The Answer My Friends

Ubaldo is off to one of the best starts in baseball history

1. Arizona Ubalded

The numbers surrounding the start of Ubaldo Jimenez are bordering on the absurd. Jimenez (9-1) threw eight shutout innings, Seth Smith homered twice and the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-3.

Ubaldo stretched his scoreless innings streak to 16.1 and lowered his ERA to 0.88. Jimenez has now had 10 straight starts of at least six innings and no more than two runs allowed. Last year, through 10 starts, Zack Greinke had an ERA of 0.84. In 1966, Juan Marichal had a 0.59 ERA, and in 1959, Hoyt Wilhelm posted a 0.83 ERA and that is your top four.

The Rockies have won a season-high four straight and Troy Tulowitzki extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

2. Sox Sweep Rays

It’s news when the Tampa Bay Rays lose three in a row and it’s getting to be bigger news that the Boston Red Sox did it and keep winning with a combination of good starting pitching and very timely hitting. Boston took it to the Rays, 11-3, last night to complete their first series sweep at Tropicana Field since winning four Sept. 9-12, 2002. The Red Sox have won five straight games, their longest streak of the season, and moved into Blue Jays into third place in the AL East, two games behind the Yankees and now just 5.5 behind the Rays.

Adrian Beltre blasted two home runs off Matt Garza and tied his career high with six RBI. David Ortiz slammed a two-run homer. Beltre had four hits including a triple and in his last 22 games, he has 14 extra-base hits and a .625 slugging percentage. Big Papi has homered six times in his last 11 games and nine times this month.

3. Phils Shut Out Again

The Phils can't figure out how to get home

I would imagine that all the Philadelphia Phillies would like to see at this point would be a pitcher who just throws 98 MPH fastballs. Last night they had to put up with Hisanori Takahashi and his double-pump leg-kick motion and killer changeup. The night before it R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball and two nights before that it was Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball. The result is Phillies batter who look, and act, totally confused at the plate.

In his second big league start Takahashi threw six scoreless innings and the New York Mets shut out the Philadelphia Phillies for the second straight game, 5-0. It was the fourth straight loss for the Phils who are hitting .199 (51 for 256) in their last eight games and have been outscored 37-15. The last time the Phillies were shut out three times in four games was June of 1990. The Mets last held the Phillies scoreless in back-to-back games in July 1998, at Shea Stadium.

Jose Reyes had his fourth straight multihit game, with his first homer of the season for New York.

4. Gotta Go To Mo

This is not the MO I am referring to

Okay, Mariano Rivera has been dinged up a bit lately but on the other hand when the Yanks are stumbling, he is the man to go to. So is Derek Jeter. So is Andy Pettitte.

Mo picked up two saves in four hours as the Yankees to beat the Twins 3-2 after earlier completing a 1-0 game started the night before and stopped with the game tied 0-0 due to rain. Home runs by Derek Jeter in the first game and Nick Swisher in the second game gave the Yanks the sweep.

Swisher hit his tiebreaking solo shot in the 9th against Twins closer Jon Rauch (1-1), after Andy Pettitte (6-1) pitched eight great innings. Jeter homered off Brian Duensing (2-1) and then made a Jeter-like play at short in the bottom of the inning to prevent the Twins from tying or going ahead.

5. Yesterday

AL

Red Sox 11, Rays 3

Yankees 1, Twins 0

Yankees 3, Twins 2

White Sox 5, Indians 4 – Ozzie Guillen and Mark Buehrle ejected; I’m really tiring of the wild, wild Joe West

Royals 5, Rangers 2 – Luke Hochevar is now 5-2

Mariners 5, Tigers 4 – David Aardsma picks up his 11th save

A’s 6, Orioles 1

Angels 6, Blue Jays 5

NL

Astros 5, Brewers 0 – Roy Oswalt auditions

Reds 4, Pirates 0 – Bronson Arroyo wins his fifth straight

Mets 5, Phillies 0

Braves 7, Marlins 3

Dodgers 8, Cubs 5

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 3

Padres 2, Cardinals 1 (13)

Nationals 7, Giants 3 – Tim Lincecum loses

6. Today

AL

A’s (Gio Gonzalez) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen), 7:05

Royals (Brian Bannister) at Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka), 7:10

White Sox (Gavin Floyd) at Rays (Jeff Niemann), 7:10

Yankees (Javier Vazquez) at Twins (Nick Blackburn), 8:10

NL

Astros (Brett Myers) at Brewers (David Bush), 1:10

Dodgers (John Ely) at Cubs (Ted Lilly), 2:20

Diamondbacks (Dan Haren) at Rockies (Jason Hammel), 3:10

Nationals (Craig Stammen) at Giants (Barry Zito), 3:45

Cardinals (P.J. Walters at Padres (Wade LeBlanc), 6:35

Pirates (Charlie Morton) at Reds (Johnny Cueto), 7:10

Phillies (Cole Hamels) at Mets (Mike Pelfrey), 7:10

Braves (Tim Hudson) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco), 7:10

7. On this date

Blowin' in the Wimd

On May 27,1981, Lenny Randle was playing third for the Seattle Mariners and when Amos Otis hit a slow roller down the third baseline in the 6th inning, Randle dropped to his hands and knees in an attempt to urge the ball to go foul. Umpire Larry McCoy accused Randle of blowing the ball foul and gave the Kansas City outfielder the single. Randle explained he was merely yelling at the ball not to stay fair. Perhaps Randle would have had a better case had he just said that he was paying homage to the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, which featured the song Blowin’ in the Wind, and was released on this date, May 27, 1963.

8. The Strasburg Report

  • In 9 combined starts with Syracuse and Harrisburg, Stephen Strasburg is 6-1 with a 0.99 ERA.
  • His .139 batting average against is the lowest in minor league baseball among starting pitchers.
  • He has 54 strikeouts and 10 walks in 45.1 innings pitched good for a 5.4/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 10.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.
  • In 4 Triple-A starts with Syracuse, he is 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA (1 ER/23.1 IP).
  • Prior to joining Syracuse, Strasburg went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22.0 IP) in 5 starting assignments with Harrisburg.
  • Yesterday, Strasburg made significant headway in his battle to cure the common cold.

    American Idol winner Lee DeWyze (R) and host Ryan Seacrest stand onstage after the announcement of the winner at the American Idol Grand Finale 2010 thanking Stephen Strasburg

  • He graciously accepted a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • He was thanked  by the winner of American Idol Lee DeWyze.

9. I Love Walkoffs (part one)

Bobby Abreu had a walkoff opposite-field RBI single with two out against Kelly Downs gave Los Angeles a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Mike Napoli led off the 9th with a double, and Downs (1-4) retired Maicer Izturis on a grounder to the first base as Napoli took third. Pinch-hitter Juan Rivera and Erick Aybar were intentionally passed before Howie Kendrick hit a grounder for a force at the plate. Then Abreu singled to make up for a dropped flyball in the top of the 9th that allowed the Jays to tie the game.

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I Love Walkoffs (part two)

With tow outs in the 13th, Jerry Hairston Jr cleared the fence in left-center for a walkoff homer to give the San Diego Padres a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s the second homer for Hairston who hit one Tuesday to give the Padres a 1-0 win. This shot was off Mitchell Boggs (0-2), the Cardinals’ seventh pitcher. Edward Mujica (2-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win.

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