We’re coming up on the halfway point of the season, and there seems to be a theme – the lessons to be learned over the last seven days are things we already should have known. Here’s what we learned last week.
Albert Pujols is ridiculous.
He only hit .389 for the week, but he made those hits count. Four of his seven hits went for home runs, and he slugged 1.111 over the last seven days. His home run total is now up to 26 for the season, and his power surge has given him a career high .469 wOBA. It’s getting so silly that his intentional walks are close to being even with his strikeouts. The guy is just a pure hitting machine. Barring a strange second half of the season, he should clear out some space on his mantle for another MVP trophy.
Gordan Beckham has adjusted to major league pitching.
After a rough start to his major league career, Beckham has adjusted and is stinging the ball lately. He hit .375/.524/.625 over the last week, drawing four walks against just three strikeouts. His overall line might not look like much, but he’s showing some legitimate offensive skills a year after being drafted. The White Sox have a good one here.
Chris Davis is killing the Rangers.
Jon Daniels gave Davis a vote of confidence a few weeks ago, stating that their commitment to young players required that they stick with them through tough times. That’s going to be tested, as the Rangers offense has fallen apart and the team has stopped winning, while Davis continues to flounder. He was 1 for 20 with 9 strikeouts last week, and that’s just not the kind of performance the Rangers can live with from their first baseman.
Wandy Rodriguez‘s regression has come swiftly.
In his first eight starts of the season, Wandy Rodriguez did not give up a home run. Through eleven starts, he’d only given up one long ball despite allowing 71 fly balls. Everything we know about the predictability of HR/FB rate told us that regression was coming. Man, was it ever. He gave up four home runs last week, in addition to the five he gave up the week before, and nine of his last 28 fly balls have left the yard. From a 1.4% HR/FB rate through 11 starts to a 32.1% HR/FB rate over his last four, Rodriguez is walking proof that getting a lot of fly ball outs is a risky path to success.
The Brewers could use a pitcher or two.
It was an ugly week for the arms in Milwaukee. As a team, they posted a 6.08 FIP, and five of their pitchers had an ERA of 10+ for the week. Braden Looper and Dave Bush got pounded for six home runs in 10 innings of work between them, while Manny Parra was banished to Triple-A due to an inability to throw strikes. Their rotation currently stands as Yovanni Gallardo and cover your eyes for four days. The Brewers have a good team, but Doug Melvin needs to get them another arm pronto.
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