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Baseball Mounds, Meltdowns and Moms

   by Bryan Leonard - 06/08/2007

With the summer upon us, hot weather is being fused with hot baseball streaks of all kinds. The Dodgers couldn't slow down San Diego, which has gone a major league-best 24-10 since May 1. Anyone who had the Dodgers and the under in the game was heartbroken. San Diego is 18-9 under the total at home and LA led 5-1 in the 9th inning.

However, fill-in closer Jonathan Broxton entered the ninth inning with a four-run lead and left a loser after the Padres rallied to complete a three-game sweep by sending nine men to the plate in their final at-bat. The Padres won 6-5, pushing the game over the total. LA closer Takashi Saito is back after a four-day absence, and of course the Dodgers can't wait. The back end of their bullpen had been in tatters since their closer was sidelined by a sore left hamstring, and that included the collapse at Petco Park.

The red-hot Indians started a sizzling 21-7 at Jacobs Field. One big reason is 6-foot-7 ace Carlston Charles Sabathia. Since Aug. 1, 2005, when he made a commitment to becoming a pitcher rather than just a hard thrower, C.C. Sabathia has made 52 starts, compiling a 30-13 record and a 3.05 ERA. “C.C. was so consistent from that point on,'' Wedge said. “And last year he took it to another level.''

With a 38-21 start, the Red Sox are off to their best start after 59 games since the 1986 and 2002 teams went 40-19. The 1986 team went to the World Series, the 2002 team didn’t even make the playoffs. The point it, there’s still a long way to go.

The White Sox and Cubs have been disappointments in Chicago, with both teams suffering numerous problems. Sox RF Jermaine Dye just got a cortisone shot and had fluid drained from his right knee. 46 is the number of days since Mark Buehrle last won a game. He has been stuck on 99 career victories since an April 23 win against the Kansas City Royals, going winless in his last seven starts.

There’s a kid at AAA they might bring up soon to help. By showing a better presence on the mound and gaining control of a slider at Class AAA Charlotte, White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd has put himself in position to be the next call-up if a spot start is needed. General manager Ken Williams almost gave Floyd the start against the Cubs last month at Wrigley Field but decided it would be too soon.

The Cubs showed some life with a good week, winning 4 of 5 and taking 2 out of 3 at Milwaukee. The Cubs get third baseman Aramis Ramirez's back this week (ailing left knee). The Cubs' leader in home runs and RBI was diagnosed last week with ''severe patellar tendinitis'' after an MRI exam.

While winning 6 of 8 games the Yankees did it with offense. Note that they allowed 5 runs or more in 5 straight games, going 3-2. That’s why they went 5-2-1 over the total during that winning stretch. But can offense get them back in the race?

File this one under “Mom knows best!â€쳌 Barry Bonds has not homered since May 27 and is 10 homers shy of surpassing Aaron's mark of 755 home runs. The Giants had lost nine of their previous 12 games to tumble into last place in the National League West, and Bonds' mother, Pat, told her son it was because of him. Bonds said his mom told him to stop brooding and start playing. "The Giants are losing because of the way you're playing. So snap out of it," Bonds quoted his mother. She must have seen him try to play the outfield.

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