Tag:C.J. Wilson
Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions



By Matt Snyder


A common refrain since the Mets moved into Citi Field is that the outfield dimensions cost the team loads of home runs in each given season. Notably, it's been discussed how many homers have turned into doubles for David Wright by several different New York reporters. Only Kauffman Stadium (Royals) and AT&T Park (Giants) have been worse for home runs this season and Citi Field ranked 27th in homers last season.

Two areas in particular that have drawn malign are the height of the left-field wall (why not have it the same height as the center-field wall?) and the well in right field (where it says "Modell's"). It feels like changing those two things would make it a pretty average ballpark for hitters.

Well, changes could be on the horizon, and not-so-small changes at that.

“If we do something, it won’t be subtle,” general manager Sandy Alderson said (NYTimes.com Bats blog), noting that changes are not definite but the Mets are looking hard at several different options.

“We’re not looking necessarily to gain an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitor’s home runs,” Alderson said (NYTimes.com Bats blog). “But at the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there, as opposed to a team that comes in for three games, doesn’t really have to alter its approach or think about it too much and leaves.”

I tend to agree with him. All things equal, I'd much rather have my team playing in a league-average ballpark instead of an extreme-hitter or extreme-pitcher park. Not that it definitely determines the fate of your ballclub -- it doesn't -- but if either pitchers or hitters collectively believe they're getting screwed for 81 games, it's hard to keep a positive mentality for the whole season.

'Fan' is short for 'fanatic:' A Yankees fan had the task of serving Red Sox starting pitcher Erik Bedard with child support papers Tuesday and relished in it. He wore a Yankees shirt and bragged on Facebook that he intentionally served Bedard on a day of his start (Big League Stew). Bedard went out and gave up five hits and four runs (though only one was earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Let's hope this fan never accuses any player of lacking professionalism, or else we've got a nice case of hypocrisy working.

Lincecum endorses Kershaw: The NL Cy Young vote is going to be quite competitive, with Clayton Kershaw, Ian Kennedy and some Phillies likely garnering most of the votes. Two-time winner Tim Lincecum believes the winner should be Kershaw. “Just with the numbers he has, he’s leading in a lot of categories, to put up a 20-win season is huge, especially with the team he’s got. He’s done a magnificent job with his year," Lincecum said after losing to Kershaw again (Extra Baggs). The two aces have squared off four times. Lincecum has a 1.24 ERA in those outings, but Kershaw has won all four.

Harwell's glasses are back: In Tuesday's Pepper, we passed along the story that a statue of late, great Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell had been stripped of its glasses. Well, the replacement set of frames is back at home (Detroit Free-Press). Let's hope these stay there for a while.

Aramis' swan song: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was traded to the Cubs in July of 2003. He played on three playoff teams, in two All-Star games and solidified a position that hadn't been locked down since Ron Santo manned the hot corner. The Cubs have a $16 million option for 2012 on Ramirez and he has repeatedly said he wants to stay, but the feeling apparently isn't mutual. When asked if he believes this is his last run with the Cubs, he replied (Chicago Tribune): "Probably. There's a good chance. I'm a free agent and I don't know what's going to happen. But it looks like I'm going to hit the market."

Movie Night! "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was a huge hit in the 80s, and it includes a scene in Wrigley Field. It's only fitting that Wrigley's first "Movie Night" will be showing the Matthew Broderick film October 1 (Chicago Tribune). Bleacher seats are $10, while lawn seats are $25. That's steep for a movie that hit theaters in 1986, but would the novelty of sitting on Wrigley Field's playing surface be worth it? You make the call.

No ERA title for Cueto: Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was already suspected to be ruled out for the season, and now he's even admitting as much (MLB.com). With the Reds out of the race, this wouldn't normally matter, but Cueto had a shot at leading the league in ERA. His 2.31 mark currently trails only Kershaw (2.27). The problem is that Cueto has only thrown 156 innings. In order to qualify for an ERA crown, a pitcher must have thrown at least one inning for each game his team has played. So once the Reds play game 157, Cueto falls off the ERA standings.

Rockies love Tracy, kind of: Rockies manager Jim Tracy is signed through 2012 and his job is safe at least through the length of the contract. "Jim is signed through next year, and we'd love to have him be manager here for much longer than that. But I have gone into the last year of my contract here more than you could imagine," general manager Dan O'Dowd told The Denver Post. So that sounds good, right? Well, depends upon the point of view. He's not offering a contract extension, and you'll notice the comment about going into the last year of a contract. So it sounds like O'Dowd likes Tracy for now, but he's giving himself a chance to change his mind by the end of next year. And he has every right to do that.

Watch those Nats: If you relish in the failures of the Nationals, you better enjoy it while you can. I've preached all season that the proverbial corner would be turned soon, with a great young base of talent and lots of money available for free agents. Speaking of which, expect the Nats to be hot after All-Star starting pitcher C.J. Wilson -- who is a free agent after this season -- this coming offseason (MLB.com via Twitter).

Saito can't get healthy: Brewers reliever Takashi Saito has been excellent this season, sporting a 1.90 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Of course, he's only thrown 23 2/3 innings due to a series of injuries. Now he's dealing with a calf injury (MLB.com).

More roadblocks for McCourt: One of the ways embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt plans to get out of his financial mess is to sell the TV rights to Dodgers games for future seasons. Well, Fox holds the Dodgers' TV rights through 2013 and has a problem with McCourt trying to negotiate a deal immediately (LATimes.com).

Johan's progress: Mets' ace Johan Santana continues to work his surgically repaired shoulder back into shape. After throwing a three-inning simulated game Saturday, he's now slated for two instructional league games (Oct. 1 and Oct. 7). (ESPN New York)

Happy Anniversary: On this day 15 years ago, Vladimir Guerrero hit his first career home run (Hardball Times). He now has 449.

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 1:54 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Aviles makes his first homer count

Mike Aviles

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike Aviles, Red Sox: Starting in place of the hobbled Kevin Youkilis, Avilies was nearly the goat when his sacrifice attempt in the second inning resulted in a double play. He made up for it in the fourth inning with his first homer in a Red Sox uniform, giving Boston a 4-3 lead -- one they'd hold on to for the big win against the surging Rays. Aviles had just three extra-base hits (all doubles) in 70 plate appearances since his trade from Kansas City on July 29 before hitting the game-winning homer.

Ryan Braun, Brewers: With two homers on Friday in Cincinnati, Braun became the second Brewer in franchise history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season. His 29th homer of the season came in the third inning off of Bronson Arroyo (more on that later) and he hit his 30th off of reliever Jeremy Horst in the eighth inning. He entered the game with 31 stolen bases. Tommy Harper hit 31 homers and stole 38 bases for the Brewers in 1970, the team's first season in Milwaukee.

Adron Chambers, Cardinals: In just his second career plate appearance, the Cardinals outfielder singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning to help lead the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory. Chambers had an excellent at-bat, fouling off three pitches before lining the ball into right off Phillies reliever Michael Schwimer


Bronson Arroyo, Reds: Prince Fielder's solo shot in the second inning was the 41st homer given up by the Reds starter this season, a new franchise record. The old record was set by left-hander Eric Milton in 2005. But the record wouldn't stay at 41 long, Mark Kotsay and Ryan Braun went back-to-back in the third and George Kottaras homered in the seventh to increase Arroyo's total to 44. Arroyo easily leads the majors in homers allowed this season -- the Rangers' Colby Lewis is second with 33 and Houston's Brett Myers has allowed 31. Only four pitchers in history have allowed more than Arroyo's 44 homers, Bert Blyleven (50, 1986), Jose Lima (48, 2000), Blyleven (46, 1987), Robin Roberts (46, 1956).  Jamie Moyer also allowed 44 in 2004. With two more possible starts, Arroyo could challenge Blyleven's record. Interestingly enough, he's allowed the same number of walks as homers this season. The only pitcher in history to allow more homers than walks (with more than 40 walks) was Roberts in 1956 when he walked just 40 batters.

Derek Lowe, Braves: With Jair Jurrjens unavailable for the first round of the playoffs and Tommy Hanson questionable, if the Braves hang on to win the wild card, they'll need Derek Lowe in the NLDS. Lowe's hardly inspiring confidence right now, allowing six runs on nine hits in just 2 1/3 innings against the same Mets team that had their manager bash them the day before. Lowe, 38, is 0-3 with a 10.15 ERA in August. Rookie Julio Teheran gave up four runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings after relieving Lowe.

Ian Kinsler, Rangers: With two outs and two on in the third, the Rangers second baseman charged a chopper by Dustin Ackley and tried to get rid of the ball quickly to end the inning, but his throw from about 40 feet went well wide of first, allowing the Mariners' first run of the game to score. Pitcher C.J. Wilson didn't help himself, either when his wild pitch allowed another run to score. The Rangers then got a bad break when Mike Carp hit a ball off the bag at second to score yet another run in the three-run third. All three runs in the inning were unearned, and Wilson needed 41 pitches to get through the inning -- 18 following Kinsler's error. Kinsler did record one of the four hits the Rangers managed off of starter Blake Beavans.

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 1:16 am
 

Playoff race: Angels can't gain ground



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Former Ranger starter Tommy Hunter helped out his old mates, throwing seven shutout innings in an 8-3 Orioles victory over the Angels, keeping the status quo in the American League West as the Rangers fell 4-0 to the Mariners in Seattle. The Rangers still lead the division by you games.

While Hunter was silencing the Angels' bats, Texas native Blake Beavan shut down the Rangers, throwing eight shutout innings on just four hits, striking out three with no walks. Beavan was the Rangers' first-round pick in 2007, but was traded to Seattle as part of the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Texas last season. The Mariners scored three unearned runs off of Texas starter C.J. Wilson in the third inning before Casper Wells homered in the seventh inning for Seattle.

In Baltimore, the Angels' Dan Haren struggled, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in five innings, with Mark Reynolds taking him deep in the fifth inning. Haren is now 6-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 18 starts on the road this season and 9-3 with a 2.45 ERA in Anaheim.

Texas Rangers
86-65
Remaining schedule: 2 @ SEA, 3 @ OAK, 3 vs. SEA, 3 @ LAA
Coolstandings.com expectancy of division title: 91.3 percent

Los Angeles Angels
82-68, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 @ BAL, 4 @ TOR, 3 v. OAK, 3 v. TEX
Coolstandings.com expectancy of division title: 8.7 percent

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Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:34 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Wilson records first shutout

C.J. Wilson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

C.J. Wilson, Rangers: There's no question that the Rangers can put runs on the board with anyone, but the question is if they have that Game 1 starter in a series to go opposite the likes of CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett or Justin Verlander. Last season the Game 1 starter was an easy decision for Ron Washington, that's what they got Cliff Lee to do. This season it's going to be Wilson, who notched his first career shutout on Tuesday, blanking the Rays 8-0 on five hits, all singles. It was the Rangers' 18th shutout of the season, the most by an American League team since Oakland had 19 in 2002. Wilson is now 15-6 with a 3.13 ERA.

Bryan LaHair, Cubs: Reds starter Mike Leake cruised all game -- going 8 2/3 innings and allowing just one batter above the minimum and one hit. But on a 2-2 count, Starlin Castro hit a nubber down the third-base line for an infield single, bringing up LaHair as a pinch hitter for Darwin Barney. With a 2-0 count, Leake gave the rookie something to hit -- and he did, onto Sheffield Ave. It was LaHair's first homer as a Cub (he hit three in 2008 with the Mariners) after clubbing 38 in the Pacific Coast League this season. LaHair gave the fans at Wrigley Field some free baseball, but in the end, it wasn't enough as the Reds won 4-2 in 13 innings.

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: Going into Monday's game, Troy Tulowitzki was hitting just .113 (6 for 35) against the Diamondbacks this season. After a three-run homer in Monday's loss to the Rockies, he hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 8-3 victory at Coors Field. It was Tulowitzki's 30th homer of the season and gave him 103 RBI, a career-high.


Fausto Carmona, Indians: Any hope the Indians had of representing the American League Central in the playoffs were seemingly dashed in Carmona's 1 1/3 innings -- the Indians' opening-day starter allowed eight hits and seven runs in his brief starts as Cleveland lost 10-1 to Detroit at Progressive Field and fell 8.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. Carmona is now 6-14 with a 5.18 ERA on the season.

Angels defense: After Texas had already won their game, the Angels committed four errors -- three of which led to two unearned runs and an Angels loss to the Mariners. Seattle's Felix Hernandez didn't need more than two runs, as he allowed just one run (unearned as well) on four hits in eight innings for a 2-1 Mariners victory. After a Justin Smoak single to lead off the Mariners' half of the second, Los Angeles third baseman Alberto Callaspo fielded a soft grounder by Miguel Olivo, and instead of taking the sure out at first, he tried to force it to second, throwing the ball in right. Kyle Seager then reached first to load the bases on an error by pitcher Ervin Santana. Trayvon Washington hit a sacrifice fly for the game's first run. Seattle's second run came in the fourth after Seager reached first on an error by Erick Aybar and then scored on a groundout later in the inning. Hank Conger added another error for the team's fourth of the game. With the loss, the Angels fell to 3.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West.

Minnesota Twins: Minnesota was officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 3-0 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday as they were shutout for the 12th time this season. The Twins tied a season-high with 12 strikeouts, including two from Joe Mauer. Minnesota now trails Detroit by 22 games and are 1.5 games behind the Royals in the fight for last place in the AL Central.

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Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:33 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Wilson records first shutout

C.J. Wilson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

C.J. Wilson, Rangers: There's no question that the Rangers can put runs on the board with anyone, but the question is if they have that Game 1 starter in a series to go opposite the likes of CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett or Justin Verlander. Last season the Game 1 starter was an easy decision for Ron Washington, that's what they got Cliff Lee to do. This season it's going to be Wilson, who notched his first career shutout on Tuesday, blanking the Rays 8-0 on five hits, all singles. It was the Rangers' 18th shutout of the season, the most by an American League team since Oakland had 19 in 2002. Wilson is now 15-6 with a 3.13 ERA.

Bryan LaHair, Cubs: Reds starter Mike Leake cruised all game -- going 8 2/3 innings and allowing just one batter above the minimum and one hit. But on a 2-2 count, Starlin Castro hit a nubber down the third-base line for an infield single, bringing up LaHair as a pinch hitter for Darwin Barney. With a 2-0 count, Leake gave the rookie something to hit -- and he did, onto Sheffield Ave. It was LaHair's first homer as a Cub (he hit three in 2008 with the Mariners) after clubbing 38 in the Pacific Coast League this season. LaHair gave the fans at Wrigley Field some free baseball, but in the end, it wasn't enough as the Reds won 4-2 in 13 innings.

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: Going into Monday's game, Troy Tulowitzki was hitting just .113 (6 for 35) against the Diamondbacks this season. After a three-run homer in Monday's loss to the Rockies, he hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 8-3 victory at Coors Field. It was Tulowitzki's 30th homer of the season and gave him 103 RBI, a career-high.


Fausto Carmona, Indians: Any hope the Indians had of representing the American League Central in the playoffs were seemingly dashed in Carmona's 1 1/3 innings -- the Indians' opening-day starter allowed eight hits and seven runs in his brief starts as Cleveland lost 10-1 to Detroit at Progressive Field and fell 8.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central. Carmona is now 6-14 with a 5.18 ERA on the season.

Angels defense: After Texas had already won their game, the Angels committed four errors -- three of which led to two unearned runs and an Angels loss to the Mariners. Seattle's Felix Hernandez didn't need more than two runs, as he allowed just one run (unearned as well) on four hits in eight innings for a 2-1 Mariners victory. After a Justin Smoak single to lead off the Mariners' half of the second, Los Angeles third baseman Alberto Callaspo fielded a soft grounder by Miguel Olivo, and instead of taking the sure out at first, he tried to force it to second, throwing the ball in right. Kyle Seager then reached first to load the bases on an error by pitcher Ervin Santana. Trayvon Washington hit a sacrifice fly for the game's first run. Seattle's second run came in the fourth after Seager reached first on an error by Erick Aybar and then scored on a groundout later in the inning. Hank Conger added another error for the team's fourth of the game. With the loss, the Angels fell to 3.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West.

Minnesota Twins: Minnesota was officially eliminated from playoff contention with a 3-0 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday as they were shutout for the 12th time this season. The Twins tied a season-high with 12 strikeouts, including two from Joe Mauer. Minnesota now trails Detroit by 22 games and are 1.5 games behind the Royals in the fight for last place in the AL Central.

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 9:29 am
 

Pepper: Ethier-Dodgers saga takes another turn



By Matt Snyder


Sunday, we passed along the report that Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier was playing through an knee injury that would need offseason surgery -- a report in which he seemed to insinuate the Dodgers were forcing him to play. Also contained therein, general manager Ned Colletti seemed to say he believed Ethier was faking an injury.

One day later, manager Don Mattingly was upset.

"I'd rather lose my job and us not win than put a guy out there that has a chance of hurting himself and doing something that would affect his career in a long-term way in any shape or form, especially if he says, 'Hey, I can't go,'" Mattingly said (LATimes.com).

Meanwhile, Ethier kind of backed off his sentiment, though he never denied making any of the statements to the Los Angeles Times reporter.

"It's always been my choice to keep playing and keep going," Ethier said (LATimes.com). "They've never said, 'We don't think you can or you can't play.' It's always been they've said, 'Hey, you've obviously put up with this and it's at your discretion.'"

Remember, earlier this season Ethier publicly complained about the Dodgers' ownership situation and reports indicated he was jealous of his friend Dustin Pedroia getting to play in Boston. Is Ethier just angling to leave Los Angeles when he's a free agent after 2012? Or is he a bit of a drama queen? Or did he back off his Saturday statements due to meeting with Mattingly and Colletti Sunday after the duo read the Sunday Los Angeles Times story?

Hard to figure. Whatever it is, it's another mess for the Dodgers. As if they didn't have enough stuff to worry about.

For like of the game: Dirk Hayhurst is a minor-league pitcher in the Rays' system and also a published author. He's been in the bigs before, but not since 2009 with the Blue Jays. He's also very active on Twitter and has his own blog. In his latest entry, Hayhurst explains why he hates hearing the phrase "for love of the game," and instead prefers "like." It's a great read and I highly recommend clicking through with an open mind.

Dunn the realist: It's no secret how awful Adam Dunn has been this season, his first with the White Sox. When asked about a rather drastic production in playing time moving forward, Dunn was fully accountable: “I’m a realist," said Dunn, who wasn't in the lineup Sunday and is batting .163 with 156 strikeouts (ChicagoTribune.com). "I’m not like an idiot. We’re right in the middle of things. What do you do? What do you say?”

Royals ready to 'go for it:' Royals general manager Dayton Moore is sitting on mountains of prospects, several of which have begun to filter into Kansas City this season. Now, it sounds like he's done biding his time, because he plans on pursuing a deal this offseason in which the Royals cough up prospects to get a proven starter -- and The Kansas City Star article mentions one like the Indians getting Ubaldo Jimenez.

Relationships to keep Friedman in Tampa Bay? Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman has been the subject of rampant rumors in the Chicago area, now that the Cubs have a vacancy at general manager. Speculation by many is that Friedman would jump at the chance to be freed from the mighty AL East and get to throw some money around instead of pinching pennies. A TampaBay.com article says that won't matter, because of Friedman's strong relationship with owner Stu Sternberg, president Matt Silverman and manager Joe Maddon.

Crane in danger? Prospective new Astros owner Jim Crane has yet to be approved by Major League Baseball, even though two weeks ago Drayton McLane said a deal would be approved in two weeks. Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle believes Crane may not be approved by commissioner Bud Selig. "If Commissioner Bud Selig is comfortable with Jim Crane owning the Astros, then Jim Crane will own the Astros. You can read the delay in the approval process any way you like, but as someone who has known Selig for almost 30 years, it’s not insignificant." Justice does point out that a deal is still obviously possible, but it just seems fishy.

Rockies after arms: The Rockies top priority this offseason will be to upgrade starting pitching. That might sound a little weird after they just dealt Ubaldo Jimenez, but they actually traded for two guys who could end up being frontline starters in Alex White and Drew Pomeranz. But they might not be ready to lead a team to the playoffs just yet, so a trade for a proven veteran might be coming in the winter months ahead (Denver Post).

Ribbing the rook: Mariners rookie Trayvon Robinson gave a high-five to a fan and heard about it from his teammates in a playful way (MLB.com).

Sanchez may be done: Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez -- who seemed to be having a contest with Barry Zito to see who could get kicked out of the rotation for good -- might miss the rest of the season with his ankle injury. Meanwhile, Zito is feeling much better (Extra Baggs). If the offense doesn't drastically improve, however, none of this will be relevant. 

Only triples: Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson got four at-bats in interleague play and tripled for his only hit. Baseball-Reference's blog found 20 players in big-league history with only triples among their hits in a season.

Branyan the barber: Did anyone notice Sunday night that Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is now bald? Yeah, that's because he entrusted veteran slugger Russell Branyan with cutting his hair. And Branyan purposely took a little more off than was asked. "He pulled a nice little prank on me," Bourjos said good-naturedly (LATimes.com). "I keep scaring myself when I look in the mirror."

Let's play two ... with one extra player: Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks teams should be able to expand rosters by one on days when they're playing a doubleheader (MLB.com).

Happy Anniversary: On this day back in 1977, Duane Kiper hit his only major-league home run. In 3,754 plate appearances. Current White Sox color commentator Steve Stone was on the mound. Funny note: Stone's future broadcast partner (for Cubs' games) Harry Caray had the call that day. (Hardball Times)

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 2:44 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Keppinger does in old team, again

Jeff Keppinger

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jeff Keppinger, Giants: For the second night in a row, the former Astro did in his old team. Saturday night Keppinger singled in Mark DeRosa from second with a single just over the head of 5-foot-7 Houston second baseman Jose Altuve to give San Francisco a 2-1 victory in 10 innings. On Friday, Keppinger hit a two-run double in the fifth, good for another 2-1 victory. Keppinger came to the Giants from Houston on July 19.

Chris Young, Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks center fielder made sure fans went home happy -- and it wasn't just the because of the bobbleheads in his likeness the team gave out before the game. Young hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off of San Diego starter Aaron Harang and that was enough for Joe Saunders, who allowed just an unearned run on four hits in seven innings as Arizona beat San Diego 3-1 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Brad Lincoln, Pirates: The rookie right-hander not only notched his first victory of the season (and second of his career), but also had a two-run double off of Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter in the Pirates' four-run fourth. Lincoln allowed six hits and no runs in six innings, striking out four and walking one in the Pirates' 7-0 victory over St. Louis, breaking the team's five-game road losing streak.


Chris Marrero, Nationals: Making his MLB debut, the former first-round pick by the Nationals saw a ball hit to him on the very first batter of his big-league career come right at him -- and by him, allowing Brandon Phillips reach in the first inning of the Nationals' 6-3 loss. Phillips scored on a wild pitch with two outs later in the inning. Phillips also scored on Marrero's second error when the Nationals first baseman fielded a double-play ball and threw it into left field, allowing Phillips to score from second, starting a three-run inning for the Reds. Despite his two errors, Marrero did manage his first hit, a single off of Reds starter Mike Leake in the fourth inning.

Royals bullpen: The day after Tim Collins walked in the winning run for a Kansas City loss in Cleveland, Louis Coleman surrendered a three-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera for an 8-7 Kansas City loss to the Indians. With two outs in the eight and the Royals leading by two runs, Coleman gave up a single to Lonnie Chisenhall and walked Kosuke Fukudome to set up Cabrera's shot. Blake Wood also gave up three hits and a run in his 1/3 of an inning of work.

C.J. Wilson, Rangers: The same day Texas manager Ron Washington told reporters Wilson was going to be the team's horse down the stretch, pitching every five days no matter what, the left-hander gave up six runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings. The Angels also hit four of their five solo homers off of Wilson as Los Angeles moved to within two games of Texas with a 8-4 victory.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 2:32 am
 

Rangers pitcher says team isn't stealing signs

C.J. WilsonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Rangers starter C.J. Wilson thinks he knows why Red Sox starter Erik Bedard took so long to deliver his pitches in Monday's game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington -- because teams think the Rangers are stealing signs.

The Blue Jays garnered headlines after an ESPN report that they were stealing signs, but Wilson said he believes the Red Sox and other teams suspect Texas of doing the same because of their splits at home and on the road. At Rangers Ballpark, Texas entered Tuesday's game hitting .293 with 93 homers and a .262 average with 58 home runs on the road.

But Wilson told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that there's a much better explanation than sign-stealing, it's the division Texas plays in.

"When we're on the road, we're playing Anaheim, who has great pitching and it's a terrible hitters park; Oakland, great pitching, terrible hitters park; and Seattle, great pitching, terrible hitters park, so of course," Wilson said. "But the Fenway effect is just as strong as the Arlington effect. Their OPS at home is 70 points higher than it is on the road, so you can say the same thing. It's a park factor, it's not that we have a dude out there."

I don't know what makes me like Wilson more -- the fact that he looked up the Red Sox splits or the fact he used OPS as his measuring stick. Either way, it's a great point about the American League West, home of some of the game's best pitchers and worst hitters parks.

That said, using his methodology, the Fenway effect is good for difference of 74 points of OPS for the Red Sox, but 137 for the Rangers away from Texas.

Boston got to sample the advantages of hitting at Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday, scoring 11 runs on 14 hits against Colby Lewis and the Rangers in a 11-5 victory.

Still, Wilson stood by his team and said his hitters have told him they wouldn't want to know what was coming -- "I've talked to guys about it before because we always feel as pitchers that we're paranoid that somebody is looking at our signs and trying to figure out magical combinations to trick everybody," Wilson told Bradford. "Some of the hitters don't even want to know."

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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