With the new season off and running, the first thing we look at in the standings is the last “0” on the board. Texas edged Seattle last night to become the first team to five wins (5 – 0), while Cincinnati joined Baltimore at 4 – 0 last night. The Reds are the last NL team to remain undefeated as the Mets topped Philadelphia last night.
On the other side, Boston lost to Cleveland (a game I listened to on the ride home) to fall to 0 – 4, their worst start in about 15 years. The Tampa Rays start a series with the Angels tonight hoping to avoid a fifth straight loss to open the season. The lone NL team without a win is Houston, who faces the undefeated Reds tonight.
In other news…
Andrew Cashner impressed Cub fans in his first start of 2011 (his fastball sits in the mid-90s and occasionally tips 98 MPH), then left in the sixth inning with tightness in his shoulder. He was immediately shipped out for an MRI. [MLB]
Matt Holliday will definitely avoid the DL, as will Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton who is available as a pinch hitter and expected to start by the weekend. Stanton is nursing a tight hamstring. [FoxSports]
FoxSports scribe Ken Rosenthal thinks that Brandon Belt may be the odd man out when Cody Ross returns to the Giants. Aubrey Huff needs to get out of the outfield, which means first base – which would cost Belt a gig. I watched the Giants the other night when they were playing the Dodgers. He has a very professional approach to batting, very patient. In the late innings of a game, he worked a walk to keep an inning alive. Miguel Tejada, long time veteran, followed Belt and impatiently ripped at the first pitch, popping up and ending the inning. [FoxSports/YardBarker]
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed former Marlins (and As) lefty Dan Meyer. Meyer was effective in 2009 as a 7th or 8th inning option, but struggled through a calf injury in 2010. He throws a low 90s fastball that tends to sink, a hard slider, and a change up that Meyer doesn’t always seem to control very well. In his career through the minors and few stops in the majors, control has been his problem… The Pirates could use a little depth, though, so if he fares well in a AAA stint, he may join the bullpen in Pittsburgh at some point this year.
60 Years Ago In The Sporting News…
The front page story on April 4, 1951 was a feature about the Red Sox, and how everyone liked to pick the Sox as the team most likely to win the AL Pennant, only to fail. On page three (and continuing for a couple of pages) there was a nice feature about a young Yankee centerfielder who looked like the obvious successor to Joe Dimaggio, a kid from Commerce, Oklahoma named Mickey Mantle…
Those celebrating with cake, cards, or remembrances include:
Smokey Joe Williams (1885)
Mickey Cochrane (1903) – Hall of Fame catcher
Ernie Lombardi (1908) – Hall of Fame catcher and Hall of Fame nose
Phil Regan (1937) – The Vulture, so named for stealing wins in relief
Marty Pattin (1943) – Pitcher, University of Kansas manager for a long time. I still remember getting his baseball card from one of those old corner stores near my grandparent’s house in Chicago.
Bert Blyleven (1951) – Like Don Sutton, very good for a long time, but just doesn’t SEEM like a Hall of Famer.
Bret Boone (1969) – Very good second baseman who was named as a steroids user in the Mitchell Report.
Lou Merloni (1971) – Utility infielder who claimed that Boston physical trainers would give lessons in safe steroid use to players, making it seem like the Red Sox management were okay with players using PEDs in the late 1990s…