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The Full Count: Streaking Giants move into first place


1. Eight is Great: One of the more surprising teams this season has been the San Francisco Giants. Expected to be one of the worst teams in the NL by many, they have moved up to first place with a league-high 8 consecutive wins. They just swept the Dodgers, who gave up their division lead. Bonds didn’t go deep on Thursday, but Ray Durham and Bengie Molina each had two RBIs, and starter Russ Ortiz somehow found a way to pitch well. Brad Penny (3-0, 1.95 ERA) continued his success for Los Angeles, but the bullpen blew a 3-1 lead for him. The Giants, who have the highest winning streak in the majors so far this year, will look to extend it as they face division foes Arizona and Colorado over the next week.

2. Bartolo is Back: Remember when Bartolo Colon won the Cy Young in 2005? Most people probably don’t due to his injury-riddled 2006. But now, after two starts this year, Colon looks to be an ace again. He improved to 2-0 after shutting down the Devil Rays. He pitched 7 innings, with one run allowed and 11 strikeouts. The Angels offense gave him plenty of support, with 11 runs, including a homer by Vlad Guerrero. The Angels were struggling at the beginning of the year, but now after three straight wins, they’re in first place. Their rotation, when healthy, could be the best in baseball: Colon, John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Kelvim Escobar, and Jered Weaver.

3. Still no pitching: Desperate in their search for capable starting pitching, the Yankees gave one of their best prospects, Phillip Hughes, a major league start. While you can’t draw conclusions based on one outing, Hughes doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement over the other guys they’ve tried out. He only lasted 4 innings against the Blue Jays, allowing 4 runs and throwing 91 pitches. But for Toronto, AJ Burnett gave his best start of the year against the Yanks’ great offense: 7 innings, 5 strikeouts, no runs allowed. The 6-0 win for the Blue Jays was New York’s sixth straight loss after getting swept by the Red Sox and Devil Rays. They are currently in last place.

Player of the Day: Josh Beckett, Red Sox: 8 innings, 2 runs, improved to league-best 5-0 in a 5-2 win over Baltimore.

Stat of the Day: Sammy Sosa’s two homeruns against the Indians made Jacobs Field the 44th park he has homered in. That is a major league record.

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected].

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