Big Time Ethier & More MLB Notes

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Big Time Ethier & More MLB Notes
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Andre 30(00)

 

Andre Ethier collected his 6th walk-off last night; the most in the majors.

 

The Dodgers outfielder has become a fantastic clutch hitter in the second half. With runners in scoring position in the second half, Ethier has hit .367/.441/.733—a real turn-around from the first half when he hit .209/.331/.364 in those situations.

 

Ethier also hit his 30th HR and collected his 98th RBI last night. If he continues at this pace, he will put up his first 30-100 season, marking him as the kind of legitimate run-producing star he looked like when he first arrived as a rookie in 2006.

 

Marlins Within 5

 

Sean West, the inconsistent rookie starter, and Dan Uggla, the batting-average impaired slugger, produced a Florida win last night with a strong start and a two-run homer.

 

That win moved the Marlins to only 4.5 games out of the wild card lead, which brings them closer to the playoffs than Texas, the shining white hope of fresh blood in the AL, and the rival Braves.

 

I’d be surprised to see them bump off both Colorado and San Francisco, but this is a surprisingly good team.

 

Hanley Ramirez is about to become batting champ; Josh Johnson, at 14-4, has the second-best winning percentage in the league; and the team as a whole has the third most runs scored in the NL.

 

Their pitching has been passable, with the 10th best ERA in the NL, but if they continue to get good work out of their talented youngsters, they could make a run for it all this season.


Tulo’s Back

 

The year was 2007 and the name on everybody’s lips (at least everyone who watches baseball) was Troy Tulowitzki.

 

The heart and soul of the pennant-winning Rockies, Tulowitzki had the impressive slash line of .291/.359/.479. But with 2008 marred by injury and a slow start this season, there was reason to doubt that he would live up to his own reputation; set so high so young.

 

Worry not, Rox fans, the ruler’s back.

 

Since the All-Star break, Tulo has hit .322/.402/.578, led by an August tear of .346/.398/.607. On the season, he’s hitting .282/.364/.526, making this his best season to date.

 

Best-hitting anything

 

Joe Mauer is hitting .373, making him not just the best-hitting catcher, but the best-hitting anything in the majors.

 

If he continues at this rate, this will be his third batting title, most ever by a catcher by two.

 

With the power he’s added too, he may literally be the Most Valuable Player in the American League. Given the Twins’ fortunes, it’s unlikely he’ll win the sportswriters’ award, but it’s worth noting what an incredible player he is.

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