Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:50 pm
By Evan Brunell
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ONE DAY LATER: A day after the Braves essentially stole a win thanks to an umpire's blown call, the two teams will meet up with a nice pitching duel lined up. Jair Jurrjens no longer has an ERA under 2.00, but that can be forgiven as it's still low, with a 2.44 line going up against Paul Maholm and his 3.26 ERA. The Pirates are doing everything they can to stay in the NL Central hunt and must feel a bit of pressure at their backs to make up for the loss Tuesday night, as well as the knowledge the Cardinals just upgraded their pitching by adding Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepcynzki and Octavio Dotel. Pirates vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET
DONE DEAL: The Blue Jays made yet another smart deal on Wednesday, yet another in a series of trades since Alex Anthopoulous took over as GM. The centerpiece in the three-team deal for Toronto is center fielder Colby Rasmus. Rasmus isn't in the lineup for the game, but it's possible he will arrive in time to make an entrance. More than likely, Rasmus' Blue Jays debut will wait until Thursday. Toronto may also be dealing with a short bullpen, having traded away Dotel and Rzepcynzki. They have Ricky Romero toeing the hill against Alfredo Simon. Romero threw eight innings of one-run ball the last time he faced Baltimore, so the Jays will be hoping for a repeat. Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET
PITCHING DUEL: The Giants added their own outfielder on Wednesday, agreeing to add Carlos Beltran for the Mets. There's no chance Beltran has of making it to San Francisco in time for the game tonight, largely because the deal is not yet completed thanks to some procedural moves. It's OK, though, because we've got a nice pitching matchup to make up for it. The Phillies will toss ace No. 4, Cole Hamels, who deserves much more than that label. Hamels has a sterling 2.62 ERA on the year with a 0.96 WHIP, striking out 134 and walking just 29. Tim Lincecum was supposed to go for the Giants but is ill (Barry Zito started in Lincecum's place as well Tuesday night), so Matt Cain will step in Lincecum's place. No problem: Cain's got a 3.06 ERA in 138 1/3 innings. Giants vs. Phillies, 7:00 p.m. ET
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Posted on: July 22, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:15 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Chance to gain ground: The Twins are apparently "going for it" -- or at least that's what the latest trade rumors say. We'll see after this weekend, when the Twins host the Tigers, the current leaders in the AL Central. Minnesota has not played particularly well this season and are still six games under .500, but just six games behind Detroit in the mediocre division. With Chicago and Cleveland -- the two teams ahead between Minnesota and Detroit -- playing this weekend, the Twins have a chance to make up some ground in the standings. Lefty Brian Duensing (7-7, 4.14 ERA) gets the call for Minnesota, with Detroit sending out right-hander Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.53 ERA). Tigers at Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)
Streak buster? The Mariners have now lost 12 in a row, but they've got perhaps the best possible matchup they could hope for in Boston -- Felix Hernandez against John Lackey. This is bizzaro world, though and Hernandez is coming off a "bad" outing and Lackey a "good" one -- so you just never know. But of course, that's why we watch, isn't it? That said, Hernandez's "bad" outing was nine hits and four runs in 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk, while Lackey's "good" outing was 10 hits and four runs (three earned) with seven strikeouts and a walk in 5 2/3 innings -- but that's what we get when we use relative terms like good and bad. Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)
Look good, play good: I know I'm a little bit weird about these kind of things, but I'm looking forward to tonight's Phillies-Padres game, not because of the matchup of Cole Hamels and Cory Luebke, but because of the uniforms. It's another throwback night, and this one is in my wheelhouse -- 1984. Not only do we get the Padres' so-called Taco Bell hats and brown and yellow pullovers, while the Phillies will wear their pinstripes (although with buttons instead of a zipper, which would make them 1987 uniforms). Anyway, according to UniWatch, this is a good sign for the Padres, because the Phillies are 1-6 at home in throwback uniforms. Padres at Philies, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 17, 2011 1:10 am
Edited on: July 17, 2011 9:49 am
By Matt Snyder
Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, rest of Marlins. The Marlins dominated the Cubs from start to finish Saturday, pounding out 14 hits and 13 runs. Seven of those hits were of the extra-base variety, too, so it was quite the show. Two players in particular stood out, though. Mike Stanton clubbed a pair of homers, giving him 20 on the season and putting the league lead in his sights. Hanley Ramirez doubled three times, scored three times and drove in two. Since new manager Jack McKeon moved Ramirez to the cleanup spot in the lineup (89 plate appearances), he's hit .371/.449/.603 with six doubles, four homers, 23 RBI and 17 runs. And the Marlins have won seven of eight.
Alfredo Simon, Orioles. This is amazing: Courtesy of MASNSports.com, the Orioles had only had one starting pitcher work at least seven innings in the past 29 games. In that stretch, the starters had a 7.71 ERA, and the Orioles were 6-23 in those games. They won Saturday evening, and not coincidentally it was because they got a quality start. Simon did better than the textbook definition of quality start. He went seven innings and allowed two earned runs. It was only his second start since 2009 and fifth of his career.
Edwin Jackson, White Sox. As bad as the White Sox have been, they're now only four games out of first place (the two Central divisions are pretty terrible, aren't they?). The move forward Saturday came courtesy of an Edwin Jackson shutout. Jackson scattered nine hits and threw a complete game for the first time in a White Sox uniform. His last complete game was his 149-pitch no-hitter as a member of the Diamondbacks on June 25, 2010.
Reds' gaffes. The Reds could have won Saturday night to move within two games of first place in the NL Central, but three mistakes were far too costly to overcome. In the fourth inning, Chris Heisey ran into the third out at third base, when he essentially had no chance of making third. That meant instead of turning the lineup over, pitcher Bronson Arroyo had to lead off next inning. In that next inning, Drew Stubbs was doubled off second base on an Edgar Renteria flyout to end the inning. But those errors paled in comparison to Arroyo's two-out throwing error on a Jon Jay bunt. It extended the inning with two men on base, and Albert Pujols coming to the plate. Pujols hit a three-run home run and the Cardinals won 4-1.
Cole Hamels, Phillies. The Mets own the All-Star left-hander. Hamels came into the game Saturday 11-4 with a 2.32 ERA and 0.93 WHIP, but he had a 7.45 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in two starts this year against the Mets. Saturday was no different, as the Mets worked Hamels over. He only got through 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, four walks and seven earned runs. This was a Mets' lineup missing Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Ike Davis.
Barry Zito, Giants. So much for the return to All-Star form. Zito was 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA since coming off the disabled list. Saturday night, he was facing off against arguably the worst offensive team in the majors and was torched. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits, four walks and eight earned runs. He gave up home runs to Jesus Guzman and Orlando Hudson. Basically, it was one of the worst outings imaginable. We'll give Zito the benefit of the doubt and say it could be a temporary setback, but I'm sure Giants fans are a bit worried.
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Posted on: July 3, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 10:59 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Perhaps the list of who won't be starting the All-Star Game is as impressive as who may start the game on July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Because of the rule that pitchers who start on the Sunday before the game are ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game, Justin Verlander, James Shields, Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia and Jon Lester won't be getting the nod to start the game. However, it should be noted that neither Sabathia nor Lester were selected to the team, perhaps with an eye toward the fact they wouldn't be able to pitch in the game.
With those pitchers eliminated from the competition, it's easier to pick the starters for next Tuesday's game. We'll continue the process of elimination to determine the starters for the All-Star Game.
Without Hamels and Cain, there are six pitchers left to pick from. It's unlikely that Tim Lincecum or Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants would be headed to Phoenix if San Francisco manger Bruce Bochy wasn't making the picks, so cross them off the list. That leaves Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee.
I'd be surprised if Kershaw didn't start an All-Star Game in his career, but it's not this year. He's got the potential to be as good as anyone in the game, but he's allowed six earned runs in three of his last six starts, so he's out.
Cliff Lee had an unbelievable June, but take that away and he's 4-6 with a 4.23 ERA. He's out.
So it comes down to the two 11-game winners, Halladay and Jurrjens. Jurrjens leads in ERA at 1.89, while Halladay has a 2.44 ERA. Halladay has more strikeouts, 131 to 63 and also leads in WHIP (1.027 to 1.061). Either one would be a good pick, but expect Bochy to go with the veteran Halladay, and it's tough to argue picking Halladay for about anything. His track record gives him the edge.
If Verlander and Shields were in this discussion, it would be a lot more difficult. So in the also-rans, we'll start with C.J. Wilson. Wilson is 8-3 with a 3.14 ERA, good numbers to be sure, but not elite. Like Bochy picking two of his starters (and 60 percent of his starting rotation), Rangers manager Ron Washington was looking out for one of his own players by picking him over Sabathia or Lester, so he's out of the discussion.
David Price is 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA with 116 strikeouts, a good half-season to be sure, but not an All-Star starting pitcher.
Gio Gonzalez is that under-the-radar starter who has been lights-out this season, going 8-5 with a 2.31 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 109 innings. Gonzalez is fourth in the American League in ERA but his WHIP is an improved 1.235, which is decent but not in the Top 10 in the league.
Jered Weaver and Josh Beckett are both in the top three in both ERA and WHIP, with Weaver first in ERA (1.92) and third in WHIP (0.921) to Verlander (0.862). Beckett trails Weaver in ERA (2.12) and jumped ahead of him in WHIP (0.906) with Sunday's performance. If you're one of those people who puts value in pitcher's wins as a stat, Weaver leads all American Leaguers eligible to pitch in the game with 10 wins, while Beckett's pedestrian record of 6-3 belies what he's been able to do on the mound this season.
Weaver had a case to start last season season's game in Anaheim, but wasn't eligible because he'd started the Sunday before the game. He's scheduled to start on Thursday, putting him on track to start again on July 12, and he should get that chance.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, All-Star Game, Angels, Athletics, Braves, CC Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, David Price, Dodgers, Felix Hernandez, Giants, Gio Gonzalez, Jair Jurrjens, James Shields, Jered Weaver, Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander, Mariners, Matt Cain, NL East, NL West, Phillies, Phillies, Rays, Red Sox Jon Lester, Roy Halladay, Ryan Vogelsong, Tigers, Tim Lincecum, Yankees
Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 3:39 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Albert Pujols may be back before the All-Star Game, the Cardinals said on Saturday, but he won't be on the All-Star team. Here's the rest of the National League team:
Jair Jurrjens, Braves (players' pick)
Roy Halladay, Phillies (players' pick)
Tim Lincecum, Giants (manager's pick)
Brian Wilson, Giants (players' pick)
Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (manager's pick)
Cliff Lee, Phillies (player's pick)
3B Chipper Jones, Braves (players' pick)
OF Jay Bruce, Reds (players' pick)
1B Joey Votto, Reds (players' pick)
OF Matt Holliday, Cardinals (players' pick)
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals (players' pick)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: All-Star Game, Brandon Phillips, Braves, Braves, Brian Wilson, Cardinals, Carlos Beltran, Chipper JOnes, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Gaby Sanchez, Giants, Heath Bell, Hunter Pence, Jair Jurrjens, Jay Bruce, Joel Hanrahan, Joey Votto, Jonny Venters, Justin Upton, Marlins, Matt Cain, Matt Holliday, Mets, Nationals, Padres, Phillies, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Rockies, Roy Halladay, Ryan Vogelson, Starlin Castro, Tim Lincecum, Troy Tulowitzki, Tyler Clippard, Yadier Molina
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:56 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
In his second season in Boston, Cameron has been limited by injuries and ineffectiveness. Cameron hit .149/.212/.266 with three home runs in 33 games and 105 plate appearances this season. He was limited to 48 games in 2010, his first with the Red Sox.
The 38-year-old has played parts of 17 seasons with seven teams and hit 24 home runs in 2009 with the Brewers. In two seasons with the Brewers, he hit 49 home runs and drove in 140 runs.
Reddick is hitting .438/.474/.688 with a home run in 13 games and 38 plate appearances this season. The 24-year-old has four hits in six plate appearances against left-handers this season.
Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:25 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:41 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Six of today's nine games are afternoon tilts, so we'll be checking the on-deck circle a little earlier today.
VERLANDER SHOW: It's gotten to the point that any time Justin Verlander is on the mound, he's a must-watch. In his last six starts, he's 6-0 with a 0.72 ERA; in his last 10, he's 8-0 with a 1.56 ERA. In winning his last six starts, Verlander has pitched 49 2/3 innings with two complete games and given up just 26 hits, walking six and striking out 51. Overall, he's 10-3 with a 2.38 ERA and 124 strikeouts, second most to James Shields (127) in the American League and tied for third overall behind Clayton Kershaw, who has 128 strikeouts this season. It's likely he'll be the leader after today's game against the Mets. Mets at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)
LEFTY SHOWDOWN: Both Boston's Jon Lester and Philadelphia's Cole Hamels are are making their third bid for their 10th victory of the season. Both have had a little bit of hard luck in their quest for No. 10. Lester allowed five earned runs (and seven total) in his last two outings, finishing with losses to the Brewers and Pirates, while Hamels has had worse luck -- allowing two earned runs in each of his last outings only to get one run in support. One team has to win today, but the way things have gone for these two pitchers since winning their ninth game, there's no guarantee either of them will get the elusive 10th win. Red Sox at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)
TURN THE PAGE: No team can be happier to see June end than the Florida Marlins. Florida has had just two more wins than managers this month (and one more win than the Nationals have had managers) and search for their fifth win of the month against Oakland's Trevor Cahill. So far this month, the Marlins are hitting just .223/.282/.338 and have scored 76 runs -- 35 fewer than the team scored in May. Its 18 homers are 10 fewer than May's totals. Florida pitchers have a 4.21 ERA this month and its starters have a 4.97 ERA. With the win, Florida could reach Cliff Lee's win total of the month and by the time their game starts, Verlander may have his sixth win of the month. Marlins at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. ET (Follow live)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:00 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
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]
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.
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]
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.
Tags: AL Central, AL East, AL West, Alfonso Soriano, Brewers, Bud Selig, Butch Hobson, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Chone Figgins, Clay Buchholz, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Cubs, Dan Reichert, David Eckstein, Dodgers, Don Mattingly, Doug Davis, Frank McCourt, J.J. Hardy, Kerry Wood, Kirby Pickett, Kyle Kendrick, Mariners, Mickey Mantle, Nationals, Nick Swisher, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orel Herschiser, Orioles, Pete Rose, Phillies, Red Sox, Ron Roenicke, Roy Halladay, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Steve Garvey, Tigers, Vance Worley, Yankees, Zack Greinke