1. The argument for All-Star snubs is losing some of its merit now that a whopping 66 players are named, and that's before the inevitable additions because of injuries and other circumstances. But here goes, anyway. The All-Snub Team:
• Rafael Soriano, RP, Atlanta• Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee • Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas• Matt Kemp, CF, Dodgers• Russell Branyan, 1B, Mariners• Mark Reynolds, 3B, Diamondbacks• Cliff Lee, SP, Cleveland• And the biggest snub of all: Pablo Sandoval, 3B Giants
Sandoval has carried the Giants in stretches, just not recently. (He was hitting .214 this month entering last night.) And he has an entertaining hitting style, hacking at a greater percentage of pitches than anybody except teammate Bengie Molina. He deserved to go.
2. Where have all the good left-handers gone? Only four left-handers are All-Stars, including one relief pitcher (Mark Buehrle, Brian Fuentes, Ted Lilly and Johan Santana). Of the top 15 strikeout leaders in baseball, only three are left-handed (Jon Lester, Santana and Wandy Rodriguez). Neither manager, Charlie Manuel nor Joe Maddon, have the luxury of working for many platoon matchup advantages.
Last year there were five lefties named to the All-Star Game and none made it back (Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir, Joe Saunders, George Sherrill and Billy Wagner).
3.Oliver Perez may have picked up a victory Wednesday, but his seven walks didn't create confidence that he is progressing as a pitcher. The guy has lost four mph off his fastball in the past five years, led the league in walks last year and still can't find the plate consistently enough.
His win against Los Angeles marked the first time since 2006 that an NL pitcher walked at least seven batters and still won the game. It was the second such game for Perez, but he's no Nolan Ryan in that category. Thirty-three times Ryan managed a win in games when he walked at least seven.