Tag:Adam Dunn
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 11:39 pm
 

Boston catcher doesn't have appendicitis

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jarron SaltalamacchiaRed Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hads tests at a New York hospital to determine whether he has appendicitis, but it was determined he did not, the Boston Globe reports. Instead, the Red Sox are calling his ailment a "stomach illness."

Saltalamacchia was scheduled to catch Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield, but was scratched, forcing Jason Varitek to catch Wakefield for the first time in several years. Varitek is actually wearing a first baseman's mitt to catch the knuckleballer. In the past, Varitek has struggled catching Wakefield's knuckleball.

During the first weeks of the season, both St. Louis' Matt Holliday and the White Sox's Adam Dunn missed time after undergoing appendectomies.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Is DH to blame for Dunn's woes?

Adam Dunn

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Here's your understatement of the day -- Adam Dunn is struggling.

The White Sox's $56 million designated hitter is hitting just .180/.329/.326 with five home runs and 71 strikeouts in 213 plate appearances. He has an OPS+ of 82, a WAR of -0.3 and a WPA of -0.77 -- in other words, he stinks this season.

Now, plenty of players stink these days. The difference with Dunn is that the one thing that has marked his career has been consistency. Since 2004, he's hit at least 38 homers and had an OBP of .356 or better, slugging better than .500 for six of the seven years in that stretch.

There are two big differences -- a different league and a different position.

As for the league, as a National Leaguer with the Reds, Diamondbacks and Nationals, he played in 134 games against American League teams, hitting .247/.362/.523 with 36 homers. That's pretty similar to his career numbers. In three games against National League teams this year, he's hitting .091/.333/.091 -- worse in line with this season's numbers against American League teams, even though three games is a sample size so small it's probably insignificant.

So then, is it the position?

Dunn had long been against DHing. Last year I talked to him and he told me he'd rather quit at this point than serve as a DH. What changed his mind? The same thing that would change any of ours -- a team willing to pay him $56 million to be a DH and nobody offering that much for him not to DH. It was a pretty simple decision for Dunn.

Well, it's safe to say the White Sox aren't getting their money's worth so far. And former White Sox designated hitter Frank Thomas said the switch to DH is the biggest reason for Dunn's decline -- and the slugger should adapt.

"I knew this was going to happen, to be honest," Thomas told WSCR radio in Chicago. "This guy's playing out of position. He's been an outfielder and first baseman his whole career and he comes to a new league and has to DH every day. It's not easy at all. I've been there. Over my career, I probably lost 30 points on my batting average once I became a full-time DH. It's just really tough to stay loose, stay focused and stay part of the game. You're coming in four pinches a day, five pinches a day. It's a different mindset. I think he'll be fine going into the third month of the season. I really thought he'd be in trouble the first couple of months."

Thomas spent most of his first full season in the big leagues as a DH but then played first base from 1992-97, moving to DH nearly full-time in 1998 when he played just 14 games at first base. He didn't struggle that much, hitting .284/.389/.492 with nine homers in the first two months of that season, but at that point he'd been a DH in 230 games. Dunn had only been a DH in 18 games coming into this season.

Just as baffling are Dunn's struggles against left-handers. He's never really been great against lefties, but it's never been as big of a problem as it has been this season. Before 2011, he hit .235/.352/.465 against lefties and hit one homer every 20.04 plate appearances as opposed to once every 17.08 at-bats against all pitchers. This season, he's yet to get a single hit in 46 plate appearances against left-handers, walking just seven times.

Ozzie Guillen filled out his lineup card against Tigers left-hander Andy Oliver on Friday and put Carlos Quentin at designated hitter and has Dunn on the bench -- hardly the place anyone expected the team's big-ticket item of the offseason.

Thomas said he expects Dunn to improve, and it's unlikely someone with the track record Dunn has will continue to struggle as much as he has this season, but Dunn is 31 and not getting younger. He has what Bil James called "old players skills" -- power, strike zone judgement and little speed. Those, James wrote, peak earlier and erode sooner than other skills, making a player seem older than he really is -- and few are as old at 31 than Dunn. He should continue to produce, but he may never get to his previous level of production or consistency.

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 9:55 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 10:40 am
 

Pepper: Sabean over the top in his comments



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the chances of the Marlins, Brewers and Diamondbacks sticking around all season.

SABEAN OUT OF LINE: Buster Posey's injury is the story that just won't die -- and it flared up again on Thursday when Giants general manager Brian Sabean ripped Scott Cousins on a San Francisco radio station.

Sabean intimated there would be some sort of retaliation the next time the Giants saw the Marlins' Cousins. For a general manager to imply his team would be looking to hurt another player is irresponsible and reprehensible -- especially when Cousins played within the rules. You can bet Bud Selig will be making a call to Sabean and there will plenty of eyes on the Giants when they head to Florida Aug. 12-14.

Not only were Sabean's comments unprofessional, they're also hypocritical. Baseball Prospectus' Larry Granillo takes a look at Pablo Sandoval's similar play last season against the Pirates, and also a play from 2006 which was worse that happened to the Giants' Todd Greene, but caused no public outrage from Sabean.

Cousins' agent, Matt Sosnick, answered, saying his client has already gotten death threats, which probably won't be helped with Sabean flaming the fire. He also noted Cousins feels terrible about hurting Posey.

"The fact that Posey got hurt is terrible and everyone feels terribly about it," Sosnick told Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News. "No one feels worse, outside of Posey, than Scott did. But it's over. The play was within the rules; it was a fair, legitimate play. There’s no way Scott could know in the heat of the moment if there was a sliding lane of not.

"It was legal in baseball. He helped his team. The fact someone got injured on the play stinks.

"I understand Sabean is upset about it. Based on the fact that I know he’s a good guy, I am really hoping that he was speaking in the heat of the moment and out of emotion. Because if he wasn't, he took a bad situation and certainly made it a lot worse."

WEBB SHUT DOWN: Rangers pitcher Brandon Webb felt discomfort in his right shoulder in a bullpen session on Thursday and is being shut down. He has been prescribed anti-inflammatories and will be shut down for a minimum of seven days. (MLB.com)

9 TEAMS VIOLATE DEBT RULES: We all knew the Dodgers and Mets were in financial trouble, but they're apparently not alone. According to a Los Angeles Times report, a total of nine of the 30 teams are in violation of the MLB debt service rules which limit team's debt levels to 10 times its annual earnings. The guilty teams are a mix of big and small market teams -- the Mets, Dodgers, Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Marlins, Phillies, Rangers and Nationals.

DRAFT BONANZA: While the Rays may have more picks than anyone else in next week's draft, the Diamondbacks have the most valuable picks. In one of the deepest drafts in years, Arizona has a chance to pick up two impact players, drafting No. 3 and No. 7 overall. (Arizona Republic)

Yankees' MISSED OPPORTUNITY: UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole may be the top pick (or at least in the top three) next week, but it won't be the first time he's drafted in the first round. The Yankees took him in 2008, but he decided to go to UCLA instead. (New York Daily News)

WRIGHT, WILPON OK: David Wright finally spoke to Mets owner (for now) Fred Wilpon and said "all is well." Wright is one of the players Wilpon criticized in a New Yorker article. (New York Post)

Things should continue to be good with Wright and Wilpon, because it's unlikely he's going anywhere. Earlier this week there were rumors Wright may be moved, but the New York Daily News reports Wright's option for 2013 is team-specific, meaning only the Mets could exercise it. Any other team would risk losing Wright to free agency following the 2012 season. Anyway, it doesn't make much sense to sell low on Wright right now anyway, so expect him to stay with the Mets.

JETER WATCH: Derek Jeter currently has 2,984 hits and he acknowledges he feels a bit of a "responsibility" to reach 3,000 at Yankee Stadium. At his current pace, he'd get hit 3,000 at Wrigley Field in Chicago against the Cubs on June 18. Oddly enough, another Yankee had a chance at a milestone at Wrigley Field recently -- Roger Clemens' third shot at his 300th win was at Wrigley Field in June, 2003, but he lost that game. He won in his next start -- at Yankee Stadium against the Cardinals. The Yankees have a 10-game homestead from June 7-16 before going to Chicago for three and Cincinnati for three, returning home on June 24. Selfishly, I'd love to see Jeter go for 3,000 in Cincinnati, just so I could see it in person. It'd be more fitting for him to get it in New York, though. (New York Daily News)

DISAPPOINTMENTS: What do Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Carpenter, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols and Carl Crawford have in common? Well, they're all rich. Besides that, they're also on SI.com's Joe Sheehan's All-Disappointment Team. I'd take all five of those guys in a heartbeat. They're a discappointment because they haven't lived up to their own high standards so far, all five have the ability to turn it around in a heartbeat.

GRITTY AND GUTTY: Sure, these gifts are a little too prized by old-timers and not prized enough by new-school thinkers. Whatever their worth, those kind of players are fun to watch -- and the Padres have one in Chris Denorfia. As a personal note, Denorfia is one of the really good guys in the game and I'm glad to see him doing well. (San Diego Tribune-Review)

HARPER SHINES, STRUGGLES: In one game, Bryce Harper showed exactly why he's too good for the South Atlantic League, but also not quite ready to be called up to the next level. In addition to a walk-off homer, Harper fell victim to the old fake-to-third-throw-to-first move and was also caught in a rundown. (Washington Post)

CURE FOR THE CURSE? The Cubs are 5-0 in throwback uniforms -- now if they'd just wear them all the time… (BleedCubbieBlue.com)

FOR THE SNEAKERHEADS: Move over Brian Wilson, Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has the coolest spikes on the planet. Guthrie has a pair of Air Jordan I spikes that are just plain awesome. (NikeBlog.com)

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Breaking player slumps tough job for managers

By Matt Snyder

Just over a week after saying he would leave Adam Dunn in the three-hole, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has now dropped Dunn to seventh in the batting order. It's pretty tough to blame him, from a certain point of view.

Dunn is hitting .186 with an incredible 65 strikeouts in 156 at-bats. He's only hit five home runs. Even his traditionally-high on-base percentage is a sub-par .314.

The flip-side, however, is that Dunn has been one of the most consistent power hitters of the past decade. Scoff if you will -- there's a stigma that comes with Dunn because of his high-strikeout, low-batting average rates -- but here are his home run totals from the past seven seasons: 46, 40, 40, 40, 40, 38, 38. He reached 100 RBI in six of those seasons, his OBP was .381 and OPS was .914. He also never played less than 152 games in a season. That's a really productive offensive player.

So, if you're Guillen, you have to expect Dunn to start hitting well any day now. There's just no reason to believe he's cooked at 31. Sure, he switched leagues, but any drop off shouldn't have been this drastic. It's just that if you leave him in the third spot of the lineup and he continues to pump out four-strikeout games, it's killing your team.

This situation is a good illustration of a very tough job for managers. Figuring out how to approach a guy in a huge slump is a delicate business. No matter what action is taken, there are lots of possible negative consequences.

Lineup movement happens a lot. The Marlins have moved Hanley Ramirez to second. The Red Sox dropped Carl Crawford to eighth -- and he's absolutely going off this week, finally.

Sometimes the DH is used. The White Sox have started to play Adam Dunn at first more often, in case playing defense keeps him more into the game. On the opposite end, the Yankees have used Derek Jeter at DH three times.

Do you start benching the guy? The Indians started Carlos Santana behind the plate only once in the three-game series against the Red Sox. Sometimes that helps to clear a player's head, but sometimes he becomes worried the manager has lost confidence in him and becomes a headcase. Look at the Jorge Posada situation in New York.

What about doing things out of the ordinary, strategically? Getting the hit-and-run sign could help. If a hitter knows he has to swing at the pitch, there's a big hole in the infield and he ends up making good contact for a base hit, sometimes that's the only mental boost he needs. The Marlins made an interesting decision with Ramirez Tuesday night. With a four-run lead in the top of the ninth, they had him lay down a sacrifice bunt. I actually have no idea how this will help him break out of a slump, but I guess they're breaking out all the stops.

Or you could just leave the guy alone. Charlie Manuel essentially did this with Raul Ibanez. He rarely sat out and only bounced between fifth and sixth in the order. Now Ibanez has gotten hot after a pretty sizable slump.

Most any blogger will tell you that the managers should just relax and wait for a regression to the mean. I understand that, but it's pretty easily said for a guy behind a computer whose job doesn't depend on wins and losses. Each win is precious, and the managers need players like Crawford, Ramirez, Dunn, Jeter, Ibanez and Santana to hit the ball. The longer they go before breaking out of a slump, the more chances there are the team loses more games. The longer the managers stick with the struggling big hitter in a major lineup spot, the more risk there is of leaving the table-setters on base multiple times every game. Dropping the hitter in the lineup or benching him might mean missed opportunities to break out of the slump, too.

It's quite the juggling act, and there is no one proven method that maximizes results -- probably because the mentality of hitting a baseball is immeasurable. It's pretty difficult to blame managers for trying to be proactive instead of just sitting back. Not when their job is constantly on the line.

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Posted on: May 27, 2011 12:42 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Pitchers can hit too

Cliff Lee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ciff Lee, Phillies -- The day after Wilson Valdez showed position players could pitch, Cliff Lee showed pitchers can hit. Lee hit a single and double, driving in three runs in the Phillies' 10-4 victory over the Reds. While Lee wasn't especially sharp (by his standards) on the mound, he did what was most important for his team, stay on the mound. Following the 19-inning affair on Wednesday, Lee saved the team's bullpen by going eight innings on Thursday, despite giving up 10 hits and four runs. He did strike out eight batters and walked one.

Carlos Zambrano, Cubs -- Zambrano isn't your ordinary pitcher when he steps up to the plate, the guy knows what to do with the bat in his hand. Wednesday he went 3 for 3 with an RBI and a double. He'd also pinch-hit Tuesday night, driving in two, so he finished the series against New York 4 for 4 with three RBI. Oh, and he pitched six innings, allowing six hits and two runs, just one earned, while striking out five and walking two.

Carl Crawford, Red Sox -- Still worried about Crawford? Maybe not, especially after his last two days when he was 8 for 9 with two doubles, two triples and a home run. He was a triple shy of the cycle on Wednesday when he went 4 for 4, but made up for it with two triples on Thursday while going 4 for 5 with three RBI against the Indians. He entered May hitting .204/.227/.431 and is up to .277/.368/.645. Crawford's gonna be just fine.


Joel Piniero, Angels -- At least he's consistent. And honestly, he wasn't so bad. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on 11 hits with no walks. In his last outing, he went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on 11 hits with no walks. He did strike out one more batter than he did five days ago, three instead of two. The bad part is he lost both games.

Adam Dunn, White Sox -- Dunn took another collar on Thursday, striking out in all four of his plate appearances, including a K to end the eighth inning with a runner on third in a tie game. Dunn struck out three times against Toronto starter Brandon Morrow and then once against lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Dunn is now 0 for 33 with 15 strikeouts in 39 plate appearances against left-handers this season. Ozzie Guillen has said he'll move Dunn to seventh in Chicago's lineup on Friday.

Marc Rzepczynski, Blue Jays -- And speaking of Rzepczynski, the Jays left-hander may have gotten Dunn to end the eighth, but he picked up the loss with his work in the ninth. After third baseman John McDonald's error allowed Alex Rios to reach base and advance to second, Rzepczynski uncorked a wild pitch putting the go-ahead run on third. He followed that by hitting Gordon Beckham, setting the table for Juan Pierre. Pierre hit one down the line to first baseman Juan Rivera, who fielded the ball, but Rzepczynski wasn't able to beat Pierre to the bag. Rios scored easily on Pierre's grounder, but Beckham scored when Rivera's throw bounced off of the pitcher. 

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Posted on: May 22, 2011 10:25 am
 

On Deck: Primetime placeholders



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Tim WakefieldJames RussellNOT AS PLANNED
-- This isn't quite as either team planned it, but James Russell and Tim Wakefield will start the finale of the Cubs-Red Sox series at Fenway Park. The left-handed Russell is filling in for Matt Garza, who was scratched with tightness in his right elbow, while Wakefield has joined the team's rotation with John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL. The knuckleballer did not pitch the last time these two met at Fenway Park in the 1918 Series, but he did anxiously await the scores via telegram. Wakefield's made two starts so far this season, going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in a total of 10 innings. Russell is 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in four starts and 14 1/3 innings pitched. This is probably not the matchup TV execs thought they'd see when they made it the national game for Sunday night -- or maybe they were just counting on the rapture. Cubs at Red Sox, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

PUTRID AT PETCO -- The Padres were shut out for the ninth time this season on Saturday and sixth time at home. They are now 8-17 at Petco Park in 2011. San Diego has managed just one run, eight hits and 22 strikeouts in the first two games against the Mariners and today have to face Felix Hernandez. The Mariners, however, are just continuing their trend of stifling offenses, as they've allowed two or fewer runs in each of their last two games. The Padres have scored just four runs while today's starter, Clayton Richard, has been on the mound at Petco -- not surprisingly, the Richard is 0-3 in five home starts this season. Mariners at Padres, 4:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Adam DunnSLUMPING -- Many -- myself included -- believed if you put Adam Dunn in U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox may have to increase their budget for baseballs. Instead, the $56-million designated hitter is struggling mightily in his new home. While wearing the pinstripes at the Cell, Dunn is hitting .102/.206/.220 in 17 home games and has launched just two homers at home. He has yet to get a hit off of a left-handed pitcher -- in any stadium -- this season. Good news for Dunn today, though, he faces a familiar face from the National League, Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Dunn is hitting .429/.636/1.143 with a homer in 11 plate appearances against Kuroda. Dodgers at White Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 22, 2011 2:31 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Lincecum, Bautista dominate

Bautista

By Evan Brunell


3 UP

Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
-- Hanrahan nailed down his 13th save by getting through some pressure. He entered the game with two runners on base and no outs in the ninth for the Tigers. Brandon Inge singled, then Hanrahan bounced back to strike out a batter and induce a double play. His ERA drops to 1.66, and it's kind of obvious at this point, especially with Evan Meek's poor season, that the Pirates made the right choice picking Hanrahan to close.

Tim Lincecum, Giants -- Lincecum is appointment viewing. He is one of the greatest pitchers we will ever see pitch in our lifetimes regardless of career timespan, and that was on display Saturday. The Freak went the distance, scattering three hits amongst six strikeouts and no walks, dropping his ERA to 2.06 and inserting himself into the NL ERA leaderboard discussion. Lincecum is able to chew up a lot of innings but is entering crazy-workhorse phase as he's pacing for 252 innings pitched. If he reaches his projections (which is a lot to ask to keep up that kind of sustained dominance), that leaves him with 270 strikeouts. That's, uh, a lot. It's doubtful Lincecum will hit these numbers, but the scary thing is... well, I'm not discounting that he'll hit those numbers.

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays -- What more can you say at this point? Even Bautista himself admits it's ridiculous. "It's always a surprise when you keep hitting home runs," Bautista told the Associated Press. "I'm not surprised about the RBIs or the fact that I'm playing well. Given what happened last year, knowing what I feel like I'm capable of doing, I expected to perform at a high level. I'm doing probably a little bit better than I expected." You think? Bautista blasted two home runs, driving in four with a 3-for-4 night to obliterate the Astros. He's swelled to a 65-homer pace through 133 games. Um, they should totally play him more. And they will, so... am I really making the leap that Bautista could potentially take down Barry Bonds? Like with Lincecum... probably not. But we've already reached ridiculous proportions with Bautista, so why not some more?

3 DOWN

Matt Albers, Red Sox  -- Albers blew it completely for the Red Sox as the seventh-inning-guy (the setup man's assistant, basically) gave up six runs, five earned with just three hits allowed in zero innings. Yep, no out recorded during this mess that also saw two walks. Albers entered the eighth inning with the Sox up 3-1. The game was in control, so manager Terry Francona decided to use the setup man's assistant in the setup role. But Daniel Bard hadn't pitched since Thursday. The Red Sox had been lucky up to that point, getting five innings from Alfredo Aceves in a spot start with one run earned. Then, Dan Wheeler went 1 1/3 strong, showing that he may be ready to contribute now that he's healed from his injury. Rich Hill, the sidearming lefty, got two strikeouts (albeit with a hit allowed) and that set up for an easy Bard-to-Papelbon finish. But instead, Albers. At least the Red Sox got to take a look at new reliever Franklin Morales, who was intriguing enough in his two innings of relief.

Jon Garland, Dodgers -- Garland didn't do well against his former team, giving up seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. With just one walk allowed and two whiffs, it's clear nothing was working for him. Garland was pretty decent in his previous five starts, with one other hiccup coming on April 15, when he made his first start. The kind of pitcher he is, he still has a few clunkers in store.

Adan Dunn, White Sox -- Alexi Ramirez, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski all had nice days against Garland. Adam Dunn missed on the fun with four strikeouts and a walk. He struck out swinging in the first with a man on second, to end the third with none on, walked to load the bases in the bottom fourth in a sequence that would eventually see a run scored, whiffing in the sixth with men on first and second and another in the bottom eighth with a man on second. On one hand, nice to work that walk and contribute in a way that Adam Dunn is known for. But that other stuff he's known for was quite prominent on the day.

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Posted on: May 12, 2011 2:27 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Batters rake pitchers over coals

Dunn

By Evan Brunell


upAdam Dunn, White Sox
 --
Eventually, Adam Dunn's going to come through, and it's going to be glorious for bleacher creatures at US Cellular Field. He began the process of snapping out of his funk with a 4-for-5 night, scoring three runs by banging a solo homer and walking. His overall numbers still aren't pretty, but once he explodes, people will suddenly see why the White Sox coveted him. His batting average vaulted from .184 to .213 in the process. Dunn's ChiSox won on the Angels' Kevin Jepsen throwing a wild pitch on an intentional ball, allowing the go-ahead run to score. Paul Konerko then made a fantastic game-ending play to end the game -- here's the video.

Starlin Castro, Cubs
-- Castro, who had never hit below one of the first three spots in the order before a recent demotion to the No. 7 spot in the lineup to snap a 2-for-25 slump, did so in fine fashion by rapping four hits, while scoring three and knocking an additional three in on the backing of a triple. It won't be much longer before Castro's back atop the order. It's hard to imagine Castro is only 21, but he's a beast at the plate and pretty soon, he'll start adding some home runs to his game. For now, the Cubs will enjoy his .324 batting average. All in all, it was a banner day for batters as all three entrants in 3 up handle sticks while the 3 down nominees are pitchers. (It must be said that Hiroki Kuroda had a brilliant performance, shutting down the Pirates in eight innings.)

Jason Bartlett, Padres -- This game is right out of 2009 as Bartlet rapped four hits in six trips to the plate, tacking on two steals, two runs scored and two RBI as the Padres pasted the Brewers 13-6. Cameron Maybin also went 4 for 6, and also scored two runs and RBI apiece. Bartlett's stolen base totals are now up to seven, an encouraging sign after only swiping 11 last season. The game only pushes him to .257/.317/.288 on the year, so the last-place Padres really need this to be the start of a hot streak.

downGio Gonzalez, Athletics -- Man, Gonzalez must feel like one lucky dude. A rain delay and later cancellation wiped out the stats from Wednesday's game against the Rangers. That means the lefty, who blew up in spectacular fashion in the third inning, sees his ERA return to 2.68 from 3.88 after coughing up seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings with six hits, one whiff and a lousy five strikeouts. Also scrubbed from the record is Mitch Moreland's first career grand slam for Texas. "One apology I want to make is to Mitch. Sorry, buddy. I'll definitely sign you over a check or something, whatever you want," Gonzalez told the Associated Press. "I got away with one and I admit it."

Ryan Franklin, Cardinals -- Are we seeing a career go up in smoke before our very eyes? Even the most die-hard Cubs fan couldn't have imagined Franklin bloating his ERA to an unfathomable 9.49 after coughing up four runs in three innings, giving up seven hits, although he did whiff two and walk none. Still, hitters are on the nose against Franklin, who has turned from division-winning closer to outright liability. He's already become a forgotten man in the bullpen; how much further behind is a release?

Matt Capps, Twins -- Yeah, it wasn't really a banner day for pitchers, was it? Capps grabs the final spot ahead of Randy Wolf by blowing a game in spectacular fashion. He was responsible for giving up all four runs that Detroit scored in the two final innings to roar back for its fifth consecutive victory. Only three got charged to Capps as he inherited a runner, but yeah, 1 1/3 innings of three runs is no good. He's still got a pretty firm grip on the closer's spot and just has to chalk it up to a bad day at the office.

Dishonorable mention
: John Lackey's terrible start and need to be removed from Boston's rotation is covered here.

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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