The impression Cliff Lee has made on me is that he is the best pitcher in baseball.
Not Halladay, Sabathia, Santana, The Freak, Johnson Greinke, or Jimenez, it’s Lee any-day of the week, no matter the uniform.
In 2010 Lee has faced 336 batters, struck-out 76 and given up just three home-runs. His strikeout to walk ratio is a remarkable 19:1. Understand that only one other pitcher in the history of baseball, Brett Saberhagen ended the season in double digits back in 1901. Lee is well on his way to being the second pitcher to hold that record.
Lee leads the AL in complete games with four, has a 2.39 ERA. Lee has not walked a single batter in his last four starts and has only walked four this entire season.
The Boston Red Sox were countedout way too soon, as they have been on a leap to get back into the AL East race. The crucial difference has been Boston’smiddleline-up is finallyhot , as Big Papi, Victor Martinez and Marcus Scutaro are taking some pressure of Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox have missed the rapid lead-off bat of center-fielder Jacob Ellsbury. Ellsbury has only played for nine games this season due to broken ribs. He is set to return after the All-Star Break, which will only help the Red Sox get better.
The greatest surprise is the pitching rotation, sans aceJosh Beckett, who’s been plagued by a bad back for a few seasons. John Lester has filled in as the team’s ace, with solid starts by Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield and the pleasant surprise of Clay Buchholz, who leads the team with a 2.45 ERA.
Buchholz left during his last start after hyper-extending his left knee but is said to be fine.Boston has gotten solid outings from the Boston bullpen, and closer Jonathan Papelbaum has been substantial, but he cannot give up back-to-back saves like he did in Colorado anymore.
J.D. Drew is back since being on the DL since June 18th, but the Red Sox recent luck has not fared regarding injuries. All-star second-baseman Dustin Pedroia was placed on the 15-day DL with a fracture of the navicular bone in his left foot, which is typically a minimum six-week recovery. This is a monumental loss as Pedroia is the best player, both athletically and emotionally on the team.
Add Victor Martinez to the injury list, but not the DL yet as the catcher took two foul tips off his left thumb. Martinez says it is just pain and plans not to miss any time, but will know more after he gets checked out.
Terry Francona is saying all his prayers before bed tonight.
The replacements players like Bill Hall , Darnell McDonald and Daniel Neva are getting the job done, but Youks and Big Papi have to take this team on their shoulders right now.
One thing is for sure it’s doubtful anyone will ever question GM Theo Epstein again.
Tampa Bay Rays
Heading down south to Tampa Bay, home of the Rays who finally proved that their human by losing. The problem is their also developing and can’t seem to grasp the concept of defeat. It took them an entire season after losing the World Series in 2008 for the Rays to stop pouting, so Joe Madden needs to get attitudes in control now. Continue reading ‘Reviewing Top Three American League East Teams’ »
It is sure to be a celebrity filled affair, as it is the hottest ticket in Hollywood right now.
Internally, the Dodgers ball-club is a mess, as owners Frank and Jamie McCourt are in the middle of a nasty divorce. Add injuries to insult, which is now just frustrating for a team who wants to contend as they did in 2008 and 2009. Fans cries have been pouring out for the Dodgers to get Cliff Lee from the Mariners in order for the team to survive. Unlikely to happen with owners divorce still unresolved.
The Dodgers 2010 season has been rocky to say the least. This team is in third place in the AL West, with a 38-33 record. Currently, Torre’s Dodgers have lost their last six games. Now, what could be called a slump has become a concern.
It felt like a heat wave in New York City on that October 8th night, back in 2007.
Fans were funneling into Yankee Stadium extra early for Game 4 of the ALDS.
The prior evening, I had watched my Yankees pull out a win to avoid getting swept.
Which, was all thanks to a home run hit by Johnny Damon in the seventh inning. I remember how I jumped on my stadium seat as my Yankees dreams of the post-season were not over yet.
Now, the Cleveland Indians were up 2-1 over the New York Yankees. Losing meant the season would end, but there was a lot more on the line that year for the Yankees.
Fans were just as aware as the players, but no one wanted to believe it. It broke my heart to think of being in the Bronx without Joe Torre, as he had become such an figure and was a father to an entire city.
In my life, I have never been to a baseball game with such tense and ardent fans, which made it difficult to imagine how the players were handling it.
By the end of the seventh inning, the Yankees chances were bleak. The Yankees were playing as hard as they could, but the Indians were the better team and the fans knew it.
As the eighth inning began, low chants of “JOE TORRE, JOE TORRE, JOE TORRE, JOE….” were becoming louder every moment, as fans started to rise and join in like a slow, chaotic wave that took over Yankee Stadium.
It continued well after the last pitch because the team’s loss was incomparable to losing our skipper. For 12 years, Joe Torre leads the Yankees to four World Series titles, six AL Pennants, and a record of 1173-767 in games. More than all the baseball accomplishments, Torre was admired by Yankees fans for his everyday demeanor and were so proud to call him our leader.
As I dried my tears and exited the Stadium, it was hard to let go of never seeing Mr. Torre in pinstripes again. That is why I bought a photo from a stadium vendor of Torre with Mariano Rivera. Early the next morning I had my ticket and the image professionally framed, so I would never have to forget it.
No one knew this would be the last post-season ever played in the Old Yankees Stadium that night, as well. Crazy.The days right after October 8th were filled with Yankees fans fighting for Torre. To describe it as an uproar would be an understatement, as protests, newspaper ads and innumerable letters sent to the Boss all pleading to keep Torre here forever.