Tag:Pirates
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:29 pm
 

On Deck: Wakefield aiming for 200

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Tim WakefieldGoing for 200:
Boston's Tim Wakefield will take his third chance at winning his 200th game of his career. The 45-year-old knuckleballer has pitched well in his last two starts, but wasn't able to pick up the win. He gave up three runs to both the White Sox on July 29 and to the Indians on Aug. 3, going a combined 13 2/3 innings and 11 strikeouts with just four walks. Baker's looking to bounce back from a three-inning outing against the Angels on Aug. 3. He gave up five hits and four runs (three earned), throwing 77 pitches in the outing. Red Sox at Twins, 7:10 p.m. ET


Perfect timing:
If you're a team just a half-game out of first place, there are few things that can make you happier than seeing a four-game series against the Astros coming up on the schedule. Arizona is 5-5 over its last 10 games but is still just a half-game out in the National League West thanks to San Francisco's recent struggles. The Astros are 40 games under .500. Daniel Hudson starts for the Diamondbacks opposite Houston's best pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez, in the series opener tonight. Watch for Arizona's Justin Upton who is putting up MVP numbers. Upton is hitting .366/.418/..831 with seven homers and 22 RBI over his last 18 games and has a homer in his five plate appearances against Rodriguez. Astros at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET

Ryan VogelsongThis one goes to 11?: Pittsburgh has an uphill climb in San Francisco if it wants to stop its 10-game losing streak. While the Pirates will miss Tim Lincecum in the three-game series, they have to face former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong, who is 9-1 with a 2.19 ERA. While Vogelsong's ERA is slightly higher at AT&T Park, batters aren't hitting him as well at home, putting up a .228/.290/.312 line. He's allowed just three homers in his 11 home starts. Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton got the Pirates' losing streak started in Philadelphia by allowing eight runs in four innings. He threw seven shutout innings in his last start, but the Pirates lost a 1-0 game to the Cubs. Pirates at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Reddick, Red Sox walk-off winners

Josh Reddick

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Josh Reddick, Red Sox: In his first four at-bats of Sunday's game against the Yankees, Reddick went hitless and left six men on base. But he came up big in the 10th inning, singling in the game-winning run, for the first walk-off hit of his career. With the win, Boston moved back into sole possession of first place in the American League East, a game ahead of the Yankees. Reddick got his shot because Carl Crawford had three hits in his first four at-bats of the game, so after David Ortiz doubled with one out in the 10th off of Phil Hughes, the Yankees elected to intentionally walk Crawford and take their chances against Reddick. Reddick swung at Hughes' first offering, lining it the other way and just inside the left-field line, easily scoring pinch-runner Darnell McDonald from second.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: Peavy picked up his first victory since June 25 -- and his first win in a start since June 22 -- with eight shutout innings against the Twins. Peavy scattered three hits and struck out six batters without a walk to improve to 5-5 on the season. The White Sox picked up their first sweep of the Twins in Minnesota in more than seven years.

Johnny Giavotella, Royals: In just his third game in the big leagues, Ned Yost put the rookie second baseman in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The result? A double and a solo homer. In three games this season, he's 5 for 11 and slugging .909. Giavotella started a rally in the fourth inning, leading the inning off with a double, moving to third on a wild pitch and scoring on Billy Butler's groundout. The Royals scored two more runs in the inning and his homer off of starter Max Scherzer in the next inning gave Kansas City a 4-0 victory, a lead they'd hold on to for a 4-3 victory over the Tigers.


Kevin Correia, Pirates: Correia wasn't awful -- but he needed to be better than that to put the stops to the Pirates' losing streak. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and four runs on four walks and three strikeouts. Correia has 10 wins away from PNC Park, but is 2-7 with a 7.71 ERA at home, as the Pirates lost 7-3 to the Padres to drop their 10th in a row. With the loss and Milwaukee's win, the Pirates fell to 10 games out of first place in the National League Central and into fourth place, a half-game behind the Reds. Pittsburgh is now five games under .500 on the season at 54-59.

Rockies resting on the sabbath: Colorado lost its 16th consecutive Sunday game, falling 3-2 to the Nationals at Coors Field. The Rockies won their first two Sunday games of the season and haven't won since. Colorado came back to tie the game in the seventh, but Jayson Werth's RBI single in the eighth gave the Nationals the lead and ultimately the victory.

Marlins defense: Logan Morrison and shortstop Emilio Bonifacio ran into each other trying to catch Corey Patterson's sixth-inning popup, allowing Patterson to reach second. After getting two outs, the Marlins intentionally walked Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday singled to right, where Mike Stanton let the ball bounce off his glove. Patterson would have scored anyway, but it allowed Pujols to go to third and Holliday to advance to third (not to mention tie the game). After an intentional walk to Lance Berkman, Jon Jay singled in two runs on a blooper. After Florida tied the game in the bottom of the inning, Bonifacio's throwing error on a Patterson grounder led to three unearned runs in the seventh and a 8-4 Cardinals victory.

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Posted on: August 7, 2011 10:51 am
 

On Deck: We're going streaking

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Winning streak: Roy Oswalt returns from the disabled list and looks to extend the Phillies' winning streak to 10. To reach double digits, Philadelphia will have to top Tim Lincecum. Lincecum set the tone last postseason against the Phillies, topping Roy Halladay in Game 1 of the NLCS, before losing Game 5 in a rematch against Halladay. A little more than a week ago, Lincecum threw six shutout innings in a victory in Philadelphia in a 4-1 Giants victory over Kyle Kendrick. Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt is making his first start since June 23, spending the last six weeks on the disabled list with lower back inflammation and two bulging disks. Phillies at Giants, 4:05 p.m. ET

Losing streak: On the other side of Pennsylvania, the state's other team is looking to avoid a 10-game streak of its own. Pittsburgh has lost its last nine and 11 of its last 12. The Pirates now trail the Brewers by nine games and any shot at making the playoffs seems remote at best. The team may now have to change its focus from the postseason to ending the streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons. The Pirates stand at 54-58, so that's a more realistic goal than the playoffs at this point. All-Star Kevin Correia (12-9, 4.71 ERA) starts for the Pirates opposite San Diego's Mat Latos (5-11, 3.94). Padres at Pirates, 1:35 p.m. ET

Dan UgglaFreddie FreemanHitting streaks: Braves second baseman Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 27 games on Saturday, going 3 for 5 with his 24th homer of the season on Saturday in a loss to the Mets, but he's not alone on the Braves' streaking list -- rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. Uggla's homer was his 12th during the streak and has seen his average rise from .173 to .220 during the streak. He's 2 for 8 against Sunday's Mets starter Dillon Gee. Freeman is 1 for 5 against Gee. Braves at Mets, 1:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:27 pm
 

On Deck: Phillies/Giants becoming rivalry

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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PhilliesGiantsNO LOVE LOST: The Phillies and Giants seem to be sparking a rivalry, the seeds sown from San Francisco's victory in the NLCS last October en route to a World Series championship. Both teams have continued their division aspirations this year, and another wrinkle was added to the rivalry at the trade deadline when Carlos Beltran moved from the Mets to the Giants. Philadelphia had to contend with Beltran in its division and now is on a competitor vying for the world title. Then, on Friday, both teams had a benches-clearing brawl. Yeah, I'd say there's a rivalry brewing. It continues Saturday when Cole Hamels and Matt Cain oppose each other. Phillies vs. Giants, 4:10 p.m. ET

BeavanChatwoodROOKIE PITCHERS: Two rookies take the mound in the Seattle/Los Angeles tilt on Saturday, and not only are both off to solid starts, it's rather flukish. Take Blake Beavan for starters, who replaced Erik Bedard in the rotation and has made five starts. In 33 1/3 innings, he's walked six, struck out 15 and given up 31 hits. Only 25 percent of batted balls are falling for hits (league average: 29 percent) and it's not a happy accident -- batters are making hard contact off Beavan. He could still develop into a solid mid-rotation starter, but his 3.24 ERA on the year belies a 4.50 xFIP, more in line with his talent. Similarly, Angels rookie Tyler Chatwood boasts a 3.93 ERA in 20 starts -- but 60 walks and 58 strikeouts is horrendous, no matter how you slice it. His xFIP? 4.84. Only one can win Saturday. Mariners vs. Angels, 9:05 p.m. ET

PiratesSKIDDING: Both the Yankees and Phillies have won eight in a row, the best winning streak currently active. The "best" losing streak active is also at eight games and at the hands of the Pirates, who are now eight games out of first place. Their Cinderella season has now been relegated to finishing about .500. While eight games is not a death knell just yet, when you factor in that Pittsburgh had been playing over its head, it's quite a tough road for the club. Paul Maholm will attempt to snap the losing streak at home against Cory Luebke. Maholm has been the best starting pitcher all season for the Pirates, never amind the performances of Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia. Padres vs. Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:12 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Major-league debuts are a blast

Giovatella

By Evan Brunell


upJohnny Giavotella, Royals: The rookie Giavotella, who hit .338/.390/.481 for Triple-A, is the newest wave of Royals youngsters. This one is poised to hold second base for a long time on the strength of his bat and he got things started Friday against the Tigers with a 2-for-3 effort with a walk and run scored, getting his first major-league hit off of Rick Porcello. The 24-year-old tacked on an RBI for good measure, singling home Eric Hosmer in the seventh during a three-run outburst to tie the game. Detroit pushed a run across in the top of the 10th to win the game.

Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays: Lawrie, like Giavotella, was making his major-league debut. This time it was over with Toronto, and he wasted no time showing why he's ticketed to be the Jays' third baseman for the next 10 years by collecting two hits in four trips to the plate, driving in a run with two out. He batted ninth, but that will quickly change. Lawrie could have been called up in early June but took a pitch off the hand a day before he was getting called up which cost him months of recuperation. He's finally up, though, and Toronto's pieces for a nice run starting in 2012 is clicking into place.

Carlos Quentin, White Sox: Another powerful day for Quentin, who rocketed two homers and totaled four RBI on the day to bump his overall line to .259/.346/.512. It's a resurgence for the oft-injured righty, who is on pace to post 34 home runs, just shy of his career high of 46 in 2008. Giving how good pitching is these days though, this could be Quentin's most impressive season.



KarstensJeff Karstens, Pirates: Karstens has been pitching way above his head this year and paid for it Friday with a regression to the mean. He coughed up nine earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out two. His ERA spiked from 2.49 to 3.05. Still, Karstens has gotten this far pitching this well, so he must be doing something right. While he's simply not a 2.49 ERA kind of pitcher -- and not quite 3.05 either -- he has shown that he can be a very good pitcher.

J.A. Happ, Astros: Ugh. Happ's ERA is now a sky-high 6.26. That's in 22 starts, so it's a legit 6.26. Happ had a 18-8 record from 2009-10 between the Phillies and Houston, posting a 3.09 ERA. Those who looked at peripherals and/or advanced statistics knew this was all a fluke. Those who saw nothing but the win-loss record were delivered a blow this season, as Happ gave up six runs in four innings to the Brewers, walking three and striking out two. Oh, and his record? 4-14. The Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine notes that Happ is the first pitcher in Astros history to allow at least five runs in eight consecutive starts. Oh, and he's the fourth pitcher since 1948 to allow five runs in eight straight starts.

Drew Stubbs, Reds: Stubbs has skidded this season with a .252/.327/.386 mark. This wasn't supposed to happen, not after Stubbs notched a 20-30 season last year with a .255/.329/.444 mark, but his power has all but vanished this year and leads baseball with 145 strikeouts, three of which came against the Cubs on Friday, going hitless in four at-bats. The loss was the second straight for the Reds, who have gone 4-6 in their last 10 and are now 8 1/2 games out of first with a 54-58 record. If they're going to get to the postseason, they need to at the very least stop losing ground.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:56 pm
 

On Deck: Ubaldo makes his Indians debut

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Ubaldo JimenezJimenez brings the heat: Ubaldo Jimenez makes his Cleveland debut against the Rangers, a team he's never faced. Jimenez was 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA for the Rockies this year, but was much better on the road than at (his former) home -- going 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA away from Coors Field and a 3-5 mark with a 5.55 ERA in Colorado. Jimenez will not only have to face the Rangers and Derek Holland, but also the heat. According to Weather.com, the forecast is for a game time temperature of 106 degrees, which would make it the hottest game in Rangers Ballpark history -- a place with quite the history of steamy weather. Texas had two 105-degree games last month. Indians at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET

East showdown: Yes, it's terribly unoriginal to put yet another Yankees-Red Sox game in the preview. Yes, the rest of the country is sick of having the two teams rammed down our throats. And yes, they've already played nine games and have nine more against each other. But the reason this rivalry gets talked about is that it's worth talking about. Entering this three-game set at Fenway Park, the two teams are tied for the best record in the American League at 68-42 and atop the American League East standings. Boston is 8-1 so far this season against their rivals, beating Friday's starter Bartolo Colon twice already. However, in those two starts, Colon has allowed just seven hits and three earned runs over 10 1/3 innings. Lefty Jon Lester is on the hill for Boston. He's allowed 13 hits and seven earned runs in two starts against the Yankees this season, but picked up victories in both starts. Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET

Aaron HarangJeff KarstensSinking ship?: Piitsburgh's quickly gone from the belle of the ball to, well, the Pirates. Looking to break their streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons, the Pirates have lost their last seven games and are now two games under .500 at 54-56. Pittsburgh will see a familiar foe on the mound in Padres right-hander Aaron Harang, a former Red who has started 23 career games against the Pirates, going 13-6 with a 4.19 ERA. Harang has beaten the Pirates and Astros more than any other teams in baseball. He faces off against Pittsburgh's best starter, Jeff Karstens. Karstens is 8-5 with a 2.49 ERA and has allow two or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 16 starts. Padres at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 2:28 pm
 

On Deck: Kipnis' streak, Bedard's debut

OD

By Matt Snyder

Ten teams get Thursday off while there were two day games, so we're looking at an eight-game slate Thursday night. Remember you can keep up with all the action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Power surge/BoSox debut: This just in: Indians' rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis is pretty good. He has only been in the bigs for 10 games, but he's now homered in four straight. He's the first player in major league history to go deep four times within his first two weeks of being promoted  and is also the first second baseman in Indians' history to do so (Cleveland Plain-Dealer). He'll put that streak on the line Thursday night against the Red Sox, who will send Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.45) to the mound for his Red Sox debut. This is a pretty big game for both teams, as the Red Sox have a one-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, while the Indians have fallen to four games back in the AL Central they once owned. They've lost 10 of 13. Justin Masterson (8-7, 2.56) will attempt to turn the tide for the Tribe. Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET.

Honeymoon over? The Pirates have been one of the big stories of the 2011 baseball season, as they were buyers at the trade deadline instead of sellers for the first time in ages. After having lost six straight, however, the Pirates have fallen below .500 for the first time in over six weeks. They're now six games out in the NL Central as the Brewers have really started to fire on all cylinders. Worse yet, the Brewers are in danger of being swept in four games by the Cubs, who came to Pittsburgh with a 42-65 record. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) will try to get the Pirates off the schneid, while Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40) starts for the Cubs. Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Rematch: The two teams that faced off last October in the NLCS open a four-game series Thursday night in San Francisco. Both are currently in first place again in their respective divisions, though the Phillies are much more a postseason lock at this point. They have an eight-game lead in the NL East and the best record in baseball. The Giants, meanwhile, are clinging to a one-game lead in the NL West over upstart Arizona. Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) -- who saw the Giants in the World Series last year as a member of the Rangers -- gets the nod for the Phillies. Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80) is looking to rebound from a bad last start for the Giants, but the last time he saw the Phillies he threw two scoreless innings in relief as the Giants clinched the National League pennant in Game 6 of the NLCS. Phillies at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:28 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 10:59 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Might Casey strikes thrice

Casey McGehee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Casey McGehee, Brewers: In his last 63 games, the Brewers third baseman had just one home run and none since July 6. In the series finale against the Cardinals, McGehee had three homers off of St. Louis starter Edwin Jackson, leading the Brewers to a 10-5 victory and extending their lead in the National League Central to 3 1/2 games.

Dan Uggla, Braves: It didn't take long for the Braves second baseman to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, reaching on an infield single in the first inning of the Braves' 6-4 victory over the Nationals on Wednesday. Not content with just an infield single, Uggla added a three-run homer in the fifth inning, helping end the Nationals' four-game win streak. He now has 11 homers during his streak and 23 on the season. Oh, while we're talking about Braves and hitting streaks, a note that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 18 games with two hits.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: The day after his first career walk-off hit, Ellsbury delivered his second. This time it was a two-out solo homer off the Indians' Joe Smith in the ninth inning of a tie game. The homer was Ellsbury's 18th of the season. He had just 20 homers in his career before this season, with nine in 2008 and eight in 2009.


Pittsburgh Pirates: Pittsburgh wasted a good outing by Charlie Morton as the offense managed just four hits, all singles, against Cubs starter Matt Garza, losing 1-0. The Pirates fell below .500 for the first time since June 21. Ryan Ludwick, added at the trade deadline to give the team some offense, is 0 for 8 since donning a Pirate uniform. Pittsburgh has lost 10 of its last 13 and is 7-11 since the All-Star break.

Jason Marquis, Diamondbacks: The right-hander didn't exactly impress in his Arizona debut, allowing 10 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in four-plus innings against the Giants. Marquis came into Wednesday's game with a track record of success against San Francisco, pitching in 12 games against the Giants and starting 11 with a 5-3 record and 2.47 ERA. However, the Giants had some additions as well -- Carlos Beltran had three hits and an RBI, while another new Giant, Orlando Cabrera, drove in three.

Brian Bruney, White Sox: It's not that Bruney gave up two hits to the only two batters he faced and both runners came along to score. No, it was the fact that Bruney was in the game to eat innings as the White Sox trailed the Yankees 13-7 in the seventh inning. Instead, he let his emotions get to him and was ejected by first base umpire Marvin Hudson after the ump ruled Brett Gardner safe at first on an infield hit. So with Burney out of the game, Ozzie Guiellen needed three more pitchers to finish out the game, a 18-7 Yankees victory.

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