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Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay Rays’

superman emblemIt’s Friday.  There’s people on summer hours.  So, this is probably the last post we do before POI, The Skyline and then your UFC 100 preview.  But, it’s a long one.  So sit back and strap it down.  Your MLB Power Rankings heading into the All-Star Break.

1.) Los Angeles Dodgers (54-31): They’ve got Manny back.  They didn’t struggle without him.  The Giants are playing out of their minds and the Dodgers are still 7 games clear of them.  These guys are making the playoffs obviously, but mark it down.  They are not going to the World Series.  Peak too soon in baseball and you don’t finish strong.

2.) New York Yankees (51-34): Bring it on Red Sox fans.  You’re 5-5 in your last 10, and the Yankees are 8-2.  We told you not to sell on these guys at the start of the season and we’re being validated.  In that stadium, this offense is going to excel like no other offense in the league.  The bullpen issues are starting to clear up with Phil Hughes and Coke.  “And the New York Yankees are going to the World Series!” (circa 2003.  Suck it Red Sox)

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joel pineiroCardinals 5 – Brewers 1: Joel Piniero now has 4 CGs this year.  This was his 7th win and he’s only 7-9 on the season.  But the guy has been lights out for about a month now and it’s starting to worry us as Cubs fans.  The Cardinals are coming into Wrigley this weekend (we’re going to the double-header on Sunday!) and the Cubs need to win 2 out of 3.  Thankfully, we don’t have to face Piniero.  Now, there’s a sentence we thought we’d never write.

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wandy-rodriguezAstros 5 – Pirates 0: It was against the Pirates so it’s really not that impressive.  Nevertheless, Wandy (ugh) Rodriguez picked up his 8th win of the season while striking out 11 in this one.  Big Puma (anytime we can mention that nickname, we do) is only hitting .277 but that .402 OBP is very impressive.  Long shot from a season ago, but still a franchise 1B.  Do the Astros trade someone like Wandy since they in a slight rebuilding mode?  We suggested Roy Oswalt a while back.  We think it’s time to blow up that project and start over.  The NL Central is there for the taking in the next 3-5 years.  Side-note:  When you Google image Wandy – That card comes up like 900 times?  What the hell?

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Rays Rangers BaseballRangers 5 – Rays 2: We really like the A.L. West race.  The only team that’s really out of it is the Athletics and it’s not a race of a bunch of mediocre teams.  The Rangers should get Josh Hamilton back this week and their pitching has surprisingly held up so far.  Frank Francisco is underrated as a closer.   He picked up his 14th save by going 1-2-3 in the 9th.  Tampa only mustered 3 hits and one of their runs was unearned.  Longoria had the lone RBI.  The Rays pitching staff is still learning.  David Price got rocked this weekend and Matt Garza was displaying some youthful frustration on the bump on Sunday night.  Marlon Byrd could’ve been an All-Star.  More on that later.

Cubs 8 – Brewers 2: Yup.  We’re atypical Cubs fans.  Last week, we said the Cubs should be launching players and getting some value for older talent.  Oh, my, how things have changed.  The Cubs took three of four from the Brew Crew and the young kids from Iowa are showing some gusto when they’re called up.  We almost went to Aramis Ramirez’s rehab start in the suburbs but it was sold out.  The Cubs have some interesting roster moves to make today.  Ramirez, Reed Johnson and Angel Guzman will be activated from the DL today.  Andres Blanco is out of options and so is David Patton.  Jake Fox, Sam Fuld and Jeff Samardzjia are likely to be sent down.  Fox had a huge homer in this game and Fuld collected six hits in two starts on Thursday and Friday.  Cubs open a series against younglefty’s Braves today.  Gonna get interesting around here.

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Tim LincecumGiants 10 – Cardinals 0: Lincecum has returned to form.  Did you have any doubts?  We did.  He’s built like Roy Oswalt and we’ve seen him fall apart in the last few years.  Still, the kid is performing as he should right now.  Perhaps they’re placing $1,000 on the ground for him to reach for after every pitch.  He struck out 8 in a complete game, 2-hit shutout.  Six Giants contributed by driving in at least one run.  The Giants are dangerous in the NL West.  Beware Dodgers.  You’re one injury away from falling from grace.

Astros 3 – Padres 1: Speaking of the Roy Oswalt, he felt it would be necessary to nearly match Lincecum on this night.  He struck out 8 as well but allowed a run unlike TIMMY!  Pudge and El Caballo chipped in with an RBI each.  The Padres have got to start selling parts soon.  Peavy and Young are hurt.  They’re not competing this year.  What position do they need help at the most?  We say corner outfielders.

Cubs 3 – Pirates 1: We won?  What?  Rich Harden pitched a gem?  PEDs?  Oh…we played the Pirates.  Ok.  Not a big surprise, then.  Milton Bradley contributed in a positive way!  Our favorite Cubs this year consist of Andres Blanco, Ted Lilly and Angel Guzman.  Not much to cheer about there.  SELL!

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lance berkman big pumaAstros 5 – Royals 4: Lance Berkman has been a disappointment to Astros and fantasy owners alike this year.  The Big Puma showed some signs of life in this one powering the Astros to a victory for young Wesley Wright.  Wright did not start the game but pitched 1.1 innings, striking out every batter he faced.  Berkman homered early in the 2nd, and then again after Wright came into the game to put Houston on top for good.  Fat Elvis finished with 4 RBIs and 2 HRs.  Mark Teahen drove in two runs for the Royals, as the other two scored via an error.

Mariners 9 – Padres 3: Isn’t it depressing that Ichiro has’t played in a postseason series in 8 years?  He’s hitting .369 right now and has to be the most consistent performer at the plate this decade.  He went 4 for 5, scoring twice and driving in a run.  You’ll probably hear Jarrod Washburn’s name in trade rumors soon with the deadline just over a month away.  He’s got a 3.22 ERA and only 4 wins on the Mariners.  Someone will take the innings eater.

Yankees 11 – Braves 7: A-Rod and Mariano Rivera had historic nights for the Bombers.  Rodriguez tied Reggie Jackson with his 563rd homer while Rivera picked up career save number 499.  Rivera’s is incredible.  But we have to ask, does A-Rod’s even matter anymore?  His entire career is tainted so we can’t really count it.  Derek Jeter had four hits and scored four times.  Wonder who goes down with more glory in Yankee history:  Rivera or Jeter?

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Yankees Braves BaseballYankees 8 – Braves 4: The Yankees were getting no hit before Joe Girardi came out of the visitor’s dugout at Turner Field and got ejected.  We saw the video.  He was definitely right.  The runner clearly was safe and did not get picked off.  Whatever he did, it woke up the Yankee bats as Francisco Cervelli hit his first major league home run right after the ejection. A-Rod sighting!  We see two RBIs!  Jeter and Damon both scored twice and even Mariano Rivera almost got a hit!  He did pick up save number 498.  Two more to be just the second person to join the 500 saves club.

White Sox 10 – Dodgers 7: The White Sox hit 6 HRs.  The whole team must be juicing.  Especially that shady Josh Fields kid who left the Cell twice (/Ibanez’d).  Randy Wolf didn’t look like the guy who was 3rd in the NL in Ks coming in.  He didn’t even make it out of the 4th inning.  The White Sox have some awful middle relief pitching experiments they try.  Dotel and Jenks have been the only reliable guy.  Jimmy Gobble…bring your playbook to Ozzie’s office.  It’s time you were sent packing.

Rays 7 – Phillies 1: Pat Burrell put a dent in against his former club.  He also did his interview in the 3rd person after the game.  Matt Garza went 8 solid innings and struck out 7 Phillies.  Ryan Howard was only one of them which just can’t be right.  Jason Bartlett is back for the Rays and continues to rake.  He is having an amazing breakout season and is probably the #1 SS in your fantasy league right now.

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