MLB General

The Full Count: Return of the Big Unit not as good as hoped

Dude, those CANNOT be real

1. Bad Debut for the Unit: Randy Johnson going to Arizona was one of the biggest stories this offseason. But, in his first start of the season due to a back injury, Johnson was not himself. He went 5 innings, allowing 6 runs and an uncharacteristic 4 walks. Johnson did strike out 7, but he ended up losing his matchup with fellow 43-year-old David Wells. Wells allowed just one run less than Johnson, but the bullpen behind him surrendered nothing. The Padres’ offense was the real star in this game. Adrian Gonzalez went 3-3 with 3 runs and 3 RBIs, and hit a rare lefty homer off the southpaw Johnson. Khalil Greene‘s 4-5, 4-RBI performance further helped the Padres in their 10-5 win, which sent their record to 12-8. The slumping D-Backs, meanwhile, have lost five in a row.

2. From Awful to Dominant: As any Braves fan would tell you, the main reason their 14-year division title streak ended last year was their bullpen. Their relievers blew the most saves in baseball last year. But this year, Atlanta’s bullpen is probably one of the best in the National League. That was proven on Tuesday, when they made up for another bad start by Mark Redman with six shutout innings. Redman, whose 3-inning, 6-run start gave him a 10.12 ERA this season, could and should be demoted from the Braves’ rotation. But the bullpen only allowed three baserunners, and Bob Wickman continued his 0.00 ERA season. The Braves’ offense is heating up as well; seven different players had an RBI as they beat the Marlins 11-6. at 13-7, they are a half-game back from the Mets for division supremacy.

3. Underperformers: The Tigers and Angels are two teams with World Series potential this year, but neither is looking good right now. They played each other on Tuesday to end their two-game set, and the performance by both teams was sloppy. There were 5 combined errors, including one by Tigers closer Todd Jones that led to an Angels victory in the 10th inning. But the Angels shouldn’t be pleased with their play either; they gave up a 7-run lead with an unusually poor effort by their bullpen. Both teams are lucky to be within a game of their division leader, as the Tigers are 11-9 while the Angels are just 10-10. Expect those records to get a lot better as the year goes on.

Player of the Day: Vernon Wells, Blue Jays: 4-5, HR (4), 3 RBIs, 4 runs.

Stat of the Day: When David Wells and Randy Johnson faced each other, it was the first time in MLB history that opposing pitchers were each 43 years or older.

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected]

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