Tagged: Braves

Instant Replay? Not So Fast

Atlanta's Julio Lugo is called safe at home plate by umpire Jerry Meals, giving the Braves a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in 19 grueling innings.

Last night’s epic 19-inning duel between the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates will be a game talked about in Pennsylvania for quite some time. Just before 2 a.m., umpire Jerry Meals called Braves veteran Julio Lugo safe at home plate to give Atlanta a 4-3 victory. The only problem was that Lugo was out — by a mile. Pirates backstop Michael McKenry clearly applied the tag to Lugo’s right leg as he attempted to slide into home for the game winning run. The missed call sent shock waves throughout the baseball universe as the Pirates fell into third place in the National League Central thanks to the loss. The call for instant replay was heard loud and clear all across social networking sites such as Twitter (a much similar reaction to Jim Joyce’s blown call at first base last season which cost Tiger’s pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game). But should Major League Baseball really expand the use of instant replay? Games are longer than ever as it is; adding replay would open Pandora’s box. I personally am not even a fan of instant replay being used to judge home runs that are on the cusp of the foul pole. Baseball is the only game where there is no clock. That’s what’s beautiful about it. Human error is as much part of the game as anything else, and if we start changing the rules now when will they ever stop? Replays on outs on the basepaths? Replays on balls and strikes? Major League Baseball should be left alone… and seeing how this is a Milwaukee Brewers blog, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for Clint Hurdle’s Pirates. Every team suffers a bad break now and again. If Pittsburgh truly is for real, they won’t let Jerry Meal’s error have a lasting effect on their club.

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All-Star Break Power Rankings (July 14)

The 82nd All-Star game has come and passed and Thursday brings MLB’s second half – which never fails to stir up drama. The NL has clinched home field advantage in World Series with a 5-1 victory over the AL All-Stars. The Milwaukee Brewers had three starters voted in, however, Ryan Braun sat out due to an ailing hamstring. Rickie Weeks hit lead-off and went hitless, but did steal a base and score a run. Fielder, starting at first base and hitting clean-up, delivered the big hit of the night – a three-run jack off of Texas starter C.J. Wilson – and was named the All-Star game MVP. At the end of the contest the Brewers made a drastic roster move. Milwaukee now has K-Rod and the Ax-Man at the back end of their pen. With Rickie Weeks playing like his hair is on fire, if Braun and Fielder keep mashing, the Brewers could be in line for a deep postseason run. Here are the top ten teams in baseball right now…

Even though Ryan Braun pulled out of the game, Milwaukee still had two All-Star starters in first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks. The former minor league roommates also participated in the Home Run Derby together and batted in their normal clean-up and lead-off spots in the NL starting lineup.

1. Philadelphia Phillies (57-34, 1st in NL East by 3.5 games)

Roy Halladay: (11-3) 2.45 ERA, 138 SO, 1.02 WHIP

Ryan Howard: (.257 BA/.353 OBP/.475 SLG) 18 HR, 72 RBI

2. Atlanta Braves (54-38, 2nd in NL East, 3.5 GB)

Jair Jurrjens: (12-3) 1.87 ERA, 65 SO, 1.07 WHIP

Brian McCann: (.310 BA/.381 OBP/.514 SLG) 15 HR, 50 RBI

3. Boston Red Sox (55-35, 1st in AL East by 1.0 game)

Josh Beckett: (8-3) 2.27 ERA, 94 SO, 0.95 WHIP

Adrian Gonzalez: (.354 BA/.414 OBP/.591 SLG) 17 HR, 77 RBI

4. New York Yankees (53-35, 2nd in AL East, 1.0 GB)

CC Sabathia: (13-4) 2.72 ERA, 126 SO, 1.16 WHIP

Curtis Granderson: (.269 BA/.361 OBP/.575 SLG) 25 HR, 63 RBI

5. San Francisco Giants (52-40, 1st in NL West by 3.0 games)

Matt Cain: (8-5) 3.06 ERA, 105 SO, 1.10 WHIP

Aubrey Huff: (.236 BA/.290 OBP/.361 SLG) 8 HR, 44 RBI

6. Milwaukee Brewers (49-43, 1st in NL Central, tied with STL)

Yovani Gallardo: (10-5) 3.76 ERA, 104 SO, 1.36 WHIP

Ryan Braun: (.320 BA/ .402 OBP/ .559 SLG) 16 HR, 62 RBI

Prince Fielder: (.297 BA/ .415 OBP/ .575 SLG) 22 HR, 72 RBI

7. Texas Rangers (51-41, 1st in AL West by 1.0 game)

Alexi Ogando: (9-3) 2.92 ERA, 78 SO, 1.01 WHIP

Adrian Beltre: (.273 BA/ .314 OBP/ .499 SLG) 19 HR, 71 RBI

8. St. Louis Cardinals (49-43, 1st in NL Central, tied with MIL)

Jaime Garcia: (9-3) 3.22 ERA, 100 SO, 1.25 WHIP

Lance Berkman: (.290 BA/.404 OBP/ .602 SLG) 24 HR, 63 RBI

9. Detroit Tigers (49-43, 1st in AL Central by 0.5 game)

Justin Verlander: (12-4) 2.15 ERA, 147 SO, 0.87 WHIP

Miguel Cabrera: (.311 BA/ .430 OBP/ .549 SLG) 18 HR, 59 RBI

10. Arizona Diamondbacks (49-43, 2nd in NL West, 2.0 GB)

Ian Kennedy: (9-3) 3.44 ERA, 106 SO, 1.15 WHIP

Justin Upton: (.293 BA/ .375 OBP/ .506 SLG) 15 HR, 46 RBI

Fielder's three-run bomb was the first home run hit by a Brewer in All-Star game history and earned him MVP honors, also a Brewers first.

If the season ended today:

AL MVP

1. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Red Sox

2. Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays

3. Curtis Granderson, CF, Yankees

NL MVP

1. Prince Fielder, 1B, Brewers

2. Jose Reyes, SS, Mets

3. Matt Kemp, CF, Dodgers

AL Cy Young

1. Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers

2. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees

3. Jered Weaver, SP, Angels

NL Cy Young

1. Jair Jurrjens, SP, Braves

2. Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies

3. Cole Hamels, SP, Phillies

Major League Power Rankings (June 27)

Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder looks like the NL MVP, but LA’s Matt Kemp is a close second.

1. Philadelphia Phillies (49-30, 1st in NL East by 5.0 games)

No team has more wins than Philly, now imagine if Chase Utley starts to hit…

2. New York Yankees (45-31, 1st in AL East by 0.5 game)

The Yankees own baseball’s best run differential (+97), having scored 399 runs and given up only 302.

3. Boston Red Sox (45-32, 2nd in AL East, 0.5 GB)

The BoSox lead all of MLB in runs (405), batting average (.278), on base percentage (.353), and slugging (.450).

4. Milwaukee Brewers (44-35, 1st in NL Central by 3.0 games)

Ryan Braun (.308 avg, 16 hr, 59 rbi, 17 steals) and Prince Fielder (.305 avg, 21 hr, 68 rbi, 51 walks) are both on pace to have career years.

5. San Francisco Giants (44-34, 1st in NL West by 1.5 games)

The reigning champs continue to get outstanding pitching performances from their starters, and closer Brian Wilson is a legitimate contender for NL Cy Young (5-1, 2.50 ERA, 23/25 saves).

6. Tampa Bay Rays (44-34, 3rd in AL East, 2.0 GB)

Behind James Shields’ stellar season (6 complete games, 3 shutouts), the resurgent Rays find themselves 2 games back in the division, having won 8 of their last 10 contests.

7. Detroit Tigers (42-36, 1st in AL Central by 1.0 game)

Brennan Boesch has given the Tigers ample production out of left field, batting .299 with 10 homers and 38 runs batted in.

8. Cleveland Indians (40-36, 2nd in AL Central, 1.0 GB)

The Tribe seems to be treading water as of late, but continue to find ways to win thanks to breakout star Asdrubal Cabrera (.293 avg, 12 hr, 44 rbi).

9. Atlanta Braves (44-35, 2nd in NL East, 5.0 GB)

Jair Jurrjens is turning out to be yet another Atlanta ace, boasting a 10-3 record with a scintillating 2.07 ERA.

10. Texas Rangers (41-38, 1st in AL West by 2.0 games)

Despite losing three straight decisions, Rangers rookie Alexi Ogando (7-3) still boasts a 2.87 ERA and an even better 1.03 WHIP.

If the season ended today:

AL MVP

1. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Red Sox

2. Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays

3. Curtis Granderson, CF, Yankees

NL MVP

1. Prince Fielder, 1B, Brewers

2. Matt Kemp, CF, Dodgers

3. Ryan Braun, LF, Brewers

AL Cy Young

1. Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers

2. Jered Weaver, SP, Angels

3. James Shields, SP, Rays

NL Cy Young

1. Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies

2. Jair Jurrjens, SP, Braves

3. Cole Hamels, SP, Phillies

Major League Power Rankings (June 13)

1. Boston Red Sox (39-26; 1st AL East)

Adrian Gonzalez continues to lead the planet in runs batted in with 60.

2. Milwaukee Brewers (38-28; 1st NL Central)

Since Zack Greinke’s return, the Brewers have the best record in baseball; they find themselves all alone atop the division for the first time since early June of 2009.

3. Philadelphia Phillies (40-26; 1st NL East)

Cliff Lee leads the majors in strikeouts (107) while Roy Halladay is second (106).

4.  St. Louis Cardinals (38-29; 2nd NL Central)

A weekend sweep at Miller Park has knocked the Cards out of 1st place in the division.

5. New York Yankees (36-27; 2nd AL East)

Curtis Granderson (20) and Mark Teixeira (19) have the most homers among any duo in Bigs.

6. Texas Rangers (36-31; 1st AL West)

Alexi Ogando is still the AL Cy Young favorite with a 7 wins, no losses, a sparkling 2.10 ERA and an other worldly 0.90 WHIP.

7. Atlanta Braves (38-28; 2nd NL East)

The Braves have rattled off a NL best 6 consecutive wins to come within 2 games of division leading Philadelphia.

8. San Francisco Giants (37-29; 1st NL West)

With Pablo Sandoval set to return, the Giants (8-4 in June) are looking like they’ve forgot all about Mr. Posey.

9. Detroit Tigers (35-30; 1st AL Central)

Consistent play and an abysmal fall by Cleveland (1-9 in their last 10 games) has the Tigers tied for 1st place.

10. Seattle Mariners (34-32; 2nd AL West)

Brandon League is 18 for 21 in save opportunities with a 1.04 WHIP.

If the season ended today:

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – BOS

NL MVP: Prince Fielder – 1B – MIL

AL Cy Young: Alexi Ogando – SP – TEX

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay – SP – PHI