Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Keeping Things Interesting: April 22, 2009

Yesterday's Most Interesting
It was a weird day in Toronto yesterday. In the sixth inning of the game, Hank Blalock fouled off a pitch from Halladay, breaking his bat. The heavy part of the bat flew backwards and struck home plate umpire Kerwin Danley in the eye. He was taken off the field on a stretcher, but it appears that nothing too serious happened. We can all be grateful for that.

As for the game on the field, the Rangers were able to capitalize on a few Halladay mistakes to win the game 5-4. In 8 innings pitched, Doc was able to strike out 9 batters and walk none. He did, however, give up 8 hits, two of which were two-run homers. That was enough for the Rangers. Halladay drops to 3-1 on the year, and the Blue Jays' lead in the East drops to only 1.5 games.

More From Yesterday
The Brewers picked up in Philly today exactly where they left off in the playoffs last year, with a big loss to the Phils. Ryan Braun hit 2 home runs, but that wasn't near enough to counter the walks and timely hitting of the Phillies. Milwaukee lost 11-4. On a cold and ugly night in Chicago, Rich Harden pitched six effective innings, striking out 8 and allowing only 3 hits. The Cubs beat the Reds 7-2. In Houston, the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw was not able to repeat last week's performance. Unable to make it out of the fifth inning despite an early lead, Kershaw allowed 6 runs and struck out only 3 as the Dodgers lost 8-5. In Pittsburgh, the Pirates played another good game against the East-leading Marlins, winning 3-2. The Nationals also played another good game, beating the Braves for the second game in a row. They are now 3-10.

The Royals made a furious comeback in the late innings against the Indians yesterday, but weren't able to pull it out even after scoring 6 runs in the 8th and 9th innings. Cleveland gets the win, 8-7. The Yankees beat the A's 5-4 in the new Yankee Stadium thanks to a 4-run second inning off of Dana Eveland. Rivera's entrance to Enter Sandman must have been a welcome sound to those Yankee fans who actually showed up. In Baltimore, the Orioles scored exactly 2 runs in 5 different innings yesterday, including the 5th through 8th innings, to beat the White Sox 10-3. The O's are now 7-7, including 5-2 at home. In Seattle, the Mariners scored 3 runs in the 4th inning behind two triples by catcher Reed Johnson and shortstop Yuniel Betancourt. That proved to be enough, as the M's beat the Rays 4-2.

Today's Games
Yesterday's rain delay in Boston means a day-night doubleheader today. In the first game, Minnesota's Scott Baker faces Tim Wakefield. In the nightcap, it's Francisco Liriano vs. Brad Penny. Brad Penny is interesting in that he has an era of 11.00 right now, but a record of 1-0. He got some serious offensive help in that second start. Saber-friendly, and Joe Posnanski man-crush, Brian Bannister will make his first start of the year for the Royals, as they face off against the Indians. I'm certainly pulling for Banny to put up a good year this year - his embracing of sabermetrics is refreshing and it's hard not to like him after reading all that Pos has to say - but I'm a little afraid he won't be able to do it. Two aces face off in Baltimore tonight, but the matchup only serves as a reminder for where the two pitching staffs currently are: the White Sox will start the young and exciting John Danks against the less-than-thrilling Jeremy Guthrie.

In Houston, Roy Oswalt will take on the Dodgers and hope to extend their losing streak to 2 games. Two teams will be looking for the surprising sweep today when they take the field. Pittsburgh will have their de facto ace Paul Maholm on the mound as they try to complete the sweep of the Florida Marlins, while the Braves hope that the young Jair Jurrjens will be able to keep the lowly Nats from sweeping them.

Today's Most Interesting
The most interesting game of the day, though, can be found in Phoenix, between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the final game of the series, Dan Haren takes the hill for the Dbacks to face off against Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa. In the three games that Haren has pitched so far this year, he has gone six or seven innings in each of them, never giving up more than 2 runs and striking out as many as 9 batters. On the year, Haren's line looks like this: 19 IP, 17 K, 12 H, 3 BB, and 1.89 ERA. He also has zero wins and three losses. In short, Haren has been shafted by incredibly poor run support in his three starts this year. Hopefully, pitching in Arizona and facing the not-exactly-pitching-rich Rockies will turn that around for him and he'll be able to get that much-earned 'W'. And that's why this is the most interesting game of the day.

1 comment:

Bill said...

It's really time for those maple bats to go away. Sounds like what they need up in Toronto is more passionless, don't-really-like-the-game-that-much guys like Adam Dunn (who became my hero after I read that article).