In the midst of checking on the Brandon Morrow stats race between his innings pitched, strikeouts and walks (35.2, 35, 36 respectively), I noticed Mariners' closer JJ Putz had tremendous numbers on a year that seemed to be lost when he went down at the start of Spring training with elbow issues. In 45.1 innings, he has a 0.79 ERA, 0.55 WHIP and 28 Saves.
After a twelve day lay-off, Angels starter Bartolo Colon picked-up where he left off. He allowed nine runners ( 5 hits/4 walks) in five innings of work against the free-swinging Devil Rays. Something is wrong with Colon. I'm just unqualified to guess more than that.
Speaking of unexplainable struggles by a starting pitcher, the Marlins' Dontrelle Willis was terrible last night. He allowed six runs on eleven hits and two free passes in just three innings of work. Just as the Devil Rays' failed to trade there pieces at the apex of their value, the Marlins look to have committed the same mistake with Willis.
Don't look now, but the rumors of Braves' CF Andruw Jones' demise have been greatly exaggerated. Following a 3-6 game, he has $20MM-per-year slash stats of 309/409/691 with 6 HRs in July. He need only bring his average to the .250ish range with 30+ HRs to get back into the $100+MM contract discussions.
Astros catcher Eric Munson has walked 9 times in 61 AB this season. What is noteworthy is he only took 11 free passes last season - in 141 ABs! Could something about catching full-time have taught him somemthing about pitch recognition?
In Detroit, 4A OF Ryan Raburn is 3-7 with 3 BB in limited action. I have a very hard time believing the Tigers are not a better team with him coming off the bench. Speaking of the Tigers, rookie SP Andrew Miller continues to live on the edge with 4 BB in 5 innings of work last night. He did get nine groundball outs versus one in the air, though. He will need to do that to make those walks less dangerous.