MLB General

The Full Count: Pitching rules the day

1. Duel for the Division: The NL West division lead was at stake when the Dodgers and Padres faced off on Tuesday. The game turned into a pitcher’s duel as Chris Young and Jason Schmidt combined for 13 scoreless innings and four hits allowed. Young has now allowed just five earned runs in his last 47 innings. The first and only run of this contest came in the eighth, when pinch-hitter Russell Branyan of the Padres was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a Marcus Giles single. San Diego’s win sent them a half-game above the Dodgers, though Arizona is still tied with them atop the division. Schmidt’s start for Los Angeles was his first in almost two months, and he came back better than ever.

2. Defense beats Offense: A good pitching staff usually gets the better of a good lineup, as the A’s-Red Sox series has proved once again. For the two nights in a row, Oakland won thanks to fantastic starts by Dan Haren and Lenny DiNardo. DiNardo, who was cut by the Red Sox last year and recently moved from the bullpen, shut out the Red Sox through six innings on Tuesday. He walked six batters, but only gave up two hits in Oakland’s 2-0 win. The A’s now have a capable array of barely-known starters in Haren, DiNardo, Chad Gaudin, Joe Kennedy, and Joe Blanton. Their 3.28 staff ERA is second in the majors only to San Diego’s ridiculous 2.89 mark. For the Red Sox, Dice-K lost despite allowing two runs on seven innings and 129 pitches.

3. Home Field Advantage: Two of the majors’ best teams are fueled by absolute dominance at home. The Indians and Angels have by far the two best home records in the majors, at 20-6 and 24-8 respectively. Both won on Tuesday at home behind complete game performances from their aces. The Indians couldn’t get much offense against the Royals, but they won 1-0 thanks to CC Sabathia‘s shutout. Sabathia improved to 9-1, joining John Lackey as the only pitchers with nine wins this year. The Angels beat the Twins again, this time 5-1, after Kelvim Escobar’s second complete game this year. Escobar has been a breakout star for the Angels, with a 7-3 record and 2.76 ERA. Both of these teams lead their divisions, the Indians by 3.5 games over Detroit and the Angels by 5.5 over Seattle.

Player of the Day: Chase Utley, Phillies: 3-4, HR (11), 3 RBIs in a 4-2 win over the Mets. Utley hit a go-ahead homerun in the 11th as the Phils improved to .500.

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].

One reply on “The Full Count: Pitching rules the day”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *