MLB Daily Balk Morning Rundown 4/25
Best of Yesterday April 24
Max Scherzer pitched a gem to win his 4th game of the season for the Tigers. Scherzer went 8 innings and didn’t give up a run while striking out 7. He lowered his ERA to 3.19 as the Tigers swept the White Sox in their weekend series.
The Rays James Shields completed his second consecutive start as he shut out the Blue Jays 2-0 on Sunday to run his record to 2-1. Shields lowered his ERA to 2.35 on the season and he’s allowed more than two runs in only one of his five starts this season. Ben Zobrist‘s two-run homer in the first was the difference in the game.
David Wright blasted two homers and stole a base to lead the Mets to a sweep over the Diamondbacks 8-4 on Sunday. The Mets are winning since Jason Bay returned to the lineup. Will anybody in Queens care?
The best starter matchup of the day was decided by Mike Stanton‘s crushing three-run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Marlins a 6-3 win over the Rockies. Ubaldo Jimenez struggled a bit for the Rockies but Josh Johnson pitched well and was left with the lead before the bullpen let in the tying runs. Don’t look now, but the Marlins have the third best record in the NL so far.
Mariano Rivera blew his second save of the week at Camden Yards, but the Yankees plated 3 in the 11th to beat the Orioles 6-3. It had to be frustrating for the O’s as the Yankees hit three infield hits and benefitted from a throwing error in the deciding inning. The Grandy Man, Curtis Granderson, continues his hot string as he homered in the 1st to extend his hitting streak to 8 games. He has five homers, a triple and 3 doubles and has raised his batting average from .156 to .292 during the streak. Also, prematurely written off Derek Jeter went 4 for 6.
Randy Wolf continued to pitch really well for the Brewers in their 4-1 win over the Astros on Sunday. In his past 3 starts, Wolf has surrendered only one run in 20 2/3 innings on a homer to JR Towles in the 8th inning on Sunday. Wolf is now 3-2 on the season.
Andre Ethier went 2 for 5 and scored twice to lead the Dodgers over the Cubs 7-3. Ethier’s hitting streak is now at 21 games.
Mike Aviles went 3 for 5 with two homers and 4 RBI, Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 18 games, and Jeff Francouer homered to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Unfortunately, the Royals lost to the Rangers 8-7 on Sunday. CJ Wilson struck out 10 and gave up 4 runs in 7 innings to win his third game and Michael Young extended his hit streak to 14 games for the Rangers.
Carl Crawford was spotted running around the bases after hitting a 6th inning homer for the Red Sox on Sunday. It was his first of the season. But more important is that John Lackey put together his second consecutive good start as he shutout his ex-teammates for 8 innings helping the Sox to a 7-0 win and four game sweep of the Angels. The Red Sox have now won 13 of 14 from the Angels since the 2009 postseason.
Speaking of four game sweeps, the Phillies rode another masterful Roy Halladay performance to beat the Padres 3-1 and complete their first four-game sweep in San Diego since 1979. Halladay struck out 14 in 8 2/3 innings and Shane Victorino hit an inside-the-park homer for the Phils. One item to keep an eye on is that Halladay threw 130 pitches and has gone over 110 in his last 4 starts.
Want another sweep? How about the Braves three-game sweep of the Giants this weekend? The Braves got a big three-run homer from Jason Heyward in the 7th innning and Dan Uggla hit a homer in the 8th to tie the game. But the biggest blow to the Giants came in the 10th when the Braves tagged Brian Wilson for 3 runs to hand the bearded closer his first loss of the season. That almost qualifies as payback for last year’s LDS loss to the Giants.
Mitchell Boggs converted his third straight save opportunity in the Cardinals 3-0 series winning win over the Reds on Sunday night. Fleet footed Albert Pujols stole a base, but left the game due to mild tightness in his right hamstring.
What Happened (!!)Yesterday?
Four teams were shut out yesterday. The Angels, Reds, Blue Jays, and White Sox all failed to score yesterday. That was the first game, win or lose, that the Reds and Blue Jays had been involved with a shutout. But what’s amazing is that both the Angels and White Sox were blanked twice each over their weekend series. Only the Angels, of those four teams, enter Monday with a winning record.
The Nationals might have the worst fielding infield in the NL, especially with former gold glove winner Ryan Zimmerman out. Ian Desmond leads all shortstops in errors with 5, second baseman Danny Espinosa just got his second yesterday, and Zimmerman’s fill-in, Jerry Hairston, committed two yesterday. Despite all of that, the Nats won to even their record at 10-10.
Despite the slow start at the plate, the Indians continue to write Carlos Santana‘s name in the lineup seemingly every day.
Evan Longoria had a pain free hitting session on Sunday morning before the Rays game in Toronto. Longoria is scheduled to play in a few AA games before returning next week. Johnny Damon continues to pass legendary players on his way up the all-time hit chart. Damon just passed Reggie Jackson to move into 78th overall.
The Yankees Rafael Soriano is suffering from a bad back after waking up Saturday with soreness in his lower back. Dave Robertson pitched the 8th inning in Soriano’s place on Sunday. The Yankees are hopeful that he’ll be ready to go on Monday against the White Sox.
The Blue Jays placed 2B Aaron Hill on the DL on Sunday retroactive to April 20th with a sore right hamstring. The Jays needed the roster spot in order to recall Jesse Litsch from AAA to start on Tuesday.
The Astros sat Brett Wallace on Sunday after he was hit by a pitch and fouled a ball off his knee in Saturday’s game.
Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said before Sunday’s game that he has no plans to sit struggling Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez proceeded to go hitless in Sunday’s win over the Rockies. Ramirez spoke after the game about his struggles.
It’s a new season, but the Nationals Ian Desmond is still leading the NL in errors at shortstop.
Chipper Jones was experiencing pain in his “other” knee, but sucked it up and played on his birthday. Jones had two hits, scored a run, and drove in two runs for the Braves in their sweep clinching win in San Francisco.
The Giants starter on Sunday, Jonathan Sanchez, was treated with an IV before the game and gutted out five innings.
There’s more bad news for the Phillies as they have placed another closer on the DL. Jose Contreras, who has been 5 for 5 in save opportunities in 2011, has a problem with a tendon in his pitching elbow. Ryan Madson is expected to close in his absence and the Phils have called up Mike Stutes from AAA to work in the bullpen.
Cameron Maybin is settling into the lineup for the Padres after coming over in the offseason from Florida. Maybin was a top 10 prospect who came to the Marlins in the Miguel Cabrera trade to the Tigers a few years ago. The Marlins soured on Maybin and sent him to the Padres.
The Cubs Geovany Soto is leading the majors with 8 caught stealing assists. Unfortunately for the Cubs, his hitting hasn’t been as good as he’s only hitting .250 with 1 home run. Soto hit 17 homers last year.
The Reds placed Scott Rolen on the DL on Sunday due to a strained left shoulder. The Reds called up infielder Chris Valaika from AAA to replace Rolen.
Streaks of the Day
- Dodgers Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 21 games
- Royals Alex Gordon extended his career long hitting streak to 18 games
- Royals Jeff Francouer extended his hitting streak to 14 games
- Rangers Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 14 games
- Yankees Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 13 games
Top Monday Matchups
7:10 EDT Dodgers (Garland 1-1, 4.15) at Marlins (Nolasco 2-0, 3.00)
8:10 EDT Reds (Arroyo 2-2, 4.24) at Brewers (Narveson 1-0, 2.19)
10:05 EDT Athletics (Gonzalez 2-1, 1.80) at Angels (Weaver 5-0, 1.23)
Yesterday’s Balks: 1
- Enerio Del Rosario of the Astros against the Brewers