Tag:On Deck
Posted on: September 8, 2011 3:24 pm
 

On Deck: Potential NLCS preview

OD

By Matt Snyder

It's a light night of action in Major League Baseball, but there's still enough to keep us entertained. Keep your eyes on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard for all the action.

NL showdown: The best two teams in the National League -- at least in terms of record -- begin a four-game series Thursday night in Milwaukee. The Brewers have an 8 1/2 game lead in the NL Central while the Phillies are up 10 1/2 in the East. With the season ending in less than three weeks, suffice it to say that playoff seeding is starting to come into play. The Brewers hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the Diamondbacks for the No. 2 seed and certainly don't want to have to deal with the Phillies' starting pitching in a five-game series (since the Braves are the likely Wild Card and can't face a team from their own division, the three seed will get the Phillies in the NLDS). Thus, this series takes on huge importance for the Brewers. They are at home, where they're an MLB-best 50-19, so that helps. Cole Hamels (13-7, 2.63) gets the start for the Phillies while Chris Narveson (10-6, 4.26) looks to end the Brewers' two-game losing streak. Phillies at Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET.

Kennedy goes for 19: The Diamondbacks have opened up a seven-game lead in the NL West and look primed for a playoff berth. When in the playoff race, teams are bound to have players in the conversation for individual awards. One of the D-Backs' chances lies in the NL Cy Young race with ace Ian Kennedy (18-4, 2.96). It will be tough for Kennedy to win the award over the much more recognizable Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee or Clayton Kershaw, so he needs to continue piling up those wins and hoping the old-school voters take note. Thursday night he has a great shot at No. 19, as the Diamondbacks host the offensively-challenged Padres. Cory Luebke (5-8, 3.29) gets the nod for the Padres. Padres at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET.

Miller looks to bounce back: With Josh Beckett's injury, the Red Sox desperately need someone to step up and provide some kind of depth in the starting rotation behind Jon Lester. They've fallen to 2 1/2 games back in the AL East and if they lose any further ground they'll have to start worrying about holding onto the Wild Card (not yet, though). Andrew Miller (6-2, 5.27) will start for the Red Sox Thursday night. He had made two good starts in a row before being crushed by the Rangers last time out (6 ER in 1 1/3 innings). His counterpart Thursday is no slouch, either, as All-Star Ricky Romero (13-10, 2.97) takes the hill for the Jays. On the flip-side, Romero has been awful (11.42 ERA) in two starts against the Red Sox this season. Anything is possible. Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 4:48 pm
 

On Deck: Strasburg returns, Worley chases history



By Evan Brunell


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StrasburgViva Strasburg: Stephen Strasburg is set to make his 2011 debut on Tuesday, but it could be washed away by rain. Right now, the game is being threatened and likely to be called or at the very least, delayed. Skipper Davey Johnson told the Washington Post that a delay or even a threat of one would scrub Strasburg's start, so you can expect him to pitch tomorrow instead. Assuming Strasburg pitches he'll do so up against the Dodgers and Ted Lilly. Lilly has been on a roll as of late, lowering his ERA to 4.13 and will look to win his third straight game against Washington. Dodgers vs. Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET

SantanaHernandezBest matchup
: The Angels are hoping to keep their rebound going by sending Ervin Santana to the mound against Seattle. Santana has had a career season to date, the likes of which he hasn't seen since 2008. Santana isn't as good as his 3.27 ERA shows, but he's still plenty good and will have a stiff test against Felix Hernandez. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner has an identical 3.27 ERA, but has a 2.63 ERA in his last seven starts, the Associated Press says. Santana can do better than that, as he's run up a 2.13 ERA in his last 12 starts. It lines up what should be a very intriguing matchup, as Hernandez has killed the Angels this season, but L.A. is riding a hot streak. Mariners vs. Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET

WorleyClosing in on Carlton: That's Steve Carlton, not Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Vance Worley is taking the mound for the 14th time this season since his one and only loss this season back on May 29. In those 13 games since, Philadelphia has won every game, and Worley is now closing in on the franchise record for that distinction, which is held by Steve Carlton. The Phillies won 15 straight games in 1972, the Associated Press says. The longest winning streak the team has with a rookie pitcher is 14 by Wayne Simpson in 1970, so Worley can make some franchise history Tuesday night. He'll run up against Tim Hudson, looking for his 15th victory. Braves vs. Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

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


Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:16 am
Edited on: September 5, 2011 11:46 am
 

On Deck: Labor Day baseball

OD

By Matt Snyder

Follow all game action live on CBSSports.com's scoreboard.

Cardinals last stand: The Cardinals swept the Brewers last week in Milwaukee. Now the Brewers visit St. Louis for three games. Being 9 1/2 games out int he NL Central, the Cardinals need to sweep the Brewers again, otherwise you'd have to consider this race over. Even if they do sweep, 6 1/2 is a tall order, but it's at least feasible. Jake Westbrook (11-7, 4.72) is the Cardinals' starter Monday, and last time out he gathered the win -- and hit a grand slam -- against the Brewers. Randy Wolf (11-9, 3.58) was the starter for the Brewers that game, and it's a rematch Monday. Brewers at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. ET.

Shields rematch: The Rangers have a 3 1/2 game lead in the AL West -- which is one of the few remaining intriguing races. Monday, they'll open a series in Tampa Bay. James Shields (13-10, 2.84) is the starter for the Rays, and last time out he handcuffed the Rangers for eight shutout innings, only allowing four hits. Only the Yankees and Red Sox have scored more runs among AL teams than the Rangers, so it's a tall order to hold them down once, much less twice. Scott Feldman (1-0, 2.86) will start for the Rangers in what was supposed to be struggling Alexi Ogando's spot. Rangers at Rays, 1:10 p.m. ET.

Big week for Cleveland: The Indians trail the Tigers by 6 1/2 games and have a two-game lead over the White Sox in the AL Central. This week, the Indians have three games at home against the Tigers and four in Chicago against the White Sox. Monday, Ubaldo Jimenez (8-10, 4.70) looks to get things off to a positive start for the Indians, while Doug Fister (6-13, 3.26) will try to bury them. This could be a huge series, as the Tigers could essentially put the division away, but an Indians' sweep brings things to within 3 1/2 games. The two then have another three-game series later this September.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 4, 2011 10:56 am
 

On Deck: D-Backs pulling away in NL West

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Pulling away: The National League's closest race is on the verge of being decided -- the Diamondbacks can take a commanding seven-game lead in the NL West with 23 games remaining with a victory in Sunday's series finale at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Arizona's Daniel Hudson looks for his 15th victory of the season and third straight. In his last four starts, he's gone 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA, pitching seven scoreless innings in his last start, a win over Coloardo. He's just 1-2 against the Giants this season, but limited them to a run on six hits in a victory at AT&T Park on Aug. 6. Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong has lost each of his last three starts and four of his last five. Diamondbacks at Giants, 4:05 p.m. ET

Matt HarrisonWelcome back: Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison will get another chance against the Red Sox, returning to the team's rotation to face the same team that roughed him up in his last start. Texas manager Ron Washington inserted Scott Feldman into Harrison's spot in the rotation last week and used Harrison in relief on Wednesday. Harrison gave up seven earned runs on 11 hits in five innings on Aug. 24 against the Red Sox, prompting Washington to give the 25-year-old a short break. Harrison had a 3.04 ERA before the All-Star break and 4.56 afterward, so the Rangers hope the time off returns him to his pre-break form. Red Sox starter John Lackey hasn't had much success against the Rangers, either. In two starts against Texas this season, he's given up 13 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. Rangers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. ET

Clayton KershawCy Kershaw: While the American League Cy Young race is about as excited as most of the races around baseball right now (read: not very), the National League competition has heated up because of the performance of Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. The 23-year-old is 17-5 with a 2.45 ERA overall and 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA since the All-Star break. Kershaw has won his last four starts, allowing just two runs in those four games. Kershaw has five starts to win three games and become the Dodgers' first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez won 20 in 19990. Dodgers at Braves, 1:35 p.m. ET

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:16 am
 

On Deck: Lincecum/Kennedy battle highlights day

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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DiamondbacksGiantsNL West battle continues: The Giants stopped Arizona from winning its 10th straight game and also pulled to within five of the division lead. San Francisco needs to do much more than that to have any hope of winning the division, though, and will turn to ace Tim Lincecum and his 2.58 ERA to try to hold 'Zona back. But Ian Kennedy is a tall order to face, as he holds a slim 3.03 ERA and is also angling to become the NL's first 18-game winner. He's only coughed up one run in his last two starts, punching out 15. It's shaping up to be quite a pitcher's duel. Diamondbacks vs. Giants, 9:05 p.m. ET

WeaverWeaver takes mound: The Angels slipped to 4 1/2 back in the AL West after Friday's games, but can try to make up some ground on Saturday if Jered Weaver can silence the Twins, which shouldn't be too tall of a task.The Rangers have to fall to Boston for a full game to be made up, but L.A. will take winning their own game. Weaver, winner of six straight, will oppose Brian Duensing a night after the Twins pasted the Angels 13-5 to win their second straight. The Twins haven't won three games or more in a row since July 5, and that's a mark that might stand as they stare at Weaver's 2.28 ERA and wonder what they're supposed to do. Twins vs. Angels, 9:05 p.m. ET

MiloneDebut: The Nationals are shuffling their rotation for September to get a look at their minor-league players. One of these pitchers draws the ball Saturday, as Tom Milone makes his big-league debut against the Mets. Milone had a 3.22 ERA for Triple-A this year, punching out 155 and walking 16 in 148 1/3 innings, strong numbers despite not being considered a heralded prospect. He'll have to face a streaking David Wright, who is hitting .500 over his last 26 at-bats and has hit the Nats well as of late. Wright will be manning the hot corner at third behind Dillon Gee. The Mets have won seven of eight. Mets vs. Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 2, 2011 4:41 pm
 

On Deck: Verlander chases 21, 'Zona 10 straight

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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

DiamondbacksGiantsGone streaking: Arizona will chase its 10th straight victory Friday night as a series with the Giants open. San Francisco is flagging, six games behind the DBacks and with a tall task at hand. Matt Cain will get the ball with a 2.87 ERA and the task of opening the weekend series with a statement, while Joe Saunders will be the man to go for 'Zona, who has a 3.69 ERA. San Francisco cut ties with Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada on Thursday and are recalling a smattering of players to help for the stretch drive, which will be moot if they can't come away with a series win or sweep. To win though, the Giants have to start scoring some runs. Diamondbacks vs. Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET

VerlanderVerlander time: Justin Verlander is appointment-viewing these days. The Tigers ace will take his blazing fastball up against the White Sox, who are 5 1/2 games behind division-leading Detroit. Friday is the first of seven remaining meetings both teams have, and Chicago needs to do well to stay in the race. "I feel like we have to win the series to be really optimistic for the rest of the year," Brent Lillibridge told the Associated Press. "We're ready. We've been playing good baseball." So has Verlander, whose won his last nine games and will tote a 20-5 record and slim 2.39 ERA up against John Danks, a lefty with a 3.63 ERA on the year. White Sox vs. Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET

CuetoCarpenterBattle for second: The streaking Cardinals are winners of their last four, which has pulled them to 7 1/2 games, which is still a tough task.  The Reds, meanwhile, are on a skid having lost four straight to fall to 13 1/2 back. Cincinnati has a pretty good pitcher toeing the mound Friday night in an attempt to finish the year strong and in second place with MLB ERA leader Johnny Cueto going up against Chris Carpenter. Cueto, owner of a 2.05 mark, is coming off a game where he recorded a career-high 11 whiffs, but Carpenter is on a roll himself and has defeated the Reds the last two times out. Reds vs. Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 31, 2011 5:19 pm
 

On Deck: Ubaldo digs his new digs

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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

Ubaldo JimenezHome sweet home:
This season Ubaldo Jimenez was 3-5 with a 5.55 ERA at Coors Field, but he likes his new digs much better. In two starts at Progressive Field, he's allowed just 12 hits and struck out 16 batters with a 0.60 ERA. On the road, he's struggled with his new team, allowing 25 hits and 11.77 ERA in three starts. But hey, tonight the Indians and Jimenez are in Cleveland, so the A's should watch out. Rich Harden (4-2, 4.55 ERA) goes for the A's, who have lost four straight and five of their last six. Athletics at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET

Nine on the line: The Diamondbacks can extend their season-long winning streak to nine with a victory against the Rockies tonight. Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his last four starts, giving up just five earned run during that run. Arizona starters have a 0.83 ERA during the eight-game winning streak. Not only has Arizona won eight straight overall, it's won its last 11 at Chase Field, tying a team record set in 2000 and matched in 2003. The Diamondbacks have also won 13 of their last 17 against the Rockies at Chase Field and 10 of 14 in all games against Colorado this season. Rockies at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET

Felix HernandezDan HarenMarquee matchup: You want pitching? Look west as Felix Hernandez and the Mariners face Dan Haren and the Angels. Hernandez, last year's Cy Young Award winner, has struggled in his career against Los Angeles, going 4-9 with 4.01 ERA against the Angels, but is 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts in Anaheim this season. Haren, on the other hand, loves pitching at Safeco Field, where he is 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA in eight career starts. He's 9-4 overall against the Mariners with a 2.52 ERA. Angels at Mariners, 10:10 p.m ET

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 5:43 pm
 

On Deck: Another round of Yankees-Red Sox

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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CC SabathiaJohn LackeyHere we go again: Yep, it's that time of year (again) -- Red Sox and Yankees. Boston starts the night  1.5 games ahead of their AL East rivals and 10-2 against them so far this season. Yankees starter CC Sabathia is 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Red Sox this season, including a debacle on Aug. 6 that saw him surrender seven runs in six innings. John Lackey is 2-0 against the Yankees, but has benefitted from great run support in his two starts against New York. In those two games, he's allowed 13 hits and nine runs in 11 innings -- good for a 7.36 ERA. Lackey gave up six runs in five innings on April 8, but was better than Phil Hughes, who gave up that many runs in two innings. He allowed just three runs in six innings in this month's earlier matchup with Sabathia to earn the victory. Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Pulling away: A month or so ago this looked like it would be a big series, but instead the Brewers have a chance to spit on the Cardinals' grave with this three-game series in Milwaukee. The Brewers lead the Cardinals -- their nearest competition in the NL Central -- by 10 1/2 games. Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum is coming off his first loss in 10 starts and hasn't been great against the Cardinals this season, going 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA in three starts. Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson is 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA in six starts for the Cardinals. He's been good except for one start -- Aug. 3 at Milwaukee, where the Brewers scored 10 runs (eight earned) off of him in seven innings. He bounced back facing the Brewers in his next start and gave up just three runs (two earned) in six innings in a no-decision. Cardinals at Brewers, 8:10 p.m.

White Sox streaking: Chicago has been one of the game's most disappointing teams, but here we are on the next-to-last day of August and they've still got a chance at the American League Central flag. Chicago's won four in a row and are now in second place in the division, five games behind the Tigers and readying for a weekend series in Detroit. If the White Sox can take care of business in Minnesota, this weekend could be huge. Tuesday's starter for the White Sox, rookie right-hander Zach Stewart, has just one win so far for Chicago, but it was against the Twins. He allowed just one run on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings on Aug. 6 at Target Field. Twins at White Sox, 8:10 p.m.

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