Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Finally Some Wins - Patterson Homers - KC / St. Louis WS?

It's time for another addition of Owings Watch, where I check in on how D'Backs pitcher and occasional masher, is swinging the bat. Owings went 0-2 with a BB and a K against the Dodgers, but only gave up 3 runs in 7 IP in the mound to beat LA 4-3. Arizona has a tow game lead in the NL West.

Mike Napoli hit his first career grand slam as the Angels extended their lead in the AL West over the A's with a 9-5 win over the Indians. Garrett Anderson, Casey Kotchman, and Vlad Guerrero all homered for LA as well.

Kerry Wood blows another save as the Cubs starter, ruining a great start by the former closer Ryan Dempster (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K). The game remained tied at 2 until the 14th, when the Cubs scored a pair in the top of the frame. Former O's farm-hand Kevin Hart tried to finish the game, but he couldn't either as Adam LaRoche hit a two run homer. And on to the 15th they went. The Cubs score two more, and this time manage not to blow it. That's a 6-4 win in 15 innings for Chicago. Both starters went 7, but there were still 14 total pitchers used (7 on each side).

Jarrod Washburn gives up 1 run in 7 IP, as the Seattle Mariners move to within one game of .500 with their 7-1 win over the Rays. Seattle is walking a lot more than they did last year. If that continues, the offense might not be that horrible.

I predicted that the Marlins would finish ahead of the Nationals. So far so good, as Florida moved to 5-3 with their 10-4 win over the Nats. Mike Jacobs homered twice and drove in 4. If only that Florida defense wasn't so very bad.

The Mets finally broke their losing streak to the Phillies with an 8-2 win. Kyle Kendrick had a terrible start for Philly (2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 6 BB, 0 K) while New York has to be happy with what they got from Mike Pelfrey (5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K). They'll need Pelfrey to step up with Pedro on the DL. Regardless of what they say, the Mets need to feel relieved by the win - if only so that they don't need to hear about how the Phillies "own" them anymore.

The Cincinnati Reds are showing that they are contenders with their 12-3 win over the Central leading Brewers. Dave Bush got roughed up for 5 runs in 5 1/3 IP for Milwaukee. Bush is a guy whose ERAs never quite matched up with his peripherals. Every year I expect him to break out and post an ERA under 4, and every year he's up around 4.5 or 5. Oh, and Corey Patterson hit another home run. If he hits 20 HR this year and manages an OBP above .330 then I'll take back some of the mean thing I said about Dusty Baker. Well, that one thing about him actually playing Corey Patterson over Jay Bruce. The rest of the stuff still stands.

The Oakland A's are where I expected them to be - in second place in the AL West. The A's improved to 5-4 with their 6-3 win over the Blue Jays. Oakland scored 4 runs in the top of the ninth to secure a come from behind win. I've compared the A's to the O's on several occasions. It hasn't been too far off so far - both teams are doing better than most people said they would.

How about those Royals? Zach Greinke pitched eight shutout innings as KC beat the struggling Yankees 4-0. He has a 0.60 ERA on the year. That Royals pitching has been very good - if the offense can break out a bit, then they could end up in third place in the Central... maybe even second if the Tigers keep playing this poorly.
The Yankees are having another usual early season collapse - Posada and Jeter are hurt, the pitching's been poor, and some of the stars aren't hitting. This happened last year; people said "oh they won't make the playoffs this year" for most of the reasons listed above, but there they were at the end with 94 wins. The young pitching can only get better as the year goes on. I wish the O's had more games against them now, as opposed to later when the Yanks are in a 18-3 (or something) stretch.

St. Louis is playing well above expectations, and Albert Pujols has finally gotten involved. Pujols homered twice as the Cardinals beat the Astros 6-4. Perhaps I undervalued them (I don't think so) but they are playing very good baseball right now. Houston, on the other hand, is 3-7. That NL Central has some not very good teams in it.

The Tigers finally got off the shnide with a 7-2 win over the Red Sox. Boston starter Jon Lester had a tough day against the all righty Detroit line-up (he's a lefty) and Jeremy Bonderman gave up 2 runs in 5 IP. We'll see if this shakes the Tigers out of their slump.

The Twins pounded out 12 runs on 13 hits to beat the White Sox 12-5. The Sox have gotten off to a good start at 5-3, and one of the reasons is Nick Swisher and his .469 OBP in the lead-off spot. An actually good decision by Ozzie Guillen to leave him there.

The Rockies scored 16 runs in their first 8 games - they scored 12 against the Braves today. The 12-6 win moves Colorado to within a game of .500, and drops the under-performing Braves to 3-6. Ryan Spilborghs homered and drove in 5.

Update of the score-athon in San Fran tomorrow (0-0 in the 5th, 3 total hits).

1 comment:

Mark said...

Yes, I actually just wrote about the Royals today. They are much better than people think and could make the playoffs IF the rest of the division struggles. But because they are in the very competitive AL Central, I think they're not going to make it this year.