Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Aybar bats Angels to top of AL West

(Clockwise from top left) Baltimore's Chris Tillman, Milwaukee's Mike Fiers, San Francisco's Buster Posey and Los Angeles Angels' Erick Aybar are this week's hottest 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 Aug. 28


AL — Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles

Tillman went 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in five starts from Aug. 3-25. The right-hander allowed six runs (five earned), 19 hits and struck out 27 in 35 2/3 innings during the span. He lasted no fewer than 6 2/3 innings in all appearances during the stretch, and he won six of seven decisions from June 22-Aug. 25. Overall, he’s 11-5 with a 3.41 ERA and 116 strikeouts this season.

NL — Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers

Fiers went 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA in four starts from Aug. 9-24. The right-hander allowed four runs, 10 hits and struck out 32 in 28 innings during the span. He went at least seven innings in three of the appearances, and he lasted a season-high eight in a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 9. Overall, he’s 4-1 with a 1.54 ERA and 37 strikeouts this season.


AL — Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels

Aybar hit .500 (13 for 26) with four RBI in seven games from Aug. 22-28. He had five multi-hit games in the span, including a day when he went 3 for 4 in a loss to the Miami Marlins on Aug. 25. He has hit .303 with a .721 OPS and five RBI in August. He had at least one hit in 13 consecutive games from Aug. 16-28. Overall, he has hit .282 with six home runs and 56 RBI this season.

NL — Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

Posey hit .355 (11 for 31) with four home runs and nine RBI in seven games from Aug. 22-28. He had four multi-hit games in the span, the highlight being when he went 3 for 5 with one home run and three RBI in a victory over the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 27. He also had two home runs and three RBI in a victory over the Rockies on Aug. 26. He has hit a hot .316 with a .917 OPS, six home runs and 14 RBI in August. Overall, he has hit .289 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI this season.


AL — Los Angeles Angels

The Angels went 4-3 in games from Aug. 22-28. The run included three consecutive victories from Aug. 26-28 over the Miami Marlins (two) and Oakland Athletics (one). Los Angeles scored at least six runs in three of those wins. From Aug. 9-28, the Angels went a strong 13-5 to rise as the majors’ best. At 80-53, they own the league’s top record and lead Oakland by two games in the American League West.

NL — Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies, long out of postseason contention, have enjoyed a recent spark. They went 5-1 in games from Aug. 22-27. The span included a surprising three-game sweep of the National League East-leading Washington Nationals from Aug. 25-27, part of the Phillies’ four consecutive victories from Aug. 24-27. That run represents their longest winning streak since claiming five straight from July 7-11. They’re in last place in the NL East with a 61-72 record, 14 1/2 games behind the Nationals.

(Clockwise from top left) Baltimore’s Bud Norris, Washington’s Doug Fister, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and Houston’s Matt Dominguez are this week’s slumping pitchers and hitters.


AL — Bud Norris, Baltimore Orioles

Norris went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in starts against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 23 and Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 28. The right-hander allowed eight runs, 10 hits and walked three in eight innings during the span. He was chased before completing six innings three times in the stretch, and he lasted just two innings in the loss to the Cubs. Before the slump, he won three consecutive starts from Aug. 5-18. Overall, he’s 11-8 with a 4.00 ERA and 105 strikeouts this season.

NL — Doug Fister, Washington Nationals

Fister went 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in starts against the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 22 and Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 27. The right-hander allowed nine runs (eight earned), 17 hits, four home runs and two walks in 11 2/3 innings during the span. He went 2-3 with a solid 2.25 ERA in six August starts, though the recent slide marks the first time he has dropped consecutive decisions in 2014. Overall, he’s 12-5 with a 2.55 ERA and 80 strikeouts this season.


AL — Matt Dominguez, Houston Astros

Dominguez hit .067 (1 for 15) with eight strikeouts in six games from Aug. 22-28. His lone hit in the span came on a single in a victory over the Texas Rangers on Aug. 28. He has hit an anemic .186 with a .462 OPS in August. Overall, he has hit .223 with 14 home runs and 51 RBI this season.

NL — Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

Puig went hitless in 13 at-bats in four games from Aug. 22-27. He struck out three times and drew six walks in the span. He has hit .221 with a .553 OPS in August. Overall, he has hit .301 with 13 home runs and 59 RBI this season.


AL — Chicago White Sox

The White Sox were an awful 1-5 in games from Aug. 22-28. The slide included three consecutive losses to the New York Yankees and two defeats in three games to the Cleveland Indians. From Aug. 18-28, Chicago went 1-8. The White Sox are 7-17 in August, which is tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks’ mark for the month’s worst record. Chicago is fourth in the American League Central with a 60-73 record.

NL — New York Mets

The Mets stumbled to a 2-4 mark in games from Aug. 22-28. During the span, they lost two games each in three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. They were held to two runs or fewer in three of the losses. The Mets are 10-16 in August, the National League East’s worst record for the month. At 62-72, they’re fourth in the NL East, 14 games behind the Nationals.


Want to do some advanced seat scouting? TIME linked to a cool online feature involving IdealSeat that shows the best places to snag balls at ballparks throughout the majors. Safeco Field? Sit in section 143. Citi Field? Try section 110. AT&T Park? Grab a spot in section 101. Tropicana Field? Park yourself in section 104. Amazing what technology can accomplish these days. This isn’t a bad way to fine-tune your prep process, if hawking foul balls at one of these stadiums is your idea of fun.

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