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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

September 3, 2009 at 8:31 AM

The National League is good for what AL’s you

penny.jpg

(Update: Jon Heyman of SI.com expands on this topic today).

Did you notice that interleague play resumes today? OK, it’s one game, Cubs vs. White Sox at Wrigley Field, the makeup of a rainout on June 16

No matter what the outcome, the American League dominated interleague play for the sixth straight year, holding a 137-114 advantage heading into today’s showdown between the most disappointing team in each league. Oh, and the American League won the All-Star Game for the 12th straight year that it’s been played to conclusion.

The NL IS the defending World Series champion, and has won two of the last three. I’ll give them that. But I couldn’t help but notice these three recent results that must say something:

  • Brad Penny, released by the Red Sox on Aug. 26 with a 5.61 ERA, 160 hits allowed in 131 2/3 innings, .299 opponents’ batting average. Signed by Giants, makes his 2009 NL debut last night, throws eight shutout innings against the Philles, giving up five hits in a 4-0 win. (That’s Penny in action last night in the above photo).

  • John Smoltz, released by the Red Sox on Aug. 17 with an 8.32 ERA, 59 hits allowed in 40 innings, with 33 strikeouts, .341 opponents’ batting average. Signed by Cardinals, 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts, 7 hits allowed in 11 innings with 15 strikeouts, .184 opponents’ batting average. Smoltz goes tonight against the Brewers.

  • Cliff Lee, traded from Indians to Phillies on July 31. With Cleveland, 7-9, 3.14 ERA, 165 hits allowed in 152 innings, 107 strikeouts, .278 opponents’ batting average. With Phillies, 5-1, 1.80 ERA, 34 hits allowed in 45 innings, 44 strikeouts, .211 opponents batting average.

    (And one more I forget earlier):

  • Matt Holliday, trade from A’s to Cardinals on July 24. In 93 games with Oakland, Holliday had 346 at-bats, 11 homers, 54 RBIs, .286/.378/456, OPS .832, OPS+ 124. In 36 games with St. Louis, Holliday has 136 at-bats, nine homers, 36 RBIs, .375/.437/.691, OPS 1.128, OPS+ 193.

    I’m just sayin’.

    (Associated Press photo)

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