Week 1 in baseball 2008 is history. We’ll touch on some highlights from the first week and make sure that some things get tucked away in the scrap book that we as fans might have overlooked initially.
Surprise Surprise. The big boppers are quiet. Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard have been outhomered by the likes of Justin Upton, Rick Ankiel, Xavier Nady, and Ben Broussard. It can happen. The thing is; it was by a 12-2 margin.
To go along with that the Detroit Tigers are the most finely constructed 0-6 ballclub I’ve ever been aware of. Only two teams in the history of baseball have rebounded from 0-6 starts to make the playoffs. The National League Champion Colorado Rockies are 1-5, and while I never thought they were that great of a team coming into this season or even last postseason, it’s a surprise they’ve lost their last 5.
Meanwhile, you’ve got teams like the Kansas City Royals (4-2), Baltimore Orioles (4-1), and the St. Louis Cardinals (5-1) atop their divisions. It’s early, but you probably would have bet against these things happening. That’s why we don’t bet, kiddies.
I told you so. The Milwaukee Brewers have started 5-1 and Ben Sheets is 2-0 and hasn’t allowed a run in his first 15 innings to begin the season after shutting out the San Francisco Giants yesterday. Brewers will win the central and Sheets will be the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Sheets has always had the stuff to be this dominant. He’s supposed to be this good. This is his year. I’m just kicking myself for not finding a way to get him on one of my fantasy teams.
The ‘Hoff’ gets hasseled: Trevor Hoffman had a rough start to his season. A big blown save and a loss in another game in 2 outings where he got rocked pretty hard to be honest. Keep an eye on Hoffman as many will be watching closely to see if this is the beginning of the end.
Homerun of the Week: It’s got to be Josh Hamilton turning on a J.J. Putz fastball to beat the Mariners, and seemingly putting Putz on the DL. In that game, Hamilton also made an over the shoulder catch in center field that was memorable.
The Debut of Johnny Cueto: Cueto had a historic ML debut, striking out 10 hitters and allowing 1 hit in 7 innings. This outing probably got more run time on the major syndicates than any other outing that occurred during the first week of play.
Player of the Week: How about 20-year old Justin Upton, who hit 3 home runs to give a big lift to the Arizona DiamondBacks, while hitting .333 (8 for 24). There’s guys who had bigger weeks statistically, but I can tell you that advanced scouts around the NL didn’t expect this type of week from the youngster to begin basically his rookie season.
Dud of the Week: C.C. Sabathia began his season with 2 starts in the first week, allowing 12 hits and 9 ER in 10 and 2/3 innings pitched for a 7.59 ERA. He also allowed 3 home runs and walked 7 batters.
Sleeper: Jeff Keppinger is filling in for the injured Alex Gonzalez at shorstop for the Cincinnati Reds. The thing is, he might have hit his way into a full-time job. Keppinger has began the season by hitting over .450 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI. He’s also stolen a base.