Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp, Josh Willingham named players of the week


Two weeks of the season down, two weeks of Matt Kemp taking player of the week honors in the NL. He also won the last player of the week award last season, so it’s three straight for him. The kid is pretty good, no?

Kemp won the award again for a week in which he went 12-for-22, hit four home runs and had 26 total bases, helping lead the Dodgers to the best record in baseball. So far this season Kemp is hitting .487/.523/1.026 with six homers, which is pretty nuts, even for a small as heck sample size.

In the AL, the award went to Josh Willingham of the Minnesota Twins. In six games last week, Willingham batted .455 (10-for-22) with a double, three home runs, four RBI, three walks and six runs. On the season he’s hitting .419/.514/.871, leading the league in the latter two categories.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.