Abreu adds depth to Yankees' lineup

Originally Published: August 1, 2006
ESPN.com

BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA

Bobby Abreu's Yankees career started on a positive note. He had a key walk and run scored in a 5-1 win over Toronto, and the victory put New York back into first place for the first time since June.

Things are looking up for the Yankees. Boston has suffered some injury woes, and with Abreu in the lineup, the Yankees suddenly appear quite formidable.

Even though obtaining a big-name star doesn't guarantee glory in October, there are some examples of recent success.

DEADLINE DIVIDENDS
Player Year Impact
Steve Finley 2004 .263 BA, 13 HR, grand slam clinches NL West for L.A.
Will Clark 2000 .345 BA; St. Louis wins NL Central
Randy Johnson 1998 10-1, 1.28 ERA; Houston wins NL Central

WHO'S YOUR PAPI?

David Ortiz is unbelievable. If Michael Jordan got the ball with five seconds remaining, you knew he was going to make the game-winning shot, and that's the way you feel with Ortiz right now when the game's on the line.

Only there's a slight difference -- the greatest basketball players make shots more than 50 percent of the time, but the greatest baseball players hit homers only 10 to 12 percent of the time. It's not supposed to look that easy.

And yet Ortiz comes through again and again and again. Amazing. He's the Most Valuable Player in the American League right now, and over his last 161 games, he's got 60 homers and 166 RBI.

More from Olney's blog Insider

ELIAS SAYS
• Justin Verlander was the winning pitcher for the Tigers, pushing his record to 10 games over .500 (14-4), joining Francisco Liriano (12-2) in that club. Since 1900, there has been only one other season in which two rookie pitchers were both 10 games over .500 on-or-before August 1. It also happened in 1911 when Grover Alexander and Vean Gregg did it.

• There have been only 21 runs scored in the last five games played at Coors Field. That's the fewest runs scored by both teams combined, by far, over any five home-game span in the history of the Rockies. The previous low was 30 runs scored over five games, done earlier this season. The scores during these five games: 3-1, 4-2, 3-1, 4-2, 1-0.

• Jose Reyes hit 17 triples in 2005, and he hit his 13th triple this year in the Mets game at Florida. Reyes is the first National League player to have 30-or-more triples over a two-season span since Juan Samuel hit 32 for the Phillies spanning 1984 (19) and 1985 (13).

More from Elias Says

RUMOR CENTRAL
National arms
Livan Hernandez The Nationals have three pitchers -- Livan Hernandez, Tony Armas Jr. and Ramon Ortiz -- who could attract some suitors this month, The Washington Post reports.

Any deal, however, requires a player to clear waivers.

More from Rumor Central Insider

GONE FISHING
The Marlins left Billy Wagner stunned.
TUESDAY'S TOP PERFORMERS
Carlos GuillenCarlos Guillen hit for the cycle in the Tigers' 10-4 win over the Devil Rays. Guillen is the 10th Detroit player, and third since 1951, to complete the cycle.

Adam Eaton pitched six sharp innings against the Twins to earn his first win with the Rangers. Eaton allowed four hits, walked four and struck out four in his second start since having surgery on the middle finger of his pitching hand at the end of spring training.

John SmoltzJohn Smoltz snapped Atlanta's four-game losing streak by pitching seven strong innings in a 4-2 victory over the Pirates, who had won a season-best five straight. Smoltz (9-5) yielded one run and six hits while walking none and striking out six. He hasn't lost since June 13.

CHASING HISTORY
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 33 games. He is hitting .404 (57-for-141) with 21 multihit games during the streak.
FORWARD THINKING: WEDNESDAY
Erik BedardMariners at Orioles, 3:05 ET: A tale of two aces. While Felix Hernandez (9-9, 4.60) is dealing like a phenom again, Erik Bedard (12-6, 3.87) has become a bona fide staff anchor.

Nationals at Giants, 3:35 ET: Tony Armas (7-6, 4.79) is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in day games. Jason Schmidt (7-7, 3.18) hasn't been getting much run support. In his last five starts, the G-Men have scored just seven runs.

Brett MyersPhillies at Cardinals, 7:10 ET: Despite some decent outings, Brett Myers (6-5, 3.57) hasn't won since July 16. The change of scenery seems to have helped Jeff Weaver (4-11, 6.32) regain his confidence.

Wednesday's probable starters

PHOTO OF THE DAY
AP Photo/George Nikitin
The Dodgers extended their winning streak to four games with a 10-4 victory over the Reds.