Swell, Hell, Hot, Not and Three Walkoffs

Popeye would have been a great pitcher with his swollen arms and all

Pitchers Who Were Swell

It’s all about Oakland as the A’s swept the Giants and held San Francisco to just one run in the three game set. Ben Sheets struck out eight in six scoreless innings but left with a ND as the A’s scored one in the 7th and two in the 8th for the 3-0 victory. Saturday, Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez beat Matt Cain 1-0. Cain pitched a complete game and Oakland managed only an unearned run to win. Jonathan Sanchez (2-4) received no run support for the fifth time in his nine 2010 starts. Michael Wuertz (1-0) picked up the win and Andrew Bailey earned his eighth save in 10 chances. Oakland swept San Francisco for the fourth time in the last 10 series between the clubs and first at the Coliseum since June 24-26, 2005. The A’s earned a three-game sweep in San Francisco in 2008.

In the Red Sox 8-3 win over the Phillies, Tim Wakefield vexed the vaunted Phillies lineup with his knuckleball for eight shutout innings. Wakefield allowed just five hits, threw 102 pitches. He earned his 190th career victory, third-most among active pitchers behind the Phillies’ Jamie Moyer (263) and the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte (234). It was Wake’s first win since last July 8.

Saturday, Daisuke Matsuzaka, froze hell over by throwing eight one-hit innings aginst the Phils. In the past five games, Red Sox starters have completed the eighth inning four times and posted a collective 1.66 ERA.

In the Mets 6-4 win over the Yankees, Johan Santana (4-2) held the Yanks to one run over 7.2 innings. Santana went 7-2/3 innings, equaling his longest outing of the season and also the longest of the Mets’ season. He allowed one run on six hits and three walks and struck out five. In his last four starts, each going at least seven innings , he is 1-0 with a 2.15 ERA.

Shaun Marcum held the Diamondbacks to six hits over five innings, in the Blue Jays 12-4 win in this longstanding traditional interleague rivalry.

Josh Johnson (5-1) threw six innings of shutout ball, and has pitched 18 scoreless innings since giving up a run May 13 against the Mets, in the Florida 13-0 win over the White Sox in another classic interleague pairing. He gave up six hits and two walks but did not strike out a batter.

Perhaps the shocker of this baseball season has been the performance of Carlos Silva who is now 6-0 for the Cubs after topping Texas, 5-4. Silva, who came to the Cubs in the offseason trade that sent Milton Bradley to Seattle, threw 5.1 innings and allowed three runs and six hits. The last 6-0 Cubs starter was Kenny Holtzman in 1967, when he finished 9-0 in 12 starts.

Texas reliever Frank Francisco extended his scoreless innings streak to eight and, during their seven game homestand, Francisco recorded 15 of 22 outs by way of strikeout.

Mat Latos and his migraine

The Mariners can’t even hit against a pitcher suffering from a migraine. Headache and all, Mat Latos (4-3) walked two and struck out five while permitting just one run and four hits over six innings and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1. It was his fifth consecutive start of at least six innings pitched allowing two runs or less. Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (2-4) allowed three runs, two earned, and seven hits in seven innings and he struck out six. The Padres took two-of-three in the “Cities that start with S” interleague rivalry.

Pitchers From Hell

This isn't me, but this is my vision of hell: holding my wife's purse while she is shopping.

The last thing Roy Halladay wants is to face the Red Sox in interleague play. Halladay (6-3) allowed eight hits and five earned runs in a season-worst 5.2 innings and now is 14-15 against Boston with a 4.35 ERA. Against everyone else, he’s 140-63 with a 3.24 ERA.

In five innings against the NY Mets, the NY Yankees ace CC Sabathia gave up six runs (five earned) and 10 hits. In Sabathia’s last four starts he is 0-2 with a 5.96 ERA. He has given up 27 hits and seven walks (one intentional) and seven homers. After the Yanks loss to the Mets, Sabathia is 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA. The Mets won the battle for the subway, beating the Yanks, 6-4 and two out of three in the meaningless weekend series.

Defending Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke allowed eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits in just 3.1 innings as he was rocked by the Rockies. Colorado topped KC, 11-7.

Reds closer Francisco Cordero has appeared in 24 games, the most of any closer in the NL. He’s allowed eight baserunners in his last 3.2 innings. His WHIP is 1.59 and his ERA is 4.09 compared to last season when his WHIP was 1.32 and his ERA was 2.16 last year.

The White Sox Freddie Garcia (3-3) has had better days. Garcia, who won his last three starts, lasted 2.1 innings against Florida and gave up seven runs on seven hits. He gave up a season-high three homers.

Chris Carpenter allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings after working eight the previous two starts.

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Hitters Who Are Hot

Scott Rolen had a pair of homers in the Reds 4-3 loss to the Indians. After hitting 11 homers in each of the last two seasons, Rolen has 10 this year. It was his 21st multi-home run game. The Reds took two of three to win the series.

After going 4-for-4 on Saturday, Jason Bay hit two home runs off CC Sabathia, one to left and then an opposite-field blast to the deepest part of Citi Field. Overall, Bay is hitting .307 and he now has a 15-game home hitting streak, during which he is hitting .444.

Kevin Youkilis had a triple and a solo home run in the Sox win yesterday. He’s batting .397 (25-for-63) with six home runs, 15 RBI and a 1.319 OPS this month.

Jose Batista hit his 14th homer of the season for Toronto. He shares the major-league home run lead with Chicago’s Paul Konerko and is just two off the league RBI lead with 38.

Derek Jeter had three hits last night to reach 2,800 in his career.

Alex Cora of the Mets has nine hits in his last 24 at-bats along with seven RBI over his last 10 games.

Cody Ross had two homers and Ronny Paulino, Dan Uggla, and Jorge Cantu each hit one for the Marlins, who snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the White Sox, 13-0. Florida had a season-high18 hits.

Danny Worth had three hits for the second time in just six big league games for the Tigers who topped the Dodgers, 6-2 to salvage a win in the Kirk Gibson Interleague Classic.

Mike Napoli had a homer and two singles while going 6 for 12 with seven RBI, including two-run homers Friday and Saturday in the three game Cardinals/Angels interleague mass.

Hitters Who Are Not

Yankee centerfielder Brett Gardner went 0-for-13 against the Mets this weekend with four strikeouts. The Yankees were 2-5 this past week against Red Sox, Rays and Mets and are a season-high six games behind the Rays.

Mark Teixeira was 2-for-27 before an infield hit in the 9th last night which means he’s a miserable 3-for-28.

Dustin Pedroia went oh-fer the weekend. Yesterday against the Phils, the Red Sox second baseman went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.

Marlins leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan was 0 for 6 with three strikeouts. Last season’s ROY is hitting .210.

Texas Rangers first baseman Justin Smoak had an oh-fer weekend, going 0-for-10, and a miserable homestand in which he was 1-for-21. In his last 15 games, Smoak is 6-for-47 and is batting .165 in 97 big-league plate appearances.

Here’s a name you don’t see frequently on this side of the ledger. Albert Pujols was 0 for 3 with two walks yesterday. Not only that, he committed his first two errors of the season at first base for the Cardinals. He also has no RBI the last nine games. Release him!

Aki Iwamura had a single for the Pirates. He had been 0 for 34 and is now hitting .161.

The Minnesota Twins hitters yesterday were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-3 with the bases loaded. They lost to Brewers, 4-3, but still took two-of-three in the famous interleague series that pit rivals whose city names start with “Mi.”

Special Thanks

Thanking Corey Costello of ESPN-Bakersfield, with whom I had a great time chatting with on Friday evening and thanks to Eddie Andelman who allowed me to be part of his famous “Sports Huddle” for three hours last night on WTKK-FM, here in Boston.

On this date

Set the way back machine to May 24, 1935 and you will see that the first major league night game was played. The Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field. I will check to see if Jaime Moyer pitched.

Let’s Get to the Walkoffs I Love

It was St. Louis over the Angels 6-5 in 10 innings thanks to Felipe Lopez hitting a bases-loaded walkoff single. Ryan Franklin (3-0) picked up the win with his longest outing of the season going two innings striking out three and allowing just a bunt hit. Mike Napoli homered for the third straight game and the Angels have homered in 10 straight games.

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Josh Willingham hit a walkoff homer in the 10th inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3 in the “Even though we live here, we don’t care” interleague rivalry series Baltimore tied it in the 9th when Matt Capps was unable to protect a 3-1 lead for his first blown save in 17 chances. The Orioles fell short of their first road series win of the season.

And in National League action

Ryan Doumit hit a walkoff homer with two outs in the 10th inning off Takashi Saito enabling the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Braves, 3-2. It was the third hit of the game for Doumit and his first career walkoff. It ended Atlanta’s five-game winning streak and Pittsburgh’s three-game losing streak.

Not so much to talk about tomorrow

White Sox (John Danks) at Indians (Justin Masterson), 7:05

Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) at Rays (Wade Davis), 7:10

Pirates (Brian Burres) at Reds (Aaron Harang), 7:10

Blue Jays (Brett Cecil) at Angels (Joe Saunders), 10:05