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AL Pitching Studs and Duds 4/22/11

One team was able to sweep this week's AL Pitching studs and duds. Several high profile pitchers came close to becoming this week's pitching stud, but a not so recognizable name took home the prize. This week brought a complete reversal for this week's dud, and he will see how it feels to go from the top to the bottom.

There were some solid pitching performances this week in the American League. Josh Beckett has put together two more above quality starts to move his ERA below 2.00. Jered Weaver remained sharp and became the first to 5 wins, but this week Scott Baker of the Minnesota twins gets my nod for best pitcher. Baker had two impressive performances last week and was able to lower his ERA from 6.55 to 3.24. Baker held the Rays to 1 ER over 7 innings of 4 hit baseball and then last night held the Orioles scoreless over another 7 innings. During this two game stretch, Baker recorded 15 strikeouts while only walking 2 batters. The Twins hope Baker can help the club continue their climb back to .500.

scott baker
Baker dominated AL East opponents this week

There were several players that felt inclined to nominate themselves for this week's AL pitching dud. Ervin Santana was awful over 4 innings against the Rangers, and Erik Bedard even went to the trouble of being terrible in consecutive starts this week. However, I chose this week's dud just to show the sometimes dramatic ups and downs of a baseball season. Last week Carl Pavano was great, allowing a single run over 16 strong innings. The week before Pavano was not so great, allowing 7 ER in his debut against the Blue Jays. Pavano reverted back to his not so great form this week and for that he is crowned AL pitching dud. Pavano only lasted 4.2 innings against the Baltimore Orioles, surrendering 7 ER. Last week Pavano saw his ERA drop to a respectable 3.60. After his most recent performance, it is back to 5.47. The Twins hope Pavano can become more consistent and produce results closer resembling those that earned him last week's AL stud pitcher.

carl pavano
Pavano could not replicate last week's success

Tomorrow we will look at the best and the worst of the National League.
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AL Studs and Duds 4/16/11

It's time to once again find out MLB's studs and duds. This week provided plenty of prime time players as well as some stats that will make grown men cringe. I'll kick it off with the AL and then you can check back later today for the NL rundown.

dustin pedroia
Boston's mini monster put up big numbers this week

I’ll start off with a disclaimer; if Alex Rodriguez would have played in a full week's worth of games he would easily be my stud. However, since he's only managed 13 at bats the past 7 days; I had to look elsewhere for my AL hitter of the week. Ironically, the next name on the my list plays for the Yankees' rival, the Boston Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia has been more than solid this week, carrying an average of .435 and an OPS of 1.275. He connected for 5 extra base hits and drew 5 walks this week. The Red Sox are hoping Pedroia's hot streak starts to rub off on some of his teammates.

miguel olivo
Olivo needs a pickup after his forgettable week

My dud this week apparently really wanted to make the list; he went out of his way to blow out the competition. I am even considering naming this anti-award after him for his masterful show of futility. Miguel Olivo has gone a full week without managing a hit. Not only that but on his way to 0 for 20 at the plate he struck out 7 times. This stat pretty much sums it up; Olivo's .048 on base percentage and OPS was lower than last week’s lowest batting average.

Carl Pavano
The Twins got a solid week out of Pavano and his stache

There were some excellent pitching performances this week across baseball. While Josh Beckett and Dan Haren had great outings, I like to look first for someone who puts together 2 solid starts in one week. Before announcing this week's pitching Stud, I would be remiss not to give Bruce Chen some love. He did maintain a 0.00 ERA over two starts, but I looked a little deeper and instead went with Carl Pavano. The Twins' starter recovered from his awful first start last week and put together 16 innings of 1 run baseball. He went 8 innings in each of his starts this week and allowed only 8 total hits, none being of the extra base variety. Pavano would have collected his second win of the week Thursday night if Joe Nathan and the Twins' pen could have come through for him.

Phil Hughes
Surrender may be Hughes' last option

My dud of the week has just not quite put it together this year for the Yankees. Over his first 3 starts of the year Phil Hughes is sporting a ridiculous 13.94 ERA. This week against AL East foes Boston and Baltimore, Hughes lasted a combined 6.1 innings during which he allowed 11 earned runs. He gave up a total of 14 hits and one home run in each of the games. While it's only 3 starts, the Yankees need to be getting much better production than this out of their #3 starter.

Again, be sure to check back later today for the NL's studs and duds.
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