Eric Gagne, the most feared closer in baseball during the early 2000's retired today, after a 10 year career, at age 34.
Gagne, who had not pitched in the bigs since 2008, dominated National League hitters for five years, beginning with the 2000 season, and continuing through 2004, saving 152 games, including 84 consecutive saves, and posting a ERA OF 1.52. Gagne was the 2003 N.L. Cy Young Award Winner, posting a 1.20 ERA, and saving 55 games.
Gagne suffered elbow injuries, and after having surgery on his elbow in 2005, and then back surgery in 2006, Gagne was never the same, pitching with the Rangers, Red Sox, and Brewers, then going to the Independent Cam-Am League in 2009. A comeback with the Dodgers ended in Spring Training, being released by Los Angeles on March 22.
Gagne will always be remembered as one of the most feared closers in baseball history, even if his career was brief. Those trademark goggles, that menacing glare from the mound, we will miss Eric Gagne, even if the big league sluggers won't.
Monday nigh had a light schedule, but there was plenty of exciting baseball...
In San Diego, the Padres got a walk off HR from David Eckstein, and the Padres beat the Diamondbacks, 3-2. It was only the diminutive Eckstein's 35th career HR, in 4,600+ at bats in his nine-plus seasons in the bigs...The Mets beat the Cubs, 6-1, getting a 2 hit, 1 RBI performance from rookie First Baseman Ike Davis, whom the Mets had just called up from AAA Buffalo Monday afternoon...With a 5-2 win over the Rockies, the National are 7-6, the latest the club has been over the .500 mark since 2005. The Nats were never over .500 in the 2006, 2007, or 2009 seasons...only 11.623 fans were in attendance to see the Nats win...Washington is 7-0 when their starters go at least 5 innings, and 0-6 when they don't...the Nationals Livan Hernandez, has a ERA of 0.00, and has given up just 9 hits in 16 innings, and posting a 2-0 record, and a WHIP of 0.88...that's Cy Yong stuff from the former World Series MVP...the Nats fans need to come out and watch Hernandez pitch.
Voting starts today for the 81st MLB All-Star Game, July 13th, in Anaheim, Home of the Angels...fans can visit www.mlb.com to vote for their favorite/deserving All-Stars up to 25 times per email address. Fans can also go to their favorite teams web site, or, they can fill out ballots at MLB games starting with the Tigers-Angeles game tonight.
Speaking of the Tigers, the boys from the Motor City have only scored 12 runs in their last five games, including being shutout on Monday, 2-0, by the Angels.
National League Leaders...
Batting Average...Ivan "Pudge" Rodriquez(WAS)... .450, Martin Prado(ATL)... .426, Casey McGehee(MIL)... .400.
Home Runs...Chase Utley(PHI)...6, Albert Pujols(STL)...5, Matt Kemp(LAD)...5.
RBI's...Jorge Cantu(FLA)...16, Chris Young(ARI)...15, Jason Heyward(ATL)...15.
Wins...Derek Lowe(ATL)...3, Adam Wainwright(STL)...3, Ubaldo Jimenez(COL)...3.
ERA...Livan Hernandez... 0.00...Tim Lincecum(SFG)... 0.90, Roy Hallady(PHI)... 1.13.
K's...Tim Lincecum(SFG)...24, Ryan Dempster(CHC)...22, Adam Wainwright(STL)...22.
Tuesday's best matchup...the Rays take their seven game road winning streak into Chicago to face the White Sox. RHP David Price, 2-0, 2.45 ERA, will face LHP John Danks, 1-0, 1.38 ERA, from US Cellular Field on the South Side of the Windy City.
Enjoy the games, and until tomorrow, God Bless.