White Sox 3, Mariners 1: In a battle of the 6-and-2 phenom Michael Pineda against the 0-and-8 veteran, John Danks finally broke into the win column in his 12th start, scattering 7 singles and a walk over 7.1 crafty innings [copyright: Southpaws, Inc.] and allowing just an unearned run. Seattle got only 3 AB with a man in scoring position and cashed one. Pineda was almost as smooth, yielding 2 runs on 5 hits over 7 IP, but was touched for Paul Konerko's 13th HR in the 4th and a 2-out RBI single by Gordon Beckham, who fouled off 3 two-strike pitches before delivering what would prove the decisive run.
- Greg Halman, just the 9th Netherlands native in MLB history, had 3 of Seattle's 7 hits; he's 6 for 7 in 2 games since being called up. Nothing could be farther from the truth of what kind of hitter Halman is; he's shown big power in the minors, but a .247 BA, .309 OBP, and mammoth K totals (191 in 124 games in '09, 169 in 112 games last year) foretell struggles to come. Halman got 30 PAs with the M's last year, collecting but 4 hits (no HRs) and 1 walk, with 11 Ks.
Phillies 3, Dodgers 1: Speaking of crafty lefties who scattered 7 singles, Cliff Lee was back in form tonight, blanking LA for 7 IP with 10 Ks and a walk, giving him an even 100 strikeouts and the NL K lead, nosing past Doc Halladay. The Dodgers had 9 hits, all singles, and had just 4 AB with RISP (0-4).
- Lee's 10.3 K/9 is tops in the majors, but his K totals by game have varied wildly: 11, 3, 12, 1, 12, 5, 16, 4, 4, 10, 8, 4, 10.
- Ryan Madson allowed a run in the 9th, but struck out the last 2 men to remain perfect in 13 save chances. (What's so hard about closing, again? But that's a rant for another time....)
Brewers 7, Marlins 2: My premature pronouncement proved prophetic, as Milwaukee completed the rare Friday-Monday sweep in Miami. Zack Greinke, who's been gradually rounding into form after a late start, had his most effective game so far, allowing 2 runs in 7 IP with a walk and 6 Ks. Prince Fielder provided the oomph with a 3-run HR off Javier Vazquez and an RBI single, vaulting over 3 men to grab the NL RBI lead. No walk-year worries for him.
- Greinke's K:BB ratio is over 7 (51 strikeouts, 7 walks).
- Logan Morrison had 3 hits and drove in both runs for the floundering Floridians.
Detroit 13, Texas 7: Sorry, Rangers fans, they can't all be shutouts. On a hot night in Arlington, the Tigers matched the MLB season high with 10 extra-base hits, with Brennan Boesch hitting a pair of HRs off Colby Lewis among his 5 hits. (But no glowing write-ups for you this spring, Brennan! Let's just wait and see where you wind up.)
- The last Tiger with a 2-HR, 5-hit game was Carlos Pena (6 for 6) in 2004. Since 1919, a Tiger has done this 11 times, by 10 different players (including Ty Cobb); Jim Northrup is the only one who did it twice (once in a 3-2 game).
- Nelson Cruz hit 2 HRs, giving him 7 in his last 14 games, and 14 this year in just 44 games.
- Austin Jackson (3 for 5) batted .181 in April, .290 since.
Reds 8, Cubs 2: Jonny Gomes had the best night by a batter still hitting under .200, driving in half of Cincinnati's runs, including a 3-run HR that broke the game open in the 5th. Jeff Samardzija started that inning in relief of SP Matt Garza; he hit Joey Votto and served a double to Jay Bruce before the HR by Gomes, and has now allowed 14 runs in his last 13.1 IP.
- When you look at his major- and minor-league record, it's impossible not to think that the sole reason for Jeff Samardzija being in the majors right now is the ridiculous bonus the Cubs gave him as a 5th-round draft pick in 2006. He's never had a good year at any level since 30 IP at class A in his first pro season. His career ERA in the minors is 4.30, with nothing positive in the underlying stats: poor control, poor K rate, high HR rate. The same is true at the MLB level, in spades. If Carlos Zambrano was right -- if the Cubs are "an embarrassment" right now -- then Exhibit A is their continuing to force-feed a big-league opportunity to a player who has done nothing whatsoever to deserve it.
That's all for tonight, folks. Let me know how the other games came out.
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