David Price has been absolutely spectacular for the Red Sox. Dansby Swanson and Ryan Flaherty have been superb for the Braves. Mike Minor is excelling for the Texas Rangers. Carson Fulmer pitched extremely well for the White Sox last Wednesday. Pedro Alvarez is doing huge things for the Orioles. And Sonny Gray is gearing up for a big season in the Bronx.
Here's a look at each player.
DP is cookin for the Bosox though he hasn't been involved in a decision yet. In his first game against the Rays, he went 7, gave up 4 hits, 0 runs, with no walks and 5 K's. David threw 76 pitches with 55 of them for strikes against only 21 balls. He was super sharp. The BoSox won the game 1-0. Then, last Thursday against the Rays, David's control wasn't as sharp as the week before, but he pitched extremely well nonetheless, going 7 again, giving up 3 hits, 0 runs, with 3 walks and 5 K's. David threw 91 pitches with 56 of them for strikes against 35 balls. He's hitting 94 on his hard stuff, his cutter is excellent coming in at 88 to 90 with great movement, his change up is solid and his curve has become a weapon this season. Really like where David is. He doesn't have a decision yet, but his ERA is 0.00 and his WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) is 0.71, which is superb. David and the Red Sox have a shot to go a long way this season if their key players can stay healthy, including David. The Red Sox are presently 8-1, and ahead of the Blue Jays by 2 1/2 games. The Jays are 6-4. The Yankees are 5-5. David is on the hill again Wednesday at Fenway versus the Yankees and the super good Masahiro Tanaka. Should be a phenomenal matchup.
Dansby Swanson and Ryan Flaherty
Both on fire. Dans is hitting .382 and hit his first homer yesterday to go along with 7 Ribeyes. Dansby has found his spot on the Braves, and this season could be a spectacular one for the awesome Swanson. Ryan has also found a home in Atlanta as he's hitting a torrid .414. Despite a tough 10 inning, 3-2 loss to Colorado Saturday Night, Ryan drove in the game tying run in the top of the 9th with a sharp line drive single to center. Both are playing terrific defense, Dans at short and Ryan at third. The Braves are 6-3 and in second place in the NL East, a very good division. The Mets lead the division at 7-1. The Braves are at Washington today through Wednesday in a key early season series. Julio Teheran faces the terrific Max Scherzer tonight, the great young Mike Foltynewicz faces the awesome Stephen Strasburg tomorrow night and Brandon McCarthy of the Braves squares off with A. J. Cole of the Nats on Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing more Dans and Flash this week.
Mikey was nothing short of brilliant Saturday Night in pitching the Texas Rangers to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Mike went 6, gave up just 2 hits, 1 earned, with 2 walks and 7 K's. he threw 93 pitches with 54 for strikes against 39 balls. His fastball was hitting 93 and his changeup, cutter and curve were dynamic. Mike is on a pretty good team that is finding their way in the early season. Good to see Mike back on the mound competing. He's battled some injuries but has always had awesome stuff. Mike's 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA and an 0.84 WHIP. Mike pitches again Friday at the Astros, so a major test for the man.
Carson got a victory in his first start this season, 4-3 over the Toronto Blue Jays at Toronto. Carson went 5, gave up 5 hits, 3 earned with 1 walk and 5 K's. He threw 73 pitches with 48 for strikes. Carson doesn't throw as straight line as David does. He throws a lot of curve balls and his fastball has so much movement and his balls mostly sink which makes it tough on any hitter. He's very similar to Sonny in that he's an awesome pitcher, but many of his pitches are so sharp turning and so sharp dropping that they are not in the strike zone. It's just the way Carson rolls. He certainly gets the job done and is a bulldog of a competitor. The White Sox have a lot of young, promising talent and Carson will be a key piece for them this season and going forward. They are presently 3-5. Carson pitches again tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) versus the Rays.
Pedro has been terrific as DH for the Baltimore Orioles. Friday Night in the top of the 14th, Pedro crushed a grand slam to right to lead the Orioles to the 7-3 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. And yesterday, Pedro scored the winning run in an 8-7, 12 inning Orioles victory over the Yankees. He's been superb when called upon by manager Buck Showalter. Really proud for Pedro as his work ethic is spectacular and he's always maintained a super positive attitude even when things looked tough. El Toro is crankin.
Sonny got the victory over the Orioles on Saturday as the Yankees salvaged a game in the 3 game home set, winning 8-3 over the O's. Sonny fought hard going 5.1 innings, giving up 4 hits, 3 earned, with 2 walks and 4 K's. Sonny is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP, which is a lot higher than he wants, but Sonny will compete, there is no doubt about that. I really see a lot of similarities between Sonny and Carson. They just keep battling, both are bulldogs and both bring it 93-95 with hard biting curves that can be impossible to hit. I like where Sonny is, as always. Sonny will give the Yankees everything he's got. Sonny pitches next at Detroit on Friday.
Our baseball team
We took 2 of 3 from Georgia over the weekend which is very good as Georgia is ranked 17th in the country and are a really solid team. We're now No.15 in the country and are 19-13 and 7-5 in the SEC. Drake Fellows, in a loss, Patrick Raby, in a victory, along with a super relief performance from Chandler Day, who struck out 9, and Mason Hickman, in a victory, all pitched well. The bats picked it up on Saturday and Sunday and that was great to see. We had some fielding issues at times, but Connor Kaiser is such an awesome shortstop. Everybody needs to start stepping up their game as it is now time to do that if we want to be an elite team come May. We play Western Kentucky tomorrow at home and No.5 Ole Miss comes to the Hawk for a weekend set. Tomorrow night's game is at 6:30 CT on SEC Network+. Friday's game versus the Rebels is at 6:30 PM CT on SEC Network+, Saturday's game is at 2 PM CT on SEC Network+ and Sunday's game is at 4 PM CT on the U. ESPNU. We just need everything to start clicking, on the mound, in the field and at the plate. This team certainly has that ability. With the No.1 recruiting class in the country as juniors and the No.1 recruiting class as freshman, we certainly have the makeup to excel. Our sophomore class is pretty strong also. We're missing our stud right fielder J.J, Bleday, who is out with an oblique injury, that hopefully he can come back from pretty soon. But a lot of guys stepped up this past weekend and played well, particularly on Saturday and Sunday in our victories.
Our men's golf team is presently ranked No.3 in the country and playing stellar golf. Oklahoma State is No.1 and A&M is No.2. We won the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Georgia 3 weeks ago. We will host the Mason Rudolph Championship this weekend. No.8 Alabama and No. 12 Florida will also be competing along with 11 other teams in a 14 team field. Theo Humphrey, Will Gordon, Patrick Martin and John Augenstein are stellar for us. After this weekend, we'll get ready for the SEC Championship April 25th-29th at Sea Island. Some great stuff going on with Scott Limbaugh's golf team.
Geoff McDonald has another spectacular team led by our No.2 player, Fernanda Contreras, who is ranked No.3 in the country. We are presently 17-3 overall and 10-1 in the SEC. We finished up our home slate over this past weekend and completed and 11-0 home mark with consecutive 4-0 victories over A&M and LSU respectively. Wow. Next up are road matches against No.5 South Carolina and No. 12 Florida this weekend, so some pretty stiff tests, but I have the utmost confidence in our women. They are spectacular. The SEC Championship commences April 18th and continues on through April 22nd at Knoxville. This team's got a shot to be really special.
NFL and VU football notes
Jordan Matthews was signed by the New England Patriots last week. JMatt will join forces with Adam Butler on an always loaded Patriots squad which is led by the superb Tom Brady. Never thought I'd be a Patriots fan, but I am now along with being a Texans fan (Zach and Andre) and Chargers (Casey) and wherever Jay ends up. Hoping Jay will get picked up by somebody. He's still got a lot of talent left to give to a team, and can help them win a lot of games in the right situation. His line last year at the Dolphins was less than stellar, but Adam Gase likes him and they've improved their line play, so maybe Gase will have Jay back at the Phins. I know Ryan Tannehill is coming back from injury, so Jay will have to beat him out or find another place to play. Injuries happen, so Jay's got a shot somewhere. He's a quality quarterback and has been helping our stellar upcoming senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur.
Kyle is poised for a big year. Hoping we can win several games and go to a very good bowl this season and build for a very bright future. We have good talent on offense. Defense has a lot of good players, just need to develop them in the weight room and in fall practice. Like the talent level that DMase has brought in though. We've got some really good freshman coming in. Deuce Wallace is an excellent backup quarterback for us and the Deuce's future is quite bright. Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig is very high on him. We have rising freshman Allan Walters coming in this summer. Allan's got a ton of talent. We'll need to add one or 2 quarterbacks in recruiting for 2019 as Kyle will be graduating and hopefully getting a shot in the NFL in 2019. The offensive line looks good, we've got a young but talented receiving corps, the running back situation is outstanding and tight end will be solid. On defense, I look for Joejuan Williams to have a huge year at corner if the opponent ever throws his way. Our d line is developing and we're a little thin at inside linebacker, but Jordan Griffin, Caleb Peart, and Josh Smith will be excellent players for us at linebacker. Kicking game needs to develop. We've got a shot to be good. I'll develop more in upcoming pieces.