Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Hot Corner, 6/21 edition

The Mets are still unsure when SS Jose Reyes will make his return, but he felt fine for the first time after hitting on Friday. The problem is running.

Pitchers Jeff (Dodgers) and Jered (Angels) Weaver became the 21st pair of brothers to pitch against each other. And Jeff got the better of Jered.

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsusaka will skip his next start.

Both John Maine and Oliver Perez will begin rehab assignments Monday.

Tigers 20-year-old pitcher Rick Porcello is poised beyond his years.

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Figaro wins in his major-league debut.

Phillies closer Ryan Madson blows another save and the Phillies have lost five straight.

Despite allowing only one run in eight innings, Matt Cain didn't get his tenth win of the season in the Giants 2-1 extra-inning win.

Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson tells the Boston Herald: "I feel that in my young career I’ve done a little bit of everything. I’ve already done some starting, but this year I feel good about all the roles I’ve been in. Except for an inning or two, almost no runs have been scored and that’s very encouraging for me."

Pirates top pick Tony Sanchez drove in the game-winning run in his first minor league game.

The Angels signed Randal Grichuk, their top pick.

Albert Pujols has lots of opinions, but he says his "job is to shut up and play."

Nolan Ryan is worried about the Rangers' offense and Josh Hamilton took 20-30 swings in a batting cage yesterday.

Rays OF Pat Burrell said he "loved" being booed at CitiField on Friday night.

James Shields got his first road win since April 12th.

Will Ben Zobrist be on the A.L. All-Star roster?

GM Brian Cashman said the decision to rest/bench A-Rod for two days was "a medical decision."

Carlos Beltran, who is going to get an MRI on his knee, says, "When I am running, pounding the knee, I feel a pinch," Beltran said. "It's annoying."

Not quite mid-season awards: N.L. Cy Young

Over the next day or two, I'm going to select my winner (i.e., current leader) and runner-up for the Cy Young and MVP (not to be confused with MP3) in both leagues.

It goes without saying, although I'll say it anyways, this is highly subjective and is merely my (well-thought-out, compelling, coherent) opinion.

That being said, I encourage that you provide feedback (and your selection, if you disagree) in the comments' section.

So, let's begin with the N.L. Cy Young Award.

The N.L. Cy Young Award goes to ... (drum roll, please) ... Matt Cain, San Francisco. With a 9-1 record, Cain is one of three nine-game winners in the N.L. Chad Billingsley (Dodgers) and Jason Marquis (Rockies) are the other two. He's also third in ERA (2.39) behind Johnny Cueto (Reds) and Dan Haren (D'Backs).

In his past five starts, Cain is 5-0 with three complete games. His three complete games lead the N.L. In his past five starts, he has 34 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings pitched. During that span, Cain has an ERA of 2.02.

With the exception of a five-inning performance in a 4-1 win over the Nationals, Cain has pitched six (or more) innings in every start.

Runner-up: Dan Haren, Diamondbacks - Haren leads the NL in innings pitched (101), strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.38), WHIP (0.82), BAA (.193) and is second in ERA (2.23). He is tied for third in strikeouts (96) with Chad Billingsley. He's pitched six (or more) innings in every start and he has only allowed more than three runs in one start (May 23rd).

While he has a mediocre win-loss record of 6-4, it's not his fault. He allowed only seven runs in 26 innings, which is an ERA of 2.42, in his four losses. His team gave him two runs (total) in those four losses as support. If only he and the D'Backs (29-39) had a better record...

Honorable Mention (not necessarily in order): Tim Lincecum (Giants), Johnny Cueto (Reds), Johan Santana (Mets), Chad Billingsley (Dodgers), Yovani Gallardo (Brewers), Josh Johnson (Marlins), Javier Vazquez (Braves)