Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keeping Things Interesting: April 15, 2009

Yesterday I said that the most interesting game of the day was the NL East battle in Atlanta between the Braves and Marlins. The two teams were tied atop the division with the best record in baseball at the beginning of the day. Something would have to give, and it did. The Marlins, behind Chris Volstad, held the Braves to four hits and one run as the Marlins went on take the 5-1 victory. They now own the best record in the majors all by themselves.

Plenty of other games proved to be quite interesting, though. The Mariners won their home opener in extra innings, as the returning Ken Griffey Jr. went 1-for-3 with a walk. The Ballpark in Arlington was host to yet another crazy game (YACG?). The O's and Rangers went into the 10th inning tied at 3, but the Orioles came through with 4 runs in the top half. The Rangers did their best to beat that in the bottom of the 10th, but were only able to get across two runs. The O's win the game, 7-5. In Tampa, AJ Burnett made his second impressive start for the Yankees, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning. The Rays managed to get to him before the game ended, but the bullpen tandem of JP Howell and Dan Wheeler were not able to hold things down. The Yankees won, 7-2. The Indians managed to lose another game, as the Royals beat them 9-3 after scoring 5 in the 8th. Cleveland has now started the season 1-7 while the Royals are 5-3. The Red Sox's Dice-K and the Cards' Chris Carpenter both left their games early amid some injury concern. Hopefully, for them and their fans, the concerns will prove to be unfounded.

In today's action, the Cubs face the Rockies for the second game of their series. Rich Harden, quite possibly the best pitcher in the majors who can't prove it because he's always too injured, will take on the Rockies' Jason Marquis. The Braves and Marlins continue their battle for the NL East crown today. Derek Lowe will be pitching in his third game of the year and will try to show the same magic he showed in Philly on Opening Night. The Marlins will throw Andrew Miller in return.

In New York, the Mets look for their first win at Citi Field as Oliver Perez faces Kevin Correia. The Mets are certainly hoping that Perez will show something better than what was on display last week. The Rays and Yanks will play the rubber match of their series, as the Rays try to get an early season lead in the AL East intra-division schedule before the Yanks head back to New York to open the new Yankee Stadium. In Washington, the Nationals are still looking for the first win. They hope Shairon Martis will be able to beat Joe Blanton to get it.

The most interesting game of the day, though, is the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers. In the five games played in Arlington so far this year, the final scores have been: 9-1, 8-5, 12-8, 10-9, and 7-5. Seventy-four runs in five games - that's some serious offense. Today's matchup will be between Mark Hendrickson, the 34-year-old who gave up only 1 run to the Rays in his last start, and Kris Benson, who gave up a couple of home runs (including a grand slam) and 7 earned runs to the Tigers in his only start so far this year. With the way the O's have been hitting the ball, this game could get out of hand pretty quickly. But, as we've seen already, the Rangers have no problem scoring runs themselves. Pitching duels are always exciting, but sometimes you just need some good old fashioned offense. And that's why this is the most interesting game of the day.


Bill said...

The offense so far (especially in Texas, but everywhere) is freaking me out a little. In the AL, OPS is up 15 points and HR/G is up 0.16 from last year's season-end totals, and offense is supposed to be DOWN in April. What do you suppose happens when it warms up and the ball really starts carrying?

Happy Jackie Robinson Day!

Josh said...

Arlington=the Old Coors Field