MLB's Memorable First-Half Moments
Ethier's hit streak
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier couldn't have asked for a better start to the year, as he had a 30-game hit streak that began in his second game of the season. It was the longest streak since the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman hit the same mark in 2009 and was the second longest in Dodgers history.
Ben's Big Day
Seven players have hit three home runs in a game this year but no one has had a day quite like the one Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist enjoyed in a doubleheader against the Twins in late April. Zobrist went four-for-six with two doubles, a home run and eight RBIs in a 15-3 rout in the opener and 3-for-4 with another home run, a double and two more RBIs in the nightcap.
The Phillies and Reds battled through 19 innings -- so long that the Phillies ran out of pitchers and put second baseman Wilson Valdez on the mound. Not only did Valdez pitch a scoreless inning, but he came away with the win after the Phillies scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the 19th, making him the only position player to get a win this season.
In the span of four days, the Twins' Francisco Liriano and the Tigers' Justin Verlander both threw no-hitters, though that is where the similarities between the two ended. Liriano's walked six men and struck out only two while Verlander's no-hitter, the second of his career, was very nearly a perfect game. He allowed just one baserunner, on a seventh-inning walk.
Halfway through the season, baseball fans have already seen some of the game's biggest names go down to injury. Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria and Matt Holliday all missed significant time. Giants catcher Buster Posey is possibly out for the season after a collision at home plate left him with a broken leg. The Cardinals' Albert Pujols is out four to six weeks with a fractured left wrist and the Yankees' Derek Jeter was placed on the disabled list with a strained calf and still sits just six hits shy of the 3,000 career mark.
It's already been a season most Dodgers fans want to forget. A Giants fan at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day was beaten nearly to death and remains in the hospital Less than a month later, the commissioner's office announced that the league would take over day-to-day operations of the club due to owner Frank McCourt's financial troubles. Then, on June 27, the club declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. On the field, the team is on pace for its worse finish since 2005.
Jack McKeon takes over Marlins
After Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned amidst a horrific 1-18 start to the month, Florida brought in Jack McKeon to take the helm on June 20. McKeon, at the age of 80 is the second oldest manager in MLB history, and had not managed since he 2005, when his first stint with Florida came to an end.
Jim Riggleman quits
Despite the fact that the Nationals were on an 11-1 run and were above .500 in mid-June for the first time since 2005, manager Jim Riggleman decided to resign on June 23. Riggleman was angry that the club had not yet picked up his option for the next season. Davey Johnson was hired as the team's new interim manager.
Manny Ramirez retire
Manny Ramirez, who had at one time been one of the game's greatest sluggers, abruptly called it quits in early April after it was revealed that he had again failed a test for performance enhancing drugs. It was a disheartening end for Ramirez, who had lost most of his luster after first testing positive in 2009.
Harmon Killebrew dies
Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew succumbed to cancer on at the age of 74. The longtimeSenators and Twins star had retired in 1975 after hitting 573 home runs in a 22-year career and was later enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The Twins honored his legacy by adding a No. 3 patch on the right sleeve of their jerseys, which they plan to wear for the rest of the season.