Coming into this season, Rays rookie starter Matt Moore was expected to be one of the Rays’ best starters. After seven starts, Moore has a 5.31 ERA, 34 strikeouts, 22 walks, and has allowed six homers. These aren’t really great signs. His bad ERA is boosted by a 4.98 FIP and 5.01 xFIP. He’s only getting ground balls in 33.1% of plate appearances. His BABIP is high at .325, and his strand rate is a little low at 67.7%. While Moore hasn’t dominated the competition like he was expected to this year, the Rays playing behind him really aren’t helping all that much. It’s been a disappointing start for Tampa Bay’s phenom, and the fact that the Rays are still a 20 win team says something about them.
Game of the Night: Angels 4, Rangers 2. The Angels bullpen did something on Saturday that was difficult for them to do all year: protect a lead. The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the second on a monster Mark Trumbo homer, but starter CJ Wilson soon gave up that lead. Craig Gentry had an RBI single in the fifth, and Josh Hamilton (who else?) homered in the sixth to tie the game, his 18th of the season. The Angels regained the lead in the seventh on a pair of sac flies, but it could have been more. That would be it for the Rangers on the evening, as the Los Angeles bullpen ended up throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter CJ Wilson, including 1 2/3 scoreless by new Angels Ernesto Frieri. It’s a different time in Los Angeles…
Pitching Line of the Night: Brandon McCarthy of the A’s threw seven shutout innings against the Tigers, allowing four hits without a walk and striking out ten. Luke Hochevar of the Royals had a good start, throwing seven shutout innings against the White Sox on three hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Juan Nicasio of the Dodgers allowed just one run over seven innings, on five hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts. He’d get a no decision, as the Rockies lost.
Hitting Line of the Night: David Wright’s walk year is continuing at an amazing pace. The Mets third baseman went 4/6 last night with two runs, three RBI, a homer, and a stolen base. He’s hitting .402 on the season. Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates had a perfect 4/4 day with a solo homer and a stolen base. And how about Michael Bourn of the Braves, going 3/6 with his first homer of the year, two runs, and two RBI?
Spotlight Series: The Braves are handling the Cardinals with ease so far in this series. Atlanta won 7-2 last night, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and continually tacking on runs for the rest of the game. Brandon Beachy went six innings and allowed just one run on two hits, uncharacteriscally walking four, but striking out six. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright continued to struggle since his return from Tommy John, allowing five runs on nine hits, walking five and striking out five over 4 1/3 innings. Offensively, the Braves finally cooled off Carlos Beltran, who went 0/3 with a walk. Rafael Furcal went 2/3 with a walk though to continue his great start. The Braves were powered by the sparkplug that is Michael Bourn at the top of their lineup, and the middle of their order. Dan Uggla went 2/3 with two runs, one RBI, two walks, and a double. Brian McCann went 2/4 with a run, two RBI, and a walk. And at the bottom of the order, rookie Tyler Pastornicky went 2/4 with a run, an RBI, and a walk. Atlanta will look for the sweep today in St Louis, as Tommy Hanson takes on Lance Lynn.
Other Games: The Brewers beat the Cubs 8-2 behind a solid start from Shaun Marcum. The Yankees beat the Mariners 6-2 again. Wright and the Mets stomped on the Marlins 9-3. Five Rays errors led to a 5-3 Orioles win. The Padres managed to beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies 2-1. Felix Doubront was great for the Red Sox in their 4-1 win over the Indians. McCutchen was a beast as the Pirates beat the Astros 5-2. The Royals shut out the White Sox 5-0 after a great start from Luke Hochevar. The Nationals edged the Reds 2-1, but Jordan Zimmermann was excellent for Washington. The Blue Jays beat the Twins 2-1 as Drew Hutchison confounded the Minnesota bats. McCarthy was dominant in Oakland’s 3-1 win over the Tigers. Matt Cain outpitched Trevor Cahill, and the Giants knocked off the Diamondbacks 5-2. The Dodgers miraculous start continues, as they got a late run to beat the Rockies 2-1.
Today’s Games: Andy Pettite makes his season debut for the Yankees against the Mariners. Edwin Jackson will start for the Nationals in Cincinnati. James Shields and Jake Arrieta is a great matchup in Baltimore. The resurgent Carlos Zambrano starts for the Marlins against the Mets. In a battle of former Red Sox relief prospects, Justin Masterson takes on Daniel Bard. Cole Hamels goes for the Phillies against, of all people, Jeff Suppan of the Padres. Phil Humber, who’s been as far from perfect as you can get since his perfect game, takes on Danny Duffy of the Royals. Wandy Rodriguez goes for the Astros against the excellent AJ Burnett of the Pirates. Ricky Romero goes for the Blue Jays against Scott Diamond. Jeff Samardzija will start for the Cubs in Milwaukee. Justin Verlander will take on Jarrod Parker of the A’s in Oakland. Jered Weaver and Neftali Feliz will do battle in Texas.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.