Friday, August 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Texas Rangers still No. 1 in MLB Power Rankings

This week in baseball we saw some pretty cool stuff. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore is the youngest pitcher since Babe Ruth to start the season 8-0. St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese hit a grand slam for his first homer of the season. Boston's David Ortiz is... doing David Ortiz things.

Texas Rangers still No. 1 in MLB Power Rankings

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish throws during the first inning. (LM Otero/AP)
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish throws during the first inning. (LM Otero/AP)

This week in baseball we saw some pretty cool stuff. Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore is the youngest pitcher since Babe Ruth to start the season 8-0. St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese hit a grand slam for his first homer of the season. Boston's David Ortiz is... doing David Ortiz things. 

The Minnesota Twins got a visit from a few legends from the movie The Sandlot, where the cast shared their favorite quotes. Check out the clip here. And then check up on the rest of Major League Baseball with this week's Power Rankings: 

1. Texas Rangers (28-15)

Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish continues to come up big on the mound as he earned his seventh win of the season Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. Second baseman Ian Kinsler on the other hand isn’t earning anything other than a spot on the disabled list with a right intercostal strain. He’s got seven home runs along with 11 RBI so far this season.

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This week’s series: Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners

2. St. Louis Cardinals (28-15)

A grand slam from David Freese helped life the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers Friday. That was Freese’s first homer of the season. The first place Cards are 7-3 in their last 10 games. As for injuries, Jaime Garcia was placed on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend with a left shoulder strain. Left-handed rookie Tyler Lyons will replace him starting Wednesday.

This week’s series: San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers

3. Boston Red Sox (26-17)

Leave it to David Ortiz to get things done in Boston. Saturday’s 12-5 win over the Minnesota Twins came with the help of Ortiz as he homered twice and drove in six runs. The Red Sox look to increase their five-game winning streak with Jon Lester (6-0) on the mound Monday against the Chicago White Sox.

This week’s series: Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians

4. Cleveland Indians (25-17)

Second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer to right field Friday in the 10th inning to lift the Indians to victory over the Seattle Mariners. That was the third walk-off win for the Indians this season. Sitting atop the AL Central, the Indians look to finish off the four-game series against the Mariners Monday afternoon at home.

This week’s series: Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox

5. New York Yankees (27-16)

The injury to lefty Andy Pettitte that sent him to the DL last Thursday just added another player to the long list of injuries in New York. They are still leading the AL East with winning seven of their last 10 games, though. Their latest addition to the infield, Reid Brignac, from the Colorado Rockies will be an interesting player to keep an eye on. He was batting .250 with the Rockies.

This week’s series: Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays

6. Cincinnati Reds (26-18)

The Reds were hot on six-game winning streak coming into the series against the Philadelphia Phillies Friday. But the Domonic Brown came up big for the Phillies in the eight with the tiebreaking run as they beat the Reds 5-3. Talk about a buzz kill! But a win on Saturday against the Phillies came with a shutout for Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo (4-4) as the Reds won 10-0. Joey Votto was 4-4 in that game, which included a home run in the ninth inning.

This week’s series: New York Mets and Chicago Cubs

7. Pittsburgh Pirates (26-18)

The Pirates started off last week with a series win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Saturday’s 5-4 win over the Houston Astros included a homer by Pedro Alvarez. That one landed in the Allegheny River.

This week’s series: Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers

8. Atlanta Braves (25-18)

A sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend keeps this Braves team in first place in the NL East. Justin Upton’s two-run homerun in the eighth inning on Saturday helped the Braves defeat the Dodgers 3-1. As for injuires, the Braves placed pitcher Eric O’Flaherty on the DL with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which could lead to Tommy John surgery for the lefty pitcher.

This week’s series: Minnesota Twins New York Mets

9. Arizona Diamondbacks (25-19)

The only run for the Diamondbacks in Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins came with a home run by Gerardo Parra on the first pitch. Despite the 1-2 loss to the Marlins on Sunday, catcher Miguel Montero and pitcher Josh Collmenter were responsible for this heck-of-a catch. The D-backs still lead the NL West, with the Rockies only one game back.

This week’s series: Colorado and San Diego Padres

10. Colorado Rockies (24-20)

Left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis landed on the DL on Thursday with a strained left groin. On the other hand, Carlos Gonzalez is hot at the plate. His career-night on Wednesday came with five hits which included two home runs. He’s got 10 of those so far. No big deal. They are creeping up big time behind the D-backs in the NL West with their three-game winning streak.

This week’s series: Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants

11. Oakland Athletics (23-22)

It isn’t easy for the A’s in this AL West with the Rangers taking the lead, and quite the lead, in the division. They certainly are putting up a fight, especially as they swept the Kansas City Royals which was a nice way to end the weekend. They look to keep the winning alive as they face the first place Rangers starting Monday night.

This week’s series: Texas Rangers and Houston Astros

12. Washington Nationals (23-21)

Even though Bryce Harper owns the Nationals’ stats in average, home runs, RBI and runs, he has managed to pile up some injuries as of late. From an ingrown toenail to a dopey face injury to a bruised left knee, Harper is proving to be superhero or something given the fact that he hasn’t landed himself on the DL forever. In Thursday’s win over the San Diego Padres, Stephen Strasburg pitched eight innings which was a career-high for the 2-5 left-handed pitcher.

This week’s series: San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies

13. Detroit Tigers (23-19)

Don’t let the 8-11 loss to the Texas Rangers Sunday fool you. Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera hit not one, not two, but three home runs. Cabrera has 331 home runs and 11 thus far in 2013. The Tigers look to stop their two-game losing streak from increasing as they send Max Scherzer (5-0) to the mound in the first of a two-game series against the Cleveland Indians Monday night.

This week’s series: Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins

14. San Francisco Giants (24-20)

The Giants are tied for second with the Rockies in the NL West, but don’t let that fool you just yet. Over the last six games the Giants are responsible for 13 errors. Saturday’s game wasn’t any better as the errors kept piling on. Tim Lincecum was responsible for one of those errors where he was called for a balk, but he apparently fell just as he was pitching.

This week’s series: Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies

15. Tampa Bay Rays (23-20)

The Rays were able to take advantage of a struggling Baltimore Orioles team as they swept them over the weekend after losing two to the Red Sox. Sunday was a milestone for lefty Matt Moore who is now 8-0 this season. He is the youngest (23) to do so since 1917 when Babe Ruth did it at 22.

This week’s series: Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees

16. San Diego Padres (20-23)

The Padres took tied the series over the weekend with Nationals at 2-2 which still makes them four and a half games back. They tied their season high of 13 runs Sunday against the Nats. Kyle Blanks and Will Venable both homered in that win.

This week’s series: St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks

17. Philadelphia Phillies (21-23)

Ryan Howard (knee soreness) and Carlos Ruiz (hamstring) are both set to get an MRI Monday after experiencing injuries over the weekend. But their absences from Sunday’s game didn’t seem to factor much as they Phillies rallied in the ninth inning with two back-to-back homers by first by Erik Kratz and then Freddy Galvis to end the game 3-2.

This week’s series: Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals

18. Kansas City Royals (20-20)

The Royals couldn’t get a win in over the weekend in the series against the A’s. They were only outscored 8-5 in those three low scoring games, though. Some wins against the Astros would help this team improve before their six-game home stand which starts later this week.

This week’s series: Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels

19. Seattle Mariners (20-24)

Before being swept by the Cleveland Indians over the weekend, The Mariners were doing pretty well for the month of May. Raul Ibanez helped crush the Yanks 12-2 Wednesday with a grand slam. Oh, and a two-run homer on top of that. They were 8-4 in May until the 3-6 loss Friday to the Indians.

This week’s series: Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles and Texas Rangers

20. Baltimore Orioles (23-20)

The month of May seemed to be going pretty well for this Orioles team. But then the San Diego Padres came to town and ruined it. The sweep by the Padres last Tuesday started the five-game losing streak for the Orioles. Starting pitcher Freddy Garcia looks to ease the pain as he is set to hit the mound Monday against CC Sabathia and the Yanks.

This week’s series: New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays

21. Chicago Cubs (18-25)

The Cubs fans need a reason to cheer as they’ve been struggling much of the 2013 season. Pitcher Travis Wood gave them all that and more as he homered out of the park. Check out what one fan did to her husband as a result.

This week’s series: Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds

22. Chicago White Sox (19-23)

Chris Sale continues to stun us all, or those who are paying attention to him. His last start for the White Sox resulted in a 7.2 inning, three hit, three walk and 12 strikeout shutout. He is now 5-2 as the White Sox sit six games back in the AL Central.

This week’s series: Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins

23. Minnesota Twins (18-22)

The Twins couldn’t hang on to beat the Red Sox in any game over the weekend in the three-game series. Saturday’s ugly 5-12 loss handed Scott Diamond his fourth loss this season. It didn’t help that David Ortiz lit it up during the game with two homers. A tough nine-game road trip lies ahead for the Twins starting Monday night.

This week’s series: Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers

24. Los Angeles Angels (17-27)

The Angeles managed to make it out of the four-game series against the White Sox tied at 2-2. Alberto Callaspo’s three-run home run in the seventh helped the Angels beat the White Sox 12-9 Saturday. Mark Trumbo also homered in that game for his 10th home run this season.

This week’s series: Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals

25. Los Angeles Dodgers (17-25)

May started off terribly for the Dodgers as they went on an eight-game losing streak that lasted until May 10th. Then they won two games, lost one, won two more and now they just lost three in a row to the Braves. Ouch is right! The two rain delays totally for two hours and 15 minutes of delays didn’t help in Sunday’s 2-5 loss to the Braves, either.

This week’s series: Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals

26. New York Mets (17-24)

Sunday’s outing against the Chicago Cubs went pretty well as the Mets won 4-3. Rookie Juan Lagares recorded his first career homer in the majors which tied the game in the seventh inning. Seven games back in the NL East, the Mets are about to face a tough schedule this week, including the first place Braves.

This week’s series: Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves

27. Miami Marlins (12-32)

Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks came as a relief for the Marlins as they snapped a seven-game losing streak. Pitcher Ricky Nolasco recorded 11 strikeouts in that win.

This week’s series: Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox

28. Toronto Blue Jays (17-26)

The Blue Jays were on a nice streak last week when they won four in a row, winning two against the Red Sox and the other two against the Giants. The Yanks however, shut the Jays on 5-0 Friday. There is a chance Jose Reyes could rejoin the team in late June, but until then, here’s short stop Muneori Kawasaki.

This week’s series: Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles

29. Milwaukee Brewers (17-25)

Saturday’s outing against the Cards was an exciting one as they won 6-4 in the 10th inning. Jeff Bianchi single in the 10th drove in two runs for the Brewers win.

This week’s series: Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates

30. Houston Astros (12-32)

How many Astros does it take to catch a pop fly? Apparently, three can’t even get that job done. It’s lonely in last place here but the Astros weren’t doing themselves any favors with losing six in a row mid-May.

This week’s series: Kansas City Royals

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Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
Brian McCardle Sports Producer
Justin Klugh Sports Producer
Jerry Gaul Sports Producer
Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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