Stay For a Nightcap! Dis-Union of the Snake
- Conor Jackson got traded by the Diamondbacks on Tuesday morning to the Oakland A's for reliever Sam Demel. The Snakes have indicated that they are willing to trade just about anyone on the roster besides Justin Upton, assuming that they're going to cost anything appreciably more than the league minimum. Jackson certainly fits that profile, having reached his arbitration years. While it's a case of the A's possibly buying low, I'm not sure I quite understand where they're going with this. They already have a logjam in the outfield, have Coco Crisp returning from the DL shortly, and need to find room for Michael Taylor and Chris Carter somewhere down the line. Do they really need to add the right-handed hitting version of Daric Barton to further cloud the picture? What does he bring to the team that they don't already have? They've already committed to him starting in left field. Some combination of Rajai Davis, Coco Crisp, Ryan Sweeney and Jack Cust is going to get squeezed with this, too.
- Looking at this from the Diamondbacks side, hopefully this triggers other trades, not just involving them, but with other teams that are willing to look for future considerations. I get the idea that there might be more sellers out there than last year, though the D-Backs might be the only team to go full-on like the Pirates did last year.
- Speaking of the Pirates, Pedro Alvarez will make his debut on Wednesday, after the Pirates announced that they will call him up after Tuesday's loss to the White Sox. He's not getting eased in, either, making his debut against lefty John Danks. This means that Andy LaRoche reverts to a utility role. In the last week the Bucs have opened up the door to Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln. Contrast what they're doing with what the Indians are doing, for instance, and even with the Bucs' current losing streak, anemic offense and mind-bending playoff-less streak, I'd still much rather be a fan of them than GM Neal Huntington's former team, the Indians.
"Who Own the Reds?" "Ownssssss."
- It's one of the more obscure quotes that I like from a frequently quoted movie, but it also describes the relationship between Rafael Furcal and the Reds, particularly against Tuesday's starting pitcher, Aaron Harang. He came into the game 7-for-15 for his career against Harang. He left 10-for-18 against Harang after a 5-for-6 night. He's now 11-for-21 against the Reds in four games this season.
- Roy Halladay gave up three homers against the Yankees. Interleague play can't end early enough for him.
- Gordon Beckham continued to show small signs of coming out of his season-long slump, going 2-for-4 with another double and three RBI.
- Max Scherzer had nine strikeouts over six innings as he continued to revive his season, though he did give up four runs (three earned) and served up one homer.
- John Lannan was torched for seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and four walks, striking out only one in 4.1 innings. He has 23 strikeouts all year long, low even for his paltry standards.
- Johan Santana got the win against the Indians, but he struck out only one batter over seven innings while giving up four runs. He has three games this year with only one strikeout, and his average fastball coming into Tuesday's game was only 89.1 mph, nearly 1.5 mph slower than last year, when he was dealing with bone chips in his elbow. I'm not saying that he's done, but that he's in the process of becoming a much different pitcher. He's seen a similar drop in velocity in his slider and changeup.
- Justin Masterson got another loss on Tuesday, giving up seven runs (six earned) - a continuing strain of comments on Twitter from writers covering the game castigated the defense behind him, and not just on the error committed by shortstop Jason Donald. The point here being that Masterson (and other Tribe pitchers) is running unlucky this year, in addition to whatever flaws he might have.
- David Price picked up his 10th win on the season, despite allowing 11 baserunners in five innings. Meanwhile, Kenshin Kawakami dropped to 0-9 on the year, giving up five runs (but two earned) over five innings. Kawakami committed two of the Braves' four errors, but no runs scored off of his errors.
- Alexi Ogando got his first career win when the Rangers rallied for two in the ninth off Marlins closer Leo Nunez. He was used with a one-run deficit in the eighth and gave up a single and a walk but worked out of it.
- Josh Johnson proved once again that the Marlins acted wisely in locking him up to a long-term deal before the season started. He gave up one run over seven innings, lowering his ERA to 1.86 and his WHIP to 1.00.
- Michael Stanton went 0-for-4 with three K's in his home debut.
- I'd be wary of Hiroki Kuroda for his next start. Even though he only pitched five innings and threw 84 pitches overall, he came back after a 2:24 rain delay and threw a really stressful inning, loading the bases before getting out without any runs allowed. Included in that inning was an 11-pitch walk drawn by Orlando Cabrera with two runners on.
- After going through a stretch without many strikeouts, Clay Buchholz found a team that insisted on whiffing in the Diamondbacks, who K'd eight times.
- The Cubs committed four errors, two each by Derrek Lee and Tyler Colvin. The A's somehow managed to score nine runs while having only four RBI, thanks to the errors, a run-scoring double play grounder and a wild pitch.
- The Royals scored 15 runs against the Astros without the benefit of a homer, instead pounding out 20 hits. Felipe Paulino, who had been so good recently, was actually staked to six runs of support and had a 6-3 lead before imploding in the fifth inning, ultimately giving up seven runs with two outs in the fifth and 10 runs (eight earned) overall. He'll go back to being my quiet sleeper, instead of one I'm loudly proclaiming. Sigh... Every Royals starter had a hit, and all but Jason Kendall (1-for-6), Jose Guillen (1-for-4) and Yuniesky Betancourt (1-for-5, but with a bases-loaded double) had multiple hits.
- Jake Arrieta held the Giants to one run over seven innings, giving up three hits and two walks, striking out three.
- Bobby Jenks, converted (12). Jenks allowed one hit and struck out two in his scoreless inning. Manager Ozzie Guillen has been true to his word, sticking with Jenks as his closer.
- Jose Valverde, converted (14). Two strikeouts, one walk, no runs.
- Francisco Rodriguez, "converted" (14). The save rule sucks, part eleventy billion. K-Rod gave up a two homer to Jake Busey's doppleganger, Shelly Duncan.
- Leo Nunez, blown (3). Nunez was done in by a triple by Matt Treanor, former Marlin, of all people.
- Neftali Feliz, converted (16). The problem with micro-analysis of closers is that it's easy to lose sight of the notion that most players, no matter the role, will on occasion struggle. Feliz bounced back from recent choppy outings to pitch a clean ninth, striking out one.
- Jonathan Papelbon, converted (14). Perfect inning, one strikeout.
- Ryan Franklin, converted (12). Franklin gave up a solo homer to Ryan Langerhans but avoided any other damage while protecting a three-run lead.
- David Hernandez, converted (2). One strikeout, one walk, no runs allowed. Alfredo Simon hasn't pitched yet since coming off the DL, so Hernandez might still get the next save chance, depending upon what week it comes for the O's.
Other Closer Outings:
- Octavio Dotel gave up a run on one hit and a walk while pitching with a one-run deficit.
- Andrew Bailey yet again had a save chance erased when the A's scored a run in the top of the ninth, giving them a four-run lead. He gave up one hit while K'ing two in a scoreless inning.
- John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth with a six-run lead, striking out one and walking one.
- Craig Kimbrel threw two shutout innings in mop-up duty, striking out three. The Braves have been breaking him in slowly, and he's had spotty results so far, with a 13:8 K:BB in 7.1 innings. The upside is really high, but don't look for him in high-leverage situations soon.
- Just in case you were holding onto Franklin Morales in the hope that he'd regain some save chances, the Rockies brought him in during the fourth inning and he coughed up three runs, blowing the game wide-open for the Twins.
- Francisco Rodriguez Murillo gave up his first run of the year in a two-inning outing, but also struck out four. In 10.1 innings he's given up four hits and a walk while striking out 15. He's in a marginal role right now, but Jason Bulger is out and both Fernando Rodney and Kevin Jepsen have had their shaky moments.
- With the introduction of new blood to a team, there's of course going to be a loser in the playing time derby. With the Bucs, it's been Lastings Milledge that's increasingly been marginalized. He has started just twice since the Pirates called up Jose Tabata, including only once in Detroit when they had use of the DH. He had just a pinch-hit appearance on Tuesday night. The addition of Pedro Alvarez won't directly affect him, but it certainly won't *help* his chances of playing more often. Call me crazy, but even with Milledge's failures with the Pirates, I'm still stubbornly clinging to the belief that he can play. But time is running short.
- Matt Kemp was dropped down to sixth in the order for Tuesday's game after sitting out on Sunday.
- Magglio Ordonez returned to the lineup on Tuesday after missing six games due to an oblique injury and went 4-for-5 with two doubles. Meanwhile, Ryan Raburn got the start in center ahead of Austin Jackson with the Tigers facing lefty John Lannan.
- Ben Francisco was the DH, with Raul Ibanez starting in left field. I try not to criticize Charlie Manuel, but wouldn't it have been better to flip that arrangement?
- Gerardo Parra started in left field following the Conor Jackson trade, though he was later pinch-hit for by Rusty Ryal. Justin Upton was dropped to seventh in the order.
- Delmon Young went 3-for-4, scoring twice while knocking in one.
- With Erick Aybar out, Maicer Izturis started at shortstop and hit in the leadoff spot.
- Fred Lewis' foot has recovered, but with the Jays on the road in interleague play, he sat in favor of Adam Lind in left field.
- Chad Billingsley was unable to throw his scheduled side session on Tuesday due to a tight groin and was immediately placed on the 15-day DL. With Billingsley out, both John Ely and Carlos Monasterios will stick in the rotation, even with Vicente Padilla returning from the DL this weekend.
- Alex Rodriguez sat out another game on Wednesday with his sore right hip tendon. He'll be a game-time decision on Wednesday.
- Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup following an MRI on his hamstring that revealed a mild strain.
- Austin Jackson was once again scratched with back spasms. Ryan Raburn had a monster game in his place. Jackson has four hits in his last 36 at-bats to boot, riding the regression to the mean train.
- Marco Scutaro was given a cortisone injection to ease pain in his neck on Monday. The soreness in his neck and his elbow kept him out of Tuesday's game.
- Orlando Hudson is still experiencing pain in his wrist when swinging left-handed, so he stayed on the DL instead of coming off as planned on Tuesday.
- Edgar Renteria (groin) will rejoin the Giants on Wednesday, though it's not certain if he'll get activated right away.
- The Angels activated Brandon Wood from the DL despite his struggles during his rehab assignment, thanks to Erick Aybar's uncertain status.
- The Braves called up Chris Resop - he faced the minimum 27 batters. His first appearance with the Braves didn't go so well - five runs allowed in two innings of relief. You may (or may not) remember Resop as the Braves' remaining part left from their Mark Teixeira acquisition and subsequent sell-off. Do you think that the team wishes they could have Superman fly around the earth in reverse real fast to erase that one?
- Jason Bartlett will come off the DL to play on Wednesday. What happens to the playing time split between Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac? Even though Rodriguez has been on-fire, Brignac arguably has been better over the season - he has a lower slugging percentage, but he's also gotten on-base at a much higher clip and is hitting for better average.
- Nyjer Morgan 2 (13, 14); Jose Reyes (17); Andrew McCutchen 3 (15, 16, 17); Ben Francisco (2); Elvis Andrus (19); Gaby Sanchez (2); Hanley Ramirez (12); Dan Uggla (2); Stephen Drew (5); Chris Young (11); Brendan Ryan (4); Angel Pagan (13); Carl Crawford (22); Sean Rodriguez (3); Brian McCann (3); Josh Hamilton (4); Drew Stubbs (13); Ichiro Suzuki (19); Jonathan Lucroy (2); Jerry Hairston Jr. (5); Corey Patterson (9).
- Jeff Francoeur (2); Alexis Rios (6); Rafael Furcal (2); Ryan Theriot (3); Brendan Ryan (1); Torii Hunter (6) - this one was at third base, with a left-handed hitter up, nobody out, and the Angels already down six - the perfect storm of a bad attempt; Nick Hundley (5) - he's now 0-for-5.
- Travis Hafner (8); Mike Morse (2); Ike Davis (8); Curtis Granderson (5); Mark Teixeira (10) - this one was a Yankee Stadium special joke - there might have been one other park in baseball where that would have gone out; Nick Swisher (11); Hanley Ramirez (10); David Ortiz (13); Troy Tulowitzki (9); Colby Rasmus (13); Milton Bradley (6); Ryan Raburn (1); Shelley Duncan (2); Evan Longoria (12); Chipper Jones (4); Manny Ramirez (6); Tyler Colvin (7); Todd Helton (2!); Matt Tolbert (1); Jason Kubel (9); Jason Michaels (3); Albert Pujols (15); Ryan Langerhans (2); Prince Fielder (13); Aaron Cunningham (1) - a grand slam to center in his first start for the Padres; Adam Jones (8); Pablo Sandoval (6).