I didn’t think much of it when I put the Chicago Cubs into the Stinky Five yesterday, but Professor Ulane could not take it.
He took one look at his team’s record in the last week and hasn’t been seen since.
The latest theory is that he took off for the Windy City to give Lou Piniella a piece of his mind. Until he returns, Fiery Five duty falls to me. Click MORE to see who made the cut this week…
1. San Diego Padres
The Padres finally lost a game last night, but their 10-game win streak should not go unmentioned. From May 15-25, San Diego scored 44 runs while allowing just 23, held opponents to a .181 batting average, and smacked 12 home runs. Along the way they beat some of the NL’s best pitchers, including Aaron Harang and Carlos Zambrano. They’re still 8.5 out of first place, but at least they’re giving their fans something to cheer for.
2. Baltimore Orioles
The O’s have gone 4-4 in their last eight games, but they earn a spot in the Fiery Five because of their young stars. Yesterday, Jason Berken made his major league debut and pitched five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out three to earn his first major league win. Leftfielder Nolan Reimold, another recent call up, has hit three home runs in 12 games. With catcher Matt Wieters set to debut on Friday and pitcher David Hernandez on his way up as well, the O’s are poised to get a little more Fiery every day.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
Is there a team that Tony LaRussa can’t turn into a contender? Not to say the Cards didn’t have potential, but they are absolutely killing the competition right now. The team has an ERA of 0.74 in its last eight games, allowing just six earned runs in that span. They get even more credit for winning despite the fact that they’ve hit just .228 in those games. If they want to contend, they’ll have to hit better, but this team has the Fierest pitching on the planet right now.
4. Minnesota Twins
The Twins have won five or their last six games. They’ve scored five or more runs in each victory, including a 20-run plastering of the Chicago White Sox last Thursday. Their 16 home runs in the last week are the most of any MLB club and they sit just 3.5 games out of first place in the AL Central. If they stay Fiery, the Tigers and Royals better watch out.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
You know who is Fiery? Juan Pierre, that’s who. After playing second fiddle to Manny Ramirez since last July, Pierre is finally getting his chance to start due to Ramirez’s 50-game suspension. All he’s done since then is hit .394, including three triples, steal nine bases, and knock in 18 runs. As a table setter for the Dodgers, Pierre has helped them go 7-3 in their last 10 games and maintain their large lead in the NL West, proving that this team is as Fiery as ever.
Think I missed a team? Click EMAIL THE EDITOR and let me know!