MLB News and Notes August 21

MLB News and Notes August 21

Thursday's streaking and slumping starters


Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians (17-2, 2.43)

Lee is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts and has relinquished more than two earned runs just once in seven straight starts.

Lee is fresh off a home victory over the Los Angeles Angels in which he surrendered two earned runs and struck out six in nine innings.

The Tribe is 18-6 in Lee’s last 24 and is 8-2 in his last 10 against the Kansas City Royals.

Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks (18-4, 2.85)

The D’backs, despite a 64-60 record, are tied atop the NL West and Webb is the indisputable reason for their success. Webb is 3-0 with a solid 1.57 ERA in his last three starts and is unbeaten in his last 10 overall.

In his last five starts, Webb has relinquished just eight earned runs in 38 IP. He is 2-1 and has a 2.95 ERA in his last three starts against the San Diego Padres.

The Diamondbacks are 19-7 in Webb’s last 26 home starts and are 7-3 in his last 10 at home against the Padres.


Aaron Harang, Cincinnati Reds (3-13, 5.59)

Harang has just one victory in his last 10 and is 0-2 in his last three with 16.97 ERA. He has relinquished 22 earned runs on 22 hits in his last 11.2 IP.

Harang is 0-4 in his last five road starts and is 1-7 overall on the road. He has also surrendered 21 earned runs and seven HRs in his last four road starts.

The Reds are 1-4 in Harang’s last five against a club with a winning record and are 0-4 in his last four against the Chicago Cubs.

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Money Arms: Week of Aug. 18

This column has produced a 25-11 record over the past eight weeks, proving that a little homework can go a long way when it comes to building baseball bankrolls.

Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins, Thursday at San Francisco

All Josh Johnson has done is win games during his comeback from Tommy John surgery. The Marlins are 6-1 in his seven starts since being re-inserted into the rotation just before the All-Star break. He has given up three earned runs or less in six of those seven starts. The Giants have one of the weakest lineups in the entire league, one that can certainly be taken care of by Johnson. He is undefeated in four road starts this season, leading the Marlins to wins over the likes of the Dodgers, Cubs, Phillies, and Mets.

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Baseball Today

Kansas City at Cleveland (12:05 p.m. EDT). Indians All-Star Cliff Lee (17-2, 2.43 ERA) goes for AL-leading victory No. 18.


- Mike Pelfrey, Mets, allowed three hits and three runs in his first complete game, a 6-3 victory over the Braves.

- A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox, went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs in a 15-3 victory over the Mariners.

- J.J. Hardy, Brewers, homered and drove in a pair in a 5-2 win over the Astros.

- Brett Myers, Phillies, pitched a six-hitter in his sixth start since being recalled from the minors on July 20, striking out nine in a 4-0 win over the Nationals.

- Derek Jeter, Yankees, went 3-for-5 with a homer and a pair of RBIs in a 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays.

- Kevin Millwood, Rangers, gave up one run and six hits in a complete-game, 9-1 win over the punchless Tigers.


Given a final chance to extend his hitting streak to 23 games, Garret Anderson delivered for the Angels with a ninth-inning infield single that drove in the winning run in a 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for the Angels, his major league-leading and club- record 48th save.


Ken Griffey Jr. hit one of Chicago's four homers to move into a tie with Sammy Sosa for fifth on the career list, helping the White Sox to a 15-3 win over Seattle. Griffey's two-run drive in the second inning was his first since Chicago acquired him from Cincinnati on July 31, and No. 609 for his career.


The A's 3-1 loss to Minnesota gave them an Oakland-record 11 straight series defeats. The last time the A's lost 11 series in a row was 1960, when they played in Kansas City. The Twins, by contrast, won their 11th consecutive home series, improving to 30-9 at the Metrodome since June 1 in their last home game until Sept. 5. They play 14 straight on the road, the longest trip the team has had since 1969.


The Marlins were feeling pretty good after John Baker hit a pinch three-run homer in the ninth inning to knot their game against the Giants at 5-all. But reliever Matt Lindstrom walked Dave Roberts, gave up a single to Randy Winn and intentionally walked Aaron Rowand, loading the bases for Bengie Molina. His sacrifice fly in the ninth gave San Francisco the win.


Seeking another option for their suspect bullpen, the Mets agreed with right-hander Al Reyes on a minor league contract. Reyes closed games for Tampa Bay last year, earning a career-high 26 saves in 30 chances. This season, the 38-year-old Reyes was on the disabled list twice with shoulder injuries and was 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in 26 outings before being released Monday after rejecting a minor league assignment. He'll help out a bullpen missing closer Billy Wagner.


The Reds explained why they traded stars Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn and ask for patience in a letter sent to fans this week. The letter was sent by e-mail and posted on the team Web site, and was signed by owner Bob Castellini and general manager Walt Jocketty. It states the team is building with young talent and believes the trades were important for future success.


Kansas City outfielder Mitch Maier left in the fifth inning of an 8-5 loss to Cleveland after getting hit in the face by a pitch from Indians starter Zach Jackson. Maier immediately crumpled to the ground, and manager Trey Hillman and team trainers came out to check on him. Maier walked off the field and was taken to a hospital for X-rays, which revealed three broken bones below his right eye.


``We've been around for a lot of things, good times, bad times. We understand there's a sense of urgency but I think everyone understands that. ... It's our job to go out and try to prove people wrong.'' - Yankees captain Derek Jeter, on the pressure of trying to reach the postseason.

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Thursday's MLB Research
By Indiancowboy

Kansas City vs. Cleveland

Bit of a travel day in baseball here and I certainly don't mind, as per this game, KC is in the lead 5-3 on the road here which would be great if they hold on as Cliff Lee starts tomorrow, note that Lee should be the Cy Young Winner this year in the AL, after all, find me another pitcher that is 17-2 this year and 7-0 at home with an overall era of 2.38. He has beat KC 2-0 and 5-4 this year but they did hit him for a 6 era in his last start, Grienke pitched scoreless ball at New York against the Yankees but his team still managed to lose despite his solid 6 inns of work, do I really want to take the Indians RL here, no thanks, Grienke is a decent pitcher, and this very well could be a 1 run ballgame, remember, Grienke has had 3 of 4 quality starts and KC has had success hitting against Lee, they hit him for 10 hits last time, no thanks.

Yankees vs. Toronto

I'm actually sitting on the Yankees Run-Line here and hoping that they hold on as it is in the bottom of the 6th, tomorrow Ponson a bit of a surprise this year starts for them against Halladay. Note, Ponson is actually 7-3 this year, he has yet to face Toronto and did help his team beat KC in his last start with a 2.84 era, note he did give up 7 hits though in 6 inns, Halladay comes off a 1 era performance on the road at Boston giving up just 1 run as he won 4-1, he has beat the Yankees 2 of 3 times this year including back to back times, he has had 5 of 6 quality starts and a stellar 2.67 era overall, if the Yankees hold on to win the run-line, don't be surprised to see the Bluejays return the favor as Ponson does struggle on the road.

Twins vs. Angels

Twins hit the road to the Angels in a new series, Baker is 7-3 on the year with a sub 4 era to his credit, his team did win but he had a 6.75 era in his last start, that means he does not necessarily have a better start today because his team did win the last start, in short, he does not necessarily come back with a quality performance if his team actually wins a start that he does bad in, it just mean he got a bunch of offense and he won't necessarily be as sharp if he came off a loss, hence, that's what called a bounce-back, so he is not on a bounce-back here, Lackey is 4-0 over his last 7 starts and his team is 6-1 over his last 7 starts including being 4-1 with a 3.6 era at home and a 10-2 record overall. Having said that, 73% are riding the Angels here, plus the Twins have beaten Lackey twice this year already, although he did win last time and -149 is too rich for my blood, no thanks.

Oakland vs. Seattle

Greg Smith has pitched relatively decent this year with an era of 4.33 era on the road and 3.91 overall this year, unfortunately for him he is 0-5 over his last 6 starts and the A's have lost his last 6 starts, note that the Mariners are once again getting spanked tonight as well and Oakland lost once again 1-3 tonight, Rowland-Smith has helped beat the A's twice this season, he had a 0 era and a 20.30 era, the scores were 8-1 and 6-4 and Rowland-Smith had a tough outing in his last start with a 9 era on the road, and has yet to pick up a decision in the last 4 starts, frankly, this is a crap shoot, no thanks.

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