Four Teams Tied For AL East Lead

4 Way Tie Atop AL East

April 14, 2012

The Orioles, Yankees, Blue Jays and Rays are perched atop the AL East, with identical 4-3 records in the early going of the 2012 season. The Boston Red Sox are in last place two games behind the leaders.

After a 0-3 start by the Yankees, they have rebounded to win four in a row, along with the Dodgers and Nationals, who also have won four in a row. The hapless Pirates at the other end of the spectrum have lost their last four games in a row. The Pirates problem this season is their major league worst batting average of .178. However their pitching has fared well with a 2.70 ERA, the fourth best in MLB this season.

It is easy to see why the 6-2 Washington Nationals are first place in the NL East, with them leading MLB in ERA with a 1.92 mark. The Nationals have allowed only one home run this season in 75 innings, while earlier this season Josh Beckett allowed five home runs by himself in only 4.2 innings. In addition the Nationals are second in strikeouts with 79. They also have three starters with ERA’s of 1.29 or lower.

18 MLB Teams Gaining In Attendance

Major league baseball attendance has improved for 18 teams, with an overall attendance jump of 139,220 in the early part of the 2012 season. The Rangers are the only team to have passed the quarter million mark with 273,931 fans passing through the turnstiles after only seven home games.

1,313 more fans are attending major league games per game this season. The first place Dodgers of the NL West have drawn 46,881 fewer fans than they drew in 2011. 37,712 more fans have attended Orioles games to lead the majors, so far in the 2012 season. The Brewers have drawn 9,276 more fans than in 2011, which is surprising considering that Prince Fielder has left the team. So the Brewers not only saved money by not signing Fielder, but have seen a huge jump in attendance, which will improve their bottom line.

Looking At Stats

Batting

Ian Desmond leads all MLB players with 14 hits…. Corey Hart, Ian Kinsler and Josh Willingham are the home run leaders with four each….Andre Ethier after his walkoff walk last night is leading in RBI with 13….Chase Headley has drawn nine walks to lead the majors….Yoenis Cespedes has struck out 13 times to lead the majors in that category. He is on a pace to strike out about 52 times per 100 at bats….Sean Castro leads in stolen bases with six…. Paul Konerko leads the majors with a .435 batting average….Carlos Pena leads in OBP with a .516 mark….Corey Hart is the slugging leader at 1.000….Hart also leads in OPS with a 1.481 mark….Ian Kinsler is the extra base hit leader with eight and also leads in total bases with 28.

Aaron Harang is leading the NL in strikeouts with 19 and is averaging 16.3 strikeouts per 9 innings. Harang broke the 50-year-old team record of Johnny Podres when he struck out nine consecutive batters surpassing the Podres record of eight. He fell one short of the major league record of 10 strikeouts set by Tom Seaver when he struck out 10 straight Padres in 1970.

Pitching

14 pitchers have won at least two games this season….Ten pitchers are 0-2 this season including Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jamie Moyer….Javy Guerra of the Dodgers leads in saves with five….Josh Johnson has allowed the most hits with 21 in 9.2 innings….Roy Halladay leads all pitchers with at least 10 innings in ERA with a 0.60 mark….The surprising leader in earned runs allowed is Tim Lincecum with 11 given up in 7.2 innings….Josh Beckett leads in home runs allowed with five….Four pitchers lead in walks allowed with seven each….Aaron Harang is tied with Felix Hernandez for most strikeouts with 19 each. However Harang notched his 19 strikeouts in only 10.2 innings, while it took Hernandez 21.1 innings to register his 19 strikeouts….Ubaldo Jiminez leads in lowest batting average allowed with a .045 mark….Barry Zito has posted the lowest WHIP of 0.44….Two Giant hurlers, Barry Zito and Matt Cain have thrown the only shutouts this season….Aaron Harang also has the most strikeouts per 9 innings with a 16.03 mark.

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