Tag:Evan Brunell On Deck
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:27 pm
By Evan Brunell
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NO 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
ROOKIE 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
SKIDDING: 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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