2009 MLB National League East Notebook
Ryan Zimmerman recently signed a 5-year $45 million deal to stay with Washington. So to show his gratitude, he proceeded to rattle off a 30-game hitting streak.
Zimmerman's first inning single Tuesday night in San Francisco marked fourth hitting streak this decade of 30 games. But all of them -- Moises Alou in 2007, Willie Tavares in 2006 and Albert Pujols in 2003 -- stopped at 30. And like them, it also ended at 30. He went 0-for-3 with 2 walks Wednesday. He also fell one game shy of the franchise record of 31. Vladimir Guerrero still holds it at 31 in 1999 when the team was in Montreal.
Think about how difficult this is. You have to be really good for one at bat for a month. That's why Pete Rose's National League record of 44 games in 1978 and of course, Joe DiMaggio's overall record streak of 56 in 1941 are revered. It takes time, patience, discipline and no slip ups.
Zimmerman's is the 26th streak in baseball history reach 30 games.
If you are going to beat the Phillies, they certainly won't help you. They are baseball's best fielding team.
To this point, Philadelphia has committed the fewest errors with eight. That's amazing since we're closing in on the one-fifth point of the season. Through Wednesday's game against Los Angeles, the Phillies had not committed an error in their last 10 games.
Even more startling is that this team has allowed only one unearned. That's right, ONE! It happened on May 1 in a 7-4 loss at home against the New York Mets. The error leader is second baseman Chase Utley with three.
This is a case where the Phillies make the routine play, throw to the right base and don't make a variety of foolish plays.
Sometimes, emotions can get the better of people. When 305-game winner Tom Glavine stopped a minor league start about a month ago, he thought that he might be close to calling it a career.
Well, Glavine may have spoken too soon -- and he knows that. Glavine came away very pleased with his most recent bullpen throwing session. He now believes that he could be in the Braves' rotation by the end of this month.
Glavine told reporters in New York on Wednesday that he would not rule out a return to the game in 2010 should he finish the season strong. Glavine has not pitched since last August when he had shoulder surgery.
Center fielder Cameron Maybin is a great talent. But he showed through the first month that he just wasn't ready for the big leagues yet.
Maybin was sent back to Triple A New Orleans after a very rough start. Maybin was batting just .202 through his first 25 games and had 31 strikeouts. Maybin, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 amateur free agent draft by Detroit, just has had problems identifying the strike zone.
What the Marlins don't want to do is to continue to watch Maybin get overmatched to the point where his confidence is ruined.
The Mets are definitely trying to use speed and power to their advantage at the cavernous Citi Field. Through their first 20 games, the Mets oddly enough have nearly the same number of triples (13) as home runs (14).
Two things are playing into this.
First, the power alleys are deep at 379 feet to left-center field and 383 to right-center field. Second, center field plays exceptionally deep at 408 field.
So that gives the outfielders questions on how to play the late innings in close game. In a no doubles set up to guard against the foul lines, that really exposes the alleys. For a center fielder, he really can't afford to cheat and play shallow. He has to respect that part and play medium depth. Better to give up a single than a triple.
Don't be surprised if an inside-the-park home run is hit there sometime this season.
New York has 12 triples and 12 homers in 19 games at spacious Citi Field.
By Kevin Lonnquist
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