On Deck: Sanchez/Garza kicks off second half
Posted on: July 14, 2011 5:08 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 5:25 pm
By Evan Brunell
BEST MATCHUP: We all know how poorly the Marlins fared in June during a streak that saw manager Edwin Rodriguez resign in favor of new skipper Jack McKeon. Well, Florida is working on a five-game streak that they'll put up against the Cubs with Anibal Sanchez in tow. Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter way back in 2006, is hoping to shake off a lousy start to July that raised his ERA to 3.58. Still one of the better pitchers in the game, Sanchez has been bandied about as a possible trade candidate if the Marlins can't sustain their newfound winning ways leading up to the trade deadline. Matt Garza will toe the mound for Chicago, no stranger to trade rumors himself as he was dealt from Tampa Bay to Chicago in the offseason and was recently linked to the Red Sox. Garza, despite his 4.26 ERA, has strong peripherals and will be a difficult pitcher for Florida to handle. Marlins vs. Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)
HOLLAND ROLLING: Manager Ron Washington was so pleased by Derek Holland's four-hitter before the break that the lefty drew the first start after the break despite an up-and-down season. Holland will be charged with defending a seven-game winning streak against the Mariners, who will send Jason Vargas to the mound. In a battle of lefties, Vargas has the better numbers but at just age 24, Holland boasts the better upside. The going is tough when you pitch in Rangers Ballpark, but he's equipped himself well thus far and will have the pitching haven of Safeco Field working for him Thursday night. Holland hasn't quite made the leap toward being an excellent pitcher, but as a middle-of-the-rotation hurler, many teams could do worse. Rangers vs. Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)
K-ROD ARRIVES: Another nice pitching matchup is in store with young Brewers righty Yovani Gallardo going up against Ubaldo Jimenez. Gallardo was once a lock to become a dominating pitcher, but hasn't taken that jump yet. At just age 25, it's not as if Gallardo is useless, especially since many teams would kill to have a No. 2 starter like Gallardo, but for every step forward (reducing his control issues), there's a step back as he's not striking out as many batters as he once was. Jimenez struggled earlier this season, starting off with a 5.86 ERA in his first nine starts, but has posted a 2.52 ERA in eight starts since. But the attention will be on Francisco Rodriguez Thursday night, as the new Brewer is expected to be in uniform. Will he receive a save chance? Unlikely, but he could make an appearance in the game. Brewers vs. Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET (Watch live)
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