World Champs Struggling, Big Names Come Back & More!
Another week, another load of baseball news to wrap up. This week was no different, and there were certainly some out-of-the-ordinary stories that deserved some attention.
Red Sox Sink Deeply Into Slump
To say that things haven’t went how the Red Sox expected this year would be a drastic understatement. They currently sit in last place in the AL East (one of the weaker divisions in baseball this year) and are on a horrific losing streak.
They’ve lost 9 games in a row, including a heart breaker against the Rays on Saturday in which they led at one point 5-0. They went on to lose that game in 15 innings, and that game serves as a good example of how their season has went as a whole.
Injuries have played a role in this, with Xander Boegarts and Shane Victorino both missing extended time this season. Overall, though, the team has just been completely incapable to string hits together.
The team didn’t lose it’s 28th game until June 14th last season, and they’re digging a hole that will be incredible difficult to get out of. Signing Stephen Drew was a step in the right direction in my mind, but more than a few players are going to have to get hot for them to have a chance this year. Do you think the Red Sox will end up making the playoffs?
Cubs Defeat Tanaka
THE CUBS HANDED MASAHIRO TANAKA HIS FIRST LOSS SINCE 2012!
Two Aces Return To Form
Unfortunately to start off this season, we had two of the best left-handed pitchers in the game put on the shelf after just a few starts. Both are obvious Cy Young contenders, and they each showed that as they made their way back from injury.
First, Clayton Kershaw returned to his award-winning form after getting roughed up last week. Against the Phillies, Kershaw threw 6 innings of 2-hit baseball, and struck out 9 batters on his way to his third win of the season.
Over in Chicago, Chris Sale came back with a bang after suffering a flexor muscle strain back in the middle of April. In 6 innings against the AL East-leading Yankees, Sale racked up 10 strikeouts and surrendered just 1 hit for his 4th win of the year.
It’s truly enjoyable to watch both of these guys pitch, and the fact that they’re only 25 (Sale) and 26 (Kershaw) makes it even better. What are the odds that each of these two win the Cy Young in their respective leagues this year?
Olivo Takes Notes From Tyson
Miguel Olivo, a career major leaguer, has found himself toiling in the minors over the past couple of seasons. Understandably, this shot to the ego could be a bit frustrating, but his actions towards a teammate were completely unexpected.
Olivo, who was playing in AAA for the Albuquerque Isotopes (Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate), reportedly got into an altercation with infielder Alex Guerrero, who the team signed for $28 million this past offseason.
While clubhouse fights aren’t all that uncommon, the fighting style of Olivo was certainly out the ordinary. In a page taken straight out of the Tyson vs. Holyfield playbook, Olivo bit a piece of Guerrero’s ear off.
Of course, the Dodgers released him. At 35-years old, this might be it for the veteran backstop. While he had a pretty solid career that spanned a few organizations, he’ll undoubtedly be remembered for this incident. Is this the weirdest story from baseball this year?
Fielder Done For The Year
The baseball world was stunned this offseason when the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers completed a trade that sent Prince Fielder to Texas straight up for second baseman Ian Kinsler. So far, the early returns heavily favor the Tigers.
While Kinsler has become a steady bat at the top of the lineup for the World Series favorite Tigers, Fielder has gotten off to a slow start, hitting just 3 home runs and batting a lowly .247.
If the reports coming out lately are true, this season will be getting even worse for Prince. It is being reported that he will need season-ending neck surgery to correct a herniated disk in his neck, which is a big blow for both him and the team.
The Rangers have struggled to keep pace in the competitive AL West, and the loss of Fielder might cripple their chances of making the playoffs. After being expected to be one of the biggest bounce-back players of 2014, it’s safe to say that things haven’t gone Fielder’s way. Is there any way that he can return to the level of play that he was at in Milwaukee?
This Week’s MVP: Michael Brantley (.419/.500/.742, 2 HR, 7 RBI)
This Week’s Cy Young: C.J. Wilson (2-0, 0.59 ERA, 10 K)