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Tag:Max Scherzer
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: September 16, 2011 1:46 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Hellickson good enough for Rays

Jeremy Hellickson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jeremy Hellickson, Rays: The rookie allowed just three hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings in what was likely the biggest start of his young career. It wasn't the prettiest thing, as he needed 117 pitches to get through the outing, but it was good enough. The right-hander walked four and stuck out four, lowering his ERA to 2.91. After the Ryas put up four runs in the top of the third, the Red Sox had a chance to answer, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning. Hellickson did give up a run on Adrian Gonzalez's groundout, but after intentionally walking David Ortiz, he got Kevin Youkilis to ground out, ending the inning, leading the Rays to victory. He also improved his record to 13-10.

Jay Bruce, Reds: Bruce didn't start Thursday's game, but he finished it. Although Chris Heisey started the game in right and moved to left in the eighth inning. Bruce struck out to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning after Francisco Cordero blew the save. After Joey Votto doubled to lead off the 11th, Bruce hit the first pitch he saw from Cubs reliever James Russell into the visitor's bullpen in right field. It was Bruce's 31st homer of the season and the 99th of the 24-year-old's career.

Ross Ohlendorf, Pirates: After giving up a first-inning homer, the Pirates' right-hander gave Pittsburgh the lead with a three-run homer, the first of his career. In his 101st career at-bat, Ohlendorf recorded just his eighth hit and his first extra-base hit. As for the other part of his game, Ohlendorf allowed just four hits and two runs in seven innings, striking out six and walking none for his first win of the season, a 6-2 Pirates win in Los Angeles.


Max Scherzer, Tigers: When a team is on a winning streak, nobody wants to be the guy who blows it. Scherzer did -- even though he may have done his team a favor, as now manager Jim Leyland and hitting coach Lloyd McClendon can now change their underwear. Scherzer gave up a three-run homer to David DeJesus in the first inning and a Kurt Suzuki homer in the second to dig an early hole for the Tigers in a 6-1 loss to the A's. In all, he went five innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and giving up three homers. Not only did Scherzer snap the Tigers' winning streak, he also delayed the team clinching their first division title since 1987.

Shin-Soo Choo, Indians: Activated from the disabled list before Thursday's game in Texas, Choo left the game after the first inning with a strain to his left rib cage. He had suffered a strained left oblique last month before going on the DL. It's been a disappointing season for Choo, who grounded out to end the top of the first. Choo also spent 48 games on the disabled list with a broken left thumb. Overall, he's hitting just .259/.344/.390 with eight home runs in 36 RBI in 85 games this season.

David Wright, Mets: A two-time Gold Glover, Wright has had a hard time in the field as of late. On Thursday he committed his eighth error in his last 10 games. During those 10 games the Mets have gone 2-8 and on Thursday the team finished off a 1-8 homestand with a 10-1 loss to the Nationals. Wright also went 1 for 4 and left five men on base. During that 10-game stretch, Wright is hitting just .154/.267/.179.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 1:43 am
 

3 Up 3 Down: Hudson mystifies Rockies

Hudson

By Evan Brunell

3 upDaniel Hudson, Diamondbacks: Hudson has emerged as a go-to guy in the Arizona rotation, and he shut down the Rockies over seven scoreless innings, giving up six baserunners and punching out eight. The victory was the seventh straight for a team that has now pushed their division lead to five games, with Hudson tacking on a RBI single in the 5-1 victory. The righty is projected to crack 220 innings pitched, which would be over 40 innings greater than his previous major-league career high. It's a trend the D-Backs may want to monitor down the stretch, and he could be in line for a break once the postseason push ends.

Randy Wells, Cubs:  Wells threw the game of his life on Monday, handcuffing the Giants in a complete-game two-hitter, allowing just one walk and whiffing seven. The outing pushes Wells' ERA to 5.06, a sight better than the 6.08 ERA he was rocking back in early July. The 29-year-old's season has been a significant setback from the last two years, in no short part due to injury, but a strong September could make the picture look much different.

Salvador Perez, Royals: The Royals think quite highly of Perez, believing he can be a durable starter for them. But Perez's value is on defense, where he draws rave reviews despite being just 21. But for one night, he was the offensive star. During a 3-for-4 night, Perez hammered a 415-foot homer, the first of his career.  "I crushed that ball," Perez told the Associated Press. "I felt so happy -- it was unbelievable." Perez is now hitting .295 on the year.



Max Scherzer, Tigers: "I don't know what it is about Scherzer," Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella told the Associated Press after Scherzer couldn't solve Kansas City in an offensive attack that eventually rapped out 18 wins. "We've put good swings on the ball against a lot of pitchers and not gotten anything to show for it, but we've been better against him." Scherzer, who had been demonstrably better in the second half, took a big step back with 10 hits allowed in three innings, coughing up seven runs. It's his worst performance on the year, although others come close to rivaling it. This is a pitcher on the cusp of putting it all together, but a true stinker every now and then keeps setting him back.

Tim Lincecum, Giants: Lincecum had an uncharacteristically bad start, giving up three bombs for the first time in his career as the Cubs walked all over the slumping Giants. Lincecum got through six innings, giving up four runs and walking four, striking out just three. The loss pushes Lincecum to just one game over .500 at 12-11 despite a 2.58 ERA. That's what a moribund offense does for a pitcher's perceived effectiveness in wins and losses. With seven more strikeouts, Lincecum will get 200 whiffs for the fourth consecutive season. Once he does that, he will become the seventh pitcher since 2000 with at least four consecutive years with at least 200 strikeouts. Justin Verlander already became the sixth pitcher earlier this season.

Alex White, Rockies: Alex White is a talented pitcher, but he's got a long ways to go. Despite pitching in the minors with solid command, he's walked 16 over five starts and 27 innings, two of those starts coming with the Rockies. In those games, White has given up five runs per game. The sixth inning was White's downfall, as he gave up four runs and seven baserunners. All told, he walked six, while punching out just three. White has some serious upside long-term, but he's not ready to tap into it just yet.

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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: July 22, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:15 pm
 

On Deck: Big series for Twins

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Chance to gain ground: The Twins are apparently "going for it" -- or at least that's what the latest trade rumors say. We'll see after this weekend, when the Twins host the Tigers, the current leaders in the AL Central. Minnesota has not played particularly well this season and are still six games under .500, but just six games behind Detroit in the mediocre division. With Chicago and Cleveland -- the two teams ahead between Minnesota and Detroit -- playing this weekend, the Twins have a chance to make up some ground in the standings. Lefty Brian Duensing (7-7, 4.14 ERA) gets the call for Minnesota, with Detroit sending out right-hander Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.53 ERA). Tigers at Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Felix HernandezJohn LackeyStreak buster? The Mariners have now lost 12 in a row, but they've got perhaps the best possible matchup they could hope for in Boston -- Felix Hernandez against John Lackey. This is bizzaro world, though and Hernandez is coming off a "bad" outing and Lackey a "good" one -- so you just never know. But of course, that's why we watch, isn't it? That said, Hernandez's "bad" outing was nine hits and four runs in 7 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk, while Lackey's "good" outing was 10 hits and four runs (three earned) with seven strikeouts and a walk in 5 2/3 innings -- but that's what we get when we use relative terms like good and bad. Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Look good, play good: I know I'm a little bit weird about these kind of things, but I'm looking forward to tonight's Phillies-Padres game, not because of the matchup of Cole Hamels and Cory Luebke, but because of the uniforms. It's another throwback night, and this one is in my wheelhouse -- 1984. Not only do we get the Padres' so-called Taco Bell hats and brown and yellow pullovers, while the Phillies will wear their pinstripes (although with buttons instead of a zipper, which would make them 1987 uniforms). Anyway, according to UniWatch, this is a good sign for the Padres, because the Phillies are 1-6 at home in throwback uniforms. Padres at Philies, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:41 pm
 

10th win proves elusive

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Max ScherzerSometimes you just keep seeing the same phrase over and over and don't notice until you realize it's not just deja vu. The phrase I heard a couple of times in the last week was "attempting to become the majors' first 10-game winner."

Detroit's Max Scherzer was the last pitcher to attempt to win his 10th game of the season -- and like the three other guys to try, he failed. So far, a total of four pitchers -- Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester and Scherzer -- have had a chance at picking up their 10th win of the season. Halladay hasn't lost in his two tries, but he doesn't have a decision in either start.

As a whole, pitchers going for their 10th win of the season are 0-3 with a 4.59 ERA -- that ERA is skewed a bit by Scherzer's stinker last night against the Dodgers in which he gave up six runs on nine hits in six innings in Los Angeles.

The next pitcher "attempting to become the majors' first 10-game winner' is Lester, who goes to the hill for the Red Sox against Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm on Friday.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:24 am
 

Pepper: Papi bat flip angers Girardi


By Evan Brunell


BASEBALL TODAY: What is the latest with the knee of Mark Teixeira? Is Jered Weaver back on track for the Angels? Lauren Shehadi and C. Trent Rosecrans answer those questions and more. Click the video to play.

BOSOX-YANKS SPICE: While the Red Sox and Yankees remain appointment viewing, there hasn't been much of a rivalry in recent years, especially with Boston winning most of the games in 2010 and so far in 2011. The rivalry got spiced up a bit Monday night when David Ortiz crushed a two-run home run off of Hector Noesi to finish off the scoring in a 6-3 victory. Noesi, a rookie pitcher, had tossed a pitch at Big Papi just before the home run, causing some to wonder if it was an attempted hit-by-pitch to make up for Mark Teixeira's plunking earlier in the game.

Big Papi says no, but that didn't stop him from flipping his bat with a flourish after his home run in the fifth, drawing the ire of manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees, who said he didn't care for it.

"I never had a problem with David," Girardi said. "David has always played the game hard. I’m just protecting my young kid."

For Ortiz's part, he played it off lightly, which should kill any possible controversy.

“That’s Papi style,’’ kidded Ortiz. “It’s not the first time and it’s not my last one. I’m a home run hitter. It’s not like I do it all the time. What can I tell you? Just another homer for Papi.’’ (Boston Globe)

MARQUIS UPSET: Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis, who claims he has never thrown at a batter in his 12-year career, is fuming over his five-game suspension for hitting Justin Upton with a pitch Sunday. It was Upton's fourth beanball of the series and came after Jayson Werth's plunking in the game -- his third of the series.

"Never been ejected, never been fined, never been suspended," Marquis said. "I don’t understand why I would start now. I’ve been in games where there have been games getting hit back and forth. It’s a 1-0 game. We’re trying to put something together here. The game is 1-0. You don’t want it to get away from you just because you’re trying to show your manhood. I’m out there trying to win as many games as possible.”

Marquis added that the heat in Arizona is difficult, as the dryness of it doesn't produce enough sweat for the hand to grip the baseball properly. Plus, Marquis claims the pitch was supposed to be outside and moved inside.

“If you actually watch where that pitch started, it started on the outer third and moved three feet,” Marquis said. “I mean, can I control, ‘I’m going to throw a three-foot sinker, and hopefully it hits him?’ Most guys take a four-seamer and usually drill a guy. The catcher set up away. My ball moved three feet if you watch the film.” (Washington Post)

WERTH SCRATCHED: Jayson Werth did not play in Tuesday's game after being scratched from the lineup with a sore ankle. Laynce Nix replaced Werth in right field, and the new Nats star is day-to-day with the injury. (Washington Post)

GOOD ADVICE: With the No. 5 pick of the draft, the Royals snagged perhaps the best high-school bat in the draft with Bubba Starling. A local product, Starling needs to decide whether or not to play baseball or football in college and probably won't sign -- if at all -- until the Aug. 15 deadline. But Royals great Frank White has some words of advice for Starling, including signing as soon as possible. (Kansas City Star)

UNCLE JOE: One of Joe Girardi's good friends is Dante Bichette, a teammate way back in 1993 for the expansion Rockies. Now, Girardi has a chance to skipper Bichette's son, as the Yankees took Dante Bichette, Jr., with the No. 51 pick of the draft. The son calls Girardi "Uncle Joe," a practice he admitted he might have to stop. Meanwhile, Girardi marveles at how far Bichette, Jr. has come since Girardi and Bichette were taking Bichette Jr. on car rides as a baby to help him fall asleep. (New York Times)

BRUISED THUMB: There's been a lot of coverage of Anthony Rizzo's bruised thumb in San Diego. The 21-year-old is tearing Triple-A apart and was on the verge of a callup before bruising his left thumb and hand. He's on his way to San Diego to be evaluated by team physicians after a MRI came back negative. If everything checks out, the team could tell Rizzo to stay in San Diego and promote him immediately. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

SHARPEN THE SLIDER: The Cubs' Carlos Marmol has undergone a recent stretch of futility, blowing two games Sunday and last Tuesday. The culprit might be his slider, which has flattened out and removed perhaps his biggest weapon. (Chicago Tribune)

SCHERZER TOO: Max Scherzer is struggling with his slider as well, and skipper Jim Leyland says he'll turn to video along with Scherzer and pitching coach Rick Knapp to figure out the problem. Scherzer won his seventh game on Monday but was displeased with the amount of fastballs he left in the zone. (MLB.com)

RADIATION: Gary Carter underwent his first radiation treatment for his inoperable malignant brain tumors and came away "feeling good," his daughter said. (ESPN New York)

OZZIE'S MAD: Uh-oh. Better stay away from Ozzie Guillen for a week. "Iam in very very bad mood stay away from me the most you can," he tweeted after the White Sox's victory Tuesday night. "A lees for a week better tha way," he added. What's going on? No one quite knows, but he's likely unhappy that son Ozney Guillen has yet to be drafted with 30 rounds gone by. His son was picked in the 22nd round last year by the White Sox but did not sign.

SOCCER IN CITI: There was a soccer match at Citi Field Tuesday, with Ecuador taking Greece on. Check out the nice picture of the event. Seeing how baseball fields can convert and support a soccer game is always fascinating. (ESPN New York)

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 11:36 am
 

On Deck: Scherzer goes for 7 wins

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


LincecumAndersonPITCHER'S DUEL: There's a nice matchup going on down the Bay as Oakland's Brett Anderson will square off against Tim Lincecum of the Giants. Anderson, considered one of the best young left-handed starters in the game, has a 3.30 ERA and will seek to right the fortunes of his team -- losers of three in a row -- and himself, with a 5.68 ERA over his last four starts after kicking the season off with a 1.56 ERA. Lincecum, meanwhile, took a 21-inning scoreless streak into Monday's game with the Rockies but walked six (a career high). He's always been a fantastic pitcher in interleague play, so this could be a good opportunity for The Freak to put that start behind him. Athletics at Giants, 7: 10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

MetsMATCHING UP: With a win Saturday, the Mets will boast a 23-22 record. The vaulting above .500 will be impressive, but it will also match the Mets with the Yankees for most wins by a New York team, as the Yanks have a 23-20 mark after losing to their neighbors Friday night. Chris Capuano will take the mound for the Mets, and it's tough to imagine the Yankees won't feast. Junkballing left-handers pitching to an AL East team? You saw what Doug Davis went through against the Red Sox Friday night. Hard to think Capuano won't be in store for the same treatment. The Yanks, meanwhile, counter with A.J. Burnett, who has an ERA under 4.00 -- just under, at 3.99. The Yankees really hope Burnett can right the sinking ship and avoid a sixth straight home loss. Mets at Yankees, 7:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

ScherzerCHASING THE LEAD: Max Scherzer, owner of a pristine 6-0 record, will seek his league-leading seventh win Saturday against the Pirates. (In other words, it's a lock.) You won't find any of us here at Eye on Baseball putting any value into a pitcher's win-loss record, but for entertainment purposes, someone going for the league lead in wins with zero losses is pretty cool. Scherzer will take his 2.81 ERA up against a flagging Pirates offense that will likely have Pedro Alvarez to the disabled list by the time the game opens up. That will make the task that much harder for Kevin Correia, he of a 3.97 ERA which is far lower than many expected. Tigers at Pirates, 7: 05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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