Hey guys! So this weekly update is basically me looking back and discussing some of the biggest moments/milestones/performances of the past week in MLB. Nothing better than talkin’ baseball, so let’s get to it!
No-Hitter: Arguably the biggest event of the week was Mike Fiers’s no-hitter against the Reds in a 2-0 win on Tuesday. It was the second no-hitter of his career, becoming one of 35 (that many?!) pitchers to accomplish the feat at least twice. After such a dominant performance, Fiers pulled his ERA down to 5.48. A no-hitter is incredible, but he’ll need a few more of them to get his numbers to where we’d like to see them.
Big Hitter: Incredibly, Albert Pujols became the fifth major league player in history to reach 2,000 RBIs with a solo shot against the Tigers on Thursday. He just continues to rack up the numbers in preparation for Cooperstown. Big Al slowed down considerably about seven years ago, and despite that he’s still got some of the best numbers in the history of the game. Just imagine if he had kept up his production this whole time.
Power Pence: In a relatively quiet move this offseason, the Rangers picked up Hunter Pence from the free agent market. So far, that’s shown to be a genius move. In the last seven days (not including an o-fer on Sunday), Pence is slashing .429/.579/1.214 with three homers, including a pinch-hit grand slam against the Pirates. He’s by far the wackiest player I’ve ever seen, but you’ve got to give credit where it’s due: the dude is mashing.
Cruising Cubs: The Cubs hit not one, not two, but THREE walk-off homers this week to steal much-needed wins from the Marlins and Brewers. Thanks to a scorching streak of 12 wins in their last 15 games, the Cubs have sole possession of the NL Central and don’t seem to be looking back. Good luck to Milwaukee and St. Louis if the Cubs stay hot.
Grand Salami: Seems like there were about 1,000 grand slams this week. Bryce Harper, Hunter Pence, Whit Merrifield, Ryan O’Hearn, Corey Seager, Gerardo Parra… seems like the league is saturated with homers this year, but grand slams never get old. Do they? These juiced balls had better not make us tired of seeing the grandest of bases-clearing bombs anytime soon.
The Riser: The Red Sox spent most of April in freefall, convincing everybody and their mother that World Series Hangover is alive and well. They’ve won six of their last seven (against the Orioles and Mariners, but still) and now sit three games over .500. Maybe they were bored last year after steamrollering everybody and decided to make the AL East race a little more exciting? If so, thanks to them. The AL playoff race is certainly looking interesting a month and a half through the season.
The Faller: The Mariners have finally fallen back to Earth. They lost six of seven this week, dragging them three games under .500 and into third in the AL West. It was a fun, dinger-laden first month, but I think we’re now seeing the Mariners as they are: a below-average team that doesn’t have much of a chance to compete this year. Maybe I’m wrong, but I expect to see them continue to drop games and fall into irrelevance before too long.
All right, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Let me know what you guys think about this weekly update, especially anything else you want to see from me, at @nate_thelynq on Twitter. Here’s to another great seven days of baseball, catch you next week!