Time will tell if they can bounce back from this, but they’ve limped into the All-Star Break on a 7-game losing streak and now trail the Boston Red Sox by 0.5 games. The losing streak includes a 4 game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians. The Rays were outscored 31-8 in the series. The Indians had lost 10 straight before the Rays came to town.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, no one enters the All-Star Break hotter than the New York Mets. The Mets have won 9 in a row and sit just 0.5 games behind division leading Philadelphia. Watch out for 3 games next week when the Mets play host to the Phillies.
The hottest hitter of the week was Nate McLouth. McLouth continued his break out season this week with 8 Runs, 5 Doubles, 4 HR, 12 RBI and a .344 batting average.
Josh Hamilton also racked up 12 RBI this week including 5 straight multiple RBI games. His big week gives him a total of 95 RBI heading into the All-Star Break. That total is good enough for 5th on the list of most RBI at the midway point. Hank Greenberg(106), Juan Gonzalez(101), Carlos Delgado(97) and Manny Ramirez(96) are the only players with better half seasons.
Ryan Howard is the RBI leader in the National League with 84 RBI. He had 8 RBI in the last week to go along with 5 homeruns. He had 8 homeruns over a span of 10 games.
The best pitching performance of the week goes to Chad Billingsley via the Dodgers 9-1 win over the Marlins on Sunday. Billingsley picked up his 9th win on the year while pitching 7 innings. He scattered 5 hits and allowed 1 ER, but didn’t issue any free passes and struck out 13 batters. That gives Billingsley 128 K on the year.
The biggest news of the week is how the landscape of the National League Central changed with the Brewers landing C.C. Sabathia and the Cubs acquiring Rich Harden.
Sabathia has already paid off for the Brew Crew as he recorded 2 wins and homered in a 3-2 win. Harden went 5.1 innings of shutout ball while striking out 10 in his debut for the Cubs, but didn’t factor in the decision.
The Home Run Derby and All-Star Break should provide fans with plenty of entertainment this week.