1. The Minnesota Twins, in existence since 1961, are drifting very close to the .500 mark all-time. The Minnesotans are now 4115-4109. It was a lot closer before the Twins swept the Indians this weekend.
2. Justin Morneau homered for the Twins yesterday and now has 198 in a Twin Cities uniform. Here are the leaders since the Twins became the Twins in 1961.
The question remains will Morneau have the opportunity to hit his 200th as a member of the Twins, Minnesota is fielding offers for him.
3. One other big name that may moved is Boston’s Josh Beckett, to the delight of most Red Sox Nation who feel trading him would be addition by subtraction. Beckett was tossed from the bench in last night’s Sox 3-2 10-inning victory over New York. According to the great Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Sox have reached out to the Braves and Rangers to dump the recalcitrant righty. Beckett would have to waive his 10-and-5 rights to agree to any trade, and the Sox would probably still be on the hook for a large portion of the $37.3 million he’s still owed (plus pay for the team oncologist to address his cancerous attitude). The Sox will know in the next seven to ten days if Cranky Carl Crawford will have Tommy John now or drag this charade out until the end of the season.
4. Speaking about the .500 Sox, they took two-of-three in New York thanks in large part to Pedro Ciriaco. Called up July 6 from Triple-A Pawtucket, Ciriaco has go-ahead hits in all three Red Sox wins over the Yankees in nine meetings this season and is 11-for-22 with six RBI against New York. Here are Ciriaco numbers this season versus the Yankees and his other opponents:
|Chicago White Sox||14||1||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.357||.357||.571||.929|
|New York Yankees||22||7||11||2||1||6||3||1||3||.500||.522||.682||1.204|
|Tampa Bay Rays||11||0||3||0||0||2||1||0||4||.273||.273||.273||.545|
|Toronto Blue Jays||7||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||2||.143||.143||.143||.286|
5. The Hapless Astros ended their 12-game losing streak defeating the Pirates, 9-5. It was the longest losing streak in club history breaking the 2009-2010 11-game losing streak. Houston has now won one of 10, three of 20, and five of 30. The Astros are now a big league-worst 35-68.
6. The Pirates are 58-43 and with 61 games remaining they need to go 24-37 to finish over .500. The Buccos have 115 homers this season, the same as the Los Angeles Angels and just three behind the Texas Rangers. Here are the Pirates home run totals 2000 – 2012:
7. The Atlanta completed a sweep of the Forlorn Phillies and have now beaten the Phils six straight times after also sweeping them in Philly, July 6-8. Chipper Jones homered for the winners and moved into second place all-time on the extra-base list of switch-hitters.
8. The Dodgers completed their sweep of the Giants, 4-0, as Clayton Kershaw pitched a five-hitter for his second shutout of the season, the fifth of his career. San Francisco has lost four straight and were swept at home by the Dodgers for the first time since June 28-30, 2010.
9. Let’s give a lot of love to the Cincinnati Reds who swept the Wretched Wrockies and have now won 10 straight, their longest winning streak since 1998. Here’s how the Reds became the central story in the NL Central: