MLB News and Notes August 22

MLB News and Notes August 22

Friday's streaking and slumping starters
By JUSTIN BANKS

Streaking

Shaun Marcum, Toronto Blue Jays (8-5. 3.36
)

Marcum is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last three starts and has not surrendered more than two earned runs in each of those starts.

Marcum, who missed time with an elbow injury early, has relinquished just 16 hits in his last three starts. He also has 14 strikeouts against seven walks in that stretch.

The Blue Jays are 5-0 in Marcum’s last five against the Boston Red Sox and are 10-2 in their last 12 overall against the Red Sox.


Dave Bush, Milwaukee Brewers (7-9, 4.26)

Bush, who had just two wins in his first 10 starts, is 2-0 and has a solid 1.77 ERA in his last three outings.

In his last home start, a triumph over the Washington Nationals, Bush surrendered one earned run in six IP. He is also 3-1 in his last six at home and has relinquished more than two ERs just twice in each of his last six starts at Miller Park.

The Brewers are 7-0 in Bush’s last seven starts against a team with a losing record and are 5-1 in their last six against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Slumping

Brian Bannister, Kansas City Royals (7-12, 5.96)


Bannister, who is winless in his last nine, is 0-3 in his last three with a 12.75 ERA. He has also relinquished 17 earned runs and six homers in his last eight IP.

Bannister is 5-5 at home and has a 3.72 ERA. In his last home start, a setback to the Boston Red Sox, he surrendered three earned runs on six hits in four innings. He is 0-3 in his last four starts at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals are 6-18 in their last 24 home games against the Detroit Tigers.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 22

MLB Weekend Preview

The National League East meets the National League West in two important Senior Circuit series this weekend that could shake up the standings. The Dodgers continue to chase the D-Backs in the West, and they will be in tough against the Phillies. The Marlins, who are trailing the Mets in the East, will drop in on Arizona.

The Dodgers and Phillies start a four-game series in Philadelphia on Friday night. Those two clubs clashed in Los Angeles for four games just over a week ago, when the Dodgers swept all four games. In fact, the Dodgers have won their last six games against Philadelphia.

Friday's series opener has an interesting pitching matchup, as Greg Maddux makes his first start for the Dodgers since rejoining the team via a trade with San Diego last week. Maddux's last start with the Padres was against the Phillies, and he took the loss after allowing one run in seven innings. Kyle Kendrick gets the start for the Phillies, and he'll be looking to rebound from two rough starts in a row. Last time out the Padres ripped Kendrick for six runs in 3 2-3 innings. In his previous start the Dodgers roughed him up for seven runs in only 3 1-3 innings.

In the rest of the series the Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, and Chad Billingsley to the mound, while the Phillies will counter with Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and Brett Myers.

The Marlins and Diamondbacks will get a three-game series started at Chase Field on Friday, with Arizona hoping for better results than they posted against the Marlins earlier this season. The Marlins have owed the Diamondbacks this year, with a 5-1 record against them.

In Friday's opener Anibal Sanchez gets the start for Florida, and Randy Johnson will start for Arizona. Sanchez (2-2, 3.52) allowed only one run in 5 1-3 innings against the Cubs last time out. Johnson (10-9, 4.16) is coming off a loss against Houston in which he gave up three runs in seven innings.

Also on tap for Florida in this series are Chris Volstad and Ricky Nolasco, while Yusmeiro Petit and Doug Davis will start for Arizona.

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Baseball Today

Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox (8:11 p.m. EDT). The AL East-leading Rays travel to the Windy City to take on the Central-leading White Sox.

STARS

- Grady Sizemore, Indians, drove in seven runs with a three-run triple in the second, a run-scoring single in the sixth and a three-run homer in the eighth in a 10-3 victory over Kansas City.

- Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks, pitched seven shutout innings for his career-high and major league-leading 19th victory in Arizona's 4-1 win over San Diego.

- Cliff Lee, Indians, earned his AL-best 18th victory and seventh straight decision in a 10-3 win over Kansas City.

- Roy Halladay, Blue Jays, improved to 13-5 in 30 career games against the New York Yankees and helped Toronto to a 14-3 rout.

- Carlos Delgado, Mets, tied his career high with five hits, the last a run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth that gave New York a 5-4 win over Atlanta.

- Carlos Zambrano, Cubs, earned his 13th victory on the fourth try and hit his fourth homer of the season to lift Chicago to a 3-2 victory against Cincinnati.

NATIONAL GAINS

Austin Kearns hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night. Washington (45-83) still owns the worst record in the majors.

PIRATE SAILS

Utilityman Jose Bautista was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday for a player to be named. The 27-year-old hit .242 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs in 107 games for Pittsburgh this season, then was demoted to Triple-A this month.

SMACKING ZAMBRANO

Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano hit his fourth homer of the season - and the fifth of his career against the Reds. Zambrano also earned his 15th victory of the season in Chicago's 3-2 win Thursday.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

Before the end of the regular season, Major League Baseball will start allowing umpires to review video to determine boundary calls on home runs, such as whether they cleared fences or went by the foul pole in fair territory.

STREAKING OUT WEST

The Dodgers' 3-1 win Thursday over Colorado helped Los Angeles go 7-3 on a 10-game homestand and kept the team two games behind NL West-leading Arizona. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Rockies, who scored 36 runs in three wins in Washington and two more at Dodger Stadium. It also ended Colorado's four-game winning streak against the Dodgers.

GIANT GAINS

Four days after Emmanuel Burriss' costly baserunning gaffe, the San Francisco Giants' rookie made an aggressive play pay off. Burriss moved from second base to third on a routine fly ball to left, then scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the San Francisco Giants a 4-3 victory over the Florida Marlins 4-3 on Thursday. San Francisco (55-72) won for the fourth time in five games and improved to 19-13 against the NL East, the only division the Giants have a winning record against this season.

YOUNG GUNS

Greg Smith allowed four hits in six innings for his first win since June, and fellow rookie Brad Ziegler got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth in the Oakland Athletics' 2-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night. Smith (6-12), one of the 10 rookies on Oakland's current roster, is 1-0 with 12 scoreless innings in two starts against the Mariners. He's 5-12 with a 4.08 ERA against everyone else. He had six consecutive losses from June 30. Ziegler has allowed two runs in 44 innings this year, a 0.41 ERA. The lowest season ERA with a minimum of 30 innings in major league history is 0.38, by Boston's Buck O'Brien in 1911.

ROYAL BLUE

Kansas City outfielder Mitch Maier's right eye was swollen shut and his nose still bleeding Thursday, less than 24 hours after being hit in the face with a pitch. The Royals placed Maier on the 15-day disabled list with multiple facial fractures. Maier was hit by a pitch from Cleveland left-hander Zach Jackson in the fifth inning of Kansas City's 8-5 loss Wednesday.

PITCHING PAVANO

Carl Pavano will return to the New York Yankees and start for the team on Saturday at Baltimore. The 32-year-old right-hander signed a $39.95 million, four-year contract with the Yankees before the 2005 season but injuries to his shoulder, back, buttocks, elbow and ribs have limited him to only 19 appearances for New York, just two since June 27, 2005. He is 5-6 for the Yankees.

SPEAKING

``I expect to catch that ball. I've got to catch that. I'd been playing Punto to pull all night, and he hit it right where I was supposed to be. If it hits your glove, you've got to catch that. I make those plays nine out of 10 times.'' - Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, who couldn't corral a triple hit by Minnesota's Nick Punto, leading to the winning run in the Twins' 2-1 victory Thursday night.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 22

Money Arms: Week of Aug. 18
By DAVID CHAN

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.

Paul Byrd, Boston Red Sox, Friday at Toronto

Paul Byrd’s Boston debut wasn’t a successful one, as he suffered a 4-1 loss against these same Blue Jays. There won’t be nearly as much pressure in his first road start with the new team. Oddly enough, this will be his third consecutive start against the Jays. Back on August 9th, Byrd was masterful in a complete game win at Rogers Center in Toronto. That was when he was a member of the Cleveland Indians. The Indians had won four straight games with Byrd on the mound before he was dealt to Boston.

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Friday's MLB Research
By Indiancowboy

Yankees vs. Baltimore

Mussina is 5-1 over his last 7 starts, he is 6-1 on the road this year with a 3.05 era and with 16 wins this year he has had a 3.35 era as he has settled in nicely. Note 6 of his last 7 starts have been quality, but he has struggled miserably against Baltimore this year as home or away he has had eras of 13.64 and 10.80 era. Ironically, he had a 13.8 and a 10.8 era along with a 0 era against Baltimore last year. In essence, over the last 2 years, Mussina is 1-4 in quality starts against Baltimore. Liz has yet to face the Yankees this year, is on a bounce-back but does have control issues as after all, he has given up 18 walks in his last 4 starts.

Boston vs. Toronto

Byrd had 4 straight quality starts before having a 4.91 era in his last start as he was out dueled by Halladay, he now pitches for Boston of course and is 1-1 in quality starts against the Bluejays this year, so he will look to bounce-back from a previous loss to the Jays, but the luck of the draw pits Byrd against another Toronto stud in Marcum who is 5-3 with a 2.62 era, he has also had a 3.86 and 1.8 era against Boston this past year going 2-0 against them, Toronto should be favored slightly here as they are but Byrd will look to get his first win with his team. Likely going to stay away from this game.

Cleveland vs. Texas

Cleveland comes off a nice win with Cliff Lee getting it done 10-3 yesterday, Carmona faces off against Texas today, he had a great start against the Angels at home in this last start with a 2.57 era, he faced Texas earlier this season with a 27 era, Harrisson has pitched relatively well in his last 3 starts as he is 3-0 with eras of 2.84, 10 and 0 era. Having said that, Harrison is a young kid that struggles with back to back quality starts, the line sits with Texas as small favorites here, frankly, I can see this game going either way and I would take a total on this game with so many other games out there including the nfl.

Detroit vs. KC

After 4 straight non-quality starts, Verlander had a big start against the Orioles at home going 6 inns and giving up just 4 hits in a 5-3 win, Verlander has lost both times to the Royals or his team has lost both times so the question is will he have another let down on the road like he has been having, having said that, I see him pitching well against the Royals as he has consistently done this year, but is just looking for some offense, he faces Brian Bannister who in 1 inning gave up 10 hits and 10 runs in his last start, he had a 90 era, against Detroit, he did defeat them 7-2 earlier this year, lean on the under here as 9.5 is not too much a high spread to hit the under here.

Tampa Bay vs. Whitesox

Jackson has pitched great in his last 4 starts, despite having a 1.5 era on the road at Texas, Jackson still picked up a loss in his last start, he is 5-3 with a 3.28 era on the road, technically it is a bounce-back as he did lose his last start, but that was a solid start, so tough to have a bounce-back on that, Jackson has struggled against the whitesox this year who can hit with the best of them, he had a 12.47 and 6 era in his last 2 starts against the pale hose, he had a 6 era against them last year too, Danks has been dominant against Tampa Bay as he is 3-0 against them since last year including allowing just 1 run in 13 inns against them this year, I would just hate taking a run-line on the pale hose against the league leading Devilrays.

Twins vs. Angels

Perkins is 5-1 over his last 6 starts, the Twins are 73-54 this year, keep in mind that Perkins comes in as a +167 dog here, usually he pitches better off a loss, but despite having a 6 era in his last start, he did pick up the win, so not necessarily a bounce-back for him here, he has yet to face the Angels this year, Saunders is 2-1 over his last 7 starts, note that he went 8 inns and gave up just 4 hits to the Twins earlier this year on the road as he beat them 1-0, Twins have revenge there but Saunders had a 5.4 era in his last start so he is on a bounce-back, similar to the white sox vs. devil rays, i'd rather not go against the Twins on the run-line despite that being my lean.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 22

TheSpread.com's MLB Picks and Predictions For Friday

Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs continue to make it clear they are not taking anything for granted as they continue their stretch against opponents with sub-.500 records.

The first-place Cubs look for a second straight victory in the opener of a weekend home set Friday afternoon against the lowly Washington Nationals, who snapped their longest losing streak since 1976 in their last game.

Chicago (78-49) held on for a 3-2 win over Cincinnati on Thursday to take two of three from the last-place Reds and win for the 18th time in 23 contests. Now the NL Central leaders face the team with the major's worst record in Washington (45-83), which ended a 12-game losing streak with a 4-3 win at Philadelphia on Thursday.

Chicago looks for a better outing versus Washington's John Lannan (6-12, 3.81) after he allowed four hits in seven innings of a 2-0 win over the Cubs on April 27 in his only appearance against them.

The left-hander, though, hasn't been as good of late, going 0-3 with a 5.76 ERA over his last five starts. He gave up eight runs and seven hits in four innings of a 13-6 home loss to Colorado on Saturday.

Pick: Chicago


Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have given the Boston Red Sox problems all season, but in the middle of a close playoff race, Boston knows it can't afford for those struggles to continue.

The Red Sox look to avoid a seventh straight loss in Toronto on Friday when the teams open a three-game series.

Boston (73-54) is 2-6 against the Blue Jays (66-61) this season and plays them 10 more times in 2008. It was swept in its only trip to Toronto this season, getting outscored 23-9 over a three-game series in April. The Red Sox's average of 2.1 runs per game versus the Blue Jays is easily their lowest against any team they've faced this season.

The Blue Jays took two of three games in that series have won seven of nine overall, averaging 6.0 runs.

Shaun Marcum (8-5, 3.36) takes the mound for Toronto on Friday.

Marcum has won his last three starts while posting a 2.00 ERA. He pitched five innings against Boston on Sunday, allowing one run and five hits in a 15-4 win.

Marcum is 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts and five relief appearances versus the Red Sox. As a starter, he is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA against them.

Pick: Toronto


San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants

Last week, San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum was dominating another opponent before he took a line drive off his right knee and was forced to leave the game.

Any lingering concerns the club had about its ace's health, though, were dismissed in his last outing.

Lincecum looks to lead the Giants to their fifth win in six games in the opener of a three-game series against the NL West rival San Diego Padres on Friday night at AT&T Park.

It's been a largely frustrating season for the rebuilding Giants (55-72), who have the second-lowest scoring offense in the majors and the third-worst record in the NL.

The Giants have won four of five at AT&T Park, where their last five victories have each been decided by one run. They haven't won a home game by more than two runs since a 6-3 victory over Washington on July 22.

Pick: San Francisco

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