Thursday, April 17, 2008

Webb Beats Giants - Long One In Canada - A Tale Of Two Delgados

ARI-4, SFG-1
All was right in the world in San Fransisco. The Diamondbacks and Brandon Webb (8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K) were good, and the Giants and Barry Zito (6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 2 K) were not. Webb actually beat the Giants himself, as he drove in all 2 runs Arizona would need with a second inning single. He's now 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA, and has a legitimate shot at a 25 win season - especially the way the offense has been hitting. I mean, they have a guy (Stephen Drew) hitting 294 / 321 / 529 hitting 8th. He's outslugged every Giants regular, including their clean-up hitter by about 100 points. They are a really good team. I'm glad I picked them to win the West, but I may have short-changed them on the win total (87). On the other end of the spectrum, Barry Zito is 0-4 with (lucky) 4.50 ERA - he's walked 9 and K'ed 8 in 22 innings, to go along with 4 HR. He's given up 17 runs, but only 11 have been earned. That means his RA (run average) is actually at about 7. That isn't good for free, but it looks really bad from a guy making $14.5 million in '08 (and there are still 5 years left on the deal after this one, Giants' fans, including $20 million in 2013 - yaye!).

NYY-15, BOS-9
Clay Buccholz vs. Chein-Ming Wang sounded like a pretty good pitching match-up. To tell you the truth, they matched each other pitch for pitch. Buccohlz was bad (3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 2 K) but Wang was just a touch worse (4 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 2 K). I don't remember ever seeing two opposing starters pitch this poorly. The difference in the game was that while New York's bullpen was able to stop the bleeding, Boston's wasn't - Tavarez and Timlin each gave up 4 runs. Both teams are now 9-7, and tied for first in the AL East. Oh, and A-Rod homered - his 522nd (but not of the season; that would be a record). He passes Willie McCovey and Ted Williams for 15th on the all-time list.

DET-13, CLE-2
I think I made the Tigers angry by insulting them so much. That offense has really come alive, with their most recent victim being CC Sabathia. The defending Cy Young winner's poor season continued as he gave up 9 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks in 4 IP. He only K'ed 1. After walking only 37 last year (in 241 IP), he's already given out 14 free passes. An 0-3 record and 13.50 ERA are not great ways to start out a free-agency year. Miguel Cabrera, starting out at third base and then shifting to first, went 4-6 with a home run and 5 RBI. After their awful start, Detroit is now 5-10, as are the Indians. These are the two teams that were expected to battle each other all year, but it was supposed to be for first place and not fourth.

HOU-2, PHI-1
Roy Oswalt got back on track (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K) and former Phillie Michael Bourn (came over for Brad Lidge) hit a game winning homer. He also stole his 8th bag of the year, and looks primed to make a run at 50. Pun intended. Old-man Tejada went 0-4 with a K.

TEX-7, TOR-5
Jesse Litch got the start, but AJ Burnett go the loss as the Blue Jays used nine pitchers in their 14 inning marathon game with the Rangers. Neither team scored in extras until Burnett came in and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk in the top of the 14th. Michael Young actually went 2-8. He could have hit for the cycle twice! Actually, in that case the game probably would have ended before the 14th. CJ Wilson was kept in reserve, and pitched a perfect inning to get his fourth save. He still hasn't given up a run on the year. [He's also one of my closer's in 3 fantasy leagues, along with George Sherrill - cheap saves off the waiver wire is why you don't invest too heavily in closers.]

FLA-6, ATL-5
Florida moved to 9-5 and their "ace" to 3-1 with their win over the Braves. Mark Hendrickson didn't pitch that well (5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1K) but go the victory as Tim Hudson gave up 4 runs in 3 IP. Mike Jacobs continues to do his best Carlos Delgado circa 2006 impersonation (Jacobs came over from the Mets as part of the Delgado trade) hitting his 6th home run of the year.

NYM-5, WSH-2
Meanwhile in New York, Carlos Delgado continues to do his best Carlos Delgado circa 2008 impression, going 0-4 with 2 K's. Good thing he's teammates with Ryan Church, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran, as all three homered for the Mets. Beltran apparently came to Reyes and told him to bring the fun (hand-shakes, smiling, etc.) back, and Reyes did just that. John Maine picked up his first win of the year with a quality start (6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 4 K).

CHC-12, CIN-3
Corey Patterson went 0-4 but walked without striking out. Weird day for C-Pat. Joey Votto got another start at first and went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Just start the kid, Dusty. On the Cubs' side, everyone hit the ball a lot, including pitcher Carlos Zambrano (who was pretty good on the mound - 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K) going 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Derrek Lee also went 3-4, with a homer (his 6th), and is now hitting .393 on the year.

MIN-6, TBR-5
Half of the Rays' wins have come against the Orioles, as the team dropped to 6-9 with the loss. Tampa Bay out-homered the Twins 3-0 (Crawford, Hinske, and Riggins) but Minnisota took advantage of a Jason Bartlett throwing error to plate a couple runs. Carlos Gomez (I always write it as Chris Gomez the first time) went 2-4 a stole two more bases, giving him 9 thefts on the year. If he can get on base more, he has a chance at 60-70 steals. Livan Hernandez finally fell back to earth, giving up 5 runs on 3 walks and 8 hits in 6 IP. He had a 2.57 ERA going into the game, but he was due for a major regression.

STL-5, MIL-4
The Cardinals just continue to play good baseball. Adam Wainright homered and pitched well (7 2/3 Ip, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K) as St. Louis won their 11th game of the year. That vaunted Brewers line-up isn't producing the way that should be, but the team is still 8-6. I'm just waiting for them to get hot.

COL-10, SDP-2
The Colorado offense busted out in a big way, turning a 3-2 pitcher's duel into a 10-2 route with a 7 run top of the ninth. The Rockies used two walks, four singles, and a pair of doubles to put the game out of reach and move to 6-8 on the year. Troy Tulowitzki is hitting just .154 following his fantastic rookie season.

SEA-4, OAK-2
The Seattle Mariners got back to .500 with their win over the now 9-7 A's. Felix Hernandez pitched a complete-game, giving up just 1 run on 8 hits and a walk, and striking out 8. He now has a 1.47 ERA on the year. I know the Seattle bullpen hasn't been very good, but I don't think it's a great move to allow King Felix to throw 115 pitches. He started out last year well, but was worked kind of hard and went down with an arm injury. With Bedard's health up in the air, the M's absolutely need a healthy Felix if they want to contend this year. On the other side, Joe Blanton didn't walk a batter, but gave up 4 runs on 12 hits in 8 IP. Nine of the hits were singles. Blanton has pitched pretty well this season, but has a 1-3 record to show for it. Jack Cust walked and K'ed twice - he's striking out a lot (.132 BA) and also walking a lot (.327 OBP), but he has just one HR so far, and needs that power to be the "three true outcomes" hitter that he is. Otherwise, he won't be playing very much.

KCR-3, LAA-2
The Royals picked up their 9th win of the season the way they've picked up most of their wins - with good pitching and just enough offense. Gil Meche finally got in line with Greinke and Banny (6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K) and Joey Gathright scored what would be the winning run on an error by Jared Weaver. I find it interesting that 6 guys in the line-up are hitting over .300, but the team still can't score many runs. Maybe it's that .322 OBP and .372 SLG. I'm also wondering how long they'll keep the slick-fielding Tony Pena Jr. out there with a .279 OPS. That's right, several guys on the team have batting averages higher than his on-base plus slugging. No amount of glove-work can make up for that.

LAD-8, PIT-1
Juan Pierre started in LF for Andre Ethier. I didn't see anywhere that Ethier is hurt, so I'm just assuming that Joe Torre would prefer to put an inferior outfield out there. He did go 2-4 with 2 RBI (one on a bunt) but he is still a worse player than Andre. Whether he should be in there for Andruw Jones (1-4, 2 K's, .494 OPS on the year) is another story. (Still, no, he shouldn't be, but Jones isn't hitting well at all.) The Dodgers also got great pitching, as Brad Penny went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 1 run (unearned) on 5 hits (no walks), and also struck out 4. The pen then held the Pirates scoreless. Both teams are now 7-8, but going in opposite directions (Pittsburgh has lost 2 in a row since their 4 game win streak, while LA has won 2 straight after losing 6 in a row).

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