Good pitching and the Rocky Mountains are not usually mentioned in the same sentence, but the 2006 Colorado Rockies staff is certainly doing their best to change that notion. Their starting staff is just 17-15 but they have thrown well enough to keep their team close and then timely hitting and solid bullpen performances, have propelled them into first place in the NL West.
The bullpen is 8-4 and three pitchers David Cortes, Brian Fuentes and Ramon Ramirez are a combined 6-1 with an ERA of 1.25 and 54 strikeouts in 53 innings. It is far too early to anoint them the favorite in the muddle NL West picture as San Diego, Arizona, Los Angeles and San Francisco are within striking distance.
The Tigers bounced back from a couple of shaky pitching performances and shutout a good Cincinnati hitting lineup 1-0. They are 9-1 in their past 10 and now head to the “Show Me State” and a four game slate with the awful Kansas City Royals. I do not think that veteran Tiger manager Jim Leyland will allow the players, to let up and will warn them about the danger of this trip.
The St. Louis Cardinals have made their usual move during the regular season in the NL Central and that basically means curtains to the rest of the NL Central division teams. Their offense is lethal and their pitching staff is rounding into shape, so goodbye any chance the Reds had of contending.
Not exactly a banner weekend for my picks as I took Brother Derek to squeeze past Barboro in the Preakness and we know how that went and I wrote how Lindsay Hunter was stealing $1.7 million from the Pistons masquerading as an NBA player. Hunter proceeds to go out and hit three crucial buckets including two three-pointers!
The Suns and Clippers get it on in the Valley of the Sun and Steve Nash has had time to refuel his jets, so the Clippers could be in trouble. I’m so screwed up on this series that I am not betting the match, unless I grab the under at 215!
The Mavericks and their volatile owner Mark Cuban had the Spurs behind the eight ball and now they have given the defending champs a second life and that may be the kiss of death. Dallas guard Jason Terry had better bring his A-game as he has been the culprit in the Mavericks meltdown the past week. Punching a player when your team is all but guaranteed a series victory is inexcusable and he could be leaving Texas for good, if Dallas loses!