Brothers Yadier and Bengie Molina could be the National League's catchers in the All-Star Game in St. Louis.
07/01/2009 12:40 PM ET
Molina brothers could be All-Stars
Yadier, Bengie might be teammates in St. Louis
"I hope so, man," Yadier told MLB.com. "I hope so. It would be great if he could come here. We could spend two nights together in St. Louis, in the same dugout. Spend the time with him talking. We need it. We've been through a lot of bad things. We need to be together. If that's the case -- and he makes the All-Star Game, and I make the All-Star Game -- we're going to have fun."
The brothers, including not just Yadier and Bengie but also Jose, a catcher with the Yankees, lost their biggest supporter when their father, Benjamin, died last fall.
"My dad helped us in many ways," Bengie said. "He was the one who introduced us to the game. He was the one who taught us how to play and how to play the game correctly and respect the game and respect others in the game. Not only that -- just being a dad and being there for us. He taught us a real big lesson when he woke up at 4:30 every morning and went to work the whole day standing up, until he came back home at 4:30 and went to the field after that -- without hesitating, without arguing, without a doubt. That's how he showed us how to respect the game and respect others."
Rivera hits two milestones: Mariano Rivera got his first career RBI on the same night he earned his 500th career save.
Batting with the bases loaded in the eighth inning against the Mets on Sunday night, Rivera drew a walk on a 3-and-2 pitch to put a run across the plate.
"RBI No. 1 [means] more," he told Newsday about the walk. "It's my first RBI. It's my 500th save. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely special, but I'm a team player. My team fought for me to get the opportunity."
Willingham gets support from ex-teammates: Josh Willingham got support from his former teammates on the Marlins after his younger brother, Jon, was killed in a car crash.
Willingham, who spent three years with the Marlins before joining the Nationals in a trade last November, spent a week on the bereavement list in June after the accident. He and his family spent time with Cody Ross and his family on Monday morning before going to the ballpark.
"It's nice to get support from your friends," Willingham told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I'm fortunate to have a lot of friends, and some are on the Marlins where I played with them with three plus years ... [Coming back to baseball] diverts your mind a little bit, but therapeutic, no. It's good to get back in the swing of things and keep going."
"He's one of my closest friends in the game, and you don't wish that upon anybody," outfielder Cody Ross said. "You don't really know what to say. You just try to reach out and comfort him ... He misses us, and we miss him. He's one of the good ones in the game, but he's enjoying his time over there."
Morgan excited after being traded to Nationals: The Washington Nationals sent Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett. Morgan becomes Washington's leadoff hitter and center fielder while Burnett becomes a set-up man in the bullpen.
"We addressed two of our biggest needs: athleticism and defensive ability in center field, and a bullpen guy we'll have control over the next three years," acting general manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post.
"My thoughts? I'm pretty pumped up, because I'm flattered when you have a team like the Nationals, and they really want you," Morgan said. "I'm almost out of words."
Speier finds balance, and a low ERA: Since May 7, Justin Speier has a 1.50 ERA over 18 appearances for the Angels.
"I feel my stuff is the same, but my location is better, and I'm being more aggressive," Speier told the Los Angeles Times. "It's always nice to do your job."
"I'm not fighting for my livelihood," Speier said. "I work just as hard, whether I'm pitching well or struggling, and I take the good with the bad. I enjoy baseball, but my life is way more than this game. Any time you have balance in your life, you can get through the tough times."
Happ brings no fear with calm approach: J.A. Happ apparently has an "edge" underneath his calm demeanor on the mound.
"Whatever impression I give off when I'm not pitching -- maybe that I'm quiet -- that's not what's going on inside of me," Happ told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And I try to have a different edge on the mound."
"He's not afraid out there, and he's always been that way since I played with him in the Minors," teammate Cole Hamels said. "He's not afraid to go after hitters or to give up a run. He just doesn't have that fear of what-ifs when he's out there."
No more guitar strumming for Arroyo: For any pitcher, carpal tunnel syndrome can be a big problem. For Bronson Arroyo, who plays the guitar, it's an even bigger issue.
"It's driving me crazy," Arroyo told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Every single time I get to the hotel room or I'm at the house and it's 2:00 in the morning, I'm irritated because I can't play the guitar. I just can't do it, because it gets numb."
Surgery, he admits, is a possibility.
"Every little thing you do with your fingers, it feels like it's irritating itself," Arroyo said. "I haven't been like I was in Spring Training. The cortisone shot definitely helped, but I'm past that point now. I'm just trying to maintain it the way I am."
Floyd drops ERA to 1.39 in last eight starts: Gavin Floyd continued his hot streak on Monday night, working 7 2/3 shutout innings in the Sox's 6-3 victory over the Indians. Now 4-1 with a 1.39 ERA over his last eight starts, Floyd said after the game that he's confident his run can continue.
"I'm trying to get better, execute better and get more aggressive," Floyd told MLB.com. "I believe in my abilities, and I'm trying to feed off each start."
Haren's numbers tell the tale: Dan Haren leads the NL in ERA (2.25), batting average against (.191), WHIP (0.82) and quality starts (14).
"What can I say, man?" Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero told the East Valley Tribune. "That guy's nasty. He's the best pitcher in the big leagues right now."
Haren is also adept at limiting the number of pitches he throws, despite striking out 104 batters this season.
"Five pitches, four pitches, he's off the field," said Texas manager Ron Washington, who coached Haren in Oakland. "Then, next thing you know, it's 7 2/3 innings or eight innings. That's him."
Gaudin throws gems to secure weekly honor: Chad Gaudin of the Padres was named the co-recipient of the National League's Player of the Week award. In two wins last week, he struck out 20 batters in 15 innings and posted a 1.20 ERA.
"I might not have envisioned the success, but I knew I could pitch in the big leagues," Gaudin told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I knew I could give a team a chance to win every day."
Hot-hitting Borbon gets promotion: The Rangers wasted no time getting Julio Borbon into the starting lineup. Called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, Borbon started for the Rangers that night against the Angels. Borbon hit .298 with two home runs, 28 RBIs and 19 steals in 19 games for the RedHawks.
"We had to get another guy up here, and he was the hottest hitter we had down there," manager Ron Washington told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We certainly need some offensive help. We brought him up to see what he's got to offer."
Leadoff spot a perfect fit for Drew: After batting practice on Monday, Red Sox third-base coach DeMarlo Hale told J.D. Drew that he was swinging "like a leadoff hitter."
"That's when I found out I was batting leadoff," Drew told the Boston Herald.
Drew looked more like a cleanup hitter that night, going 3-for-5 with a triple, home run and single in a win over Baltimore. The triple went to left-center field, and the homer easily cleared the fence in center field. When he came to bat in the eighth inning needing a double in order to hit for the cycle, Drew ended up grounding out to second base. The last Boston player to hit for the cycle was John Valentin in 1996.
Drew admitted he was going for the cycle when he came to bat in the eighth inning.
"Absolutely," he said. "There's not a player alive who wouldn't know he needed a double for the cycle in that situation. I was trying to hit a double. I don't know how you try. I was just going to hit the ball and run straight to second."
Ohlendorf sets career mark with eight strikeouts: Ross Ohlendorf pitched seven shutout innings on Tuesday night, striking out a career-high eight in the Pirates' 3-0 win over the Cubs.
"I think, for whatever reason, I felt a little more relaxed today and didn't overthrow," Ohlendorf, now 7-6 on the year, told MLB.com. "I just tried to make good pitches."
"He pitched an awesome game," teammate Andrew McCutchen said. "I was going up and down the dugout saying I wouldn't want to face Ross today with the way he was throwing."
Ethier adds another game-ending blast: Andre Ethier delivered a two-run homer in the 13th inning to lift Los Angeles to a 4-2 win over Colorado on Monday night. It was the outfielder's fourth game-ending hit this season and the seventh since the start of the 2008 season, the most in the Majors.
"You've got to look at those situations and say, 'Why not me?'" Ethier told the Los Angeles Times.
Prado hits his way into starting spot: Martin Prado had a four-hit game to help the Braves to a 5-4 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night. Prado had a home run in the third inning and the game-winning hit in the 10th. Manager Bobby Cox promptly announced that Prado would remain in the lineup.
"He's too hot to take out," Cox told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Tonight I went out and did my best," said Prado, who has played most of the season with a sore groin that was wrapped with icebags late Tuesday, as it is after every game. "I'm proud for the team, that we won today. ... Whatever the position -- if Bobby wants to keep me in the lineup, that makes me feel really good. I just want to keep playing hard for the team."
Complete game shows Oswalt at his best: Roy Oswalt pitched a complete-game, two-hitter in a 3-1 win over the Padres on Monday night. The right-hander retired the final 18 hitters he faced in order.
"That was a great performance by Roy," Astros manager Cecil Cooper told the Houston Chronicle. "He looked like the Roy you've seen a lot in the past."
-- Red Line Editorial