Monday, April 13, 2009

First Half Look

All-Star Game

American League 6, National League 5

The AL fought back from an early 4-0 deficit to win the 11th All-Star Game 6-5.

Boston's Bonk Blake drove in New York's Horacio Martin on a Sacrifice Fly for the game-winning run in the 7th inning. New York's Santiago Santiago scored the game-tying run earlier in the inning on a Brendan Strong single.

The biggest hit of the game though was Spike Cambridge's game-tying 3-run HR in the 3rd inning off Salt Lake's Boomer Charles. Cincinnati's Cambridge was playing in his first All-Star Game for the AL after two previous appearances representing the NL.

After a meager showing in the Home Run Derby, Fingers League HR leader Taylor Glynn drilled a 3-run HR in the 1st inning to give the NL a 4-0.

Game Notes
Bonk Blake makes 9th All-Star team. Most in league history.

Sante Fe and New York led the league with 6 All-Stars.

Entire Starting OF for Sante Fe makes All-Star team - Brett Krause, Davey West, Pat Rivera.

The Starting Pitchers were Emmanuel Russell for the NL and Norberto Pujols for the AL.

Home Run Derby

Chicago Blackhawks Catcher Esteban Rivera wins Home Run Derby. He hit the most HRs in every round and finished with 39 HRs. Hometown player Santos Lopez hit the longest HR of the day, a tape measure shot of 529 feet that landed far up in the left field seats of Citibank Park.

Record Book Assault

Three major hitting records may be challenged as we reach the first half's conclusion. The records for Single Season Batting Average, Hits, and Home Runs look to be threatened.


Stewart Hairston - Charleston Men of Risk - .380 - This looked a lot more possible about a week ago. Hairston's average has slipped, but he hit over .400 for most of the first half.

HITS RECORD - 233 - Juan Concepcion

Pat Rivera - Sante Fe Scorchers - 138 - The rookie Rivera is on pace for 245 hits. Playing in Sante Fe's ballpark will give him a great chance to break this record.
Horacio Martin- New York MaPS - 135 - Martin is not far behind Rivera. He's on pace for 240 hits. He's had 2 or more hits in about half the games this season.

HOME RUNS RECORD - 77 - Pedro Alvarez

Taylor Glynn - Iowa City Corn Kings - 45 - I don't know if we've seen a power hitting season like this one. Glynn is averaging a HR every other game. With 45 HRs at the break, Pedro Alvarez's HR Record is in serious danger. On pace for 80 HRs.

First Half Notes
The Detroit Motor City Mechanics are looking for its first ever playoff appearance. The franchise has only 2 seasons above .500. rwadk27 improved this team by 15 games last season and they are on pace to improve by 14 this season. The 2nd youngest team in the ML is winning with great pitching (2nd in ML in ERA, WHIP, OAV, OBP).

There's a Fight in the NL West between the Colorado Springs Rainbow Trout and the Salt Lake City Condors. They are tied for 1st place at 58-33. Colorado Springs is trying to pull off a worst-to-first. They haven't won more than 73 games since Season 3 and have never made the playoffs. The Condors are the back-to-back division champions, but have never won a playoff series. These two teams are playing .600 baseball in a division with every team at least 7 games over .500. It is very possible 3 of the 4 teams make the playoffs.

Charleston's trade for Emmanuel Russell has been the off-season move of the year. Russell is 13-0 and the team is 17-2 when he pitches. He's helped turn the Men of Risk from a sub-.500 team to a World Series contender.

Best Single Game Performances of the First Half

No-hitter, 9K's 3 BB vs. Charleston

Stewart Hairston - Rafael Silva - Ricardo Lee all hit for the cycle.

J.D. Shelby drives in 8 runs on 2 Grand Slams vs. New York

Pedro Owen - Low A No-hitter, 11K's, 2 BB vs Pawtucket

Things to look for in 2nd Half:

Davey Nieves creeping ever so closely to 2,000 hits.

Harry Hinch nears 500 HRs.

Alex Flores is 25 appearances away from 800 for his career.

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