Friday, April 5, 2013

10 First Week Impressions

We're a couple games into the season, and we've been slow this week in posting, mostly just because we've been basking in the glory that baseball is back.  Thought it would be fun to share some first week things that I have noticed around the league.  Feel free to share your own impressions on the first couple days of baseball or let me know what you think of mine.

1. Chris Davis is pretty dang good

Davis has started the year on fire!!  Through the first 3 games, he has 3 home runs and 11 RBIs, all while hitting a league leading .636.  The Rays are sure glad that he is out of town.

2. Michael Morse has some power too

While Morse doesn't have 11 RBIs like Davis, he has one upped him in home run total, hitting 4 in his first 3 games.  Morse dominated Oakland pitching and looks to keep the power streak going into the weekend.

3. Yu Darvish has nasty stuff, even if it was against the Astros

If you watched this game, you would have noticed how dominant Darvish's stuff is, even though it was against the Astros.  Aside from his 14 strikeouts, the 'Stros hit just 2 balls out of the infield the entire game; a weak fly ball and the single by Marwin Gonzalez with 2 outs in the 9th to spoil the perfecto.

4. Other guys can pitch too

There were dominant performances throughout the first series, including some noticeable starts by Cubs right Jeff Samardzija, White Sox lefty Chris Sale, Phillies lefty Cliff Lee, Mets righty Matt Harvey, Doders lefty Clayton Kershaw, Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner, and Mariners righty Felix Hernandez.  Those 6 guys combined to throw 47 and two-thirds innings, and combined allowed 14 hits, no runs, and struck out 48 batters.

5. What has happened to Roy Halladay?

After a 2012 campaign that wasn't up to his standards, Halladay struggled in his first start of the year.  The veteran righty gave up 5 earned runs in just 3 and a third innings against the Braves.

6. 2013 is not the year of the closer so far

Guys like Phil Coke, John Axford, Chris Perez, Mitchell Boggs, and Fernando Rodney all blew saves in the first series of the year.  On top of that, there were a total of 10 blown saves on Wednesday night.

7. Carlos Mamol scares me

Despite not losing either game he appeared in, Carlos Marmol has been a mess in the early going.  He was yanked in game 1 and almost blew a 3 run lead in the 9th inning on Thursday.  Kyuji Fujikawa could be the closer in Chicago sooner than you think.

8. What's up with the Tigers?

After winning game 1, the Tigers dropped the next two games to lose to the lowly Minnesota Twins.  It's early but this worries me a bit, as the Tigers have the talent to run through the weak AL Central.  A closer would help their case.

9. Bryce Harper is no fluke

Yes I'm probably overplaying the first series of the season, but Bryce was phenomenal against the Marlins.  6 hits in 12 at bats including 2 home runs in the season opener is very impressive to see from the 20 year old sensation.

10. The Orioles are for real

I admittedly was not a huge fan of the Orioles heading into the season.  They overachieved last year, just look at their run differential, and they have a no name pitching staff.  Well against a very tough Rays team, they took 2 of 3 games with good starts from Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez.  The offense was good behind strong series from Davis, Adam Jones (7 for 14), and Matt Wieters (4 for 10).  Brian Roberts getting hurt doesn't help, but the Orioles are a strong and balanced team and closer Jim Johnson has started strong again.

Honorable Mention
-The Marlins can't hit (they scored 1 run in 3 games against the Nationals)
-Justin Upton will like playing in Atlanta
-Tyler Flowers will make sure the White Sox don't miss AJ Pierzynski
-Carl Crawford looks healthy and ready for a strong 2013
-Take a picture, the Cubs are in first place (it won't last long)
-The Diamondbacks and Cardinals played a really long game (longest in D'Backs history)
-Kevin Youkilis looks really weird in a Yankees uniform without facial hair