In February, Carla Baughman-King made a bold move to keep Brandon Belt over Mark Teixeira as a cornerstone for building the Cys in 2012. That decision is beginning to look like a good one.
Teixeira has been the better player over the course of the year, ranked 99th overall with 12 home runs, 40 RBI, and a .336 OBP. Belt, on the other hand, is ranked 254th overall after struggling to win regular at bats for the first two months of the season.
When you look at the last month, the time period in which Belt began earning regular playing time, Teixeira still has more value, hitting seven home runs and driving in 19 while Belt has four home runs and 17 RBI.
But in the lat two weeks, as Belt settled in as the starting first baseman for the Giants, he has not only outperformed Teixeira, but he's been the fifth best player in the league. All four of his home runs have come in the last two weeks, he's driven in 12 runs and has a .543 OBP. He's struck out just five times in his last 36 at bats.
If Brandon Belt has indeed arrived - and all signs indicate he has - the Cys are going to challenge Los Coche Bomba for the South Division title. It also sets up an intriguing battle between the young first baseman and the Dread Pirate, Andrew McCutchen, Bomba's most dynamic player.
The Cys beat Bomba 6-5 in their first meeting and the two teams will play again in Week 14 in what could be a showdown for the South Division lead.
The Cys 8, Twinkle Toes 3
Starting pitching has been the difference in this series. On Saturday, Edwin Jackson and Brad Lincoln both had quality starts for the Cys, combining to toss 12.1 innings, allowing just two runs, and striking out 12. At the same time, Ian Kennedy and Madison Bumgarner came up short for Twinkle Toes, allowing nine earned runs over 10.1 innings. Twinkle Toes can still make this a series, the two teams are tied in Home Runs and Twinkle Toes trails by just two in the RBI and four in the Runs categories. The Cys also cling to a one point advantage in Saves. For that to happen, everything will have to go right for the Toes today.
Los Coche Bomba 7, Jersey Boys 4
Bomba erupted for nine runs, three homers, and eight RBI Saturday while the bats went silent for the Jersey Boys. Miguel Cabrera, Jimmy Rollins, and Andrew McCutchen all went deep for Bomba, with McCutchen driving in three runs. The Jersey Boys were a miserable 3 for 41 at the plate on Saturday, but, despite the ineptitude, the series still hangs in the balance. The two teams are tied in Quality Starts with the Jersey Boys sending Justin Verlander, R.A. Dickey and Aaron Harang to the mound today. Bomba will pitch Matt Harrison and Matt Garza. The Jersey Boys trail by just one in Holds and Home Runs and by three in RBIs so Bomba still has some work to do to avoid the upset.
Lower Haighters 7, High Cheese 5
High Cheese will watch as CC Sabathia takes the mound for the Lower Haighters tonight with an opportunity to tie the Quality Start category. Both teams had excellent pitching performances Saturday, with Felix Hernandez striking out 10 to earn a quality start for the Haighters and Adam Wainwright going seven strong innings for High Cheese. Paul Goldschmidt and Adam Jones both homered Saturday to give High Cheese some breathing room in the category and Goldschmidt scored three times. The Haighters had holds from Andrew Miller and Sean Burnett and save from Addison Reed as the 'pen remained strong.
Bacon at Mile 11 6, Marin Menehunes 6
This series will come down to home runs and starting pitching on the final day. It's a long shot, but Bacon could tie the Quality Start category. The team needs Lance Lynn, Cliff Lee, and Hector Noesi to pitch well. In the process, they should also take the Strikeout category, which the Menhunes lead by seven. Bacon is clinging to a one point lead in Home Runs and a two point lead in RBI after Josh Reddick and Asdrubal Cabrera both went long for the Menehunes Saturday. Reddick also tallied three RBI. A hold by Jason Grilli moved the Menehunes in position to challenge for the category today.
A-Rod's Mirrors 6, HUMA 6
Both teams will be looking for batters to drive in runs today as the Mirrors hold a slim two point lead in the RBI category. It looks to be the only category in play on the final day. On Saturday, Dustin Pedroia broke out of his slump for the Mirrors, driving in two runs, while Jason Kubel had two RBI for HUMA. HUMA has a two point lead in Holds while the Mirrors have a two point lead in Saves so there's an outside chance the 'pens could make a difference.
Give it a Yankee 6, Vicious Fishes 5
Garrett Richards will try to defend the Quality Start category for Give it a Yankee today while David Price and Jake Arrieta start for the Vicious Fishes with an opportunity to steal the WHIP category and tie QS. Five of the six offensive categories are still too close to call and the 'pens will come into play as Give it a Yankee clings to one point leads in both Holds and Saves. It's safe to say this series is set for a wild finish on the final day.
Home Run 101 4, The Machine 3
With five categories tied entering the final day and two more up for grabs, this series is anything but settled. With Quality Starts tied, Matt Cain will pitch today for the Machine while Wade Miley throws for Home Run 101. Home Run 101 also holds a precarious three point lead in Strikeouts and the starting pitchers will figure into that category. This series became interesting Saturday when the only offense generated by the Machine was a home run from J.D. Martinez. At the same time, Home Run 101 scored nine runs, belted two homers, and drove in six. Dayan Viciedo and Jonny Gomes each went long with Viciedo driving in four runs. On the mound, Josh Johnson and Johnny Cueto each had quality starts and struck out a combined 16 batters.
Scully's Slammers 6, The Bulls 4
The teams are tied in Saves and RBI so the Bulls have an opportunity to even this series today. On Saturday, the Bulls grabbed a one point lead in Home Runs when Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam and Michael Saunders hit a solo shot. Saunders also stole two bases to give the Bulls a comfortable cushion in that category. Allen Craig hit a home run for the Slammers.