Aaaannnnnnd the year's half over. Release the confetti.
However, more importantly, as far as this post is concerned, the month of June has skidded to an untimely halt. All the better to celebrate with another Month in Review thing I've been doing here.
In June, I predicted 5 things would happen. Let's see if they did:
1. Granderson, Teixeira and Youkilis to all come back and start hitting...and maybe stick around for a while. Well, Youkilis and Teixiera came back...and immediately returned to the DL. Probably for a while.
2. The Cardinals pitching to be exactly where it is right now in 30 days. Yeah, pretty much.
3. Both LA teams to start playing well. Well...depends on the definition. The Angels are currently in third, but are 9 games back. The Dodgers are currently in last, but are 4 games back. One of these teams has Yasiel Puig. Another has Mike Trout. So really, some people could agree, most will disagree.
4. The rest of the Philly lineup to start hitting well again. Not really. Chooch is back, but he's doing as well as the rest of the team, besides Dom Brown.
5. The Yankees not to be mercilessly swept by any mediocre teams, like the Mets. Once again, depends on the definition. Some people might think the Orioles are mediocre.
Now, 5 things that really surprised me during June.
1. Holy crap, the Yankees are doing awful. And the only reason this surprises me is the fact that a couple months ago they were hitting really well. People like Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner were coming off the bench and hitting homers. Now people are just coming off the DL and going back on it again, which makes for the baseball equivalent of an infuriating game of freeze tag. Also, on a similar note...
2. Holy crap, the Blue Jays are playing well. I joked in the past about how this team was doomed to fail. Well, look at 'em now. They had a very nice month, winning a ton of games, going on a nice streak, utilizing the pitchers that had turned cold a month before. It surprises me because I saw this same team being bulldozed over by the Yankees two months ago. It's odd. It's like they were either reincarnated or Melky Cabrera decided to share his stash of PEDs.
3. Michael Cuddyer. After the mediocre season (in his terms) that he had last season, it was very surprising to see him go on a monster hitting streak this season. Last I checked he'd hit 27 in a row, and that is very nice, considering that his team...okay, they're back in 2nd, but that's a close division. I hope he keeps it up, because it's good for baseball.
4. The Pittsburgh Pirates. I mean, I thought they were really good, but DAMN. They have broken ahead of the rest of baseball, and have an excellent 51-30 record. And this is a nice little team, with people like Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Jason Grilli, and Russell Martin all making impressive moves. I really, really hope this isn't a one month thing.
5. Manny Machado's doubles. I knew he was good, but I didn't know that he's THIS good. Like, there's a chance that he could break the doubles-per-season record for rookies. Not even a chance. We're at the halfway point, and he's close to breaking it. So, I hope it happens.
And of course, we must follow this up with 5 things that didn't surprise me last month:
1. The Marlins and Astros are still at the very, very bottom of baseball. Which is weird, because five years ago the Pirates were down here.
2. Carlos Marmol is DFA'd. What's surprising is the fact that it took them this long.
3. Roy Oswalt was signed by a middling team, and began pitching mediocrely for them. This time, it's the Rockies.
4. Giants fans made an effort to stuff every single All Star ballot with their own stars. I think their plan has since backfired, but nobody's stopping the Orioles fans.
5. The Tigers and Cubs both got rid of a closer this month...and yet none of them made any effort to sign Brian Wilson. What, does he have the flu or something? He can still pitch! He's young! What are you people waiting for?
Finally, we have 5 things I so desperately want to happen in July:
1. An All Star Game....WITH ALL STARS! I do not want to see ANYONE I've never heard of. PLEASE.
2. The Pirates to remain one of the best teams in baseball.
3. The Yankees to make an attempt to return to the top of the AL East. Preferably a successful one.
4. Toward the end of the deadline, the Phillies/Yankees to NOT unload any of their star players.
5. Toward the end of the deadline, the Phillies/Yankees to RECIEVE star players from other teams, in exchange for ONLY prospects. ONLY.
So, that was June. I'd say it was pretty fun. Onto July.
Coming Tomorrow- The man with the 27 game streak.