The Silver Slugger award winners were announced on Thursday, and Ryan Zimmerman has another shiny trophy, winning the award for third basemen. CONGRATULATIONS, RYAN!
The top two contenders for this award among third basemen were Zimmerman and the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval. Here’s a look at their offensive stats:
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO OBP SLG AVG
Zimmerman 610 110 178 37 3 33 106 320 72 119 .364 .525 .292
Sandoval 572 79 189 44 5 25 90 318 52 83 .387 .556 .330
Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards are the top offensive honor in
Major League Baseball. Coaches and managers of Major League teams vote
for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each
position in the field in both the American and National Leagues. They
base their selections on a combination of offensive statistics
including batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage,
as well as the coaches’ and managers’ general impressions of a player’s
overall offensive value.
I love Zimm…he and John Lannan are my favorite Nats players. I’m very happy for Ryan and think it’s great that he won this award, along with his Gold Glove award. But unlike the Gold Glove, this award was not exactly a slam dunk for him. Both Zimm and Sandoval had great offensive seasons, but if you look at the stats above, one could make just as strong a case for Sandoval. Zimm scored more runs, and had more home runs, RBI, and total bases, but Sandoval’s on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and batting average were better. In particular, Sandoval’s batting average was 38 points higher than Zimmerman’s. I’m guessing that what tipped the scale in Ryan’s favor was his 30-game hit streak, which I believe was the longest in the majors this season.
Sunday’s Brewers/Giants game ended with a home run off the bat of
Prince Fielder, and he and his teammates had a very unique celebration
at home plate. In case you didn’t see it, here it is:
As Fielder rounded the bases, his teammates gathered behind home plate.
What do you think? Was this funny or too over the top?
I apologize to my readers — all 4 of you! — for being AWOL for more than a week. My roommate had surgery last Monday, so I’ve been visiting her most evenings. Between being busy at work and the stress of the hospital visits (hospitals creep me out), I just haven’t had the energy to post anything here.
To catch up a bit, since my last post, the Yankees have 5 wins and 3 losses. Some notable games:
The June 1st game vs. the Indians featured another attack of the midges, but the bugs didn’t bug starter Joba Chamberlain too much this time. The Yankees set a new MLB record of 18 error-free games, breaking the record that the Red Sox set in 2006, and they beat the Indians 5-2.
In the June 2nd game vs. the Rangers, there was an exceptional amount of testosterone flying through the air, after Mark Texeira was hit by pitches from Vicente Padilla in the 2nd and 4th innings. Tex then slid into Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus at 2nd base in the 4th. Inspired by Tex’s display of manliness, the Yankees scored 7 runs in that inning. A.J. Burnett sent a message of his own in the 5th inning, throwing a pitch over the head of Nelson Cruz. That display of testosterone drew a warning from the home plate umpire to both dugouts. It also drew a fine, as well as a 6 game suspension two days later. (Padilla was also fined.) Burnett’s appeal of the fine will allow him to play until a hearing takes place.
Tex’s comments about being hit by those pitches:
“There’s really no reason for it in baseball. You know, if you can’t get a guy out, don’t hit him. You know, if you don’t want to pitch to a guy, then, you know, put four fingers out there and walk him,” Teixeira said.
I agree, Tex. As I mentioned here, I think the pitcher and hitter should just drop their pants, let everyone see who is bigger, and then tuck it back in and get on with the game.
Unfortunately, the Yankees errorless innings streak ended in this game. Oh well, at least they set a new record and won the game, 12-3.
The June 4th game vs. the Rangers featured Chien-Ming Wang’s return to the starting rotation. Unfortunately, he was not particularly effective, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits, including a home run, in 4.2 innings. But the Yankees rallied in the 8th inning, overcoming a 5-1 deficit to win the game, 8-6.
In the June 5th game vs. the Rays, Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the season and got his second loss, when Joe Dillon broke a 5-5 tie with a single in the 9th inning. The Rays scored 4 runs (3 earned) off Rivera in the 9th for the win.
I watched the Yankees beat the Rays tonight (Monday), 5-3. Andy Pettitte got the win, Mariano Rivera got the save; it was the 59th time the two have combined for a win and a save. Pettitte and Rivera are the all-time MLB winner-closer combo leaders, with two more wins/saves than Oakland’s Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley.
Since my last blog post here, the Nationals have 5 losses and 2 wins. It’s really quite astonishing that they have those two wins in 7 games! Some notable games:
On June 2nd, the Nationals had a surprising 10-6 win against the Giants and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. The Giants were leading 5-2 when the rally began with the Nats scoring 2 runs at the bottom of the 6th. The Nats offense exploded for 6 runs in the 8th inning. Joel
Suckrahan Hanrahan gave up a run in the 9th inning, but managed to finish the inning and the game without any further damage. Prior to that win, the Nationals had lost 6 straight games.
On June 3rd, the Giants’ Randy Johnson was supposed to be going for his 300th career win, but Mother Nature did not cooperate. The start of the game was delayed for over 3-1/2 hours as MLB hoped the game could be played and history could be made. Now, I understand the historical significance of the game, with Stretch trying for career win #300. But come on… a 3-1/2 hour delay?! That’s ridiculous!! At 10:46, the game was finally postponed and rescheduled for the following evening.
Stretch did get his 300th win on the 4th, in the first game of a doubleheader, as the Giants beat the Nats 5-1. Ironically, the start of this game was also delayed by about an hour because of rain. Too bad so few people actually saw this historic game; attendance was so low that the attendance stats weren’t even listed in the box score. Perhaps the 16,787 attendance figure for the second game was actually a combination of attendance for both games? Anyway, some of the Nationals commentators, members of the media, and Nats fans have fussed about a called strike against Adam Dunn on a 3-2 count to end the 8th inning, which preserved the Giants 2-1 lead with the bases loaded. The call was a bad one — it was definitely NOT a strike — but hey, those are the breaks. Lots of bad calls have been made against the Nationals this season…and against the 29 other MLB teams as well. Bad calls happen. I saw comments on one particular Nats message board which hinted that the umpire had intentionally called a strike to prevent a run from being walked in to tie the game…that, of course, would have given Stretch a no-decision. OK, so in a split second, when the pitch is thrown and caught, the umpire was thinking, “If I call this a ball, then a run will score, and that means that Randy Johnson will end up with a no-decision instead of getting his 300th win tonight, so I should call this a strike even though the pitch was a ball….” Riiiiiiiiight. [SARCASM] I’m sure that’s exactly what that umpire was thinking at that moment. [/SARCASM] This, of course, was the second time the Nationals were involved in a history-making game. In August of 2007, former Nats pitcher Mike Bacsik gave up Baroids Bonds’ 756th career home run.
After the Nats 3-1 loss to the Mets on June 5th, Joel Hanrahan went back to being Joel Suckrahan as far as I’m concerned. With the game tied at 1 in the 10th inning, Suckrahan gave up a single to Luis Castillo, a walk to Carlos Beltrán, and a double to David Wright which scored Castillo and Beltrán. And that was that. The loss caused Suckrahan to lose his job as the closer for the second time this season.
The June 6th game vs. the Mets was another surprising win for the Nationals. John Lannan pitched the first complete game of his career, allowing just 1 run and 4 hits in a 7-1 win. He even hit a single in the 5th inning and scored a run on Nick Johnson’s home run. Adam Dunn and Elijah Dukes also hit home runs in the game, which lasted exactly 2 hours.
The Nationals reverted back to their usual form on the 7th, losing to the Mets 7-0. Just more of the same suckitude.
At least the Nationals didn’t lose tonight…they didn’t play tonight…….
Ever have a feeling that something is going to happen, before it happens?
After Tuesday night’s loss to the Giants, I had a feeling that Ryan Zimmerman’s hit streak would end at 30. I just had this unshakable feeling that 30 games was it. That’s why I mentioned “The Event That Shall Not Be Named” — TETSNBN — in my post after the game. TETSNBN can be named now…Ryan Zimmerman’s 30 game hit streak, which unfortunately came to an end on Wednesday afternoon against the Giants. From April 8 through May 12, Zimm’s stats were:
Outstanding numbers…outstanding streak!
More on Zimmerman’s hit streak:
Longest hit streaks in Nationals/Expos history
Year Player Games
1999 Vladimir Guerrero 31
2009 Ryan Zimmerman 30
2002 Vladimir Guerrero 26
2002 Jose Vidro 21
1993 Delino DeShields 21
Longest hit streaks, third basemen
Year Player Games
1978 Pete Rose 44
1893 George Davis 33
2009 Ryan Zimmerman 30
1980 George Brett 30
Longest hit streaks since 2000
Year Player Games
2005-06 Jimmy Rollins 38
2006 Chase Utley 35
2009 Ryan Zimmerman 30
2007 Moises Alou 30
2006 Willy Taveras 21
2003 Albert Pujols 30
2005 Johnny Damon 29
Some of Zimm’s postgame comments (per yahoo.com):
“I’m not relieved it’s over, because I would have liked to keep it
going for as long as I can,” said Zimmerman, who fell just short of
Vladimir Guerrero’s franchise-record 31-game streak with Montreal in
1999. “But it’ll be good to go back to the usual routine. … I’ve said
every day that I’d rather win. It’s been a tough year for us. I feel
like we’re a lot better than our record.”
It’s been a pleasure to watch Zimm this season…not just because of the streak, but because of his overall performance. He’s been one of the few bright spots in what has been an extremely dismal and frustrating season so far. And the way he handled himself through the streak was just as impressive as the streak itself. There was no hint of cockiness or arrogance at any point during the last 30 games; he remained on an even keel, with his humility intact.
Well done, Ryan. Congratulations on a marvelous streak and a terrific start to the season. Keep up the great work! And you’re still Superman to me!
Maybe Zimm will start another lengthy hit streak against the Phillies on Friday. I will be there, and I will definitely give him a standing ovation before his first at bat.
Although I was disappointed that Zimm’s hit streak came to an end, I was pleased that the Nationals beat the Giants, 6-3. Shairon Martis pitched another good game, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits over 7 innings and improving his W/L record to 5-0. Martis even hit a double in the 5th inning and then scored on Nick Johnson’s double. Johnson himself had an outstanding game, going 4-5 with 2 RBI. It’s always nice to get a win…especially when they don’t happen very often!
By the way, I was very impressed with the class displayed by Giants fans when they gave Zimm an ovation after his final at bat, acknowledging the end of his hit streak. Way to go, Giants fans! 🙂
The Washington Capitals were not as lucky as the Nationals…they lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-2. Very disappointing, to say the least. First Zimmerman’s streak ends, then the Caps lose…not a great day. 😦 But the Caps had a great season, and I look forward to bigger and better things next season.
Now, let’s see…whom shall I root for the rest of the way? Definitely not the Penguins…the Blackhawks? The Ducks? The Red Wings? The Hurricanes? The Bruins? Hmmmm…..
I hadn’t planned on staying up to watch the Nationals/Giants game in San Francisco. I wanted to watch the first couple of innings to see if a certain event would take place, which did happen in the first inning. I refuse to discuss the event because I don’t want to jinx it. (Hint: it involves Ryan Zimmerman…and that’s all I’ll say.) I ended up falling asleep on the sofa, and I woke up as the 6th inning was coming to an end. The score was Giants, 5 Nationals 1. Half asleep, I was just going to check my email before going to bed. And then the Nats scored 3 runs in the 7th inning…so I kept watching…and they scored another 3 runs in the 8th inning. I’m wide awake now! Mind you, the game is in the bottom of the 9th, and the Nats only have a 1 run lead. I’m hoping Joe Beimel can hold that 1 run lead and get the save. Two outs…and Beimel just gave up a single. 😦
UPDATE: Game over. Needing just one more out, Beimel gave up a walk-off home run — the Giants won, 9-7. I’m sooooooo happy I stayed up for this! NOT.
Thank goodness for the certain event that happened in the first inning…The Event That Shall Not Be Named……..
By the way, is there a more beautiful setting for a ballpark in the majors than AT&T Park? I’ve never been there, but the views of the ballpark and surrounding area look incredible on TV.
Loss number 20, that is…which is what the Nationals apparently will get tonight. It’s the top of the 8th inning, and the Giants are leading the Nats, 10-4. Randy Johnson — who I swear must be about 60 years old (Jamie Moyer looks young compared to Stretch) — gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings, including 3 home runs and 9 strikeouts. When the starting pitcher allows 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs, you would think the team that got those runs would win. But then, we’re talking about the Nationals here…Daniel Cabrera started the game for the Nats, which is why the Giants are kicking the Nats hindquarters. Cabrera issued 6 walks in just over 4 innings. Six walks! Why the #$&% does Cabrera still have job??
On a much better note, the Capitals beat the Penguins tonight, 5-4 in overtime, to force a game 7 in the Eastern Conference semifinals!GO CAPS!!!