THT Daily: Look Out Below

Major League News for May 17

Today’s Links
Player News
Yesterday’s Results
Today’s Games
Standings
Game of the Day
Top Minor League Performances

You can always find the most recent THT Daily at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/content/thtdaily/


THT Links

Games of the Day – David Pinto picks out the games worth watching.

Any Given Start – There’s just something about having an ace. A dominator. Pedro. Roger. Curt. Greg. In recent years, as an A’s fan, I’ve felt that way at various times about Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Rich Harden. Those guys who are always a threat to throw a complete game two-hitter. At the risk of sounding like a hack, that’s what distinguishes a No. 1 starter and an ace. So it definitely warmed my heart to read one Phillies fan’s account of Cole Hamels.

Good to Go – Taco Bell. Baseball. Advertising. Popping the question. This press release, courtesy of Dodger Thoughts, must be read to be believed. And I guess it’s working.

Injury Bug – A’s setup man/temporary closer Justin Duchscherer is suffering from a right hip inflammation that kept him out of last night’s game, which Kiko Calero blew in the top of the ninth. With Huston Street on the DL for an indeterminate amount of time with an “overactive nerve,” the A’s closer situation is in disarray, so fantasy vultures, start your engines. Calero will probably be given the first chance to close with a medium leash, but if he blows a couple more, we may see veteran lefty Alan Embree out there.

On TrackJon Lester‘s rehab is back on track, as he has been given the okay to start pitching in Triple-A again. The Red Sox could sure use the help.

In the DoghouseLastings Milledge is in trouble with the Mets again, after his record label released a song with allegedly racist and derogatory terms. Looks like Milledge could be made available again.

THT Links represents the best efforts of our editors in scouring the various tubes of the interweb for both relevant and irrelevant news items. If you have happened upon a story that we have overlooked or wish to give feedback of any sort, please notify us at THT Links.

Player News

Player Headlines are courtesy of Rotoworld

Cole Hamels retired the first 18 batters he faced Wednesday on his way to win No. 6 as Philly whipped the struggling Brewers 6-2. Hamels walked Rickie Weeks leading off the seventh inning to lose his perfect game bid. J.J. Hardy followed with a two-run jack to end the no-hitter. Still, in eight innings, Hamels gave up just two hits and two runs, striking out 11 batters and walking only one. After just 32 career starts, he is looking like an ace. Hamels trimmed his ERA to 3.30 after this superb 114-pitch (79 of which were strikes) effort.

Tigers placed RHP Jeremy Bonderman on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 9, with a cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Bonderman wasn’t replaced on the roster, so it looks like the Tigers will leave the spot open until Andrew Miller is called up on Friday. Bonderman could miss just the one additional start.

A.J. Burnett was completely dominant Wednesday, limiting the Orioles to three hits in a complete game victory as Toronto again edged the O’s 2-1. He struck out 10 and walked two, with his only mistake of the night getting deposited over the left field wall by Kevin Millar. Burnett’s gem lowered his ERA to 3.99 and he’s looked strong in the past three straight starts.

Jose Reyes said he’ll play Thursday after coming out of Wednesday’s game in the eighth with left hamstring tightness. Reyes said he felt a cramp after his first swing in the at-bat, though he stayed in initially. The Mets just have to hope the problem is no more significant than Reyes believes it is.

Moises Alou will be placed on the DL to make room for Jason Vargas, who will start Thursday’s game against the Cubs. Alou has been sidelined since suffering a strained quad on Saturday. Endy Chavez and Carlos Gomez will continue to fill in for him.

Rays manager Joe Maddon told the Tampa Tribute that it “”looks like a DL situation” for Rocco Baldelli, who strained his left hamstring in Tuesday’s game. Greg Norton could come off the disabled list to replace him on the roster. The Rays have Elijah Dukes playing center field and leading off tonight. B.J. Upton has stepped into the second spot in the order, and Jonny Gomes is DHing against the Rangers.

Josh Beckett will miss his scheduled start Friday after leaving Sunday’s game with an avulsion on his right middle finger. Beckett will instead throw a side session Friday before the Red Sox decide whether to put him on the DL. Unless that plan changes, it means Devern Hansack won’t be an option to replace him in the rotation, as he can only be recalled right now if someone goes on the DL. Kason Gabbard could be the choice to get the start.

John Smoltz will start Saturday against the Red Sox after throwing a bullpen session without incident on Wednesday. Smoltz dislocated his right pinkie finger in his outing Monday against the Nationals.

37-year-old Troy Percival, who officially retired with the Angels last month, is thinking about a comeback. Percival signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Tigers and then gave the team a 5.76 ERA in 25 innings because of elbow problems. He’s back throwing again and is pain-free. “If you would have asked me in spring training or April the likelihood of him coming back, I would have said 10 percent,” agent Paul Cohen told FOXSports.com. “I would say now it’s 50-50.” Cohan added that Percvial hit 97 mph on the gun at one point. On the off chance that Percival does make it back, it’s unlikely he’d do so as a closer.


Yesterday’s Results
American League
TB     11  TEX     8    (Recap and Boxscore)
TOR     2  BAL     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
NYA     8  CHA     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
CHA     5  NYA     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
CLE     7  MIN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
KC      4  OAK     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAA     5  SEA     0    (Recap and Boxscore)

National League
NYN     8  CHN     1    (Recap and Boxscore)
PHI     6  MIL     2    (Recap and Boxscore)
WAS     6  ATL     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
HOU     2  SF      1    (Recap and Boxscore)
FLA     4  PIT     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
COL     5  ARI     3    (Recap and Boxscore)
LAN     5  STL     4    (Recap and Boxscore)
SD      3  CIN     2    (Recap and Boxscore)


Today’s Games
National League
 ---------------
 Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals, 1:05 PM
  (L) Chuck James (4-3) vs. (L) Matt Chico (2-4)
 Chicago Cubs at New York Mets, 1:10 PM
  (R) Angel Guzman (0-0) vs. (L) Jason Vargas (0-0)
 Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies, 3:05 PM
  (R) Ben Sheets (3-2) vs. (R) Freddy Garcia (1-2)
 Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies, 3:05 PM
  (R) Livan Hernandez (3-2) vs. (R) Josh Fogg (1-4)
 Florida Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:05 PM
  (R) Ricky Nolasco (1-1) vs. (R) Tony Armas (0-3)
 San Francisco Giants at Houston Astros, 8:05 PM
  (R) Tim Lincecum (1-0) vs. (R) Roy Oswalt (6-2)
 
 American League
 ---------------
 Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians, 12:05 PM
  (L) Johan Santana (4-3) vs. (R) Fausto Carmona (4-1)
 New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox, 2:05 PM
  (R) Matt DeSalvo (1-0) vs. (R) Jon Garland (2-2)
 Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics, 3:35 PM
  (R) Scott Elarton (0-0) vs. (L) Dallas Braden (1-2)
 Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox, 7:05 PM
  (R) Chad Durbin (3-1) vs. (R) Curt Schilling (4-1)
 Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 7:10 PM
  (R) Kameron Loe (1-3) vs. (L) Scott Kazmir (2-2)
 LA Angels of Anaheim at Seattle Mariners, 10:05 PM
  (R) Bartolo Colon (4-0) vs. (L) Jarrod Washburn (3-3)


Standings

The graphics next to each team are called “sparklines.” They depict each team’s performance over the last month. Each “up” bar is a victory and a “down” bar is a loss. There are horizontal lines for home games and red bars represent games decided by two runs or less. “PWins” is short for Projected Wins, based on each team’s Run Differential, and is often a better measure of a team’s true strength. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.

American League East        Pwins  Diff
BOS     26  12 .684    0.0   26     0    sparkline graph
NYA     18  20 .474    8.0   22    -4    sparkline graph
TOR     18  22 .450    9.0   19    -1    sparkline graph
BAL     18  23 .439    9.5   19    -1    sparkline graph
TB      17  22 .436    9.5   14     3    sparkline graph
American League Central     
DET     24  14 .632    0.0   21     3    sparkline graph
CLE     23  14 .622    0.5   21     2    sparkline graph
CHA     19  17 .528    4.0   16     3    sparkline graph
MIN     18  21 .462    6.5   19    -1    sparkline graph
KC      14  27 .341   11.5   15    -1    sparkline graph
American League West        
LAA     23  18 .561    0.0   23     0    sparkline graph
SEA     18  17 .514    2.0   16     2    sparkline graph
OAK     20  19 .513    2.0   23    -3    sparkline graph
TEX     15  25 .375    7.5   16    -1    sparkline graph


National League East        Pwins  Diff
NYN     25  14 .641    0.0   25     0    sparkline graph
ATL     25  15 .625    0.5   22     3    sparkline graph
PHI     20  20 .500    5.5   22    -2    sparkline graph
FLA     18  22 .450    7.5   19    -1    sparkline graph
WAS     14  26 .350   11.5   13     1    sparkline graph
National League Central     
MIL     25  15 .625    0.0   23     2    sparkline graph
HOU     20  19 .513    4.5   20     0    sparkline graph
CHN     18  20 .474    6.0   22    -4    sparkline graph
PIT     17  22 .436    7.5   15     2    sparkline graph
STL     16  22 .421    8.0   14     2    sparkline graph
CIN     16  25 .390    9.5   20    -4    sparkline graph
National League West        
LAN     25  16 .610    0.0   24     1    sparkline graph
SD      22  19 .537    3.0   24    -2    sparkline graph
ARI     21  20 .512    4.0   19     2    sparkline graph
SF      19  20 .487    5.0   21    -2    sparkline graph
COL     17  23 .425    7.5   15     2    sparkline graph


Game of the Day

The Athletics played another close game but lost this one, 4-3 to the Royals. The Royals led, 2-0 after six, behind Odalis Perez’s six inning, one hit performance. But their bullpen gave up the lead and Oakland went into the ninth with a 3-2 advantage. Substitute closer Kiko Calero gave up the game, however, with a double to John Buck and a single by Ryan Shealy and David Riske closed out the ninth for the Royals.

KANSAS CITY (4) VS OAKLAND (3) - FINAL

KANSAS CITY            ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
D DeJesus cf            5  1  1  0   0  0   1  .278
M Grudzielanek 2b       4  0  1  0   0  0   1  .244
M Teahen rf             3  0  0  1   1  1   0  .290
E Brown lf              3  1  0  0   1  2   2  .202
A Gordon 3b             4  0  1  0   0  1   0  .164
E German dh             3  1  1  1   1  2   0  .299
J Buck c                4  0  1  1   0  0   2  .295
 P Phillips pr-c        0  1  0  0   0  0   0  .000
R Shealy 1b             4  0  2  1   0  0   0  .140
T Pena Jr ss            4  0  0  0   0  2   2  .250

Totals                 34  4  7  4   3  8   8

BATTING: 2B - D DeJesus (8, J Blanton); J Buck (7, K Calero). RBI - M Teahen 
(18), E German (11), J Buck (15), R Shealy (6). 2-out RBI - E German. Runners 
left in scoring position, 2 out - M Grudzielanek 1, E Brown 1, J Buck 1. Team 
LOB - 6. 
 
BASERUNNING: SB - E Brown (4, 2nd base off J Blanton/J Kendall), E German (4, 
2nd base off K Calero/J Kendall). 
 
FIELDING: E - M Grudzielanek (3, pop up). 
 
OAKLAND                ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
S Stewart lf            4  0  0  0   0  0   2  .260
N Swisher dh            3  0  0  0   1  1   3  .296
D Johnson 1b            3  0  0  0   0  0   1  .368
J Cust rf               3  1  1  1   1  1   2  .286
 T Buck rf              0  0  0  0   0  0   0  .214
B Crosby ss             4  0  1  0   0  1   2  .248
M Ellis 2b              4  1  1  0   0  0   0  .242
M Scutaro 3b            4  1  0  0   0  1   2  .170
H Bocachica cf          4  0  0  0   0  1   0  .000
J Kendall c             3  0  2  2   0  0   0  .188
 a-E Chavez ph          1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .252

Totals                 33  3  5  3   2  5  12

a-grounded to third for J Kendall in the 9th.

BATTING: 2B - J Kendall (2, O Perez). HR - J Cust (7, 8th inning off J Gobble 0 
on, 1 Out). RBI - J Kendall 2 (11), J Cust (15). Runners left in scoring 
position, 2 out - J Cust 1, B Crosby 1, N Swisher 1. Team LOB - 6. 
 
----------------------------------------------------
    KANSAS CITY     - 200 000 002   --   4
    OAKLAND         - 000 000 210   --   3
----------------------------------------------------

KANSAS CITY                  ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
O Perez                       6       1   0   0   2   4   0   5.29
J Peralta (B, 4)              1       3   2   1   0   1   0   5.25
J Gobble (W, 3-1)             1       1   1   1   0   0   1   2.87
D Riske (S, 3)                1       0   0   0   0   0   0   3.93

OAKLAND                      ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
J Blanton                     8       5   2   2   2   7   0   3.32
K Calero (L, 0-3; B, 2)         2/3   2   2   2   1   1   0   6.23
A Embree                        1/3   0   0   0   0   0   0   4.15

WP - J Blanton. IBB - M Teahen (by J Blanton). HBP - D Johnson (by O Perez). 
Pitches-strikes: O Perez 96-53; J Peralta 19-14; J Gobble 16-10; D Riske 10-9; 
J Blanton 118-77; K Calero 20-12; A Embree 7-6. Ground balls-fly balls: O Perez 
7-7; J Peralta 1-1; J Gobble 1-2; D Riske 1-2; J Blanton 10-7; K Calero 0-1; A 
Embree 0-1. Batters faced: O Perez 22; J Peralta 7; J Gobble 4; D Riske 3; J 
Blanton 31; K Calero 5; A Embree 1. 
 
UMPIRES: HP--Paul Emmel. 1B--Dan Iassogna. 2B--Ron Kulpa. 3B--Dale Scott. 

T--2:38. Att--16,242. 
Weather: 56 degrees, clear. Wind: 18 mph, out to center.

The following graph tracks the game’s Win Probability, courtesy of Fan Graphs. You can also view live WPA graphs at Fangraphs during any ballgame all season long.

image


Top Minor League Games

The following list, provided by First Inning, includes the top minor league batting (based on Runs Created) and pitching (based on Game Score) performances from yesterday, with a focus on each team’s top prospects.

ORG LVL PLAYER            AB  H 2B 3B HR BB SO  Notes
CIN A+  Jay Bruce......... 4  2  1  1  0  0  1  
ARI AA  Carlos Gonzalez... 3  2  0  0  1  0  0  
ARI AA  Justin Upton...... 2  1  0  0  1  1  1  
NYM AA  F. Martinez....... 5  3  1  0  1  0  1  
DET A+  Cameron Maybin.... 4  2  1  0  0  1  0  
CHC AA  Jake Fox.......... 4  3  0  0  2  0  1  
MIL A+  Mat Gamel......... 3  2  1  0  0  2  0  3 R
CHW AAA Josh Fields....... 4  1  0  0  1  0  1  
ATL AA  Brandon Jones..... 5  3  1  0  0  0  1  
TB  AAA Ben Zobrist....... 4  1  0  0  1  1  0  
HOU A+  Eli Iorg.......... 4  2  0  0  1  1  1  
ARI AA  Emilio Bonifacio.. 4  3  1  0  0  0  1  

ORG LVL PLAYER            IP  H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
MIN A   Jeffrey Manship... 8  5  0  0  8  0  0  
LAA AA  Nick Adenhart..... 5  5  3  2  4  3  0  
TB  A+  Wade Davis........ 6  6  1  1  7  2  0  
SD  A+  Wade Leblanc...... 6  4  2  1  5  1  0  
COL A+  Brandon Hynick.... 7  4  0  0  5  1  0  
PHI AA  Kyle Kendrick..... 8  8  1  1  5  0  1  
CLE AA  Scott Lewis....... 6  5  1  1  4  2  0  
CHC AA  Sean Gallagher.... 6  8  4  4  5  2  0  
CLE A+  Ryan Edell........ 6  6  2  2  6  1  1  
SF  AA  Nick Pereira...... 7  4  5  5  3  4  0  
MIN A+  Zachary Ward...... 5  3  0  0  2  1  0  11 GB
STL AA  C. Perez.......... 2  0  0  0  3  2  0  

Access THT’s stats here…

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