Tag:NEftali Feliz
Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Padres, Rangers find no middle ground on Bell

By Scott Miller 

The Padres have vowed they will not deal closer Heath Bell for anything less than a highly attractive return, and heading into the final hours toward the trade deadline, they're putting the Rangers to that test.

The Padres and Rangers continue to discuss Bell, sources with knowledge of the talks told CBSSports.com, though those discussions did not advance much Friday from where they were a day earlier. The Padres' price has not come down, and Texas' offer has not increased.

Even at that, however, Bell still may be the Rangers' player to lose (if there is such a thing as "losing" a player you've never had): St. Louis continues to stay involved, according to sources, but only on the "fringe." And the Angels, who are said to be looking to boost their bullpen, currently are not involved.

That isn't to say the Angels or other clubs could not jump into the talks Saturday or sometime before Sunday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline. But as of now, the Rangers remain the biggest presence at the trade table, and they and the Padres continue to engage in a staredown.

According to CBSSports.com sources, the Padres are asking a three-player return for Bell, which surely could be adjusted down to two players if Texas produces the right two players. The Padres watched left-handed pitcher Robbie Erlin's last start for Double-A Frisco and are believed interested in him. A few other key names in the Texas system: Martin Perez, a left-hander pitching at Triple-A Round Rock, Frisco right-handers Tanner Scheppers and Joe Wieland, and shortstop Jurickson Profar, 18, currently playing at Class A Hickory.

Bell, who collected his 30th save on Thursday, owns a 2.34 ERA and said of a trade, "It's going to happen."

He predicted: "It probably will be down to the wire."

That's the way it looks now. Texas is intent on improving its bullpen: Its 4.46 ERA is fourth-highest in the AL and the Rangers' 15 blown saves were tied for the third-highest. And as highly regarded as closer Neftali Feliz is, Rangers manager Ron Washington said the other day that he would like to see "a little more fire" from the closer.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels traveled to Toronto for this weekend's series with the Blue Jays, and several of his key advisers are with him as they sort through final offers and final moves between now and Sunday's deadline.

If the Padres elect to hold on to Bell and he leaves as a free agent this winter, they would receive two compensatory draft picks for him, the first one likely 20-something picks into the draft and the other in the 40s.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Pirates' pursuit of Beltran a positive

PNC Park

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos Beltran refused a deal that would send him to the Pirates, but just the fact that I can write that is pretty darn cool. Yep, the Pittsburgh Pirates were seeking a rental player at the deadline from the New York Mets.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the Pirates had made an "aggressive push" to get Beltran and were willing to pick up the $6.5 million left on his contract for this season.

Beltran's now with the defending champs and that's probably the best fit for him, which is the beauty of having a no-trade clause. Instead of finishing the season in Pittsburgh, he'll be in San Francisco, good for Beltran.

But it's also a sign of where the Pirates are and how they're planning on trying to win now. Last year we heard about the Pirates hoarding their luxury tax disbursement, this year we're hearing about them trying to improve.

Is it a new world order? Maybe not, but it is an indication that the Pirates' ownership is behind its team and serious about a winner. It also may end up helping the Pirates, who don't give up young talent and can contend for more years with a player that could develop into something special. Even if Beltran had accepted a trade to Pittsburgh, he wouldn't have stayed.

The Pirates have shown their commitment and that's something that was needed after last year's fiasco.

What to expect in Toronto: The folks at the Hardball Times take a look at what to expect from Colby Rasmus in Toronto. The move from Busch Stadium to the Rogers Center should help his power numbers a little bit, but not as much as it would if he were a right-hander. Meanwhile Rasmus' new manager said he'll play every day, replacing Rajai Davis. [The Globe and Mail]

La Liar?: Rasmus' father, Tony, says Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is incorrect in his assertion that his son was listening to him instead of his coaches. Rasmus said La Russa is "made that stuff up" and bullied general manager John Mozeliak into trading Rasmus for pitching. "Tony would like to have 25 pitchers," Tony Rasmus told the Toronto Sun, "like he thinks he has to put his stamp on every ball game. They had nothing else to trade. I think everyone is better off now." In a TV interview, Colby Rasmus was asked about his relationship with La Russa after the trade and the younger Rasmus said, "I hope he's happy." Tony Rasmus said La Rusa blames Rasmus for leading to Walt Jocketty leaving the Cardinals.

Winner, loser: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! says the two big deals on Wednesday showed the way to make deadline deals and the way not to make deadline deals. Let's just say the defending champs are doing something right, while another team panicked.

Oswalt strong in rehab start: Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt allowed just one hit in four innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Oswalt said after the start that he would probably need at least one, if not two more rehab starts before he's ready to re-join the Phillies rotation. [Delaware County Times]

Washington wants 'fire': Rangers closer Neftali Feliz can bring the heat, but his manager Ron Washington wants to see more "fire" from him on the mound. Washington said he doesn't see the urgency from his closer. Feliz has blown five saves this season after blowing just three last year. His strikeout rate is also down from a year ago. [MLB.com]

Wily Mo's back: The Mariners -- a team desperate for offense -- has signed outfielder/DH Wily Mo Pena to a minor-league contract on Wednesday. Pena hit five homers in 17 games for the Diamondbacks. Pena is expected to start at Triple-A Tacoma. [MLB.com]

Left is right: It's never a good thing for a pitcher to hear he'll have to undergo surgery to repair a loose capsule and torn labrum in his shoulder, but for Padres' right-hander Dustin Mosley, at least the surgery he'll undergo this offseason will be in his left shoulder. Mosley said he's hurt the shoulder twice this season and one more time earlier in his career, all while batting. Moseley may have to swing one-handed, bat left-handed or just bunt a whole lot more to keep his shoulder from popping out of joint when he swings. [North County Times]

Replay resistance: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly saw the play in Atlanta Tuesday night, but he's still not in favor of expanding replay. Mattingly's two issues -- the time and the human element. My response would be the time could be helped with technology and a dedicated umpire off the field for replay and the human factor isn't as important as the correct call factor. [MLB.com]

Papi's milestone: David Ortiz's grand slam on Wednesday gave him 1,000 career RBI with the Red Sox, just the sixth player to achieve that feat in Boston. He joins Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Bobby Doerr -- not bad company. [Boston Herald]

Stability behind the plate helps Rangers: Having the same catchers all season -- Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli -- has helped Rangers pitchers. Torrealba has started 71 games behind the plate this season. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 2:18 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Who needs Joe?



By Matt Snyder


Vance Worley, Phillies. On the day the Phillies learned they'd be losing No. 5 starter Joe Blanton for the season, rookie phenom Worley showed -- once again -- that Blanton's spot is more than covered. The 23 year old has been sensational this season and came up big once again Tuesday night. He allowed only three hits and two runs in his first career complete game and is now 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA. If Roy Oswalt comes back as strong as he's capable, the Phillies have an absurdly scary rotation.

J.J. Hardy and Derrek Lee, Orioles. The O's busted out with 12 runs -- a season high -- on 16 hits Tuesday night in a resounding victory over the Blue Jays. The entire offense hit the ball well, but Hardy and Lee were the obvious stars. Hardy clubbed two home runs and drove home four. Lee went 4-5 with a double, home run and five RBI.

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox and Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins. Both of these guys are getting close to making us pay attention daily to their hitting streaks. Bonifacio went 2-4 with a double in a Marlins victory to extend his streak to 24 games. Pedroia went 4-5 with a double and triple in a Red Sox win and is currently sitting with a 23-game hitting streak. The magic number for when streaks deserve our full attention is debatable, but with the trade deadline this week and lots of other stuff going on, 28 -- halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record 56 -- seems about right. Still, both of these guys deserve no less than a tip of the cap.



Neftali Feliz, Rangers. The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year hasn't been near as effective this season, and it showed once again Tuesday night. He closed 40 of 43 save opportunities last season, but Tuesday he blew his fifth save in 25 tries in 2011. He's already surpassed last season's walk total in a little more than half the innings. A crucial fielding error didn't help Feliz Tuesday, but he still allowed a single, two doubles and a walk. If the Rangers do acquire Heath Bell, they should seriously consider dropping Feliz to eighth-inning duties. Bell is much more a sure thing.

Reds defense.
We could call the division the NL Comedy Central when it comes to defense, but the Reds are actually a really good defensive team. Tuesday night, they tried to emulate their Central bretheren. Three errors -- including from the normally sure-handed Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips -- cost the Reds six runs in an 8-6 loss to the Mets. That's right, only two of the eight allowed runs were earned. That's pretty rough on the pitching staff. Chalk it up as a bad day, but the Reds need not make mistakes like this in the NL Central battle, as they've fallen five games back.

Offense in Pirates-Braves game. It was 3-3 after three innings. It was 3-3 after nine innings. It was 3-3 after 18 innings. Cristhian Martinez worked six scoreless innings from the bullpen for the Braves. Martin Prado went 0-9. Andrew McCutchen went 0-6. It was so bad the Pirates elected to sac-bunt against Scott Proctor -- whose ERA is over 7.00. Oh, speaking of Proctor ....

BONUS DOWN: Umpire Jerry Meals. OK, we understand that was a long night behind home plate, but you cannot end a game with such a ridiculous call. The Braves beat the Pirates 4-3 in 19 innings after receiving an absolute gift at home plate (click here for a post with video and photo evidence). Braves baserunner Julio Lugo pretty clearly exhibited the type of body language that he knew he was out at home plate on Scott Proctor's ground ball -- which became a game-winning fielder's choice. Meals just called Lugo safe. Lugo even popped up several feet shy of home plate and was tagged on both the arm and the leg before stepping on home plate and being called safe. We're bound to discuss instant replay a bit the rest of the week, as this was an embarrassing way to end a 19-inning game. I'd even guess most Braves fans agreed (the Braves broadcast team most certainly did). Oh, by the way, there had already been a few ejections due to arguing Meals' strike zone.

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Posted on: July 17, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:50 am
 

Rockies need 'Herschel Walker' deal for Jimenez

Ubaldo Jimenez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It seems Ubaldo Jimenez is this season's hot name that could go nowhere.

Last week it was the Reds who popped up as a possible landing spot for Jimenez, but now it seems more are involved. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports the Rockies have been in contact with the Yankees about Jimenez. Heyman said later on MLB Network that 12 teams have contacted the Rockies about JImenez, adding the Red Sox and Rays as possible bidders. Troy Renck of the Denver Post adds the Tigers, Rangers and Phillies as teams with interest in Jimenez.

It's easy to understand why teams would want Jimenez -- he's one of the top talents in the game, even if he's not putting up the dominant numbers he did a year ago when he was 15-1 with a  2.20 ERA in the first half. This season he's 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA, but most of his struggles have been at Coors Field, where his ERA more than three-and-a-half runs higher than it is on the road -- .5.89 at home and 2.28 on the road. His strikeout rate (8.1 per nine innings) is down slightly (8.7 last season), but so are his walks (3.5 walks per nine innings in 2011 and 3.7 in 2010).

And it's not just Jimenez's presence on the mound that makes him attractive, he's a relative bargain, signed through next season and he makes just $4.2 million in 2012 and has team options for both 2013 ($5.75 million) and 2014 ($8 million), but the 2014 option is voided if he's traded. Evan at $8 million, Jimenez is a bargain -- for comparison, Colorado's Aaron Cook is making $9.25 million this season and enters today's start with an 0-4 record and 5.82 ERA. Another team won't benefit from the 2014 option, but any team trading for him would get Jimenez for the next two seasons for less than $10 million.

As a comparison, perhaps one of the other top names on the trade market is Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who is in the first year of a three-year, $34 million contract.

Jesus MonteroThe Rockies have spent their entire existence searching for an ace pitcher that's not bothered pitching at Coors Field, in Jimenez, they've finally got him. So, why would the Rockies trade him? That's a pretty good question. The short answer is that it doesn't cost anything to listen.

"We would have to be absolutely overwhelmed," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd told the Denver Post. "It would have to be a Herschel Walker deal."

In 1989 the Dallas Cowboys sent Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings along with four draft picks in return for five players and eight draft picks. The Cowboys turned those draft picks into Emmitt Smith, Alvin Harper, Darren Woodson, Dixon Edwards and more draft picks, including the one that led to the first overall pick in 1991 (Russell Maryland). That trade laid the foundation for the Cowboys' three Super Bowl titles in the mid-90s.

In a baseball equivalent, you could call it a Mark Teixeira trade. In baseball, you can't trade draft picks, but prospects are the equivalent of NFL draft picks. In 2007, the Rangers sent Teixeira and Ron Mahay to Atlanta for Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That's a pretty good haul -- and that's for a player that was scheduled to be a free agent. Jimenez could cost more because of the extra years of team control with a very team-friendly contract.

The market has changed in reaction to that trade, with fewer teams giving up that much for rentals, but Jimenez won't be a rental, so he could command a king's ransom.

What are the Rockies looking for? Mainly they want young pitching talent that can be under team control for a long time, but that's major league ready. They'd also want a top-notch position prospect, as well. The Yankees would likely need to give up catcher Jesus Montero (right) and a top pitching prospect such as Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances in addition to other prospects. Heyman said on MLB Network that the Rockies have asked for not just Montero, Banuelos and Betances, but also Ivan Nova. The Reds could spare first baseman Yonder Alonso, but would have to send some pitching such as Mike Leake and/or Travis Wood to the Rockies in addition to other players.

There have been reports that Jimenez is unhappy with being on the trading block, but he denies that's the case.

"I won't be bothered by trade rumors. I am mentally strong," Jimenez told Renck. "Don't forget that about me."

It would be foolish for someone like O'Dowd not to listen, but in the end, if the Rockies do trade him, it will have to be for a massive collection of talent.

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:37 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:38 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Heisey hammers homers

Heisey

By Evan Brunell


UpChris Heisey, Reds -- Heisey went deep three times in Wednesday's night game against the Yankees, allowing the Reds to split the doubleheader with Johnny Cueto on the mound. As the Associated Press pointed out, only Pete Rose and Jay Bruce are other Reds players with three home runs out of the leadoff spot, and Heisey now joins them in a performance that should give him an even stronger grip on the left-field job. "When you get a hit in your first at-bat, it takes the pressure off the rest of your day," Heisey told the AP. "It relaxes you. Nobody likes to go 0-for-4 or 0-for-5. One home run's a good day, let alone three." Heisey stuffed the boxscore with a 3-for-5 day with three hits (those three homers, duh), five RBI and four runs, reaching base on a fielder's choice in the seventh.

Cliff Lee, Phillies
-- As mentioned On Deck, Cliff Lee doesn't usually face a pitcher with an ERA lower than him, but that was the case on Wednesday when Lee toted his 3.12 ERA to the mound against St. Louis' Kyle Lohse and his 2.88 ERA. Well, Lee corrected that with his second straight complete game, stifling the Cardinals en route to pushing his scoreless streak to 23 innings on a career-high 126 pitches, giving up six hits, one walk and whiffing three. Lee has had three other scoreless streaks reach double-digits with a 14-, 16- and 17-inning scoreless streak with the latter two coming in 2008 and the 14-inning one in 2005. Only one player -- Lohse himself -- reached third base against Lee, hitting a leadoff double before moving over to third.

R.A. Dickey, Mets -- Dickey wasn't around to earn the win as the Mets needed 13 innings to knock off the Athletics, but the knuckeballer did everything he could to keep New York in the game. The Mets pulled ahead by a run in the bottom eighth after Dickey had left, but closer Francisco Rodriguez promptly blew the game to send the game into extras. Dickey went eight strong, limiting Oakland to just three hits and one run, while allowing one walk and striking nine out. Overall a fine game for Dickey, who is proving last season was no joke as a breakout for the 36-year-old, and his ERA drops to 3.76.



DownRamiro Pena, Yankees -- Poor Ramiro Pena just couldn't figure things out in the first game of a doubleheader against the Reds.  Pena received the start at third base as Alex Rodriguez took a breather and made three errors -- all on plays involving Drew Stubbs, as fellow Eye on Baseball sage C. Trent Rosecrans so sagely points out. Pena had two errors in the fifth, hitting Stubbs in the face with a throw. Pena then followed that up with a bad throw on a Ryan Hanigan grounder, allowing Stubbs, who had gotten to third at that point, to score. He then let one go through the wickers in the seventh before starting a double-play. He also contributed an 0-for-3 night at the plate. So yeah, bad day.

Neftali Feliz, Rangers -- Neftali Feliz was absolutely horrid, allowing four runs in the ninth inning to blow the game 5-3 against the Astros. How did it unfold? Glad you asked. Carlos Lee greeted Feliz with a double before the righty was able to get his first out. But then a RBI double followed, then an infield single, a back-breaking passed ball by catcher Yorvit Torrealba  to tie the game, then a two-run blast by Matt Downs. Feliz got one more out before being relieved, and the Rangers went quietly in the bottom half. Feliz now boasts a 3.21 ERA on the season. Not bad, right? But it's much worse than you think, as he's walked 15 and whiffed 19 in 28 innings, without adding to either total Wednesday night. Compare that to last season, when Feliz walked 18 and punched out 71 batters in 69 1/2 innings. This is a guy who was asking for a severe wakeup call and finally got it.

Ryan Raburn, Tigers
-- Detroit's had a fetish for Raburn for quite some time and while he looked to be delivering on that promise lately, he's collapsed in 2011 as a 30-year-old in his first year as a full-time starter. He won't get the entire year, though, if he keeps performing poorly, as he dragged his overall line to .204/.244/.336 with an 0-for-4 performance with three strikeouts. Why he was batting second, I have no idea. Raburn shifted over to play second base after starting the year in left, and the Tigers gave up on Scott Sizemore after yanking him around and shipped him to Oakland, where Sizemore has a .343/.425/.486 line in 11 games. Think the Tigers may want a do-over?

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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: May 22, 2011 3:24 pm
 

Pirates not interested in trading Hanrahan

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Joel HanrahanAs we get deeper into the season, we'll start hearing more and more trade rumors -- just remember, it takes two to tango.

FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal -- one of the best in the business, make no mistake -- wrote today the Rangers have made "low-level inquiries" on Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan.

Well, you can call, but that doesn't mean anything is imminent.

The Pirates, you see, have a say in the matter. Pittsburgh would like to keep Hanrahan and have several reasons to do just that -- Hanrahan is under team control through 2013 and the Pirates are actually playing well this season, entering today 22-23, and are hoping to break their streak of 18 consecutive losing seasons. So far this season, he's 13 for 13 in save opportunities and has a 1.66 ERA, allowing just five runs (four earned) in 21 2/3 innings, striking out 16 and walking just five.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel confirms the Rangers have called and asked about Hanrahan, however "the overture was turned aside."

In the end, it says more about the Rangers and their concerns about Neftali Feliz's health and their lack of confidence in the rest of their bullpen. Perhaps they could call the Blue Jays about Frank Francisco for Mike Napoli.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 1:51 am
Edited on: May 20, 2011 9:17 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Giambi homers thrice

Jason Giambi

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Jason Giambi, Rockies -- Thursday Giambi became the second-oldest player to ever hit three home runs in a game, younger only than the great Stan Musial, who hit three homers against the Mets on July 8, 1962, when he was 41. The other members of the 40-plus, three-homer game club? Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth. That's pretty good company. Giambi drove in all seven of the Rockies' runs in a 7-1 victory over the Phillies. Giambi entered the game with just three hits all season, hitting .115 (3 for 26) with one home run and four RBI. He raised his average to .194. It was the first time in his career he hit three homers in one game.

Pittsburgh Pirates -- The Pirates are now 5-1 at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park this season, with James McDonald solving the Reds. The Pirates' win, coupled with the Cardinals' victory over the Astros, dropped Cincinnati from first place. The bad news for the Pirates is they don't return to Cincinnati again this year, so no Skyline and no easy wins.

Dillon Gee, Mets -- Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez broke up Gee's no-hitter with two outs in the sixth inning, but the Mets rookie allowed just one more hit in 7 2/3 innings, striking out three. Gee moved to 3-0 on the season and continued his mastery of the Nationals -- last season he made his big-league debut against Washington and didn't allow a hit until the sixth. 


Torii Hunter, Angels -- Back in center field for the first time this season, Hunter lost a routine fly ball off the bat of Carlos Peguero in the sun in the ninth inning with two outs in a tie game. The ball fell in for a hit and Jack Cust scored from third for the winning run.

Francisco Carmona, Indians -- Carmona gave up six runs in the first two innings of Thursday's 8-2 loss to the White Sox and two more in his fifth and final inning of work. In two games against Chicago this season, Carmona has an ERA of 20.25 and a batting average against of .429. Take away his two starts against the White Sox and he'd be 3-2 with a 2.56 ERA. Instead, he's 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA.

Neftali Feliz, Rangers -- For the second night in a row, the Rangers closer blew a save against the Royals. This time Ron Washington waited to bring Feliz in until after Eric Hosmer led off the inning. On Wednesday, Hosmer homered off of Feliz to tie the game and Thursday he singled off of starter Derek Holland to begin the ninth before Washington brought in Feliz. Feliz gave up two singles to blow the Rangers' 1-0 lead. After a walk, Washington lifted Feliz in favor of Mark Lowe, who got out of the inning. However, unlike Wednesday, the Royals prevailed in extra innings Thursday, as Jeff Francouer drove in the winning run in the 10th. Feliz has walked 12 batters so far this season after walking just 18 all of last season.

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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