On Deck: Remember us?
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:59 am
By Matt Snyder
We've got the usual full slate of games on Sunday and expect to see a lot of pink on Mother's Day. Also, for fun, count the number of times Chris Berman says "Mother's Day" on Baseball Tonight. I would say to make it a drinking game, but I don't want to be the root of alcohol poisoning. Lots of good games today, including the ones in Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Texas, but here are your three storylines of the day.
CHAMPS ON THE PROWL: After back-to-back walk-off victories against the Rockies, the Giants are now only two games back in the NL West -- the closest they've been to first place since April 9. The champs have now won four of five games and are back above .500 for the first time since April 22. Meanwhile, the Rockies have now lost three straight games in walk-off fashion and five of six overall. They've been in first place since April 6, but a loss Sunday to the Giants would knock the division lead down to a mere game. Things haven't been that close for the Rocks since April 9. Jorge De La Rosa (4-0, 2.92) toes the slab for the Rockies while Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 4.40) get the ball for the Giants. Of course, it could always come down the respective bullpens ... again.
BEST PITCHING MATCHUP: ESPN chose the correct game for Sunday Night Baseball. The Phillies enter the game with the best record in the National League while the Braves have been playing good baseball of late, having a six-game winning streak snapped Saturday night. They'll look to start another winning streak with Jair Jurrjens (3-0, 1.52) taking the hill. Jurrjens has had great success in Citizen's Bank Park. In five career starts there, he sports a 1.87 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. His counterpart Sunday night is no slouch, either, as Cole Hamels (4-1, 2.66) will go for the Phillies. If you throw out Hamels' first disastrous outing, he's 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA. He's already handled the Braves with ease this season, working seven shutout innings, allowing five baserunners and striking out eight hitters in getting the win on April 10.
NO NO-NO: We can safely say there isn't going to be another no-hitter in Toronto, and not simply from an odds perspective. Brad Penny (2-3, 5.23), the Tigers' follow-up act to Justin Verlander's no-hitter, has allowed 40 hits in 41 1/3 innings this season. He has had some good outings, but only three quality starts in seven tries. Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2, 4.66) gets the assignment for the Blue Jays, and he's coughed up 37 hits in 29 innings.
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