Sunday, April 13, 2008

No No-No For Floyd - Power In The Desert - No K's In The NW

Atlanta put a 4-spot on the board in the first, and that's all they would need as they beat the Nationals 10-2. Washington's loss streak is now at nine games. John Smoltz had his second good start of the year (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K) and Jeff Francoeur homered twice and drove in 7 for the Braves.

Annapolis native and current White Sox starter Gavin Floyd took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and ended up going 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K to beat the Detroit Tiger's 7-0. Detroit is now 2-9 (still worst in the bigs) and their ace, Justin Verlander hasn't given up less than 4 runs in a start this year and has a 6.52 ERA. With Dontrelle Willis going on the DL, the Tigers are in some trouble, even though it's early.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are the best team in baseball right now. They moved their record to 9-2 with a 10-3 win over the Rockies. Their back-up ace Dan Haren pitched well again (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K) and the young offense continued rolling. 19 year-old Justin Upton went 3-3 with his league leading (4 way tie) 5th home run, and 4 RBI.

Ben Sheets led the Brewers past Johan Santana and the Mets, 5-3. Santana pitched pretty well, but got hurt by the longball again as Bill Hall, Rickie Weeks, and Gabe Kaplar all went yard. Eric Gagne pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his second save and lower his ERA to an even 9.00.

The Red Sox won round one versus the Yankees, 4-3. Manny Ramirez homered (and it was a monster blast off of Mike Mussina's hanging curveball) and drove in 3, and Josh Beckett had a quality start (6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K). Jon Papelbon came in in the eighth inning to strike out Alex Rodriquez, and K'ed two more in the ninth to pick up the save.

Matt Cain had a start for the Giants. He went 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K and hit a solo home run to put San Fran on the board with a 1-0 lead in the 6th. Cain had a no-hitter into the second inning, but even though they scored 7 runs, he didn't get the win. In fact, no Giant got the win, as the Cardinals came back to tie the game and then won it in extra inning. Cain has a 3.24 ERA in the year, but is 0-1.

Who has a two game lead in the AL West? That would be the 8-4 Oakland A's. They used their patient approach to draw 8 walks off of Cleveland's Fausto Carmona and won 7-3. Oakland only has 6 HR as a team, but they have a .343 OBP despite a .249 BA. getting on base that often is going to lead to a good number of runs. The Indians are having a rough start to the season, as they are 4-7, their ace has an ERA over 11, and their #2 starter has twice as many walks as strike-outs.

"Cole Hamels once struck a man out looking. Literally. Cole just gazed at him and the batter was retired on strikes." Maybe not, but was damn good (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K) against the Cubs, as the Phillies won 7-1.

The Astros shutout the first place Marlins, and Lance "Caveman" Berkman homered, as Houston won 5-0. Brandon Backe gave up 10 baserunners (5 H, 5 BB) in 5 innings, but got his first win of the year.

Ian Snell worked around 9 hits in 6 1/3 IP as the Pirates beat the Reds 4-3. Pittsburgh is only a half game behind Cincinatti at 5-6 (to 6-6) in the NL Central.

Brett Tomko had another good start for the Royals (6 IP, 2 R) but it wasn't enough as Boof Bonser was a little better (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) and the Twins beat KC 2-0. The Royals have lost 3 straight, and are now only a game above .500 at 6-5.

"Doc" (Roy) Halliday shut down the Rangers (9 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K), and second baseman Aaron Hill (who is now hitting .349 and may be primed for a break-out season) drove in 3 as the Blue Jays won 4-1. A Hank Blalock error at third lead to three of Toronto's 4 runs being unearned.

A very strange game in Seattle as neither starter struck out a batter. Carlos Silva went 8 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 0 K and Angel's starter Jon Garland went 5 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 0 K. The M's ended up with the 8-3 win, and are tied with LA in the West with a 6-6 record.

The Dodgers jumped all over Padres starter Chris Young (3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 2 K) and won the game 11-1. LA starter Derek Lowe was very good, going 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K and the team hit 3 HR (Rafael Furcal, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp). Kemp didn't start the game, but pinch hit for Juan Pierre and later homered. That is exactly why Pierre should be on the bench, and Kemp should be getting the at bats.

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