The All-Star teams have been announced and most clubs have reached the midway point of their schedules, making this the perfect time for the midseason edition of Diamond Digits. We're looking back at some of the biggest on-field numbers so far, and taking a glance at some players who want to duplicate what they've accomplished ... and others who would like to forget about the first three months.
The first major star to be so disciplined by baseball, Ramirez's absence not only didn't kill the Dodgers' hopes in the NL West, as expected by some onlookers, an NL-best 29-21 record without Ramirez actually enabled
Whether it's the structure, the wind pattern or even the curse of
There's no debate: This year, Pujols is clearly the best hitter in the majors and nobody's even close. The categories that the St. Louis first baseman leads the majors in are virtually endless, including home runs (31), RBIs (82), runs scored (66), slugging percentage (.739), on base percentage (.460), extra-base hits (51), go-ahead RBIs (22) and intentional walks (29), to name a few. Playing on a team that has seen 15 rookies suit up already this season, Pujols has been the driving force behind the Cardinals' ascent to first place in baseball's most evenly matched division. Unless he succumbs to injury or an unprecedented slump, he's a virtual lock for the NL MVP Award.
He's cooled off of late, but even a few shaky outings can't take away from what was a truly incredible first half for the Royals right-hander. Tied for the major league lead with 10 wins, Greinke also leads the bigs with a 2.00 ERA. He pitched five complete games including two CG shutouts. In nine of his 17 stars he allowed one run or less, in 13 he yielded two or fewer earned runs all while not allowing more than nine hits in any contest. And only
It's difficult to hit a good man when he's down, and Davis was just sent to the minors, but Davis was a candidate for worst stats of the week more often than not, earning him this dubious distinction. Before being optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Davis hit just .202, second worst among AL qualifiers to Oakland's
A two-time 19-game winner, Wang has been absolutely lost on the mound this year, allowing 45 earned runs in 42 innings for a 9.64 ERA while taking two trips to the disabled list. His nadir came in April when he surrendered 23 earned runs in his first 5 2/3 innings, spanning three outings.