Last Month in Baseball
This is first post since June 9th so this would be a good time to see what has happened in the last month.
Looking at the standings a month ago:
AL East: On June 9th the Red Sox and Yankees were tied for first place with the Blue Jays a game and a half behind. Today a month later the Red Sox are one game ahead of the Yankees and the Blue Jays are in fourth place and nine games behind the Red Sox while the Rays are in third place and five and a half games behind the first place Red Sox.
AL Central: On June 9th the Tigers were four games ahead of the Twins and five and a half games ahead of the White Sox. A month later the White Sox are two games behind the Tigers and the Twins are three and a half games back. The White Sox have been 17-8 in the last month.
AL West: The Rangers were three games ahead of the Angels and five games ahead of the Mariners a month ago. Today the Rangers are one game ahead of the Angels and a four and a half games ahead of the Mariners.
NL East: On June 9th the Phillies were two games ahead of the Mets, four and a half games ahead of the Braves and six games ahead of the Marlins. Now they Phillies are two games ahead of the Marlins, four games ahead of the Braves and the Mets have fell back to fourth place and four and a half games behind the Phillies. The Marlins have played 15-11 ball in the last month yet gained four games on the Phillies showing that only the Nationals are out of the NL East race.
NL Central: The Brewers were two and a half games ahead over the Cardinals, Cubs and Reds a month ago. The Astros were seven games back then. Today the Cardinals are a game ahead of the Brewers, three games ahead of the Cubs and three and a half games ahead of the Reds and Astros. The Brewers defeated the Cardinals last night in a crucial win. Instead of being three games back they are only a game back of the Cardinals.
NL West: The Dodgers were eight and a half games ahead of the Giants a month ago, twelve games ahead of the Padres and thirteen games ahead of the Rockies. A month later the Dodgers are seven games ahead of the Giants and eight games ahead of the Rockies. The Dodgers had a six and a half game lead when Manny Ramirez was suspended and today they have gained only a half game since then over the second place team. The Rockies have been 19-7 over the last month and have gained five games on the Dodgers in that time span.
Looking at the Players: Ichiro Suzuki hit .377 in May and .407 in June but is only hitting .216 in July. However Suzuki has failed to hit safely in only seven games this season. He needs 75 hits to join the 2000 hits club and needs 80 hits to have 200 hits for the first nine seasons of his career. If he had played his entire career in the United States he may have had 4000 hits.
Joe Mauer could win his third AL batting title if he can get enough plate appearances to qualify. He hit .414 in May, .353 in June and is hitting .435 in July.
Adrian Gonzalez with 24 homers continues to be tied for second behind Albert Pujols in home runs in the NL despite having hit only two home runs since June 2nd. He had 20 home runs at the end of May. The thing that has hurt Gonzalez is that there are no hitters on the Padres that are nearly as dangerous as Gonzalez. For instance David Eckstein is third on the team in runs batted in with 33.
Gonzalez was being pitched to during April and May when he walked a total of 31 times combined. He walked 32 times in June alone when pitchers stopped pitching to him as often. He drove in 40 runs over the first two months of the season but has only driven in only 12 runs since the end of May and is slugging .161 for the month of July.
The season for Mark Teixeira can be divided into three parts. He got off to his usual slow start with only five homers and hitting .192 on May 8th. By the end of May he had 13 homers and was hitting .281. Since the end of May he has hit only only four homers but his average is still .281. He hasn’t homered since June 12th.
His slugging percentage peaked at .643 on June 10th but now is .546 and is slugging .364 in July. Teixeira only needs 38 runs batted in to reach 100 runs batted in for his sixth consecutive season.
Zack Greinke didn’t give up an earned run till his fifth start of the season. Greinke had allowed only three earned runs in his first 36 innings pitched. He didn’t allow his first homer of the season until June 5th when he allowed two of his three homers this season in one game.
He was 8-1 at the end of May but has been 2-4 since then. The stat that stands out the most is that in April opposing hitters hit .188 against him, in May they hit .229, in June they hit .290 and in July they are hitting .327 when he is on the mound.