Tuesday, November 14, 2017

End of June (1993 No Expansion)

Lankford & the young Cardinals.
The end of June came, with John Smoltz seems to be getting back on track, after a slow first two months, improving to 7-2 with a 3.69 ERA & 65 strikeouts in 75.2 innings -- which is good news for Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays (42-31) got bad news with Rickey Henderson missing up to 7 weeks, due to injuring his shoulder on a diving catch; Henderson is currently batting .280 with 7 HR & 25 RBI for the season, while swiping 23 bases.

Toronto still trail the Baltimore Orioles (57-17) by 14.5 games; The Orioles are currently on a 9 game-winning streak.

The Chicago White Sox (40-33) seem to be slowly climbing in the A.L. West, as they trail the division-leading Oakland Athletics by 4 games; The White Sox in real-life 1993 won the A.L. West with stellar pitching, which with their bullpen, seems to be the alternate's strength as well. Frank Thomas is leading all American League first basemen in the All-Star voting, while batting .362, with 22 HR & 62 RBI (1.152 OPS) in 268 at-bats (73 games) this season.

The Montreal Expos (50-23) better keep an eye on the emerging St. Louis Cardinals (42-34), whose youth is starting to shine Cardinal red; Ray Lankford (.294, 14 HR, 50 RBI & 13 SB), Brian Jordan (.298, 10 HR & 44 RBI), Todd Zeile (.287, 10 HR, 39 RBI) & pitcher Rene Arocha (7-4, 3.38 ERA) all seem to be leading the charge. The Cardinals have slowly ate out of Montreal's advantage, by getting the division lead down to single digits.

The Atlanta Braves' month of June, despite Smoltz's recent improvement, was a so-so month for them, as they went 15-12 (.556 pct), after going 33-10 (.767 pct) during the first two months; Meanwhile, the Houston Astros (45-29) have chipped away at the Braves' lead, going 19-7 (.731 pct) during June.

The Astros are led by N.L. MVP candidate Moises Alou (.333, 12 HR & 55 RBI), while getting support from Jeff Bagwell (.305, 15 HR & 47 RBI), Eric Anthony (.270, 21 HR & 60 RBI) & pitcher Darryl Kile (9-3, 2.34 ERA); Houston trails Atlanta by only 5 games.

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