Some have slumped, while others have simmered. Here’s our weekly review of who’s running hot and cold around Major League Baseball.
Stats through Aug. 14
AL — Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
Kluber went 4-0 with a 0.68 ERA in five starts from July 19-Aug. 9. The right-hander allowed four runs (three earned), 22 hits and struck out 45 in 40 innings throughout the span. He won six consecutive decisions from July 6-Aug. 9, and he won three straight starts from July 30-Aug. 9. He lasted no fewer than 7 1/3 innings in five of his appearances from July 6-Aug. 9. Overall, he’s 13-6 with a 2.46 ERA and 187 strikeouts this season.
NL — Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
Hendricks went 4-1 with a 1.01 ERA in five starts from July 22-Aug. 12. The right-hander allowed five runs (four earned), 28 hits and struck out 19 in 35 2/3 innings in the span. He won three consecutive starts from Aug. 1-12, going at least seven innings in each appearance. Overall, he’s 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 26 strikeouts this season.
AL — Danny Santana, Minnesota Twins
Santana hit .500 (14 for 28) in six games from Aug. 8-13. He had four multi-hit contests in the span, including going 4 for 5 in a victory over the Houston Astros on Aug. 13. He has hit a sizzling .389 with one home run and five RBI in August. He’s hitting .331 with five home runs and 27 RBI this season.
NL — Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Gonzalez hit .500 (13 for 26) with two home runs and nine RBI in seven games from Aug. 8-14. He had five multi-hit contests in the span, including four consecutive games with at least two hits each from Aug. 8-11. His hot August includes a .340 batting average for the month with two home runs and 12 RBI. He’s hitting .273 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI this season.
AL — Kansas City Royals
The Royals went 6-1 in games from Aug. 8-14. The run is part of a larger rally that includes a 13-2 record from July 30-Aug. 14. Kansas City hasn’t lost consecutive games since dropping two straight to the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians from July 27-29. With a 66-54 record, the Royals lead the American League Central by a half game over the Detroit Tigers.
NL — Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers went 4-3 in games from Aug. 8-14. After losing two consecutive games to the Milwaukee Brewers from Aug. 8-9, they won four of five contests from Aug. 10-14, a run that included three victories in four games against the Atlanta Braves from Aug. 11-14. At 70-53, they own the National League’s best record and lead the San Francisco Giants by 5 1/2 games in the NL West. Among division leaders, only the Baltimore Orioles’ 7 1/2 game edge over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East and the Washington Nationals’ six-game lead over the Braves in the NL East are larger.
(Clockwise from top left) Texas’ Miles Mikolas, St. Louis’ John Lackey, Chicago Cubs’ Luis Valbuena and Texas’ J.P. Arencibia are this week’s slumping pitchers and hitters.
AL — Miles Mikolas, Texas Rangers
Mikolas went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in starts against the Houston Astros on Aug. 8 and Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 13. The right-hander allowed 11 runs, 13 hits and four home runs in 11 innings in the span. The 10 runs surrendered to the Rays mark the most he has allowed this season, and the nine hits Tampa Bay earned that night are the second-most produced against him, behind the 12 the Astros totaled in the Rangers’ loss on July 7. Overall, he’s 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA and 27 strikeouts this season.
NL — John Lackey, St. Louis Cardinals
Lackey went 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA in starts against the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 9 and San Diego Padres on Aug. 14. The right-hander allowed 11 runs, 18 hits and three home runs in 12 innings in the window. The nine runs allowed to the Orioles are the most he has surrendered this season, and the 13 hits allowed that day also are a season-worst total. Overall, he’s 12-8 with a 3.91 ERA and 128 strikeouts this season.
AL — J.P. Arencibia, Texas Rangers
Arencibia hit .053 (1 for 19) with five strikeouts in six games from Aug. 8-13. The lone hit in the span came on a home run in a loss to the Houston Astros on Aug. 8. He has hit .139 with 10 strikeouts in August. He’s hitting .175 with eight home runs and 28 RBI this season.
NL — Luis Valbuena, Chicago Cubs
Valbuena hit .045 (1 for 22) with 10 strikeouts in seven games from Aug. 8-14. The lone hit in the span was a single in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Aug. 12. He hasn’t produced more than one hit in a single game since going 2 for 5 with two RBI in a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 1. He’s hitting .233 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI this season.
AL — Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays went 2-4 in games from Aug. 8-13. After winning two of three contests against the Detroit Tigers from Aug. 8-10, they lost three consecutive to the Seattle Mariners from Aug. 11-13. Their 3-9 mark in August is the American League’s worst for the month, and only the Colorado Rockies have a more dreadful August record at 3-10. At 63-59 overall, the Blue Jays trail the Baltimore Orioles by 7 1/2 games in the American League East, but they’re just 3 1/2 games behind the Tigers for the AL’s second wild-card spot.
NL — Colorado Rockies
The Rockies went 2-5 in games from Aug. 8-14. The slide’s lowlight came in a three-game sweep by the San Diego Padres from Aug. 11-13. They have won just three games in August, and they’ve failed to win consecutive contests since claiming three straight against the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates from July 23-26. At 47-74, the Rockies are tied for the majors’ worst record with the Texas Rangers.
A new leader has arrived. In time, we will come to know Rob Manfred, elected as Major League Baseball’s 10th commissioner Aug. 14. In time, we will learn his style and develop opinions about his leadership. In time, we will mark the change that comes with his guidance of the nation’s pastime, which enters an interesting era with concerns about the game’s ability to keep pace with these breakneck times. This much is known now: Change can be good, and fresh eyes are always welcomed. Soon, MLB will enter a new present with eyes focused on what the future will bring.