Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball today.
The Phillies at last didn’t get victimized by their home ball park in their 5-4 11-inning win over the Mets last night in the final game of their series. Peter Bourjos (pronounced BoreJiss) singled home the winning run after David Wright failed to catch his pop fly on the previous pitch. Their starter Jeremy Hellickson gave up back-to-back home runs to Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda, the third time in the series the Mets had hit back-to-back jacks out of the small confines of Citizens’ Bank Ball Park. But the Phillies’ bull pen held firm and the bats got Hellickson off the hook and gave a no-decision to Mets’ starter Bartolo Colon.
The D-Backs’ ace Zack Greinke struck out 7 Giants and won 2-1 in what I billed as the game of the night last night. He was facing the Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner and came out the winner. The D-Backs are starting to look like a contender, if not the team to beat in the Western division. The game was scoreless until the D-Backs’ Wellington Castillo launched a 2-run home run in the visitors’ half of the 7th. The only Giants’ run came in their half of the same inning. Gregor Blanco trippled and Angel Pagan drove him in with a single that sent Greinke to the showers. The bull pens kept the offenses quiet until the end. The two teams meet again late this afternoon. Shelby Miller has to count himself lucky to be able to pitch after bruising two fingers in his last start. I’ve known pitchers to spend a month on the DL with finger issues. He faces Johnny Cueto, the Giants’ expensive acquisition of the winter.
In the earliest game of the day, Matt Wisler draws the unenviable task of pitching for the Braves against Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. The amazing lefty’s 1.79 ERA against the Braves is his third best against any team, a testament to the awful state of the Braves in recent years. The other extremely early matinee is in Cleveland where fewer than 10,000 fans were at last night’s Indians-Mariners game. Just after 1 PM is another Christians vs Lions matchup as Max Scherzer of the Nationals faces Tom Koehler of the Marlins. Half an hour later at Fenway there should be a real duel between Jake Odorizi of the Rays and David Price, the ex-Ray now hurling for Boston. The Twins and Brewers also start just after 1:30 Eastern. Half an hour later the Angels and White Sox meet in Chicago. In one of a relatively few night games, the A’s look to sweep a 3-game series from the Yankees. To do that their Rich Hill will have to best Luis Severino of the Yankees. Toronto and Baltimore also start just after 7 PM. Jake Arietta, who hasn’t lost in 14 decisions faces the Reds’ Brandon Finnegan in Cincinnati. Out west, Pirates’ all-star Jerritt Cole will face former All-Star James Shields, now pitching for the Padres as his career winds down. I remember him, Carl Crawford and Josh Hamilton as 18-year-olds with the 2000 Charleston RiverDogs. With a 127-99 record Shields clearly has been effective in his day. He was even called Big Game James once. Now he faces a man who could be a superstar if he stays healthy in Cole.
Joc Peterson of the Dodgers is 24 today. He was the Dodgers’ 11th-round choice in 2010 from high school in Palo alto, Ca. He was an All-Star last year though he has a career average of .210 up to now.
Kem caminiti was born on this day in 1963 and died at 41 in 2004. He hit .272 between 1987 and 2001. He was with the Astros between 1987 and 1994, then spent 4 years with the Padres. After that he was with the Astros, Rangers and Braves. He was an All-Star 3 times between 1994 and 1997. The Astros took him in round 3 in 1984 from San Jose State. He was the Padres’ third baseman in 1998 when they went to the World Series against the Yankees. He admitted to being troubled by alcoholism as early as 1994 and famously admitted to using steroids in a Sports Illustrated cover story in 2002. He died of an overdose two years later, at 41.0