Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Dodgers’ Kershaw, Angels’ Pujols sizzling

(Clockwise from top left) St. Louis' Matt Adams, LA Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, Boston's Jon Lester and LA Angels' Albert Pujols are this week's hot pitchers and hitters.

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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 July 10

HOT PITCHERS

AL — Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox

Lester went 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA and 39 strikeouts in six starts from June 12-July 10. The left-hander lasted eight innings twice in the span, and none of his appearances were shorter than the 6 1/3 innings he pitched in a victory over the Minnesota Twins on June 17. He’s 9-7 with a 2.65 ERA this season.

NL —€“ Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Kershaw has gone 6-0 with a 0.38 ERA and 62 strikeouts in six starts from June 13-July 10. The left-hander was phenomenal in the span, not allowing a run for 41 consecutive innings until the San Diego Padres’ Chase Headley smacked a home run in the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory July 10. Kershaw won eight consecutive starts from June 2-July 10. He’s 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA this season.

HOT HITTERS

AL — Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

Pujols hit .483 (14 for 29) with three home runs and 12 RBI in seven games from July 4-10. He had at least two hits in all but one game during the stretch, and his best day came when he went 3 for 5 with one homer and three RBI in a victory over the Houston Astros on July 5. He has hit .272 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI this season.

NL —€“ Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals

Adams batted .520 (13 for 25) with one home run and five RBI in seven games from July 4-10. He had three multihit games in the span, including going 4 for 5 with one RBI in a loss to the Miami Marlins on July 6. He has hit .336 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI this season.

HOT TEAMS

AL —€“ Los Angeles Angels

The Angels went 6-1 in games from July 4-10. The run included four consecutive victories over the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays from July 4-7 before a loss to the Blue Jays on July 8. The Angels scored at least five runs in each of the victories in the span, and they produced at least 11 runs twice. At 54-37, they’re second in the American League West, 3½ games behind the Oakland Athletics.

NL —€“ Washington Nationals

The Nationals went 3-3 in games from July 4-10. The results are part of a larger window that includes an 8-3 record from June 28-July 10. Their victory over the Chicago Cubs on July 5 featured a season-high 13 runs. They are co-leaders of the National League East at 49-41, tied with the Atlanta Braves, who are 50-42.

(Clockwise from left to right) Colorado’s Jair Jurrjens, Washington’s Bryce Harper and Kansas City’s Jeremy Guthrie and Raul Ibanez are this week’s coldest pitchers and hitters.

COLD PITCHERS

AL —€“ Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals

Guthrie went 0-2 with a 15.75 ERA in starts against the Cleveland Indians on July 5 and the Detroit Tigers on July 10. The right-hander allowed 14 runs and 19 hits in eight combined innings in the appearances. The two consecutive losses mark the first time he has dropped back-to-back outings since losing three consecutive starts from May 27-June 6. He’s 5-8 with a 4.56 ERA this season.

NL —€“ Jair Jurrjens, Colorado Rockies

Jurrjens went 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 4 and the San Diego Padres on July 9. The right-hander allowed 11 runs and 20 hits in 9 1/3 combined innings in what were his first two starts for the Rockies this season. He also surrendered four home runs — two in each appearance. He was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on July 9.

COLD HITTERS

AL —“ Raul Ibanez, Kansas City Royals

Ibanez is hitless in his past 23 at-bats with six strikeouts in six games from July 4-10. He hasn’t picked up a hit since going 2 for 4 in a victory over the Minnesota Twins on July 2, and he last drew a walk when he forced two in a loss to the Cleveland Indians on June 16. He has hit a meager .097 with one home run and two RBI in 31 July at-bats. He has hit .147 with four home runs and 23 RBI this season.

NL —€“ Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Harper hit .050 (1 for 20) with nine strikeouts in six games from July 4-10. His lone hit in the span came when he singled in a victory over the Chicago Cubs on July 5. He is 4 for 31 since returning June 30 following rehab for a torn ligament in his left thumb. He has hit .246 with one home run and 10 RBI this season.

COLD TEAMS

AL —€“ Texas Rangers

The Rangers are 1-6 since July 4. The slide includes two losses to the New York Mets, then four consecutive defeats to the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels from July 7-10. They went 1-11 in games from June 29-July 10. At 38-54, they own the majors’ worst record.

NL —€“ Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers went 1-6 in games from July 4-10. They lost two contests to the Cincinnati Reds, followed by four consecutive defeats to the Philadelphia Phillies from July 7-10. They went 1-9 in games from June 29-July 10. At 52-41, their lead in the National League Central over the St. Louis Cardinals has been trimmed to two games.

TWEETS OF THE WEEK


The #FinalVote results for the upcoming All-Star Game in Minneapolis had a distinct Windy City feel. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (8.8 million votes) and White Sox left-hander Chris Sale (6.7 million) received Midsummer Classic invites Thursday thanks to the late fan selection. Oh, there were clever campaigns along the way — hat tip to the Miami Marlins for the #VoteHitsMcGehee bit — but Rizzo and Sale overcame all challengers in this taste of October in July.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.