Last week saw Manny go Hollywood, the Yankees newcomers making an impact and the Marlins infield close in on a historic achievement.
Career slugging percentage against NL pitching by Manny Ramirez, after going eight for his first 13 in his first three games as a National Leaguer. The longtime Red Sox and Indians slugger feasted on NL pitching during interleague play and has continued his career-long streak since donning Dodger Blue. The fierce slugger has accounted for 379 total bases in 612 at bats, which places him second alltime in slugging percentage against Senior Circuit hurlers. Only Mark McGwire's .686 is higher than Ramirez among those who have amassed 500 at bats versus the NL. Albert Pujols, also at .619, is percentage points behind Ramirez while Milwaukee's MVP contender, Ryan Braun is next at .609.
Current Yankees with at least 200 career home runs after New York acquired catcher Ivan Rodriguez from the Tigers. Last month New York signed first baseman Richie Sexson after he was released by the Mariners. According to the Elias Sports Bureau they joined Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter on the first roster to include as many as seven players with at least 200-career home runs.
National League teams in history that had four infielders each hit 20 home runs in the same season. With one more longball for third baseman Jorge Cantu, however, the Marlins will be the first team to accomplish the feat. Second baseman Dan Uggla leads the squad with 26 home runs, followed by shortstop Hanley Ramirez (25), first baseman Mike Jacobs (22) and Cantu (19), who came to camp as a non-roster invitee. The only other major league teams to accomplish such power distributed around the horn were the Texas Rangers with Mark Teixeira, Alfonso Soriano, Michael Young and Hank Blalock each eclipsing 20 home runs in both 2004 and 2005
Xavier Nady, New York Yankees
X certainly marked his spot in the Bronx, as left fielder Xavier Nady carried over his hot streak from Pittsburgh to New York following his trade (with Damaso Marte) to the Yankees in late July. In six games in pinstripes last week, Nady led the majors in slugging (1.158) and placed second to Justin Morneau's 11 RBIs with 10 of his own. Nady's biggest contribution came on Sunday against the Angels, the majors' best team, when he went 4-for-5 with a clutch three-run, seventh inning home run and a total of six RBI's, earning New York a crucial series split.
Jeff Baker, Colorado Rockies
Baseball is certainly a game of averages for Rockies second baseman Jeff Baker the last few weeks. Owner of the majors third highest batting average during the week of July 21, Baker bottomed out with the second worst average and lowest on-base percentage of the week. In 23 at bats, Baker managed just one hit, no walks, no RBIs and struck out seven times.
When Conor Jackson of the Diamondbacks struck out against San Diego's Greg Maddux last Monday, he became the 3,343rd strikeout victim of Maddux's Hall of Fame career, and moved the veteran right-hander into sole possession of 10th place on the alltime strikeout list. In his 24 seasons Maddux struck out 200 or more batters only once, in 1998 when he fanned 204. That's the fewest best-season strikeout total of anyone in the alltime Top 20 in K's. In fact, the pitcher with the most strikeouts without fanning as many as 200 in a season is Maddux's longtime teammate with the Braves, Tom Glavine, who had a career high of 192 strikeouts in 1991, two years before Maddux came to Atlanta.