2009 MLB American League West Notebook
The Angels Vladimir Guerrero is starting to come out of a long two-month fiasco. A pulled chest muscle really put a crimp in his season, but he didn't help himself by the lack of power.
This might be a wait-and-see situation for Guerrero who has hit in six consecutive games and lifted his average from .208 to .270. Guerrero produced four multiple-hit games and the power was starting to surface with three doubles. Guerrero is still stuck on one home run and has only driven in six. He really is going to be the key for an offense that has run into real difficulty.
Los Angeles is already running last in the American League with 42 home runs and about 73 percent of the Angels base hits are singles, which is the most in the American League. The Angels are running 10th in slugging percentage.
But for sure, the Angels definitely have the Rangers in their sights as they trailed by 3 1/2 games going into the weekend.
Here are a couple of random but interesting notables about the Mariners. For starters, Ken Griffey Jr. recorded the 22nd game of his career with three extra base hits. In a June 2 game against Baltimore, Griffey homered and doubled twice. Since 1954, Griffey is tied for third with Alex Rodriguez in that department. Manny Ramirez has 24, Willie Mays had 23.
Meanwhile Felix Hernandez is eighth on the franchise's all-time strikeout list with 665. He should pass Erik Hanson who is seventh at 740. Of course, the club's all-time leader is 300-game winner Randy Johnson at 2,162. But it might shock you to learn that the crafty lefty Jamie Moyer is second 1,239. But Hernandez is second on the strikeout per nine inning ratio list at 8.11. Johnson is the leader at 10.58.
And Ichiro took a club-record 27-game hitting streak into the weekend series with Minnesota. The longest hitting streak in the big leagues this year was Washington's Ryan Zimmerman who reached 30.
One of the hallmark figures for the Rangers has been veteran broadcaster Eric Nadel. Nadel, who is in his 31st season calling Rangers games, saw his streak of 3,176 consecutive games end when he had surgery on June 4 to repair two tears in the retina in his right eye. Nadel missed the June 4 game in New York against the Yankees and was expected to miss the weekend series in Boston.
The likes of Nadel is becoming a rarity in baseball broadcasters these days. Clubs go through their announcers every three or four years. But Nadel has been one of the great play-by-play men in the game. He started with the Rangers in 1979 and called the three AL West division winning years in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
In an unrelated note, Rangers starters lead baseball in average innings per start at 6.13.
Well, if you're going to see some movement from the A's this season, June is the month where they usually do it. They began the month by taking three of four in Chicago. They have had a winning June in each of the last seven seasons. In fact, since 2002, the A's are 124-69 (.642) in June, which is the best record by any club in baseball.
Of course, the A's still have not found their way out of last place let in the AL West. They can thank an 11-18 May for that. And because they have the second-worst record in the American League, they have the second-fewest saves in baseball with 11. Only Kansas City has fewer saves with nine.
By Kevin Lonnquist
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