The Lineup: Pitchers and Blue Jays
Interleague play commenced with some staggering pitching performances ... except in Toronto.
Kerry Wood danced his last dance. Andy Pettitte defied age. Justin Verlander sideswiped history (again). And there's more where that came from ...
Kevin Millwood , Seattle Mariners - The 37-year-old not only turned in a second straight strong outing, but he also pitched a certifiable gem. Despite pitching at a mile above sea level, he tossed a complete-game shutout and struck out seven against only one walk. Millwood took a no-hitter into the sixth and wound up pitching just the 20th shutout in Coors Field history.
J.P. Arencibia , Toronto Blue Jays - The Toronto catcher enjoyed a 3-for-5 performance at the plate and also tallied two home runs and six RBI. It was Arencibia's second three-hit effort in the past three games. After a miserable start to the season, he's now slugging .500.
Yan Gomes , Blue Jays - Not to be outdone was Gomes. Not only did the Blue Jay third sacker go 1-for-2 with a homer and a walk, but he also became the first Brazilian-born player in major-league history. "I was kind of thinking about my parents," said Gomes of his home run. "It was a great feeling, I'm sure they were really happy."
Josh Bard, Boston Red Sox - Deep counts led to walks, walks led to a high pitch count, and Bard was out of the game after five innings. In those five frames, Bard gave up five walks and five runs on 94 pitches. He's had his moments in 2012, but for the most part he lacks the command to be a starter.
National League - The beat goes on. On the first day of interleague play, the senior circuit went 5-9 and was out-scored 74-42. The NL hasn't managed a winning record in interleague play since 2003, and so far 2012 isn't shaping up to be any different.
Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals - Matheny opted to walk the light-hitting James Loney in the ninth and thus load the bases (rarely a good idea) to face the hot A.J. Ellis , and in the process he allowed reliever Fernando Salas and his platoon issues to face four straight opposite-side hitters in the final frame.
Full Friday scoreboard with box scores and recaps for all games
South Side vs. North Side: Down 0-1 in the Crosstown Classic, the Chicago Cubs will trot out Ryan Dempster , who presently ranks second in the NL with an ERA of 1.74. The Chicago White Sox will oppose him with John Danks , who is off to a rough start this season but has ace stuff. It's also a rare Saturday night game in Wrigley. Reasonable question: Is this the most hostile of interleague rivalries? 7:15 pm ET
NL powerhouses redux: Amid the interleague clashes we have a Cardinals- Los Angeles Dodgers clash that's a possible NLCS preview. The hobbled Cardinals will oppose reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw , but Jake Westbrook , who's starting for St. Louis, has a similar ERA on the season. He'll test his sinker against the Matt Kemp-less Dodgers. 10:10 pm ET
Surprise contenders: Yes indeed, the Miami Marlins - Cleveland Indians matinee can be considered a match-up of teams with legitimate designs on the postseason. The Tribe comes in with a sizable lead in the AL Central, while the Fish having won 12 of their last 16. Miami's starter, Anibal Sanchez , has logged a quality start in each of his seven outings this season. 4:05 pm ET
Full Saturday schedule with probables
• East Coast bias: So this is pretty cool … It's an interactive map of major professional sports championships, including, of course, MLB. Watch as time goes by and Eastern Seaboard enjoys more than its share of glory. [Slate.com]
• San Diego sale: Rather quietly, the sale of the San Diego Padres is moving forward. The North County Times reports that MLB has "already vetted five potential ownership groups." One league official says a deal could be completed in a matter of weeks.
• The miseducation of baseball: Care to take a guess at the percentage of major-league ballplayers with college degrees? Would you believe 4.3%? Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com has the details.
• Kemp's clone: Who's shaping up to enjoy a Matt Kemp-style breakout campaign this season? David Cameron of FanGraphs says it's Baltimore's Adam Jones.
• A nation turns its lonely eyes: Do you already miss Brett Lawrie as he serves his four-game suspension? You are not alone …
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