DENVER, CO - FILE: Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez #38 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field on May 1, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. According to reports on July 30 2011, Jimenez has been traded to the Cleveland Indians. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
This was the weekend of the MLB trade deadline, yeah, but it was also a weekend with a bunch of other stuff, too. Let's talk about all the big stories you may or may not have missed!
Hey there everybody, and welcome to Monday morning. If you're a baseball fan, you're probably still coming down from all the excitement of Sunday's trade deadline. Unless you're a Cubs fan, in which case, hey there, and welcome to Monday morning! Indeed, this was a busy weekend, as we saw a flurry of trade activity right up to the deadline. It was not dull, where so often in recent years it's been pretty dull.
But while trades commanded most of the headlines, they weren't the only events of note of the past few days. This was a heck of a weekend. So here are the big stories, listed in no particular order, unless you consider "the order in which they came to mind" a particular order:
Okay, so this weekend was mostly about trades. And there sure were a lot of them, as it seemed like nearly every contender more or less got what they wanted. The Giants got Orlando Cabrera. The Diamondbacks got Jason Marquis and Brad Ziegler. The Pirates got Ryan Ludwick and Derrek Lee. The Cardinals got Rafael Furcal, Edwin Jackson and relievers (while losing Colby Rasmus). The Brewers got Jerry Hairston Jr. The Phillies got Hunter Pence. The Braves got Michael Bourn. The Rangers got Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. The Indians got Ubaldo Jimenez and Kosuke Fukudome. The Tigers got Doug Fister and David Pauley. The Red Sox got Erik Bedard and Mike Aviles. You got all that? I think I mentioned almost all of them. And I'm certain you read every word of this paragraph. But if you didn't, you can find every trade made since the All-Star break here. This was a busy, busy weekend, where a surprisingly high number of rumors came to fruition.
There were a lot of trades, but there were a lot of notable non-trades as well. Heath Bell didn't go anywhere, for one thing. Neither did Wandy Rodriguez. Neither did B.J. Upton or Denard Span or Jamey Carroll. In the previous sentence, you'll note that I have Jamey Carroll with B.J. Upton and Denard Span. It was also somewhat stunning to see the Yankees sit content with inactivity. Not like the Yankees need a ton of help, and they can still make waiver moves in August, but they were reportedly involved in a lot of different things, and they came away with the exact same roster. Albeit a gimpier roster since Derek Jeter bruised his hand. Oh no, now he might not be able to hit all those home runs.
and Tigers Played a Game for the Ages
Sunday afternoon in Detroit, Jered Weaver went to work against Justin Verlander. Early on, Weaver had words for Magglio Ordonez after the outfielder watched his home run a little too long. Later, Weaver had words for Carlos Guillen when Guillen did the exact same thing, and Weaver threw his next pitch at Alex Avila's head, getting himself ejected. Weaver screamed at the Tigers the whole time he trudged off the field. Oh and also Verlander took a no-hitter into the top of the eighth, and Erick Aybar led off the eighth trying to bunt for a single. The bid was finally broken up by Maicer Izturis, and the Tigers had to hold on for a one-run victory.
Phillies Swept the Pirates
It was hardly fair. Roy Halladay faced Charlie Morton. Cliff Lee faced James McDonald. Vance Worley faced Jeff Karstens in the finale, which seemed to give the Pirates a chance, but they couldn't protect a late two-run lead and lost in ten innings. The Pirates are now 54-52 and 4-1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central. You don't want to give them too much crap for losing to the Phillies, since the Phillies are amazing, but just last week the Pirates were tied for first. I can't believe, I just can't believe, they're drifting away. Maybe Ryan Ludwick and Derrek Lee have some magic in them.
Threw Another Shutout
On Saturday, Holland blanked the Blue Jays. It was his third shutout of the month, and fourth of the year. In those 36 innings, Holland allowed zero runs. In his other 103 innings, he has allowed 70 runs. The last pitcher to record five shutouts in a season was Dontrelle Willis in 2005. Holland, then, might want to stay at four.
Blanked the Giants and Lowered His ERA to 1.72
Cueto spun nine shutout frames on Sunday, and he is currently your Major League ERA leader. He is 0.16 points in front of Jered Weaver, 0.45 points in front of Josh Beckett, and 0.51 points in front of Ryan Vogelsong. And that's it. Those are the only four pitchers. The only way it makes sense that Johnny Cueto ranks first in ERA and Ryan Vogelsong ranks fourth is if there are only four pitchers in baseball.