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MLB General

Full Count for Fri Apr 28 2006: Eight is Great

1. Lucky number 8: When a team’s offense is as loaded as the Cleveland Indians’ is, every once in a while it will explode in an outburst of runs. That is what happened on Thursday night when Cleveland smashed Josh Beckett and the Red Sox in a 15-3 rout. Beckett had one of his worst career outings, allowing 8 runs in 3.2 innings pitched. On the other hand, Ben Broussard had a career-best game. He went 4-5 with 2 homeruns and a MLB season high 8 RBIs. Broussard’s grand slam in the first inning opened up the scoring for the Indians, and his solo homerun later in the game reached the upper deck. Victor Martinez also homered for Cleveland, his 5th of the year. The Indians have now regained their major league lead in most runs scored, with 142 on the year. Beckett’s loss was his first of the year, and his ERA shot up from 2.54 to 4.50.

2. Santana returns to form: Johan Santana has been way off his 2004 form so far this year. Before last night, he had yet to win a game or throw 10 strikeouts in a game. On Thursday, he accomplished both in a 7-3 Twins win over the pitiful Royals. He pitched a season-high 8 innings and allowed 3 runs. Many Royals said his pitching was particularly baffling. Manager Buddy Bell said, “We weren’t able to do anything mainly because he was pitching so well.” Unfortunately for Royals fans, that is true for almost every pitcher they face. They have the lowest runs and homeruns totals in the majors.

3. Prolific Ponson?: It seems like every pitcher in a Cardinals uniform pitches better than they would elsewhere. This is true for Sidney Ponson, who, after two awful seasons, is 3-0 with St. Louis. His win last night against the Nationals sent his ERA down to 3.13, about half of last season’s total. Ponson got some help from the Cardinals offense in the 6-2 win. Jim Edmonds, who has been silent so far this year, hit a 3-run homerun in the first. That was all the support Ponson needed, as the Cards rolled to a 15-7 record.

4. Not that this implies anything…: Barry Bonds is in a lot of trouble right now, thanks to the fact that about 99.9% of America believes “Game of Shadows” instead of him. However, he about to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time homerun list, something that will require a celebration from the MLB, right? Wrong. Selig said that the MLB “will not celebrate” Bonds breaking Ruth’s mark, saying that “we don’t celebrate anybody the second or third time in.” Or maybe this has to do with the fact that Bonds is detested by about everyone besides himself. Anyway, Barry will have to pass Aaron to get any kind of celebration from the MLB.

5. Maybe he and Ron Artest will get along: Everyone knows by now about Devil Rays minor leaguer Delmon Young throwing the bat at the umpire after striking out. We said yesterday that Young “deserves to be punished for his actions.” Well, we got our wish, as AAA suspended Young indefinitely. The length of the suspension was not revealed, but it will likely be in the territory of Ron Artest’s season-long suspension after the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl. Unfortunately for Young, he doesn’t have a rap album to promote while he is serving his suspension.