MLB News and Notes 5/12

MLB News and Notes 5/12

Baseball Today


Tuesday, May 12

New York Yankees at Toronto (7:07 p.m. EDT). New York right-hander A.J. Burnett is scheduled to face Roy Halladay in his first game against his former team. Burnett left the Blue Jays in the offseason for an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the Yankees.



-Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, extended his hitting streak to 29 games and went 4 for 5 with two homers for Washington in an 11-7 loss to San Francisco.

-Willy Taveras, Reds, matched a career high with five hits as Cincinnati routed Arizona 13-5.

-Derek Lowe, Braves, outlasted Johan Santana, giving up two runs and five hits in Atlanta's 8-3 victory over the Mets that snapped New York's seven-game winning streak.

-Randy Johnson, Giants, struck out nine for his 298th career victory as San Francisco topped Washington 11-7.


In the tallest pitching matchup in baseball history, 6-foot-10 Randy Johnson beat 6-9 Daniel Cabrera. The Big Unit and the towering Cabrera measure a combined 163 inches - one more than the combined heights of Cabrera and Mark Hendrickson on Sept. 1, 2004, in the previous record-holding matchup, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Johan Santana lowered his NL-best ERA to 0.78, but lost for the second time this season. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was pulled after 108 pitches with the score tied at 1. Somehow despite his miniscule ERA the Mets have lost three of his seven starts. The Mets have scored 15 runs in Santana's starts this year, 11 while he was on the mound. They have 139 runs in their other 24 games, an average of 5.79.


Arizona infielder Josh Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth inning, becoming the fifth Diamondbacks position player to take the mound. Wilson, who also went one inning for Tampa Bay in 2007, kept his career ERA at 0.00.


New York City will receive $11.5 million from the Yankees in exchange for giving the team rights to sell off seats, signs and other memorabilia from their old ballpark. After two homestands at the new Yankee Stadium dominated by home runs and empty seats near the field, the Yankees and Steiner Collectibles scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to announce memorabilia sales and prices for the original Yankee Stadium, including sod and dirt plus bricks from Monument Park.


Carlos Delgado was out of the Mets' lineup again with a recurring hip injury that has New York worried about the long-term health of its cleanup hitter. ... Atlanta's Chipper Jones sat out the Braves' win over the Mets with a stiff and swollen right elbow that he hurt on a swing Sunday.


"I feel confident that I'll get back out there, but I'm just kind of realistic. I want to go back out there and pitch. I don't want to end my career with an injury. But you know what? If it doesn't work out, then believe me, I'll be perfectly fine. I'm not worried about that.'' - Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine after a bullpen session. He's been sidelined since offseason operations on his left elbow and shoulder.

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L.A. Dodgers (22-11) at Philadelphia (15-14)

Young lefty Clayton Kershaw (1-2, 4.91 ERA) is slated to take the mound at Citizens Bank Park as the Dodgers open a six-game road trip with a series against the Phillies. Los Angeles capped an 11-game homestand with Saturday’s 7-5, 13-inning loss to the Giants. Since Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball’s substance-abuse policy, the Dodgers have lost three of four, which follows a seven-game winning streak.

Philadelphia is coming off consecutive weekend home losses to the Braves by scores of 6-2 and 4-2, and the Phillies have dropped four of their last five overall and four of their last six at home. Former Dodger Chan Ho Park (0-1, 6.67 ERA) gets the start tonight opposite Kershaw.

Los Angeles enters this series on hot streaks of 20-8 overall, 16-7 after a loss, 7-3 after an off day, 6-2 on Thursday and 6-2 against right-handed starters, and they’re 8-3 in Kershaw’s last 11 outings overall. However, they’ve lost 12 of their last 14 games against N.L. East foes and five of Kershaw’s last seven road starts.

Philadelphia has won 11 of its last 13 games against left-handed starters and is on further runs of 17-7 after a day off, 7-3 on Tuesday and 59-28 in series openers. The Phillies are also 12-4 in their last 16 games against the N.L. West, including knocking off Los Angeles in five games in last year’s National League Championship Series. Charlie Manuel’s club is on an 8-1 run against the Dodgers and is 22-8 in the last 30 meetings in Philadelphia.

The home team won the first 11 head-to-head battles between these clubs last year before the Phillies won Games 4 and 5 of the NLCS in Los Angeles.

Kershaw has surrendered a combined one run in his last two starts covering 12 innings, both at home, with the Dodgers beating the Padres 1-0 and the Nationals 10-3. However, he’s 0-2 with a 10.29 ERA in three road starts (all Dodgers losses). That includes allowing a total of 15 runs in nine innings in his past two outings on the highway at Houston (8-5 loss) and Colorado (10-4 loss).

Park is coming off his best performance of the season, yielding just one hit and two walks over six scoreless innings at the Mets, but he got no run support as the Phillies fell 1-0. The veteran right-hander is 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA in two starts at Citizens Bank Park.

Kershaw saw the Phillies twice as a rookie in a two-week stretch last August, allowing a combined nine runs on 13 hits in 10 innings (8.10 ERA), with the Dodgers winning 4-3 at home and losing 9-2 at Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Park faced his former mates five times when he was with San Diego in 2005 and 2006, going 2-1 with a 4.74 ERA.

The Dodgers are on a bunch of “over” streaks, including 5-1-3 on the road, 13-3-1 against right-handed starters, 7-3-2 after an off day, 5-0-1 as an underdog, 5-1 against the N.L. East, 4-1 when Kershaw pitches and 5-0-1 when Kershaw pitches on Tuesday. Also, the over is 5-1 in Philadelphia’s last six games against N.L. West foes. Conversely, the under is 10-3 in the last 13 Dodgers-Phillies clashes at Citizens Bank Park.



Boston (20-12) at L.A. Angels (16-14)

Justin Masterson (2-2, 5.28) will try to bounce back from two terrible outings when he takes the mound for the Red Sox, who open a six-game West Coast road trip with this contest at Angel Stadium. Boston was idle Monday following Sunday’s 4-3 victory over the Rays, which capped a 3-2 homestand. Since an 11-game winning streak, Terry Francona’s squad is just 7-6 (4-4 on the road).

Jered Weaver (3-1, 2.66) will try to extend the Angels’ four-game winning streak that included a weekend home sweep of the previously red-hot Royals. Los Angeles has gotten incredible pitching during its recent run, holding its last four opponents to five total runs, including Weaver’s complete-game 6-1 victory over Toronto on Thursday.

The Red Sox are on positive runs of 18-6 overall, 17-4 on grass, 10-1 against winning teams, 46-18 after a day off, 13-6 against the A.L. West and 21-10 on Tuesday. Los Angeles, in addition to its four-game overall winning streak (all at home), is 5-0 in its last five as a favorite and 25-11 in its last 36 on Tuesday. Also, with Weaver on the hill, the Halos are on runs of 19-7 at home (4-0 this year), 4-1 when favored, 6-2 in series openers and 4-1 against the A.L. East.

The Angels took two of three from Boston in Anaheim a month ago. Going back to last season, Los Angeles is on a 10-1 run against the Red Sox in the regular season, but Boston eliminated the Angels 3-1 in a best-of-5 opening-round playoff series last October.

Masterson allowed six runs in each of his last two starts, pitching six innings in a 6-2 loss at Tampa Bay then lasting 6 1/3 frames in Wednesday’s 9-2 home setback to Cleveland. Now in his second season in the big leagues, the hard-throwing right-hander has compiled a startling home-road split, going 7-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 25 games (eight starts) at Fenway Park, but 1-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 19 appearances (five starts) on foreign turf.

Weaver was brilliant in his complete-game victory over the hot-hitting Blue Jays on Thursday, allowing just one run on three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. It was the right-hander’s fourth quality start in six trips to the mound this season, and he’s now 3-0 with a microscopic 1.21 ERA in four home starts.

Masterson does not have a decision in four career appearances (one start) against L.A., allowing six runs in 10 2/3 innings (5.06 ERA). On the other hand, Weaver is 2-3 with a 4,37 ERA in eight career starts (one in the playoffs) against Boston. That includes a 6-3 home victory on April 10 in which Weaver gave up one unearned run on four hits with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

The high-scoring Red Sox carry “over” trends of 19-7-2 overall, 10-3-1 on the road, 12-5-2 against right-handed starters, 5-0 versus the A.L. West and 10-2-1 on Tuesday. However, the under is 19-9-4 in Boston’s last 32 games following an off day, while L.A. is on “under” stretches of 4-0 overall (all at home), 4-1 when favored, 11-5 on Tuesday, 4-1-1 after a day off and 5-1-1 when Weaver pitches at home.

Finally, the over is 7-3-1 in Boston’s last 11 games at Angel Stadium (2-0-1 this year), and the over is 4-0-1 in Weaver’s last five starts against the Red Sox.


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American League Research
By Indiancowboy

Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore

Yesterday was pretty much travel day for the AL as only 1 AL game was played. TB comes off splitting a series with Boston as they lost 3-4 in their last game. This team is ranked 8th in the league in runs and 20th in the league in pitching. The Os come off losing 2 of 3 to the Yanks including a 3-5 ballgame as Uehara fell short. After a rough outing here or there, Sonnanstine has settled comfortably helping his team win 4-3 over the Yanks and 6-2 over Boston as he has given up just 4 runs in 13 innings (back to back quality starts) against two of the premier teams. Hendrickson pitched three scoreless innings against Minny in his last start as he looks to get his groove back in the rotation again as he is 1-4 with a 5.47era. After back to back quality starts, Sonnanstine I believe will struggle in his next game as he has never pitched well against the Os with a 7.11 career era against them. I believe he has a let down and wouldn't be surprised to see this game dip over.

Whitesox vs. Cleveland

Sowers pitched against Boston in back to back starts and has gotten rocked. I do believe he is likely in for a bounce-back here today though.Sowers was 0-2 with nearly an 8 era against the Sox last year so he has had his fair share of troubles against them as well. Richard makes a start for Contreras who is 0-6 with an 8+era as he continues to struggle. Richard was 0-1 against the Indians last year and I would lean on Sowers but he has struggled against the Sox and it is hard for me to trust Richard as well. A small lean on the Over.

Yankees vs. Bluejays

Burnett finally gets to face his old team today. He picked up a ND in his last start. The Yankees are 15-16 while the Bluejays are surging behind Halladay and their young arms. Halladay is a dynamite 6-1 with a 3.29era. Halladay has always dominated the Yankees with consistency as he is 5-1 with a 2.40era against them last year and lifetime 15-5 with a 2.86era. A lean on the Jays here as I wouldn't be surprised if the Jays rock their old teammate.

Seattle vs. Texas

How about my Rangers doing well this year for their previous standards as they are 17-14 on the year. Vargas has only seen 3.2 innings of action this year. He makes his first start of the year. He does have a scoreless inning streak of nearly 12 innings coming from Triple A that he hopes to continue in a hitter's ballpark in Arlington. Feldman has pitched in 3 straight Unders as he has put together 3 straight quality starts to his credit. Feldman has pitched well against the Ms lifetime as he has a 2.57era. A small lean on the Rangers and the RL as they likey hit the Vargas kid in the second time through the lineup.

Detroit vs. Minnesota

Gallaraga has gotten shelled for 11 runs in 11 innings in his last start. Slowey has given up 8 runs in 8 innings over his last 2 games so both pitchers are struggling a bit of late. Despite the lack of pitching over the past 2 games, the total stands at 9 for this contest. I expect both pitchers to pitch better, but I would not be surprised if this game still tipped over today. Bear in mind that Gallaraga is 0-4 with 5.23 era against the Twinkies and Slowey is 2-0 with a 5.74era against the Tigers in his 2 career starts against them.

KC vs. Oakland

Hochevar had given up about 12 runs in 19 innings as he closed out last year and he makes his first apperance this year. The young man was a former #1 draft pick and bear in mind he was 5-0 with a 0.96era in Omaha which has prompted the Royals to give him the start today. In 6 starts, Cahill has only had one bad start which he gave up 7 runs and despite that, his other 5 starts have been quality starts. He has slowly brought his era down to 3.82 for the year. A lean on the Under today.

Boston vs. LA Angels

Masterson desperately needs a quality start as he has given up 12 runs in about that many innings. He is filling in for Dice-K and Masterson is 2-2 with a 5.48era thus far this year. Weaver has been lights out at home this year and he comes off a gem of a performance against Toronto at home. Not a bad price at all with Weaver here as he has given up 4 runs in about 30 innings at home and he usually puts together back to back quality starts prior to getting shelled.

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Streaking and Slumping Pitchers


Roy Halladay (Toronto Blue Jays)

Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett formed a dominant 1-2 punch at the top of Toronto's rotation from 2006-08, but they could never lead the Blue Jays to the playoffs.

With Burnett gone to the Bronx and an unheralded group of starters pitching behind Halladay, the Blue Jays now surprisingly find themselves atop the AL East

Nine different pitchers have started at least two games for Toronto (22-12) already, but the Blue Jays have a respectable 4.11 ERA. Halladay (6-1, 3.29) remains the anchor, and he allowed one run in eight innings of Wednesday's 13-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

"We've always felt like we've had the talent," Halladay said. "Over the course of the years, individual guys (on offense) have put up good numbers. We haven't been able to get everybody going at the same time."

Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves)

Atlanta (16-16) counters with Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 2.01), who can relate to what Santana's going through.

Jurrjens has received one or no runs of support in four of his seven starts, going 0-2 with a 1.61 ERA in those games.

He finally got some offense to work with his last time out, giving up two runs and three hits in seven innings of a 4-2 victory at Florida on Thursday.

The right-hander went 2-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts against New York last season.

Dan Haren (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch has to feel confident that Dan Haren (3-3, 1.84 ERA) can help cool off the Reds. In spite of his .500 record, the right-hander is fifth in the majors in ERA, sixth in opponents' batting average (.188) and seventh in strikeouts (51).

By those lofty standards, however, Haren disappointed in his last outing, giving up a season-high three runs in six innings of Arizona's 4-3, 10-inning loss at San Diego on Thursday. He struck out four after totaling 30 during a three-start win streak.

Haren is 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in four games - three starts - against the Reds. He gave up three runs in six innings and didn't get a decision in one game against them last year.


Justin Masterson (Boston Red Sox)

Justin Masterson (2-2, 5.28) has been filling in for Matsuzaka, but after allowing two total runs while winning his first two starts, he has given up six runs in each of his last two and lost both.

He allowed a career-worst eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-2 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday.

Boston's offense, which ranks second in the majors with 185 runs, has often picked up the slack, and the Red Sox have continued to produce even without Youkilis for the last week. They've won three of four overall, scoring 29 runs.

Jordan Zimmermann (Washington Nationals)

The Nationals counter with rookie Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 5.48), who makes his first start against the Giants.

Zimmermann allowed six runs - all in the first inning - and six hits in six innings of an 11-9 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, but did not factor in the decision. The right-hander has given up 11 runs in 11 2-3 innings over his last two outings after allowing three runs in 11 1-3 innings in winning his first two career starts.

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