The Tigers will need to neutralize Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin if they are to continue their three-game winning streak. Ramirez lit up Tiger pitching in ’08, hitting .340 in 14 games, while Quentin was equally as effective as he hit for .333. The two combined for 23 RBIs and seven home runs.
22. Colorado Rockies – If I were the Rockies, I’d trade both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, who are too injury prone yet have a ton of value. It won’t happen, though.
In the 11th, Kelvin Herrera (2-3, 5.02 ERA) gave up a solo home run to Jordan Danks, the second HR of Danks’ career. Closer Addison Reed (2.40 ERA) retired the side to earn his 11th save.
With an 0/4 showing against Cleveland March 24, Owens’ spring batting average dropped to .192, with his OBP sliding to .328. But most alarming of all? His .212 slugging percentage. He has a grand total of one extra base hit-a double-in 52 at-bats.
Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.
The Yankees couldn’t use Rodriguez’s distracting return as an excuse for their 8-1 loss to the sale jerseys. Even with all the madness, any team should have been able to beat a sale jerseys club on a 10-game losing streak, under any circumstance. The Yankees certainly can’t afford to give up easy wins in their precarious playoff position.
15. Washington Nationals – The Nationals are a better team than they showed for much of the season, but don’t buy into the way they played in September, which featured a lot of games against their terrible division.