Tag:Cord Phelps
Posted on: June 26, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: June 26, 2011 4:45 pm

3 Up, 3 Down: Peavy steps up

By Matt Snyder

Jake Peavy, White Sox. When John Danks left the game in the second inning with an oblique injury, the White Sox appeared to be doomed. After all, the bullpen had worked seven innings the previous night and the opponent -- the Nationals -- entered the game as the hottest team in the majors. Just after Danks walked off the field, however, Peavy went trotting down to the bullpen. He ended up taking the ball to start the fifth inning and straight dealing. He worked four shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out seven. He picked up the victory in his first career relief appearance. Peavy teamed up with Brian Bruney and Sergio Santos to throw 7-1/3 scoreless innings in relief and the White Sox broke the Nationals' four-game winning streak with a 3-0 win.

Lucas Duda, Mets. Pretty much the entire offense of the Mets could be placed here after the 17-hit, 14-run beating administered to the Rangers in Arlington Saturday afternoon, but Duda deserves special mention. He entered the game hitting just .173 and with only one multi-hit game this entire season -- and it was a two-hit game. Thus, Saturday's effort qualifies as a career day, even if he's only 25. Duda went 4-5 with three doubles, two runs and four RBI. His average rose all the way to .228. So we'll offer apologies to the rest of the team and give the spotlight to Duda.

Carlos Gomez, Brewers. Again, we're singling out one player when the entire team exploded. The Brewers beat the Twins 11-1 on the strength of 14 hits and four home runs -- one was the inside-the-park variety -- but Gomez gets a special mention. It wasn't just that he went 3-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI, bringing his average up to .221. He also flashed his speed by scoring on a sac-fly to the second baseman.

Alexi Ogando, Rangers. Apparently I've fallen into an impromptu theme here, because this is the third straight entry where I'm spotlighting a player for a team effort. The Rangers pitchers were collectively horrible Saturday, taking the aforementioned beating from the Mets (see Duda, Lucas above). We're going to focus on Ogando because he was such an integral part of the Rangers' starting staff early in the season and has recently stumbled. Those who pay close attention to advanced metrics like FIP and BABIP knew Ogando's results were too good to be true, and now we're seeing the regression. After starting 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, Ogando's gone 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA and 2.17 WHIP. He's had two bad outings and one decent effort. It could just be him tiring a bit, a few fluky outings or a downward trend. It's certainly enough for the Rangers to be concerned, however.

Tony Sipp/Cord Phelps, Indians. The Tribe took a 1-0 loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon, and those are always rough. This one has to qualify as especially so, due to the manner in which the Giants scored their lone run. After being given a gift when Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz fell down between second and third and was tagged out in a rundown on a would-be triple, the Indians decided to give several gifts of their own. Indians second baseman Cord Phelps committed errors on two of the next three hitters, at which point starting pitcher Justin Masterson was removed from the game in favor of Tony Sipp. Sipp walked Andres Torres to load the bases and then balked home the eventual game-winning run. Yes, you read that correctly. Sipp balked with the bases loaded, which plated Miguel Tejada -- and that ended up being the only run of the game.

Cardinals defense. It's been a problem for the Redbirds all season and it surfaced again Saturday. This time around, Daniel Descalso's third-inning throwing error with two outs extended the inning and the next Blue Jays' batter -- Juan Rivera -- hit a three-run homer. The Cardinals lost 6-3. They've fallen two games back of the Brewers in the mediocre NL Central and only have a one-game lead on the Reds and Pirates.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 11:29 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 11:32 pm

3 Up, 3 Down: Walk-off homer edition

By Matt Snyder

Cord Phelps, Indians. The home town fans had to wait through a nearly two hour rain delay and then until the 11th inning, but the rookie second baseman sent them home happy. Phelps launched a Tim Wood pitch into the right-center field seats for a game-winning, three-run home run. It was the first home run of his career, so perhaps he has a flair for the dramatic. He also doubled and scored in the second inning. The win kept the Indians in first place, a game ahead of the Tigers, and helped them to complete a series sweep for the first time since taking three from the Reds May 20-22.

Skip Schumaker, Cardinals. Like Phelps, Schumaker's walk-off home run was a first. While it was the 22nd home run of his career, it was the first against a left-handed pitcher. The shot came a half-inning after Cardinals closer Fernando Salas blew a save -- by allowing Alcides Escobar to hit his first homer of the season -- and one batter after Daniel Descalso was hosed at second when he tried to stretch a single into a double against Jeff Francoeur. Schumaker also had a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth, when he entered as a pinch hitter. The win marks the Cardinals' second in a row after a seven-game losing streak and moved them back into a tie with the Brewers atop the NL Central.

Jason Vargas, Mariners. All he did was go out and spin the best start of his career against the MLB-best Phillies Sunday. Vargas threw a three-hit shutout while walking two and striking out six. He really settled in late, as the only baserunner for the Phillies after the fourth inning was Ryan Howard, who singled in the ninth. Don't look now, but the Mariners -- who almost everyone pegged to finish last this season -- are only a half-game out of first place in the AL West.

Brewers pitching staff. The Brewers have coughed up at least 10 runs in three of their past four games. Worse yet, Shaun Marcum left after the first inning with an injury Friday night and Yovani Gallardo was touched up for nine hits and five earned runs in three innings Sunday. The bullpen wasn't much better, giving up five hits, two walks and four earned runs in five innings. The Brewers have now lost five of seven since sweeping the Cardinals and are tied for first place with those same Cardinals -- despite the Cards recently having lost seven straight.

Yorvit Torrealba, Rangers. The Rangers' backstop had a rough third inning. He committed two errors and probably should have prevented Alexi Ogando's wild pitch from getting by him. The Braves plated two unearned runs that inning, which ended up being the difference in a 4-2 Rangers loss. Torrealba was then pulled from the game, though it was reportedly because he was "out of gas" instead of being pulled for the poor defense.

The Florida Marlins. Manager resigns. Club loses 10th straight game. Club is 1-18 in June. Not that there's any shame in this one, but James Shields has started twice against the Marlins and pitched 18 innings without allowing a single earned run. Logan Morrison tweeted "uncle" after the game. Hanley Ramirez still can't hit. We could go on and on, but it's unnecessary. It's just an all-around mess. Jack McKeon must really love managing baseball teams -- of course, in his defense, things can't get any worse.

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