MLB News and Notes August 27

MLB News and Notes August 27

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.

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.

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Wednesday’s MLB streaking and slumping starters
By JUSTIN BANKS

Streaking

Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins (11-3, 3.90)


Perkins is 3-0 with a solid 1.64 ERA in his last three starts and has not relinquished a single earned run in two of his last three overall.

Perkins has just one setback in his last 10 and is 2-1 in his last four road starts. He is 4-1 on the road and is 1-0 this season against the Seattle Mariners.

The Twins are 9-3 in their last 12 Wednesday contests and are 4-1 in their last five against the Mariners.


Johan Santana, New York Mets (12-7, 2.64)

Santana is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last three starts, including back-to-back shutouts over the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Santana, who spent eight seasons with the Twins, has conceded three earned runs in his last three starts. He also has 18 strikeouts against three walks in that period.

The Mets are 16-5 in their last 21 against the NL East and are 5-2 in their last seven road games against the Phillies.


Slumping

Brian Bannister, Kansas City Royals (7-13, 5.89)


Bannister, who had a career-high 12 wins last season, has struggled recently. In his last three starts, he is 0-3 with a lofty 10.13 ERA.

Bannister is winless in his last five road starts, including a recent loss to the Detroit Tigers in which he relinquished four earned runs and two homers in just eight IP. He is also 0-1 with a 9.90 ERA in one start this season against the Texas Rangers.

The Royals are 1-7 in their last eight against a club with a losing record and are 1-5 in their last six versus the Rangers.

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Baseball Today

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, Aug. 27

New York Mets at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EDT). Johan Santana (12-7) goes to the mound for the Mets in the finale of a two-game set between the top teams in the NL East. Kyle Kendrick (11-7) pitches for the Phillies, one day after his 24th birthday.

STARS

- Geovany Soto, Cubs, had seven RBIs with two three-run doubles and a solo homer in a 14-9 victory at Pittsburgh.

- Jimmy Rollins, Phillies, went 5-for-7 with a homer, three RBIs and three stolen bases to help Philadelphia rally from a seven-run deficit in an 8-7 victory in 13 innings against the New York Mets.

- Ben Francisco, Indians, hit two two-run homers in a 10-4 victory over Detroit.

- Johnny Damon, Yankees, hit two home runs in a losing cause as Boston beat New York 7-3.

- Bronson Arroyo, Reds, pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing five hits in a 2-1 win over Houston.

- Ryan Braun, Brewers, went 3-for-5 with his 33rd home run in a 12-0 victory at St. Louis.

NOT AGAIN

Mets fans are getting used to watching their team give away leads late in games. New York led 7-0, but fell 8-7 to Philadelphia in 13 innings. The Mets bullpen has blown 10 leads in the ninth inning, according to Stats LLC. The Mets have 22 blown saves overall, including seven by injured All-Star closer Billy Wagner. Of course, blown leads are nothing new to the Mets, who squandered a seven-game lead with 17 remaining last season, losing the division to the Phillies on the final day.

DROPSY

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano dropped another routine fly ball against the Pirates, but this time Chicago survived the miscue. Soriano's error allowed the Pirates to take an 8-7 lead in the seventh, but he had a key hit in Chicago's seven-run eighth and the Cubs won 14-9. On May 25, Soriano's dropped fly with two out in the ninth with the Cubs up led to a 6-5 Pirates' victory in 11 innings.

ACES

Cliff Lee earned his American League-leading 19th win in the Indians' ninth straight victory, 10-4 over the Tigers. Lee allowed two runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings to became the eighth pitcher since 1920 to win 19 of his first 21 decisions in a season, according to Stats LLC. The last to do it was Roger Clemens, who was 20-1 after beating the White Sox on Sept. 19, 2001, while with the Yankees. ... Arizona's Brandon Webb lost in his first bid to become the NL's first 20-game winner since 2005 with one of his few bad outings this season, allowing six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings in a 9-2 loss to San Diego.

LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE

Umpires will be allowed to check video on home run calls starting Thursday after Major League Baseball, guardian of America's most traditional sport, reversed its decades-long opposition to instant replay. Commissioner Bud Selig softened his opposition following a rash of blown calls this year. For now, video will be used only on so-called "boundary calls,'' such as determining whether fly balls went over the fence, whether potential home runs were fair or foul and whether there was fan interference on potential home runs. Replay will go into use with three series scheduled to open Thursday; for other games, replays will be available to umpires starting Friday.

NAY-ROD

Alex Rodriguez flopped all night when the Yankees needed a big hit in a 7-3 loss to the Red Sox. The three-time MVP finished 0-for-5 and was booed loudly as New York fell six games behind Boston, which leads the AL wild-card race by a slim margin over Minnesota. Rodriguez also committed an error at third base. Rodriguez flied out with two on in the fifth. With the Yankees trailing 7-3 in the seventh, he came up with the bases loaded and grounded into an inning-ending double play against Justin Masterson.

ROY BEATS RAYS

Roy Halladay gave up two runs and six hits in six innings and the Blue Jays beat the Rays 6-2. It was the first time in four tries that Halladay beat the AL East-leading Rays. The right-hander posted a 5.32 ERA in losing his previous three starts against Tampa Bay this year. No team has beat Halladay four times in the same season.

WELCOME HOME

Pitching less than six miles from where he played in high school, Gavin Floyd pitched eight innings of four-hit ball to help the White Sox beat the Orioles. The Maryland native allowed two runs, struck out four and walked one during a 98-pitch effort. He retired the side in order five times.

STELLAR 'D'

The struggling Dodgers twice hit the ball to Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded and nobody out. That's a surefire way to kill a potential big inning. The Nationals' third baseman turned four double plays and just a missed a fifth in a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers. Los Angeles has lost five in a row.

HECKLED

Royals outfielder Jose Guillen had to be restrained from a heckling fan during a 2-1 loss to the Rangers. Kauffman Stadium security removed the fan, who started in on Guillen after he stopped at first base in the second inning after hitting a drive off the wall in left field. Guillen said the fan said something about his family after the fourth inning. Royals third base coach Luis Silverio and others restrained Guillen, while security led the fan away.

AILING

J.D. Drew was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, leaving the Boston Red Sox without their All-Star right fielder during a tight pennant race. Drew was put on the DL retroactive to Aug. 19. ... The Nationals placed outfielder Austin Kearns on the 15-day disabled list with to a stress fracture in his left foot. General manager Jim Bowden said Kearns is expected to miss four to six weeks. Kearns had been playing with the injury for most of August. An MRI on Monday revealed the stress fracture.

HEALING

Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski was released from a hospital one week after having triple bypass surgery. The former Boston Red Sox outfielder had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital after experiencing chest pains. His discharge was announced by team spokesman John Blake. His family released a statement after the surgery saying it was "a complete success.''

SPEAKING

"It's frustrating, but with this team, in this stadium, you never know. They never give up, especially in this band box.'' - Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez, after his team gave up a seven-run deficit and lost 8-7 to the Phillies in Philadelphia.

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TheSpread.com  MLB Picks and Predictions For Wednesday August 27

Oakland Athletics (60-72) at Los Angeles Angels (80-51)


Although the Los Angeles Angels are running away with the AL West title, they haven't won a series in more than two weeks.

The Angels try to end a run of four straight series without winning one when they conclude a three-game home set with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.

Los Angeles (80-51) has a 16-game lead on Texas in the division, but has gone 8-10 since sweeping the New York Yankees from Aug. 8-10. The Angels have lost three series since and split another before splitting the first two-games of this set against the Athletics (60-72).

The Angels are 10-3 in Saunders' starts at home.

The A's are trying to salvage a split of their 10-game road trip. They've scored a total of 25 runs on the trip as Bobby Crosby (7-for-33), Kurt Suzuki (7-for-31) and Emil Brown (5-for-25) are among the regulars struggling.

Oakland rookie Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 3.37) will make his fifth career start. He lasted five innings his last time out and did not receive a decision after giving up four runs in five innings in a 7-5 loss at Seattle on Friday.

Pick: LA Angels


New York Mets (73-60) at Philadelphia Phillies (73-59)

Starter Kyle Kendrick was warming up in extra innings of a game that put the Philadelphia Phillies into first place. He never pitched, but it's unlikely he would have fared any worse than New York Mets relievers have.

Kendrick will now take the mound for the Phillies after a key victory, matching up with Mets ace Johan Santana when the teams complete a two-game set Wednesday night with the NL East lead on the line again.

Philadelphia (73-59) moved one-half game ahead of New York (73-60) after overcoming a 7-0 deficit to beat the Mets 8-7 in 13 innings Tuesday night.

The Mets hope Santana (12-7, 2.64) will make any relief work unnecessary as they try to regain first place. He has won three straight starts, and hasn't allowed a run in his last two.

Santana allowed eight hits in seven innings versus Houston on Friday night, throwing a career-high 121 pitches as New York won 3-0.

The left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies.

Pick: NY Mets


Milwaukee Brewers (77-55) at St. Louis Cardinals (73-59)

The St. Louis Cardinals could not have asked for a better performance from Adam Wainwright in his return from a sprained middle finger injury. They might have to in his next start.

Wainwright hopes for another strong effort as the Cardinals try to avoid an eighth straight loss to the Milwaukee Brewers that would push them further behind their division rivals in the NL wild-card race in the conclusion of their season series Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

In his first start in 2 1/2 months, Wainwright (7-3, 3.04 ERA) allowed one run and five hits on 72 pitches in six innings of an 18-3 win over Atlanta on Friday.

After a strong performance from Ben Sheets on Tuesday, the Brewers turn to Manny Parra (10-6, 4.10) as he tries to build off his first victory since July 20. Parra allowed two runs and six hits in five innings of a 5-2 victory over Houston last Wednesday, though he wasn't happy with his performance.

Pick: Milwaukee

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Baseball replay starts Thursday

NEW YORK (AP) -Major League Baseball reversed its long-standing opposition to instant replay and will allow umpires to check video on home run calls in series that start Thursday, a person familiar with the announcement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was authorized before commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement at 5 p.m. Tuesday EDT.

Three series are scheduled to start Thursday, with Philadelphia at the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota at Oakland and Texas at the Los Angeles Angels. For other games, replays will be available to umpires starting Friday.

The start date comes nearly 10 months after general managers voted 25-5 to use the technology, and following MLB agreements with the unions for umpires and for players.

For now, video will be used only on so-called ``boundary calls,'' such as determining whether fly balls went over the fence or whether potential home runs were fair or foul.

Video will be collected at the office of Major League Baseball Advanced Media in New York. If the crew chief at a game decides replay needs to be checked, umpires will leave the field, technicians at MLBAM will show umpires the video and the crew chief will make the call.

Baseball had been the last holdout among the major professional sports in the United States. Replays were first used in the NFL in 1986.

In the NHL, video review has been in place since the 1991-92 season to check whether the puck crossed the goal line completely, went in before time expired or the net was dislodged, and wasn't kicked or batted in intentionally.

In the NBA, replays have been viewed since the 2002-3 season to decide whether players got off shots before time expired and since last season to aid decisions following altercations and flagrant fouls. In grand slam tennis tournaments, a Hawk-Eye system has been used to decide close line calls since the 2006 U.S. Open.

International soccer has refused to embrace aiding referees, with FIFA's International Board voting last March to stop all experiments with technology that could determine whether balls cross goal lines.

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