Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-4-28

4/28/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Monday, April 28, 2008

Top of the 1st
ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER…
A little stream of consciousness always brings me to my inevitable conclusion…

What about that great match-up yesterday between Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy? Webb and the Diamondbacks defeated the Padres, 2-1 making Webb perfect, getting a win in all six of his starts this season. This marks just the fourth time in MLB history a pitcher was 6-0 by the end of April. Randy Johnson did so twice, taking Cy Young honors both times. Arizona will play just six games against the NL West from now until July 4. The D-backs just ended a 22-game stretch in the division with a 17-5 record and has built a six-game lead over the second-place Dodgers.

Which leads me to…

The other great match-up yesterday between Chien-Ming Wang who shut down Cleveland for seven innings and outpitched C.C. Sabathia, who gave up a home run to Melky Cabrera as the Yankees defeated the Indians, 1-0. Wang (5-0) allowed four hits, struck out a season-high nine and became the AL’s only five-game winner. It’s the first 1-0 win for the Yankees in Cleveland since 1981. It’s also the first 1-0 win in the majors with the only run coming as a solo homer since June 13, 2006 (also Yankees over Indians with Wang as winning pitcher).

Which leads me to…

Grady Sizemore sprained his right ankle and as a result his 382 consecutive game playing streak, the longest active one in the big leagues, came to an end yesterday when Franklin Gutierrez took over in center and David Dellucci filled the leadoff spot for the Indians. Sizemore missed a game for the first time since Aug. 22, 2005. Baseball’s longest active streak-holder is now the Braves’ Jeff Francoeur, who has played in his 351 straight games.

Which leads me to…

The Braves’ John Smoltz is hurting and he needs to have his sore shoulder checked to see how bad the wear and tear has become and whether he needs to take some more time off. Yesterday he allowed four runs and seven hits in just four innings in a 6-3 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Smoltz entered with a miniscule 0.78 ERA and .179 opponents’ average. But those stats didn’t matter Sunday, when Smoltz barely touched 90 mph with his fastball and couldn’t make his slider bite. Several Mets players said he wasn’t the pitcher they were used to seeing.

“Smoltz did not throw as hard as he normally throws,” center fielder Carlos Beltran said. “He didn’t have as his normal break or velocity.”

Which leads me to…

The Yankees’ Jorge Posada had never been on the disabled list in his 13-year career. The streak is over now, due to a tear in his subscapularis muscle (that’s a damaged right shoulder). “It’s the biggest disappointment of my career, probably,” Posada told the New York Times. “Being on the D.L., not being able to participate in games, it’s really tough for me. I thought it was coming along, but it’s not. We have to find out what’s really bothering me.” Jos