Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Owings Watch - Torre Relents - Pelfrey Improving

ARI-8, SFG-2
It's time for another installment of Owings Watch. Micah hasn't been hitting that well this season. Against the Giants, he went 1-3 with a run scored. I'm a bit disappointed, as I was hoping that Owings would actually out-hit Bengie Molina, the Giant's clean-up hitter, this season. He couldn't even do it in this game, as Molina also went 1-3, but with a walk. In any case, I don't think the D'Backs are complaining about Owings, as he's making up for his "struggles" at the plate with his stellar work on the mound. Though it is San Fransisco, a 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K performance is nothing to sneeze at. He's now 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA and 19 K's to 5 walks in 19 2/3 IP. Chris Young hit his 5th HR, and Conor Jackson added his 2nd, as Arizona won 8-2. They're the first team in the majors with 10 wins, at 10-4.

I don't know if Mike Pelfrey has found his breaking-ball (and I'm not going to check the Pitch/FX data), but he is really giving the Mets what they need with Pedro on the shelf for a while. In the 6-0 against the Nationals, Pelfrey pitched 7 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 walks, and K'ing 4. He's now 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. David Wright went 3-4 in the game with a homer and 5 RBI. He now has a league leading 15 on the year. If the Mets make the playoffs, then I see Wright having a great chance at the MVP award. Unless Jose Reyes goes 10-10-10-100 (2B-3B-HR-SB) or something gimmickee like that, in which case they'll steal votes from each other.

LAD-11, PIT-2
The LA Dodgers seem to be getting it, as the started an Andre Ethier-Andruw Jone-Matt Kemp outfield for the second game in a row, with the first two hitting 3rd and 2nd (switched from yesterday). Kemp went 2-4 with an RBI and 3 R, and Ethier went 2-3 with a pair of each. That's why you don't play Juan Pierre. Jones also went 2-3, with a walk and a couple runs scored, so hopefully he's picking it up a bit. Oh, and they beat the Pirates 11-2.

SDP-6, COL-0
Randy Wolf always had a lot of talent, but walks and injuries have kept him from reaching his potential. He seems to be healthy in San Diego now, and is certainly producing. Against the Rockies he went 7 innings, giving up just one hit and walking 4 while setting 9 down on strikes. He's K'ed 18 in 19 IP, and has a 1.42 ERA for the year. The Padres shut Colorado out, 6-0.

FLA-4, ATL-0
The first place Florida Marlins beat the Braves 4-0. The pitching staff, led by Scott Olsen (7 IP, 5 H, 3 K) didn't walk a single Atlanta batter. Florida's Josh Willingham showed some wheels with a triple and a couple of stolen bases.

CHC-9, CIN-5
Five home runs were hit in the Reds-Cubs game, and none were by Corey Patterson (who has a .280 OBP now). Mark Derosa started it off in the second with a two run shot. Ken Griffey Jr. continued his quest for 600 with one of his won in the third. Derrek Lee gave the Cubs back the lead with a three run homer in the fifth, and Ryan Theriot hit his HR of 2008 in the eighth. Joey Votto, getting his sixth start of the year for the Reds, homered in the ninth, but it was too little, too late. Chicago won 9-5.

STL-6, MIL-1
Reliever-turned-starter Brandon Looper went to 3-0 despite walking 5 in 5 IP against the Brewers. He only gave up one run though, and the Cardinals beat Milwaukee 6-1, becoming the second team in baseball with 10 wins. I definitely didn't see that coming. How long will the Tony La Russa - Dave Duncan magic keep working on this patch-work rotation? Who knows, but as long as it does, it should keep Albert Pujols from having that surgery that he needs. If for no other reason than that, I hope St. Louis tanks (and soon) so that Pujols can miss the year and come back (finally) completely healthy next year. He could make some runs at the triple crown.

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