The big story this week is that the Yankees, with Mussina and Pavano already on the DL, lost two rookie phenom pitchers to injury in the span of a week. Jeff Karstens took a ball off the leg and is out for the season with a broken fibula, and Phil Hughes (pictured to left) is out 4-6 weeks with a torn hamstring. Hughes, 20, was in the middle of a no-hitter in the 7th inning in Texas when the hammy popped. News is now that Chien-Mien Wang may also miss his next start with a torn fingernail, thus leaving the Yankees rotation as Andy Petitte, Kei Igawa, and three guys I've never heard of. Joe Torre gets manager of the year if this club is even close to .500 at the All-Star Break, although I'm sure Brian Cashman is on the phone with Roger Clemens as we speak.
Although I'm admittedly biased, the story of this season has to be the Milwaukee Brewers thus far. At 18-9, and coming off a sweep of the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, the Crew owns the best record in baseball and enjoy a hefty 5-game lead in the NL Central. This could finally be our year, and it would keep in line with the trend of "cinderella teams" the past few years - Cubs 2003, Red Sox 2004, White Sox 2005, Tigers 2006. The pitching is outstanding, and almost every player is swinging a hot bat right now, including the bench players. We also have the best setup man-closer combo in the major leagues (D-Bow has to wake up an inning earlier this season). And, as Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker puts it, "the Brewers are winning and they're not even playing as good as they are capable of." Keep it up boys. Suppan, Capuano, Cordero, Jenkins, Hardy, Estrada, and Fielder should all be legitimate All-Star contenders; it sure would be nice to get more than one obligatory representative this year (although last year we did have three).
A stranger story over the wire this week...Ryan Langerhans was traded twice in three days. The Atlanta Braves sent Langerhans to the A's on Monday, and after going 0-4 with a fielding error in two games against the Red Sox at Fenway, Langerhans again packed his bags and headed to Washington, as part of a trade for pitcher Chris Snelling. Ryan was cordial, however. In regards to the Oakland organization, he remarked "I've enjoyed my time here."
Tonight, look for the rematch of Dice-K and Ichiro in a makeup game at Fenway Park
LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS:
Twins L (15-12)
Brewers W (18-9)
Reds L (13-14)