Sports Outside the Beltway

4/23 MLB News and Notes

-Alex Rodriguez destroyed some pitching again tonight! 4-5, 4 runs, 3 RBI, and 2 bombs giving him a record tying 14 for the month of April with 6 games to go. It wasn’t enough though as the Rays won 10-8 dropping the Yanks 2 games below .500 (8-10) and giving them 4 losses in a row. He is now hitting .400-14-34 with a league leading 26 runs.

-Akinori Iwamura faced fellow countryman Kei Igawa for the first time in the Majors. Aki went 2-2 with a double, single, and a walk againt Igawa. He drove in the run that knocked Igawa out of the game. Great publicity for the Rays.

-Jose Reyes stole 2 more bases giving him 12 for the season, only 7 teams have more stolen bases than Reyes. By comparison, the Seattle Mariners have 1 stolen base. Reyes also has 5 triples already.

-J.J. Hardy (for those who’ve never heard of him, he is the slick fielding SS for the Brewers) is tied for second in the NL in homers with 6. Jimmy Rollins leads by hitting his 7th tonight. Chipper Jones connected for his 6th tonight as well.

-Matt Holliday has 3 consecutive 3-hit games, raisnig his season average to .400.

-The Red Sox have made it clear they want CF of the future Jacob Ellsbury to spend this year in the minors developing. Well, Coco Crisp might be forcing him onto the Major League roster. Crisp is hitting .214-0-6 with 6 runs and 2 stolen bases and 3 BB against 11 SO. The most shocking number is his Slugging percentage – .304. Not to mention Ellsbury is hitting .438/.491/.688 in 11 games. He has 9 runs, 9 RBI, 4 SB, 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 3 BB against 5 SO in 48 at-bats. If the Red sox can get a good prospect or two for Crisp I would pull the trigger on that deal in a heartbeat. Ellsbury also plays great defense.

-Rich Harden, Felix Hernandez, Eric Gagne, and Milton Bradley all landed on the 15-day DL today. Randy Johnson and Chien-Ming Wang both come off of the DL tomorrow. The Yanks need this help a ton! Uber prospect Phil Hughes is set to make his Major League debut this Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

-Shane Victorino has multi-hit games in 5 of his last 6 games.

-Noteable firsts: First homers of the season for Carlos Delgado (breaking a drought of 118 at-bats) and Hank Blalock. J.J. Putz got his first save. First Big League game for Oakland outfileder Danny Putnam, he went 1-4 in his debut and Brandon Morrow got his first Major League win for the Seattle Mariners.

-Andruw Jones has 3 straight multi-hit games taking his average from .179 to .242 in 3 games.

-Jim Thome dropped his OBP to .553 by going 2-5 tonight! Unbelieveable! He leads the Majors with 25 BB. Another note on walks, Todd Helton has 16 BB and only 3 SO. Now that is truly unbelievable!

-John McDonald went 3-4 for the Blue Jays raising his average to .500 (12-24).

-Here’s a split stat for ya. Rocco Baldelli as a CF: .214-0-3 with 2 BB against 11 SO and 3 runs with 1 stolen base. As a DH: .355-3-6 with 4 BB against 5 SO and 7 runs with 3 stolen bases. This couls mean his legs still need some rest from injuries. Don;t be fooled though, he’s a Gold-Glove caliber centerfielder and his future is in the outfield, but until he is fully healthy look for him to produce as a DH.

-Cleveland DH Travis Hafner keeps on being the best player nobody talks about. He went 4-4 with 2 walks (going 6-6 getting on base) tonight and is hitting .390. He has mulit-hit games in 5 of his last 7. Also, did anyone see the bomb he hit in Tampa the other night? An estimated 442 feet (I tell you, the ball hit the back wall of the dome and had to have gone 475+). Go to the Indians homepage and it’s the 2nd featured video.

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