Rk Team
Overall W-L
Week W-L
Hit List Factor


Neifi, oh Neifi! I had such high hopes for the Tigers too! I understand the unwillingness to break up the bullpen, but if the Loretta/Grudzielanek trade rumors were true, the Tigers would have been far better off with them using up a roster spot than Dusty Baker’s former plaything. Detroit has scuffled as of late, but lucky for them, the Twins beat up on the ChiSox at the same time. Now of course, the Twins are that much closer, and are much more dangerous than their rivals from the South Side. Nate Robertson was lit up in his start, allowing 10 runs in 6 and a third, but Kenny Rogers looked swell against the White Sox and Indians. Marcus Thames really has not received enough press for his .269/.344/.580 season line, even if his August line is .231/.318/.564. You have to love the consistent power he’s shown, even with the low average. Random: Andrew Miller is getting a call from Class A to join the Tigers before the series with the Yankees, and Kevin Goldstein’s got it covered.


After a sound defeat of the rival Red Sox over the weekend, the Yankees promptly lost to the Mariners and Angels. Of course, the Red Sox also lost to the Angels and Mariners, so the Bombers are still out of striking distance. Carl Pavano looks like he’s on his way backor maybe not. Looks like a car accident could be to blame this time. New York just can’t seem to beat the Halos, but it doesn’t look as if LAA is heading to October anyways. Scott Proctor has been extremely busy this year out of the pen; he’s amassed 3.3 WARP as a reliever. If the Yanks don’t succeed this year, don’t fret Bombers fans, you can always read about dynasties of yore.


How about that Carlos Beltran? He has hit .301/.410/.651 in August, is at .286/.390/.633 for the season, and has hit .347/.428/.764 on the road with 14 FRAA so far to boot. MVP much? You can argue that he’s been better than Pujols this year, and his game-winning home run over the Cards is just what the BBWAA needs to see to vote in his favor. How could the SI cover curse only affect one member of the Mets? The baseball gods are playing hardball with David Wright, who has struggled mightily as of late, hitting only .200/.281/.282 in August. Oliver Perez made his first start in a Mets uniform, and the report is “meh”: 5 innings, 5 runs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts, 53% for strikes, and a grand slam to Ryan Howard.


White Sox
Chicago manages to stay ahead of the Twins by .0007 percentage points in Hit List Factor, but they fall behind in the Wild Card race. The poor performance of the starters certainly has a great deal to do with the decline of this team, and there are some who worry about the future of the rotation. The team has a 4.52 run average in August, but the rotation’s RA is 4.87 over the same time period. Jose Contreras is having the most problems, with opponents beating him around to the tune of .288/.341/.472, a significant increase from his .243/.301/.364 from the rest of the year. Jermaine Dye has been a one-man wrecking crew, hitting .393/.452/.964 this past week, and .351/.385/.691 for the month. It’s hard to believe he’s been dealt for Michael Tucker, Keith Lockhart, Neifi Perez and Jose Ortiz in his career, even when you consider this season is out of line with his other performances.


The Twins move ahead of the White Sox for the Wild Card, and set their sights on the struggling Tigers. Matt Garza has looked better after a rough debut; he only struck out 1 batter in Baltimore, but he held them to a single run, and his Triple-A numbers look fantastic. With Brad Radke pitching through a torn labrum, the Twins are more than likely going to need Garza when Francisco Liriano returns from the DL. Mike Cuddyer (.312/.396/.562), Justin Morneau (.312/.400/.527) and Joe Mauer (.304/.406/.494) have led the offense in August, with Cuddyer leading the charge the past week at .423/.407/.615. I don’t really want to think about what their record would have been if they hadn’t started all the retreads at the beginning of the season. Jason Tyner‘s hitting .320 on the season while playing some great defense for the Twins; he’s amassed 7 FRAA in only 41.1 Adjusted Games.


Blue Jays
And the Jays leapfrog the suddenly inept Red Sox. Although no one admits that punches are actually thrown, John Gibbons somehow ends up bloodied after chasing Ted Lilly down the tunnel. J.P. Ricciardi continues to support Gibbons as manager, for now and seemingly for the future. Ricciardi doesn’t have the same kind of patience for Keith Law, who wrote that Vernon Wells is most likely on his way out of Canada. Wells hit home run #30 on Sunday, helping Ted Lilly to a win he didn’t really deserve, giving up 5 runs in 5.3 innings while walking three batters.


Red Sox
Where to start? The Sox go 2-5 on the week after an awful weekend series with the Yankees, Manny Ramirez misses time due to a knee injury that has the Boston media (unsurprisingly) in an overreacting tizzy, Jon Lester is missing his Monday start due to a sore back–with personal favorite Kason Gabbard taking the hill in his stead–David Ortiz explains his stay at a Boston hospital, Dustin Pedroia gets his long-awaited call-up to the majors to fill in for the injured Alex Gonzalez, and oh yeah, the team hit .184/.269/.305 for the week while the pitching allowed an opponent line of .286/.340/.433. But hey, Josh Beckett‘s not going to miss his next start. I’ll let you decide if that’s a positive or not. What’s up with Coco Crisp this season? I’d actually like some feedback on that note.


Los Angeles beats up on the Red Sox, although Jered Weaver finally lost a decision during the series. The Halos then welcome the Yankees by taking 2 of 3, helping them become the top AL West team in Hit List. Surprisingly, the offense was the only bright spot for the Angels this week, as they slugged .332/.406/.491 as a unit, against the pitchers’ allowed line of .280/.353/.444. Vladimir Guerrero (.458/.536/.792), Orlando Cabrera (.500/.609/.750) and Howie Kendrick (.500/.609/.833) were largely responsible, while Chone Figgins (.231/.286/.231), Maicer Izturis (.280/.333/.280) and Mike Napoli (.200/.278/.267) did their best to help the pitching tank the week. Juan Rivera has put together a .335/.385/.624 line since July 1, while hitting a home run every 13 at-bats. In other news, Jose Guillen is out for the rest of the year after an unproductive stint in Washington.


The Dodgers streak of success once again came crashing down against San Diego, partially due to this ultra-confusing (from the outset at least) game where Julio Lugo, Brad Penny and Grady Little all bowed out early with some help from the umps. Derek Lowe is unlikely to miss a start after taking a liner to his non-pitching hand, and the Dodgers somehow lost an extra-innings game against the Diamondbacks, who stranded 21 runners and still managed to plate 9 runs. Julio Lugo is only slugging .313 as a Dodger, and his EqA is a replacement-level .230. Even if the Dodgers make the playoffs, it’s looking as if Lugo won’t be the reason. The boys in blue only hit .219/.265/.357 for the week, with the pitching allowing batters to tee off at .311/.370/.416. Of course, a great deal of that came just from Friday evening’s extra-inning contest, when they gave up 20 hits and 10 walks but “only” 9 runs.


The Indians have improved somewhat as of late, but they are still ranked much higher than one would expect. Fausto Carmona was sent back down to Buffalo in order to become a starter once again. As a team, the Indians have hit .284/.351/.466, which is very impressive…until you realize the pitching staff has allowed opponents to be almost as good, at .285/.337/.439. That trend continues in August, with the Tribe hitting .287/.355/.479, and their opposing teams hitting .293/.340/.431. It’s almost comical; the Indians lineup slugs .502 from 8/21 through 8/27, so the pitchers allow opponents to slug .500. I guess the things that really matter are that Shin-Shoo Choo is hitting .303/.376/.500 as an Indian, and Travis Hafner would probably slug .775 if he was able to face his own pitchers. Maybe even higher: he’s hitting .352/.468/.795 against American League pitching in August, but only managed .333/.481/.571 for the week. That August heat must be catching up to him…


Apparently, Buck Showalter didn’t want Scott Feldman to plunk Adam Kennedy, which means anyone placing blame for the situation can re-direct their fingers to the proper location. It might have something to do with some of his players not liking him very much, but who knows. It seems to be a theme among Rangers fans as well, even if Tom Hicks disagrees. Adam Eaton and Kevin Millwood had rough weeks on the mound, with ERAs of 9.00 and 8.53, respectively. Robinson Tejeda had a nifty start though, allowing 2 runs over 7+, scattering five hits. Vicente Padilla carried the staff with 14.7 innings pitched and only four runs over that span. No one outside of Carlos Lee (.308/.357/.615) had a real productive week at the plate, although Michael Young did manage a .357/.400/.429 line. The rest of the Rangers combined for .175/.221/.268.


Even though the A’s are up by 5.5 on the Angels, they are third in the Hit List rankings among AL West teams. And hey, Bobby Crosby is heading back to the disabled list. Considering his .229/.298/.338 performance, the A’s are probably better off in the short run. Then again, Marco Scutaro isn’t exactly lighting up the league, although he has hit .284/.400/.433 in August. The A’s have been on fire lately, led by Jason Kendall‘s .464/.464/.571 week (and 362/.398/.426 August). Mark Ellis has finally started to hit, coming in at .266/.379/.468 since August 1. The pitching did a fine job of shutting down opponents, holding them to .226/.283/.349 on the week, even with Rich Harden and Huston Street still on the disabled list. The pitching display was highlighted by Esteban Loaiza‘s complete-game shutout of the Blue Jays. Loaiza is pulling a Cory Lidle, and has been fantastic in August thus far: less than a walk per-nine, striking out almost 7 per-nine, and an RA of 2.01 in 35.7 innings.


I think this sums it up nicely. A two-for-one in this link, as it details Cla Meredith’s wonderful production in a Friar’s uniform (cue tears from Red Sox fans) and the suckitude of everyone the Padres try at third base this season. Russell Branyan is the latest to get a shot, and as Christina Kahrl points out, he’s capable of playing at all four corners for the Pads. Rob Deer, after all, is the roving hitting instructor for the Padres. Mike Cameron (.333/.385/.625), Adrian Gonzalez (.318/.375/.500) and Todd Walker (.364/.417/.545) were the only significant contributors on offense in the week. Brian Giles added a little more power to his game in August, hitting .264/.407/.462, although overall, he’s been down significantly. Jake Peavy continued his dual-personality mound role, with one excellent start and one…well, not so excellent start.


In the last week, the only guy to do any kind of real productive hitting was Gary Bennett, at .643/.688/1.286; Pujols hit .280/.333/.520 for the second best line. It was just enough for the Redbirds to escape with a 3-game lead in the Central, after coming dangerously close to relinquishing said division. How’d the Cards hit outside of Bennett? .260/.316/.385, with the pitchers giving up a decent enough .238/.322/.407. So basically, the Cards were lucky to go .500 this week, and you can thank an injury to Yadier Molina for that. I know the other National League teams have their problems, but the playoffs are not going to be pretty when Chris Carpenter has to take on the Mets, Dodgers, Padres, or whoever single-handedly. Aaron Miles did manage to hit .381/.435/.381 in David Eckstein‘s absence, but his replacement at second, Ronnie Belliard, only put up .238/.360/.286. Again, Christina Kahrl is on it like Wayne Krivsky on a lefty reliever, which has replaced “like Jim Hendry on a weak hitting middle infielder” in my go-to insult bin.


No one in the National League West wants to quit except for the Rockies, as evidenced by the Giants resurgence. With Ray Durham (.333/.345/.519), Shea Hillenbrand (.333/.360/.625) and Barry Bonds (.474/.583/.737) tearing the cover off of the ball and the pitchers holding opponents to a .212/.265/.326 week, the Giants easily went 6-1 and threw themselves right back into the race…again. It’s pretty tough to lose when your offense hits .315/.383/.462 (that includes pitchers) over seven games. Matt Cain rocked the Reds yesterday afternoon, shutting them out for seven innings and taking an 8-0 victory. The 21-year old Cain has logged a 2.65 RA in August, striking out over 11 batters per-nine with a K/BB of 3+. This isn’t exactly new, since he has a 3.28 RA since July, striking out over 10 batters per-nine, but his control has improved somewhat. If the Giants sneak into the playoffs, they may have a rotation capable of carrying them through everyone; getting there might be the hardest part, and keeping leads is also an issue, so don’t get too excited yet.


The Rockies hit and allowed hits at about the same rate and power in August, with the offense putting together a .261/.331/.409 line versus the opponent line of .268/.334/.413; that’s damn close, and explains why the Rox haven’t exactly traveled forward in the standings as of late. They only went 2-4 this past week, with the offense contributing .279/.341/.413, highlighted by Matt Holliday (.381/.480/.714), Brad Hawpe (.375/.524/.812), Todd Helton (.400/.444/.600) and Garrett Atkins (.348/.423/.435)…like you expected someone else to contribute offense? Aaron Cook was the only bright spot in the rotation, throwing 14 innings and only allowing 5 runs to score. The rest of the rotation wasn’t so lucky, putting together a cumulative RA of 10.00. The Rox look like the only NL West team that has assurdedly punted their potential playoff spot, failing to take advantage of the extreme parity. 7 games back in the division, and ahead of only Washington, Pittsburgh and the Cubs for the Wild Card.


I’m realizing now that, excluding this year, the Braves have won 74% of the divisional titles in my lifetime, and every one since I was old enough to know what a divisional title was. Barring the Braves pulling a 1914, the streak will end, and the Joneses can get their first taste of life without the playoffs. Here’s how they’ve been feeling this year, on another team with a large group of kids. The whole team was on fire offensively, putting together a .301/.388/.515 week along with the pitching staff holding down opponents to .245/.291/.377, but they somehow only managed to go 3-3 on the week. It looks as if the pitching was fantastic whenever no one was on base (.227/.261/.359), but once a runner was in scoring position things went downhill (.280/.322/.440). Relievers (.289/.337/.421) were more at fault than starters (.219/.264/.352), which has been the case in Atlanta all season. But hey, Danys Baez is coming off the disabled list. Excited?


Well, Philadelphia is back in it. You can thank David Dellucci (.333/.453/.617) for that, as he’s outproduced Bobby Abreu since his departure. The team has not pitched well this month (.266/.323/.449 allowed, 4.89 RA), but the offense has basically gone insane, piecing together a .283/.361/.459 month, highlighted by Dellucci’s production, as well as Ryan Howard‘s .323/.429/.677 with 11 homers August. Jimmy Rollins (.324/.394/.586), Shane Victorino (.318/.379/.518) and Mike Lieberthal (.283/.356/.509) have also done their part; it’s a good thing Victorino can hit and field, because it doesn’t look as if Aaron Rowand will be back anytime soon, and even if he does come back, just how effective will he be? Charlie Manuel for NL Manager of the Year? That’s not something I thought I’d hear anytime soon, but it’s entirely plausible.


The Reds reached the high-point of the summer this past week, tying the Cardinals for the division lead. What happened afterward was pretty much the opposite feeling, as they now sit three games back of the Redbirds and only half a game up on the Padres for the Wild Card. Closer Eddie Guardado‘s arm isn’t getting any better at the moment, and Wayne Krivsky is running out of time to deal for more relievers. Inflammation in his elbow is keeping him shelved for now, which means more time for David Weathers to pitch. As long as the Reds have Kyle Lohse and Chris Michalak in their rotation–as well as a struggling Bronson Arroyo–I’m not thinking they’ll hang in this thing to much longer. With the way the National League has been so far though, they could be in it down to the last day of the regular season.


Hit List: Willy Taveras Edition. Take a look at the other hit streaks of 20 games or more in Astros history; that’s Tony Eusebio at #3, now that Tavares has passed him by with his 30 game streak. There’s also this graph, that shows Taveras’ total bases and hits per game during the streak. He’s really just scraping by it seems…and one last note, here’s a table that shows the chances of a player with Taveras’ numbers actually starting a hit streak this long. Apparently the chances of Taveras putting together his streak (back when it was 28 games) were ten times more remote than the chances of Dimaggio putting together his 56-game streak. Thanks to Crawfish Boxes for keeping me up-to-date on all of this stuff. Oh yeah, and the Astros continue to lack offense (.259/.341/.426) while pitching well (.257/.322/.384) in August, and they sit 7 games back in the Central, and four back of the Wild Card.


The Marlins went 6-0 on the week, starting up visions of a potential Wild Card berth, which is pretty much one of the last endings anyone thought of for this team. The pitching wasn’t too solid this week, allowing a .246/.333/.437 opponent line, but the offense was ridiculous at .289/.364/.521. Hanley Ramirez (.400/.407/.840), Mike Jacobs (.538/.625/1.308) and MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera (.409/.480/1.000) caused the majority of damage to opposing pitching, but everyone besides Jeremy Hermida (.250/.348/.300) and Miguel Olivo (.167/.211/.222) contributed. Jacobs helped beat the Brewers with a pinch-hit, which gave the Marlins their seventh straight victory. Joe Girardi and Jeffrey Loria are on the same page when it comes to ducking questions. But hey, at least Loria’s interested in the product on the field for a change, right? The players have quietly thrown their support behind Girardi, hoping he returns next year.


Chris Young finally received his call-up, and promptly hit .300/.364/.700 in his first four major league games. Orlando Hudson (.429/.484/.643) led the offense along with Johnny Estrada (.500/.562/.929), but he also had a walk-off home run in extra-innings against the Dodgers. As a team, the D’backs hit .286/.347/.396 with the offense getting smacked around to the tune of .271/.335/.445; hence the 1-5 record for the week. Let’s not forget that a great deal of that offense came in the one extra-inning game against the Dodgers, where the D’backs had 30 total baserunners. Dealing off Shawn Green to the Mets was a solid move, as they picked up a pitcher they might find some use for as soon as now, and alleviated the problem of Green blocking any prospects in 2007. Livan Hernandez has been solid in the D’backs rotation: 4.88 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9. Considering the state of the rest of the rotation (outside of Brandon Webb of course) it looks as if the Snakes helped themselves out some.


The Mariners did pretty well for themselves this week, taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees and doing one better against the Red Sox. Gil Meche (7 innings, 1 run), Jarrod Washburn (6.3, 2 runs) and even Joel Pineiro (6.3, 2 runs…ok, so he got lucky since he walked 4 guys) all threw well, but Felix Hernandez was beat silly by an experienced and patient Yankee lineup. Felix’s start was very Daniel Cabrera-esque, as he struck out 7 while also walking 7. The team hit .287/.338/.472, with Richie Sexson (.318/.375/.545), Raul Ibanez (.471/.550/.765), Yuniesky Betancourt (.333/.333/.667) and a monster week from Adrian Beltre (.308/.438/1.077) cheering up Mariners’ fans.


The Brew Crew had the misfortune of a four-game series scheduled with the Marlins just as they decided to stop losing; thanks to this, what started out as a promising 3-0 week quickly finished as a 3-3 one. Chris Capuano threw very well, going 12 innings and only letting up 2 runs while striking out 12. Ben Sheets also did well, going 7 innings and striking out 7, allowing one run. Tomo Ohka and Dave Bush were both slapped around though, going 10 combined innings while allowing 12 runs. The team hit .267/.360/.436, highlighted by David Bell (.350/.381/.650), Bill Hall (.350/.440/.750) and Gabe Gross (.353/.476/.588), but Corey Hart struggled (.125/.176/.188). Hart and Gross both put together more playing time than Geoff Jenkins and Kevin Mench, which is a positive sign for 2007. Those two combined for a .133/.364/.133 line on the week, with all 7 walks coming from Jenkins. Here’s a look at all of the outfielders signed through 2007 on the Brewers.


I kind of wish Daniel Cabrera would just decide if he’s an immense talent or an immense tease; I’m sure Orioles fans would side with me on that note. He struck out 7 batters and walked 3 in 7 innings of shutout work versus Tampa; it seems as if a great deal of his progress is erased when he goes out and faces a patient club like Boston. The O’s hit well as a team this past week (.281/.333/.449), mostly thanks to Nick Markakis‘ fantastic .435/.440/.957 showing and Kevin Millar‘s .467/.619/.600 line. Markakis is hitting .378/.430/.667 since the All-Star break; pretty impressive for a player in his age-22 season. The Orioles shipped Jeff Conine and cash considerations to the Phillies in exchange for a PTBNL as well. Why do I have this odd feeling they’ll somehow re-acquire him for 2007?


Alex Escobar is injured…again. Looks like it’s a pretty strong year for the NL third base crop. Ryan Church looks like he’s heading to Winter Ball in Mexico to work on his weaknesses. This one’s pretty easy…the Nationals went 1-5 because their team’s Run Average was 8.82 this week. They were striking batters out, and not walking too many, but they gave up over a homer and a half per nine innings, and the offense only provided at a .256/.336/.448 clip, which would’ve been fine if they didn’t need to score 9 runs a game in order to win. Alfonso Soriano is the only Nats batter to perform well above average for the entire month of August, hitting at .313/.367/.667 with 9 homers and 8 doubles. Everyone else either put up a pedestrian OBP or a pedestrian SLG for the month, although Austin Kearns did hit .316/.500/.895 this past week.


It looks as if the Cubs continue to sell tickets, even with their incredibly poor performance, but there are worries about no-shows and a lack of sales for 2007. So long to Neifi!, folks. Derrek Lee returned to the lineup on Monday, batting fifth. With any luck his wrist will finally be healed over, and the Cubs can avoid another sickening .227/.326/.320 stint from their star slugger. Michael Barrett hasn’t received nearly enough credit for his productive year at the plate: he’s hit .302/ .353/.563 since the All-Star break with a homer every 18 at-bats, and .314/.377/.531 overall. Plus, he punched A.J. Pierzynski in the face, which is worth at least .200 points of OPS, right? The Cubs actually pitched all right this week (.271/.335/.381), although as usual, the performance at the plate left something to be desired (.246/.283/.414).


The Pirates are talking a multi-year extension with Freddy Sanchez, which has to please Pirate fans. I know of a certain Pirates fan who was upset they signed Joe Randa in the first place at Sanchez’s expense. Speaking of Bucs Dugout, the readers were essentially dead on with just how poor Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Randa were going to perform, and Chris Duffy has regressed to pre-2005 levels of bleh. Jose Hernandez heads to the Phillies to help out their bench. It’s actually surprising the Pirates did as well as they did this week, considering the offense only contributed .245/.285/.328 and the pitching staff allowed .283/.366/.443. That seems to be mostly the rotation’s fault, as relievers put together a much more respectable .257/.329/.365 line for the week.


Devil Rays
Greg Norton (.417/.483/.625) and Rocco Baldelli (.474/.500/.684) fueled the offense this week, which hit .311/.357/.445 as a unit. The pitching was actually a strength as well, with Rays pitchers only allowing opponents a .261/.310/.387 line. Scott Kazmir is most likely out for the year; Will Carroll thinks this is a smart and safe move by a D’Rays organization that knows what it’s doing when it comes to health. J.P. Howell will join the rotation in Kazmir’s absence, which probably turns the situation into a double positive for the Rays. Howell has done well in Triple-A since joining the Rays organization, and it’d be nice to see if they have a legit #2 or #3 starter on their hands. Jason Hammel was recalled to cover for the recently injured Jae Seo, and Christina Kahrl has the scoop on that move. The Rays played the role of spoiler well this week, sweeping the Rangers.


Saying Mark Teahen has been on fire since his recall from the minors almost seems degrading to him. He’s hit .324/.401/.585 with a homer every 19 at-bats after hitting .239/.299/.372 with a homer every 58 at-bats from April of 2005 to his demotion in 2006. Zack Greinke has been pitching very well in Wichita, which has to make you excited if you’re a Royals fan. Reggie Sanders is out for the year, lost to the disabled list, and Royals Review answers with a tribute…of sorts. Is that optimism I read in the latest Rob and Rany? Couldn’t be… A fine play from Teahen coupled with David DeJesus‘ productive year (.303/.379/.445) can start to bring hope. The Royals have 85 losses, so they need to finish 16-14 in their next 30 in order to avoid 100 losses. It’s a tall order for this roster, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Considering everything that has gone wrong this year, it’d be a nice sign of things to come under Dayton Moore.

Marc Normandin is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Marc by clicking here or click here to see Marc’s other articles.

The Prospectus Hit List rankings are derived from Won-Loss records and several measurements pertaining to run differentials, both actual and adjusted, from Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Standings through the close of play on every Sunday.

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