Back after a week’s hiatus, to celebrate our leadoff hitter’s graduation from college. Congratulations, Kelly. Some walk-offs are more important than others. Previous ranking in parentheses, stats through Tuesday’s games:
1. Philadelphia (2): Phils manager Charlie Manuel won’t say how many at-bats outfielder Domonic Brown (.378 in the minors) needs to be ready. Also didn’t say how many Raul Ibanez (.231, .645 OPS) or Ben Francisco (.237, .739) need to prove they’re not ready.
2. N.Y. Yankees (3): Alex Rodriguez, 10-for-57 since his last home run, said he considers baseball like the stock market and considers himself Google. That’s funny. We were thinking he’s more like Yahoo.
3. St. Louis (7): Ex-Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said he’s finally on the “right side,” of Cubs-Cards rivalry. Maybe so. But certainly not because of him.
4. Florida (5): Javier Vazquez (6.88 ERA) says “I got nothing,” after 6-4 loss to Phillies. But for a $7 million contract and an 88 mph fastball, he’s spot on.
5. Tampa Bay (11): Sam Fuld has lost 158 points off his batting average since his high of .396 on April 18; is it time to call him Sam Fold?
6. Cincinnati (9): Aroldis Chapman hasn’t retired any of the last seven batters he’s faced, walking five and hitting one; he’s walked 16 in 12.2 innings. Maybe there’s a reason Reds outbid everyone to sign Chapman last winter.
7. Colorado (4): Manager Jim Tracy says it’s time for third baseman Ian Stewart — 3 for 47 — to “fish or cut bait.” Might be time to throw back the little ones.
8. San Francisco (10): Pablo Sandoval tied for Giants’ home run lead with 5, which might not be so bad except that Sandoval hasn’t played in two weeks.
9. Atlanta (13): Braves starter Derek Lowe arrested for DUI; Lowe, in his 2011 Porsche, was allegedly racing another driver. Not true he wanted to top 90 mph because his fastball never will.
10. Texas (1): C.J. Wilson walked five in 7-2 loss to Oakland, despite throwing a seven-inning two-hitter. Wilson called it lawyer ball, said, “if it’s not called a strike, then they walk.” Yo, C.J. When the facts aren’t on your side, argue the strike zone.
11. Boston (6): Tim Wakefield, age 44, will be oldest Red Sox ever on his next appearance. With 5.73 ERA, he’s pitching like it.
12. Cleveland (16): Indians win 14th straight at home and fourth straight in final at-bat to go 23-11. Tough to criticize non-believers, when they include most Indians fans: just 13,551 attended Tuesday’s game.
13. L.A. Angels (8): Outfielder Torii Hunter dumps a cooler of ice water on manager Mike Scioscia on the occasion of Scioscia’s 1,000th career win. Fitting, since it matches Hunter’s 2011 contributions — .241 average, .673 OPS.
14. Detroit (12): Former Tiger pitcher and current broadcaster Jack Morris said Justin Verlander was “throwing too many pitches, getting behind too many guys and rushes too much;” a few days later said, “I’m in his corner.” Whatever could have changed Morris’ mind?
15. Kansas City (14): Royals GM Dayton Moore says veteran big-leaguer Jeff Suppan, 2-4 with a 5.29 ERA at AAA, has shown “flashes.” Yo, Dayton. Those aren’t flashes, those are flashbacks.
16. Oakland (19): Leadoff batter Coco Crisp has two walks all season, went 94 at-bats without one. And A’s wonder why they’re 27th in MLB in on-base percentage?
17. Toronto (18): Jays starter Brandon Morrow taken out of Monday’s game when it was 2-2 in the fourth, turned back as exiting and apparently yelled at manager John Farrell. Morrow said he was checking his pitch count, which was at 71. Not sure why he had to move his lips to read his pitch count.
18. Milwaukee (15): Manager Ron Roenicke says he’s not happy with 8-6 win over Padres after Brewers almost lose 8-0 lead. At 16-20, he should be happy with any win.
19. L.A. Dodgers (17): Reliever Hong Chih-Kuo, with ERA of 11.57, says, “I’ve got to be better.” If only mastering the outside corner was as easy as mastering the obvious.
20. Pittsburgh (26): What to do now with young third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who has as many errors as extra-base hits (five)?
21. Chicago Cubs (22): Cubs GM Jim Hendry gets a hug from Cards’ star Albert Pujols before Tuesday’s game. If nothing else, that’ll make Cards fans paranoid, which is about all the satisfaction a Cubs fan can expect from 2011.
22. Washington (23): Manager Jim Riggelman says the Nats “can use” Roger Bernadina at the top of the lineup. Which is exactly the problem with being 29th in on-base percentage — even Roger Bernadina starts to look good.
23. N.Y. Mets (24): Ex-Mets clubhouse manager to be arrested on charges related to stealing team memorabilia. That has to be a misdeamoner, right?
24. Chicago White Sox (21): Jake Peavy returns to give White Sox six-man pitching rotation. Not sure how that helps an offense that ranks 10th in the AL in runs scored.
25. Arizona (27): D’backs first basemen Russ Branyan, Xavier Nady and Juan Miranda combine to hit .231 with 3 homers and 14 RBIs in 151 at-bats. Will none of the above fit on a lineup card?
26. Baltimore (28): After 6-1 start, Orioles needed less than a month to drop to last place. Expect them to stay a lot longer.
27. San Diego (25): If the Kentucky Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports, the most uneventful is watching the Padres — 29th in runs, 30th in average, 29th in slugging — hit.
28. Seattle (30): Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik designates outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment, says Bradley wasn’t a part of team’s future or present. So what does that leave?
29. Minnesota (20): Bad news: Twins have hit 16 home runs. Good news: they’re five ahead of MLB co-leaders Curtis Granderson, Alfonso Soriano and Jose Bautista.
30. Houston (29): Astros owner Drayton McLane still trying to sell team. At 13-23, he’s not exactly dealing from a position of strength.