Tag:Jair Jurrjens
Posted on: June 9, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 8:12 pm
 

On Deck: Streaking time

OD

By Matt Snyder


It's a pretty heavy night of action for a Thursday, with only four teams having the night off. We'll highlight three matchups that include multiple streaks.

Bronx Battle: The Red Sox take a five-game winning streak into Thursday night's game against the Yankees and are now in sole possession of the AL East. Meanwhile, the Yankees hold only a 1 1/2 game lead over third place Tampa Bay and a 2 1/2 game lead over the Blue Jays. Even the Orioles are only 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees. It's a tight division, so every game is big. Thursday evening, it's a pitching battle of the Titans. Josh Beckett (4-2, 2.01) takes the hill for the Red Sox while CC Sabathia (7-3, 2.80) is going for the Yankees. Beckett has won three straight starts against the Yankees and has been dominant against them this season (2-0, 19 K, 6 H, 3 BB, 0 ER in 14 innings). Boston at New York (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET (WATCH LIVE SCORING).

Cahill, Melvin and the A's: A's manager Bob Geren was fired Thursday afternoon, and the team will be led Thursday night against the White Sox by new manager Bob Melvin. The A's will be looking to break an MLB-high nine-game losing streak. Starting pitcher Trevor Cahill (6-3, 2.65) is seeking his first win since May 9. In that time span, he's made five starts and pitched 32 2/3 innings. He has given up 33 hits, 15 walks and 15 earned runs (4.13). In his first eight starts, Cahill was 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA. In three career starts at U.S. Cellular Field, he's been awful (6.08 ERA, 1.58 WHIP). Mark Buehrle (5-4, 3.95) gets the start for the White Sox. Oakland at Chicago (AL), 8:10 p.m. ET (WATCH LIVE SCORING)

Floundering Florida: The longest losing streak in the National League is seven games -- by the Marlins. They've fallen to 5 games out of first place, the largest margin of the season. Thursday night, they'll send Chris Volstad (2-5, 5.67) to the mound against the Braves, and he has been winless since April. Beginning with a May 2 start against the Cardinals, Volstad is 0-4 with a 5.87 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. For the Braves, Jair Jurrjens (7-2, 1.75) takes the hill with a streak of 10 straight quality starts. That's each and every start for the 2011 season. Atlanta at Florida, 7:10 p.m. ET (WATCH LIVE SCORING).

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 10:23 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 6:24 pm
 

Pepper: Duel in Fenway


By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: There's no more tasty matchup than Josh Beckett and Justin Verlander squaring off in Fenway Park as the Tigers take on the red hot Red Sox. Also, how will CC Sabathia, Jair Jurrjens and Madison Bumgarner fare? I discuss all of these items in CBSSports.com's Baseball Today. See above.

MOST MARKETABLE: Three baseball players check in as members of the top 50 most marketable athletes in the world. Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt is at the top with LeBron James second. The MLB guys are Albert Pujols (25), Joe Mauer (31) and Brian Wilson (34). (SportsMedia.com) Great, so now everyone is going to grow out a beard like that?

MORE ON PHILLIPS' VISIT: Remember the story about Brandon Phillips going to watch a 14-and-under All-Star game being played by one of his Twitter followers? Well, the Dayton Daily News has the full story. Not only did Phillips show up, but he stayed for six innings. Here's what the parents of the young Twitter follower, named Connor, had to say about Phillips: "[He was] bombarded by people. He must have signed a hundred autographs. Connor kind of wanted to invite him into the dugout to give him some relief, but it seemed like Brandon was enjoying himself. And whenever Connor got up to hit, he’d always stop and watch him." Connor ended up gathering two singles and a double in front of Phillips, as his team won 12-4. As for Phillips' comments? “I had a good time. The parents were really into the game. Everybody had a lot of fun, and it reminded me again of why I play and why I do what I do on the field ... and off. It’s about love. I just love the game.”

ACKLEY KID: Michael Pineda's done a decent job (understatement alert) in his rookie campaign, so what about the Mariners promoting their top hitting prospect, Dustin Ackley? Once Stephen Strasburg was off the board, you may have quit paying attention, but Ackley was the second overall pick in that draft. Ackley plays second base and is swinging a good bat in Triple-A -- .280 average with six home runs, 21 RBI, 27 runs, nine doubles, six stolen bases and an .844 OPS in 40 games. Thus, it's rather obvious why Mariners fans would be pining for the 23 year old. The always-thoughtful Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times discusses why Ackley hasn't gotten the call yet and when he might get it (hint: sometime in June).

NEW RIVALRY: A good discussion with the writers on StLtoday.com: Has the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry been surpassed by the Cardinals-Reds? I'll weigh in as our resident Cubs fan. I think there's a difference between historic fan rivalries and present on-field rivalries. I don't think the rivalry between Cubs and Cardinals fans would ever be surpassed by that of the Reds vs. Cardinals in terms of historic stature, but in 2011 as a stand-alone season, it's Reds-Cardinals and it's not even close. This is because those are the two best teams in the division and they seem to genuinely dislike each other. To use another midwest example, Indiana and Purdue are always top rivals in basketball, but with Indiana down the past few years, Purdue had much bigger games on the slate.

MORE ON THE CARDS-REDS: Meanwhile, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan calls remarks made by Reds announcer Marty Brennaman "classless." (StLtoday.com)

THE UNKNOWN: The first round of the MLB draft is June 6, and the Pirates are narrowing down the field for their first selection. It's interesting to say that because for the first time since 2008, it's not a foregone conclusion who the top pick is going to be. Both Strasburg and Bryce Harper were the obvious No. 1 picks in the past two drafts. On the flip-side, the Pirates are considering around five different players. Reportedly, the three favorites are UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole, Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon and Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen. (MLB.com)

POSTING CHANGE: NPB (that's Japan's professional league to those unaware) may change it's posting system for players looking to sign with Major League Baseball. The most famous posting issue is when the Red Sox ponied up just over $50 million just for the rights to exclusively negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka. By the time the Red Sox signed him to a contract, they'd paid over $100 million. There are lots of other cases, obviously, that's just the most notorious. Anyway, the proposed change would be to award negotiating rights to the top three bidders. This would probably help the players make more money and be more fair to the bidding MLB teams. (NPB Tracker)

DEROSA DOWN: Giants third baseman Mark DeRosa is out "for a long time" after re-injuring his surgically repaired wrist. This may speed up a move of Aubrey Huff across the diamond with Brandon Belt taking over at first base -- at least until Pablo Sandoval is ready to come back. (SFgate.com) While we're here, I'm going to stand up for DeRosa as a man to the Giants fans (it's a minority, so let's not paint the entire fan base with one brush) celebrating his injury just because he's underperformed on the field. DeRosa is a great guy and great teammate. It takes a special kind of (bad) person to wish chronic injuries on someone else, especially when those bad wishes are upon a good person. Oh, while we're here ...

WHY THOLE QUIT TWITTER: Mets catcher Josh Thole joined Twitter to interact with fans, and instead had to close his account because he was tired of everyone taking shots at him -- including one loser who said he didn't care if Thole died. (NYDailyNews.com) It's amazing how "tough" people get under the cloak of anonymity. Actually, amazing is the wrong word. It's pathetic. There are few places where I'll ever break out the sanctimony, but this is one of them. If you use the Internet to tell people you want them dead because of how they play baseball -- or anything comparable such as political views, religious views, favorite musicians or taste in TV shows -- you are dregs of society and seriously need to get a life.

RECOVERED RINGS: Kyle Kendrick had his 2008 World Series championship ring stolen from his home on March 30, but it has been recovered by police in an unrelated investigation. There were several other items recovered by police, including Kendrick's 2009 NLCS ring. (CSNPhilly.com)

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:59 am
 

On Deck: Remember us?

Giants
OD

By Matt Snyder


We've got the usual full slate of games on Sunday and expect to see a lot of pink on Mother's Day. Also, for fun, count the number of times Chris Berman says "Mother's Day" on Baseball Tonight. I would say to make it a drinking game, but I don't want to be the root of alcohol poisoning. Lots of good games today, including the ones in Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Texas, but here are your three storylines of the day.

CHAMPS ON THE PROWL: After back-to-back walk-off victories against the Rockies, the Giants are now only two games back in the NL West -- the closest they've been to first place since April 9. The champs have now won four of five games and are back above .500 for the first time since April 22. Meanwhile, the Rockies have now lost three straight games in walk-off fashion and five of six overall. They've been in first place since April 6, but a loss Sunday to the Giants would knock the division lead down to a mere game. Things haven't been that close for the Rocks since April 9. Jorge De La Rosa (4-0, 2.92) toes the slab for the Rockies while Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 4.40) get the ball for the Giants. Of course, it could always come down the respective bullpens ... again.

BEST PITCHING MATCHUP: ESPN chose the correct game for Sunday Night Baseball. The Phillies enter the game with the best record in the National League while the Braves have been playing good baseball of late, having a six-game winning streak snapped Saturday night. They'll look to start another winning streak with Jair Jurrjens (3-0, 1.52) taking the hill. Jurrjens has had great success in Citizen's Bank Park. In five career starts there, he sports a 1.87 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. His counterpart Sunday night is no slouch, either, as Cole Hamels (4-1, 2.66) will go for the Phillies. If you throw out Hamels' first disastrous outing, he's 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA. He's already handled the Braves with ease this season, working seven shutout innings, allowing five baserunners and striking out eight hitters in getting the win on April 10.

NO NO-NO: We can safely say there isn't going to be another no-hitter in Toronto, and not simply from an odds perspective. Brad Penny (2-3, 5.23), the Tigers' follow-up act to Justin Verlander's no-hitter, has allowed 40 hits in 41 1/3 innings this season. He has had some good outings, but only three quality starts in seven tries. Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2, 4.66) gets the assignment for the Blue Jays, and he's coughed up 37 hits in 29 innings.

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:13 pm
 

On Deck: Harang goes for NL-leading fifth win

Harang

By Evan Brunell

Best matchup: Aaron Harang loves his new home in San Diego, as he's won all of his starts to date. With a victory in his fifth start Tuesday night, he would extend his NL-leading wins tally and pull within one of overall baseball leader Jered Weaver. Harang, who didn't make the 2010 postseason roster in Cincinnati after a three-year stretch of a 4.71 ERA and 18-38 record, has suddenly trimmed his walk rate to a career-best and has yet to allow a home run on the year. But he'll have his hands full winning the game as the Braves will toss out Jair Jurrjens. The 25-year-old started the year on the DL so has only made two starts so far, but what beauties they've been. In 13 total innings, Jurrjens has allowed just one run on a solo homer, walked three and whiffed 10. Both teams are scuffling on offense, so this could be quite the pitcher's duel. Braves at Padres, 10:05 p.m. ET

Chasing No. 23: Andre Ethier will seek to extend his hitting streak to 23 games for baseball's most dysfunctional squad. After seeing a trustee named Monday to oversee the club, GM Ned Colletti said Jonathan Broxton had lost his closer's job. But wait -- manager Don Mattingly disagrees. For all those people in an uproar over the death of soap opera TV shows, we've got a live version playing out before our very eyes. The Dodgers, behind phenom Clayton Kershaw, will battle Chris Volstad (good news for Ethier as Volstad has a 6.60 ERA on the year) and the 14-7 Marlins, who have matched the best start in franchise history as well as engineering nine comeback victories already. Dodgers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET

Young guns: As the Red Sox chase .500, they'll ask Clay Buchholz to take the mound and address the troubles he's experienced early on. Buchholz has a 5.31 ERA on the year but is facing the right team in an attempt to turn his fortunes around as he has a 0.32 ERA in his last four starts against Baltimore. The O's were also Buchholz's victims back in 2007 when the youngster tossed a no-hitter. But the O's have their own electric starter coming out in rookie Zach Britton, who may have forced Baltimore's hand to keep him up the entire season and thusly qualify for free agency a full year earlier. Britton has a 3.16 ERA on the year and could be poised to cut a swath through Boston's lefty-heavy lineup. Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. ET

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:32 am
Edited on: April 17, 2011 10:55 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 4/16: Jurrjens returns

By C. Trent Rosecrans
Jair Jurrjens
Jair Jurrjens, Braves -- In his first start of the season, Jurrjens allowed just two hits in seven innings in the Braves' 4-0 victory over the Mets. Jurrjens started the season on the disabled list because of a strained oblique, but really hasn't been healthy since 2009. Last season he struggled all season with injuries to his hamstring and knee while going 7-6 with a 4.64 ERA.

Josh Beckett, Red Sox  -- For the second outing in a row, Beckett appeared to be the ace of old. Saturday he allowed just three hits and a run in seven innings, while striking out nine. In his last two games, he's allowed just one run on five hits, walking three and striking out 19 in 15 innings. His ERA is down to 1.80.

Freddy Garcia, Yankees -- In his first start for the Yankees, Garcia went six innings without giving up a run as the Yankees beat the Rangers 5-2. He allowed just two hits, walked one and struck one out, while picking up the win. 

Barry Zito

Barry Zito, Giants -- It's been a rough season for Barry Zito -- and that's not even considering his 0-1 record and 5.56 ERA. Zito was in a car accident the night before the team's opener and Saturday he left in the second inning of the team's game against the Diamondbacks with a mild foot sprain. Zito dove for a Joe Saunders bunt and appeared to land awkwardly. After throwing a couple of warm-up pitchers, he left the game with the aid of trainers. Zito allowed three hits and two runs for before leaving the game after 1 2/3 innings. His ERA now stands at 6.23.

Orioles -- Remember a week ago when Buck Showalter's team was the toast of baseball? Funny thing about this game, everything tends to even out. The Orioles lost 8-3 to the Indians on Saturday, their sixth consecutive loss. Baltimore is now a game below .500 at 6-7.

Joe Nathan, Twins -- The Twins closer blew his second save opportunity in as many chances on Saturday, giving up a solo homer to Ben Zobrist before walking two batters. Jose Mijares gave up the RBI single to Johnny Damon that ended the game, Nathan picked up the loss. Nathan has now allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings this season, walking five as well. Since becoming the Twins closer in 2004, he's allowed just 2.6 walks per nine innings, and now he's walking nearly a batter an inning. The Twins have Matt Capps, who has 109 career saves, but he's not exactly knocking down the door with his performance of late. He gave up a run in the eighth on Saturday and has a 4.50 ERA.

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Posted on: April 3, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Jurrjens to miss two starts with DL stint

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jair JurrjensAs expected, Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens was put on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a strained right oblique. The move is retroactive to March 25, but the team doesn't expect him to start until April 16 against the Mets.

Mike Minor will make a spot start on Wednesday against the Brewers.

According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jurrjens threw a 10-minute bullpen on Sunday and is scheduled to throw a simulated game at Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday. His next step would be pitching five or six innings for Gwinnett on April 11, before coming back on April 16.

Jurrjens was scheduled to start Monday against the Brewers, but Brandon Beachy will start against Chris Narveson instead.

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Posted on: April 2, 2011 2:12 pm
 

Jair Jurrjens likely to hit disabled list

By Evan Brunell

Jurrjens“This is a list I really didn’t want to see this year,” Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens said Saturday, referring to the disabled list.

Unfortunately for Jurrjens, who landed on the disabled list for 61 days last year thanks to a left hamstring strain, the right-hander is headed back to the DL with a cramp in his right side.

Jurrjens was slated to start Wednesday against the Brewers, but instead will line up to start as early as next Saturday against the Phillies. While there is an off-day on April 11 that would allow the Braves to push him back until April 16 at the latest, Jurrjens isn't interested in that.

“It would be really exciting to face [Philadelphia], especially having all the hype they have, especially at home too,” Jurrjens told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s a game I don’t want to miss. I don’t care about Milwaukee; the Phillies I really don’t want to miss them.”

Jurrjens will first need to pitch in a minor-league game on Tuesday before he is cleared for major-league duty. He'll throw a second bullpen on Sunday before the team decides what to do. There is still a shot Jurrjens doesn't hit the disabled list, but that probability is low. Mike Minor is expected to be called up for the Wednesday start, although the lefty will head back to the minors after to make way for Jurrjens.

“Things happen, I understand that part," Jurrjens said after expressing frustration at going on the DL. "I understand they’re trying to be careful too. We don’t want to have this linger for the whole season and maybe let me lose more than a couple of days…I’m just ready to start showing people what you work for and you’re healthy again.”

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 9:36 am
 

Pepper: Opening day eve a time for optimism



By Matt Snyder


It's palpable. The 2011 baseball season is finally (almost) upon us.

My favorite part about the beginning of the baseball season is how much of the unknown we're about to encounter. Go back to the predictions from last season from any professional publication, any team message board, anywhere. I challenge you to find one with the Giants against the Rangers in the World Series. Roy Halladay for Cy Young -- OK, nearly everyone had that one. So, yeah, there might be some things we know are going to happen. Still, not many had the Reds in the NL Central last year. I bet the same percentage of people who picked this season's NCAA basketball Final Four correctly had the Padres winning 90 games last season. Josh Hamilton for AL MVP? C'mon. The examples are seemingly endless.

So, yes, there are going to be many predictions heading into the season. It's fun to do them, in fact, it's one of my favorite things to do. That doesn't mean anyone knows what's going to happen, otherwise it would be pretty boring to actually watch the thing unfold.

So let loose with the fearless predictions. Are you a Nationals fan that who thinks your team is taking down the Phillies this year? Sing it, sister! No one can tell you you're wrong right now. Nothing has happened yet and it's a time for optimism.

Remember, as our friend Andy Dufresne once tried to teach his good buddy Red, hope is not a dangerous thing -- it's a good thing.

MADDON'S WINE LINEUP: Joe Maddon is awesome. This should be accepted as fact. In the latest example, Maddon sets a batting order of his favorite wines. (TBO.com )

ETHIER UNSURE? This was a bit puzzling to come out just a few days before the season started, but it could very well be much ado about nothing. All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier said he wasn't sure about his future with the Dodgers after this season. "You don't know if this is your last [year] or not, but you want to enjoy it to its fullest extent and make the most out of it." (LA Times ) What's weird about this is Ethier isn't a free agent until after 2012. It doesn't seem he's a likely trade candidate, as he's a young member of the team's nucleus. So you could dig deep and think he knows something ... or you could take this for what it probably was -- a guy just talking about every possibility as he heads into an uncertain season. Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill here.

DISGRUNTLED DODGER FAN:
Here's a beauty. A fan of the Dodgers had been attending games for 23 years and was a season ticket holder for the past eight. He declined to renew his season tickets for 2011 and when offered lunch with owner Frank McCourt -- likely to try and smooth things over -- the fan refused. "My friends all asked me if I was crazy," Brian Gadinsky said. "I told them, no, I am just tired. … I am tired of being loyal to a man who has not returned that loyalty." Gadinsky later said he hopes the Dodgers go 162-0 but he "can no longer support a man who has taken this great foundation and allowed it to rot." Awesome. (LA Times )

BITTERSWEET DAY FOR PEAVY: Jake Peavy had a good day Tuesday, though he was feeling down about things. "It was a tough day, but a motivating day as well," he said (Chicago Sun-Times ). Peavy would be speaking about seeing his team break camp without him, as well as his simulated game against White Sox hitters going well. He threw 45 pitches, retiring all 13 hitters he faced -- including Carlos Quentin four times. But since he's still building his way back from tendinitis in his rotator cuff, he's staying behind as the White Sox head north for the season. If everything goes as planned, Peavy will make a second rehab stint April 13 and could join his teammates at the big-league level after that.

DOWN GOES HAPP: Astros starting pitcher J.A. Happ went down with the seemingly trendy oblique injury. As we've seen with Brian Wilson and a few others this spring, this is an injury that takes several weeks to overcome, though Happ is still "optimistic" he can be ready for his first start. He must have read my intro above. (Ultimate Astros )

IZZY CONTEMPLATES RETIREMENT? The Mets have chosen Blaine Boyer as their final bullpen arm to enter the season, which meant veteran Jason Isringhausen was designated for assignment. Though Izzy did only allow one run in seven spring innings, the Mets are concerned about his durability -- and who can blame them, with his three Tommy John surgeries and age (38). Manager Terry Collins is reportedly trying to convince Isringhausen to stay with the team, though he may retire to spend more time with his family. Also, give credit to general manager Sandy Alderson, who reportedly "promised" Isringhausen the Mets would release him if another team wanted to sign him. (New York Times baseball blog)

OGANDO READY: We found out earlier in the week Alexi Ogando would take the rotation spot vacated by Tommy Hunter. Tuesday, he had a nice outing to prepare for the transition. He worked six innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking four and striking out five. He faced Coastal Carolina, but the main thing was showing he could throw six innings and he appears ready to take the temporary plunge into the rotation. (Star-Telegram )

JURRJENS PROGRESSING:
Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens left his start last Thursday with "discomfort" in his ribcage (oblique muscle, anyone?) and hasn't thrown off a mound since. He did play catch in the outfield Tuesday, so that's something. "He's progressing well. We're just not there yet," general manager Frank Wren said. "We're not pushing it, because we don't want to set him back." The only thing the Braves have revealed on the next step is that Jurrjens will throw a side session "soon."  Fortunately the Braves have four other very capable starters in Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Brandon Beachy. They could even dip into the minors and grab Mike Minor if Jurrjens is out for an extended amount of time. (MLB.com )

DREW DAY-TO-DAY: Stephen Drew had an MRI on his stomach Tuesday and was diagnosed with a strained abdomen. He's listed as day-to-day and might miss opening day, but he is not going to be placed on the disabled list. This is where we remind everyone that missing opening day is not a huge deal. It's 0.6 percent of the season. (MLB.com )

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