This season’s first weekend of interleague play is history and the American League came out on top again. National League teams fared better on Sunday, winning eight of the fourteen contests, but finished the weekend with only 18 wins against 24 losses. Six of the N.L. teams managed to win the series against their A.L. foes by a two games to one margin. Six American League teams were able to equal that feat while the White Sox and Mariners completed three-game sweeps.
The two N.L. teams that were swept, the Cubs and Rockies, are both last place teams. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Cardinals played against each other this weekend. What if those two division leading clubs had played interleague games in place of the two cellar dwellers? Would it have made a substantial difference? Maybe, but probably not. The Cards are dealing with some injury troubles and were swept in Los Angeles by the Dodgers.
The overall numbers favor the American League, especially in the power department. A.L. hitters bashed 53 homers against a total of only 32 for N.L. hitters. American League squads outscored their National League counterparts, averaging 4.57 runs per game against 3.81 runs per game.
The interstate and city rivalries always deliver some entertaining back-and-forth. The Cubs and White Sox provided some fireworks on Friday. ChiSox slugger Paul Konerko homered in the first inning and was hit in the face by a Jeff Samardzija pitch in his next plate appearance. Philip Humber tried to retaliate against the Cubs hurler, but only managed to throw a pitch behind him. Gordon Beckham would ultimately exact revenge by not only clobbering a base-runner at second, but also clubbing a homer in the eighth that proved to be the game winner.
The Athletics extended their losing streak in San Francisco to double-digits before beating Tim Lincecum on Sunday. Collin Cowgill added an exclamation point in the fourth inning. Cowgill scored all the way from second on a wild pitch and took out Lincecum with a hard slide into the plate. Lincecum would finish the inning but did not return to the mound in the fifth.
The Astros versus Rangers series remained relatively calm compared to those two. The Mets-Yankees, Angels-Dodgers, and Cardinals-Royals rivalries were mysteriously skipped over this time around. I guess the schedule makers wanted to spread out the drama little bit this season.