Matt Moore

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Move over Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, you may (finally) have company. And speaking of Harper, how will he fare on Saturday against a likely future Hall of Famer who's more than twice his age?

Full Friday scoreboard with box scores and recaps of all games


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Toronto bullpen: Starter Drew Hutchison lasted just nine pitches before leaving with an elbow injury. That's when the Jays' relief corps took over. And they really did take over. Aaron Laffey, Carlos Villanueva, Jason Frasor, Darren Oliver, and Casey Janssen combined for 8.1 scoreless frames in a much-needed win over the Phillies.

Matt Moore, Rays: Coming into the 2012 season, a number of observers tabbed Moore as the top prospect in all of baseball -- i.e., better than Bryce Harper or Mike Trout. Moore, like a lot of young arms, has struggled with his consistency, but on Friday he was who we thought he was. Against the Marlins, Moore worked 7.0 scoreless innings, struck out eight, walked three, and allowed only one hit. That's just a taste of what Moore can do. Stay tuned.

Trevor Plouffe, Twins: On the occasion of his 26th birthday, Plouffe clouted a pair of homers against the Brewers on Friday night. That gives him a major-league leading nine spanks for the month of June. The Twins lost, but Plouffe more than did his part.


Jose Valverde, Tigers: The Rockies managed to score eight runs in the 10th inning on Friday (and this was in Detroit, not Coors Field). Chiefly to blame was Valverde, who in 0.2 innings of work surrendered six runs on three hits and two walks. Sure, only one of those runs was earned, but it was Valverde's throwing error on an Eric Young bunt that led to the collapse.

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: Why did Dustin Pedroia bust up a water cooler in the Sox's dugout after making a key out in the seventh? Perhaps because he was en route to an 0-for-4 performance with six runners left on base. Pedroia is six for his last 40 at the plate, which raises concerns that his thumb injury is sapping his performance.

Angels' 1-through-5 hitters: Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Kendrys Morales, and Mark Trumbo all make for an imposing top 55.6% of the lineup. On Friday against Arizona's Trevor Cahill, however, these thumpers went a combined 0-for-19 with one walk. Needless to say, the Angels don't win when that kind of thing happens.

On Deck

Bryce 'n Andy: It's not often that a pitcher faces a hitter less than half his age, but that will happen on Saturday when Andy Pettitte (age 40) and the Yankees square off against Bryce Harper (age 19) and the Nationals. That both teams are among the very best in baseball only adds to the intrigue. Jordan Zimmerman and his 2.91 ERA go for Washington. 1:05 pm ET

Baltimore chop: How exciting is the Orioles-Braves series? Just ask Brian McCann

Brian McCann


On Saturday, McCann's Braves will trot out Brandon Beachy and his majors-leading 1.98 ERA. Opposing him will be Baltimore ace Jason Hammel. 7:15 pm ET

Battle of Seattle: Normally the last-place Mariners wouldn't find themselves among the hallowed ranks of "On deck," but they're here mostly because of Kevin Millwood. Millwood, you see, will be on the mound for his first start since doing most of the heavy lifting in that June 8 collaborative no-hitter. He'll oppose the Giants and two-time Cy winner Tim Lincecum, who, odd as it may sound, is reportedly fighting for his spot in the rotation. 10:10 pm ET

Saturday probables for all games

What's Hot

That's a clown beer, bro: You have surely noticed that Bryce Harper's "That's a clown question, bro" has methodically seized not only Western civilization but also the world as a whole. So it naturally follows that there will soon exist a beer called "Clown Question, Bro." [Westword]

Rethinking the save: The save statistic is one of the silliest ever concocted, and its outsized influence on the modern game is way, way too much with us. So why not change it? ESPN's Jim Caple proposes some commonsense revisions.

Learning from the master: R.A. Dickey's unlikely success this season? It may have a little to do with knuckleball mahatma Phil Niekro and the wisdom he was willing to share. []

The blame game: Phil Mushnick of the New York Post has a wonderful little rant against the Yankees, whose brass recently (and laughably) blamed StubHub for declining attendance at Yankee Stadium.

Extreme makeover: The Astros will have new uniforms next season, and the great Paul Lukas has some free advice for them.

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