Three Up, Three Down: MLB Week Five

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IMay 6, 2008

This could be considered the West Coast edition of Three Up, Three Down. It's nice to have some teams and players from the West, since it saves me from looking like I'm East Coast biased.

I'm a big fantasy player, and one guy I really liked was Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.

Okay, I'll stop dilly-dallying. Let's just say Kemp made me a very happy guy last week.


First Up: Matt Kemp, OF Dodgers

Now, Matt Kemp failed to hit a home run, but he led the majors in RBI last week with 11. He also stole six bases, scored seven runs, and hit .405.

Kemp's biggest day was probably last Tuesday against the Marlins. Kemp singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth to extend the Dodgers' win streak.

That Dodger win streak would snap at eight later in the week, but Kemp continues to hit. He hit his third home run of the year on Monday against the Mets.

Kemp is just one Dodger hitting well. Rafael Furcal, James Loney, and Russell Martin are all hitting the ball really well, too. Combined with that eight-game win streak, you could probably say the entire Dodgers team is up.


Second Up: Jack Cust, OF Athletics

It is rather shocking to see the A's win this month and their biggest bat not be a part of it all.

The A's were manufacturing runs any way they could, and Jack Cust was hitting the .100's.

Well, Cust has seemed to get himself on track, and as noted in previous editions of this series, Cust is all or nothing when he swings.

He is actually all-for-all this past week. Cust went 10-20 with three home runs, including a four-for-four effort against the Angels on Thursday. Oh yeah, he also walked twice.

But in typical Oakland fashion, Cust isn't driving in a lot of runs. He did hit three jacks, but he only knocked in four runs, all coming from the homer, with two solo shots and one two-run home run.

Jack Cust is just a statistical bag of fun, and he is also up.


Third Up: Roy Halladay, SP Blue Jays

Roy Halladay has yet to go less than seven innings in an outing this year.

Nothing will beat his consecutive complete games on April 12 and 17. Not to mention the fact that he sandwiched that with two eight-inning performances.

But Halladay had a good week, and if he had some run support, he'd have gone 2-0.

In 16 innings last week Halladay gave up only two earned runs and struck out 13 batters.

Halladay has had a rough year. He has managed to pitch no more than one game with more than four earned runs, yet he is 3-4 on the year.

He is going deep into the games and giving his team the chance to win. They aren't holding up their end.


First Down: Vladimir Guerrero, OF Angels

We start off with someone who actually is having a bad hitting week.

The free swinging Vlad Guerrero was stuck in a bad rut up until Sunday.

Last Monday hit, and Vladdy sort of hit a wall. He went hitless all the way up until he got a hit and scored a run on Sunday.

He officially went 1-18 with one run scored and four strike outs. Guerrero won’t be in the funk for long, and maybe a new week will do him some good.


Second Down: Troy Tulowitzki, SS Rockies

The next few downs are actually guys who won't be playing for a bit for their teams.

First is Troy Tulowitzki, who wasn't really hitting anyway with a .152 average.

Not only did he go 0-3, Tulowitzki tore a tendon in his left quad in a 3-2 Rockies win over the Giants.

Early word is that he'll be out for two to three months. He definitely won't be back before the All-Star break.

Tulowitzki was a big part of the Rockies team last year. He was a rookie of the year candidate playing gold-glove caliber defense at short and hitting the ball well.

It has sort of been a sophomore slump for "Tulo," hitting just one home run, knocking in 11 runs, and stealing one base.


Third Down: Rich Hill, SP Cubs

Rich Hills was one of the more reliable arms in the Cubs' rotation the past few years.

Now, he is back in Triple-A.

Hill was actually 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA, but his command is an issue for the Cubs and they'd like him to fix it.

The Cubs optioned Hill after his Friday start against the Cardinals. Hill recorded just two outs, didn't give up a hit, but he ended up walking four and giving up a run.

Hill hasn't had a bad year by any stretch, he hasn't given up more than three earned runs in any of his starts, but he hasn't gone deep into games. That's a problem for the Cubs.


Safe on Error

Superior league? I'm not so sure. The American League only has three hitters in the top 20 of batting average: Victor Martinez, Joe Mauer, and Hideki Matsui. Martinez is eighth behind seven National League hitters.


Intentional Walk

No Lackey? No problem! The Angels' trio of Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, and Jon Garland has 16 wins so far. No other trio in the AL is even close to them in wins as starters. 


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