By Patrick Herion
I have one quick question: Why are the Twins good? Seriously, nobody expected this. Not even Minnesota expected this. If you were to tell me that the Twins would be in first place over the Indians, I’d probably think you were crazy. With that said, let’s get on with the past week’s action in America’s greatest pastime.
There are few teams that have been as hot as the Chicago Cubs. They have come out of nowhere in the past two weeks and have climbed up CBS Sports’ power rankings. The dynamic duo of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant has heated up during the last week, and that alone has made the Cubs the team we all expected them to be. In the past week, the Cubs swept the Cardinals (my team of the week last week) in three games and took three out of four against the Marlins (yeah, I know it is not much, but a win is a win). The starting rotation has also heated up this week as well. We have seen a revival of the rotation that has now lowered their team ERA to 2.73. Kyle Hendricks has led the charge, allowing no runs in 17 innings. Jon Lester has also pitched great in his last start, going six innings and allowing no runs as well. The team has played great. However, they will have another challenge this weekend when they play against the Milwaukee Brewers. This will be a series to watch.
I feel I need to address my earlier statement; the Twins are an excellent team this year. They are first in the AL Central and have surprised everyone, including me. With the best record in the MLB (yes, you read that right), the Twins have dominated the American league. It seems Jorge Polanco has been the answer for the Twins, leading the team with a .344 AVG in 34 games. In the past week, the Twins have won seven of their last ten, and their pitching has been dominant. Their team ERA in the past week is an astounding 1.80. Their ace has been Jose Berrios, who has won both of his starts and striking out ten. I understand that it is early, but this team is a Dark Horse. The short era of Cleveland’s dominance may have come to an end and it is time for a new team to take over the central. Now, it may be the Twins’ time to reign,
In the rest of the league the standings have been the same, but the league did reach a new milestone: the 300th no-hitter in MLB history and the first one of the 2019 season. The 300th no-hitter was thrown by, you guessed it, Mike Fiers of the Oakland Athletics. Fiers joined an elite crowd of pitchers who have thrown multiple no-hitters, among legends like Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax and my personal favorite on that list, Homer Bailey. Fiers’ first was thrown against the Dodgers back in 2015.
Another important moment of this week was the return of Shohei Ohtani. After receiving Tommy John Surgery in during the offseason, Ohtani was cleared to hit for the Angels this past week and started his first game on Tuesday. He finally got his first hit in today’s game against the Tigers.
With that said, it is time for the most important time of the week, the award ceremony. This is the time when I name the Pitcher of the Week, Hitter of the Week and the Team of the Week.
THE PITCHER OF THE WEEK: MIKE FIERS, OAKLAND A’s
This was a natural choice. A no-hitter is enough to earn the honor of being this week’s best pitcher.
THE HITTER OF THE WEEK: KRIS BRYANT, CHICAGO CUBS
Call me biased, but Bryant deserves the honor of being this week’s best hitter. Bryant has been one of the catalysts in the Cubs’ offense in the past week and hit a walk-off three-run home run against the Marlins on Tuesday.
THE TEAM OF THE WEEK: THE CHICAGO CUBS
Easily the hottest team in the MLB in the past week, winning nine of their last ten games. They even swept the Cardinals. The hitting has been on fire, and the pitching has been great as well. The Cubs that we all expected to see have come back.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org