Monday, April 20, 2009

Keeping Things Interesting: April 20, 2009

Yesterday's Most Interesting
The Diamondbacks/Giants series in San Francisco proved to be quite the pitcher's duel this weekend. Either that or there was just no offense - whichever. On Friday, Dan Haren gave up only one run in six innings for the Dbacks, but the Giants won the game 2-0. On Saturday, Lincecum pitched great, striking out 13 in 8 innings while giving up no runs. The Giants provided no offense whatsoever, though, and the Dbacks won, 2-0. Finally, Randy Johnson took the hill yesterday for his third start of the season. His first two didn't go too well, but he was like the Johnson of old yesterday. In 7 innings pitched, Johnson struck out 7 batters, walked two, and gave up only 1 hit. What's more, the Giants finally decided to help him with a little bit of offense. For the third game in a row, the final score was 2-0, with the Giants winning the rubber match. That's win #296 for the Big Unit, and the Giants are hoping for many more.

More From Yesterday
The saddest game from yesterday was in Washington. For the third game in a row, the one-win Nationals blew an early lead in the late innings to the one-loss Marlins, this time giving up 4 runs in the top of the ninth to lose by 3. That has to be utterly depressing to those in the Nats' family. The Yankees were finally able to get past the Indians at the new Yankee Stadium, but they had to wait until Carl Pavano exited the game to do it, scoring 6 runs in the 7th and 8th innings off the Cleveland bullpen.

The defending champs avoided the sweep by the surprising Padres this afternoon by scoring three runs in the 8th and 9th innings to win 5-4. The Phillies have yet to win a series. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Dodgers clobbered Ubaldo Jimenez and the Rockies, 14-2, to remain the only team still undefeated at home.

Today's Games
Being a Monday, today's schedule is really thin, with only 7 games on tap. The Braves come into Washington to face the Nats. Derek Lowe will pitch for Atlanta while Wisconsin's own Jordan Zimmerman makes his major league debut for the Nats. In Philadelphia, the surprising 9-4 Padres will face Jamie Moyer and the Phils. Mike Hampton takes the hill in Houston, as the Astros host Bronson Arroyo and the Reds. If Hampton can continue to repeat his performance from last week, he might be the story of the year. I doubt that will happen, though. Finally, the Yankees continue their inaugural homestand against the A's. Andy Pettite will do his best to keep the ball in the yard for the Yanks, as he faces off against Dana Eveland. Hopefully we'll see a low-scoring game soon, so we can stop hearing the New York media get worked up over the Stadium's high-scoring ways. (Weren't we saying the exact same thing last week about the Ballpark in Arlington, and didn't they just complete a low-scoring series, including a shutout by Zack Greinke?)

Today's Most Interesting
The most interesting game of the day, though, is the Florida Marlins at the Pittsburgh Pirates. I know that I've paid a lot of attention to the Marlins in the last couple of weeks, but it's hard not to when they sport that gaudy 11-1 record. It's still early April and all, but being ten games over .500 at any point bodes well for your season.

After a rough weekend in Washington where the Marlins were able to "prove their mettle" with three late-inning. come-from-behind victories, they are still undefeated on the road. The Pirates, on the other hand, are a perfect .500, with a 6-6 record overall and a 3-3 record at home. Florida's Andrew Miller will take on Pittsburgh's Ross Ohlendorf in the contest. I don't know if there's anything about today's game to make a Florida loss likely, but the streak has to end sometime, and there's no reason to think it won't be today.

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