Monday, April 27, 2009

Keeping Things Interesting: April 27, 2009

Got in late from a long and enjoyable weekend yesterday. So I slept-in this morning on my day off (wouldn't you?). I didn't really get to see any sports during the trip except for the 1.5 Indians-Twins games I made it to, but it sounds like it was a pretty exciting weekend. Hopefully the week ahead will be as well.

Yesterday's Most Interesting
On Friday, I remarked that the most interesting game of the day was not the bigger games like Red Sox and Yankees or Cubs and Cardinals but, instead, was the matchup between the relatively surprising Pirates and equally surprising Padres. It turned out to be a decent series, with Pittsburgh taking 2 of 3, including a strong showing against Peavy.

But, honestly, the best thing about yesterday was Ellsbury's steal of home off of Andy Pettite. I didn't hear about it until this morning, but, watching the replays, that was pretty fantastic. Of course, as ShysterBall points out, this is going to get blown way out of proportion for a variety of reasons (Sunday Night Baseball, Red Sox-Yankees, etc). Before it does, though, we should take the time to appreciate it for just how cool it was before we get sick and tired of looking at it and hearing about it.

Today's Games
It's Monday, but there's still a nearly full plate of games scheduled for today. In Arizona, Dan Haren looks for his second win of the season. Despite his 1.42 ERA, Haren sports a 1-3 record, thanks to some terrible run support for the Dbacks. He'll face off against Chicago's Ted Lilly, which should prove for a fun game to watch. In Kansas City, the Royals will trot out Brian Bannister for the second time this year. He had a solid outing last week in his season debut, and hopes to keep improving. I know I'll keep rooting for him. He'll be facing the first-place Toronto Blue Jays and David Purcey.

The Dodgers will head to San Francisco tonight to renew their rivalry. Barry Zito hopes to put up his second straight good start, as he faces LA's Randy Wolf. The Marlins head out to Citi Field to face the Mets, as they try to end a six game slide after starting the season 11-1. The Yankees will put CC on the hill this evening to face off against Detroit's Justin Verlander. They can only hope that CC will be able to put up a strong outing. The Yanks have a had a rough couple of weeks, especially after the sweep up in Fenway. Finally, the Red Sox, fresh off that sweep of the Yankees, head out to Cleveland to face the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Tim Wakefield and his immortal knuckleball will take the hill for the Sox.

Today's Most Interesting
The most interesting game of the day, though, is the matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves. The Cards head into the game with a 13-6 record after having won 5 of their last 6, including a sweep of the Mets and a 2-of-3 series victory over the Cubs. Joel Pineiro will take his 3-0 record and 4.12 ERA to the mound to face off against Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens. Not only does Jurrjens have the coolest name in baseball today, he also seems to be backing that up with some great production. In his 4 games started this season, he sports a 2-1 record with a 1.42 ERA. Batters are hitting .207 against him. He needs to up that strikeout-to-walk ratio, though, which is sitting too close to 1:1 right now. It should be an interesting game today.

(I could've chosen the Bannister game in Kansas City or the Haren game in Arizona, but I don't want to keep picking the same teams day after day.)


tHeMARksMiTh said...

On the Ellsbury steal, it was cool to see as I haven't seen one live before. However, one thing that people haven't really talked about is that he stumbled and essentially fell into home plate. I'm not sure if he thought he could get in standing and realized he had to slide or what, but I thought the best part of his steal was seeing him trip over his own feet while making it look fairly good.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Oh, and about Jurrjens -- his K/BB rate over the last two games is 11/4 (not great, not terrible). His second game (1 K, 5 BB) and his first start (2 K, 3 BB) are what hurt him. He has been much, much better recently, and I can't wait for the game tonight.