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Series Wrapup

Story

After slipping to third in the division the previous season, the Tampa Bay Rays captured their second A.L. East title in three years in 2010, finishing the regular season with a record of 96-66, just one game ahead of the runner-up New York Yankees.  The Yankees held onto first place for most of the year, but the Rays mounted a late-season surge that enabled them to edge out the defending world-champions for the division crown.  New York entered the postseason tournament as the junior circuit’s wild-card representative.

Lack of pitching depth ended up relegating the Yankees to a close second-place finish in the American League’s most competitive division.  Staff ace C.C. Sabathia finished 21-7, to lead all A.L. hurlers in victories.  He also placed among the leaders with a 3.18 ERA and 238 innings pitched.  Phil Hughes gave New York another solid starter, concluding the campaign with a record of 18-8.  However, after Andy Pettitte went down with an elbow injury at midseason, no one else on the staff stepped up to assume the role of the third starter.  Meanwhile, only Mariano Rivera pitched well in relief, compiling a 1.80 ERA and saving 33 games.

With New York finishing just seventh in the league with a team ERA of 4.06, it became imperative for the Yankee lineup to carry the team for most of the year.  New York’s potent offense ended up leading the American League with 859 runs scored, even though an aging Derek Jeter had the worst year of his career.  Although Jeter scored 111 runs, he batted just .270, hit only 10 home runs, and drove in just 67 runs.   Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano helped pick up some of the slack.  Teixeira hit 33 home runs, knocked in 108 runs, and scored 113 others.  Despite playing with a sore hip much of the time, Rodriguez hit 30 homers and placed among the league leaders with 125 runs batted in.  Swisher had the finest season of his career, hitting 29 homers, driving in 89 runs, scoring 91 times, and batting .288.  Cano established himself as the team’s best player over the course of the season, earning a third-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting by hitting 29 home runs, knocking in 109 runs, scoring 103 others, batting .319, and collecting 200 hits.  

Although Tampa Bay’s lineup didn’t feature as many All-Stars as New York’s, the Rays had a pretty fair offense as well, finishing third in the league with 802 runs scored.  Carlos Pena, Evan Longoria, and Carl Crawford served as their primary offensive threats.  Despite batting just .196, Pena hit 28 homers and drove in 84 runs.  Longoria batted .294, hit 22 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, and scored 96 others.  Crawford homered 19 times, drove in 90 runs, led the team with a .307 batting average, 110 runs scored, and 47 stolen bases, and topped the circuit with 13 triples.

The Rays also boasted a deep starting rotation that included five pitchers who posted double-digit win-totals.  David Price served as the ace of the staff, compiling a record of 19-6 and an outstanding 2.72 ERA.  Matt Garza also pitched extremely well, finishing second on the club with 15 victories and a 3.91 ERA.  Meanwhile, closer Rafael Soriano led the league with 45 saves and compiled an ERA of 1.73.

While the Rays replaced the Yankees atop the A.L. East standings, the Texas Rangers ended the three-year reign of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as Western Division champions.  Texas finished the regular season with a record of 90-72, nine games ahead of the runner-up Oakland A’s, and 10 games in front of the Angels, who slipped to third in the division.

Although the Seattle Mariners finished last in the West, 29 games behind the first-place Rangers, they featured two of the league’s top performers in Ichiro Suzuki and Felix Hernandez.  Ichiro batted .315, stole 42 bases, topped the circuit with 214 hits, and won his 10th straight Gold Glove for his outstanding defensive play in the outfield.  By collecting 214 hits, Ichiro extended his own major league record by surpassing the 200-hit mark for the 10th consecutive time.  Despite posting a record of only 13-12 for the 61-win Mariners, Hernandez earned A.L. Cy Young honors by striking out 232 batters and leading the league with a 2.27 ERA and 250 innings pitched.

Texas rivaled Tampa Bay as the American League’s most well-balanced team, finishing fourth in the circuit with 787 runs scored and placing third in the league rankings with a team ERA of 3.93.  C.J. Wilson and Tommy Hunter served as the club’s top two starters, posting 15 and 13 victories, respectively.  The Ranger staff also received a huge lift when the team acquired Cliff Lee during the season’s second half.  A.L. Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz helped solidify the bullpen, placing among the league leaders with 40 saves.

The trio of Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, and Josh Hamilton paced the Rangers on offense.  Young batted .284, hit 21 homers, drove in 91 runs, and scored 99 others.  Off-season free-agent acquisition Guerrero paid huge dividends, hitting 29 home runs, knocking in 115 runs, and batting .300.  Hamilton was arguably the league’s most dynamic offensive performer, earning A.L. MVP honors by hitting 32 home runs, driving in 100 runs, scoring 95 others, and topping the circuit with a .359 batting average and a .633 slugging percentage.

While each of the league’s other two divisions experienced a shift in the balance of power, the Minnesota Twins repeated as A.L. Central champions, finishing the season with a record of 94-68, six games ahead of the second-place Chicago White Sox.  Even though they lacked a true staff ace, the Twins had a solid starting rotation that included five hurlers who posted double-digit win totals.  Carl Pavano led the staff with 17 victories, while Francisco Liriano posted 14 victories and a team-leading 3.62 ERA and 201 strikeouts.

Joe Mauer continued to lead Minnesota on offense, placing third in the league with a .327 batting average and a .402 on-base percentage.  Before suffering a season-ending injury midway through the campaign, Justin Morneau slugged 18 homers and batted .345.  Veteran DH Jim Thome hit 25 homers and drove in 59 runs, in only 276 official at-bats.  Delmon Young batted .298, hit 21 home runs, and led the team with 112 runs batted in.    

Despite the Twins’ strong showing over the course of the regular season, the Yankees again made quick work of them in the ALDS, sweeping them in three straight games.  The Rangers had a far more difficult time getting past the Rays in the other Division Series, finally defeating them in five games, after earlier jumping out to a two-games-to-none lead.  Cliff Lee proved to be the difference in the Series, posting two of the Rangers’ three victories and allowing the Rays just two runs in 16 innings of work.

Although it subsequently took Texas six games to dispose of New York in the ALCS, the Rangers badly outplayed the Yankees over the course of the Series, outscoring them by a combined margin of 38-19.  The triumph gave the Rangers the first league championship in franchise history.  However, the celebration proved to be short-lived, as the San Francisco Giants handled the Rangers rather easily in the World Series, defeating them in five games and outscoring them by a combined margin of 29-12.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• The Minnesota Twins opened Target Field, drawing 3.2 million fans to their new home.

• Toronto’s Jose Bautista knocked in 124 runs, scored 109 others, and led the league with 54 home runs and 351 total bases.  

• Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera earned a second-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting by hitting 38 homers, scoring 111 runs, batting .328, and topping the circuit with 126 runs batted in and a .420 on-base percentage.

• May 9 – Oakland’s Dallas Braden threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, defeating them by a final score of 4-0.

• June 2 - Ken Griffey Jr. announced his retirement, leaving the game with 633 career home runs.  

• July 26 – Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza tossed a 5-0 no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers.

• August 4 – Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th career home run, becoming just the seventh player to reach the milestone, and the youngest at age 35.

• August 11 - Mariano Rivera recorded his 550th career save against the Texas Rangers, making him just the second player to reach that mark.

• Jim Thome moved into eighth place on the all-time home run list over the course of the season, passing Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire, and Frank Robinson.  He concluded the campaign with 589 round-trippers.

• Legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died at the age of 92 on May 4.

• Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts passed away at the age of 83 on May 6.

• Longtime Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard passed away at the age of 99 on July 11.

• Controversial New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away on July 13 at the age of 80.
• Former Yankee, Tiger, and Red Sox manager Ralph Houk died at the age of 90 on July 21.

• Bobby Thomson, who hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World,” died at the age of 86 on August 16.

• Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson died at the age of 76 on November 4.  

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BAL 2110 5554 613 1440 577 .191 264 21 133 76 34 2145 .325 .273 .669 154 45 31
BOS 2237 5646 818 1511 782 .236 358 22 211 68 17 2546 .366 .357 .757 130 46 29
CHA 2147 5484 752 1467 710 .220 263 21 177 160 74 2303 .368 .344 .759 148 38 50
CLE 2174 5487 646 1362 601 .204 290 20 128 91 33 2076 .346 .311 .720 118 33 36
DET 2218 5643 751 1515 717 .192 308 32 152 69 30 2343 .339 .286 .721 118 41 41
KCA 2047 5604 676 1534 640 .239 279 31 121 115 50 2238 .372 .342 .789 152 53 45
LAA 2105 5488 681 1363 656 .167 276 19 155 104 52 2142 .305 .264 .631 125 37 42
MIN 2250 5568 781 1521 749 .200 318 41 142 68 28 2347 .356 .307 .761 159 53 38
NYA 2254 5567 859 1485 823 .206 275 32 201 103 30 2427 .422 .311 .772 124 44 33
OAK 2144 5448 663 1396 619 .203 276 30 109 156 38 2059 .347 .299 .702 129 51 43
SEA 2015 5409 513 1274 485 .171 227 16 101 142 39 1836 .307 .255 .623 110 40 42
TBA 2325 5439 802 1343 769 .201 295 37 160 172 47 2192 .360 .314 .732 92 57 39
TEX 2222 5635 787 1556 740 .223 268 25 162 123 48 2360 .349 .306 .708 129 54 53
TOR 2146 5495 755 1364 732 .199 319 21 257 58 20 2496 .347 .322 .772 114 34 16

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BAL 616 66 96 1436 1007 520 6262 1508 186 127.020 733 785 3 0 35 45 5
BOS 605 89 73 1458 1207 580 6267 1402 152 156.640 679 744 3 1 44 58 3
CHA 569 88 74 1447 1149 490 6180 1471 136 92.080 658 704 6 2 43 59 9
CLE 632 69 93 1433 967 572 6224 1477 147 93.050 684 752 10 2 34 54 3
DET 578 81 81 1445 1056 537 6198 1445 142 159.470 690 743 6 1 32 75 9
KCA 603 67 95 1440 1035 551 6333 1553 176 157.990 794 845 7 1 44 55 7
LAA 572 80 82 1449 1130 565 6252 1422 148 83.380 651 702 10 3 39 80 6
MIN 627 94 68 1456 1048 383 6106 1493 155 88.620 638 671 9 3 40 41 4
NYA 592 95 67 1441 1154 540 6102 1349 179 93.240 651 693 3 0 39 69 6
OAK 585 81 81 1433 1070 512 6011 1315 153 91.770 570 626 7 3 38 42 8
SEA 520 61 101 1439 973 452 6091 1402 157 102.590 631 698 11 2 38 73 11
TBA 653 96 66 1452 1189 478 6103 1347 175 82.710 611 649 6 3 51 60 9
TEX 643 90 72 1456 1181 551 6213 1355 162 124.450 636 687 7 0 46 56 4
TOR 617 85 77 1442 1184 539 6165 1407 150 120.720 677 728 5 2 45 69 3

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BAL 2724 1617 123 0 17232 83 27 0 3
BOS 2930 1616 127 0 17483 169 42 0 14
CHA 2665 1687 120 0 17357 105 39 0 4
CLE 2714 1847 126 0 17196 125 58 0 11
DET 2851 1708 136 0 17331 101 50 0 11
KCA 2639 1609 138 0 17240 137 55 0 11
LAA 2730 1598 131 0 17394 133 41 0 16
MIN 2747 1744 94 0 17435 82 37 0 8
NYA 2847 1554 79 0 17303 132 23 0 12
OAK 2798 1730 110 0 17176 88 32 0 8
SEA 2544 1683 122 0 17260 73 29 0 16
TBA 2922 1520 95 0 17443 89 30 0 9
TEX 2807 1524 123 0 17466 116 35 0 8
TOR 2714 1715 102 0 17294 69 35 0 10

West

team W L Att Rk SOP
Texas Rangers 90 72 1 1181
Oakland Athletics 81 81 2 1070
Los Angeles Angels 80 82 3 1130
Seattle Mariners 61 101 4 973

Central

team W L Att Rk SOP
Minnesota Twins 94 68 1 1048
Chicago White Sox 88 74 2 1149
Detroit Tigers 81 81 3 1056
Cleveland Indians 69 93 4 967
Kansas City Royals 67 95 5 1035

East

team W L Att Rk SOP
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 96 66 1 1189
New York Yankees 95 67 2 1154
Boston Red Sox 89 73 3 1207
Toronto Blue Jays 85 77 4 1184
Baltimore Orioles 66 96 5 1007

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Tagged:
2010 ALCS, 2010 ALDS1, 2010 ALDS2, 2010 World Series, Alex Rodriguez, American League, Andy Pettitte, C.C. Sabathia, C.J. Wilson, Carl Crawford, Carl Pavano, Carlos Pena, Cliff Lee, Dallas Braden, David Price, Delmon Young, Derek Jeter, Ernie Harwell, Evan Longoria, Felix Hernandez, Francisco Liriano, George Steinbrenner, Ichiro Suzuki, Jim Thome, Joe Mauer, Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton, Justin Morneau, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira, Matt Garza, Michael Young, Miguel Cabrera, Minnesota Twins, Neftali Feliz, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Philip Hughes, Rafael Soriano, Robinson Cano, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Tommy Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero

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