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Tag:Scott Kazmir
Posted on: August 28, 2009 4:52 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2009 11:05 pm
 

Angels acquire Kazmir from Tampa

The Los Angeles Angels acquired left-handed starter Scott Kazmir from Tampa Bay for two minor leaguers, left-handed pitcher Alex Torres and third baseman Matt Sweeney, and a player to be named later on Friday, immediately strengthening their rotation for the stretch run.

Rarely have the Angels been short of pitching over the past several years, but in a twist, while they ranked second in the majors to the Yankees with 713 runs scored entering the weekend, their 4.87 team ERA ranked 26th in the majors. The Angels' rotation, which has been battered by injuries throughout the year, ranks 11th in the American League with a 4.96 ERA.

The move comes after Kazmir, 25, produced a fine start in Toronto for the Rays on Wednesday, allowing one earned run on four hits in a no-decision. Still, it's been a very disappointing season for Kazmir, who is 8-7 with a 5.92 ERA in 20 starts for the Rays. Opponents are batting .273 against him after hitting only .220 against him last year. His ERA has been over 6.00 all summer until now.

While a somewhat surprising move for Tampa Bay given that the Rays are attempting to hang in there in the AL wild-card race, the move would off-load $22.5 million guaranteed to Kazmir through 2012  and give them some maneuverability in other areas, such as picking up outfielder Carl Crawford's $10 million option.

The Rays are not exactly viewing this as waving the white flag, either. They can replace Kazmir in their rotation with Andy Sonnanstine, who won several big games last fall, or rookie Wade Davis. Both are pitching at Triple-A Durham right now. Davis' ceiling is very high, and some scouts expected him to be recalled to the Rays before even David Price this season.

According to a clause in his contract, Kazmir is owed an extra $800,000 if traded.

Kazmir would join John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders in a rotation that is healthier than it's been all summer. Being that he's signed through 2011 (with a $13.5 million club option for 2012), Kazmir also gives the Angels some insurance against Lackey leaving as a free agent this winter. If he does, the Angels still would have Kazmir, Santana and Saunders, among others, for 2010.

Kazmir, who cleared waivers before the deal, is eligible for postseason play because he was traded before Aug. 31.

Posted on: October 23, 2008 12:01 am
 

Phillies take Game 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The first World Series game in Tampa Bay franchise history, and wouldn't it figure that in the majors' most unusual ballpark, a most unusual occurrence would result?

It did not involve catwalks, doglegs or funky artificial turf. Instead, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays produced this bizarre tale: The Phillies went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position and still won Game 1, 3-2.

A productive first inning, in which Chase Utley followed a one-out walk by rocketing a home run to right against Rays starter Scott Kazmir, gave the Phillies liftoff.

Tacking on a run in the fourth when Shane Victorino scored on Carlos Ruiz's ground ball to shortstop gave the Phillies the final breathing room they would need.

Twenty-four-year-old starter Cole Hamels, in his World Series debut, did the rest. Well, most of the rest. Mixing in crisp curves, well-placed high-80s fastballs and the poise of a seasoned October man, Hamels limited Tampa Bay to two runs and five hits over seven innings.

Then manager Charlie Manuel went to his blueprint, employing set-up man Ryan Madson to work the eighth and closer Brad Lidge in the ninth.

So Philadelphia got a game it had to win.

And yes, even though it was only Game 1, you read that right.

The rotation matchup clearly favored the Phillies in Game 1 -- Hamels is that good. The rest of the way, not so much. Maybe you'd take Brett Myers over James Shields in Game 2 -- but that's iffy, and only if Myers is on top of his game. Matt Garza gets the nod over Jamie Moyer in Game 3, and Andy Sonnanstine vs. Joe Blanton is, at worst, a draw in Game 4.

None of this is to say that the Phillies can't, or won't, win with those matchups. Who knows, maybe they'll run the table and make it a short series.

If they don't win when Hamels pitches, it makes it that much more difficult, is all.
So they did win. And for a team that hadn't played a game in a week, a team surrounded by questions of whether it would be rusty, this was a very good start.

 

Posted on: October 4, 2008 4:03 am
 

Hunter, sore knee, head to Boston

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Exactly how poorly things are going for the Los Angeles Angels in this series with Boston crystallized in the third inning of Game 2 when Torii Hunter, outraged over being called out in a close play at first, leaped into the air ... and hurt his knee when he landed.

Hunter remained in the game, and a check by Angels doctors following Los Angeles' 7-5 loss revealed no ligament damage. But the left knee is sore and a little swollen, and Hunter is hoping the cross-country flight and impending activity don't make it swell more.

What happened was, with two out, runners on first and second and the Angels already trailing 4-1, Hunter grounded to shortstop and thought he barely beat Alex Cora's throw.

Umpire Kerwin Danley thumbed him out, however. Hunter, after crossing first base, whirled around, jumped, and. ...

"I was about to stomp, and I might have stomped too early," he said.

He crumpled to the ground in what immediately looked like a severe injury. After several minutes, he eventually made his way out to center field.

"We'll see what happens the next couple of days," Hunter said. "Regardless, I'm playing. The only way they're going to get me out of the lineup is to put me in a cage."

Likes: I really liked Tampa Bay pitcher Scott Kazmir drilling White Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera in the first inning Friday. Kazmir and Tampa Bay are in uncharted territory here in the playoffs, but it made an immediate statement following Cabrera's screaming and kicking dirt in the direction of reliever Grant Balfour in Game 1. The statement was, Kazmir will protect his teammates, and Balfour obviously is respected by those same teammates.

Dislikes: Frank TV. I don't care if the playoff games are televised on TBS, ESPN, Fox or the Home Garden Network (though I sure would love it if CBS would get the contract). But I am so sick of this Frank guy and the oversaturated commercials that, even though he looks like he's got some spot-on impersonations, I'll never watch the show.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"The crops we grew last summer weren't enough to pay the loans
"Couldn't buy the seed to plant this spring and the farmers' bank foreclosed
"Called my old friend Schepman up to auction off the land
"He said, 'John, it's just my job, and I hope you understand'
"Hey calling it your job ol' hoss sure don't make it right
"If you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight"

-- John Mellencamp, Rain on the Scarecrow

 
 
 
 
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