MLB News and Notes August 26

MLB News and Notes August 26

Tuesday's streaking and slumping MLB starters
By JUSTIN BANKS

Streaking

Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians (18-2, 2.43)


Lee has just one loss in his last 10 and is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three. He has relinquished two earned runs or less in eight of his last 10 overall.

Lee, who has not lost a road start since July, is 10-2 and has a 2.46 ERA on the road. He is 2-1 with a solid 2.54 career-ERA at Comerica Park.

The Indians are 11-3 in Lee’s last 14 road starts and are 19-7 in his last 26 overall.


Derek Lowe, Los Angeles Dodgers (10-10, 3.89)

Lowe, who had just two wins in his first 12, is 2-0 in his last three overall. He is 3-0 and has a 1.71 career-ERA against the Washington Nationals.

Lowe is fresh off a solid victory over the lowly Colorado Rockies in which he relinquished just one earned run and struck out seven in six IP. He has not relinquished more than three earned runs in each of his last three starts.

The Dodgers are 7-3 in Lowe’s last 10 starts with four days of rest and are 11-1 in their last 12 meetings with the Nationals.


Slumping

Brian Burres, Baltimore Orioles (7-7, 5.64)


Burres has relinquished 11 earned runs in his last three starts and has a lofty 7.42 ERA in that period.

Burres is 0-2 in his last four home starts and is 4-4 overall at Oriole Park. He has relinquished 13 hits in his last six IP at home. Burres also has a lofty 6.30 ERA in his last three starts against the Chicago White Sox.

The Orioles are 1-6 in their last seven home games and are 1-5 in their last six overall.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 26

Baseball Today

Boston at New York Yankees (7:05 p.m. EDT). In their final regular-season visit to Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox open a three-game series against their longtime rivals. Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA) is scheduled to come off the disabled list for Boston to face New York lefty Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17).

STARS

- Grady Sizemore, Indians, homered twice and joined the 30-30 club (30 homers, 30 stolen bases) in Cleveland's 4-3, 10-inning win over Detroit.

- Carlos Delgado and Mike Pelfrey, Mets. Delgado hit a pair of three-run homers and Pelfrey pitched his second consecutive complete game in a 9-1 victory over Houston.

- Adrian Beltre, Mariners, hit a game-winning homer in the 11th inning after scoring the tying run in the ninth to help Seattle rally past Minnesota 4-2.

- Jimmy Rollins, Phillies, went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and finished a home run shy of the cycle in Philadelphia's 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2007 NL MVP reached base five times.

- Jody Gerut, Padres, hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give San Diego a 4-2 win over Arizona that snapped a seven-game losing streak.

- Nelson Cruz, Rangers, went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs in his major league season debut to lead Texas over Kansas City 9-4.

STRANDED

Brett Myers, J.C. Romero and Clay Condrey combined on a 13-hit shutout in Philadelphia's 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only two teams have had more hits without scoring a run in a nine-inning game: The New York Giants got 14 hits in a 7-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 14, 1913, and the Cleveland Indians had 14 in a 9-0 loss to the Washington Senators on July 10, 1928. Despite piling up 26 hits in their past two games, the Dodgers have totaled only two runs in a 20-inning span. Manny Ramirez doesn't have an RBI in the last seven games.

30-30 CLUB

Grady Sizemore of the Indians homered on the game's second pitch to become the 14th American League player to join the 30-30 club, and first since Alfonso Soriano did it for Texas in 2005. Sizemore is the second Indians player to do it. Joe Carter also accomplished the feat with Cleveland in 1987, when he had 32 homers and 31 steals. Sizemore has 31 home runs and 34 steals, and needs nine homers and six steals to become the fifth player to reach 40-40 in a season. Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Soriano (2006) are the only ones to do it.

CRUZ CONTROL

Nelson Cruz had three hits, including a three-run homer, in his major league season debut, and the Rangers beat the Royals 9-4. Cruz, promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day, homered in the third with Josh Hamilton and Marlon Byrd aboard. Cruz hit .342 with 37 home runs at Oklahoma and led the minors with a .693 slugging percentage. Last July 28, Cruz was recalled from the minors and had two homers and five RBIs at Kansas City in his first game of the season for Texas.

THOME TIME

Jim Thome climbed another notch on the career home run list and helped Chicago widen its AL Central lead. Thome hit his 535th homer to gain sole possession of 15th place, and the White Sox beat the Orioles 4-3. Thome's 28th homer of the season gave his team a 4-3 lead in the sixth. The drive, off Baltimore rookie Chris Waters, moved Chicago's designated hitter past Jimmie Foxx and put him within one of Mickey Mantle on baseball's home run chart.

WHAT A RELIEF!

The Twins bolstered their bullpen, adding veteran Eddie Guardado in a trade with the Rangers. Guardado, who pitched for Minnesota from 1993-03 and earned the nickname ``Everyday Eddie'' for the number of innings he logged, pitched a perfect inning in his return, a 4-2 loss to Seattle in 11 innings. He will assume the setup role for the Twins. The Rangers received 21-year-old right-hander Mark Hamburger.

AILING

The New York Mets put starter John Maine on the disabled list. He is out for at least three weeks with a bone spur in his right shoulder. ... All-Star third baseman Carlos Guillen left Detroit's game against Cleveland because of lower back spasms and is day-to-day. ... Johnny Cueto has a strained right elbow and will miss at least one start for Cincinnati.

SURGING

Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat Pittsburgh 12-3 to improve baseball's best record. The Cubs moved to 81-50 - the first time they've been 31 games above .500 since they ended the 1984 season 96-65. Ted Lilly (13-7) pitched seven effective innings for the Cubs, who have won three straight and 23 of 31. Chicago has won 11 of its past 12 road games. ... Colorado has won eight of 10 to move within seven games of first-place Arizona in the NL West.

STATS

Mike Pelfrey (13-8) became the first New York Mets pitcher with consecutive complete-game wins since Bret Saberhagen in 1995. ... Kosuke Fukudome, hitting .161 in August when the game began, drove in four runs for the Chicago Cubs in a 12-3 win at Pittsburgh. Jim Edmonds had a triple and two doubles after going 0-for-17 over his previous seven games. ... Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins got his first extra-base hits since Aug. 12 in his first multihit game since Aug. 13. ... Coming off his first shutout in four years, Brett Myers (7-10) of the Phillies ran his scoreless innings streak to 16.

REDEMPTION

Brett Myers tossed seven gritty innings and Philadelphia completed its first four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 23 years with a 5-0 win. The Phillies have won eight of 10 since losing four straight at Dodger Stadium. It was their first four-game sweep over the Dodgers since Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 1985, at Los Angeles. Philadelphia had never swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.

SNAPPED

Jeff Francis got his first victory in more than two months, pitching Colorado to a 4-2 victory at San Francisco that ended the Giants' season-high five-game winning streak. The left-hander allowed two runs in the first, then settled in and lasted seven innings. It was only the Giants' second loss in their last nine games against teams within their own division.

SPEAKING

``I saw him throw his finger (toward the showers) and I thought, 'What are you talking about? I'm going to the showers anyway. You're going to throw me out and the game's already over? You're cool.''' - Twins rookie Denard Span, still fuming after plate upmire Brian Gorman tossed him out of a game that had already ended with his strikeout Sunday at the Los Angeles Angels.

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Tuesday's MLB Tip Sheet
By Brad Young

**Mets (Martinez) at Phillies (Moyer)**

-Las Vegas Sports Consultants installed Philadelphia as a $1.30 home ‘chalk’ over New York, with the total set at nine ‘over’ (minus $1.30). This National League East contest is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.
   
-New York’s Pedro Martinez (4-3, 4.97 ERA) is off Thursday’s no-decision against Atlanta. The veteran right-hander went seven innings while surrendering four runs on seven hits (one home run) with a walk and six strikeouts.

-The Mets eventually won that affair as a $2.10 home favorite, 5-4, while the combined nine runs landed directly on the closing total. The ‘over’ is 3-1-1 his last five starts.

-Martinez beat the Phillies July 7 as a $1.25 road underdog, 10-9, yielding just two runs on five hits (two home runs) with three walks and six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. The combined 19 runs soared ‘over’ the 10½-run closing total.

-Philadelphia counters with veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.54 ERA), who is also coming off a no-decision in Thursday’s effort against Washington. The 45-year-old went 6 2/3 innings, yielding two runs (one earned) on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

-The Phillies eventually dropped that contest as a decided $2.60 home ‘chalk,’ 4-3, while the combined seven runs went ‘under’ the nine-run closing total. The ‘under’ has cashed in Moyer’s last three starts.

-The Pennsylvania native is 0-1 against the Mets this season in three starts, going a combined 19 2/3 innings while allowing six runs on 16 hits with six walks and 11 strikeouts. The Phillies dropped all three meetings as a $1.00 home selection, 4-2, as a $1.15 home favorite, 9-4, and as a $1.30 road underdog, 3-1. The ‘under’ went 2-1 during those three games.

**Brewers (Sheets) at Cardinals (Wellemeyer)**

-LVSC opened Milwaukee as a $1.25 road favorite over St. Louis, with the total listed at eight. First pitch for this NL Central contest is slated for 8:15 p.m. ET.

-Milwaukee pitcher Ben Sheets (11-7, 3.16 ERA) dropped to 1-4 his last five starts after falling to Houston last Tuesday as a huge $2.40 home ‘chalk,’ 5-2. The eight-year veteran was reached for five runs on five hits (one home run) with a walk and seven strikeouts over six innings.

-The combined seven runs failed to eclipse the eight-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash his fourth straight start.

-Sheets has a pair of no decisions against the Cardinals this season, tossing a combined 14 innings while surrendering six runs (five earned) on 13 hits (one home run) with three walks and 10 strikeouts. The Brewers prevailed as a $1.23 road favorite, 4-3, while losing as a $1.70 home ‘chalk,’ 5-3. The ‘under’ cashed in both contests.

-St. Louis righty Todd Wellemeyer (11-4, 3.79 ERA) is riding a personal three-game winning streak after upending Pittsburgh Wednesday as a $2.20 home favorite, 11-2. The 29-year-old went five innings, allowing both runs on five hits (one home run) with two walks and five strikeouts.

-The combined 13 runs toppled the nine-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 5-2-1 his last eight outings.

-Wellemeyer has two no decisions against the Brewers this season, going a combined 11 innings while yielding four runs (two earned) on 11 hits with five walks and four strikeouts. The Cardinals fell as a $1.10 road underdog, 4-3, and as a $1.13 home ‘dog, 4-3. The ‘under’ occurred both times.

**Red Sox (Wakefield) at Yankees (Pettitte)**

-LVSC lists New York as a $1.48 home ‘chalk’ over Boston, with the total set at 9 ½ ‘under’ (minus $1.25). This American League East contest is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. ET.

-Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA) heads to the hill for the first time since August 6 when he upended Kansas City as a $1.45 road favorite, 8-2. The veteran right-hander was placed on the disabled list after that start with tightness in the back of his pitching shoulder.

-The Florida Tech product went six innings against the Royals, surrendering both runs (one earned) on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. The combined 10 runs slithered ‘over’ the 9 ½-run closing total, helping the ‘over’ improve to 4-2 his last six starts.

-Wakefield is 0-1 against the Yankees this year in two starts, going a combined 11 2/3 innings while being reached for nine runs on 12 hits (two home runs) with five walks and eight strikeouts. The Red Sox fell as a $1.60 road underdog, 5-4, and as a $1.18 home ‘chalk,’ 10-3. The ‘over’ prevailed in both matchups.

-New York’s Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17 ERA) got back on the winning track by beating Toronto Wednesday as a $1.63 road favorite, 5-1. The Louisiana native tossed seven solid innings, surrendering the lone run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

-The combined six runs failed to topple the 9 ½-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash his third straight start.

-Pettitte is 1-1 against the Red Sox this season in two starts, going a combined 10 2/3 innings while yielding nine runs (six earned) on 14 hits (one home run) with six walks and nine strikeouts. The Yankees prevailed as a $1.10 road underdog, 10-3, while losing as a $1.40 home ‘chalk,’ 7-0.

**Blue Jays (Halladay) at Rays (Shields) **


-LVSC opened Tampa Bay as a $1.17 home favorite over Toronto, with the total listed at 7½ ‘under’ (minus $1.20). This AL East affair is slated to start at 7:10 p.m. ET.

-Toronto hurler Roy Halladay (15-9, 2.71 ERA) has won back-to-back starts after Thursday’s triumph over New York as a $1.80 home ‘chalk,’ 14-3. The 6-foot-6 pitcher was tagged for three runs on five hits (one home run) with two walks and nine strikeouts.

-The combined 17 runs soared ‘over’ the 8 ½-run closing total, ending a string of four consecutive ‘under’ outings for the right-hander.

-Halladay is 0-3 against the Rays this season in three starts, going a combined 22 innings while yielding 13 runs on 23 hits (two home runs) with seven walks and 18 strikeouts. The Blue Jays lost as a $1.40 road favorite, 5-3, as a road ‘pick,’ 6-4, and as a $1.50 home ‘chalk,’ 3-0. The ‘under’ went 2-1 for those three games.

-Tampa Bay’s James Shields (11-7, 3.68 ERA) knocked off Los Angeles last Tuesday as a $1.08 home favorite, 4-2. The three-year veteran went eight innings, allowing both runs on nine hits (one home run) with a walk and seven strikeouts.

-The combined six runs failed to topple the eight-run closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 6-2 his last eight outings.

-Shields is 2-1 against the Blue Jays this season in three starts, going a combined 21 1/3 inning while surrendering eight runs (six earned) on 15 hits (three home runs) with four walks and 14 strikeouts. The Rays prevailed as a $1.50 home favorite, 6-4, and as a $1.58 home favorite, 2-1, while losing as a $1.00 road selection, 3-1. The ‘under’ went 2-1 during those three matchups.

vegasinsider.com.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 26

Short series for Mets, Phillies

The Mets had a half-game lead in the NL East when the week began, and they'll be looking to have a lead later this week after they head to Philadelphia for a short series.

The Mets get in and out of Philadelphia quickly with only two games in the series against their division rival, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Phillies will be looking to pull off a sweep in the short series and push the Mets down the standings.

However, judging by the previous results from this season, that likely won't happen. The Mets and Phillies have met on the field 13 times already this season, and New York has dominated and won nine times.

In Tuesday's game Pedro Martinez gets the start for the Mets, while Jamie Moyer is on tap for Philadelphia.

Martinez (4-3, 4.97) earned a no-decision against Atlanta in his last start after giving up four runs in seven innings. In his lone start against the Phillies this season Martinez allowed two runs in 5 1-3 innings to pick up the win.

Moyer (11-7, 3.54) allowed only one run in 6 2-3 innings against Washington in his last start, but had to settle for a no-decision. Moyer has faced the Mets four times already this season, posting a 1-1 record with a 2.81 ERA.

Wednesday's scheduled starters are Johan Santana for the Mets and Kyle Kendrick for the Phillies.

Santana (12-7, 2.64) hasn't taken a loss since June 28. Last time out Santana recorded a win versus Houston after pitching seven shutout innings. In three starts against the Phillies this season Santana is 1-0 with a 2.74 ERA.

Kendrick (11-7, 4.87) limited the Dodgers to one run on three hits in 5 2-3 innings in his last start. In two previous starts against the Mets this season Kendrick is 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA.         

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 26

TheSpread.com Monday MLB Picks and Predictions 8/26

Teams are battling through injuries late in the year and continue to make a playoff push. Our team of writers and handicappers gathered three of their top picks for Tuesday’s MLB action.

New York Mets (73-59) at Philadelphia Phillies (72-59)

The New York Mets lead the NL East by a slim margin over the Philadelphia Phillies. That slight edge can be directly attributed to their success against their division rivals.

The Mets look to create some breathing room in the tight race Tuesday night when they visit the surging Phillies in the opener of a key two-game set.

The Mets (73-59), who lead the division by one-half game over the Phillies (72-59), hold a 9-4 advantage in the season series, including a 5-2 mark at Philadelphia.

Chase Utley has been outstanding in the last 11 home games against the Mets, hitting .348 (16-for-46) with six homers and 10 RBIs. The All-Star second baseman enters this series on a tear, going 10-for-22 (.455) with one homer and three RBIs in the last six games.

Jamie Moyer (11-7, 3.54) is hoping for better offensive support after getting four runs or less in 13 of his last 14 outings, going 5-4 with a 2.66 ERA in that span.

Pick: Philadelphia


Oakland Athletics (60-71) at Los Angles Angels (79-51)

John Lackey had nothing to show for his best outing in almost a month. He usually seems to enjoy plenty of success when facing the Oakland Athletics.

The Los Angeles right-hander looks to continue his dominance of the visiting Athletics while trying to help the Angels bounce back from a series-opening loss Tuesday night.

Lackey (10-2, 3.09 ERA) allowed one run and five hits while striking out six in eight innings, but received little support in a 2-1, 12-inning loss to Minnesota on Thursday. It was the first time in four starts Lackey allowed two or fewer runs.

Rookie Greg Smith (6-12, 3.75), who has 14 of those pickoffs, will take the mound for Oakland trying build off his last start against Los Angeles when he allowed one run and four hits in a 6-1 victory at Anaheim on June 30 for his first complete game.

Pick: Los Angles


Florida Marlins (67-64) at Atlanta Braves (57-74)

With five weeks to go in the regular season, the Florida Marlins need to string together wins to have any chance of making the playoffs.

After closing their last series with an important victory, the Marlins look to win back-to-back games for the first time this month when they open a three-game set Tuesday against the stumbling Atlanta Braves.

Florida (67-64) was in second place in the NL East on Aug. 7, 1 1/2 games out of first, but dropped to third by losing 10 of its next 15 and was a season-worst six games off the division lead heading into Sunday's series finale in Arizona.

The Marlins have not won consecutive games since July 30 and 31, and they might not have the best option on the mound Tuesday in Scott Olsen (6-8, 4.11 ERA).

Florida has lost Olsen's last six starts, and 13 of his last 17. On Wednesday, the left-hander did not get a decision, giving up four runs and nine hits in six innings of a 6-5 loss to San Francisco.

Olsen is 0-4 with a 5.05 ERA in his last six, and is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in his three road starts in that span. In his only start at Turner Field this season on June 2, he gave up three runs and four hits in six innings of a 7-5, 10-inning loss. He is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Braves this year.

Pick: Florida

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Re: MLB News and Notes August 26

Chan's Money Arms: Week of Aug. 25
By DAVID CHAN

This column has produced a 27-14 record over the past nine weeks, proving that a little homework can go a long way when it comes to building baseball bankrolls.

It’s the start of another busy week on the diamond and here are four starters that could earn you some extra loot over the next four days.


James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday vs. Toronto

This is a good spot to fade the Blue Jays as they check in following a disappointing series loss against the Wild Card leading Red Sox over the weekend. James Shields has been dominant on the mound at Tropicana Field this season, currently 8-1 with a 2.21 ERA. He is 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in six career starts against Toronto. The Rays have only dropped two of his last 12 starts. I’m still not sure that Tampa Bay is getting the respect it deserves, not based on the line we’re seeing for this ball game. I know Shields is up against Roy Halladay, but the Jays perennial Cy Young candidate is 0-3 against the Rays this season.


Cha Seung Baek, San Diego Padres, Wednesday vs. Arizona

I feel like it’s finally safe to start fading Randy Johnson again. The D’Backs have lost three of his last four starts despite the fact that he continues to pitch well. Those discouraging defeats have to take their toll, and on Wednesday, I look for him to get blind-sided by the light-hitting Padres. Cha Seung Baek is a serviceable pitcher, especially against the hot and cold D’Backs. He should be in line for a positive start after struggling in two of his last three trips to the mound. This call is out of left field, I know, but I think we should see some substantial value, making the possible reward far greater than the risk.


Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs, Thursday vs. Philadelphia

Dempster will be matched up against Phillies ace Cole Hamels, and that should help unlock some value with the Cubs in this one. The Dempster profit train has yet to run off the tracks this season, as he brings a 15-5 record and 2.85 ERA to the table. His consistency has been remarkable, as he enters this start having given up two earned runs or less in seven straight outings. The Phillies have yet to face the reborn right-hander this season, and based on their recent results away from home, I expect them to struggle at the plate. Hamels hasn’t shown enough consistency for me to back him on the road against an elite N.L. club.


David Bush, Milwaukee Brewers, Friday at Pittsburgh

Bush has quietly turned his season around, winning three consecutive decisions, and helping the Brewers earn victories in seven of his last eight starts. He has lasted at least seven innings in four of his last five outings, and held his opponents to two earned runs or fewer in three of his last four. If you look at his overall road numbers, you won’t come away impressed (2-6, 5.76 ERA), but consider his last four starts away from home, in which he has given up two earned runs or less three times. This is a veteran pitcher that has solidified his role in the Brewers rotation, just when most believed a trip to the ‘pen was imminent. It’s not hard to back him against a weak Pirates squad.

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