MLB Daily Balk Morning Rundown 4/29
Best of Yesterday April 28
The Giants beat the Pirates 5-2 and Ryan Vogelsong won his first game since 2005 for the Giants. Vogelsong earned his first career win with the Giants, who drafted him in 1997 and then traded him to the Pirates.
The Mariners broke out the brooms in Detroit as they beat the Tigers 7-2 in the finale of their 3-game series. Rookie Michael Pineda won his 4th game as he struck out 9 in 6 innings. With 24 runs in 3 games against the Tigers, maybe the M’s offense isn’t THAT bad after all?
The Rays swept a day-night doubleheader against the Twins on Thursday, 15-3 and 6-1. Ben Zobrist was enormous as he knocked in a Rays record 8 runs in the opener and then drove in 2 more in the nightcap. Zobrist was 7 for 10 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, 5 runs, and 10 RBI. AL Player of the Week, anyone? He also did something that hasn’t been done in the AL since Reggie Jackson in 1969.
The Blue Jays took 3 out of 4 against the defending AL champs by beating the Rangers 5-2 on Thursday afternoon. The Jays received a scare when Jose Bautista was hit by a pitch on his hands in the 7th inning, but he never left the game. Brandon Morrow pitched fairly well in his second start and Adam Lind hit his 4th homer for the Jays.
Jon Lester and the Red Sox salvaged the third game of the series with the Orioles by winning 6-2. Lester won his third game with 8 solid innings, giving up 2 runs and Adrian Gonzalez got his 10th multi-hit game of the season for the Sox. Vladimir Guerrero hit his 4th homer for the O’s.
Fausto Carmona won his 2nd game and Grady Sizemore continued his impressive comeback by hitting his 4th homer in under two weeks as the Indians completed the 3-game sweep of the Royals 8-2 on Thursday night. Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Santana, and Shelley Duncan all homered as well for the Tribe.
CC Sabathia easily won his 2nd game of the season as the Yankees beat the White Sox 12-3 on Thursday night. The struggling Nick Swisher broke out with his first homer and went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.
Livan Hernandez helped the Nationals snap the Mets winning streak by throwing 8 strong innings with only 2 earned runs allowed in the Nats 4-3 win. New father Ian Desmond came off the Paternity Leave list to go 2 for 4 with a triple, homer, and 2 runs scored for the Nats.
Welcome home, Lance! Well, Lance Berkman might not have been welcome, but he made himself at home as he slugged two homers in the Cardinals win over the Astros 11-7. Berkman went 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored and 5 RBI to go with the homers. He’s now alone in second place in the NL with 8 homers. Kyle McClellan did struggle, but he still won his 4th game of the season.
The Diamondbacks knocked out Cubs starter Ryan Dempster with a 7-run first inning on their way to an 11-2 win. Stephen Drew went 2 for 5 with a grand slam and 5 RBI and Miguel Montero continued his campaign for an all star selection with a 2 for 5 night, including a homer and double with 3 RBI.
What Happened (!!)Yesterday?
The Twins gave up 21 runs in their doubleheader loss to the Rays on Thursday and 29 runs in the 3-game sweep. The Twins now have the worst ERA in the AL at 4.95 on the season. The Twins are 4-0 when Brian Duensing starts and 5-15 when he doesn’t. But that’s not the only problem. They are 13th in the AL with a .236 team batting average and their slugging is an AL worst .323, thanks in large part to a MLB low 10 homers. Joe Mauer is still not ready to return and Delmon Young just joined him on the DL. The Twins are now 7 games behind the first place Indians and are in jeopardy of falling out the AL Central race before Memorial Day.
Ryan Dempster of the Cubs gave up 7 runs and didn’t escape the 1st inning against the Diamondbacks on Thursday night. He’s given up at least 4 runs in ALL 6 of his starts this season and his ERA is now 9.58 on the season. Dempster has given up 9 homers, walked 16, and 33 earned runs in only 31 innings for the Cubs. Dempster had pitched well over the past 3 seasons as a starter for the Cubs, but the time has probably come to move him back into the bullpen. The problem for the Cubs is that Dempster is making $13.5M this season and holds a PLAYER option for 2012 at $14M. Gee, I wonder if Dempster will exercise that. He’s as sure to receive that from the Cubs as Carlos Silva is to receive over $7M this season and another $2M next year.
The Twins finally acknowledged that Joe Mauer wasn’t ready to start the season. He’s still a week or two away from returning as well.
Peter Bourjos is coming into his own as a hitter for the Angels. The second year player is batting .318 on the season, but despite possessing great speed, is still at the bottom of the order. Manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t have any plans to change that either.
The Indians top pitching prospect, Alex White, is being called up to make his big league debut on Saturday against the Tigers. White is filling in for the injured Carlos Carrasco, who was placed on the DL on Thursday with a right elbow problem.
The Rays‘ Sean Rodriguez dislocated his pinkie finger in the second game of the doubleheader on Thursday.
The Mets are thinking about starting Dillon Gee instead of Mike Pelfrey on Friday due to Pelfrey’s illness.
Pirates 2010 first round pick, Jameson Taillon, struggled in his pro debut on Wednesday. Bad weather and nerves played a role in his struggles.
The Phillies problems are beginning to mount now. Joining Brad Lidge, Chase Utley, and Jose Contreras on the DL is 5th starter Joe Blanton. Blanton is suffering from an elbow impingement. The Phils called up Vance Worley to take Blanton’s start on Friday. Roy Oswalt left the team on Tuesday due to the bad weather going through his home state of Mississippi.
The Cardinals offense has been very good this season, but they’ve hit into an inexplicable 34 double plays so far this season. That’s 11 more than any other team in the majors.
Former Padres GM and current Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers comes clean about the deceiving radar gun at Petco Park in San Diego. It turns out that the Reds‘ Aroldis Chapman might not have been having velocity problems after all last week.
Carlos Lee has been struggling so far this season, but Astros manager Brad Mills has no plans to move him in the batting order.
Ryan Zimmerman is throwing now, but is still at least a week away from rejoining the Nationals. He’s currently on the DL with an abdominal strain.
Streaks of the Day
- Royals Jeff Francouer extended his hitting streak to 17 games
Top Friday Matchups
7:05 EDT Blue Jays (Romero 1-3, 3.00) at Yankees (Garcia 1-0, 0.69)
7:35 EDT Cardinals (Carpenter 0-2, 3.90) at Braves (Hudson 3-2, 3.57)
8:05 EDT Brewers (Marcum 2-1, 2.73) at Astros (Myers 1-0, 3.31)
8:40 EDT Pirates (Correia 3-2, 3.48) at Rockies (Chacin 3-1, 2.67)
10:05 EDT Rangers (Wilson 3-0, 3.51) at Athletics (Cahill 3-0, 2.30)
Yesterday’s Balks: 1
- CC Sabathia of the Yankees against the White Sox