Saturday's List of 13: Ranking the National League teams........
16) Pirates-- Bucs were outscored 39-7 in Duke's last five starts; he was the Opening Day starter. They've been shut out in their last two games.
15) Diamondbacks-- Why did they fire Bob Melvin last year? Bullpen had a 7.09 ERA thru 33 games; worst bullpen ERA in last 40 years was the 6.16 disaster Tampa Bay put up three years ago. Yikes.
14) Astros-- 13-13 since their 0-8 start; they're 6-6 on road, 7-15 at home but have won last four games. They've got a good manager, but starting pitching isn't good. Will they sell off Oswalt and Berkman?
13) Cubs-- They've lost seven of last ten games; Zambrano is 1-2, 6.33- he's been so bad they put him in bullpen. Gorzelanny has a 2.83 RA and is 1-4. Its been so strange; Carlos Silva has been their best pitcher so far.
12) Brewers-- Not sure why they paid Gallardo (4-2, 3.06) but Sabathia they let walk; Doug Davis (1-4, 7.56) was terrible free agent signing, and closer Hoffman has ERA of 12.00, blowing four saves already. Other than that, its been a good season in Beertown.
11) Rockies-- Jimenez is 6-1, 0.93; he is an elite pitcher; Chacin's start on Thursday gets a mulligan, since game was played in steady rain-- he threw 14.1 scoreless innings in first two starts. Closer Street is on way back to a team that has been disappointing to this point.
10) Braves-- Kawakami/Lowe both have 5.73 ERAs; Kawakami is 0-6, Lowe is 5-3. Go figure. Hudson (3-1, 2.64) is healthy again. Heyward has already clinched Rookie of Year award (.301, 8 HRs, 28 RBI). Chipper is on the way out though; he just can't stay healthy.
9) Dodgers-- Padilla was Opening Day starter and Russ Ortiz gets nod to pitch tonight, thats how fouled up they are. Ortiz is 5-18 in big leagues since 2005; he was 99-56 from 1999-2004. Ethier (.385, 11 HR, 37 RBI) has become of the game's best hitters.
8) Mets-- Next week on CSI, a deranged fantasy league owner kidnaps the Mets' manager and won't release him until he writes Jose Reyes' name in the leadoff spot on every lineup card in his office.
7) Marlins-- Next big thing after Washington brings up Strasburg will be when the Marlins promote 20-year old Mike Stanton (15 HRs, .333 in AA). Will be interesting to see if wacky owner Loria spends money once his new stadium in Little Cuba gets built. He'll be out of excuses not to.
6) Reds-- Homer Bailey had a 90-pitch, complete game gem against Bucs Wednesday, where he threw 17 balls, 73 strikes; too bad it was his first win in seven starts. Arizona State rookie Leake skipped minor leagues and has been quite a find on the hill for Dusty Baker.
5) Cardinals-- The new hitting instructor is presiding over an offense that has lost its power, with three HRs in 415 ABs this month. The combined HR total of Rasmus-Pujols-Holliday-Ludwich this month? Zero.
4) Nationals-- Reliever Storen will probably get to bigs before Strasburg, who figures to start in Washington June 8, meaning he has four starts left in AAA. How did they swindle Pirates into giving them Nyjer Morgan? He's a good fielder and seems like a team leader.
3) Giants-- Excellent pitching, lame hitting- they scored four runs in last three games. They signed oft-injured Freddy Sanchez to 2-year deal, but they're still waiting for him to finish his rehab assignment. Prize prospect Posey is pounding ball in AAA, but doesn't have position in majors with Molina still entreched behind the plate.
2) Phillies-- Last team to win National League three years in row was the Cardinals, from 1942-44. Breakdown of Roy Halladay's strikes per game: 19.9 foul balls a game, 21.3 called strikes, 11.3 swings/misses, and 23.3 balls in play, with a batting average of .324 on those balls in play.
1) Padres-- Threw eight shutouts in first 34 games. Condolences to Kevin Correia's family; his 22-year old brother died in hiking accident last week. Correia is expected to make his next start this weekend. Hopefully Petco crowds will be big this weekend with hated Dodgers in town.