MLB Daily Balk Morning Rundown 4/20
Best of Yesterday April 19
James Shields crafted a complete game victory for the Rays over the White Sox. Shields gave up only 4 hits, 1 BB, and 1 run while getting 9 strikeouts in the 2-1 win. The Rays have now won 8 of 11 and only trail the Yankees by 2 games in the AL East.
The Brewers pitchers shut out the Phillies at Citizens Bank. Starter and ex-Phillie Randy Wolf went 6 innings giving up only 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5.
Jake Arrieta led the Orioles pitchers in shutting out the Twins at Camden Yards. Arrieta’s battery mate, Matt Wieters drove in 4 of the O’s 11 runs. Buck Showalter was impressed with Wieters.
Travis Snider broke his bat over his knee last night before hitting the game winning double in the 10th inning to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 win over the Yankees.
Ryan Roberts of the Diamondbacks blasted two homers, drove in 3 runs, and even stole a base in the D’backs 5-4 win over the Reds. Roberts is now hitting .382 on the season and might not even be in the majors if Geoff Blum hadn’t been injured before opening day.
The Marlins Josh Johnson continues to establish his Cy Young credentials during the first month of the season as he threw 7 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.00 on the season. His 9 strikeouts give him a 27-6 K-BB ratio in 27 innings this season.
Rookie 1B Mike Trumbo delivered his 3rd homer and drove in 4 runs in the Angels rout of the Rangers on Tuesday night. Rangers starter Colby Lewis and the rest of their pitchers were feeling labor pains throughout this one.
Royals starting pitching Bruce Chen went to 3-0 on the season after giving up 2 runs in 7 innings in the Royals 5-4 win over the first place Indians on Tuesday night. Chen’s ERA is now at 2.42 and the Royals are 11-6 and one game behind the Tribe in the AL Central.
Panda time as Pablo Sandoval took Ubaldo Jimenez deep in the first inning for a 3-run homer as the Giants beat the Rockies 6-3 on Tuesday night. There are only two games separating the teams in the NL West now.
The Athletics Brett Anderson was spectacular in their win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night. Anderson won his first game by shutting out the Sox for 8 innings, giving up only 4 hits, 1 walk and he had 8 strikeouts. His ERA is now 1.63 on the season.
Ichiro and Chone Figgins combined to go 7 for 9 and steal 3 bases at the top of the order for the Mariners in their 13-3 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night.
What Happened Yesterday?
Mariano Rivera showed that he was human as the Yankees iconic closer as he blew his first save opportunity of the season on Tuesday night in Toronto. The usually immaculate Rivera walked one and gave up four hits in the 9th inning and only a brilliant double play initiated by 3B Eric Chavez kept Mo from losing his first game.
Terry Francona got tossed for the first time this season in the Red Sox 5-0 loss at Oakland. Francona was arguing a, you guessed it, a balk that wasn’t called on A’s pitcher Brett Anderson in the 4th inning when Dustin Pedroia was picked off first base.
Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero is hitting a gaudy .380 so far this season. But the backstop committed his fifth error of the season against the Reds on Tuesday night. There’s no DH in the National League to hide your glove, Miguel.
The Dodgers entered the top of the 9th inning against the Braves down 2-1 and hoping for another walk off win. Unfortunately, Dodgers relievers Kenley Jansen and Ramon Troncoso didn’t get the memo and gave up 8 runs between them in the inning. That’s going to leave a mark on their ERAs for awhile.
The Daily Balk’s Take
Geoff Baker writes that the Mariners won’t be trading ace Felix Hernandez this season, but might entertain that possibility during the winter or next season.
- The bottom line here is that Felix is 25 years old and under contract through the 2014 season for very palatable salaries. The Mariners, or any team, would be foolish to trade a pitcher of this quality and value until they know if their young talent is going to pan out for them. If the young players don’t improve enough for the Mariners to contend by the end of the 2013 season, then maybe the Mariners could look to deal Felix. Until then, it just doesn’t make practical sense.
Sam Fuld of the Rays has led them to an 8-4 record since moving into the leadoff spot. The once 0-6 Rays are now right back into the AL East race at only 2 games behind the Yankees. Rays manager Joe Maddon even believes that Fuld is playing defense better than Carl Crawford in left field.
Tyson Ross will take over for the injured Dallas Braden in the Athletics rotation. Ross pitched well in spring training and almost won the fifth starter’s job. Ross is ranked by Baseball America as the A’s 4th ranked prospect and if he pitches well, could join the rotation fulltime or become a trade piece for GM Billy Beane to use to improve the offense in June or July.
The A’s are 26-22 against the Red Sox since 2006. That’s the best in the AL over that time period.
First baseman Kila Ka’aihue of the Royals is only hitting .151 this season in 15 games. With top prospect Eric Hosmer off to a quick start in Omaha, Ka’aihue’s days in KC could be numbered.
Starting pitchers for the Pirates, Kevin Correia and Charlie Morton have combined for the most complete games in April, 2, by the Pirates staff since 1992. The 92 Bucs won the NL East and lost to the Braves in the NLCS in Barry Bonds last season in Pittsburgh.
The Cubs and Padres will play a day-night doubleheader at Wrigley on Wednesday after Tuesday night’s rainout.
Crazy weather in St. Louis sets up a doubleheader on Wednesday at Busch between the Nationals and Cardinals. This will be a day-night doubleheader like the Cubs and Padres.
Ike Davis of the Mets has been in the majors for a year now.
“Five Finger” Mike Leake of the Reds is still scheduled to make his start on Thursday despite his legal issues from Monday.
David Hernandez and JJ Putz have stabilized the 8th and 9th innings for the Diamondbacks. Last year, the D’backs were historically bad.
Opposing hitters are batting .524 against the Braves Tim Hudson in the first inning this season. Hudson has yielded 7 runs in the first inning and only 6 runs for all of the other innings combined. Also, Hudson’s pitch in the vicinity of Jerry Sands’ head on Monday night was a purpose pitch. But Hudson signed a ball for him after the game.
Brandon Belt of the Giants turns 23 on Wednesday and could get a plane ticket to Fresno as a “gift” from manager Bruce Bochy.
Streak of the Day
The Royals Wilson Betemit and Alex Gordon both extended their career long hitting streaks to 11 and 13 games respectively.
Top Wednesday Matchups
3:10 EDT Giants (Cain 2-0, 1.42) at Rockies (De La Rosa 2-0, 3.18)
3:35 EDT Red Sox (Buchholz 0-2, 6.60) at Athletics (Gonzalez 2-0, 0.47)
8:05 EDT Angels (Weaver 4-0, 1.30) at Rangers (Harrison 3-0, 1.23)
8:10 EDT Indians (Masterson 3-0, 1.33) at Royals (Hochevar 2-1, 4.21)
8:15 EDT Nationals (Zimmerman 1-2, 2.45) at Cardinals (Garcia 2-0, 1.35)
Last night’s balks: 1 – Bobby Parnell of the Mets against the Astros