Tag:Rick Porcello
Posted on: October 7, 2011 7:12 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Tigers vs. Rangers ALCS preview

By Evan Brunell

Detroit-Texas ALCS

The Tigers and Rangers share one thing in common -- both teams have AL pennants to their name in recent seasons, but fell short in the World Series. Jim Leyland took Detroit to the World Series in 2006, his first season with the club, winning 95 after the Tigers registered five straight seasons of at least 90 losses, including 119 in 2003. It's taken them some time to return to the postseason, but they're here after downing the Yankees in five games. Detroit will be leaning on the electric arm of Justin Verlander, who won Rookie of the Year in '05 but gave up 17 runs in 21 2/3 innings across the 2005 postseason. He'll get a chance at redemption against Texas, who appeared in the Fall Classic a mere season ago.

The revamped Rangers may have lost Cliff Lee, but their offense is as potent as its ever been in franchise history, adding Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli to its monstrous lineup. Seeking to become the first consecutive AL pennant champion since the 1998-2001 Yankees, Texas will be relying on C.J. Wilson and its formidable bullpen to keep the Tiger offense in check. However, Texas' own offense needs to play up to its billing, as the team scored just 16 runs in the LDS, least among any team. (Granted, Texas was the only advancing club to play a series in less than five games, bouncing Tampa Bay in four.)

TEAM INFORMATION

Detroit Tigers (host games 3, 4, 5*)
95-67, AL Central champions
ALDS
: Defeated Yankees in 5 games -- View coverage of ALDS Tigers-Yankees
Manager
: Jim Leyland
Regular-season batting statistics: .277 batting average (3rd in AL), .340 on-base percentage (3rd), .434 slugging percentage (4th)
Regular-season pitching statistics: 4.04 ERA (7th), 1.32 WHIP (8th), 2.27 K/BB (6th)
Star player: SP Justin Verlander -- 24-5, 2.41 ERA, 251 IP, 0.92 WHIP, 250 K

Texas Rangers (host games 1, 2, 6*, 7*)
96-66, AL West champions
ALDS
: Defeated Rays in 4 games -- View coverage of ALDS Rangers-Rays
Manager: Ron Washington
Regular-season batting statistics: .283 batting average (1st), .340 on-base percentage (5th), .460 slugging percentage (2nd)
Regular-season pitching statistics: 3.79 ERA (13th), 1.24 WHIP (5th), 2.56 K/BB (5th)
Star player: C Mike Napoli -- .320/.414/.631, 432 plate appearances, 30 HR, 75 RBI

*if necessary

WHO HAS THE EDGE? (Click player name for statistics)

Let's break each position down and see which team has the edge...

Catcher: Alex Avila vs. Mike Napoli, Yorvit Torrealba


Being a quality catcher is difficult to do. You have to be able to call a game, develop a rapport with pitchers, block balls effectively, have a gun for an arm... and oh yeah, hit too. The latter category is what Avila and Napoli excel at, as both rank 1-2 in baseball in catcher offense. Napoli of course, blows away Avila in offense, but the Ranger also has 28 less games at the position, in large part due to another capable catcher also on the roster in Torrealba -- but the Tigers have Victor Martinez, too. Defensively, Avila holds the edge, and this is just too close to call.

First base: Miguel Cabrera vs. Mitch Moreland, Michael Young


Moreland could feasibly be at first base the entire series, as he's a favorite of the club and all of Detroit's starters are right-handed, but Young could steal a couple games if the team wants to get Torrealba or Craig Gentry into the lineup. Either way, both these players pale in comparison to Miguel Cabrera who, if it wasn't for Justin Verlander lucking into 24 wins (to be clear, he's a very good pitcher, but win-loss records have nothing to do with player quality), he could very well be the favorite for the MVP award. Cabrera led all of baseball in doubles, batting average, OBP and decided to swat 30 homers too. Moreland is still scrapping to be a full-time player and Young just can't field.

Second base: Ramon Santiago vs. Ian Kinsler


This isn't even close. The Tigers have cycled through six second basemen this season, with five of them receiving at least 17 starts. Santiago won the job basically by default, as Carlos Guillen can't stay healthy, Ryan Raburn split his time between left and second then lost his job for a complete inability to hit and Scott Sizemore was traded. Santiago is like Raburn in that he can't hit, but can flash a solid glove. Kinsler, meanwhile, was one of the most valuable second basemen in the game.

Shortstop: Jhonny Peralta vs. Elvis Andrus


Andrus can pick the ball, get on base and steal bases. Peralta can't steal any bases and can only play a passable short. But boy, can Peralta hit. Here's the thing, though -- people tend to overvalue offense because it's easily quantified, and you can see with your eyes the impact a bat can have. Stolen bases and defense, not so much. But they are important facets of the game as well, and when you factor everything in, this is a dead-even.

Third base: Wilson Betemit, Brandon Inge vs. Adrian Beltre


Adrian Beltre is an awesome player, there is no doubt about that. He posted the second-best season of his career and slugged three home runs to pace the narrative of Texas winning the ALDS. However, the gap between Beltre and the Tigers' crew isn't as large as one might think. Betemit rakes against righties, while Inge is capable against left-handers. But don't ask them to face the opposite-handed pitcher. Inge also has excellent defense at the hot corner and is a great late-inning replacement for Betemit. All told, the duo combines into a pretty good player. Good enough that the difference between Detroit and Texas at the spot is not significant.

Left field: Delmon Young vs. David Murphy, Craig Gentry


Young injured himself in Game 5 of the ALDS, but reports are that he should be fine for the ALCS. If not, Raburn will start in his place. Young has played his way into a 2012 role with the Tigers, but he's doing so on the backing of a hot streak that might not be sustainable long-term. He's a statue in left field and his value is tied up completely in swatting home runs. Murphy, meanwhile, parlayed a hot September into more playing time and has been sharing time with Gentry, with Murphy getting PT against right-handers and Gentry mostly playing against lefties. If Young wasn't performing well as of late, this would probably be a slight edge to the Rangers, but as long as Young's hot streak is carrying him, we'll call this even.

Center field
: Austin Jackson vs. Josh Hamilton


This isn't a difficult decision at all. Hamilton is one of the best hitters in the game and is the reigning AL MVP. Austin Jackson, meanwhile, rode a lot of luck to a .293 batting average last season that sank to .249 this year. He has strong defense, but is miscast as the leadoff hitter.

Right field: Magglio Ordonez vs. Nelson Cruz


At one point this season, Ordonez contemplated hanging his spikes up. Good thing he didn't, for he hit .365 from Aug. 21 to the end of the year and finished the ALDS with five hits in 11 at-bats, including a 3-for-3 effort in Game 2. When Ordonez is hot, he can still beat any pitcher, regardless of his advanced age. But his defense is questionable, and Nelson Cruz is a better hitter at this point. Although Cruz is slumping significantly, gathering just one hit in 15 trips to the plate during the ALDS against the Rays, he remains the better player.

Designated hitter: Victor Martinez vs. Young


A certain three-year-old, I'm sure, would pick Young here with an edge. But both Martinez and Young are remarkably similar in production at the DH spot, and the numbers are uncannily similar even though Young has played in 14 more games. Take a look:

Martinez: .330/.380/.470, 12 HR, 103 RBI
Young: .338/.380/.474, 11 HR, 106 RBI

How can you not call this even?

Starting pitching: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello vs. C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison


The order listed here is the order that both teams have announced will go in the ALCS, so let's judge it on these parameters. For one, the Tigers clearly lose by not being able to set up their rotation they way they wanted. Rick Porcello, obviously the lesser member of the quartet, will start twice while Max Scherzer only draws Game 4 after appearing in relief during Game 5 of the ALDS. Regardless, the Tigers still hold an overall edge here. You don't need me to throw more platitudes Verlander's way, and Fister has been a revelation since coming over from Seattle (although he's veering fast into overrated territory) and Scherzer is a quality pitcher whose potential breakout has been tantalizing pitchers for quite some time.

Over in Texas, C.J. Wilson is a great pitcher, but doesn't quite stack up to Verlander. Porcello matching up against Derek Holland pits a battle of proming young pitchers, especially Holland, who is showing signs of emerging into an ace but is lacks consistency and is prone to the wild inning if he lets the game get away from him. Lewis has an incredible postseason record, but his propensity to give up the long ball held him back in the regular season. Harrison impressed against the Rays by punching out nine but could only last five innings and the jury is still out on just how good a picher he is.

All told, yet another matchup where both teams look even -- but not quite, as Verlander is the man that tips the scales in the Tigers' favor.

Relief pitching: Jose Valverde and co. vs. Neftali Feliz and co.


Both Valverde and Feliz are good pitchers when on, but both can also be maddeningly inconsistent. The Tigers closer can point to his 49 of 49 record in saves, but he walks way too much to be reliable. Feliz, meanwhile, took a clear step back from last season when he closed 40 games as a rookie and lost his strong command. He's been much better since the All-Star break, though, and if I had to pick one closer, I'd take Feliz. Texas also has a vaunted setup corps, boasting Mike Adams (who is still one of the best relievers in the game despite a spike in home runs allowed), Koji Uehara, Alexi Ogando, Mike Gonzalez and Darrell Oliver most notably.

Texas' 3.79 bullpen ERA during the regular season was fifth-best in the AL and would have been even better with full years of all relievers mentioned sans Feliz and Oliver, who have been with the club all year. By comparison, the Tigers' two best relievers are Al Alburquerque and Joaquin Benoit, but Alburquerque only pitched 14 1/3 innings in the second half and did not look good in Games 1 and 4 of the ALDS. The Tigers pen has a chance to be a good one, but Texas is the better bet to come out on top in the war of bullpens.

Defense


Defensive statistics are getting a bum rap these days, and it's understandable. Quantifying defense is a very difficult thing to do and no defensive metric out there can be relied on. However, when you have a large sample to draw from, multiple numbers to look at and enough of a disparity in the numbers, it becomes obvious which defense holds up. And that's the Rangers, who score well in defensive metrics, largely on the strength of Andrus, Kinsler and Beltre, while the Tigers are affected by the tin gloves of Betemit, Cabrera, and Young the most.

DetroitPREDICTION

Both teams shape up to be remarkably even all across the board -- even though both teams are the last two standing in the AL and it makes sense that they would be equals, it's not often you see such a balanced division. It will come down to the postseason mantra of good pitching always beating good hitting, and given the presence of Verlander, I'll give the nod to Detroit vanquishing Texas in six games, while Daniel Knobler likes Detroit too, but in seven.

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



Posted on: October 4, 2011 3:27 pm
 

ALDS Game 4: All about A.J.



By Matt Snyder


Yankees at Tigers, 8:37 p.m. ET, Comerica Park, TBS

LINEUPS

Tigers Yankees
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Derek Jeter SS 1 Austin Jackson CF
2 Curtis Granderson CF 2 Ramon Santiago 2B
3 Robinson Cano 2B 3 Delmon Young LF
4 Alex Rodriguez 3B 4 Miguel Cabrera 1B
5 Mark Teixeira 1B 5 Victor Martinez DH
6 Nick Swisher RF 6 Don Kelly RF
7 Jorge Posada DH 7 Jhonny Peralta SS
8 Russell Martin C 8 Alex Avila C
9 Brett Gardner LF 9 Wilson Betemit 3B
  A.J. Burnett RHP   Rick Porcello RHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Burnett vs. Tigers: Command has been an issue the past two seasons for Burnett, that's no secret. He led the majors in wild pitches in 2011 while missing enough spots to allow a hit per inning. His 5.15 ERA is a by-product of that. The Yankees were 16-16 in his starts this season and 81-49 when someone else started, so yeah, the negative press Burnett has gotten is with good reason. In two starts against the Tigers this season, however, Burnett wasn't half bad. He was 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings. That certainly isn't great, but the Yankees would love six innings of two or three runs from Burnett in Game 4. His career numbers against Detroit are bad, though. In eight career starts against the Tigers, Burnett has a 6.33 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He's started in Comerica Park four times and it was ugly -- 7.17 ERA, eight walks, five hit-by-pitch and three home runs in 21 1/3 innings. Amazingly, current Tigers don't hit Burnett very well. They are hitting a combined .239 against him. Miguel Cabrera is just 3-for-14 (.214), Victor Martinez is 7-for-27 (.259) and Delmon Young is 3-for-15 (.200).

Porcello vs. Yankees: He faced the Yankees one time this season, going seven innings and getting the win after allowing eight hits and two earned runs. In his career, though, he's 2-2 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.54 WHIP against the Yankees. Also, Porcello has been much worse at home this season than on the road. He's got a 5.64 home ERA, compared to a 4.00 road ERA. In terms of individual matchups, it's an incredibly small sample (no one has faced him more than 12 times), but Nick Swisher (1.017 OPS), Robinson Cano (.455 average) and Jorge Posada (.899 OPS) have handled him very well. On the flip-side, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter are a combined 2-for-28 off Porcello.

NOTES
New York-Detroit ALDS
  • All we've heard and read Tuesday is that the Yankees' season rests on the feeble shoulders of Burnett. Rightfully so, but don't discount the fact that the Yankees have a very capable offense and manager Joe Girardi is going to have a quick hook with his embattled starter. And Burnett isn't exactly facing Justin Verlander here, as Porcello can be roughed up. I wouldn't want to count on Burnett, either, but this game is by no means a done deal for Detroit. 
  • Booing A-Rod is obviously the popular thing to do, but he's not the only one with playoff issues. Nick Swisher has a career .170 postseason batting average. Mark Teixeira has a career .316 postseason slugging percentage, which is brutal even for a non-power hitter. And Russell Martin is just 1-for-9 this ALDS.
  • In the past two games, Tigers closer Jose Valverde has thrown 53 pitches and allowed four walks, a triple, a home run and two runs. There's no question manager Jim Leyland will use him again Tuesday night if he gets the chance, but the door is wide open for him to blow his first save of 2011.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:11 am
 

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

By C. Trent Rosecrans

This time of year, pitching can carry an otherwise flawed team all the way to a title, we saw that last year when the Giants rode their starters and a shut-down closer to a World Series championship. So which teams have the best rotations heading into this postseason? Glad you asked…

Here's our ranking of the eight playoff rotations:

 

1. Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt

Like there was a doubt? Halladay started last postseason with a no-hitter. It'll be tough to top that, but we'll see what happens when the National League's best pitching staff takes on the National League's best offense. 

 

2. Tampa Bay Rays: Matt Moore, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price

Joe Maddon is taking one heck of a chance giving a rookie with fewer than 10 big-league innings under his belt on the hill to start Game 1, but Moore is amazingly talented -- and he's never lost a start for the Rays (small sample size alert!). 

 

3. Milwaukee Brewers: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf

Gallardo is perhaps the least-heralded of the Brewers' starters, but that could just be that unlike the other members of the team's rotation, he's spent his entire season in Milwaukee. The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 44-29 with a 3.69 ERA over the last three years. There's also former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke who wanted to be traded from Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs. Now he's here and it's time to deliver.

 

4. Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello

Call them top-heavy, and even heavier at the top since Fister joined the rotation. Fister, acquired at the deadline from Seattle, has gone 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers. Add him to Justin Verlander and you have a heck of a 1-2 punch. It's the 3-4 that lacks punch.

 

5. Arizona Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders

It looks like Arizona will go with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, which will certainly help the bullpen with the addition to Josh Collmenter. Kennedy was the breakout star of the Diamondbacks' rotation, winning 21 games, while Hudson and Saudners have also pitched well.



6. Texas Rangers:
C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison

Sure, they don't have Lee this year, but they do have Wilson, who has established himself as an ace, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, striking out 206 batters in 223 1/3 innings. Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) is the only right-hander in the rotation.

 

7. St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia

The Cardinals' two best pitchers are pitching Games 3 and 4, but everyone has contributed down the stretch. St. Louis would be higher on the list with Adam Wainwright, but he's not coming back this season. Jackson has pitched well since joining the team and Lohse, a former Phillie, has had a bounce-back season.

 

8. New York Yankees: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia

Sabathia's as good of a big-game pitcher as there is in the game, but Nova is a rookie and Garcia is anything but. The fact the team is going with a three-man rotation tells you what you need to know about the guys not in the rotation. Garcia's the team's third-best starter -- I guess $196 million doesn't buy what it once did.

For more postseason coverage.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:21 pm
 

On Deck: Rangers can knock Angels out of race

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

RangersWestern power: The Rangers, winners of three straight, have extended their division lead to four games as the Angels slowly but surely fade into obscurity. With Texas and Los Angeles beginning a four-game series that will expand to seven games over the next two weeks, that fade could quicken if the Rangers can take advantage of the opportunity presented them. The pitching matchup certainly favors Texas, as Alexi Ogando and his 3.22 ERA goes up against rookie Garrett Richards, making his second start sporting an unsightly 10.80 ERA thanks to running into the Yankees for his debut. Ogando's 5.91 ERA over his last four outings is cause for concern.  Rangers vs. Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET

BumgarnerHudsonBest matchup: Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson will lock horns in a pitcher's duel on Monday, with the Giants desperate to stay just two games behind Arizona, winners of six straight. Meanwhile, Atlanta has to concern itself with staying atop the wild card race, and the Giants are a prime challenger. The lefty Bumgarner has a 3.53 ERA on the season and struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings against the Pirates last time out. Hudson, he of the 3.18 ERA, has pitched at least seven innings in his last six starts and has a 1.93 ERA over his last three starts. Giants vs. Braves, 7:00 p.m. ET

TwinsTigersChanging locker rooms: You don't see this every day, but Delmon Young headed to Comerica Park on the Twins' bus, then promptly walked over to the Tigers locker room, his new home. Young was dealt to the Tigers in a deal that came down when the outfielder was on Minnesota's bus, and now will bat third for Detroit against the Twins. Minnesota can play spoiler to Detroit, 2 1/2 up on the Indians, behind Francisco Liriano, he of the 5.00 ERA, just seven points higher than Detroit's Rick Porcello. A large reason why the Tigers are atop the division is their 8-1 record against the Twinkies on the year, a trend Detroit would love to continue Twins vs. Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Jimenez: Tigers out, at least for now

By Danny Knobler

The Tigers, trying hard to add a starting pitcher before Sunday's non-waiver deadline, circled back late this week to make another run at Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies right-hander who is the best starter on the market.

By Friday night, it appeared that attempt had failed.

According to sources, the Tigers were once again basically out of the Jimenez derby, with the door remaining only slightly open for the Tigers to come back for another try. That appears unlikely, and the Rockies were proceeding with the idea that Jimenez likely gets dealt to the Yankees, the Red Sox or to no one. The Indians and other teams have been involved in Jimenez talks, but as of Friday night, those talks seemed to be quiet.

It's not clear how strong the interest is from either New York or Boston, but both teams could use the rotation upgrade that Jimenez would provide. The Rockies have long regarded the Yankees as being the best fit, because of the wealth of prospects they could choose from, but talks between the two teams haven't been that smooth.

The Red Sox could be more motivated, with the news that Clay Buchholz is headed to California for an exam by noted back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins.

The Tigers were in on Jimenez early, but sources said that the Rockies weren't high on the Tiger prospects. It's believed that they insisted that top prospect Jacob Turner be included in any offer, and Jon Heyman of SI.com reported that they at one point asked for Turner and either Rick Porcello or Max Scherzer.

The Tigers could hardly include one of their big-league starters, since their rotation isn't deep enough, as is. The Tigers are just 4-16 when they use their fifth starter.

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 12:52 am
Edited on: June 18, 2011 12:54 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Lind bringing big stick



By Matt Snyder


Adam Lind, Blue Jays. Think Jose Bautista is the only Jay who goes yard with regularity? Oh, how mistaken you are. Lind hit a home run for the fourth consecutive game Friday night. The two-run, seventh-inning blast put the Jays on top for good in a 3-2 win over the Reds and was Lind's 15th on the season. Because of injury woes, Lind's only played in 45 games, too. His OPS is over 1.000 and he's only one year removed from a 35-homer, 114-RBI campaign. He's not Bautista, but he demands more attention than he's been getting. It's one of the best 3-4 lineup combos in baseball, actually.

Doug Davis, Cubs. Davis walked into Wrigley Field Friday afternoon with an 0-5 record, a 5.90 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. He hadn't even remotely resembled a major-league pitcher ... until Friday ... against the Yankees. Yes, the team with Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano through the middle of the lineup. Davis completely handcuffed them, taking a shutout into the eighth inning. He finished with 7 1/3 innings, three hits, one earned run and three walks with four strikeouts. The only run he allowed came when Sean Marshall allowed an inherited runner from Davis to score on a base hit in the eighth. Meanwhile, the Cubs have now won four of five against the Yankees and Brewers after a 2-11 stretch.

Daniel Hudson, Diamondbacks. The 24-year-old right-hander was traded to Arizona from the White Sox for Edwin Jackson during the 2010 season. Friday, he squared off against not only the White Sox, but Jackson too. Needless to say, Hudson made a statement. He went the distance, allowing only three hits, one walk and one earned run in gathering his eighth victory of the season. That had to be pretty satisfying. It was probably just as satisfying that the D-Backs moved to within a half game in the NL West while the White Sox remain 5-1/2 back in the AL Central.




Rick Porcello, Tigers. We could probably put the whole Tigers' pitching staff and defense here, but Porcello's the one who got the ball rolling. After being spotted a 1-0 lead -- and it really should have been more, so this was an all-around team effort of futility -- Porcello coughed up eight hits, two walks and six earned runs in three innings. By the time the game ended, the Tigers had surrendered 14 hits, 10 earned runs, three unearned runs and a 13-6 loss. With the loss, the Tigers fell back into a first-place tie with the Indians. As an aside, that AL Central race is going to be awesome. Nothing would surprise me.

Padres' first inning. If you throw out the bottom of the first inning, the Padres took it to the Twins Friday night. It's just that you don't get to pick and choose like that. The Padres committed an error, a wild pitch, a passed ball and then allowed three hits -- including a Michael Cuddyer three-run homer -- en route to a five-run inning for the Twins. They were even given a gift when Ben Revere stole third but slid past the bag and was tagged out by Chase Headley. But the result was a 5-0 Twins lead and the final score was 6-5 Twins. That's a bad, bad inning.

Orioles' situational hitting. OK, let's figure this one out. The Orioles had 18 hits. Derrek Lee, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones combined for 13 of them, yet those three also combined for just one run and zero RBI. The Orioles lost 8-4. That's some pretty fine work to waste that many knocks. Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com points out it's the first time since 2007 a team had 18 hits and four runs. On the flip-side, the Nationals scored eight runs on just 10 hits. They mixed in six walks -- while the Orioles had zero. Maybe take a few more pitches, O's? Either way, leaving so many on base isn't going to get the job done.

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Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:12 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Rookie slams Brewers

Brandon Crawford

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brandon Crawford, Giants -- Two days ago Crawford was in the Class A California League and Friday he was making his big-league debut. The 24-year-old found himself up with bases loaded in the seventh inning with his team down two runs. With one swing of the bat against Brewers starter Shaun Marcum, Crawford gave his team the lead and had his first hit in the majors. He was the first Giant to make  grand slam his first hit since Bobby Bonds in 1968.

Kevin Correia, Pirates -- It's no real surprise that Jon Lester is tied for the most wins in the majors with seven, but it's who he's tied with that is surprising. Yep, Correia. Signed to a two-year, $8 million deal in December, the Pirates may have made one of the offseason's best moves. Correia is 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA, going 7 1/3 innings against the Cubs on Friday, allowing just four hits and no runs. It was his sixth road win of the season.

Mike Leake, Reds -- With the Reds bullpen having thrown 31 innings in its last five games, Cincinnati needed a good outing from Leake, who was just called up from his first stint in the minors. Not only did Leake give them six innings, he allowed just  one run on seven hits, leading the Reds to just their second win in their last 10 games. Leake improved to 4-2 and picked up the first win by a Reds starter since May 16.


Rick Porcello, Tigers -- The day after Tigers starter Max Scherzer went just two innings, Porcello lasted only three. Porcello gave up six runs on six hits with two walks, giving up homers to Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford in the third inning. Porcello lost the game to a pitcher twice his age -- Porcello is 22 and Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield is 44.

Twins bullpen -- Scott Baker handed the Twins bullpen a 5-0 lead and asked them to get just six outs. He got 21, it shouldn't be too difficult to get just six, right? Alex Burnett gave up a hit and a walk, before giving way to Dusty Hughes who surrendered a three-run homer to Erick Aybar. Hughes was yanked after the next batter, Bobby Abreu singled. Jim Hoey came in and gave up a double to Torii Hunter, an RBI single to Alberto Callaspo and a sacrifice fly to Russell Branyan to tie the game. Hoey got out of the inning, but then gave up a leadoff triple to Peter Bourjos in the ninth and then Maicer Izturis singled to give the Angels the lead and eventual victory. The Twins have now allowed 49 runs in the eighth inning in 49 games.

Dave Bush, Rangers -- The right-hander gave up four hits -- three of them homers -- and five runs in the 14th inning of the Rangers' 12-7 loss to the Royals. Melky Cabrera, Eric Hosmer and Brayan Pena all homered off of Bush, with the three homers totaling 1,218 feet. The Royals were in extra innings because Alex Gordon homered off of Neftali Feliz in the ninth inning to tie the game. Feliz has blown three saves this season, all three against Kansas City.

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2011 9:29 pm
 

On Deck: West Coast battle

Kuroda
on

By Evan Brunell

BATTLE OF THE SAME ERA: Both Tim Stauffer and Hiroki Kuroda have a 3.21 ERA. How much do you want to bet that the two won't have that in common after tonight's affair? The flailing Padres will meet the Dodgers, who are one game over .500 in a game where Andre Ethier will seek his 26th consecutive game with a hit. It's way too early to conjure up visions of Ethier taking down Joe DiMaggio, but he is coming awfully close to Luis Castillo's 30 straight games which remains the longest streak in recent years. Kuroda has his own streak, but it's a bad one as he's lost two consecutive starts in Dodger Stadium. He's never lost three in a row, but Stauffer has dominated the Dodgers lately with San Diego winning its last four starts with Stauffer on the mound against L.A. Padres at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

DEBUT: Alex White makes his big-league debut for the Indians as he will host Rick Porcello and the Tigers. The surprising Indians continue to win, roaring out to a 17-8 record that includes 12 consecutive victories at home. White is Cleveland's top pitching prospect and replaces the injured Carlos Carrasco. The 22-year-old has torn Triple-A apart in the early going, logging a 1.90 ERA in four starts in what has been a meteoric rise through the farm system after being drafted with the No. 15 overall pick of the 2009 draft. He has a 28/5 K/BB ratio, an encouraging sign for his ability to hold his own in the majors. Still, making your first career start is no walk in the park, so it will be interesting to see how he performs. Tigers at Indians, 6:05 p.m. ET

CAN I GET A WIN, PLEASE? It's not Matt Garza's fault. The new Cubbie has 41 strikeouts on the season, which is tied for second in the NL. And it's not as if he's giving away victories elsewhere, as he's only coughed up nine walks and boasts a 4.11 ERA on the season. Yet, Garza is seeking his first win as a Cub after starting the year 0-3. He'll look to keep Chicago rolling after snapping a four-game losing streak Friday night against the Diamondbacks. Ian Kennedy will be a tough battle for Garza, and it's easy to see Garza dropping to 0-4 with Kennedy on the mound. Kennedy three-hit the Phillies Monday for his first career game, denying Cliff Lee a victory. He's been up and down over his career so far, but could be ready for a leap forward after allowing no walks and striking out 10 Phillies. That's hard to do against that offense. Cubs at Diamondbacks, 8:10 p.m. ET

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