Scherzer, Davis turned seasons around
What We Said: “Usually a slow starter anyway, Teixeira has been playing through a terrible cough all season that’s sapped his strength and energy at times. In his last five games, Teixeira is 11 for 24 with four homers and nine RBIs. Just like that, the New York star is back on pace for another 30-homer season.”
What Happened: Teixeira ended up with only 24 homers thanks to more health problems. He’s been out for most of the last month with a left calf injury, and although he returned during the final series against Boston, he has to be considered a question mark going into the postseason.
MAX SCHERZER, RHP, TIGERS
What We Said: “Scherzer might be the American League’s version of Lincecum, although he doesn’t have the career track record of the San Francisco ace. Scherzer has a 5.55 ERA this year, but he’s striking out an impressive 11.7 hitters per nine innings. Scherzer is clearly still fooling batters with his stuff. He’s also shown improved command lately and could be due for a breakout.”
What Happened: Lincecum could only wish he enjoyed this type of resurgence. Since June 1, Scherzer went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA. He finished the year with 231 strikeouts, second in the majors to teammate Justin Verlander.
What We Said: “Both pitchers came into the season off injuries to their throwing arms, and both have ERAs well over 4.00. But there are some encouraging signs. Their strikeout and walk rates are reasonably in line with what they were when these two were among the top pitchers in the National League. Wainwright has allowed only one run over 15 innings in his last two starts.”
What Happened: Johnson went 5-11 from the beginning of June on, but he was actually pretty good over that span, posting a 3.30 ERA. Wainwright also improved, going 10-8 with a 3.73 ERA since June 1. Perhaps most importantly, Johnson made 31 starts this year and Wainwright made 32.
IKE DAVIS, 1B, METS
What We Said: “After missing most of last season with an ankle injury, Davis was diagnosed with a likely case of valley fever in spring training. Now he’s hitting .170, one of the worst averages of any regular in baseball. Davis is striking out about once a game, and when he does make contact the ball seems to go right at somebody _ witness his .210 average on balls in play. Davis has a long, unorthodox swing that would seem to lend itself to lengthy slumps, but it’s too early to write off the 25-year-old after the promising start to his career.”
What Happened: Davis finished the year with 32 homers and 90 RBIs, salvaging a decent power-hitting season despite a final average of .227.