Friday, April 4, 2008

Owings Watch (And He Can Pitch Too)

The Detroit Tigers aren't making a good cause for being considered the favorites in the AL Central. They lost 8-5 to the White Sox. Jose Contreras got knocked around, but so did Nate Robertson and that suspect Detroit bullpen couldn't hold. A.J. Pierzynski went 3-5 with a HR and 5 RBI. The Tigers are 0-4, and are the only team without a win.

The Giants can't catch a break. They score 4 runs, but can't make them stand up as they give up 13 to the powerful Brewers line-up. Bill Hall homered twice and drove in 6, and five different players had multiple hits. Salomon Torres pitched three innings and picked up the save. If you didn't think it was a stupid stat before - the Brewers won by 8 and Torres saved the game.

The Astros aren't helping Chicago's quest for a World Series as they beat the Cubs 4-3. Rookie catcher J.R. Towles hit a two-run homer for Houston (why isn't he the #1 starter instead of splitting time with the offensively anemic Brad Ausmus?). Rich Hill pitched OK for the Cubs, but former starter John Lieber got the loss in relief.

I'm going to have an segment on here called "Owings Watch" where I keep track of how Arizona starting pitcher Micah Owings is hitting (333 / 349 / 683 with 4 HR in 2007). He got off to a quiet start (1-4) but pitched well (6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K) as the D'Backs beat the Rockies 8-1. Justin Upton homered for the second day in a row and Mark Reynolds added one of his own for Arizona. After seeing the move Bobby Cox made against the Pirates, I've been thinking that it would be interesting to get two guys like Owings and (like) Rich Ankiel, where one guy starts and the other plays outfield and then they switch. It would save the bullpen, and if one is right-handed and one is left-handed then you can keep a platoon advantage all game long. The constant switching may keep the game going for 5 hours, but a win's a win.

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