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News » Examples abound in this remarkable season 2008-05-29

Examples abound in this remarkable season 2008-05-29

Examples abound in this remarkable season 2008-05-29
Some baseball seasons are generic, but there are those seasons which you can tell are going to be remarkable.

To be remarkable, something must be worthy of being noticed, whether because it is uncommon or extraordinary. By that definition (laid out for us by Webster himself), the 2008 season is headed down a remarkable path. As the Memorial Day mile marker fades in the rearview mirror, we can already look back on a number of uncommon and extraordinary things that will come to define this season.

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Friday's action

  • Cubbies rally from 8-run deficit
  • Phillies take over first in East
  • Dodgers win with 5 in eighth
  • Phillips wins it for Reds in extras
  • Rays turn tables on White Sox
  • Cardinals hold off Pirates
  • Millwood gets win against Athletics
  • Backe deals Astros a winner
  • Lee picks up 8th win for Tribe
  • Abreu powers Yanks past Twins
  • Red Sox outlast Orioles in 13
  • Harris helps Nats rally past D-Backs
  • Tigers' bats come alive in win over M's
  • Blue Jays run all over Angels
  • Padres overcome Giants' triple play

More on MLB:

  • Perry: Rays are America's team
  • Rosenthal: Dodgers had better listen up
  • Rosenthal: Sabathia on the block?
  • Ringolsby: Desire still burns for Cox

Photo gallery:

  • Photos: Interleague play begins

6. Roy Halladay finishing games

Roy Halladay has five complete games already in 2008. That's more than any other team in baseball. When does Halladay think he's pitching? 1968? Doesn't he know that pitchers only have to throw six innings to get a quality start? The overachieving Halladay has been given more than four runs of support by his offense in only four of his 11 starts this season, explaining his rather pedestrian 6-5 record.

5. Chipper Jones' quest for .400

I refuse to get too excited about the possibility of a hitter hitting .400 for a season until at least the All-Star break, but it is a remarkable feat to hit .400 for two months, nonetheless. It just reminds us how ridiculous of an achievement it is for an entire season. What's even more impressive for Jones is that he can't ever seem to get in a rhythm of playing consistently because he misses almost a game a week with nagging injuries.

4. Cliff Lee's start

Lee began the season pitching as if his life depended on him not giving up earned runs. He spent the better part of April pitching more like Bill "Spaceman" Lee (no relation) than himself. He gave up only one earned run in his first four starts, and ended April 5-0 with an ERA under 1.00. After a few hiccups, he rested comfortably during the unofficial start to summer with an ERA of only 1.50.

3. Florida Marlins

Why do the Marlins come in at No. 3 while the Rays are at number 10? The results have been similar: they are both in first place, and no one has been to either team's stadium to watch a game in person. So what is the difference? Well, while the Rays added pieces to their puzzle this off-season, the Marlins traded away the best 25-year-old hitter in the National League (Miguel Cabrera), and their biggest off-season acquisition (Cameron Maybin) is struggling in Double-AA. While the Rays' Opening Day starter was James Shields, the Marlins went with Mark Hendrickson. This was the first year of the rebuilding process for the Marlins. Apparently someone forgot to tell them.

2. Albert Pujols

We've grown so accustomed to Pujols churning out seasons of .300/30/100 that we have begun to take him for granted. In fact, he has never not posted that line in his career. So after a "down" year in 2007, in which Albert battled through injuries to the tune of .327/.429/.568 with "only" 32 home runs, Albert decided to kick things into another gear that we didn't know anyone had. You can overlook the .360 average thus far in 2008. You can ignore the pedestrian 12 home runs and 13 doubles. You can even ignore the league leading 43 walks and .483 on-base percentage. But you absolutely can not ignore the fact that he has done all of this while only striking out 19 times. Nineteen times! That's a bad week for Ryan Howard. Nineteen times! That's why, according to, his closest career comparable is Joe DiMaggio.

1. Utley's April and Berkman's May

How hot do you have to be to win Player of the Month over someone who is batting .400 (Chipper) or someone with an OPS of 1.107 (Pujols)? How does .360/.430/.766 with 10 doubles, 11 home runs, and 23 RBI's sound? Or perhaps you would prefer .483/.570/.876 with 9 doubles, 8 home runs, and 21 RBI's? The former was posted by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley en route to winning the POM award for the National League in April. The latter videogame-esque numbers have been churned out by Lance Berkman, who is almost assured of winning the award for May. There's hot, then there's Berkman hot.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 29, 2008

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