MLB Weekly Report: Jose Reyes To Return To New York On Tuesday
The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers stayed hot in the National League, while the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers bashed their way to American League division leads. Here’s what’s happening in Major League Baseball:
Jose Reyes Faces the New York Mets As A Miami Marlin
Starting Tuesday, former New York Mets all-star shortstop Jose Reyes returns to Citi Field to face his former team as a member of the visiting Miami Marlins. Reyes signed a six-year, $106 million contract with Miami in December. So far this season, Reyes is hitting just .230 with four steals and six runs scored. Reyes hit .292 over his nine-year career in New York. It will be interesting to see the reaction Reyes gets from Mets’ fans during the three-game series.
Philip Humber Sets Down 27 Seattle Mariners To Record Perfect Game
Few would have predicted that 29-year-old Philip Humber, a fifth starter for the Chicago White Sox (9-6), would have been capable of throwing the 21st perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball on Saturday. However, that’s just what Humber did against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Humber struck out nine batters and needed just 96 pitches to etch his name into the record books. It was just Humber’s 30th big league start, but by far the most memorable. His next start is Thursday in Chicago against the Boston Red Sox.
Red Sox Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park, But Extend Losing Streak To Five
While the Boston Red Sox (4-10) celebrated the 100th anniversary of their venerable old stadium on Friday afternoon, the team was in the middle of a controversy that helped send them into a five-game tailspin. Earlier in the week, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine called out third baseman Kevin Youkilis for not being ‘committed,’ while Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia jumped to Youkilis’ defense. The Boston locker room was a mess, and the Red Sox lost three in a row.
The rival New York Yankees then came to town on Friday to coincide with the 100th anniversary celebration of Fenway Park. Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona received one of the loudest ovations from the crowd during Friday’s pre-game festivities, emphasizing the frayed relationship the fan base already has with Valentine. The Yankees won 6-2 on Friday and rallied from a 9-0 deficit on Saturday to beat Boston 15-9. Sunday’s game was postponed by rain, but the internal storm isn’t leaving New England any time soon.
As a means of compensating for injured outfielders Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox acquired Marlon Byrd on Saturday from the Chicago Cubs for reliever Michael Bowden and a player to be named. Boston may need to do more shuffling to stay in the A.L. East race.
Albert Pujols Still Homer-less
After playing in his 16th game as a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (6-10) on Sunday, feared slugger Albert Pujols is still without a home run in the 2012 season. It’s Pujols’ longest homer-less drought to start any season, and one can’t help but think that the man who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract in the offseason is pressing. The Angels head to Tampa Bay and Cleveland this week, where Pujols will attempt to break out of his power slump.
Phillies Continue To Struggle on Offense
While stocked with incredible pitching talent, the Philadelphia Phillies (7-9) have lost four of seven games on their current West Coast trip, including defeats to the Padres on Saturday and Sunday in which the team managed just one run per contest. The Phillies also placed ace left-hander Cliff Lee on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle suffered when he pitched 10 innings of shutout ball against the Giants on Wednesday, a game Philadelphia still lost 1-0 in 11 innings. It is still early in the season, but the Phillies need some sort of additional offense to stay in contention until sluggers Ryan Howard and Chase Utley return from injury later in the season.
Play of the Week: Rick Ankiel, Washington Nationals
Usually great catches or long home runs are noteworthy plays, but Nationals’ outfielder Rick Ankiel shows that a great throw can be a highlight, too. Watch the video of his impressive toss against the Astros on April 16 that prevented a run from scoring:
Series To Watch This Week: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers
With both teams leading their respective American League divisions, this series matches up two of baseball’s best offenses at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for three games starting Monday. New York (9-6) has won three games in a row and seven of 10. The Yankees’ big comeback from a 9-0 hole against Boston on Saturday was keyed by outfielder Nick Swisher, who hit a grand slam. Through 15 games, Swisher is hitting .283 with four home runs and an American League-leading 20 RBI. Texas (13-3) has hitters Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli tied for the American League home run lead with six apiece. Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson also has six home runs, thanks to his three-homer game against the Twins on Thursday.
Fantasy Pick-Up of the Week: Nolan Reimold, Baltimore Orioles
While many Orioles aren’t thought of as powerful offensive threats, outfielder Nolan Reimold is an example of a decent bat that may have gotten past some fantasy owners. After spending most of 2011 locked in a platoon, Reimold has made the most out of the opportunity to hit regularly for Baltimore in 2012. He already has five home runs and a .370 average to go with his gaudy 1.166 OPS. He also has some speed. Pick him up while you can.
Fantasy Drop of the Week: Brad Lidge, Washington Nationals
It’s hard to find fault with the hot start of the Washington Nationals (12-4), but closer Brad Lidge has been shaky at best. After another rough outing on Saturday which saw him allow the game-tying, two-run home run to Logan Morrison, Lidge has two blown saves, a 5.14 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP in 2012. It’s time to find another source for saves.