The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports Columns

June 7, 2013

Mike Lopresti: The good, bad and ugly of MLB

This might sound familiar. The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are fighting for the division lead, Miguel Cabrera is near the top in the American League of just about everything involving a bat and there's a big drug scandal brewing.

So what's new in major league baseball?

Actually, lots of things. While we wait to see which marquee names get whacked for performance enhancing drugs, let's ponder the statistics sheet. A lot of numbers suggest fresh faces and strange forces are at work after a third of the season. All statistics were at the close of business Wednesday.

If the season was over, the defending champion San Francisco Giants would not be in the playoffs. But the Pittsburgh Pirates would be.

There have been no no-hitters. But 11 one-hitters.

The leading home run hitter in the National League was Philadelphia's Domonic Brown with 18. He had only 12 in his career coming into this season

The pitcher with the most victories in the majors was 23-year-old Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks, at 9-0. He had six wins to his name before this season.

The National League ERA leader was 22-year-old Shelby Miller of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had pitched in six games before this season.

The top National League rookie was Atlanta catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, who earlier in his life battled substance abuse and worked as a janitor and in a pizza parlor.

But there was room for old guys, too. The American League leader in saves was 43-year-old Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees. The National League leader was 36-year-old Jason Grilli of the Pirates. Rivera had 608 saves before this season. Grilli had five.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had the top payroll in the game, but were in last place in the National League West.

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