Strasburg pitched again and it wasn’t quite as magical, but part of that was due to a bad mound. He still has a sub 3.00 ERA (2.19) and struck out another eight. Rock on Strasburg.
New York Mets (5) at Baltimore Orioles (1). Back-to-back series against the two New York teams can’t be good for Baltimore. R.A. Dickey brings the knuckleball back to confound the Orioles hitters.
Washington Nationals (2) at Cleveland Indians (7). Throwback jersey night does not go well for Luis Atilano. I bet that Atilano gets optioned soon (or goes when Chien-Ming Wang comes back up).
Florida Marlins (14) at Tampa Bay Rays (9). I hate it when the Rays lose, yet I love it when the Marlins win. I can tell that I’m a huge Marlins fan, because I was ecstatic to see them crushing the Rays. Tampa definitely has a potent offense to catch up, but the Fish proved to be too much. I think it’s great that Florida seems to have Tampa’s number a good portion of the time. I think this could develop into a real rivalry.
Hiroshima Carp (6) at Saitama Seibu Lions (2). There’s nothing better than having your team beat one of the best in the Pacific League. Kan Otake notches his first win for the season and the Carp actually see some power without Kurihara.
Yakult Swallows (4) at Rakuten Eagles (1). My two least favorite teams are the Swallows and the Lions. Hirohima did its part and beat Saitama, but Rakuten falls on an uncharacteristically bad night for Iwakuma, who gives up two earned runs.
Mets (3) at Orioles (1). I’m really starting to get fond of Hisanori Takahashi, even if he was a Giant back in Japan. He hurls seven innings and only gives up one. Nice work.
Nationals (1) at Indians (7). Fausto Carmona is having a real resurgence this year. He completely blanks the potent Washington offense while enjoying another seven-run game.
Marlins (5) at Rays (6). A real close one that came down to the wire, but Carlos Peña’s offense the past week has been red hot. Tough loss for Florida.
Carp (4) at Lions (2). Giancarlo Alvorado does his job over six to earn yet another win. Justin Huber, Kurihara’s DL replacement, even goes yard in Kenta’s honor. The Carp end the weekend at 25-34-2, good enough for fourth by 3.5.
Swallows (3) at Eagles (1). Tanaka gives up two in another uncharacteristically bad game to a team whose new manager is paying dividends. Rakuten’s record drops to 29-33-1, good enough for fifth.
Nationals (9) at Indians (4). If the Nationals bats awaken every time Strasburg comes out to toss, his record is going to balloon. He tosses 5.1 innings and ends up walking five, but I put part of the blame there on his super-shaky mound. The Nats record improves to 31-33, which is only good enough for last in the competitive NL East.
Mets (11) at Orioles (4). The Orioles get brutalized by the Mets, giving up four home runs, two of which went to David Wright. Their record is a miserable 17-46.
Marlins (6) at Rays (1). Chris Volstad and the Marlins serve up Jeff Niemann’s first loss of the season and I love it. Mike Stanton still hasn’t hit any home runs, but since he came up last week he’s been hitting a solid 0.368 with an OPS of 0.981. Not too bad. The power is definitely coming. Florida’s record improves to 31-32, barely edging out the Nats for fourth, while the Rays drop into a tie with the Yankees with their 40-23 record.