Tag:Jered Weaver
Posted on: July 3, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 10:59 am
 

Halladay, Weaver should start All-Star Game



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Perhaps the list of who won't be starting the All-Star Game is as impressive as who may start the game on July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Because of the rule that pitchers who start on the Sunday before the game are ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game, Justin Verlander, James Shields, Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia and Jon Lester won't be getting the nod to start the game. However, it should be noted that neither Sabathia nor Lester were selected to the team, perhaps with an eye toward the fact they wouldn't be able to pitch in the game.

With those pitchers eliminated from the competition, it's easier to pick the starters for next Tuesday's game. We'll continue the process of elimination to determine the starters for the All-Star Game.

National League

Without Hamels and Cain, there are six pitchers left to pick from. It's unlikely that Tim Lincecum or Ryan Vogelsong of the Giants would be headed to Phoenix if San Francisco manger Bruce Bochy wasn't making the picks, so cross them off the list. That leaves Roy Halladay, Jair Jurrjens, Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee.

I'd be surprised if Kershaw didn't start an All-Star Game in his career, but it's not this year. He's got the potential to be as good as anyone in the game, but he's allowed six earned runs in three of his last six starts, so he's out.

Cliff Lee had an unbelievable June, but take that away and he's 4-6 with a 4.23 ERA. He's out.

So it comes down to the two 11-game winners, Halladay and Jurrjens. Jurrjens leads in ERA at 1.89, while Halladay has a 2.44 ERA. Halladay has more strikeouts, 131 to 63 and also leads in WHIP (1.027 to 1.061). Either one would be a good pick, but expect Bochy to go with the veteran Halladay, and it's tough to argue picking Halladay for about anything. His track record gives him the edge.

American League

If Verlander and Shields were in this discussion, it would be a lot more difficult. So in the also-rans, we'll start with C.J. Wilson. Wilson is 8-3 with a 3.14 ERA, good numbers to be sure, but not elite. Like Bochy picking two of his starters (and 60 percent of his starting rotation), Rangers manager Ron Washington was looking out for one of his own players by picking him over Sabathia or Lester, so he's out of the discussion.

David Price is 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA with 116 strikeouts, a good half-season to be sure, but not an All-Star starting pitcher.

Gio Gonzalez is that under-the-radar starter who has been lights-out this season, going 8-5 with a 2.31 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 109 innings. Gonzalez is fourth in the American League in ERA but his WHIP is an improved 1.235, which is decent but not in the Top 10 in the league.

Jered Weaver and Josh Beckett are both in the top three in both ERA and WHIP, with Weaver first in ERA (1.92) and third in WHIP (0.921) to Verlander (0.862). Beckett trails Weaver in ERA (2.12) and jumped ahead of him in WHIP (0.906) with Sunday's performance. If you're one of those people who puts value in pitcher's wins as a stat, Weaver leads all American Leaguers eligible to pitch in the game with 10 wins, while Beckett's pedestrian record of 6-3 belies what he's been able to do on the mound this season.

Weaver had a case to start last season season's game in Anaheim, but wasn't eligible because he'd started the Sunday before the game. He's scheduled to start on Thursday, putting him on track to start again on July 12, and he should get that chance.

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: July 3, 2011 1:24 pm
 

American League pitchers and reserves

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The biggest notable name that's not on the list is Yankees' starter CC Sabathia, who is scheduled to start next Sunday, so he wouldn't be eligible to pitch in the game anyway. He also said he was happy not to go, instead using his time off to take a mini-vacation.

American League

Pitchers

Chris Perez, Indians (players' pick)

Jose Valverde, Tigers (manager's pick)

Aaron Crow, Royals (manager's pick)

Josh Beckett, Red Sox (players' pick)

Mariano Rivera, Yankees (players' pick)

Gio Gonzalez, Athletics (manager's pick)

Felix Hernandez, Mariners (players' pick)

Justin Verlander, Tigers (players' pick)

Brandon League, Mariners (player's pick)

David Price, Rays (managers' pick)

James Shields, Rays (players' pick)

Jered Weaver, Angels (players' pick)

C.J. Wilson, Rangers (managers' pick)

Reserves

C Matt Wieters, Orioles (manager's pick)

OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox (players' pick)

OF Carlos Quentin, White Sox (players' pick)

SS Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians (players' pick)

1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (players' pick)

2B Howie Kendrick, Angels (players' pick)

OF Michael Cuddyer, Twins (manager's pick)

C Russell Martin, Yankees (players' pick)

OF Matt Joyce, Rays (players' pick)

3B Adrian Beltre, Rangers (players' pick)

IF Michael Young, Rangers (players' pick)

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 1:09 pm
 

On Deck: Halladay returns to Toronto

On Deck
By Evan Brunell

HalladayHOMECOMING: Roy Halladay apparently couldn't care less that he's about to step on the Blue Jays' mound for the first time wearing a different uniform. "I feel like it's any other start," Halladay told MLB.com. "It's been long enough for me where that's not really something that's in the forefront. Obviously it's the first time back, but I don't really anticipate anything different than any other road start." I'm guessing there's just a little bit of an emotional twinge in Halladay, but he's a robot who does nothing but get outs, so what do I know? He'll be opposed by Carlos Villanueva, an ex-Brewer who opened the year in the bullpen and impressed enough to get, and so far retain, a rotation spot. Phillies vs. Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. ET (Watch live)

KershawWeaverBEST MATCHUP: What a fantastic matchup slated for the Freeway Series in a rematch of a battle this past Sunday, when Kershaw outdueled Weaver with a six-hitter. Weaver was in line for his 10th win before L.A. rallied off closer Jordan Walden, but Kershaw's been the better pitcher this year. That may sound like heresey given Kershaw has a 2.93 ERA and Weaver 1.97, but if there's one thing you should learn from reading these pages, it's that ERA doesn't mean everything. Kershaw's peripherals are stronger than Weavers and he'll be going after his third straight complete game, which no Dodger has achieved in the last 11 years. Dodgers vs. Angels, 9:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

YankeesMetsSUBWAY BATTLE: The Yankees are trying to win the division and would love to buffer their lead over the Red Sox, currently at an all-too-tenuous 2 1/2 games. The Mets, meanwhile, would love to avoid dipping under .500 for the first time since last Saturday. The Mets are still lingering on the fringes of the wild card race, plus boast perhaps the most exciting player in the game today with Jose Reyes. The Yanks will have Bartolo Colon coming off the DL to continue his bizarrely successful year. Likewise, the Metropolitans will trot out Dillon Gee, also experiencing unforeseen success. Yankees vs. Mets, 4:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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

Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Twins win another 1-0 game

Ben Revere

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Twins just won another 1-0 game, their seventh overall 1-0 game and fifth victory in a 1-0 contest. Five of the seven games came at Target Field and the only two losses were on unearned runs.

Here's all of their 1-0 games this season:

June 29: Twins 1, Dodgers 0: Scott Baker went 7 1/3, allowing six hits and a walk, striking out 9. Rubby De La Rosa allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings for the Dodgers to get the hard-luck loss. The only run came in the first after Ben Revere led off the game for the Twins with a triple and Tsuyoshi Nishioka knocked in the game's only run with a dribbler down the first-base line.

June 18: Twins 1, Padres 0: Another great start by Baker, who allowed just four hits and a walk in eight innings, striking out 10. Padres starter Tim Stauffer went seven innings allowing six hits, one of them a Danny Valencia homer in the seventh inning.

June 16: Twins 1, White Sox 0: Right fielder Michael Cuddyer homered off of Mark Buehrle in the second for the only run of the game and one of three hits Buehrle surrendered in seven innings. Nick Blackburn gave up seven hits (all singles) in eight innings, walking one.

June 7: Indians 1, Twins 0: In Cleveland, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco held the Twins to just three hits in 8 1/3 innings, while Chris Perez came in for the final two outs. Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano went 5 innings, giving up three hits and an unearned run. Cleveland scored in the fourth when left fielder Delmon Young's throw allowed Carlos Santana to advance to third on his leadoff double, followed by an RBI groundout by Shelley Duncan.

May 28: Twins 1, Angels 0: Anthony Swarzak took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Valencia's RBI single in the 10th gave Minnesota the victory. The Angels' Jered Weaver allowed just two hits in 9 innings, but Hisanori Takahashi gave up a single in the 10th inning and Jason Repko came in, Takahashi allowing three straight singles to decide the game.

May 3: Twins 1, White Sox 0: Liriano no-hit the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and Jason Kubel homered in the seventh for the lone run. Edwin Jackson gave up six hits in eight innings for the White Sox.

April 9: A's 1, Twins 0: With two outs in the sixth, Blackburn gave up a single to Kurt Suzuki who moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Alexi Casilla for the game's only run. Minnesota used five relievers, while Gio Gonzalez allowed four hits in six innings for Oakland.

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Posted on: June 26, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: June 26, 2011 4:18 pm
 

On Deck: Break out the brooms

OD

By Matt Snyder


It's Sunday, so we've got a full slate and several opportunities to see sweeps. Let's examine three of the more intriguing possibilities.

Break up the Bucs: The mighty Red Sox showed up to Pittsburgh with the best record in the American League, but the Pirates have more than held their own, as they've taken the first two games of the series. In all, the Red Sox have lost four straight and their hold on first place in the AL East, as the Yankees have a half-game lead. Meanwhile, the Pirates have won four in a row and are only three games out in the NL Central. Their fans are noticing, too, as there was a PNC Park record crowd on hand for Saturday night's victory over the Red Sox. Andrew Miller (0-0, 4.76) looks to halt the losing for the Red Sox while James McDonald (5-4, 4.86) takes the hill for the Pirates. The Pirates haven't swept an AL team since 2001 while the Red Sox haven't been swept by an NL team since 2002. Boston at Pittsburgh, 1:35 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Tribe hanging in: The Indians have continued their stumble this weekend, as they face a sweep at the hands of the Giants. Since roaring out to a 30-15 start, the Indians are just 10-20. Still, they have a percentage-point lead over the Tigers in the AL Central and can easily salvage the season by playing better baseball. Avoiding a sweep in San Fran would be a start. On the flip-side, the Giants have won four in a row and now hold a half-game lead in the NL West. The Indians send Fausto Carmona (4-9, 5.98) to the mound while the Giants send Madison Bumgarner (3-9, 4.06) in a matchup of thus-far disappointing starters. Cleveland at San Francisco, 8:05 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

Battle for L.A.: For as bad as they've been at times, the Angels find themselves just two games out in the AL West. They'll be going for the sweep against the cross-town rival Dodgers Sunday in a brilliant pitching matchup. Jered Weaver (9-4, 2.01) faces off against Clayton Kershaw (7-3, 3.01) as the Angels go for the sweep. The Dodgers, on the other hand, are really reeling. They've gone 3-8 over the course of this 12-game homestand. Brace yourself for strikeouts in this one, too, as Weaver enters with 102 K on the season and Kershaw has 117 -- each ranking among the top 10 in the majors. Los Angeles (AL) at Los Angeles (NL), 4:10 p.m. ET. Watch Live Scoring

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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: June 4, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2011 5:29 pm
 

Best first-round picks of the last decade



By C. Trent Rosecrans

With the MLB Draft beginning Monday night at 7 p.m. ET, the Eye on Baseball crew is going to look at the best -- and worst -- first-round draft picks by each team in the last 10 years. 

With the way the baseball draft goes, there are plenty of busts in the first round every year, but there are a lot of great players in the game that were drafted in the first round and the supplemental first round. Tomorrow we'll look at the misses, but for today, here are the hits.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Most first overall picks make the majors and many (Alex Rodrgiuez, Ken Griffey, Chipper Jones) find their way to superstardom. Justin Upton may not be a superstar yet, but the first overall pick of the 2005 draft already has one All-Star appearance under his belt and will probably have more to come.

Atlanta Braves: With the 14th pick in the 2007 draft, the Braves took a local kid, outfielder Jason Heyward. Nice pick.

MLB Draft

Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters is close to taking this spot, but for now it's still Nick Markakis, who was taken with the seventh overall pick of the 2003 draft out of Young Harris College in Georgia.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox had five picks in the first round and the supplemental first round in 2005, and as good as Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie are, the pick here is right-hander Clay Buchholz, taken 42nd overall out of Angelina College.

Chicago Cubs: While his name is now a cautionary tale, it's easy to forget just how good Mark Prior was before arm trouble. Drafted with the second pick of the 2001 draft, he won six games in 2002 and 18 in 2003, his best season. Overall, Prior was 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA.

Gordon BeckhamChicago White Sox: Even with his struggles last year and this season, Gordon Beckham has been a productive player for the White Sox after he was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Cincinnati Reds: Taken out of high school with the 12th overall pick in 2005, Jay Bruce is the reigning National League Player of the Month and only seems to be getting better at 24. He already has 85 homers in his career, including a National League-best 17 this season.

Cleveland Indians: How bad have the Indians' first-round picks been the last decade? The 18 players taken by Cleveland in the first round and the supplemental first round over the last 10 years have collected just 506 games in the majors, 334 for Cleveland. Lonnie Chisenhall (29th overall in 2008) may eventually be their best in this list, but for right now it's the Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie, who at least has 40 big-league wins.

Colorado Rockies: While the Indians' choice was tough, the Rockies' wasn't -- Troy Tulowitzki was taken with the seventh overall pick in 2005.

Detroit Tigers: With the second pick in 2004, the Tigers took Justin Verlander.

Florida Marlins: The team's best pick of the last decade came in the fourth round of the 2002 draft when it took high school pitcher Josh Johnson, but as far as first-round picks, their best is right-hander Chris Volstad, taken with the 16th pick of the 2005 draft.

Chris BurkeHouston Astros: The Astros didn't have first-round picks in 2003, 2004 and 2007 and haven't had much production from any of them. There's really just two choices, Chris Burke (10th overall, 2001) and Jason Castro (10th overall, 2008). Castro has potential, but is out this season and has played in just 67 big league games, so the pick is Burke, who played in parts of six seasons with three teams, but his 18th-inning walk-off homer (left) to clinch the 2005 NLDS against the Braves is one of the franchise's signature moments.

Kansas City Royals: This choice could be much more difficult in five years, but for now it's pretty easy -- Zack Greinke. The Royals selected him sixth overall in the 2002 draft and he won the American League Cy Young Award in 2009.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Jered Weaver was the 12th pick of the 2004 draft.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers took lefty Clayton Kershaw with the seventh pick of the 2006 draft out of a Texas high school.

Milwaukee Brewers: This could change in a couple of years, but for now, Prince Fielder (seventh overall, 2002) leads Ryan Braun (fifth overall, 2005). Fielder is a free agent this offseason, while Braun is under contract through 2020.

Minnesota Twins: There were those who questioned the pick of hometown boy Joe Mauer with the first pick in the 2001 draft instead of Prior. Not anymore.

New York Mets: Fred Wilpon may not think he's a franchise player, but David Wright is the team's best first-round pick in the last decade, taken with the 38th overall pick in 2001.

New York Yankees: The Yankees have plenty of first-round picks on their roster, although few were their picks. Two key pitchers, starter Phil Hughes (23rd overall in 2004) and reliever Joba Chamberlain (41st overall in 2006), were Yankee picks. The pick here is Chamberlain, who has allowed fewer runs in a similar number of innings and is currently pitching.

Oakland Athletics: A chapter of the book Moneyball focuses on the 2002 MLB Draft and Billy Beane's distaste of drafting high school players. In the book, the team is excited the Brewers take a player they won't touch (Fielder), and the team also doesn't want Zack Greinke, Scott Kazmir, Cole Hamels or Matt Cain -- all high school player. But they get the man they want the most, Nick Swisher at No. 16. It's a good pick, as is Joe Blanton at 24 -- but it's hardly Greinke, Fielder, Hamels or Cain. The team also picked Jeremy Brown, a catcher out of Alabama, and Mark Teahen in the supplemental round. 

Philadelphia Phillies: Another pick from the Moneyball draft, the pick after the A's took Swisher, the Phillies snatched up Hamels, the left-hander from a California high school with the 17th pick.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The 2005 draft featured six players listed as center fielders taken in the first round -- and all six have made the big leagues. The second one taken was the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen with the 11th overall pick. The others were Cameron Maybin (10), Bruce (12), Trevor Crowe (14), Ellsbury (23) and Colby Rasmus (28).

San Diego Padres: The Padres may have had one of the biggest busts of the last decade in Matt Bush, the first overall pick in 2004 draft, but he's not been their only bad pick. The best of the lot was Khalil Greene, taken No. 13 in 2002, who had a promising start of his career, but his troubles with social anxiety disorder drove him from the game. Still, he's the Padres' career leader in homers by a shortstop with 84.

San Francisco Giants: Nine teams passed on the right-hander out of Washington, some scared off by his funky motion and small stature. Tim Lincecum proved them wrong.

Evan LongoriaSeattle Mariners: Adam Jones (37th pick in 2003) played in just 73 games for the Mariners, but was named an All-Star and won a Gold Glove with the Orioles in 2009.

St. Louis Cardinals: With a compensation pick for the Red Sox signing Edgar Renteria, the Cardinals used the 28th pick of the 2005 draft to take Rasmus out of an Alabama High School.

Tampa Bay Rays: Were Luke Hochevar and Greg Reynolds better than Evan Longoria? The Royals and Rockies took those two right-handers with the first two picks of the 2006 draft, leaving Longoria (left) for the Rays.

Texas Rangers: Funny story here -- in 2001 I was working at the Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia and was covering the NCAA Regional in Athens when a Teixeira-led Georgia Tech squad was bounced from the tournament. After his last game, a kid from the student radio station asked Teixeira if he thought his poor showing in the regional would hurt his draft status. The Georgia Tech coach, Danny Hall, took the microphone before Teixeira could answer and said, "No." So did the Rangers, who took him fifth overall.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays took lefty Ricky Romero out of Cal State Fullerton with the sixth pick in the 2005 draft.

Washington Nationals: Another pick that could change with the emergence of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, but that's still several years away because of the fourth pick of the 2005 draft,  Ryan Zimmerman.

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Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:10 am
Edited on: May 28, 2011 7:26 pm
 

On Deck: Last chance for Weaver

OD

By Matt Snyder


Full slate of games Saturday, as there are on every Saturday, starting with the Pirates-Cubs and Padres-Nationals at 1:05 p.m. ET. Let's dive in.

Last chance: It's been a tale of two months for Jered Weaver of the Angels. He left April 6-0 with a 0.99 ERA. In May, he's 0-4 with a 4.35 ERA. He hasn't been awful -- three of his six outings were quality starts and last time out he allowed just one run in seven innings -- but he's been worse and gotten little run support. Saturday, he'll take the ball for the last time in May and he's looking to avoid going winless in month No. 2 after winning every single game in month No. 1. Fortunately for Weaver, his opponent is the punchless Twins, who are dead last in runs scored in the entire MLB and last in the AL in on-base percentage. Meanwhile, scheduled Twins starter Francisco Liriano has been scratched and the Twins will instead run Anthony Swarzak out there in his place. Swarzak is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and this is only his second start of the season. Basically, things look good for Weaver, but he still has to produce. Los Angeles (AL) at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. ET.  WATCH LIVE SCORING

Tall order for Tribe: For the second time this season, the Indians have lost three straight games. A loss Saturday would mean the longest losing streak of the season for the Tribe -- who have been the best team and best story of the young 2011 season. Last time they lost three games in a row, they followed it up with seven consecutive victories. If they plan to start a similar streak, it's a tall order Saturday against the Rays. Toeing the rubber for the Rays will be James Shields, he of the 2.00 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 73 strikeouts, three complete games and two shutouts. The Indians did see Shields earlier this month, and he held them to two runs in seven innings in a 7-4 Rays win. Considering the Indians have only scored four runs in the past three games, breaking the losing streak won't be easy. Cleveland at Tampa Bay, 4:10 p.m. ET.  FINAL BOX SCORE

Red hot Red Sox: Remember how all the naysayers wanted to bury the Red Sox several times early in the season? Well, they're 15-4 in their past 19 games and are now in sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time. In their current four-game winning streak, they've outscored opponents 38-8. It's been a team effort from top to bottom, but Carl Crawford's emergence as, well, Carl Crawford has been a huge boost for the offense. His numbers for the week so far: 11-19 (.579 average), two doubles, two triples, three home runs, eight RBI, nine runs and a 1.987 OPS. Attempting to slow him and the rest of the hot Red Sox offense will be Andrew Oliver of the Tigers, who is 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in five career starts. This will be his first since July 18 of last season, too. Boston at Detroit, 7:10 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

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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