Vol 5: AL East Weekly Wrap-Up

by Brendan Panikkar | Posted on Sunday, May 10th, 2015
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Michael Pineda

Michael Pineda finished his week with 16 strikeouts and no walks against the Orioles.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! Here is your weekly wrap-up for week 5 of the MLB season. The next few days will see teams in the AL East see each other for the last time in a long time. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays only play 19 of their games against the AL East until September when the last month is almost all AL East. For every team in the division, it is a similar story. As much as people want to see their team pull away, it isn’t likely. Barring injuries and trades, by the time the inter-division schedule picks back up, a case could be made for every team to still be in contention for the division. Let’s see how the AL East shapes up before they almost never see each other again until September.

Baltimore Orioles:

The Orioles have stumbled a bit and are at 13-16 as the week concludes. They played both New York teams. It’s kind of cool for the Orioles as they went from Citi Field where they got swept by the New York Mets to Yankee Stadium to play the New York Yankees and lose 2/3. At least there wasn’t a lot of travelling! The Orioles offense was shut down by some good pitching performances, and they only scored 18 runs, an average of 3 per game. The only win of the week came with a good 7 inning performance by Wei-Yin ChenThe week ended by an absolutely gem from Michael Pineda where he threw 7 innings and striking out 16. Not a typo. He struck-out 16 Orioles. Jimmy Paredes has rewarded the Orioles with a good week, driving in 6 of the 18 runs for the Orioles this week. Take him away and the Orioles may have lost every game this week. Not a good week for the Orioles and it got worse when young Kevin Gausman was scheduled for an MRI on his shoulder.

Record: 13-16

Boston Red Sox:

The Boston Red Sox haven’t had a very good week. They lost 2/3 to the Tampa Bay Rays and lost 2/3 to the Toronto Blue Jays, a series they score 7 runs, but 6 of them coming in the final game of the series. Outside of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval the Red Sox offense hasn’t looked very good. Their pitching also continues to be a mess. Most notably was fireballer Joe Kelly, who is the subject of many demotion talks as he still has options. Kelly has the highest average fastball velocity in the game but he struggles with his command. He walked 7 Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. When he doesn’t walk guys, he is getting hit hard. One veteran who has fallen fast from the verge of being a potential star is Allen Craig. Craig was demoted to AAA Pawtucket Red Sox. How good would John Lackey look in the Red Sox rotation right now? He is only making $500,000 and pitching very well for the St. Louis Cardinals. An encouraging sign was Clay Buchholz throwing 6.1 good innings. The Red Sox pitching staff as a whole needs to turn it around or else the offense will go to waste.

Record: 14-17

New York Yankees:

The Yankees week got off to a slow start when they lost 2/3 to the Blue Jays. They ran into a fantastic start by R.A Dickey and a solid 5 innings from Mark Buehrle. They only scored 2 runs in those games. The Orioles came to Yankee Stadium for 4 games and they took 3/4. They roughed up Bud NorrisMiguel Gonzalez, and Chris Tillman. Tillman allowed home run #661 to Alex Rodriguez on Thursday night. A-Rod passed Willie Mays for 4th on the all-time home run list. The Yankees continue to pitch well and hit well and they’re very fortunate to see Michael Pineda evolve right in front of their eyes. Pineda had 16 strikeouts against the Orioles today (May 10) and shut down the Blue Jays offense on Tuesday. It’s great for the Yankees to see his evolution because C.C Sabathia is nowhere close to where he once was. Sabathia is not the same guy and it is quite evident. To date, Sabathia has a 5.45 ERA, a WHIP of 1.45 and if you believe in records, he is 0-5. The question for the Yankees going forward is whether or not someone can consistently pitch well behind Pineda. Is that Nathan Eovaldi? Could be. He has been decent so far in 2015. The Yankees sit 3.0 games up on the Rays going into a big stretch of the season outside the division.

Record: 20-12

Tampa Bay Rays:

The Tampa Bay Rays were dealt some bad news earlier in the week when they found out Alex Cobb was going to have Tommy John surgery and then found out that Drew Smyly‘s shoulder issues came back and landed on the disabled list. The good news is Matt Moore is getting closer to a return and Alex Colome returned to the rotation. The Rays lost 2/3 to the Red Sox early in the week and then split a 4 game series with the Texas Rangers, where they hit Yovani Gallardo and Ross Detwiler hard. It was nice for Rays fans to see their offense put up some crooked numbers for a change. It is also nice to see Evan Longoria hit the ball with some power again. This past week, Longoria hit .400 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI. If the Rays are going to continue to stay in the race in the division they will need Longoria to hit. The Rays will always pitch and even though they won’t see Cobb and could be a while before they see Smyly, they will pitch. The offense is the key.

Record: 17-15

Toronto Blue Jays:

The AL East, particularly the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees saw what the Blue Jays could be when their pitching staff pitches well. They were really struggling until R.A Dickey started the week with 8 innings of 1 run ball. Marco Estrada pitched decent until a 2 run homer by Mark Teixeira knocked him out. Mark Buehrle finally defeated the Yankees for the first time since 2004. Aaron Sanchez continues to walk batters but he continues to dominate hitters. It sounds weird, but it’s true. Sanchez does walk a ton of batters (25) but he has only allowed 25 hits in 32.1 innings pitched. Nobody can square him up as his stuff is so good and dances around the plate. If his 7 innings, 2 hit start on Friday is a springboard for Sanchez into greater things, look out American League. Drew Hutchison finally got through 5 innings and looked better on Saturday afternoon. Dickey completed the homestand with 6 innings of 6 run ball. It’s clear, when the Blue Jays pitch well, they can put together great weeks like this past one. When they don’t, if the powerful offense is shutdown, they can have horrendous weeks. This was a step in the right direction for the Blue Jays.

Record: 16-16

Position Player of the Week: Russell Martin– .545 BA, 3 HR, 5 RBI, .522 OBP
Pitcher of the Week: Michael Pineda- 15.0 IP, 2-0, 0.60 ERA, 22 K
Power Rankings:
  1. New York Yankees- 20-12
  2. Toronto Blue Jays- 16-16
  3. Tampa Bay Rays- 17-15
  4. Baltimore Orioles- 13-16
  5. Boston Red Sox- 14-17
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Brendan Panikkar
About the Author

Brendan Panikkar is a graduate of Brock University's Sport Management program. Currently, he is the Vice-President, Customer Service at North Aware. He loves all sports but baseball and football take precedent over hockey and basketball. Teams: Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Argonauts, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Raptors







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