#1 Yankees vs. #3 Rays
Alright well it’s the final in the stupidest tournament ever made. One of my least favorite teams against one of my favorite teams. Two teams that win in different ways. The Yankees win by throwing money all over hell, and the Rays win by drafting well and developing talent to fill it’s big league squad. The Rays have done an amazing job over the last 5 years to assemble the club they have now. The sky is the limit for this team, if all things work out well, they will be a significantly better than last year’s team, which won the AL championship. I love the Rays, there are really no weak spots on this roster. Their bullpen could improve slightly, but it’s not really needed because their starters go so deep into games. The Yankees are loaded as well, we’ve gone over this in the past rounds. However, the Yankees have that unique ability to choke in the playoffs. Because of this fact, and this fact only, I am taking the Rays to defeat the Yankees in my March Madness MLB Style Tournament. The Tampa Bay Rays Take The Tournament.
Now that that is over, let’s get back to my favorite thing : some Pittsburgh Pirates baseball.
Today the Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-5. Paul Maholm started the game and earned his second spring win. Maholm pitched another 6 scoreless innings, throwing less than 75 pitches and only surrendering 3 hits. His spring ERA is now down to 0.46, outstanding. The bullpen did its best to blow that win, but in the end they came out with a victory. Matt Capps pitched one inning and gave up 2 runs. Jesse Chavez pitched an inning, gave up 4 hits, and 3 runs (2 earned), and Craig Hansen finished out the game and earned a save after a 3 walk 9th inning in which he was centimeters off of walking in the tying run. Joey Votto looked at a borderline 3rd strike to end the game. As for the offense, Nate McLouth his his 3rd home run of the spring and Ramon Vasquez hit his first. Ryan Doumit had a nice day at the plate, going 3-3 with a run scored. Nyjer Morgan and Eric Hinske added RBI hits to seal the deal for the buccos. They are now 13-8-2 in spring, looking pretty good.
The Wonder That Is Homer Bailey:
Another thing I was anxious to see today was Homer Bailey. The Reds #1 pitching prospect took the mound today, battling for the 5th spot in the rotation. He is 22 years old and has unlimited potential. Today Bailey pitched 4.2 innings, gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 4. Two of those runs came on a 3-2 fastball left over the heart of the plate to Nate McLouth, who appropriately relocated the ball into the parking lot in right field. Bailey has had a nice spring, and now has a nice looking 2.45 ERA. I think he has a great shot at winning the #5 spot in the rotation and having a great season there. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bailey has pitched his last minor league baseball game, barring injury. Why not put him up there? There’s little risk, he’s not going to have much pressure on him pitching in the 5 spot behind great pitchers in Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Edinson Volquez, and Johnny Cueto. That’s one heck of a rotation.
Baseball’s Best Rotations:
Alright well I don’t have much time, and I’m not going to put that much thought into this, but I’d just like to name a couple of what I think are baseball’s best rotations. Here we go, in no particular order, and I’m sure a list that will be missing a couple of teams that deserve to be on the list:
- Cincinnati Reds – Just went over this.
- New York Yankees – Sabathia, Weng, Burnett, Chamberlain?? Wow.
- Tampa Bay Rays – Kazmir, Shields, Sonnanstine, Garza, Price
- Arizona Diamondbacks – Webb, Haren, Garland, Davis, Scherzer
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda, Wolf, Weaver(?)
- San Francisco Giants – Lincecum, Cain, Johnson, Zito, Sanchez
- Los Angeles Angels – Lackey, Santana, Saunders, Weaver, Moseley
I’m kinda pushing it with the Angels, that rotation isn’t anything too special, especially this year with that injury to Santana. So those are my top 7 off the top of my head. If you think I left anyone off, leave a comment.