The Urena Express: 5/6/22

Steven Urena
“Don’t you know we’re riding on the Urena Express…”

By Steven Urena

MLB Roundup

Folks, it’s a long season…

Dodger/Raider fans are the worst. They have zero patience. In the first series of the season, we lost 2 of 3 in Colorado and they were ready to call it a season. We lost 2 of 3 to Arizona earlier in the year and now we are doubting what was dubbed “the greatest team of all time.” DodgerRaider fans wanted Cody Bellinger gone after a horrendous spring and now they are calling for the heads of Max Muncy and Justin Turner. In baseball, it’s not a sprint, it is a marathon. Relax Angelinos, let the boys play. Luck does not win out in baseball, talent does. The Dodgers are talented. We’re gonna be fine. 

Baseball is 162 games. It is a war of attrition. Literally, any team in the MLB can be in first place 25 games into the season…except the Cincinnati Reds. Ouch! 

Believe me, it’s great to get off to a good start but we all know it’s not how you start but how you finish. So many factors go into teams falling apart. One is health, another is durability, a third is players failing to make adjustments (scouting reports) and younger players not able to handle the pressure.

The San Diego Padres can attest to that. Coming into the 2021 season, they were regarded as the 2nd or 3rd best team in baseball. By the end of the season, their pitching staff collapsed, Hurtnando Tatis was injured, Trent Grisham got worse instead of better, Eric Hosmer proved what a waste of money he continues to be, their bullpen stunk and now their farm is depleted. 

Playing everyday and playing 162 is not easy. Remember when Vladdy Jr. hit 3 home runs in one game and the next game struck out 3 times and went 0 for 4? Remember when Mookie Betts hit 2 home runs in one game and the next day struck out 4 times?! No days off in baseball. You’re back out there the next day and everyone does their homework on you. Baseball is a grind, which is why the mental tools needed to play this game at a high level far exceed the physical ones.

New York Yankees

The Blue Jays were my pick to win the AL East but the Yankees recently took 2 of 3 from the Jays to give them the lead in the division. Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are making a statement. The new Bronx Bombers are crushing the baseball this year. Rizzo and Judge are tied for the MLB lead in home runs with 9 and Stanton has 5 on the year. The Yankees are top 5 in the MLB in home runs, RBIs and batting average. That’s a tough lineup to face. Especially in New York. Gerrit Cole is still one of the best pitchers on the planet and now he’s got help from Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery. Aroldis Chapman has 6 saves and still throws fire. The staff is second in the MLB with a team ERA of 2.60. The Yanks will be as good as their health allows them to be. If injuries start mounting up again, the Yanks will finish out of first place again. If they stay healthy, watch out!

New York Mets

Every time the Mets win I think of Mr. Torosian and Mr. Met

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The Mets have been disappointing the past few seasons. Especially when Jacob deGrom (the best pitcher on planet Earth when he’s healthy) gets hurt every year. Even without deGrom, the Mets are cruising in the NL East and have a 5.5 lead over the second place Miami Marlins. Max Scherzer is doing exactly what he is getting paid to do. Dominate. The bigger surprises are Tylor Megill, Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco. All 3 are having solid seasons. Edwin Diaz has always been tough at the end of games and that is no different this season. Their staff has an ERA of 3.31. Good enough for 7th best in the MLB. When it comes to strikeouts, the Mets pitchers are number one in the MLB. The Mets offense is as consistent as they come. Pete Alonso is the true standout and the rest of the lineup does their part. The Mets lead the MLB with 243 hits on the year and are top 5 in batting average and RBIs. They don’t hit a ton of home runs but they are a scrappy group. Which is why I was not surprised they came back from a 7-1 deficit last night. Old Met teams did not do that. I would like to see Francisco over .280 with over 30 home runs. That’s what he’s getting paid $351 million to do. That’s what he did when he had his best years in Cleveland. He’s off to a better start than last year but he needs to be an MVP type player year in and year out. 

Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim)

The Angels have been a surprise this season. Although it’s early, the Angels are happy to be off to a good start. Especially since there has not been much to cheer about lately down in Anaheim. We knew Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani were going to have great seasons; they just needed the other hitters to chip in. Jared Walsh, Anthony Rendon, Brandon Marsh and Taylor Ward have done their part. The Halos are second in the MLB in home runs, 5th in total hits and 1st in RBIs. The offense is still unproven, aside from Trout and Ohtani, but right now they are getting it done. The Angels Achilles heel has been pitching. We know Ohtani can deal but they need huge years from Noah Syndergaard, Michael Lorenzen and a dark horse (possibly Reid Detmers or Patrick Sandoval). They are not going to get it done in October with one or two solid arms. Angels pitching has been good, not great this season. It needs to get better in order to win the West and get their superstars in the playoffs.

Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles

“The best team ever” is trying to find their groove but are still playing really well. Their team ERA of 2.21 is the best in the MLB. Their starters this season (Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Andrew Heaney) all have ERAs below 3 or below 2. Heaney’s ERA in 2 starts is 0.00. Their bullpen is tough. Brusdar Graterol throws 100 mph sinkers. Daniel Hudson is great at holding down the fort and handing it to the next guy. Craig Kimbrel’s still got it. He’s blowing it by hitters and his slider is as nasty as ever. The Dodgers are still going to get back Dustin May and Caleb Ferguson at some point in the year. The only reason we won the World Series in 2020 was because of our bullpen. This bullpen looks just as good. Our hitting has been a little disappointing but you can’t expect to score 10 runs a game. Even with our great offense. It looks like our pitching will carry us and hitting will do just enough and come up with big home runs late in games. Breathe Dodger fans, it’s a long season.

The Dead Bug Tales

The Dead Bug Tales

We Don’t Talk About Bauer, No, No

Can anyone help me understand why Trevor Bauer is still not playing baseball? He did not break the law and the judge said “she set limits without considering all the consequences and he (Bauer) did not exceed limits.” Two years is the biggest punishment I’ve seen a player receive. I truly am dumbfounded by the suspension. The investigation has been done. Let’s move on. Let the guy play.

Contact Steve Urena at:
Email: theurenaexpress@gmail.com
Twitter/IG: @theurenaexpress

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