Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Hot Corner, 7/4 (PM) edition

The Braves have promoted two top prospects (Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman) to Double-A affiliate Mississippi.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was back in the lineup and hit the game-winning single in the 12th inning.

The Braves are concerned about center fielder Jordan Schaffer's wrist.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella will move Alfonso Soriano to sixth and Kosuke Fukudome to the leadoff spot.

Cards slugger Albert Pujols says Reds pitcher Homer Bailey has "electric stuff."

Dodger Manny Ramirez hit his first post-suspension home run.

Reds pitcher Micah Owings only allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings while homering in the second inning to help his cause in the Reds' 5-2 win over the Cards.

Despite allowing the 300th career home run for Adam Dunn, Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson pitched well today allowing only three hits in seven innings.

Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer made his 600th career start.

Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is likely to land on the DL as an MRI shows he has a right shoulder strain and bursitis.

Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum extended his scoreless innings streak to 23 innings.

Last, but certainly not least, R.I.P Steve McNair, who was shot and killed today. He was one of the toughest and classiest players ever.

Adam Dunn hits # 300

Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn has hit his 300th career home run today.

He hit the home run off rookie phenom Tommy Hanson, who had a scoreless innings streak of 26 before Dunn's homer.

Dunn becomes the fifth fastest player to reach that milestone (4,145 at bats). The only four to reach that milestone quicker are Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ralph Kiner and Harmon Killebrew.

On May 26th, Dunn recorded his 1,000th hit against the Mets.

Mid-season Awards: A.L. Cy Young

There is a lot of baseball left to be played this year - roughly, half the season.

That being said, I made my pick a couple of weeks ago for N.L. Cy Young based on all the games played (pitched) up to that point. While I may or may not change my choice (see who here), I'm back at it to pick his A.L. counterpart.

Later this weekend, I will pick my Mid-Season A.L. MVP as well. (Click here to see my N.L. MVP.)

Drum roll please ...

A.L. Cy Young: Zack Grienke, Royals - Grienke got the season off to a perfect start with 38 scoreless innings to begin the season. Although Grienke has hit a bit of a rough patch (losing three of last five decisions), he still leads the majors in ERA (2.00) and is one of only five 10-game winners in baseball.

He has five complete games, which also leads the majors. He is second in the American League in strikeouts (120).

The Royals recent slide has knocked them 11 games out of first in the A.L. Central and has put them 13 games under .500. In the games Grienke (10-4) doesn't get the decision, the Royals are 23-42.

Runner-up: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays - It doesn't get much better than Halladay. He began the season with 13 straight starts of 7 innings or more. In addition, Halladay has thrown three complete games trailing only Grienke.

He's one of only five pitchers to win 10 games on the season. He's third in the A.L. in ERA (2.56) and has given up the fewest walks (14) of pitchers who have thrown 100+ innings. Grienke is the only other player with fewer than 20 walks (19)and 100 innings pitched.

Honorable Mention: Edwin Jackson, Felix Hernandez, Mark Buehrle, Justin Verlander, Matt Garza, Nick Blackburn (MIN), Jered Weaver, Kevin Millwood, Josh Beckett

Check back later this weekend for my A.L. Mid-Season MVP

Rafael Palmeiro: "I'm not on that list"

In March 2005, Rafael Palmeiro famously testified at the congressional hearing on steroids: "I have never used steroids. Period."

In August 2005, when he was suspended for ten games by MLB for using the banned substance stanozolol, he modified his statement. He said, "... I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. ... "

Palmeiro, who ranks tenth all-time on the career home run list (569), still says (during an interview with ESPN) that he only took a B-12 (not steroids).

And that he goes on to say that he's "never taken anything" and he hopes that the infamous list of 104 players, which contains A-Rod, Sammy Sosa and 102 others, is released since, as he says, "I'm not on that list."

Since Palmeiro says so, it must be true (roll eyes). Period.

Son of Jim Leyritz: "Mommy, don't come out of your room"

Former Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz is a mess.

Leyritz, who maintains his innocence, faces a September trial for the drunk-driving accident that tragically took the life of Fredia Ann Veitch at the end of 2007.

In May, he checked himself into a psychiatric ward after threatening to kill himself.

Leyritz said, "I'm not crazy, and I'm not suicidal. I've never had a problem with alcohol. Until you've been in my shoes, don't judge."

However, Leyritz isn't helping his defense.

Thursday morning, he was arrested for allegedly hitting his ex-wife, who wrote a check out of his account (against his wishes). She claims it was for back child support.

He claims that she was drunk and hurt herself in order to frame him.

"I got knocked around and I ran out the door," Karrie Leyritz, 41, told the Daily News. "I don't remember every detail."

And, according to an article in this morning's Daily News, Austin Leyritz, their 14-year-old son, called to warn his mother.

"Mommy, don't come out of your room," Austin warned Karrie Leyritz in a phone call as he and his father returned to the house. "Dad is crazy mad."

What are the chances that Jim Leyritz stays out of the news from now until his September trial?

The Hot Corner, 7/4 edition

Fielding and (lack of) hitting - not pitching - led to Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir's first-ever loss in his home state of Texas against the Rangers.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki ended an 0-for-16 streak with a double and rolled his ankle. However, he should be o.k.

Shin Soo-Choo hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in a 15-3 win over the A's last night.

Giants ace Tim Lincecum will face Houston's Russ Ortiz today. It was Ortiz (or, more specifically, his ailing elbow) that paved the way for Lincecum to be called up.

Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm says, "I'm perfectly fine to pitch. I just need to make better pitches."

Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez was a scratch last night with tightness in his lower back.

In addition to Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers got Claudio Vargas back. Manny was welcomed back, but he went 0-for-3.

Nolan Ryan doesn't expect the Rangers to be sold until after the season.

The return of Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is delayed by at least one day.

A's to give Brett Anderson two days extra rest (again).

Yesterday's 5-0 loss to the White Sox was the Royals sixth time being shut out this season and their fourth consecutive game of scoring two runs or less.

Joe Posnanski sums up Friday's Royals game with one word: "Depressing."

The Tigers won in 16 innings against the Twins. Placido Polanco delivered the game-winning hit.

Adam Dunn's next home run will be his 300th. He hit his 299th last night.

Philadelphia's Raul Ibanez was eligible to come off the DL yesterday. But "he still feels something in there," according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr., per Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Alfonso Soriano will return to the Cubs' lineup after two days of rest, but it won't be in the leadoff spot.

Will Kurt Suzuki be an All-Star? A's broadcaster Ray Fosse thinks he's "deserving" of a spot.

And Josh Beckett thinks teammate Tim Wakefield deserves to be an All-Star.

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin will play three innings tonight for Triple-A Charlotte.

Phillies pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, who was pitching his first game since 2007, got the win for the Phils.

Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom began throwing yesterday and is upbeat.

Angels pitcher Ervin Santana struggled in his return from the DL.

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsusaka is heading to Fort Myers (FL) on Monday to strengthen shoulder.

Will Baltimore call up Chris Tillman, who threw 7 2/3 shutout innings Friday, soon?

Business as usual for Albert Pujols, who hit a grand slam in the eighth inning last night.

Blue Jays starter Brian Tallet had a fifth inning he'd like to forget.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says using Phil Hughes and Phil Coke in the eighth inning was to allow Brian Bruney to rest. He insists Bruney is still the set-up guy.

The Mets might start Oliver Perez on Wednesday.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada missed a second straight game.

Is Mark Teixeira the Yankees' best defensive player since Don Mattingly?