Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-9-14

9/14/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Top of the 1st
IS THE SUN SETTING ON DICE-K?
We will see tonight if all the painstaking work between starts will make a difference tonight for Daisuke Matsuzaka as he faces Andy Pettitte and the Yankees. Matsuzaka is 14-12 with a 4.44 E.R.A. and has struck out 179 and walked 70 in 184 1/3 innings, but is 1-4 with a 9.57 earned run average over his past five starts. This season he is 2-1, with a 6.98 ERA versus the Yanks.

This trend has really been evident since the All-Star break. Here are some Dice-K stats of interest:
His pre-All-Star ERA was 3.84.
His post-All-Star ERA is 5.57.

Prior to the All-Star break, Dice-K had pitched 119.2 and walked just 38 batters, an average of 2.86 per 9 innings. Since the break, he has thrown 64.2 innings and walked 32 an average of 4.48 per 9 innings.

Prior to the All-Star break he allowed 12 homers, since the break he has given up 11.

Prior to the break, the batting average against Dice-K was .242. Since the break, .263,

Not only has Dice-K pitched more frequently since he has been in the States but he throws a lot of pitches each time out. For the season he has thrown 3125 averaging 16.95 per innings pitched. He’s 7th in the league – Scott Kazmir leads with 3318, 17.49 per i/p.

Since the break Matsuzaka has thrown 1148 pitches, 17.75 per i/p – only Jerrod Washburn and Daniel Cabrera are worse per i/p.

All season long, it has been hard to know what to expect from Matsuzaka as he is only consistent in being inconsistent. Check out these ERA’s and batting averages by inning:
* In 29 1st innings his ERA is 4.97 and the batting average against is .259 (and 19 walks).
* The 2nd inning is his best; in 29 innings his ERA is 0.62 and the batting average against is .162.
* Then look what happens in the 3rd inning – in 28.2 innings his ERA is 5.65 and the batting average against is .261.
* He stays in trouble in the 4th where in 28 innings his ERA is 4.82 and the batting average against is .264 (plus 15 walks).
* But he is very effective in the 5th inning with a 2.89 in 28 innings and the batting average against is .240.
* Just when your confidence rises comes the 6th inning, which is his worst. Here in 23 innings his ERA is 8.61 and the batting average against is .320.
* In the 13.2 7th innings Dice-K has a 5.27 ERA and the batting average against of .229.
* He’s only pitched four 8th innings and clearly been on a roll in those games with a 2.25 ERA and the batting average against him is .250.
* He pitched one 9th inning and was unscored upon, while batters went 1 for 4 against him.

According to an article by Jack Curry in today’s New York Times, “Bobby Valentine, the manager of Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines and a former major league manager, said in April that Matsuzaka would develop in the majors as long as he did not get worn down by pitching every fifth day and threw only about 35 percent fastballs.” According to Inside Edge, 56% of Matsuzaka’s pitches have been fastballs and when behind on the count, the number increases to 58%.

According to Curry, one AL scout said Matsuzaka grew exasperated when he could not throw strikes with his changeup or his splitter. The umpires in Japan, where Matsuzaka pitched for eight years, tend to call more strikes on high pitches.

Like Josh Beckett last year, when Matsuzaka does not get strikes with his other pitches, he gets flustered and resorts to throwing fastballs, lots of them. Curry writes that Sox pitching coach John Farrell said pitchers sometimes “revert to aggressiveness” when they are in a tough spot, and rely on the pitch that secures the most strikes. Matsuzaka seems to think that is the fastball. Valentine said he thought Matsuzaka’s changeup was his key pitch.

Dice-K clearly has trouble when he is in trouble. With no one on base his ERA is a sparkling 1.19 this season. But when there are runners on base his ERA is 8.23 and it gets even worse when they are in scoring position as his ERA rockets to 12.02. Even though he needs only one out when runners are in scoring position and there are two outs, Dice-K’s ERA is 7.43.

While tomorrow match-up of Chien Ming-Wang versus Josh Beckett may determine their placement in the Cy Young Award voting, tonight’s match-up against Andy Pettitte may prove to be an indicator of what the Sox can expect from Matsuzaka in the post-season.

Top of the 2nd
POST HASTE
As we hurry to the end of the season, we rush to judgment:

If the season ended today:
The Yankees would play at the Angels
The Indians would play the Red Sox
The Cubs would play at the Diamondbacks
The Padres would play at the Mets

AMERICAN LEAGUE
(By Division)

EAST GP W L Pct GB Home Away
Boston 147 89 58 .605 – 46-26 43-32

NY Yankees 146 83 63 .568 5.5 47-27 36-36

Toronto 146 73 73 .500 15.5 43-29 30-44

e-Baltimore 145 62 83 .428 26.0 32-42 30-41

e-Tampa Bay 147 61 86 .415 28.0 35-40 26-46

CENTRAL
Cleveland 146 85 61 .582 – 44-27 41-34

Detroit 147 80 67 .544 5.5 41-34 39-33

Minnesota 146 72 74 .493 13.0 37-35 35-39

e-Kansas City 145 63 82 .434 21.5 32-42 31-40

e-Chicago WSox 146 62 84 .425 23.0 32-40 30-44

WEST
Anaheim 146 86 60 .589 – 49-25 37-35

Seattle 145 77 68 .531 8.5 43-29 34-39

Oakland 148 72 76 .486 15.0 37-35 35-41

Texas 146 69 77 .473 17.0 42-32 27-45

CODES
x – clinched playoff spot
y – clinched division title
z – clinched conference title
z* – clinched 1st overall
e – eliminated from playoffs

NATIONAL LEAGUE
(By Division)

EAST GP W L Pct GB Home Away
NY Mets 145 83 62 .572 – 40-31 43-31

Philadelphia 146 77 69 .527 6.5 43-32 34-37

Atlanta 146 74 72 .507 9.5 38-36 36-36

Washington 146 65 81 .445 18.5 36-35 29-46

Florida 146 63 83 .432 20.5 32-42 31-41

CENTRAL
Chicago Cubs 146 75 71 .514 – 39-36 36-35

Milwaukee 145 74 71 .510 0.5 45-26 29-45

St. Louis 144 69 75 .479 5.0 39-31 30-44

Cincinnati 146 67 79 .459 8.0 38-37 29-42

Pittsburgh 146 65 81 .445 10.0 35-40 30-41

Houston 146 63 83 .432 12.0 37-35 26-48

WEST
Arizona 147 83 64 .565 – 46-29 37-35

San Diego 145 78 67 .538 4.0 40-31 38-36

Los Angeles 146 77 69 .527 5.5 39-33 38-36

Colorado 146 76 70 .521 6.5 43-28 33-42

San Francisco 146 66 80 .452 16.5 36-38 30-42

AMERICAN LEAGUE
(Division Leaders)
GP W L Pct GB Home Away
1. Boston 147 89 58 .605 – 46-26 43-32

2. Anaheim 146 86 60 .589 – 49-25 37-35

3. Cleveland 146 85 61 .582 – 44-27 41-34

AMERICAN LEAGUE
(Wild Card Race)
GP W L Pct GB Home Away
1. NY Yankees 146 83 63 .568 – 47-27 36-36

2. Detroit 147 80 67 .544 3.5 41-34 39-33

3. Seattle 145 77 68 .531 5.5 43-29 34-39

STANDINGS BY DIVISION

NATIONAL LEAGUE
(Division Leaders)
GP W L Pct GB Home Away
1. NY Mets 145 83 62 .572 – 40-31 43-31

2. Arizona 147 83 64 .565 – 46-29 37-35

3. Chicago Cubs 146 75 71 .514 – 39-36 36-35

NATIONAL LEAGUE
(Wild Card Race)
GP W L Pct GB Home Away
1. San Diego 145 78 67 .538 – 40-31 38-36

2. Los Angeles 146 77 69 .527 1.5 39-33 38-36

3. Philadelphia 146 77 69 .527 1.5 43-32 34-37

4. Colorado 146 76 70 .521 2.5 43-28 33-42

5. Milwaukee 145 74 71 .510 4.0 45-26 29-45

6. Atlanta 146 74 72 .507 4.5 38-36 36-36

AL EAST
* The Red Sox had the night off.
* Maybe it was the anticipation of the series that begins tonight in Boston, or maybe it was simply the Yankees faced a hot pitcher, but they fell last night to the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1. Frank Thomas reminded the Yanks why he is known as The Big Hurt as he hit a walk-off single (his eighth career game-winning hit) as the Blue Jays snapped New York’s seven-game win streak. A.J. Burnett didn’t get the win, but he allowed just one run on four hits over eight innings and struck out eight. He has won just once in his past five starts. Rookie Ian Kennedy gave up a run-scoring double to Thomas in the 1st, the only hit he allowed in seven-plus innings for New York.
* Kyle Farnsworth (stiff neck)was unavailable for last night’s game and hasn’t been in a game since Sunday. “It’s getting a little better but not quick enough,” Joe Torre said. His absence may have been why Torre was forced to use losing pitcher Chris Britton in the 9th.

AL CENTRAL
* The AL Central had the night off.

AL WEST
* I don’t which is rarer, an Orioles starter pitching well or simply an Orioles win. Jon Leicester and three relievers combined on a five-hitter, and Baltimore beat the Los Angeles Angels, 3-0. Leicester (2-1) became Baltimore’s first starter to not give up a run since Erik Bedard held the New York Yankees scoreless on Aug. 15, a span of 25 games. The Orioles won for only the fourth time in their past 22 games and for the second time in their past 16 home games. John Lackey (16-9) went seven innings and gave up three runs and nine hits. He struck out eight and walked one. Lackey has only one victory in his past six starts.
* In their previous 21 games, the O’s were outscored by 100 runs and had a collective ERA of 8.95.
* Lackey has allowed at least nine hits in five of his eight starts since the beginning of August.
* Los Angeles had their six-game road winning streak snapped and was shut out for the seventh time this season.

NL EAST
* The Mets had the night off.
* The remarkable Chase Utley hit a two-run homer to lead the Phillies in their 12-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Geoff Geary (2-2) pitched three scoreless innings after starter J.D. Durbin lasted just one inning, then five other relievers allowed one run over the final five innings. Rockies starter Jeff Francis (15-8) couldn’t make it out of the 4th. Francis allowed eight runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. The left-hander came in with a 2.31 ERA in his previous five starts and had pitched 13 straight scoreless innings on the road.
* The magnificent Jimmy Rollins, trying to become the first player in major league history with 40 doubles, 20 triples, 30 homers and 30 steals in one season, got robbed of his 18th triple in the 6th inning when center fielder Cory Sullivan dived for Rollins’ liner in the gap, but replays clearly showed the ball squirted out of Sullivan’s glove when he landed on the ground. Rollins never stopped running and was standing on third, but the play was ruled a catch.
* Francis likely will make three more starts, giving him a chance to set the team record for wins in a season. Kevin Ritz (1996) and Pedro Astacio (1999) each had 17.
* Durbin, pitching for his fourth team this year, is 6-5 with a 6.46 ERA. … Holliday’s homer streak ended at four games.
* Charlie Manuel became the third-fastest manager to win 250 games with the Phillies.
* The Braves had the night off.

NL CENTRAL
* Steve Trachsel earned his first win with the Cubs in eight years and Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Daryle Ward and Cliff Floyd all homered in a 6-2 victory against the Houston Astros. Trachsel (1-2) gave up two solo home runs and seven hits in five innings for his first victory since the Cubs acquired him from Baltimore on Aug. 31.
* Soriano has three leadoff home runs in September. He’s the only major league player to hit at least eight leadoff homers in four seasons.
* The Cubs have 20 home runs in 12 games in September.
* The Astros have dropped 10 of 15 games since Cecil Cooper replaced Phil Garner as manager on Aug. 27.
* The Cubs improved to 5-18-2 in series when they lose the first game.
* The Brewers had the day off.
* Joey Votto hit a two-run double and David Ross followed with a two-run homer, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory that completed the Reds sweep. Aaron Harang (15-4) gave up three hits and three sacrifice flies in seven innings. Kip Wells (6-17) lost his fourth straight start. David Weathers picked up the save and is 30-for-35 in save chances. He’s the first Reds reliever to get 30 saves since Danny Graves in 2002.
* Their first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since July 1998 means that the Cardinals lost all seven games on their road trip making it their first winless trip of at least seven games since May 1972, when they went 0-7 in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
* Rick Ankiel pinch-hit and stayed in the game and went 0-for-2, leaving him 1 for his last 23.

NL WEST
* Call it a Boomerang – David Wells beat Greg Maddux in a matchup of 40+ year old pitchers, James Loney drove in four runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 6-3. Released by the Padres last month, Wells (8-8) allowed four hits and three runs in six innings with one walk and three strikeouts. He also had two hits off Maddux for the first multihit game of his 21-year career. Maddux (12-10) entered having allowed three runs or fewer in 11 straight starts, but that streak ended decisively as the Dodgers scored six runs on 10 hits in Maddux’s 3 1-3 innings – his shortest stint of the season.
* Maddux and Wells matched up for just the second time – their previous meeting was last Sept. 15, when Maddux and the Dodgers beat Wells and the Padres 3-1.

Top of the 3rd
THREE THINGS TO CELEBRATE IN SEATTLE
1. What the Mariners need are more games like last night. What the Tampa Bay Devil Rays need are six inning games. The Devil Rays who beat the Red Sox in the first game of their series, led 8-1 in the second game and lost and then lost 5-4 on a 9th inning walk-off homer by David Ortiz led the Mariners 7-1 in the 7th. I don’t really need to tell you that Seattle won 8-7 do I? It was the M’s 41st comeback victory this season.

2. Richie Sexson’s left hamstring injury will keep him sidelined for at least another 10 days or so, and it’s possible, maybe even likely, that he won’t return at all this season, according to the Seattle Times. “He’s not going to be back any time soon,” manager John McLaren said. “He’s going to be out for a while. I can’t give you an exact date, but he’s going to be out for a week, maybe longer.”

3. On this date in 1990, in the 1st inning in California facing Kirk McCaskill, Harold Reynolds led off with a walk. Up stepped 40-year old Ken Griffey who hit a two-run homer. He was greeted at the plate by 20-year old Ken Griffey, Jr. who promptly followed his dad’s footsteps hitting a drive into the left-centerfield stands for father-son, back-to-back homers.

Top of the 4th
GOODBYE TERRY
Terry Ryan announced his resignation after 13 seasons as GM of the Minnesota Twins on yesterday. Assistant general manager Bill Smith will step into the job. Ryan will be his senior adviser, refocusing on his strength as a player evaluator.

The Twins won the American League Central last season for the fourth time in five years, but they’re in third place and two games under .500 this season — well out of the playoff chase.

Top of the 5th
EXTEND TERRY NOW
The White Sox signed manager Ozzie Guillen to a contract extension on Tuesday that will keep the World Series-winning manager on the South Side through 2012. Ozzie Guillen could get a four-year contract extension with a year to go on his current deal.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays announced Saturday that they have picked up the two-year option on manager Joe Maddon’s contract, and extended it through the 2009 season.

Had Reinsdorf let Guillen enter 2008 without the security of additional years on his contract, the manager’s status would have become fodder for speculation–see Dusty Baker, Cubs, 2006. That’s never a good thing.

The question then is why haven’t the Boston Red Sox extended Terry Francona’s contract right now as 2008 is his option year? Waiting is simply absurd.

So I proudly present:

Billy-Ball’s Top 10 Reasons why Terry Francona’s contract should be extended:

10. He finally understands more than 50% of what is said by Dice-K, Hideki Okajima, and Mayor Menino
9. He’s developed the ability to watch a movie even when he is interrupted every five minutes for an autograph
8. Manny being Manny
7. It looks like the Celtics will finally have a team worth watching
6. He needs more time to help NESN sportscaster Tina Cervasio understand, “it’s never going to happen.”
5. He shouldn’t have to first choose sides in John Henry’s divorce
4. Needs to know how much sun block to purchase to protect his bald head
3. Curt Schilling
2. He’s gotten used to fans saying, as he heads to the bathroom in a restaurant, “Hey, Terry! Gotta make a call to the bullpen?”

And the number one reason why Terry Francona’s contract should be extended:
1. He doesn’t use video cameras to steal the signs of opposing third base coaches.

Top of the 6th
THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF THE DODGERS
The Dodgers will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 2008, with a float in the Rose Parade and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Baseball truly became a national pastime when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles,” Jamie McCourt, who owns the team with her husband Frank, said Wednesday. “Many Angelenos fell in love with baseball when they fell in love with the Dodgers.”

Dodger players from throughout the years will ride on a float in the 119th Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena on Jan. 1. Fans will be able to volunteer to decorate the float and win a seat on it. The team will sell tickets for a designated grandstand along the parade route.

In February, the Dodgers will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The team has hosted an annual Hollywood Stars game for several years.

Each month of next season the Dodgers will highlight a decade of the team’s history in Los Angeles. In April, they will mark the 1950s, in May the 1960s, in June the 1970s, in July the 1980s, in August the 1990s and in September, the team will host a reunion of Dodger players.
The Dodgers played their first game in Los Angeles against the San Francisco Giants on April 18, 1958, and the West Coast rivalry will be highlighted during each of the Giants’ visits to Dodger Stadium.

Top of the 7th
PROBABLE PITCHERS
I picked the wrong old guy yesterday which makes me 4-2 since I started playing MLB Fantasy Survivor with a streak of 0.

Today I like the Angels, Yankees, Tigers Mets, Rays and Rockies, but I’m going to bet 20 Sabathias on the Indians

Here’s where you can play: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/index.jsp

AL
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians, 7:05 pm
(R) Brian Bannister (12-8) vs. (L) CC Sabathia (17-7)
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 7:05 pm
(L) Andy Pettitte (13-8) vs. (R) Daisuke Matsuzaka (14-12)
Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays, 7:07 pm
(L) Brian Burres (5-5) vs. (R) Jesse Litsch (5-8)
Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins, 8:10 pm
(L) Nate Robertson (7-11) vs. (R) Matt Garza (3-5)
LA Angels of Anaheim at Chicago White Sox, 8:11 pm
(R) Bartolo Colon (6-6) vs. (R) Jose Contreras (8-16)
Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics, 10:05 pm
(L) Kason Gabbard (6-1) vs. (L) Dan Meyer (0-1)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Seattle Mariners, 10:05 pm
(R) James Shields (12-8) vs. (R) Felix Hernandez (12-7)

NL
Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals, 7:05 pm
(L) Chuck James (10-10) vs. (L) Matt Chico (5-8)
Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, 7:10 pm
(L) Jamie Moyer (13-11) vs. (L) Tom Glavine (13-6)
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers, 8:05 pm
(R) Tom Shearn (2-0) vs. (R) Ben Sheets (12-4)
Pittsburgh Pirates at Houston Astros, 8:05 pm
(R) Ian Snell (9-12) vs. (R) Roy Oswalt (14-7)
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals, 8:10 pm
(R) Carlos Zambrano (15-12) vs. (R) Adam Wainwright (13-10)
Florida Marlins at Colorado Rockies, 9:05 pm
(L) Dontrelle Willis (8-15) vs. (R) Josh Fogg (9-9)
San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres, 10:05 pm
(L) Barry Zito (9-12) vs. (R) Chris Young (9-7)
Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:40 pm
(L) Doug Davis (13-11) vs. (R) Brad Penny (15-4)

Top of the 8th
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WEATHER
Friday, September 14th
National League
* Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m.
Mostly cloudy with a 60-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.
* Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, 7:10 p.m.
Mostly cloudy. Winds blowing from right to left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers, 8:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 55.
* Pittsburgh Pirates at Houston Astros, 8:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out in from left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 85.
* Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals, 8:10 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Florida Marlins at Colorado Rockies, 9:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 65.
* San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres, 10:05 p.m.
Mostly clear. Winds blowing in from left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.
* Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:40 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.

American League
* New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 7:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from right to left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays, 7:05 p.m.
Mostly cloudy with a 60-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to right field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.
* Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians, 7:05 p.m.
Mostly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox, 8:10 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 60.
* Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Seattle Mariners, 10:05 p.m.
Mostly clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics, 10:05 p.m.
Mostly clear. Winds blowing out to right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 65.

Saturday, September 15th
National League
* Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, 1:10 p.m.
Partly cloudy with a 40-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals, 3:55 p.m.
Mostly sunny. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Pittsburgh Pirates at Houston Astros, 7:05 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 85.
* Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing in from center field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers, 7:05 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 55.
* Florida Marlins at Colorado Rockies, 8:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.
* San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres, 10:05 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing in from left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.
* Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers, 3:55 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.

American League
* Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 60.
* New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 3:55 p.m.
Mostly cloudy with a 60-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 65.
* Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics, 3:55 p.m.
Mostly sunny. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.
* Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox, 7:05 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 60.
* Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians, 7:05 p.m.
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 60.
* Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Seattle Mariners, 9:05 p.m.
Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 70.

Top of the 9th
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND
Thank you all for a great week.

Please remember to shop at the Billy-Ball-Mall this weekend and improve our nation’s economy. Okay, my economy.

Thanks for everything and I will see you on Monday.

Bottom of the 9th
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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports, espn.com, sportsline.com, mlb.com and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.