Winners and Losers From the First Week of Baseball

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What better way to evaluate a week of baseball than to reward the lucky few who have performed over their heads and to shame the select few who underperformed during an extremely small sample size! Onto the listicle!

Winners:

  • Blue Jays offense: With six-and-a-half runs scored per game, Toronto's tremendously underrated lineup is making me eat my words just one week into the season. Jason Giambi's third cousin thrice removed Adam Lind leads the team with three tater tots and a hefty 1.186 OPS while five regulars are hitting above .300 so far. And yes, all these stats still count despite facing the poorly-stocked pitching staffs of the Tigers and Indians.

  • Royals pitchers: The team has allowed just 19 runs over the first week, led by starters Gil Meche, Zach Greinke, Sidney Ponson, and Kyle Davies, who have combined for a tidy 2.45 ERA and a 3.2 K/BB ratio. They'll need to keep their run prevention skills up if the team wants to succeed. Their offense has produced just 14 runs in six games.

  • Nick Swisher: Considered to be an afterthought once the Yankees acquired Mark Teixeira and the sad loser in the right field battle to Xavier Nady, Swish has made the most of his substitute job by collecting eight hits in 17 at-bats, including two happy jacks, three doubles and a triple. He leads the majors with a 1.668 OPS over the first week and leads the league in praise from hack New York media writers for his cheerful attitude.

  • Josh Johnson: Just a handful of pitchers made two starts last week but Johnson outshone them all, going 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA and 15 strikeouts against just one walk. He out-dueled Johan Santana yesterday and, despite struggling to finish the game out with 21 pitches in the ninth inning, notched a complete game.

Losers:

  • The Washington Nationals: The last winless team in the majors got swept by the Marlins and the Braves, and open their ballpark today with some of the most hideous looking artwork you'll ever encounter outside a baseball stadium, save for famous Red Sox fan Homeless Johnny's fecal fingerpaintings on Yawkey Way. The Nats are allowing opponents to score 7.5 runs per game, a trend that, if continued, will make any comer look like the 2008 Tigers.

  • Houston Astros "offense": They've scored just 16 runs in the first week including yesterday's shutout at the hands of one Kyle Lohse, and they've managed just one win, a 3-2 squeaker over the Cubbies thanks to the stellar pitching of Wandy Rodriguez. This is not a team built for power, nor speed, nor pitching, nor frugality.

  • Kyle Farnsworth: He brought his swagger but forgot his out pitch. Despite striking out the side in his second appearance on Friday against the Yanks, his first appearance was a tough pill for Royals fans to swallow. He gave up 4 hits and three runs in blowing a save against the ChiSox last Tuesday, then ran over three kittens while driving home from the park.

  • Jimmy Rollins: Jimmy's got a Corey Pattersonesque .167 OBP in the leadoff slot and zero extra base hits after just one week. He's got the worst OPS in baseball among folks with 20 PAs (.274), has zero stolen bases (probably because he's been on base just four times) and is alleged to not have expressed any sympathies for the kittens killed by Kyle Farnsworth. Shame, Jimmy.

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11 Comments

What about the FIRST-PLACE Padres? It ain't gonna last, so I've got to bask in it now.

/prays for a meteor

I heard Ben Affleck bought one of Homeless Johnny's paintings for $3,000 and has it framed at his estate in the Hamptons.

It's bizarro world. Left is right, up is down, and the Seattle Mariners are in first place. I'm afraid, Dave...

I like those Nats statues.

Pronk is back!

A team of those Nats statues could beat the actual Nats.

The Nats statues are okay, but check out the Giants' portrait of Willie Mays.

CHEERS: Pittsburgh Pirates start strong with a 3-3 record.

JEERS: Somali Pirates went 0 for 3 yesterday, with 3 Ks.

@freetzy: the Navy also got a save out of that.

Rob, how much did you enjoy writing about the Jays' offense? I'm sure it was the highlight of your day.

Jimmy Rollins was my first round fantasy baseball pick. Yay.

Nick Swisher make me want to vomit all over twitter with his "I am so blessed to be apart of such an amazing team!" tweets but I'll admit, I'm kind of rooting for him.

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