 outs. The game winner came at the bottom of the inning as Delmon Young hit a solo shot off reliever Rafael Soriano for the final margin, 5-4.

The big hero also was Verlander who pitched till the 8th inning and finishing with 11 K’s. He was so dominant in the middle inning that he struck out 4 Yankee batters in succession. In the 5th inning, he needed just 10 pitches to strike out all 3 batters he faced.

There were tense moments in the final inning as there were 2 runners left on base when Jose Valverde struck out Derek Jeter for the final out of the game.

The Rangers and the Tigers will try to clinch their respective division series tomorrow.





2011 MLB Playoffs: 3 of 4 Division Series Match-ups are tied

3 10 2011
Justin Verlander

Image via Wikipedia

The first 2 games of the League Division Series have been played and 3 lower ranked teams managed to steal home field advantage by beating the top ranked teams at home. Only the Milwaukee Brewers managed to go to Game 3 with a 2-0 lead.

American League:

Detroit Tigers 1 – 1 New York Yankees

Game 1: 9-3 for New York

Game 2: 5-3 for Detroit

Game 3 preview: After rains shuffled the pitching rotations of both teams, the 3rd game will be the battle of the aces as Justin Verlander will start against C.C. Sabathia at Comerica Park.

Tampa Bay Rays 1 – 1 Texas Rangers

Game 1: 9-0 for Tampa Bay

Game 2: 8-6 for Texas

Game 3 preview: Last year’s Cy Young award runner-up David Price will pitch against Colby Lewis, who never lost a game against the Rays. The game will be at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

National League:

St. Louis Cardinals 1 – 1 Philadelphia Phillies

Game 1: 11-6 for Philadelphia

Game 2: 5-4 for St. Louis

Game 3 preview: The first game at St. Louis will pit a match-up between Phillies’ Cole Hamels (14-9, 194Ks) against the Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA).

Arizona Diamondbacks 0 – 2 Milwaukee Brewers

Game 1: 4-1 for Milwaukee

Game 2: 9-4 for Milwaukee

Game 3 preview: The Brewers will go for the sweep with Shaun Marcum (13-7, 1.16 WHIP) on the mound. Arizona will counter with Josh Collmenter (10-10, 1.07 WHIP).

The match-ups are pretty even and there is a big possibility that the top seeds in both leagues will not make it to the League Championship Series. Baseball has one of the most unpredictable and exciting playoff formats. Next year, 1 additional team per league is added in a new playoff format where Team 5 will be battle Team 4 in a Game 163 with the winner getting the wildcard spot.





2011 MLB Playoffs: Rays grab 1-0 lead over Rangers; NY-Det Series rained out

1 10 2011

It is the start of the Major League Baseball post-season. The playoffs starts with the American League Division Series (ALDS) pitting the streaking Tampa Bay Rays and the AL West Champs Texas Rangers. The hot Rays started with rookie pitcher Matt Moore who was starting a major league game for only the second time in his career.

The rookie only allowed 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 Rangers in 7 innings to lead the 9-0 shut out. Kelly Shoppach hit 2 homers against C.J. Wilson while Johnny Damon added another one to provide all the offense that Moore need; although, with the way the rookie was pitching, a single run would have just won the game. The Rays now hold a 1-0 advantage and practically bring the home field advantage to Florida.

The ALDS game between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees was rained out at the bottom of the 2nd inning with 1-all score. The suspension of the game wasted the starts of leading Cy YOung candidate Justin Verlander and NY ace C.C. Sabathia.





MLB 2011 Final Day: Results of important games

29 09 2011

With a muddled playoff picture and many races still unsettled. The last day of the 2011 Major League Baseball is full games that have some significance for the playoffs and individual award races. Here are the results of today’s games:

Detroit (95-67) 5 – 4 Cleveland (80-82) : Miguel Cabrera gets 2 more hits

The Detroit Tigers won against the Cleveland Indians for the 10th straight time. They broke a tie in the 8th inning with a blast by Jhonny Peralta. Miguel Cabrera had 2 hits to raise his batting average to .344 and virtually clinch the AL batting title. Jose Valverde earned his 49th save of the season. Detroit awaits the outcome of the game between AL West Rivals Texas Rangers and LA Angels. A win by Texas will bring the Tigers to the Yankees Stadium for an ALDS match-up with Curtis Granderson and New York. A loss by Texas will mean home field advantage for Detroit in the ALDS.

New York Mets 3 – 0 Cincinnati Reds: Jose Reyes pulled out after a hit

This game has no playoff implications but with the batting title on the line, Jose Reyes was lifted after making a bunt single to improve his 2011 BA to .337.  Brewers’ Ryan Braun needs to make 3 hits of 5 to overtake Reyes. The move of replacing Reyes with a pinch runner got boos from the home crowd. Braun was not able to catch up with the now-2011 NL Batting Champ Reyes.

Saint Louis Cardinals (90-72) 8 – 0 Houston Astros (56-106): Cardinals puts pressure on Atlanta

The St. Louis Cardinals relied on Chris Carpenter to give them a win over league worst Astros and have an inside track in the NL Wildcard race against the Atlanta Braves. Carpenter delivered a 2-hit shutout with 11 K’s to boot.

Texas Rangers (96-66) 3 -1 Los Angeles Angels (86-76): Rangers clinch No.2 Seed in AL

Mike Napoli homered in 9th inning to help Texas secure home field advantage in the ALDS. They will now have to await for results of the games of Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox.

Milwaukee Brewers (96-66) 7 -3 Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90)

The Brewers clinched home field in NLDS after beating the Pirates. Zack Grienke earned his 16th win of the season with the victory. Ryan Braun was hitless in 4 plate appearances to hand Met’s Jose Reyes the NL batting plum. The Brewers will face the NL West Pennant winner Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS.

Philadelphia Phillies (102-60) 3 -2 Atlanta Braves (89-73): Phillies eliminate Braves in 13 innings

All Atlanta was 3 outs in the 9th inning to preserve a win and still have a shot for an NL Wildcard berth. In the end, the Phillies  eliminated their division rivals after rallying in the 9th inning. The Phillies will open the NLDS against St. Louis Cardinals, a team that was 8.5 games behind the Braves three weeks ago.

Baltimore Orioles (69-93) 4 – 3 Boston Red Sox (90-72): Sox will be eliminated if Rays win

The Orioles scored 2 runs at the bottom of the 9th to rally from a 2-3 deficit and win against the collapsing Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox needed a win in order to clinch a game 163 against the Tampa Bay Rays. All the Sox can do is to pray that the Yankees will give them some hope for a postseason slot.

Tampa Bay Rays (91-71) 8 – 7 New York Yankees (97-65): Down 0-7, Rays completes comeback and earn wildcard

The Tampa Bay Rays were down 0-7 after an Andruw Jones blast in 5th inning. They rallied to tie the game in the 9th and Evan Longoria homered in the bottom of the 12th to bring Tampa Bay back to the postseason. They nosed out the Boston Red Sox in the final day and will play against Texas in the ALDS.

Day Recap: The playoff picture is complete as the Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals won the wildcard spots in their respective divisions. Here are the playoff pairings for this year:

ALDS

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays

NLDS

Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks





MLB 2011: It’s down the wire for the final playoff spots

28 09 2011
The Major League Baseball logo.

Image via Wikipedia

There is only 1 day left in the Major League Baseball regular season and the final playoff spots in both division has not been decided. Here are where the teams currently stand:

American League

  1. New York Yankees 97-64 (AL East Winner)
  2. Texas Rangers 95-66 (AL West Winner)
  3. Detroit Tigers 94-67 (AL Central Winner)
  4. Tampa Bay Ray 90-71
  5. Boston Red Sox 90-71
  1. Philadelphia Phillies 101-60 (NL East Winner)
  2. Milwaukee Brewers 95-66 (NL Central Winner)
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks 94-67 (NL West Winner)
  4. St. Louis Cardinals 89-72
  5. Atlanta Braves 89-72
Bold means clinched playoff spot
The final playoff match-ups are not settled yet and both leagues have 2 teams battling for the sole wildcard slot. The games tomorrow will settle everything.







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