Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Contenders Off To Rough Starts

The New York Mets are not looking like a World Series favorite as they drop to 2-4 with their 5-2 loss to the Phillies. Philadelphia came back from down 0-2, but they may have lost MVP Jimmy Rollins for a while, as he left the game in the eighth with an ankle injury.

Looking even less like a World Series contender are the Detroit Tigers. They are still winless in seven games after getting shutout by the Red Sox 5-0. Dice-K is picking up the slack of the injured rotation, (6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K) and is sporting a 1.47 ERA after three starts. The Tigers' big acquisition, Miguel Cabrera, doesn't have an extra-base hit since homering Opening Day. He's hitting an even .100.

On the other hand, the Royals are looking impressive thus far, beating the Yankees 5-2 to move back into a tie for first place with a 5-2 record. The pitching for KC has been very good, and today it was sabermetric darling Brian Bannister's turn. There was discussion about whether Bannister could increase his K rate enough to be a quality starter, and he appears to be doing just that (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 K). The walks are a concern, but he does have 10 K's in 12 IP so far this year. The Yankees' own young righty, Phil Hughes, struggled, giving up 10 baserunners and 3 runs in 3 IP. He threw 87 pitches, with only 47 going for strikes. New York is going to need the young pitching to really step up, especially with the news that the Captain (Derek Jeter) may miss some time. Apparently, they're considering moving A-Rod back to short if Jeter will be out a while. A-Rod's defense at short won't be very good at this point, even though he was a legitimate Gold Glover there before, but considering they were willing to run Jeter out there to play the worst SS in baseball, I think it'll be OK. Maybe Alex can show that he still has it, and the team will do what they should have done a few years ago and move Jeter somewhere else; be it third, outfield, or first.

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