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 24
AL — David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
Price was 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA in five starts from June 25-July 19. The left-hander allowed five runs (four earned), 25 hits and struck out 40 over 40 innings in the span. He earned five consecutive victories from June 25-July 19. Overall, he’s 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA with 173 strikeouts in 21 starts this season.
NL — Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Lincecum was 4-1 with a 0.95 ERA in six appearances (five starts) from June 25-July 22. The right-hander allowed four runs, 15 hits and struck out 31 over 38 innings in the span. He earned victories in four consecutive starts from June 25-July 11. Overall, he’s 9-6 with a 3.65 ERA with 108 strikeouts in 21 appearances (20 starts) this season.
AL — Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays
Cabrera hit .481 (13 for 27) with one home run and seven RBI in seven games from July 18-24. He had four games with three hits each in the span. His batting average has risen 12 points since the All-Star break, and he has hit .365 with one home run and 10 RBI in July. He has hit .311 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI this season.
NL — Denard Span, Washington Nationals
Span hit .462 (12 for 26) with one RBI in six games from July 18-23. He had four multi-hit games in the stretch, including going 4 for 5 with one RBI in a loss to the Colorado Rockies on July 23. He has hit .357 with one RBI in July. Overall, he has hit .282 with one home run and 20 RBI this season.
AL — Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays went 5-0 in games from July 18-23. The victories were all earned on the road and included a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins and two straight victories over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rays have won 18 of 23 games since June 25, and the run has given them renewed hope of making the playoffs for the fifth time in seven seasons. At 49-53, they trail the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays by 4 1/2 games for the American League’s second wild card spot.
NL — Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers were 5-2 in games from July 18-24. After losing two of three contests to the Washington Nationals, they won four consecutive against the Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets. They scored at least four runs in each of their victories in the span, and they totaled at least five runs three times. At 58-45, they own a three-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals for the National League Central lead.
Clockwise from top left: Houston’s Scott Feldman, Baltimore’s Nick Hundley, New York Mets’ Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Miami’s Nathan Eovaldi are this week’s coldest pitchers and hitters.
AL — Scott Feldman, Houston Astros
Feldman was 0-2 with a 6.57 ERA in starts against the Chicago White Sox on July 18 and Oakland Athletics on July 24. The right-hander allowed nine runs and 16 hits in 12 1/3 innings in the span. The skid is part of a slide that includes losses in three consecutive starts from July 11-24. Overall, he’s 4-8 with a 4.60 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 18 starts this season.
NL — Nathan Eovaldi, Miami Marlins
Eovaldi was 0-2 with a 10.64 ERA in starts against the San Francisco Giants on July 18 and Atlanta Braves on July 23. The right-hander allowed 13 runs and 15 hits in 11 innings in the span. He’s 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in four July starts, results that place him on pace for his worst month this season. Overall, he’s 5-6 with a 4.20 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 21 starts this season.
AL — Nick Hundley, Baltimore Orioles
Hundley went 0 for 12 with six strikeouts in four games from July 19-24. The slump is part of a larger 0-for-14 slide from July 12-24. He has hit an anemic .188 with 14 strikeouts in July. Overall, he has hit .237 with three home runs and 13 RBI this season.
NL — Kirk Nieuwenhuis, New York Mets
Nieuwenhuis went 0 for 11 with seven strikeouts in five games from July 18-22. He has struggled at the plate throughout the month, posting a .179 batting average with 13 strikeouts and five walks. The five-game hitting slump marks his largest since going seven games without a hit from April 16-24. Overall, he has hit .246 with two home runs and 11 RBI this season.
AL — Seattle Mariners
The Mariners went 2-5 in games from July 18-24. The skid included two losses in three games against the Los Angeles Angels, two defeats in three contests against the New York Mets and a series-opening loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The Mariners were held to two or fewer runs in four of the defeats. Once comfortably atop the race for the American League’s second wild card spot, they trail the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays by half a game.
NL — Cincinnati Reds
The Reds went 0-6 in games from July 18-23. The lull included three consecutive losses each to the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers, two teams that have risen of late. The Reds allowed at least four runs in all but one of the defeats, the lone exception being a 3-2 loss to the Yankees on July 20. They have sunk to fourth place in the National League Central with a 51-50 record.
Even hecklers deserve love. Spend enough time at a ballpark, and hecklers become part of the background noise, no different than the crack of a bat or an organ’s hum. Most times these curious characters earn a smirk or perhaps a crane of the neck to see what all the fuss is about. But Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel devised a creative way to give a heckler his due. On Thursday, during Houston’s 13-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum, he tossed a ball to a heckler who gave him a hard time. It read, "THANKS FOR HELPING PAY MY SALARY FOR TODAY". Well said, Keuchel. Well said.