We're almost 1/3 the way through the 2010 campaign, so I thougth I'd take a look at what's going on around the big leagues outside of the AL East.
Minnesota leads Detroit by 2.5 games, while Chicago, Kansas City and Cleveland are sliding south. The interesting thing is that the Royals are not in last place. Chicago and Detroit have won the AL Pennant and/or the World Series in the last couple of years. Maybe this year the Twins will win their division? The Twins have won their last 3 games, while the Tigers have lost their last 2 games.
The Angels are not in 1st place, and they're not even in 2nd place at the 1/3 mark of the season. Only 6.5 games separate the Rangers in 1st place and Seattle in last place. The A's are hot on the heels of the Rangers, only a half game back, and have won 3 in a row while the Rangers have lost their last 2 games.
Philadelphia was looking good up until interleague play came along and the Sox took 2 out of 3, including Wake's 8 IP gem. They're 3-7 in their last 10 games, while the Braves are surging and closing in as they have won 8 of their last 10 games. Only 4 games separate the Phillies from the last place Marlins. Washington is not in last place.
Houston is sinking into oblivion with the worst record in the NL, almost as bad as the Orioles. Two big surprises in this division are that the Pirates are not in last place and Cincinnati is in 1st place. Cincinatti?! Yes, the Reds are having a good season so far. They have won 6 of their last 10, and have a .592 winning percentage, 1 game ahead of the Cardinals. The Reds and the Cardinals are slowly pulling away from the rest of the division. Bronson Arroyo is still wearing red, as he is 5-2 with a 4.30 ERA. In 67 IP, he has allowed 60 hits and 22 walks. He has pitched 200 innings or more in each of his 4 full seasons with the Reds.
Another surprise lies in store in the NL West. San Diego had a hot streak not too long ago winning 9 out of 10 in that recent stretch, but still remain a half game ahead of the Dodgers, who also had a similar streak. San Francisco had been in 1st place and has slipped just a bit, yet they remain only 2.5 games behind the Padres. Colorado remains close, only a half game behind the Giants. This year it's looking like it's the D-Backs turn to occupy the basement. Intereseting note about the D-Backs, their starting pitcher today against the Giants is Billy Buckner. No relation the the Buckner that just popped into your mind. (I spent 5 years working for a company whose VP was Bill Buckner. Again, not the same Bucker, not related.)
With Oakland and San Francisco having half decent years in 2010, it reminds me of a newspaper headline (remember newspapers?) years ago- 1989?- that said something to the effect of "A's and Giants both in 1st place (clip and save)", suggesting that one might not ever see that happen again in a current lifetime. As a baseball fan living in their general vicinity, I would love to see them take their divisions, and I would especially love to see the Giants win the NL pennant. While the Sox have always been my number 1 team since growing up as a kid 60 miles south of Fenway, for some strange reason that I have never been able to figure out, the Giants were my NL team. Now I live in their back yard. I'll root for the A's, as long as they're not playing the Sox, though. And it goes without saying that I will be rooting for the Red Sox when they visit San Francisco at the end of June.
Are any of our readers back east coming out to the left coast for a Red Sox vacation next month?
And Happy Birthday to my Red Sox lovin' brother back east!
Fenway West o5.29.10