Tag:On Deck
Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:23 pm
 

On Deck: Fresh meat takes the field

OD

By Matt Snyder

We only have 11 games Monday night, with eight teams having the day off. The big storyline of the day is obviously all the familiar names in new places, so let's take a look. And remember to follow all games on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Bourn Identity: The Phillies landed Hunter Pence, so the Braves went back and took a different Houston outfielder. Michael Bourn will join the Braves, who look to both protect their 3 1/2 game lead in the NL Wild Card standings and cut into the Phillies' six-game lead in the NL East. Bourn finally gives the Braves a solid leadoff hitter and bolsters the inconsistent offense -- not to mention being an exceptional defensive center fielder. The Braves send Jair Jurrjens (12-3, 2.38) to the hill against the Nationals, who are starting Livan Hernandez (5-10, 4.19). Braves at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Break out the eye patches: The Pirates were buyers, not sellers, for the first time in ages. It was refreshing and has to send a message to the Pittsburgh fans. Now the focus turns to the Pirates playing winning baseball. They've lost three straight and are 4 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central. Of course, those three losses were to the Phillies -- who have the best record in baseball. Monday, the Pirates begin a series against the second-worst team in the majors: The Cubs. Derrek Lee will be with the Pirates to face his former team and Ryan Ludwick joins in on the fun. Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.59) faces off against the new-look offense, while Paul Maholm (6-10, 3.16) takes the mound for the Pirates. Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Furcal joins Cards: There's a pretty solid pitching matchup in Milwaukee, as we'll see Chris Carpenter (6-7, 3.68) of the Cardinals square off against Zack Greinke (8-4, 4.50) of the Brewers, but the big news is the new shortstop for the Cardinals. Rafael Furcal was shipped to the Cards Sunday and will start against the Brewers Monday night. He'll slide into the leadoff spot, which is pretty cushy, considering the likes of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman soon follow. Jon Jay is no slouch in the two-hole either. The Cardinals trail the Brewers by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central. Cardinals at Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 11:24 am
 

On Deck: Verlander/Weaver highlights deadline day

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


Join Eye on Baseball for a live chat on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. ET!

WeaverVerlanderBEST MATCHUP: A fantastic matchup is set to take place amid trade deadline hubbub, with AL Cy Young Award favorite Justin Verlander toeing the mound. Verlander has 14 wins, just like opponent Jered Weaver, but has a higher ERA at 2.34. Weaver is at an eye-popping 1.79, but Verlander has the inside track on the award thanks to his no-hitter, plus a fantastic 4.97 K/BB ratio, with Weaver at 3.62  -- still no slouch. This is a battle between the likely No. 1 and No. 2 finishers for the Cy Young, in some order. Detroit will have reliever David Pauley, just acquired from the Mariners along with Doug Fister, to back up Verlander, but the Angels have yet to make a move at the trade deadline. Angels vs. Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET

PiratesPhilliesNEW FACES: Hunter Pence already made his Phillies debut, but he's still a new face as he prepares for his second career game as a Phillie, and will do so against a familiar face as Jeff Karstens draws the start for Pittsburgh. Karstens' 2.41 ERA came out of nowhere and is obviously over his head, but he is pitching better this year than he ever has. He'll do so with a new first baseman, as Derrek Lee was dealt from the Orioles over to Pittsburgh late on Saturday. Karstens is opposed by rookie Vance Worley. (Sadly, Lee won't join the Pirates until Monday, so the team gets one more day of Lyle Overbay at first.) Pirates vs. Phillies, 1:35 p.m. ET

EllsburyNEW STREAK: Dustin Pedroia's attempt to run his hitting streak to 26 games the other day was snapped, but another Red Sox player is ready and willing to start getting attention for his own hitting streak. Jacoby Ellsbury is at 19 games, continuing what has been a breakout season for the center fielder. Baltimore's Nick Markakis and Kansas City's Alex Gordon are also working on 19 straight. In other news, Boston is searching high and low for a new starting pitcher to replace Andrew Miller, who draws the assignment Sunday despite a lousy 17/24 K/BB ratio. The White Sox bring their own lefty to the mound in Mark Buehrle, whose 2.45 ERA since the start of May ranks in the top 10 of baseball. Red Sox vs. White Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: July 30, 2011 12:24 pm
 

On Deck: Turner's spot start

OD

By Matt Snyder


Expect heavy action on the trade market with the deadline being Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET, but there's still a full slate of games to watch Saturday. It's a baseball fan's delight. Let's start with a game that ties into the trade deadline. And remember, you can follow all the action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Turn to Turner: Big-time pitching prospect Jacob Turner will get the ball Saturday for the Tigers against the Angels in what will amount to a spot-start. The 20-year-old right hander is 3-5 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in Double-A. The reason it's only a one-time start is because he's filling the rotation spot that will be occupied by newly acquired Doug Fister, who comes over in a trade first reported by CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler. The Tigers hold a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL Comedy Central, despite being only six games over .500. Turner will have his work cut out for him, as he'll attempt to best Dan Haren (10-6, 3.01). L.A. Angels at Detroit, 4:10 p.m. ET

Different directions: The Nationals have lost six in a row and are in a season-defining tailspin. Meanwhile, the Mets have won five in a row and are within realistic striking distance of the Wild Card. A win for the Mets Saturday would match their longest winning streak of the season. Despite trading away Carlos Beltran, the Mets' offense is currently firing on all cylinders, with now-healthy David Wright as the catalyst. An added storyline Saturday is this could possibly be Jason Marquis' (8-5, 3.95) final start for the Nationals. He's been rumored to be on the move prior to the trade deadline. The Mets will run R.A. Dickey (5-8, 3.74) to the mound. N.Y. Mets at Washington, 7:05 p.m. ET

Speaking of Beltran: In a decidedly small sample size, new Giants outfielder Carlos Beltran hasn't yet made a huge dent for his new club. He's 1-9 with an RBI in his two games as a Giant. He'll attempt to bust out of the incredibly slight funk -- which is so small I refuse to even call it a slump -- Saturday night in Cincinnati. He'll be squaring off against Mike Leake (8-6, 4.04). The Giants send Madison Bumgarner (6-9, 3.56) to protect their four-game lead in the NL West.

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

Posted on: July 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 4:35 pm
 

On Deck: 2 hitting streaks on the line

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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

Emilio BonifacioHitting streak, Part 1:
Emilio Bonifacio heads into tonight's game in Atlanta with a  26-game hitting streak, four games shy of the longest of the season, set by Andre Ethier. Bonifacio is hitting .390/.479/.430 during the streak and not only has 39 hits, but also 17 walks. He was hitting .259 when the streak started and is now hitting .299. Bonifacio has never faced Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (3-2, 3.58 ERA). Right-hander Clay Hensley (1-2, 2.88) starts for the Marlins. Marlins at Braves, 7:35 p.m. ET

Dustin PedroiaHitting streak, Part 2: Dustin Pedroia an eighth-inning homer to extended his streak in a loss to the Royals on Thursday and has nine homers during his 25-game hitting streak. He's hitting .404/.459//752 during the streak with 19 of his 44 hits going for extra bases. He's walked 12 times and struck out just seven times. Pedroia is 5 for 18 (.278) in his career against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.11). Boston starter Tim Wakefield is going for his 200th career victory on Friday. He's 2-1 over his last five starts despite a 7.06 ERA. Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET

Erik BedardLast start in Seattle?: It won't just be Rays fans and Mariners fans watching Friday's game at Safeco Field closely, scouts and front-office folks will certainly be tuning in or showing up to see how Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard pitches. The 32-year-old left-hander is making what is probably his last start as a Mariner, but tonight's start could determine how much Jack Zduriencik gets in return for Bedard. He missed his last four starts with a sprained left knee. Bedard is 4-6 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts this season, including 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in his last 11 starts. Boston is said to be the most interested in Bedard, along with the Yankees and Tigers. Rays at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:51 am
 

On Deck: Bonifacio looking for 26

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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

Emilio BonifacioBonifacio going for 26: Marlins outfielder Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 25 games last night.  Bonfifacio is 4 for 12 in his career against Thursday's starter for the Nationals, John Lannan. That may not matter, though, as Bonifacio has picked up a hit in his final at-bat five times during the streak, including Wednesday night when he singled off Nationals' right-hander Ryan Mattheus in the eighth inning of the team's 7-5 victory over the Nationals.Brad Hand is on the mound for the Marlins after three starts in Triple-A. Hand is 1-3 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts for Florida this season. Marlins at Nationals, 12:35 p.m. ET

Carlos BeltranBeltran in Philly: Not only did the Phillies not win the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes, they'll have to see what they missed out on up close, as Beltran is expected to make his debut tonight against Philadelphia. Beltran is 6 for 19 with a homer in his career against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. The Giants are expected to have Tim Lincecum back on the mound today after missing two starts due to sickness. Giants at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

How about playing 9?: The Braves and Pirates went 19 innings on Tuesday and 10 innings Wednesday. The two teams have combined to use 25 relievers in the first two games of the series, so they certainly hope Paul Maholm and Derek Lowe can go long tonight. Maholm is averaging 6 1/3 innings per putting, Lowe is averaging 5 2/3 inning per start. This is nothing new for Atlanta, though, as the Braves have played 22 extra-inning games this season, the most in the majors. Pirates at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 4:50 pm
 

On Deck: Seattle primed for 17th straight loss

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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

MarinersCHASE FOR 17: The Mariners will go for their 17th straight loss on Tuesday, running up against the powerful Yankees and ace CC Sabathia. That's a tall task for the Mariners, who will offer up Doug Fister. Fister isn't exactly a terrible pitcher, but he's no Sabathia. Fister's success this season is dependent on a below-average walk rate and limiting home runs, which isn't exactly hard to do in his home park, where he's allowed two of his six homers on the season. By the way, fun fact on the 16 straight losses by Seattle: Back in 2001, the Mariners won 116 games, and their 16th loss of the year was on June 18. Mariners vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET

KarstensHansonBEST MATCHUP: Yep, your good old Pirates are part of the best matchup, which will pit Jeff Karstens and his surprising 2.28 ERA against the Braves' fireballer Tommy Hanson. Hanson has a 3.0 ERA and is really the better pitcher to have both this year and in the long run because of his excellent peripherals, but Karstens has registered the second-lowest ERA in the NL. He's done so by taking a minuscule 4.2 walk percentage, fourth lowest in all of baseball. And these days, every win is paramount in Pittsburgh as it will put more and more pressure on the front office to make a move to improve the club, which everyone and their mother agrees is necessary. The Pirates are tied for first with the Cardinals, a mere half-game up on the Brew Crew. Atlanta, meanwhile, has fallen to six games behind Philadelphia and at this point have to be more concerned with ensuring their grip on the wild-card race Pirates vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

VerlanderCY YOUNG SHOWCASE: The Tigers are one game ahead Cleveland for first place, and what better pitcher to keep Detroit in first than Justin Verlander? Seemingly the leader for the AL Cy Young Award, Verlander has a 2.24 ERA in 165 innings, punching out 162. While he's been untouchable much of the year, one of his worst starts of the season came on Jul 15, allowing five runs in six innings. The White Sox, meanwhile, are caught between deciding to go for it or rebuild. At just 3 1/2 out, the series outcome could put a stamp on Chicago's future. It already took down Detroit on Monday, so can be assured of a series win Tuesday as the ChiSox offer up Jake Peavy, a one-time Cy Young Award winner who is now struggling to stay healthy and contribute in the AL. Tigers vs. White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:17 pm
 

On Deck: Mariners' futility takes center stage

OD

By Matt Snyder


With one day game and eight teams off, we don't quite have a full slate of games Monday. Still, 10 games is more than on many Mondays, so we'll take it. Obviously the biggest storyline at this point is the trade deadline -- read all Eye on Baseball trade deadline posts by clicking here -- but the games are, you know, kind of important, too. Follow all the action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Not-So-Sweet 16: The Mariners are in New York to face the Yankees, but the focus of the game is solely on futility. The Mariners have lost 15 straight games, which is the longest losing streak in the majors since 2005. Via Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, a loss Monday night would make the Mariners the fifth team in the last 40 years to lose 16 straight in a season. So, yes, this losing streak is in historically bad territory. Jason Vargas (6-8, 3.94) will attempt to hold down the Yankees' mighty offense for the Mariners. Freddy Garcia (8-7, 3.21) gets the ball for the Yankees. Seattle at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Tribe Reeling: The Indians have been one of the feel-good stories of the 2011 season -- along with the Pirates -- but have now lost four straight games. Losing a fifth straight would equal their longest losing streak of the season. They haven't been this close to .500 since early April and being two games out of first place is the furthest behind the Indians have been since the second day of the season. Simply put: A win would be nice for Cleveland. Taking the mound for the Indians is Fausto Carmona (5-10, 5.63). The opponent is the Angels, who Carmona has shut down quite well over the course of his career, with a 1.79 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. The Angels send Dan Haren (10-6, 3.10) to the mound and he's looking to get himself right. The right-hander has a 9.28 ERA in his last two starts. L.A. Angels at Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Lester Returns: Red Sox ace Jon Lester had to leave a no-hitter after four innings July 5 with a strained shoulder muscle, but he's making his return Monday night. Lester (10-4, 3.31) comes in having thrown 11 straight scoreless innings, but the injury may have robbed him of his own momentum. Still, he doesn't have the toughest of tasks Monday, as he'll face the Royals and Kyle Davis (1-9, 7.32). The way the Red Sox are swinging the bats of late and the way Davies has been pitching all season adds up to a potential blowout. We'll find out soon enough. Lester will reportedly be on a pitch count, as the Red Sox would prefer to cap him at around 80 pitches (Boston.com). Kansas City at Boston, 7:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: July 24, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: July 24, 2011 11:45 am
 

On Deck: Halladay squares off against Stauffer

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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

StaufferHalladayBEST MATCHUP
: Tim Stauffer and Roy Halladay battle each other on the hill in Sunday's best matchup, which features the only two pitchers with sub-3.00 ERAs heading up against each other. The Phillies ace you know plenty about, with Halladay registering a 2.57 ERA. Just another day at the office. Stauffer, meanwhile, is a former first-round pick gone bust who suddenly is delivering on his promise. While his success has been aided by Petco Park somewhat, a 2.83 ERA is impressive no matter where you pitch, and his defense-independent ERA (xFIP) is a stable 3.28. Padres vs. Phillies, 1:35 p.m. ET

White SoxIndiansCENTRAL RACE: The Indians are clinging to second place in the AL Central, just one game behind the Tigers. While Indians have predictably fallen off since their hot start, at this point they should be able to stay in the race barring a monumental collapse. Calling up second baseman Jason Kipnis should help the team move past the losses of Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore on offense. Justin Masterson will take the mound with a 2.64 ERA. One interesting subplot is to watch how many fastballs Masterson tosses -- 103 of 104 pitches his last time out against the Twins were all fastballs. The ChiSox, meanwhile, are 4 1/2 out of first and have an opportunity to narrow the gap with Edwin Jackson on the hill White Sox vs. Indians, 1:05 p.m. ET

WillisSTAYING IN THE HUNT: Atlanta needs to win to stay in the division hunt, as a four-game winning streak by the Phillies has their lead up to five games. While Atlanta remains in the driver's seat for the wild card, it's too early for the Braves to pack in the division title chase, especially if they can import a bat at the trade deadline. Cincy, meanwhile, is four games out of a winnable NL Central and will send resurgent Dontrelle Willis to the mound to oppose Brandon Beachy. Willis will get to face Dan Uggla for the first time since the left-hander was traded to Detroit before the 2008 season. Braves vs. Reds 8:05 p.m. ET

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