Tag:Chris Carpenter
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:02 am
 

On Deck: Twins look to bounce back



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Slow day in baseball today, with just five games on the schedule, three of those taking place during the day.

START ANOTHER STREAK: The Twins lost their first game in more than a week on Wednesday, falling to the defending World Series champs. Things don't get much easier for Minnesota, facing Tim Lincecum on Thursday. Twins starter Brian Duensing is having a June himself, going 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA this month. The lefty is 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA in 10 interleague starts of his career. The Twins have won 15 of their last 18 games and seven of their last nine on the road. Twins at Giants, 3:45 p.m. ET (Follow live)

ROAD WARRIORS: Your first-place Diamondbacks (yes, you read that right) are more than happy to be on the road and in interleague play. After starting the season 5-13 on the road, the Diamondbacks have won 14 of their last 18 in the road grays. The team is also 6-2 in interleague play so far this season and have Daniel Hudson (8-5, 3.56 ERA) on the mound against a winless Felipe Paulino (0-4, 4.10) in Kansas City as the Diamondbacks seek a sweep over the Royals. Diamondbacks at Royals, 8:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Roy OswaltChris CarpenterSTRUGGLING STARTERS: A Roy Oswalt-Chris Carpenter showdown should be a premier pitching matchup. Instead, the two have combined for just one win in their last 15 starts. Oswalt picked up his fourth victory of the season on June 12, snapping a seven-start winless streak, only to start another winless streak in his last outing, last Friday at Seattle. Carpenter's lone victory of the season came more than a month ago on May 10. Like Oswalt, it came against the Cubs, so maybe neither really count. Phillies at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:18 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Pepper: No pinstripes for Reyes?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller joins Lauren Shihadi to talk about a pair of struggling aces, the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter and the Giants' Tim Lincecum.

REYES WON'T BE A YANKEE: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team would not acquire Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, either in a trade or as a free agent.

"That's just not going to happen," Cashman told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News.

"We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter," he added. "And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nunez. The Yankees don't have a need now or in the future for a shortstop.

"But we do need a setup man."

Like Rafael Soriano, another player Cashman said the team didn't have any interest in signing?

SPEAKING OF: I understand baseball memorabilia, I really do. I mean, I own a game-worn Dick Pole jersey. But a dirt keychain? After Jeter's 3,000th hit, five gallons of dirt will be dug up from the batter's box and shortstop patch and sold off in various forms. The "DJ 3K" merchandise line will include not just dirt (which will be infused into key chains, plastic disks paired with photos and in bats among other items), but also the usual T-shirts, hats, jerseys, bobbleheads, patches, balls and even necklaces. [New York Times]

TEAM PLAYER: Mark Ellis understands Jemile Weeks is a talent who will help the A's, and that's why he's volunteered to step away from his second base spot.

"He made it very easy on me," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters, including Jane Lee of MLB.com. "You would, to an extent, expect that, but to the extent and the level he went, for me, was off the charts. The first thing I said to him was, 'OK, the second-base situation,' and he said, 'That's an easy one, you gotta play him.'"

Ellis is known as one of the good guys of the game, and this is another piece of evidence in that case. Ellis will play first and third for the A's, but the team's longest-tenured player won't be penciled in every day as he has been.

The 34-year-old Ellis is hitting just .210/.244/.286 in 60 games. Weeks has made the most of his opportunity when Ellis went not he DL, hitting .321/.357/.509 in the first 14 games of his big-league career.

Ellis has pride, but he understands that Weeks is a talent. In the end, that's the biggest thing -- players recognize talent. If his replacement was just someone hot, Ellis would unlikely step aside so easily, but Weeks is someone who can help the team in the long term. Ellis knows it. It can't be easy to put the ego aside like that, but he did. Hats off to Ellis.

As a side note, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle cites an "industry insider" as saying there's a "very good chance" Ellis will be traded across the San Francisco Bay to the Giants. Ellis is a free agent after the season, and with Weeks on board, it's unlikely he'll be back in Oakland next season.

PHANATIC HURT: Tom Burgoyne, the man inside the green Phillie Phanatic costume, was released from a Pennsylvania hospital Wednesday night after being hit in the head by a batted ball during a minor-league appearance at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. [Allentown Morning Call]

WELCOME BACK: The surging Twins will add DH Jim Thome and former closer Joe Nathan on Friday. Thome had five at-bats Wednesday in a simulated game at the team's complex in Fort Myers, Fla. Nathan struck out three Wednesday and allowed an unearned run, a walk and a hit in one inning for Triple-A Rochester. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

EL TIANTE JR.: Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto added a little tweak to his delivery for Wednesday's start against the Yankees, turning his back to the hitter more than he has in the past. It worked, as he held the Yankees to two hits and one run in seven innings.

"I've been doing it, but I did it a little more tonight," Cueto told reporters, including the Cincinnati Enquirer's Tom Groeschen. "I'm trying to make it tough to see the baseball, so I'm hiding it real good now."

How good? Cueto improved to 5-2 and lowered his ERA to 1.63 this season. Batters are hitting just .193/.261/.297 against Cueto this season.

PEAVY, PIERZYNSKI OK: White Sox starter Jake Peavy and catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a heated argument that was caught on live TV in the dugout, and the two headed into the tunnel to escape the cameras. Afterward, both joked about the incident and said they were OK. [MLB.com]

ROX SEEK ARMS: Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said the team -- 3 1/2 games out of first in the NL West -- will look for pitching to help fill the void left by the loss of Jorge De La Rosa. Good luck finding someone like that. [MLB.com]

END OF THE LINE?: Veteran right-hander John Maine left the Rockies' Triple-A team after a bad start Monday and will use the time to decide whether he will retire or continue his comeback from shoulder surgery last season. The 30-year-old is 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in 11 starts this season. [InsidetheRockies.com]

GLOVE STORY: Last week Yankees starter Brian Gordon became the first Major League player to use a non-leather glove in a game. Gordon uses a synthetic glove handmade by a guy in Cooperstown, N.Y. [MLB.com]

THREE TRUE OUTCOMES: You hear that phrase pretty often, especially talking about Adam Dunn, as a player who seems to either hit a home run, strike out or walk in every plate appearance. Thanks to the beauty of computers, the Baseball-Reference.com blog has the 25 players (ranked by plate appearances) whose total homers plus walks plus strikeouts were at least 60 percent of their career plate appearances. Dunn is on the list, as are Thome, Carlos Pena, Ryan Howard and Rob Deer.

MLB EXPANSION?: No, not of teams -- of rosters. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN looks at both sides of the proposition. While Crasnick writes mostly about an extra position player, I can't imagine Tony La Russa not wanting another reliever in his bullpen just so he could make another pitching change in the sixth inning.

YANKEE STRIPPER, PART 2: The other man in a vintage photo of Joe DiMaggio has been identified, so we can put that to rest. Rugger Ardizoia said the picture was taken in spring training of 1941 when he was a minor leaguer with the Yankees and his fellow San Francisco native, DiMaggio, "took care" of him. [San Francisco Chronicle]

EXPOS BOOK: Jonah Keri, the author of the excellent book about the Tampa Bay Rays, The Extra 2%, will next tackle The Definitive History of the Montreal Expos. The book won't drop until 2014 -- the 10-year anniversary of the Expos' move -- but that doesn't mean it can't go on my Amazon wish list now. Or, well, as soon as Amazon has it listed. [JonahKeri.com]

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Posted on: June 5, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: June 5, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Zambrano breaks Cubs' walkless streak

By Matt Snyder

File this one under the quirkiest anamoly of the day. Heading into the fifth inning Sunday, the Cubs hadn't taken a walk since Carlos Pena did Friday night in the fifth inning. After one out in the fifth Sunday, it marked exactly 21 innings since the Cubs took a walk. Stepping up to the plate was Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

Naturally, he broke the streak.

It's funny a pitcher broke it, but even funnier that it was Zambrano. We all know how much he loves to swing the bat, but the walk marked only the ninth time in his career he took a free pass. It was his 690th career plate appearance. The walk was only Chris Carpenter's 20th of the season in 80-plus innings, too. Zambrano did not end up scoring, so the walk was nothing more than a funny occurrence.

WATCH LIVE SCORING ON CBSSPORTS.COM

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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 31, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 7:20 pm
 

On Deck: Sweet Vogelsong



By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Ryan VogelsongWHO'S THE UNDERDOG? One pitcher has a Cy Young Award on his shelf and two other top-three finishes in the voting, the other has three years of experience in Japan and went nearly seven years between winning starts in the big leagues. Yet, this season the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA this year and 2-1 with a 0.34 ERA in his last four starts, while Chris Carpenter is 1-5 with a 4.58 ERA. The Cardinals have gone 2-9 in Carpneter's 11 starts this season and winless when he starts at Busch Stadium. Giants at Cardinals, 7:09 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Jordan LylesLYLES DEBUTS: Houston's top prospect, Jordan Lyles, will make his debut tonight at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. The 20-year-old right-hander is pitching in Wandy Rodriguez's spot and will start at least two games, tonight and then Sunday at Petco Park against the Padres. At Triple-A Oklahoma City, he's gone 3-3 with a 3.20 ERA, including six shutout innings in his last start. While he has a good fastball, it's Lyle's changeup and slider that get scouts excited. Astros at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Erik BedardAdam JonesFAMILIAR FACES: It was one of the biggest trades offseason leading up to 2008, and for so long it appeared the Orioles got by far the better deal with the Mariners, as center fielder Adam Jones made the All-Star team in 2009 and a Gold Glove, while Erik Bedard was limited to just 15 starts in each of his first two seasons in Seattle before missing all of 2010 as a result of labrum surgery in 2009. Bedard has been impressive so far this year, going 3-4 with a 3.48 ERA, and 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in his last five starts. Jones is 2 for 5 with a double in his career against Bedard. Orioles at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: May 25, 2011 4:48 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 11:33 pm
 

On Deck: Potential duel in Philly

OD

By Matt Snyder


Lots of afternoon action on getaway day across baseball -- check out the action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard -- but there are still seven games on the docket for this evening. Let's spotlight three of them.

Allow myself to (re)introduce ... myself: The last time Roy Halladay faced the Reds was in Citizen's Bank Park in Game 1 of the NLDS. Halladay needed only 104 pitches to no-hit the Reds in a 4-0 victory. It was only the second no-hitter in postseason history. In nine innings, his only blemish was a walk, which he more than balanced out with eight strikeouts. The Reds hit only a handful of balls hard. It was complete and utter domination, in a playoff game no less. On the flip side, Travis Wood's track record against the Phillies is pretty solid. He took a perfect game into the ninth in his last start against Philly and threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Phillies in Halladay's playoff no-no. The Reds broke a six-game losing streak Tuesday night on a ninth-inning, three-RBI double from Jay Bruce. The Phillies hold a one-game lead in the competitive NL East. This should be a great game. Cincinnati at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m. ET. FOLLOW LIVE SCORING

Looking for wins: Raise your hand if you thought Chris Carpenter and Mat Latos would have combined for a 2-10 record and an ERA of over 4.50 come May 25th. Put your hand down, liar. One of the two will get a brief reprieve from the losing Wednesday afternoon in the spacious confines of Petco Park, as the two square off. Carpenter is looking to help his club continue its winning ways, as the Cardinals have won four straight and sit atop the NL Central. On the other hand, Latos is needed to play the stopper. The Padres have lost four in a row and reside in the cellar of the NL West. St. Louis at San Diego, 6:35 p.m. ET. FOLLOW LIVE SCORING

Wild, wild West: The A's have been in the headlines this week, but for the wrong reasons. Bob Geren has come under fire for being the worst person ever and not communicating well. Still, they defied drastic odds in winning the Guillermo Moscoso vs. Dan Haren pitching matchup Tuesday night. Wednesday, it's going to be Trevor Cahill for the A's against Ervin Santana for the Angels. Cahill is 6-1 with a 1.79 ERA this season, and he owns the Angels in his career (4-1, 1.81 ERA in seven starts). Meanwhile, the AL West continues to be the closest top-to-bottom division race in baseball. A mere two games separated first place from last entering Wednesday, which means every intradivision battle is a big game. Remember, it's no longer early, as we're very near a third of the way through the season. Oakland at Los Angeles (AL), 10:05 p.m. ET.  FOLLOW LIVE SCORING

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Posted on: May 17, 2011 8:30 pm
 

La Russa irked by Reds broadcaster

By C. Trent Rosecrans 

Little surprise here, but Tony La Russa is upset at other people and what they do or say.

Marty BrennamanOn Tuesday, he was asked about these comments from Reds radio play-by-play man Marty Brennaman (right) during Monday's Reds-Cubs broadcast about the complaints made by Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, who complained about the mound at Great American Ball Park:

Marty Brennaman: The grounds crew did an incredible job, despite what that whiner and excuse-maker Chris Carpenter complained about the mound and the smoke after the fireworks -- Travis Wood didn't.

Jim Kelch: It's always something when they come in here.

Brennaman: Yeah, that's the line Joe Petini laid on the media, that every time they come in here, it's always something with that team. Oh, really? You might be the most unliked team in baseball and it's always the other team? Unbelievable.

(via the Cincinnati Enquirer)

Joe Pettini, the acting manager of the Cardinals over the weekend, said, "It's always something when you come in here." 

Later, Brennaman called Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan "infantile" for his criticism of Reds closer Francisco Cordero for hitting Albert Pujols in Sunday's Reds victory.

Well, Tuesday, La Russa fired back.

"I think the safest thing to say is he's a Hall of Famer, and he should get the respect that inclusion in that place deserves," La Russa said, according to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "And then he ought to earn it every day from his Hall of Fame induction forward. He ought to earn it and not abuse it."

Brennaman won the Ford C. Frick Award, presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in 2000. Brennaman is well known for saying exactly what he feels on the air and that's gotten him in trouble occasionally, but he's been paid for many, many years to say exactly what he feels and that's not changed anytime recently. That's what makes listening to Brennaman a joy, he calls a great game and doesn't let anything hold him back -- even to the dismay of some Reds players and officials. There are homers out there, but Brennaman isn't one of them.

Brennaman was honored by the Hall of Fame because he does his job well, and sometimes that includes criticism. La Russa will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as he's eligible, but that will be as a manager, not a broadcaster. He doesn't have to like what Brennaman said, but Brennaman is living up to his reputation -- and his duties -- as he says what he did about the Cardinals, Carpenter and Duncan. La Russa, too, has a right to defend his players and coaches, even though at time it may be better just to decline comment. But hey, it keeps keep us bloggers employed, so there's that. And with the Reds and Cardinals battling for the NL Central crown (along with the Brewers and Cubs) in a race that won't be decided until the end of the season, the back-and-forth should give us fodder for months to come.

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Posted on: May 15, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: May 15, 2011 12:55 pm
 

On Deck: We're goin' sweepin'

Giants
OD

By Matt Snyder


As always on a Sunday, we've got a full slate of games. Standing out this time around are four possible sweeps, for varying reasons.

HOT GONZO: The Red Sox are looking to sweep their bitter rivals, and they're looking to do so in Yankee Stadium. A loss for the Yankees would be their fifth straight and a victory for the Red Sox would have them at .500 for the first time since the season began. Still, both large-market groups look up at the Rays -- who have gone 22-8 since a 1-8 start. Taking center stage for the Red Sox is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In fact, we may soon be talking about a historic month if he keeps up this pace. He's homered in four straight games (five HRs and nine RBI in those four) and take a look at his stat-line for the month: .345 average, eight home runs, 19 RBI, 1.198 OPS. That's in 13 games. Red Sox at Yankees, 8:05 p.m. ET.

CENTRAL SHOWDOWN: The Reds-Cardinals rivalry continues to gain steam after last season's dust up. The Reds have taken two straight in Cincy and have taken over first place in the Central by a half-game. A win Sunday would assure a sweep and keep them in first. Public Enemy No. 1 (for St. Louis, that is) Brandon Phillips came through with a huge game to help propel the Reds Saturday, and one of the Cardinals' most prominent members in last season's brawl, Chris Carpenter, gets the ball Sunday. Cardinals at Reds, 1:10 p.m. ET.

Tigers, Twins TAKE OPPOSITE PATHS: The longest winning streak and losing streak at present in the majors both reside in the AL Central. The Tigers run 6-0 Max Scherzer to the hill looking to extend their winning streak to eight games. Seeing Kyle Davies take the ball for the Royals means it's a pretty good bet. Royals at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET (nevermind, it's been postponed). On the flip-side, the Twins have lost seven in a row and are -- rather easily at this point -- the worst team in baseball. Injuries have been a problem, but that doesn't account for the dreadful underperformance. Brian Duensing gets the nod for the Twins, as they'll square off against Brandon Morrow and the Blue Jays -- who have won four straight. Blue Jays at Twins, 2:10 p.m. ET.

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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