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Tag:Padres
Posted on: July 12, 2011 11:28 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 11:41 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Under-the-radar All-Star version



By Matt Snyder


PHOENIX - One quick note: We're not going to use Prince Fielder or Roy Halladay as "up" guys because they have separate stories up on them. We'll spread the love a bit.

Hunter Pence, Astros. Pence had a single and scored a run, but that's not why he's here. In the top of the fourth, Adrian Beltre singled to left. Jose Bautista was on second and was sent home to score. Pence apparently didn't like that because he cut Bautista down easily at home with a perfect strike (see above). It didn't even bounce. That throw was the highlight of the night for me.

Heath Bell, Padres. The Padres closer only faced one hitter, but he got his jersey dirty. That's because Bell came sprinting out of the bullpen in Todd Coffey fashion. But when Bell got to the infield, he slid into the infield grass. He even left a huge divot. He was having fun and, dammit, that's what this game is all about. And he did retire the one hitter he faced, too, as Jhonny Peralta popped out.

Starlin Castro, Cubs. The youngest player in the game made his All-Star debut when he pinch-ran at first base for Troy Tulowitzki. Castro made the most of his opportunity, as he stole second and third. It made him the first player to steal two bases in the Midsummer Classic since Kenny Lofton in 1996. We'll just forget about that pesky strikeout and error.



C.J. Wilson, Rangers. The right-hander was tagged with the loss after allowing three hits and three earned runs in his inning. The big blow of the game -- Fielder's go-ahead three-run blast -- came off Wilson, too.

Alex Avila, Tigers. He gave up three stolen bases in one inning. There were Castro's two, and Rickie Weeks also got in on the action. Maybe it was working with an unfamiliar pitcher, but no catcher ever wants to cough up three in one inning.

The fans who booed (which was the majority of the crowd). Now, before I say more, I'll make sure to lay it all out there so there's no misunderstanding. Fans pay to see the game and have every right to boo if they want. I'm not angry about the fact that the fans booed nearly every player that wasn't a Diamondback. I'm shocked. I just don't get it. The All-Star Game is a chance for your city to see all the best players in the league. Instead, the booing was ferocious, even for players where it made absolutely no sense. I'd suggest these fans lighten up and have fun -- like Heath Bell. And no, it's not like that in any other stadium for the All-Star Game. Fans usually just boo rivals and that's it. Of course, I'm sure lots of people think booing is fun -- the same people who think it's awesome to slander people on Twitter and message boards.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn speaks on Jeter's 3,000



By Evan Brunell

Tony Gwynn was at Fan Fest on Tuesday, representing Pepsi Max in its promotion to bring baseball legends to a fan's hometown to play a game, and chatted with CBSSports.com about Derek Jeter's chase for 3,000 hits.

As a fellow member of the 3,000-hit club, Gwynn knows all too well the exhausting grind that leads up to 3,000 hits, saying that it's difficult to get over the hump and get that final hit because of all the attention and pressure -- especially since Jeter plays in New York.

Regarding Jeter's absence from the All-Star Game, Gwynn was conflicted about the Captain's choice to both pull himself out of the starting lineup and not attend the festivities. He noted that he completely understood how Jeter would need some time to regroup and prepare for the second half, but felt that you have some responsibility to attend or play the Game if voted in by fans. He also waxed nostalgically about the 1999 All-Star Game, in which he was voted in by fans and was able to meet Ted Williams, calling the atmosphere electric.

Click on to hear Gwynn's thoughts on Jeter, as well as if it's easier to get 3,000 hits as opposed to 300 wins.

For complete All-Star Game coverage, keep up with Eye on Baseball in Phoenix

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: July 9, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Padres lose no-hitter, game after 8.2 innings

Luke GregersonOh, so close for the Padres ... sort of.

San Diego entered Saturday as one of two major-league teams without a no-hitter in franchise history (Other club mentioned below).

And it's going to stay that way, thanks to the Dodgers' Juan Uribe doubling in the bottom of the ninth with two outs ... on a two-strike pitch.  

Who was the San Diego pitcher?

It was a combined effort. Reliever Luke Gregerson (pictured), who yielded Uribe's double, entered in the ninth. Aaron Harang started, pitching six innings (six K's, three walks), Josh Spence fanned the only batter he faced in the seventh, Chad Qualls closed the seventh and Mike Adams tossed the eighth.

However, had Gregerson retired Uribe, it would not have been an official no-hitter since the game was scoreless.

But that ended an at-bat later when Dioner Navarro plated Uribe with a walk-off single for a Dodgers 1-0 victory. 

But get this: The Dodgers held the Padres offense to just one hit, a Cameron Maybin fifth-inning single.

Rubby De La Rosa started for L.A., fanning eight with four walks and Maybin's hit over six frames. Matt Guerrier worked the seventh, Mike MacDougal the eighth and winning pitcher Blake Hawksworth the ninth.

As for the other major-league ballclub without a no-no, it's the New York Mets.

Click here for: Last no-hitters by Franchise


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Posted on: July 9, 2011 1:30 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: McKenry's unlikely bomb



By Matt Snyder


Michael McKenry, Pirates. McKenry dug into the batter's box against the Cubs' Carlos Marmol in the bottom of the eighth Friday night with the game tied at four and two men on base. McKenry hit a three-run homer that would be the eventual game-winner. Sure, Marmol is a fickle closer, but he does not cough up the long ball with any semblance of regularity. Check this out: In the past three seasons (coming into Friday night), Marmol had faced 840 hitters and allowed four home runs. Four! McKenry had zero career major-league home runs before the at-bat. He does have 69 minor-league homers, but that's in over 2,000 plate appearances. So this was the longshot of the night. Meanwhile, the Pirates would have been tied for first place had the Reds not blown a lead in the ninth inning. Still, the Bucs sit a game out of first and had a dramatic victory in front of the home fans.

Travis Snider, Blue Jays. The Jays had to have felt a bit deflated after losing on a walk-off grand slam Thursday night to the Indians, but they came back strong with an 11-7 win. Sure, the bullpen tried to blow the game again (it was 8-2 at one point), but the offense was relentless. It pounded out 11 runs on 16 hits. Rajai Davis was great, but Snider stood out for me. He went 3-5 with a double, home run, two runs and five RBI. He's been a promising prospect for a while but never really put things together for an extended stretch. Maybe he's doing so now, because he's hitting .409 with five doubles, a home run and eight RBI since resurfacing in the lineup on July 4.

Josh Hamilton, Rangers. I don't even want to think what he's going through. Had I been the one who tried to toss a ball up into the crowd for a father to give to his young son, and then seen that father plunge to his untimely demise ... well, I don't know. I'm sure I'd keep playing it over and over in my head that had I just not thrown the ball ... Or thrown it higher ... Man, it would be so tough to get past that. It's not Hamilton's fault at all, but it's human nature to start thinking about things like that. He heard the boy screaming for his Daddy, for God's sake. How can you get through that? And Hamilton showed up for work Friday and answered all the questions with grace and sensitivity. He played in the Rangers' 8-5 win, too. Kudos to him for keeping himself together and let's hope that continues.



Zach Britton, Orioles. It would be safe to say the future ace has hit the proverbial wall. Through nine starts, Britton had a 2.14 ERA and easily would have been a Rookie of the Year candidate. He had a quality start next time out. Since then, however, it's been ugly. From May 29 leading into Friday, Britton had a 5.35 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. And then Friday night was a catastrophe. Britton only recorded two outs while allowing six hits, two walks and eight runs. At age 23, and with the Orioles going absolutely nowhere this year, it's worth thinking about optioning him to Triple-A to salvage some confidence.

Brian Wilson, Giants. I thought people feared the beard? Maybe Wilson needs to just finally give in and shave. Friday night, he entered with a tie game in the ninth inning against the Mets. He coughed up a home run to Scott Hairston and took the loss. In Wilson's past five outings, he's blown two saves and has Friday's loss. His ERA in those games is 7.20 and twice he's been pulled before finishing an inning on his own. Maybe he's overworked, but the only people fearing this small sample are Giants fans who realize the offense isn't good enough to overcome Wilson faltering.

Padres' offense. One week ago, almost to the minute, I posted that the Padres would make dubious history before the All-Star break. They did Friday night. They have now been shutout 14 times before the All-Star break, which amounts to 15.6 percent of the time they suit up. No team in recent memory has been so futile offensively. The closest match was the 2004 Expos, who were shutout 13 times before the break.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 11:10 am
 

Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams dies

By Evan Brunell

WilliamsHall of Fame manager Dick Williams has passed away due to a brain aneurysm, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Williams (photo, right) was 82 years old and had lived in Las Vegas since retiring there in 1991. He had two World Series titles with the Athletics in 1972 and '73 and also led the Red Sox to the AL pennant during the Impossible Dream year of 1967, the same season Carl Yastrzemski won the Triple Crown -- the last player to ever accomplish the feat.

That was Williams' first season as a manager. He was 38. He spent three years in town and gained a reputation as a no-nonsense disciplinarian, taking over the A's in 1971 and departing after the '73 World Series, moving to a three-year stint with the California Angels. The well-traveled skipper then took over the Expos for three full seasons before being fired in the midst of the Expos' stretch drive when his act alienated players.

He then skippered San Diego for four years, winning the NL pennant in 1984, then wrapped up his career with three years in Seattle, retiring at age 59. All told, Williams managed from 1967 to 1988 -- except the 1970 season -- and racked up a 1,571-1,451 record. He is the only manager to win pennants with three different teams. Williams' claim to fame was turning teams into winners, as Boston, Montreal, Oakland and San Diego can attest to.

But that's not all Williams was known for. He played first base, third base and outfield during a 13-season career started in Brooklyn. He eventually moved to Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City and ended his playing career with two years in Boston from 1963-64, retiring with 3,265 plate appearances and a .260/.312/.392 line. Early on, he was a bench player, but from 1956-61 he racked up 2,607 plate appearances. His career high for games-played in a season was 130 in 1959.

Williams joined the Hall of Fame in 2008 following induction by the Veterans Committee, and he chose to wear an Oakland cap.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: July 7, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Introducing your 2011 NL West All-Star team

By Evan Brunell

2011 All-Star Game
SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL Central
For a number of years, the NL West has been fairly balanced. Every team except the Rockies has a division title in the past five years, and the Rockies advanced to the World Series as a wild-card team back in 2007. That balance is clearly seen in the representatives of the NL West All-Star team, which you can see below.

MonteroC Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks: Poor Buster Posey. He had this on lockdown until... well, no need to rehash it, but he's out for the year. Montero's a great consolation prize. He has ripped 10 home runs and has a .275/.346/.468 mark. Montero was actually in a close race with Chris Iannetta of Colorado for this gig, but Montero outstrips Iannetta in caught stealing, nabbing 12 of 37 baserunners.

Helton1B Todd Helton, Rockies: It's quite the renaissance year for the aging first baseman who was once known for his ability to hit for average and power while drawing walks. Now, it's just average and home-run power, but it's plenty enough to outpace any other first baseman in the division -- although, with all due respect to Helton, that says much more about first basemen in the division than it does Helton. Anyway, he's cranking to the tune of a .315/.394/.481 mark, with much of his power coming from an affinity for doubles.

Lineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Chase Headley SD 3B
2 Justin Upton ARI RF
3 Troy Tulowitzki COL SS
4 Matt Kemp LAD DH
5 Chris Young ARI CF
6 Carlos Gonzalez COL LF
7 Miguel Montero ARI C
8 Todd Helton COL 1B
9 Kelly Johnson ARI 2B
Johnson2B Kelly Johnson, Diamondbacks: What, you'd prefer Aaron Miles? In a case of having to take the best option, Johnson edges Miles despite the latter hitting .320 and Johnson a meager .217. So why does Johnson get the edge? Because he's a better fielder and boasts more power, and he has also swiped eight bases to Miles' three. That's how someone hitting .217/.298/.431 can post a higher Wins Above Replacement mark (1.5) than Miles at .320/.339/.377, who has a 1.0 WAR. (It should be noted that Johnson has about 100 more plate appearances, but even adding those 100 PA would probably not be enough to bump Johnson.)

Headley3B Chase Headley, Padres: Not usually a name you see at the top of leaderboards, but Headley is enjoying a career year -- and is taking advantage of injuries to notable third basemen in the game to put his name in the conversation. Due to playing in cavernous Petco Park, his slugging percentage this season is a meager .404, but it's an impressive .465 on the road. His value comes from taking a walk, which is why he leads off this All-Star team despite just eight stolen bases. He boasts a .302 batting average along with a .392 OBP. If Pablo Sandoval hadn't missed so much time due to injury, he probably would have claimed this spot.

TulowitzkiSS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: What is there left to say about Tulo, who right now can lay claim to being the best shortstop in the game? While he hasn't performed up to snuff compared to his last two seasons, he's still plenty valuable and easily the best shortstop in the division, hitting to the tune of a .271/.339/.495 line and 37 extra bases. Oh, and he can pick it on defense.

GonzalezLF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: CarGo hasn't hit as well as his awe-inspiring 2010, but he can be forgiven for that as he set impossibly high standards. Colorado will take a .296/.363/.497 line, and so will we to honor him with the left-field starting job on the NL West All-Star team. He still has a remarkable home/away split, but no other left fielder truly threatened for this spot.

YoungCF Chris Young, Diamondbacks: Let's get this out of the way first. For those wondering where Matt Kemp is, hold your horses. We'll get to him in a minute. Young snags the center field job thanks to his strong defense and a power display that we haven't seen from him since 2007, when he slammed 32 home runs. He has exactly half that total (16) in 88 games so far, so he stands a shot of cracking the 30 HR barrier. He's currently hitting .255/.324/.478.

UptonRF Justin Upton, Diamondbacks: Anyone else think Kevin Towers is relieved he didn't trade the 23-year-old in the offseason? Upton's walk rate is less than last season but not out of whack with the league, and he is striking out much less. That increased contact has lifted his batting average to .295 (.377 OBP, .502 slugging percentage), the second-highest of his career. (He hit .300 in 2009.) He's hammered 14 homers on the year, just three off his 2010 total.

KempDH Matt Kemp, Dodgers: And here Kemp is, occupying the DH spot. Yes, the DH doesn't exist in the NL West, but regardless of what team, league or stadium holds the All-Star Game, the DH is used. So there. Kemp earns this spot with a season that's already given him a 20 HR, 20 SB season -- and with three more home runs, he'll reach 25/25. So yeah, he'll definitely hit 30/30 this year, and 40/40 is not out of the question if he hits a hot streak. He DH's with a .324/.408/.603 line because the dude simply cannot field and needs to be moved to left soon.

KershawSP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the entire game, never mind one of the best lefties or youngsters. One of the best, period. The 23-year-old has already tossed 122 2/3 innings on the season and posted a 3.23 ERA. That ERA would actually be the highest of his full seasons in the majors. But his third year actually boasts stronger peripherals, leading to a 2.66 xFIP that is currently a career best. He has punched out 138 and walked just 33.

RomoRP Sergio Romo, Giants: Romo or Mike Adams was a very, very difficult choice to make. So why did Romo get the spot over Adams? Simple: K/BB numbers. Romo has punched out 12.87 batters per nine innings and walked 1.26, good enough for a 2.20 ERA and 1.65 xFIP in 28 2/3 innings. Adams actually beats the ERA (1.35) and innings-pitched (40), but his K.9 is 9.23 and BB/9 at 1.13, with an xFIP of 2.59.

BellCL Health Bell, Padres: Bell won't be a Padre for much longer, I'm guessing, so better get him on here while we still can. He has had quite an impressive career so far as a closer, and this year is no exception. He has 26 saves, but his strikeout numbers are way down and would actually be a career-worst. Who knows why, but he's not having trouble getting by as his 2.55 ERA and 3.78 xFIP indicate.

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Posted on: July 6, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 9:50 pm
 

On Deck: Giants turn to Bumgarner

OD

By Matt Snyder


Wednesday serves as getaway day for some this week, so there are five day games being played, though it still leaves 10 for the evening set. One of the afternoon games was an all-important contest for the NL West race. The Diamondbacks lost to the Brewers, so that opens an opportunity for the Giants.

The Hot Hand: Youngster Madison Bumgarner started 3-9 for the Giants, but had pitched much better than the record showed and only really had a few bad outings. In his last two starts, however, Bumgarner has a 1.26 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. This is the type of stuff expected from the 21-year-old left-hander more often as he matures. Wednesday night, he'll look to play streak-stopper for the Giants, as they've lost three straight and entered Wednesday with a one-game lead over the D-Backs in the NL West. The D-Backs loss means the Giants can increase the lead to two with a victory. Bumgarner (4-9, 3.65) will square off against Dustin Moseley (2-8, 3.07) and the Padres, who have won 10 of 13 and have moved comfortably above the Dodgers to stay out of last place in the division. San Diego at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m. ET Follow Live on Gametracker

Hughes Returns: We'll obviously still have Jeter Watch, as the quest for 3,000 hits continues in Cleveland Wednesday night, but there's another reason that game is newsworthy for the Yankees. Phil Hughes (0-1, 13.94) makes his return to the hill from the disabled list. Hughes was an All-Star last season after starting 10-1 with a 3.17 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. He had a 5.07 ERA the rest of the way as his velocity and strikeout rate went down. This season, things got worse. His first three starts were a debacle and he was put on the DL with shoulder inflammation. The good news is Hughes' velocity seems to have returned during his minor-league rehab stint, but Wednesday night is still a huge test. He'll face the first-place Indians and underrated starting pitcher Justin Masterson (6-6, 2.85). New York (AL) at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. ET Follow Live on Gametracker

Break Up the Bucs: Since a four-game losing streak the third week of June, the Pirates have gone 10-4 and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. They're only one game behind the Cardinals in the loss column for first place in the NL Central. So it's possible they'll be just a half-game behind the Cards once play ends Wednesday night. The only thing standing between the Pirates being five games over .500 for the first time of the season is the worst team in baseball: The Astros. Bud Norris (4-6, 3.51) gets the ball for the Astros while Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.63) takes the hill for the Pirates. Houston at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m. ET Follow Live on Gametracker

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: July 4, 2011 11:42 am
 

AL wins interleague play again

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Once again the American League beat the National League in interleague play, but the NL closed the gap between the two leagues for the third-straight season, as the AL went 131-121 against the other league this season.

In 2008, the AL won 149-103, 137-114 in '09 and 134-118 last season. This year's mark was the best showing by the National League since 2004, and the senior circuit hasn't led in interleague play since 2003. The AL leads the all-time series 1,939-1,773.

More importantly for baseball's brass was that the average attendance for Interleague games was 33,606 -- up from the overall regular-season average of 30,808. And that's exactly why interleague play will continue. Oh, that and the great "rivalries" like Padres-Mariners.

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com