Posted May 21, 2012 12:29 am - Updated May 21, 2012 05:32 pm

So what else is in store for baseball fans?

So in the past few weeks we've witnessed a perfect game from the unlikliest of pitchers, seen an unbelievable display of power from a Texas Ranger slugger and two examples of overpowering pitching that resulted in a no-hitter and a near no-no.

Oh and the Atlanta Braves are in first place in the NL East. What more can we ask for?

So Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox baffled the Seattle Mariners near the end of April for the game's 21st perfect game in history. He did so in his second start of the season and one start removed from only pitching 51/3 innings. But if you're going to throw you're first career complete-game shutout, it might as well be with some flair.

But for those wondering what was more rare than a perfect game was the power display Josh Hamilton showcased in Baltimore on May 8. Only 15 hitters before him had hit four home runs in a game. He joined the club and then went on a tear that no one will probably match again for quite some time. From May 7-13, Hamilton was 14 for 30 (.467) with nine homers, 18 RBI, 10 runs and 43 total bases.

On May 2, Jered Weaver, of the Los Angeles Angels, finally pitched his first no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. Why finally? Because he has the kind of stuff that embarrasses hitters. He will have more, it will only be a matter of time. Which leads me to Detroit's Justin Verlander.

Watching him pitch reminds me of Nolan Ryan but with better control. He was two outs away from his third career no-no when Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison single got past an outstretched Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. If he would have notched his third gem, Verlander would have joined Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Larry Corcoran, Bob Feller and Cy Young as the only pitchers in major league history to have three or more no-hitters.

All of this has happened and it's not even June. If this is the level of play we can expect the rest of the season, the baseball season has no where to go but up from here.


American League

1. Rangers: Aside from the Dodgers, they have the biggest division lead at five games.

2.  Orioles: Buck Showalter does not get enough credit for the job he does.

3. Rays: They will give the O's a run for their money.

4. Indians: Unless their rotation gets better behind - gulp - Derek Lowe, their stay atop the AL Central will be short lived.

5. Tigers: I know the White Sox are ahead of them in the standings, but come on, do you really expect that to last?

National League

1. Dodgers: The injury bug is not slowing down this juggernaunt.

2. Braves: The only questions surrounding this team? How secure are Mike Minor and Randall Delgado's spots in the rotation?

3. Cardinals: The future of Lance Berkman's career should be answered in the next few days.

4. Nationals: Count me as one of the skeptics who don't believe Stephen Strasburg will be shut down after 160 innings.

5. Reds: They are a gritty team whose rotation needs to be better to dethrone the Cardinals.