The Game Picks pulled a rabbit out of the hat last night. At one point, the picks stood at two correct against six incorrect. Every pick was correct after that to pull the final tally just slightly over .500. Whew! So what went wrong early? Plenty. The Pirates could not hit Jeff Samardzija. Justin Masterson finally pitched a good game. Francisco Liriano threw another big stinker. The Red Sox were picked. Where was the head on that one? The Braves couldn't hit Josh Johnson. Yes, those picks will put you in a hole all right. Thank goodness for the flurry at the finish.
Ichiro a Yankee. Wow. That was big news. And you can tell it gave the Yankees a little sprite in their step last night. What a great move. He is like an older, less on-base Brett Gardner. That will work. The Tigers made a good move too. But it cost them more talent than what Ichiro cost the Yankees. Still, Anibal Sanchez is a very good pitcher. Those moves must be kept in mind when making tonight's picks. Here they are:
- The Pirates over the Cubs: Paul Maholm has been very good for the Cubs. He is a BABIP pitcher, of course, and all depends on where the grounders are hit and when. James McDonald has been this picker's horse all season and though he has had a couple of rough outings, he gets the pick.
- The Tigers over the Indians: Perhaps Omar Infante will play for the Tigers? He will help that team's defense. Great double play guy. Doug Fister will need to pitch a good game and he should against the Indians who have a struggling offense. Of course, one never knows what to expect from Ubaldo Jimenez.
- The Phillies over the Brewers: Great pitching match-up in this one with Cliff Lee versus Zack Greinke. The Brewers' bullpen is such a mess right now that the pick has to go with the Phillies.
- The Orioles over the Bay Rays: Interesting match-up. Jeremy Hellickson does not strike people out and Oriole hitters like to strikeout. Which truth will be evident? The pick goes with Wei-Yin Chen, who has had a very fine season for the Orioles.
- The Blue Jays over the Athletics: Brett Cecil will put Coco Crisp on the bench and Crisp has been one of the A's best hitters in this run of theirs. Travis Blackley is decent, but the Blue Jays should get him in their home ballpark.
- The Braves over the Marlins: How big has Tim Hudson been for the Braves!? He's been carrying them for a while now. Mark Buehrle bends a lot but rarely breaks. Going with the Braves. The Marlins are in sell mode, which is sad.
- The Nationals over the Mets: In a rematch of Gio Gonzalez versus R.A. Dickey, Gonzalez will show up this time and keep the game tight enough for the Nats to again destroy the Mets' bullpen.
- The Rangers over the Red Sox: It is hard not to pick the Red Sox with Clay Buchholz on the mound against the inexperienced Martin Perez. But gosh, the Red Sox have sunk so low and have so little life right now that the Rangers have to be the pick.
- The Reds over the Astros: Lucas Harrell is a pretty good pitcher. But how can you pick the Astros when they have lost 20 of their last 22 games? You can't. Mike Leake had a bad start his last time out, but should rebound in this one.
- The White Sox over the Twins: Jose Quintana is a tough little cookie who was robbed of a win when the White Sox blew a 1-0 lead in the ninth on him his last time out. Cole De Vries has held his own for the Twins but the White Sox should win the game.
- The Dodgers over the Cardinals: This is the way the Cards' season is going. The don't catch the Dodgers of a week ago that were colder than the North Pole on a winter's day. They get the hot version with Ethier and Kemp back and Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Good luck with that. Adam Wainwright will try to negate everything that was just said.
- The Diamondbacks over the Rockies: You know...everyone involved with the Rockies leadership should be fired. What a mess they have created this season. What an absolute mess. And tonight, there is a big TBO next to whoever is supposed to start. It's pretty bad when you can't even come up with a starter. Joe Saunders should be mediocre, but mediocre will be enough to win.
- The Angels over the Royals: Garrett Richards needs to have a good game, but it might not matter because the Angels should destroy Will Smith who is not the fresh prince.
- The Mariners over the Yankees: This is the Mariners' best shot to win a game this series with Felix Hernandez on the mound. He has been terrific. On the Yankees' side is Freddy Garcia. Ugh. The Yankees should have switched this to the young kid whose name cannot be recalled at the moment.
And the Game of the Day!
- The Giants over the Padres: Madison Bumgarner at home? Check. The Padres cannot hit? Check. The Giants on a roll? Check. It shouldn't matter how good Edinson Volquez is or isn't.
Games of the Day: 61-43