Thursday, May 14, 2009

You cannot quiet the riot. Seriously, don't even try.

Let's start the day off with some MLB trivia, shall we? Answers are at the end of this post.

Which team leads the majors in ERA?

Which team leads the majors in batting average?

Which team's starting pitchers have the most combined wins?

Which starting pitcher has amassed the most innings pitched?

Back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

Wednesday: Cubs 6, Padres 4, 8 inn.

Is Ryan Theriot kidding? I've come to realize he actually has power, but I still thought it was limited to straightaway left field. When he lifted a fly ball to straightaway center in the first inning, I thought he had just recorded the first out of the inning. But the wind gave him an assist, and he had his fourth dinger of the year. Then he blasted one out to his normal spot (juuuust over the wall in left) in the fourth, and Ryan Theriot has now hit two more home runs this month than he's ever hit in a season. The last time I saw this many unexpected shots, it was my 21st birthday (just kidding, Mom). Theriot is tied for most NL home runs this month with Pujols, Jay Bruce, Adam Dunn and Justin Upton.

How about Milton Bradley laying down a beautiful bunt for a base hit? Doing whatever he can to get on base, you gotta love that.

How Soto Got His Groove Back: I don't know if Geovany Soto set the record for longest homerless streak to start a season by a reigning Rookie of the Year, but it was great to see him put a charge into one. If he and Bradley both get locked in, the Cubs offense can do some real damage.

Ted Lilly continued the Cubs' trend of strong starting pitching, and became the first Cub to get his fifth win. What a great signing he has turned out to be. He goes out there every five days and gives you a chance to win. Since joining the Cubs, Lilly has averaged 34 starts per year and is 37-19.

Yesterday I titled my post "Thank you sirs, may we have another?" Well, for the second game in a row, the leadoff man reached, the next guy got out, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to left-center, and then the Cubs scored the next six runs. Weird.

With two walks Wednesday, Marmol has now walked one batter per every inning he's pitched. He often gets out of his own jams (though he did allow a run Wednesday), but he's going to need to exhibit more consistent control if he wants to continue to be effective.

The Cubs are now a season-best five games over .500. They're technically in fourth place in the Central, but they're just a half game back of the Reds, Brewers and Cardinals.

MLB notes
-Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game hitting streak came to an end Wednesday. Zimmerman was 0-for-2 when he came up in the seventh, but was intentionally walked with runners at second and third. Zimmerman got another chance in the ninth, but grounded into a fielder's choice.

Trivia answers
-Best ERA? The Royals, of course, at 3.67. Zach Greinke's 0.51 ERA helps, but they have five other pitchers with an ERA of 2.08 or lower.

-Best average? That would be the team with the best record in the AL--the Blue Jays. They're hitting .293 as a team. The last team to post such an average for an entire season was the 2000 Rockies, who batted .294.

-Most wins by starters? The Cincinnati Reds, believe it or not, with 19. Every starter has at least three wins, though Bronson Arroyo should be thanking the baseball gods every night before he goes to sleep--he's 5-2 despite an ugly 7.02 ERA.

-Most innings pitched? This one's not a real shocker: Roy Halladay. Halladay led the majors in innings pitched in 2003, finished second to CC Sabathia last year, and has thrown over 200 innings five times in his career.

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