GW’s MLB West Power Ratings (Week 4)
1. Athletics (1): Skipper Bob Melvin does more (win games) with less (paltry payroll) than any manager in the Major Leagues. Also, the A’s just set a franchise record for the most consecutive weeks (two) ranked No. 1 by GW, but 3-game series in Boston offers tough test.
2. Giants (2): The new-look Tim Lincecum had an old-look Tim Lincecum (finally!!) on Saturday when he shut out the Padres over 6 2/3 stellar innings at AT&T Park. Okay, it was only the woebegone Padres, who went down quietly against lefty Barry Zito on Sunday.
3. Rockies (7): Neither rain, nor sleet nor snow will keep the most surprising team in the big leagues from tacking on win-after-win-after-win at home – eight straight until Sunday. Raise your hand if you thought the Rockies would be the last MLB team to lose a home game.
4. Rangers (4): Club executive Nolan Ryan was seen pounding his chest in pride after the Rangers’ pitching staff blanked the Mariners in back-to-back games at The Ballpark. That had not happened since the spiffy park debuted in 1994.
5. Diamondbacks (5): Whenever you have a discussion about the Designated Hitter rule, consider this: The D-Backs’ pitchers were a combined 0-for-29 through their first 18 games.
6. Dodgers (3): Every struggling hitter can look at Matt Kemp and say, “See, even someone as great as Kemp can slump.” Look for the slump-induced benching by skipper Don Mattingly this past week to light a fire in the All-Star.
7. Angels (9): It’s no surprise to GW that Garrett Richards is the first Halos pitcher to take a game into the seventh inning this season. Yeah, right.
8. Mariners (6): Not too sure just how many Mariners fans will cherish the “Dustin Ackley Bat Night” during the team’s next homestand at Safeco Field. As of Sunday, the second baseman was batting .161, so use the bats at your own risk.
9. Astros (8): What a difference 364 days made for Phil Humber. One day shy of the one-year anniversary of pitching a perfect game for the White Sox against the Mariners, Humber lasted one-third of an inning in a debacle against the Indians at Minute Maid Park.
10: Padres (10): A sure tipoff to how the Pads have started the regular season is reflected in the fact closer Huston Street has appeared in five games, but had just two save opportunities – converting both, by the way.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)