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The All-Star break is finally here. Monday night’s home run derby was highlighted by the feel good story of the year in Texas OF Josh Hamilton. Hamilton’s 28 long balls in one round is a brand new record. I just hope that he has not zapped his power supply like Bobby Abreu did in 2005. If you are a believer in such a theory, then you may want to sell Hamilton while his stock is at the absolute peak. So, what players played hard and raised their stock value? Getting sick of the bad jokes? Too bad!
Ryan Howard (1B), Philadelphia Phillies: OK, speaking of travesties. Howard leads the majors in home runs (28) and leads the NL in RBI (84) and is not playing in the All-Star game. Howard’s 5 HR and 8 RBI were part of his 10 hit week. So far in July he has 8 HR in just 13 games.
Nate McLouth (LF, CF, RF), Pittsburgh Pirates: I hope none of you hit the panic button when McClouth hit .214 in June. Shame on you if he did. McClouth’s 4 HR, 9 RBI, and 2 SB puts him back on track to that guy we fell in love with in April.
Jhonny Peralta (SS), Cleveland Indians: Peralta was a big reason that Cleveland swept the former 1st place Rays. His 10 hits included 4 doubles, 3 HR, and 10 RBI. Since the start of June, he is hitting .292 with 23 extra base hits.
Carlos Quentin (LF, RF), Chicago White Sox: Quentin had a good week with 3 HR and 9 RBI. Quentin is 2nd in the AL in home runs with 22 and 2nd in the AL in RBI with 70…and not starting in the All-Star Game. Though, he is a participant.
Josh Hamilton (CF, RF), Texas Rangers: Hamilton added to his major league leading RBI total by driving in 11 runs last week which brought his total to 95 before the break. He also threw in 2 HR which were his first homers since June 17th. Don’t worry, he hit over 30 on Monday night.
Justin Verlander (SP), Detroit Tigers: Verlander ran his record to 7-9 on the year by picking up two victories. He struck out 15 batters in 14 innings and gave up 4 runs. He has put together eight straight quality starts and has an ERA of 2.72 since June 6th.
Mike Pelfrey (SP), New York Mets: Pelfrey gave up zero runs in his two starts and got wins in both games. He struck out 10 batters and walked none. Pelfrey has won six straight starts and has an ERA of 0.90 in his last four starts at home.
CC Sabathia (SP), Milwaukee Brewers: Welcome to Milwaukee! Sabathia’s first two starts as a Brewer have gone smoothly. He has picked up 2 wins, struck out 14 batters in 15 innings and has pitched his first complete game in the NL. Sorry, the home run he hit on Sunday doesn’t count towards your offense.
Kevin Gregg (RP), Florida Marlins: It was a busy week for the Marlins closer. He picked up 5 saves. He also impressively gave up no runs, no walks, and no hits.
Dave Bush (SP), Milwaukee Brewers: Bush had one start but, it was his best of the season. His line for the game: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 K. Bush had just as many K’s in that game as he had in his previous three starts combined.
Why Should I Give A Crap About These Guys?
Ubaldo Jimenez (SP), Colorado Rockies: Jimenez is 2-1 in July with an ERA of 1.86 and 19 K’s in 19.1 innings. The funny part about Jimenez? His ERA at home, in hitter-friendly Coors Field is over 3 runs less (2.67) than it is on the road (5.82).
Matt Joyce (LF, RF), Detroit Tigers: Here is another virtually unknown player who is currently on fire. Joyce is currently on an offensive tear with 4 HR in his last 5 games.
Sean Gallagher (SP, RP), Oakland A’s: Billy Beane always knows something. Gallagher was the biggest name to come out of the Rich Harden trade. In his first start in Oakland, he went seven strong and struck out seven batters. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
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