Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

Twins, Rockies Keep Postseason Hopes Alive

Delmon Young hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in the 10-7 Twins win over the Royals as the Twins moved to within one game of the Tigers in the AL Central.

Delmon Young hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in the 10-7 Twins win over the Royals as they moved to within one game of the Tigers in the AL Central.

A few days ago it looked like all the divisions would be clinched by early this week. That was before the Tigers and Dodgers posted 5-5 and 3-7 records in their last ten games.

If the Twins and Rockies both win today we could see in effect one game playoffs on Sunday for the AL Central and NL West divisions. They would still be regular season games but there will be a playoff atmosphere if it happens.

The Twins got an assist from Jake Peavy and the White Sox who shutout the Tigers while they were defeating the Royals 10-7. The Twins had a 10-0 lead after four innings but the Royals scored seven unanswered runs before losing the game.

Delmon Young hit a grand slam in the first inning off of Lenny DiNardo and drove in five runs in the contest. The Royals outhit the Twins 14-11 but thirteen of those hits were singles. All twelve batters for the Royals had at least one hit.

The Twins couldn’t have been this close to the Tigers without the help of Jake Peavy and the rest of the White Sox who shutout the Tigers 8-0. White Sox fans are getting a preview of what it will be like to have Peavy in the starting rotation in 2010.

The scheduling couldn’t have been worse for the Twins since they have to face Zack Greinke (16-8) in a must win game while they send Nick Blackburn (11-11) to the mound.

The game will start at 4:10 ET and will be shown on the FOX Network.

The Twins will need some help from the White Sox again today. The White Sox will be starting Freddy Garcia (2-4) and his mound opponent for the Tigers will be Alfredo Figaro (2-1). Figaro will be making his third start of the season.

Figaro has allowed 10 earned runs, 20 hits, 2 homers and 8 walks in 15 innings while striking out 14. His 5.75 ERA and .313 batting average allowed to opponents have to be a major concern for the Tigers.

However Garcia was rocked in his last start giving up five runs in four and-a-third innings against the Royals.  He had pitched well in his previous six starts so is capable of defeating the Tigers.

The game will be shown on the MLB Network with gametime at 7:05 ET.

Rockies Tighten NL West Race

By Defeating Dodgers 4-3

The Rockies scored twice in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead and then held on to defeat the Dodgers 4-3. Troy Tulowitzki hit his 32nd homer and drove in two runs for the Rockies with Yorvit Torrealba driving in the other two runs.

Ubaldo Jiminez limited the Dodgers to one run and two hits in six innings while striking out 10. Jiminez won his 15th game joining Jason Marquis and Jorge De La Rosa who have also won 15 games with De La Rosa having 16.

The Rockies have their fate in their own hands but they still have to win today to keep from being eliminated from NL West contention. They will be in the playoffs regardless but would rather go into the postseason with the NL West title.

The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw (8-8) to the mound tonight against Jorge De La Rosa (16-9).

Gametime is 10:10 ET and will be shown on the MLB Network.

Manny Not Hitting As Well

Since Steroids Suspension

Manny Ramirez struck out four times and left six runners stranded last night in the crucial loss to the Rockies. He has not been the force he was last season for the Dodgers.

He has batted 161 more times this season for the Dodgers than he did in 2008 yet his numbers with the Dodgers were much better last season when taking the extra at bats this season into account:

Home Runs

2008….19

2009….17

Runs Batted In

2008….53

2009….62

Batting Average

2008…. .396

2009…. .290

On Base Percentage

2008…. .489

2009…. .419

Slugging Percentage

2008…. .743

2009…. .534

On Base Plus Slugging

2008…. 1.232

2009…. .953

All his percentage number have seen a huge drop since the All Star Game:

Batting Average: .355 to .256

On Base Percentage: .487 to .381

Slugging Percentage: .669 to .463

On Base Plus Slugging: 1.156 to .844

Since his steroids suspension he is not hitting home runs as often. He has hit a HR every 18.3 at bats with the Dodgers this season after hitting a HR every 11 at bats last season. We may be seeing the effects of his steroids withdrawal and we may have seen the best years of  Manny now that steroids have been removed from his body.


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