Monday, April 30, 2012

4-30 Recap

I can't believe the first month of the season has come and gone.  It has flown by.  We are already 1/6 of the way done with the season! Alright it's recap time!

Winning Pitcher
Losing Pitcher
MIN 3, LAA 4

Diamondbacks 9 Marlins 5 (Loss)

Well so much for my prediction about the Marlins turning it around.  Buehrle got shelled today and the Miami offense still can't hit.  Jose Reyes is batting .220, Hanley Ramirez is batting .207, Gaby Sanchez is at .205, and Giancarlo Stanton is at .247 with 1 home run.  They need much more from those four and they need it in a hurry.

Yankees 2 Orioles 1 (Win)

The block for the Orioles continues as New York wins the opener of the series and improves to 4-0 vs Baltimore this year.  The Yankees scored both their runs on a 2-run home run by Eric Chavez, and Hiroki Kuroda made it stand.  I know that Baltimore will not go 0-18 this year against the Yankees but man they struggle against this team.

Phillies 6 Cubs 4 (Win)

Well would you look at that.  The Philadelphia Phillies offense actually scored a few runs.  They scored 4 runs in the first inning and watched as the Cubs crawled back to tie it and deny Vance Worley a win.  The Phillies got 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead and Papelbon came in and shut down the Cubs in the ninth.

Royals vs Tigers

This game was postponed due to inclement weather.  The lock of the day is not a loss.  

Rangers 4 Blue Jays 1 (Win)

Yu Darvish allowed only 1 run in 7 innings and struck out 9 batters as he improved to 4-0 in the month of April.  Darvish has been dominant so far this year and is rewarding the Rangers for giving him that huge contract.  Mitch Moreland and Chris Gentry both hit home runs for the Rangers, who won today after losing their first series of the season over the weekend.

Red Sox 11 Athletics 6 (Win)

The Boston bats came out today as they hit 4 home runs off of Athletics pitchers and finally got back to .500.  David Ortiz hit 2 home runs and Mike Aviles and Darnell McDonald also went deep for Boston.  Yoenis Cespedes did strike out once today but Seth Smith got the dubious Golden Sombrero by striking out 4 times today.  Ouch.

Pirates 9 Braves 3 (Loss)

Both teams from the state of Philadelphia finally starting hitting the ball today, although the case for the Pirates was worse than the Phillies.  Pittsburgh scored more than 4 runs for the first time today and it took them a month to do it.  James McDonald, the starting pitcher for the Pirates, had to be thrilled that his offense actually scored him a few runs today.

Rays 3 Mariners 2 (Loss)

Felix Hernandez and Jeremy Hellickson were both outstanding today.  Felix struck out 9 in 8 innings but didn't leave with the lead because Hellickson matched him pitch for pitch.  The only runs the Mariners got were a solo home run by Miguel Olivo in the second inning and a solo home run by Jesus Montero in the eleventh inning.  However the Mariners couldn't hold the lead in the extra frame and Tampa Bay won it in the twelfth.

Astros 4 Mets 3 (Win)

I am not going to lie I had no clue who to pick in this game.  My instinct told me the Mets and my instincts have been wrong quite often with the Mets this year.  I picked against my instincts and it ended up working out for me as the Astros won the game to take the opener of the series in Houston.  

Rockies 6 Dodgers 2 (Loss)

Another day in April and another Matt Kemp home run.  Fortunately for the Rockies it was a solo home run and that was his only hit of the game.  Juan Nicasio improved to 2-0 this year by limiting the Dodgers to just 2 runs and getting a lot of help offensively from a balanced Rockies attack.  He even helped his own cause out by going 1for 2 in the game today.

Brewers 8 Padres 3 (Win)

Welcome back Ryan Braun!! Braun hit 3 home runs and a triple today to count for over half of the hits the Brewers got as they beat the Padres down in San Diego.  The Brewers only got 7 hits as a team but 4 came from Braun, who also had 6 RBI's.  This was the first 3 home run game of Braun's career and the first 3 home run game at Petco Park since it opened its doors in 2004.

Angels 4 Twins 3 (Win)

Albert Pujols went the entire month of April without hitting a home run, and he currently has a batting average of .217.  Fortunately for the Angels the other big free agent signing is actually earning his contract as C.J Wilson pitched well enough to get the win and improve his record to 3-2.  Not really where they wanted but it is hardly Wilson's fault as he does have an ERA of 2.70.

Days Record: 7-4                  Overall Record: 183-155                Lock of the Day Record: 15-9 (No lock of the day today as the game was postponed)

We conclude April 28 games over .500.  Not the pace I want to be at but it is definitely picking up as I am learning more about each team.  I am confident that this will be my worst month winning percentage wise.  If I continue on the pace I am at now I will win 1319 games, which is 181 games worse than my goal.  Time to step it up!!

4-30 Predictions Part 2

Alright here are the rest of the predictions for today.

Time (ET)
Away Probable
Home Probable

Orioles (Hammel) vs Yankees (Kuroda)

If the Baltimore Orioles are to be taken seriously they need to start beating the New York Yankees.  They have struggled against New York in the last few years and have already been swept by them this year.  I predict that the Yankees will continue to dominate the Orioles and win the game today.

Pick: Yankees

Cubs (Volstad) vs Phillies (Worley)

I don't know who is worse.  The Phillies offense or Chris Volstad.  That is why this game is tough for me.  I think that the Phillies offense is a little bit better than Chris Volstad.  The Phillies offense is a little bit better than a pitcher who is 0-8 in his last 15 starts.  What does that tell you?  I still think that Philadelphia wins this game.

Pick: Phillies

Royals (Hochevar) vs Tigers (Below)

Even though the Detroit Tigers are sputtering right now they still have an offense that can score runs in a hurry.  Luke Hochevar is the pitcher that is responsible for shutting down that offense today.  The Tigers offense will continue to pound the pitching of Kansas City and win this game today.  In fact this is my lock of the day.

Pick: Tigers. This is my lock of the day.

Rangers (Darvish) vs Blue Jays (Drabek)

Yu Darvish has been outstanding ever since that first inning of the year.  He is 3-0 with an ERA under 2.5 and has looked like the dominant pitcher the Rangers expected.  Texas is coming off losing their first series of the year at the hands of the Rays, and they will get back in the win column today with a victory over Kyle Drabek and the Blue Jays.

Pick: Rangers

Athletics (Milone) vs Red Sox (Buchholz)

The Boston Red Sox return to the friendly confines of Fenway Park in a much better position then when they left the last time.  After a 6-1 road trip Boston returns home only one game under .500 and now faces an Athletic team that is struggling to score runs.  I like the Red Sox to win this game today and take the opener of the series.

Pick: Red Sox

Pirates (McDonald) vs Braves (Minor)

The Pirates and their league worst offense are now facing a pitcher in Mike Minor who has had some success in his last few starts out.  Pittsburgh has only scored 49 runs so far this year, which is 17 fewer than any other team in baseball.  Atlanta continues to shut them down and wins this game.  

Pick: Braves

Mariners (Hernandez) vs Rays (Hellickson)

This should be an exciting game.  You have two of the better young pitchers in the league going at it today (Yes Felix is young. He is still only 26).  Tampa Bay has the best home record in all of baseball at 8-1 and they are sounding there young phenom out there.  Runs will be at a premium in this game, but I am going to go with the Mariners in an upset.

Pick: Mariners

Mets (Dickey) vs Astros (Norris)

These are 2 teams that were both expected to finish in the bottom of their respective divisions in 2012.  The Astros are playing like everyone expected but the Mets are exceeding expectations so far.  Even though New York is playing better I think that Houston wins this game today as Bud Norris will outduel R.A Dickey.

Pick: Astros

Dodgers (Harang) vs Rockies (Nicasio)

After the first month of the season Matt Kemp is the league leader in batting average and home runs and tied for the league lead in runs batted in.  He is the best player in baseball right now and now gets to hit in Coors Field for three games.  I expect the fireworks to continue for Kemp and the Dodgers, who will win this game.

Pick: Dodgers

Brewers (Wolf) vs Padres (Weiland)

Joe Weiland is still looking for his first major league win and that is because San Diego just can't score any runs for him.  He has had 3 starts and the Padres offense has only scored 2 runs for him so far.  I don't think they will be much more successful today, as Randy Wolf will get his second win of the year.

Pick: Brewers

Twins (Blackburn) vs Angels (Wilson)

C.J Wilson has already beaten Minnesota once this year.  I trust him to do it again.

Pick: Angels

4-30 Predictions Part 1

I only have time to predict the first game right now.  I will do the rest this afternoon.

Time (ET)
Away Probable
Home Probable

Diamondbacks (Corbin) vs Marlins (Buerhle)

Mark Buerhle has not gotten off to the start that he has wanted too so far this year, and neither has the Marlins.  I predict that both Buerhle and the Marlins will start trending in the right direction and they will win this game today.

Pick:  Marlins

4-29 Recap

Another 15 games are in the books.  327 games have now been played.  Let's see how I'm doing.

Winning Pitcher
Losing Pitcher

Indians 4 Angels 0 (Win)

Ervin Santana is now 0-5 in 2012.  He actually didn't allow an earned run today, but an error by Torii Hunter allowed 2 runners to score in the fifth inning.  Derek Lowe got 22 outs today and 14 of them were by ground out.  He loves to throw that sinker that batters just drive into the ground, and so far he has been very effective as he improved to 4-1 today.

Yankees 6 Tigers 2 (Win)

C.C Sabathia improved to 3-0 today by pitching 8 strong innings and getting some offensive support.  I am not surprised he gets offensive support because Yankees score runs for everyone.  Today C.C got home runs from Curtis Granderson and Andrew Jones as the Yankees offense continues to hit bombs.

Blue Jays 7 Mariners 2 (Loss)

The only runs the Seattle Mariners got today were on solo home runs by Chone Figgins and Miguel Olivo.  They had many other scoring opportunities but went 0-14 with runners in scoring position.  The Blue Jays cashed in when they had chances and the result was winning the series against Seattle.  

Diamondbacks 8 Marlins 4 (Loss)

Josh Johnson where have you gone?  The Marlins ace completed April with an 8-4 loss to drop his record to 0-3.  This is backwards from what usually happens with Johnson.  In years past he has been dominant in April and then gotten injured or struggled after.  I don't know what to expect anymore but I have no more confidence in him.

Reds 6 Astros 5 (Win)

Cincinnati still hasn't gotten a dominant pitching performance from Mat Latos, but he did keep them in the game long enough today.  Joey Votto and Jay Bruce both hit home runs for the Reds, and Bruce's was in the eighth inning and it broke a 5-5 tie.  Joey Votto had 4 RBI's for the Reds, who have now won 3 straight series.

Cubs 5 Phillies 1 (Win)

Another game for the Philadelphia Phillies and another meager offensive performance.  They only got 2 hits off of Cubs starter Matt Garza and neither ball was hit hard.  After Rollins led off the first with a single all Garza did was retire 20 of the next 21 batters he faced.  Garza also finished with 10 strikeouts.  

Orioles 5 Athletics 2 (Win)

Baltimore is finding new ways to win in this young season, and man was it exciting today.  Down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Baltimore got 2 runners on with infield singles.  Matt Weiters brought in both runners with a double and after an intentional walk, Wilson Betemit hit a 3-run home run to win it for Baltimore.

Braves 4 Pirates 3 (Win)

Tim Hudson got the win in his first start of 2012, as the Braves beat the Pirates 4-3.  The Pirates still have not scored more than 4 runs in a game all year.  We are now a month into the season.  The Pirates have played 21 games so far this year and have scored 46 runs, or just over 2 per game.  Ouch.

 White Sox 4 Red Sox 1 (Loss)

Well Boston didn't get the sweep and lost a game so it's time to panic again!! John Danks was dealing for the White Sox today, striking out 9 and only giving up 3 hits.  He was also helped by Adam Dunn, who hit a 2-run home run in the first inning off of Josh Beckett.  Chicago didn't need any more runs, but scored a couple of insurance runs anyways.

Twins 7 Royals 4 (Loss)

I am ashamed of myself. I can't believe I got sucked in the Bruce Chen hype.  It is Bruce Chen!! Chen gave up 6 runs and didn't get out of the third inning and he now drops to 0-3.  I have learned my lesson and will not be defending Bruce Chen anymore.

Brewers 3 Cardinals 2 (Win)

Milwaukee got great starting pitching from Zack Greinke and just enough offense to squeak by the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, avoiding the sweep in the process.  The game ended when the Cardinals tried to pull a double steal and Tyler Greene was tagged out at home.  It was not executed very well.

Mets 6 Rockies 5 (Win)

The Mets were cruising,  It was 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning and Johan Santana was going to get his first win since 2010.  Then Todd Helton came to the plate.  With one sweet left-handed swing the game was tied and we were going to extra innings.  After both teams scored in the tenth inning the Mets got one in the eleventh and hung on to win.

Giants 4 Padres 1 (Win)

So in going back and looking at who I have picked for the lock of the day I have come to a conclusion.  Don't pick the Phillies or the Brewers.  When I pick either one of those teams I am 0-5, but when I pick any other team in baseball I am 15-4.  The Giants won this lock for me behind Madison Bumgarner.  I would start a bandwagon for him too but I think I am a little late too the party, so instead of starting it I am going to jump on it.

Dodgers 2 Nationals 0 (Loss)

The Dodgers swept the Nationals behind the pitching of Chris Capuano, who improved to 3-0 with a win today.  They got their runs by getting 3 straight walks and a 2-run single by James Loney.  Kenly Jansen came in and got his second save of the year.  This year Jansen has pitched 14 2/3 innings and has struck out 24 batters.  He is picking up right where he left off last year.

Rays 5 Rangers 2 (Loss)

David Price finally got a win against the Rangers and it only took him 10 starts to do it.  With the win today the Tampa Bay Rays became the first team to take a series from the Rangers this year.  The bigger issue for the Rangers is that Josh Hamilton had to leave the game because of back spasms.  He has been fun to watch so far this year so I hope he is okay.

Days Record: 9-6                  Overall Record: 176-151                Lock of the Day Record: 15-9