By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Because our website was down on Monday, gosh darn it:

  • If cats have nine lives, Jason Marquis may be a close second. After the Minnesota Twins unceremoniously dumped the 33-year-old journeyman and his 8.47 ERA last month, he was picked up by his 8th MLB team, the San Diego Padres. Since then Marquis has excelled. Although poor run support has cost him three losses in four starts with San Diego, he has kept a trim 2.05 ERA and struck out 26 batters in 26-and-one-third innings, including a career-high 10 against the Texas Rangers last Monday (6/18/2012).
  • Ryan Braun is on a tear. The reigning N.L. MVP’s hitting streak reached 18 games on Sunday (6/24/2012), and he leads the league in HRs (20/tie) while ranking 3rd in RBIs (52). In his last 10 games alone, the 28-year-old Milwaukee Brewer hit .366 along with 5 HRs and 11 RBIs. Not surprisingly he ranked 4th among N.L. outfielders in All-Star voting as of 6/19/2012, a shade behind Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants.
  • Speaking of All-Stars, Ian Kinsler was leading all A.L. second baseman in votes as of 6/18/2012, but not by much. The Texas Ranger had 2,580,306 votes, versus 2,565,046 for New York Yankees 2B Robinson. Voting ends Thursday (6/28/2012); cast your votes here.
  • What slump? Ike Davis continued his recovery last week with two decisive HRs. On Monday (6/18/2012) he hit his first MLB grand slam HR, giving the New York Mets all it needed to knock off the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 (see video). On Friday (6/22/2012) he smacked a 3-run home run in a 6-4 victory over the crosstown New York Yankees. Though Davis’ .190 batting average still needs improving, he’s hit .290 in his past 10 games and nevertheless ranks 3rd on the Mets in HRs (8/tie), RBIs (36), and walks (26).
  • Philadelphia Phillies reliever Michael Schwimer is making a strong case for remaining in the Majors. Earlier this season, the Phils demoted the 6’8” reliever after he went 0-1 with a blown save and a bloated 8.53 ERA. But in nine starts since returning this month, Schwimer has put up stellar numbers, including a 2.08 ERA, 0.81 walks/hits per inning, and a .138 opposing-batter average.
  • Nate Freiman hit a walk-off HR on Thursday (6/21/2012) to give the San Antonio Missions (AA) a 5-3 win over the Corpus Christi Hooks in extra innings. Luckily the 6’7” first baseman didn’t connect off Hooks reliever Josh Zeid, who pitched 2 scoreless innings earlier in the game. Freiman leads the Texas League with 63 RBIs in 74 games, ranks 2nd with 16 HRs, 3rd in slugging percentage (.512), and 5th in OPS (.861).
  • Danny Valencia showed some pop in his bat Saturday (6/23/2012), homering twice in the Rochester Red Wings’ (AAA) 12-1 win over the Charlotte Knights. Valencia is averaging .247 since being demoted by the Minnesota Twins but had a nice run in his past 10 games, hitting .310 with an on-base percentage of .447.

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