Diamond Thoughts – 5/9/2011
Posted by Rich Stowe on May 9, 2011
Welcome to the Diamond Thoughts for May 9th. These thoughts will cover what happened in baseball over the weekend.
Friday night, Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers threw his second career no-hitter and the second no-hitter in less than a week in baseball. Unlike Liriano’s no-hitter earlier, Verlander only walked one and struck out four (Liriano walked six and struck out two). If you’re not going to strike out 10 or more in a no-hitter (like Verlander did in his first no-hitter when he struck out 12), you can’t walk batters like Liriano. Out of Verlander’s 108 pitches, 74 were for strikes (much better ratio than Liriano’s was). Congratulations to Justin and if the Tigers don’t improve on their 6-games back in the standings, maybe he’ll be a trade opportunity for a certain pinstriped team in New York.
Speaking of the pinstriped team in New York; Derek Jeter had easily his best weekend of the season so far. On Saturday he got a double (not a ground ball double like his previous ones this were, but a legit, hard hit double) and then on Sunday he went 4-4 with two home runs. According to John Kruk of ESPN, Jeter made a slight adjustment on where he stands in the batter’s box (he moved off the plate a little). This allows him to get to those fastballs pitchers have been jamming him inside with a little better. Not saying this proves he’s just been in a slump all season, but it is a tremendous improvement.
Andre Ethier’s hit streak ended at 30 games over the weekend. While he barely got halfway to DiMaggio, a 30 game hit streak is still pretty impressive, especially when you consider his elbow has been bothering him for several weeks now.
Friday was Willie Mays’ 80th birthday. Happy belated birthday to one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Willie had it all – the perfect five tool player. While other players in history hit for a better average or more power, none were better in all five categories than Willie. Other Hall of Famers who celebrated a birthday this weekend – Dick Williams (May 7th) and Tony Gwynn (today, May 9th). Happy birthday to one one of the best hitters from the 1980s and one of the best managers.
Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels won his 1,000th game as manager yesterday, the 23rd manager in history to get 1,000 wins with one team. Congrats!