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Tag:Vance Worley
Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Phillies to get Pence from Astros

By Danny Knobler

The Phillies have acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros, sources told CBSSports.com Friday night.

The deal was described by two sources as "very close," and was expected to be announced later in the evening.

Pence, a 28-year-old two-time All-Star, gives the Phillies the strong outfield bat that manager Charlie Manuel has been asking for. Pence hit .308 with 62 RBI in 100 games this year for the Astros.

While Pence isn't as dynamic a player as Carlos Beltran, the outfielder the Giants got this week from the Mets, he fits the Phillies' pattern of acquiring players they can control past the end of the year. Pence can't become a free agent until the end of the 2013 season. That's why the Phillies were willing to pay a bigger price for him than they would have for Beltran.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro also has a history of being able to make deals with Astros GM Ed Wade. The two worked together when Wade was with the Phillies, and last year they engineered the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia.

First baseman Jonathan Singleton, who was pulled out of Friday night's game at Class A Clearwater in the eighth inning, is thought to be one of the players going to Houston in the trade. Pitcher Jarred Cosart, who starred in the All-Star Futures Game, was also thought to be in it. CSN Philadelphia reported that minor-league pitcher Josh Zeid and a player to be named will complete the four-player package.

Pence started for the Astros Friday night, but was pulled out of the game in the fifth inning.

The Braves had also tried to get Pence, but they weren't willing to surrender any of their top pitching prospects. The Phillies, who valued Pence more, were willing to come up with the players to convince the Astros to make the deal.

The Phillies originally expected that Domonic Brown could take over in right field this year, after they allowed Jayson Werth to leave for Washington as a free agent. But Brown got hurt in spring training and has struggled since then, and Manuel told reporters Friday afternoon that he would be better off developing in the minor leagues.

Earlier this week, the Phillies were still trying to decide whether to prioritize an outfielder or bullpen help. They decided to make Pence their top target, in part because they believe the bullpen will be strengthened in the playoffs by the addition of whichever starter they don't use in their postseason rotation (either Vance Worley or Oswalt).

The big question then was whether the Astros would truly consider dealing Pence, who is a favorite of outgoing Houston owner Drayton McLane. At one point this week, Astros officials were telling friends with other teams that they were much more likely to trade Pence this winter.

Once Beltran was dealt to the Giants on Wednesday, however, the Astros realized that the time to maximize Pence's value was now. Incoming owner Jim Crane intends to start a complete rebuild in Houston, likely dropping the Astros' payroll to around $60 million next year. So moving Pence, who makes $6.9 million this year and will be due for an arbitration raise, began to make more sense.

The Astros have also shopped center fielder Michael Bourn (the Reds are interested), and starting pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. But Pence was always the one who would bring the biggest return.

The Braves move on to other targets. They could try to make a deal for White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, but the Sox are believed to be asking for the same high-end pitching prospects that the Braves refused to deal for Pence. Atlanta could also step up efforts to get Ryan Ludwick from the Padres, or potentially try to get B.J. Upton from the Rays.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com first reported that the Phillies and Astros were close to a deal.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 2:18 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Who needs Joe?



By Matt Snyder


Vance Worley, Phillies. On the day the Phillies learned they'd be losing No. 5 starter Joe Blanton for the season, rookie phenom Worley showed -- once again -- that Blanton's spot is more than covered. The 23 year old has been sensational this season and came up big once again Tuesday night. He allowed only three hits and two runs in his first career complete game and is now 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA. If Roy Oswalt comes back as strong as he's capable, the Phillies have an absurdly scary rotation.

J.J. Hardy and Derrek Lee, Orioles. The O's busted out with 12 runs -- a season high -- on 16 hits Tuesday night in a resounding victory over the Blue Jays. The entire offense hit the ball well, but Hardy and Lee were the obvious stars. Hardy clubbed two home runs and drove home four. Lee went 4-5 with a double, home run and five RBI.

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox and Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins. Both of these guys are getting close to making us pay attention daily to their hitting streaks. Bonifacio went 2-4 with a double in a Marlins victory to extend his streak to 24 games. Pedroia went 4-5 with a double and triple in a Red Sox win and is currently sitting with a 23-game hitting streak. The magic number for when streaks deserve our full attention is debatable, but with the trade deadline this week and lots of other stuff going on, 28 -- halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record 56 -- seems about right. Still, both of these guys deserve no less than a tip of the cap.



Neftali Feliz, Rangers. The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year hasn't been near as effective this season, and it showed once again Tuesday night. He closed 40 of 43 save opportunities last season, but Tuesday he blew his fifth save in 25 tries in 2011. He's already surpassed last season's walk total in a little more than half the innings. A crucial fielding error didn't help Feliz Tuesday, but he still allowed a single, two doubles and a walk. If the Rangers do acquire Heath Bell, they should seriously consider dropping Feliz to eighth-inning duties. Bell is much more a sure thing.

Reds defense.
We could call the division the NL Comedy Central when it comes to defense, but the Reds are actually a really good defensive team. Tuesday night, they tried to emulate their Central bretheren. Three errors -- including from the normally sure-handed Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips -- cost the Reds six runs in an 8-6 loss to the Mets. That's right, only two of the eight allowed runs were earned. That's pretty rough on the pitching staff. Chalk it up as a bad day, but the Reds need not make mistakes like this in the NL Central battle, as they've fallen five games back.

Offense in Pirates-Braves game. It was 3-3 after three innings. It was 3-3 after nine innings. It was 3-3 after 18 innings. Cristhian Martinez worked six scoreless innings from the bullpen for the Braves. Martin Prado went 0-9. Andrew McCutchen went 0-6. It was so bad the Pirates elected to sac-bunt against Scott Proctor -- whose ERA is over 7.00. Oh, speaking of Proctor ....

BONUS DOWN: Umpire Jerry Meals. OK, we understand that was a long night behind home plate, but you cannot end a game with such a ridiculous call. The Braves beat the Pirates 4-3 in 19 innings after receiving an absolute gift at home plate (click here for a post with video and photo evidence). Braves baserunner Julio Lugo pretty clearly exhibited the type of body language that he knew he was out at home plate on Scott Proctor's ground ball -- which became a game-winning fielder's choice. Meals just called Lugo safe. Lugo even popped up several feet shy of home plate and was tagged on both the arm and the leg before stepping on home plate and being called safe. We're bound to discuss instant replay a bit the rest of the week, as this was an embarrassing way to end a 19-inning game. I'd even guess most Braves fans agreed (the Braves broadcast team most certainly did). Oh, by the way, there had already been a few ejections due to arguing Meals' strike zone.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Report: Blanton likely done for 2011

By Matt Snyder

Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton has been troubled with elbow issues through much of the season and tests Tuesday revealed nerve damage. He is "unlikely to return" this season (Matt Gelb via Twitter).

This obviously isn't good news for the Phillies, as they rely on great starting pitching and Blanton came into the season as their No. 5 starter -- behind four frontline guys.

On the other hand, Blanton has only made six starts this season and hasn't really fared well. Meanwhile, the Phillies have the best record in the majors. Roy Oswalt will likely be returning soon and Vance Worley (6-1, 2.02) has been a revelation as a fill-in starter or reliever. With Worley stepping up and pitching the way he has, the Phillies have barely even missed Oswalt or Blanton to this point.

With the trade deadline approaching and general manager Ruben Amaro having pulled off several trades for starting pitchers in recent memory, speculation is bound to take place, but going with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Worley as the rotation doesn't sound like any sort of an issue. And Kyle Kendrick hasn't been bad, either. They will not be pursuing starting pitching. Period.

Instead, the Phillies will be focusing on bullpen help. So the major news here is Blanton missing the rest of the season. He does have one year left on his contract before hitting free agency after the 2012 season.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 15, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 10:12 am
 

Polanco to DL, Madson activated

By Matt Snyder

Third baseman Placido Polanco has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation, retroactive to July 5, the Phillies announced Friday. As a corresponding move, the Phillies activated closer Ryan Madson.

Polanco, 35, is hitting .274 with 34 runs scored and a .331 OBP. He was voted in as the NL starter at third base in the All-Star Game, but was unable to play because of his injury.

Madson has been sidelined since June 18 with a hand contusion. He has 15 saves with a 2.03 ERA.

Also, Vance Worley was recalled from Triple-A and will start Friday night against he Mets. The young pitcher is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 10 appearances, including eight starts.

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Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:00 am
 

Pepper: Don't buy me peanuts or Cracker Jack

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to talk sweeps week in Major League Baseball, as the Phillies, Yankees and Mets go for sweeps in interleague series today.

BASEBALL FOR EVERYONE: A friend of mine has spent a good 15 years of his professional career around his great love, baseball. He's hoped to share that love with his son, named for his favorite player, Nolan Ryan. The two watch games on TV, but haven't been able to experience the game live.

Nolan hasn't been able to sit in the stands and wish for a foul ball to come his way or walk out of the concourse and see the field, hear the crowd roar as Ichiro Suzuki rounds second on his way to third or hear the pop of a Felix Hernandez fastball.

You see, two years ago, like any other toddler, Nolan ate some peanut butter. Soon, he could't breathe and broke out into hives. His parents loaded him into the car and rushed to the hospital. At one point, his mother decide they couldn't wait any longer and called 911 and they pulled over to the side as an ambulance rushed to their aid, closing the I-5. The paramedics were able to get it under control and doctors told them Nolan wouldn't have lasted much longer.

Nolan was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. Since then, they've noticed symptoms in their son if there is even peanut dust in the air. Safeco Field or any stadium was like walking into a poison trap for Nolan. 

Well, that won't have to be the case -- as the Mariners are one of the teams hosting peanut-free games this season, an increasing trend according to this Reuters article. Peanut allergies have doubled over the last decade, and nobody is sure why.

Five times a season, the Tigers offer peanut-free suites at discount prices, the next is Sunday against the Giants and all 70 seats are sold, the Detroit News reports. That's a good sign and hopefully encourages more of this.

PHILLIES GOOD: OK, this is hardly breaking news, but the Phillies' rotation is really, really good -- and that's even without Roy Oswalt.

David Hale of the News-Journal does the math for us, the current five starters in the rotation -- Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick -- are a combined 12-3 with a 1.33 ERA in June with hitters managing just a .194 batting average against. WIth Halladay, Lee and Worley starting this month, the Phillies have gone 13-0.

BLAME BUD: While Bud Selig is 100 percent right to want Frank McCourt out as the Dodgers' owner, Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan writes that it's Selig's fault McCourt is in this position to begin with. Instead of finding the best owner for the team in 2004, Selig went with someone who would be on his side.

EXTENSION FOR HARDY: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is on several team's trade wishlist, but he may not be going anywhere. The Orioles have reached out to Hardy's agent to talk about an extension. Hardy is a free agent after the season. [Baltimore Sun]

NO FIRE SALE: After the Cubs released Doug Davis, general manager Jim Hendry met with the media and assured them there would be no "fire sale." While nobody wants the bloated contracts of Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Zambrano, Hendry insinuated he wouldn't trade the likes of Carlos Marmol or Ryan Dempster. [Daily Herald]

NO FIRE SALE… YET: The Dodgers haven't started "substantive" trade talks yet, but could begin doing so after the break, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets.

ZIMMERMAN'S CHANGES: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has struggled after rebuilding his throwing mechanics during a season, including allowing the game-winning run with a throwing error on Wednesday. But Zimmerman is convinced he's doing the right thing and it'll pay off in the end. [Washington Post]

WOOD CLOSER: The Cubs could get reliever Kerry Wood back in time for this weekend's series with the White Sox, CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney tweets.

ROENICKE, GREINKE MEET: Brewers manager Ron Roenicke met with right-hander Zack Greinke to "clear the air" after Roenicke felt some of his postgame comments were misinterpreted by the media after Greinke's two-inning start against the Yankees. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

BUCHHOLZ OUT PAST BREAK: After throwing a bullpen Tuesday, Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz said he won't make his next start and could be out until after the All-Star break. Buchholz is dealing with a muscle strain in his back. [Boston Herald]

STRASBURG'S MECHANICS: Stephen Strasburg is back throwing off a mound, but his mechanics look the same, some observers say. Does he need a change? Sports Illustrated's Will Carroll says he doesn't know (and if Will doesn't know, I certainly don't), but it would be wise for the Nationals to look into some biomechanics analysis to make sure his mechanics weren't the reason for his arm injury.

SWISH BEING SWISH: Nick Swisher said his recent turnaround on the field has allowed him to be himself in the clubhouse. [Wall Street Journal]

ECKSTEIN NOT RETIRED: Former Angels (among other teams) shortstop David Eckstein says he's not retired, he's just choosing not to play. There are teams that would be interested in the game's leader of grit, but isn't sure if he wants to return. He sounds like he just needs to be wined and dined in the right way and he'd return. [Los Angeles Times]

NAME GAME: Just as Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was responsible for Pete Rose's nickname, "Charlie Hustle," another Hall of Famer hung the moniker "Donnie Baseball" on Don Mattingly. Mattingly said Kirby Puckett gets credit for the nickname. [MLB.com]

NAME CHANGE: Remember the old XFL and Rod "He Hate Me" Smart? The CPBL -- the Chinese Professional Baseball League of Taiwan -- is apparently trying some sort of similar name-changing gimmick with its foreign players. One of those is former Royal Dan Reichert who is now Robert 38. [FanGraphs.com]

DODGERS DREAM TEAM: Steve Garvey has put together what he calls a "Dream Team" to buy the Dodgers, including another former Dodger, Orel Hershiser. [SportsRadioInterviews.com]

DIFFERENT DERBY: The Midwest League featured a different type of home run derby, which featured a hitting contest with more than 50 targets and prizes, including a dunk tank. Really, though, the biggest improvement over the big-league version is the absence of Chris Berman. [Benjamin Hill]

BUTCH'S TIRADE: Former big-leaguer Butch Hobson is now a manager in an Independent League, but his tirade from the other night is certainly worthy of the majors. Check him out has he does a combination of Lloyd McClendon and Terrell Owens. [h/t ItsAlwaysSunnyInDetroit.com]

MASCOT FAIL: Is that a sock or are you just happy to see me? Check out this independent league mascot in Amarillo, Texas. Yep. That's not good. [h/t Big League Stew]

BRING A PACKED LUNCH: I've always wanted to go see a game on one of the Wrigley Field rooftops, and I'd still like to -- I'm just not sure I would eat anything they have. Several rooftop businesses failed their health inspections recently. [Chicago Tribune]

CONGRATS CHONE: FanGraphs.com looks at the worst players in baseball based on 2010 and 2011 -- with Mariners infielder Chone Figgins edging Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for the title.

CIVIL WAR-STYLE GAME: If you're in Savannah, Ga., this weekend, you have plenty of entertainment and dining options, but how about checking out some baseball at a Civil War fort? Fort Pulaski will host a game Sunday featuring rules from 1860. [Connect Savannah]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Romero designated for assignment

By Matt Snyder

The Phillies have designated left-handed reliever J.C. Romero for assignment and recalled Vance Worley in a corresponding move. The Phillies will now have 10 days to either trade or waive Romero, but the move generally leads to a player's release.

Romero, 35, was an extremely valuable reliever for the Phillies in 2007 and 2008 after coming over in a trade from the Red Sox. In 2008, he appeared in 81 games, compiling a 2.75 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 59 innings. He only appeared in 21 games the following season, as he tested positive for PEDs. This season, Romero has appeared in 24 games and has a 3.86 ERA, but he's given up 16 hits and 12 walks in 16 1/3 innings. He signed a $1.35 million deal to return to the Phillies for the 2011 season.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: May 30, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: May 30, 2011 10:27 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Kershaw dominates

Clayton Kershaw

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers-- The Dodgers' left-hander threw a two-hitter and struck out 10 in Los Angeles' 8-0 victory over the Marlins. It was his second career shutout. Kershaw allowed just a soft single by Omar Infante and a line-drive double by Logan Morrison, while walking one. So far this season, he has 87 strikeouts in 79 innings with only 24 walks.

Martin Prado, Braves -- Prado not only hit the two-run homer that gave the Braves a 2-1 lead over the Reds, but also threw out Paul Janish at the plate to end the eighth inning (although, an assist to home plate umpire Dan Iassogna, who missed the call.)

Bobby Abreu, Angels -- With his eighth-inning RBI double, Abreu moved past Lou Gehrig on the all-time list with 535 in his career, giving him 32nd on the all-time list by himself. He's three behind the Rockies' Todd Helton, who also doubled on Sunday. Helton's one behind Al Simmons, who is 30th with 539. Tris Speaker holds the record with 792, if you were curious, followed by Pete Rose (746), Stan Musial (725), Ty Cobb (724), Craig Biggio (668) and George Brett (665). Ivan Rodriguez leads all active players with 569. 


Vance Worley, Phillies -- The Phillies have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Vance Worley. Which of these doesn't belong? If it weren't already clear, Sunday may have helped. Joe Blanton's replacement in the Phillies' heralded rotation allowed 12 hits and eight runs (five earned) in three innings on Sunday, needing 71 pitches to get through three. Of those 71 pitches, the Mets only swung and missed at three of them.

Joakim Soria, Royals -- The one-time Mexicutioner has only been killing the Royals this season. After his team gave him a lead in the ninth, he gave up a homer to Nelson Cruz. He would have gotten out of the inning if Brayan Pena made a tag on the play at the plate, but he didn't. Soria has already marked a career-high with four blown saves this season and has an ERA of 5.57. Despite his struggles, manager Ned Yost said he's standing by Soria as the team's closer. "Jack is our best option," Yost said after the game. "I've been through this five or six times. The worst thing you can do is to start messing around with the bullpen."

Jeff Fulchino, Astros -- The Diamondbacks bullpen has been a big reason Arizona has moved into first place, but Arizona was also helped out by Houston's 'pen. Sunday, Houston blew its 13th of 20 save opportunities this season. Fulchino was the loser against the Diamondbacks, giving up three runs on two hits and a walk in the eight inning, erasing J.A. Happ's strong start.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com