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Sunday, May 26, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-Off, May 26th

Wild on Sports
MLB Weekly Walk Off
For Week of May 26, 2013
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

The panic meter is continuing to climb for many teams across the MLB as we hit the quarter way mark of the season. It has been an uphill climb the whole season for teams that had high expectations coming into the regular season. Also, teams with low expectations have had an easy time approaching the top of their division. Take the AL East for example, The Yankees and Red Sox surprisingly had low expectations coming into the season and have found themselves tied at the top just like it years past. For the last place Blue Jays though, it has been nothing but criticism during the season and their “mega trade” not working out. Jose Reyes has landed on the DL for a lengthy time, R.A. Dickey has been nowhere near the CY Young season he had last year, and Emilio Bonifacio has been equivalent to a bench player to this point. The Yankees and the Red Sox have actually gone against what they normally do in buying their team. They instead have won with young talent from their minor league systems or signing veterans out of their prime to minimal contracts. The panic meter for the Dodgers has had Don Mattingly in hot water over the past ten days though. He doesn’t expect to be fired now, but if the Dodgers continue to play sub .500 baseball The Dodgers might have a new manager come September. The Dodgers are missing out on the excitement at the top of the division where the Diamondbacks, Giants and Rockies are all within a game of each other for the division lead.

Studs of the Past Week

1. Miguel Cabrera 3B Det- I know Cabrera has been on this list already, but there’s no denying the numbers he has put up this season even more so what he’s done the past week. His average, homeruns and RBI pace are well ahead of his Triple Crown performance last season and has six homeruns his last four games. He’s considered by some the best hitter of the past decade and it’s hard to argue. It was just a matter of time before Cabrera was the number one stud of the past week.

2. David Ortiz DH Bos- Finally coming out of his shell, Ortiz has hit .429 in the past week and has put a few over the fence as well. He has four multi-hit games in his past seven and has the Red Sox playing playoff caliber baseball. The best part about his performance is that the Red Sox played nine games straight on the road during Big Papi’s hot stretch. Ortiz should cool down a little, but he looks to be back in 2004 form. He should hit 25 homeruns by seasons end barring any set back.

3. Patrick Corbin SP Ari- Although Corbin only has one start in the past week, he is 7-0 and has posted a 1.44 ERA for the season. In that start though he pitched a complete game allowing one run and struck out ten on the road in a crucial divisional game at Colorado. The Diamondbacks have won in every one of his starts this season, and that’s every reason he is the pitching future of the team.

Duds of the Past Week

1. Starlin Castro SS ChC- The future of the Cubs has gone on a nose dive in the past week. Castro is used to hitting around .300 but as of late his average has fallen to around the .270 mark. As a result the Cubs are once again losing games at a fast rate, plummeting them to the bottom of the NL Central. Castro only has four hits since May 18, all singles. He’s accumulated one RBI with those hits.

2. Adrian Gonzalez 1B LAD- Certainly no one is expecting Gonzalez to put up the numbers he did with the Padres only a handful of years ago, but only four homeruns up until this point in the season is disappointing for the veteran. Gonzalez has only posted a couple hits in the past week which has disappointed Dodger fans. He may be a reason they aren’t meeting expectations this season.

3. Tim Lincecum SP SF- Pitching has become a difficult task for Lincecum over the past couple year and it showed once again over the past week. He shinned last season in the playoffs but since then “The Freak” has been off his game. His past two starts have been loses and he’s allowed ten earned runs over 12 innings. If the Giants want to be a valid playoff threat once again though, they will need Lincecum to be on his game.

Pickups for Next Week

1. Michael Brantley OF Cle- The Indians have proved they have one of the most powerful offenses in the league this season. Four multi-hit games in the past week for Brantley is one reason that manager Terry Francona has kept him in the leadoff spot for the Indians. He doesn’t prove to have a lot of power, but Brantley could hit between .280 and .300 for the Indians if he stays consistent hitting the ball.

2. David Phelps SP/RP NYY- Phelps is one of the fill-ins the Yankees have relied upon to stay atop the AL East. He hasn’t been the best pitcher, but since making the transition from the bullpen to the rotation Phelps has lowered his ERA by one and a half runs. He’s consistent enough where the Yankees can get six good innings out of him while not allowing more than a couple runs.

3. Travis Hafner DH NYY- Still slugging it out in his mid-30s, Pronk has provided a much needed bat in the Yankees lineup this season. Hafner is always a threat to take one out of the ballpark especially in a ballpark like Yankee Stadium. Who knows how much playing time he will get once everyone returns from the DL, but until then, ride Hafner while he still looks good.

Top Match-ups of the Next Week

Pittsburgh vs. Detroit- These two are playing in a home and home Monday thru Thursday. These teams have met yearly for the past couple years and have developed some sort of an interleague rivalry. Both teams are trying to stay atop their respected leagues.

Baltimore vs. Washington- The Nationals have had some recent communication issues, but seem to know there role in the NL East. The two teams are located only a handful of miles apart, which makes for a nifty interleague rivalry.

LA Dodgers vs. LA Angels- Two of the most disappointing teams up until this point in the season, the Dodgers and Angels have a lot more to prove than beating eachother if they want to make a statement in their respected leagues. These teams have two of the highest payrolls in the MLB and it might be fun to poke fun at players that aren’t deserving of the money that they signed for


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