Easy Like Sunday Morning
A rare -- and brief -- weekend appearance for the Journal today. Might chime in later on. But there are enough odds and ends to get to.
1. Levale Speigner over Johan Santana? Vegas didn't even have this baby on the board, did they?
2. List of Nats' victims: Peavy (one loss, one ND in a loss), Smoltz twice, Hamels and Santana. Hmmmm.
3. Cristian Guzman is hitting .352.
3-1/2. Relax. Sit down. Take a deep breath.
4. Cristian Guzman is hitting .352. How is he doing that? In the past 10 games, since May 30, he is 23 for 43 (.535). No one in baseball is hitting for a higher average during that span. Repeat: Cristian Guzman is the hottest hitter in baseball.
5. During that same span, since May 30, Dmitri Young is hitting .463. That's the third-best average in baseball, the second-best in the National League.
6. Go back further with Young. Beginning May 17, in 21 games, Young is hitting an even .500 (36 for 72). No one in baseball has a better average during that time. I do not remember the last time the guy swung at a bad pitch. His .538 OBP is the best in the NL during that span, as is his absurd OPS of 1.247.
7. Manager Manny Acta believes there's a simple explanation for both of those performances. "Health," Acta said. Young is over his achilles problem, Guzman's shoulder is healthy -- perhaps for the first time in years.
8. Still, could we expect this?
9. Regardless of today's outcome, Nationals will leave Minnesota with their third road series win in a row. They have now won seven of their last eight road games. You want to start getting into the minds of these hitters now that they're out of RFK? If they win today, I just might write about that in the $.35 edition tomorrow.
10. Johnny Holliday subbing for Bob Carpenter on MASN. No Debbi Taylor or Byron Kerr from the sidelines. Thoughts?
11. The Metrodome: The first major league game I ever saw was at the old Met Stadium out in Bloomington. Rod Carew tried to steal home. I've been here many, many times, but it still feels really weird. Not bad for football. Just strange for baseball.
12. Who's traveling up the BW Parkway for the mid-week series? Anyone?
13. Talk to you later.
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