I attended the Orioles-Dodgers game at Camden Yards last night, with the hope that the Dodgers could snap out of their losing streak in game two of their double dip. That, apparently, was asking too much, as they lost the night cap 6-1, after losing game one 7-5. But the night was not a complete loss as I had the pleasure of meeting Fake Teams own Craig Goldstein and SB Nation's Cee Angi. Cee is one of the designated baseball writers for SB Nation.
Matt Kemp coming out of slump?
Speaking of the Dodgers, outfielder Matt Kemp has started the season in a big hitting slump. He has yet to hit a home run this season, and is striking out in 30% of his at bat thus far. He has started to hit of late, and went 3-5 with a run and his first stolen base of the season, in the first game of the double header in Baltimore. In the second game, he went 0-3 with a walk and a stolen base. He is now hitting .206-.246-.270 on the season. Time to panic? I don't think so. He is too good of a hitter to struggle like this all season. I do think his power may be negatively impacted as he recovers from his offseason shoulder surgery though.
Ryan Zimmerman is the Brett Anderson of hitters. The guy seems to be constantly hurt, and yesterday he went on the 15 day DL with a hamstring injury. The Nationals may live to regret giving him a long term contract. To replace Zimmerman on the active roster, the Nationals called up third baseman Anthony Rendon. Rendon was hitting .292-.462-.500 with 2 HRs, 8 runs, 7 RBI and a 9-14 strikeout to walk ratio in 14 games. His bat is probably ready for the big leagues, as he has an excellent approach at the plate, but I am sure the Nationals wanted Rendon to get at least a half season in AA/AAA before calling him up. If he succeeds while Zimmerman is on the DL, the calls for moving Zimmerman to first base will increase, yet Adam Laroche is signed through the 2014 season.
Rendon is slated to bat 6th in the Nationals lineup today.
Houston, we have a problem
For the third time this week, an Astros starting pitcher did not make it out of the first inning. I am not sure what the reason is for this, but three times in one week is three more times than any manager would like to see. Yesterday, it was Philip Humber's turn, as he got just one out, yet gave up 8 runs on 8 hits and a walk. Earlier this week Erik Bedard and Bud Norris did not make it out of the first inning. The Astros bullpen has to be taxed like no other pen in baseball. Houston pitchers threw 228 pitches yesterday.
Here is what else happened in Saturday's MLB action:
Indians hitters had their way with the Astros yesterday, scoring 19 runs on 22 hits and 8 walks. Leading the way were Nick Swisher, who went 4-7 with 3 doubles, 3 runs and 2 RBI; Carlos Santana, who went 2-5 with a HR, 3 runs and 2 RBI, and Jason Giambi who went 2-4 with a HR, 3 runs and 5 RBI.
Orioles first baseman/DH Chris Davis has been one of the best hitters in baseball in April, and he oontinued the hot hitting on Saturday going 3-4 with 2 doubles and 3 runs scored in the first game of the double header, and 1-3 with a HR in the second game. He raised his triple slash line to .379-.471-.845 with 7 HRs, 6 doubles, 11 runs, 21 RBI and a 14-10 strikeout to walk ratio. Davis just goes to show that some hitters take longer to figure things out at the plate than others.
Davis' teammate Manny Machado had a big game in the nightcap last night, going 3-4 with a double, HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI in the Orioles 6-1 win over the Dodgers. Machado raised his triple slash line to .268-.307-.423 with 2 HRs, 11 runs and 11 RBI
Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda turned in another quality start yesterday, holding the Blue Jays to one run on 3 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts, but his bullpen blew the lead for him. On the season, he is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. For me, he is the Yankees best starter thus far in 2013.
Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain seems to like hitting in Fenway Park. He went 4-4 with 2 doubles, a HR, 3 runs, an RBI and a stolen base in the Royals 4-3 loss on Saturday. In 14 games, he is hitting .392-.429-.529 with a HR, 6 runs, 7 RBI and 2 stolen bases thus far.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper went 3-3 with 2 HRs. 3 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Nationals 7-6 win over the Mets yesterday afternoon. Harper is now hitting .371-.426-.758 with 7 HRs, 13 runs, 14 RBI and 1 stolen base. He is well on his way to exceeding my 25 home run projection for him. Harper hitting 30-35 home runs this season would not surprise me at all.
Rays shortstop prospect Hak Ju-Lee suffered torn ligaments in his left knee in a game Saturday and will miss the rest of the season. Lee is gold glove caliber shortstop who started the 2013 hitting well, with a triple slash line of .422-.536-.600.
Rick Porcello may not be long for the Tigers rotation after yesterday's outing. He couldn't get out of the first inning vs the Angels, giving up 9 runs on 9 hits and a walk. He is now 0-2 with a 11.08 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP. If you are looking for a starting pitcher to replace Porcello, grab Drew Smyly, who relieved Porcello, shutting out the Angels for 5.2 innings, giving up just 4 hits, walking none and striking out 7. The Tigers missed out on dealing Porcello in spring training and now his stock has hit rock bottom.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but yesterday he went 2-5 with a HR, 2 runs and 4 RBI, raising his triple slash line to .304-.347-.522 with 2 HRs, 11 runs, 11 RBI and 1 stolen base thus far. He isn't running as much, but he can steal bases in bunches and may be waiting for the weather to get warmer to be more active on the base paths.
Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey notched his second save of the season, but not without some hand-wringing. He gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk, but got out of a two on, two out jam after giving up a home run to Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain to lead off the ninth. He got Alex Gordon to ground out to end the game.
Royals set up man Kelvin Herrera struggled once again, giving up a three run home run to Daniel Nava in the 8th inning, blowing his first save of the season. I assume Greg Holland would have closed out the game had he not given up the 3 run bomb.