Below are the standings as of today May 31,2010
1. Tampa Bay
2. New York
3. White Sox
4. Kansas City
3. LA Angels
3. NY Mets
2. St. Louis
1. San Diego
2. LA Dodgers
3. San Francisco
You will notice a few surprises. Mainly in the National League. The Reds and Padres in first through two months? Yes it’s true. The Reds are riding on a good young staff that has a good closer to help protect their leads. The Padres are finally taking advantage of their pitcher friendly ballpark. Jon Garland, Mat Latos and Kevin Correia are having fantastic seasons.
In the American League the Toronto Blue Jays are leading all of baseball in home runs by almost twenty of the second place team in that category. Tampa Bay record wise is the best team in baseball, but I do think they are the best team regardless of record right now. The Twins are starting to run away with the AL Central with only the Detroit Tigers as the lone threat. The West is still up for grabs as neither Oakland, Texas or the Angels want it right now.
The biggest thing I think we can take away from the first two months though, is pitching. The year started with a no-hitter from Colorado Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Since, Jimenez’s record is 9-1 with a 0.88 ERA in 10 starts. Kind of reminds you of what 2009 AL Cy Young winner Zach Greinke did for the Royals last year. Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden threw a perfect game on Mothers Day this year against the best team in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland. Just a few weeks later, Phillies ace Roy Halladay tosses a perfect game against the Florida Marlins in Miami. The last time you had two perfect games in the same season was, wait for it, 1880. Crazy how rare it is. If you count Mark Buehrle’s perfect game last year (also against Tampa Bay) that’s three perfecto’s in a calendar year.
One thing I’ve noticed this year is that there are quite a few more instances than normal of pitchers going at least 7 innings with a no-hitter or a perfect game. There have only been three so far, but something tells me that we will probably have two more before the year is over. How’s that for a prediction. Just remember where you heard it first. I’ve always wondered this though. If a pitcher has a perfect game going in the All-Star game, do you still keep him in? That game is just around the corner. It will be interesting if it happens there.