Poor weather has wreaked havoc on the early-season schedule. The Indians had an entire homestand snowed out. The Mariners lost three games to snow in Cleveland, then another to a "wintry mix" Thursday in Boston. Snow in Cleveland forced Major League Baseball to move a three-game series between the Indians and Angels to Milwaukee, where the teams were able to play despite blizzard conditions Wednesday night. Milwaukee, of course, has a domed stadium. "Our next home game is in Hawaii," Indians outfielder
quipped after Wednesday night's game. . . .
In the same week where games were getting snowed out, the Minnesota Twins unveiled plans for their new open-air stadium. Brrrr. . . .
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox has leaned heavily on his upgraded bullpen in the early season. Newcomers Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano pitched in six of the team's first eight games and Bob Wickman and Chad Paronto had pitched in five of eight. . . .
J.D. Drew has made a nice debut in Boston. He had hit in all of the Red Sox' eight games entering Friday. He had the only hit in breaking up Seattle righthander Felix Hernandez' no-hit bid Wednesday night. Hernandez, 21, outpitched Daisuke Matsuzaka. Hernandez' fastball topped out at 96 m.p.h., and he threw an almost unhittable 91-m.p.h. slider. "He can have a career like Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan or Pedro Martinez," Red Sox slugger David Ortiz told reporters after that game. Hernandez finished with a one-hitter. In two starts, both wins, he has 18 strikeouts over 17 innings and he's allowed just four hits. By the way, there hasn't been a no-hitter by an opposing pitcher at Fenway Park since Detroit's Jim Bunning on July 20, 1958. Six years later, Bunning pitched a perfect game for the Phillies. . . .
Former Phillies reliever Arthur Rhodes, now with Seattle, might be done for the season. He has a tear in his left elbow, and Tommy John surgery has been recommended. . . .
One reason to like the Padres' chances of making the postseason? Their bullpen. It opened the season with 281/3 scoreless innings. The longest scoreless streak in the majors for a bullpen last season was 261/3 innings by Houston from July 19 to 27. . . .
Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols had the best April ever last year when he hit . 346 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in the month. This April has been markedly different as Pujols hit just .176 with two RBIs in his first nine games. There's some hand-wringing going on in St. Louis, but when all is said and done, Pujols will finish in the top three of NL MVP voting. . . .