Last week, it was Roy Halladay doing the honors. The Phillies ace sent down 27 Marlins in order while recording 11 strikeouts en route to the first no-hitter of his career. His teammates, however, were far from perfect during the past seven days
Here’s how the league stacks up as the calendar turns to June.
Last week: No. 1
Tampa Bay Rays (34-18)
Ben Zobrist has done just about everything for the Rays since breaking out as one of the league’s most valuable players last season. His latest task is batting leadoff in Joe Maddon‘s lineup, and Zorilla is 8-for-23 (.347 average) with two homers in that role so far.
Last week: No. 5
Minnesota Twins (31-20)
A freaky collision between Denard Span and Orlando Hudson nearly cost the Twins two crucial table-setters. But fans in Minnesota can breathe a sigh of relief, because Span is fine and Hudson did no further damage to his already-fractured wrist.
Last week: No. 3
New York Yankees (31-20)
CC Sabathia is thrilled to see the calendar roll over into June. The big southpaw has managed just two quality starts in his past six trips to the mound and his ERA has spiked to 4.16.
Last week: No. 12
Atlanta Braves (29-22)
The Braves own the longest active winning streak in the majors at six games, and have surged to the top of the NL East standings after starting the week in third place.
Last week: No. 6
Cincinnati Reds (30-22)
Matinees certainly don’t seem to be the Reds’ forte. Dusty Baker‘s squad is a paltry 8-10 in day games, but a robust 22-12 under the lights.
Last week: No. 4
St. Louis Cardinals (30-22)
Apparently, Albert Pujols grew tired of all the hubbub stemming from his recent power outage. Pujols went yard thrice in the Cardinals’ win over the Cubs on Sunday, and is unlikely to face any more questions about his slump.
Last week: No. 2
Philadelphia Phillies (28-22)
Roy Halladay erased all the memories of a dismal offensive week for the Phillies — which included a shutout sweep at the hands of the Mets with his dazzling perfect game against the Marlins on Saturday.
Last week: No. 15
Oakland Athletics (28-24)
The return of Brett Anderson from the disabled list was highly anticipated by Athletics fans. But although the young southpaw tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday, it was this catch by outfielder Gabe Gross that stole the show in that game.
Last week: No. 9
Los Angeles Dodgers (29-22)
Chad Billingsley, a native of Defiance, Ohio, had fittingly defied predictions so far this season. The Dodgers have won each of Billingsley’s last five starts, but he has allowed four homers over the past two and is fortunate to be undefeated since May 5.
Last week: No. 11
Boston Red Sox (29-23)
Dustin Pedroia‘s average has plunged from .305 to .255 since May 11, and after a power streak to begin the season, Pedey hasn’t gone deep since May 14. Hopefully, a day off will get the 2008 MVP back on track at the plate.
Last week: No. 8
San Diego Padres (31-20)
Opposing batters managed only a .160 average against Mat Latos in May. Meanwhile, the righty went 4-for-13 (.378 average), helping his cause on the mound with his efforts at the plate.
Last week: No. 14
Toronto Blue Jays (31-22)
The Blue Jays finished the month of May with 54 homers, the highest total by any team since May of 2003. Surprisingly, though, their top power threat from last year, Adam Lind, contributed just four of them.
Last week: No. 7
Texas Rangers (26-24)
C.J. Wilson has coughed up a worrisome 17 runs over his past three outings, raising his ERA for the season two full points, from 1.48 to 3.48. But Wilson doesn’t seem too concerned about his own struggles, as he attended Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday.
Last week: No. 10
Detroit Tigers (26-24)
After a disastrous beginning of the season, Max Scherzer was demoted to Triple-A, and he appears to be back on track. Scherzer struck out an incredible 14 Athletics in 5 2/3 innings during his first start back from Toledo.
Last week: No. 16
Colorado Rockies (27-24)
Seth Smith is batting .270 with an .881 OPS in 126 at-bats this season. He’s talented enough to start for most teams, but is forced to share time in the Rockies’ crowded outfield.
Last week: No. 17
New York Mets (26-26)
Mike Pelfrey has been the Mets’ de facto ace so far in 2010, going 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA. They’ll look to Pelfrey to rebound from a disastrous loss on Monday night, when five New York pitchers combined to give up a Petco Park record 18 runs to the Padres.
Last week: No. 18
San Francisco Giants (27-23)
With two more years and $24 million remaining on his contract, the Giants had better hope that Aaron Rowand will soon snap out of the 3-for-33 (.091 average) funk he’s been mired in for the past nine games.
Last week: No. 21
Los Angeles Angels (26-27)
The Angels will play 16 of their first 19 games in June away from Anaheim, so they’ll need to improve their 10-14 road record to climb back over .500 and stay in contention in the AL West. .
Last week: No. 13
Florida Marlins (26-26)
The reigning Rookie of the Year, Chris Coghlan, has gone from a terrific contact hitter to a strikeout machine with 44 whiffs in 185 at-bats. He’s in danger of being supplanted by top prospect Michael Stanton during the coming weeks.
Last week: No. 19
Washington Nationals (26-26)
Josh Willingham is firmly establishing himself as one of the most underrated offensive producers in the league. He is tied with Albert Pujols for the NL lead with 41 walks and owns an OPS over .950 against both righties and lefties this season.
Last week: No. 24
Chicago White Sox (22-28)
Whether Matt Thornton is a setup man or a closer in Ozzie Guillen‘s bullpen, it’s clear that he has some of the nastiest stuff of any reliever in baseball. Thornton has allowed only 11 hits and five walks while striking out 32 batters in 22 1/3 innings of work.
Last week: No. 22
Chicago Cubs (24-28)
Randy Wells‘ Memorial Day weekend got off to a rotten start when he couldn’t retire a single Cardinals batter on Thursday, but the 2009 Rookie of the Year candidate rebounded with five scoreless innings versus the Pirates in a makeup outing on Monday.
Last week: No. 27
Milwaukee Brewers (21-30)
Corey Hart appears to have regained his stroke. The lanky outfielder has slugged four homers and driven in 10 runs over the past four games, and he will soon become the subject of trade rumors if the Brewers aren’t able to climb back into the race.
Last week: No. 23
Kansas City Royals (21-31)
Luke Hochevar had served up only one homer in eight starts leading up to his Memorial Day outing against the Angels, but he was taken deep twice on Monday in a 7-1 loss.
Last week: No. 26
Pittsburgh Pirates (21-31)
The 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft, Neil Walker had to struggle to reach the majors, but he now has a full-time gig after taking over for Akinori Iwamura as the Buccos’ starting second baseman.
Last week: No. 25
Seattle Mariners (19-31)
The Mariners are the only team that has yet to record an extra innings win this season, as they’re 0-6 in overtime to date.
Last week: No. 28
Cleveland Indians (18-31)
Justin Masterson‘s 3.58 xFIP would have you believe that he’s pitched like an ace for the star-starved Indians to date. However, he’s 0-5 with a bloated 5.87 ERA and the Tribe is a lowly 2-8 in the games that he’s started.
Last week: No. 20
Arizona Diamondbacks (20-32)
Give the Diamondbacks points for creativity amid an eight game losing streak. In Monday night’s game against the Dodgers, Arizona handed away a 4-2 lead on a boneheaded play by second baseman Kelly Johnson. Later, the Dodgers walked off on a balk by Esmerling Vasquez, and manager A.J. Hinch could only stare in disbelief.
Last week: No. 30
Houston Astros (17-34)
Most of the Astros’ bats are still scuffling, but with a .302 average and six homers during the month of May, it’s safe to say that Hunter Pence is back to his slugging ways.
Last week: No. 29
Baltimore Orioles (15-36)
The Orioles thought Garrett Atkins might benefit from a change of scenery and took a chance on him last offseason, but the veteran infielder is batting just .214 with a .555 OPS, and the team may soon be forced to stop giving him at-bats.