Friday, August 31, 2012

Game Picks - Friday: August 31, 2012

Where in the world did August go? Today is the 31st already!? And yes, this is one of the ways you can tell you are getting older when time passes so quickly that you are forever noting its passing. Most of the people in this country love the end of August because it leads to a three-day weekend. But here in northern Maine, it is a sad passing. Northern Maine really only has three months of summer: June, July and August. September is often nice, but the nights get chilly and the carefree days of just putting on shorts and a tee-shirt without thought are over. And that is a really sad thing.

Oh! And baseball happened. This is a baseball post. That's right. Apologies. Thursday was okay. The day finished at 7-4. The Game of the Day pick was wrong. That pick went to the Tampa Bay Rays. They were shut out by the Toronto Blue Jays, who have suddenly become quite pesky when it comes to the AL East contenders. Good for them. It's a good thing they are not rolling over and dying.

How brutal was that loss by the Brewers? Sure, you can heap a lot of blame on Francisco Rodriguez and sure, he would deserve it. But what about the salad tossings of Shaun Marcum, Livan Hernandez and Manny Parra who allowed nine runs between them? The Brewers would roar back for their eleven runs. But still. Rodriguez was just the last finger in the dam that exploded all around the Brewers' pitching all night. And for all you haters, John Axford was not available according to his manager.

So what other picks went wrong? We got the Rays and the Brewers...Oh yes, the Dodgers. The pick yesterday mentioned that last year, Ian Kennedy was the king of toppling opposing aces. But he wasn't that kind of pitcher this year. Well, he was yesterday. The other bad pick was picking against Kyle Kendrick. This picker's disbelief in that young man has led to quite a few bad picks this season. Perhaps some day, a lesson will be learned.

Speaking of, "Lesson," it is one of the most oft misspelled words in English. "Lessen," means to lower or to make less. And, "Lesson," of course, is to learn something.

Where did that come from? This picks post is terribly unorganized today.

Friday is back to a full schedule. Some big series get underway too. The Yankees host the Orioles. The Tigers host the White Sox. The Astros host the Reds...oh...sorry...never mind. Here are Friday's picks:

  • The Giants over the Cubs: It's very good and nice that Chris Volstad ended his losing drought in his last start. And he is pitching much better lately. But the Giants don't lose these days and Volstad faces Madison Bumgarner. And though Bumgarner isn't a lock when on the road, he has pitched well at Wrigley in the past.
  • The Yankees over the Orioles: The Yankees really need to win this game. And there are several reasons why they should. First, Hiroki Kuroda has been their best pitcher. Secondly, with Miguel Gonzalez going for the O's, the Yankees can use their left-handed platoon which has been much stronger than the other way around lately.
  • The White Sox over the Tigers: You know, at this point, it doesn't seem like the Tigers are going to get there, does it? All season long, it felt like they were one hot streak away from getting there. But then in never happened. A big reason was the season Doug Fister had last year. He was counted on to do similar things this season. But he has come to symbolize the Tigers as his season could never get off the ground. Jake Peavy with the win.
  • The Cardinals over the Nationals: This feels like the only game the Cardinals have a chance in this weekend. Gio Gonzalez has had a nice season, but he is not without his vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright and his bionic arm can win this start and go 6-0 in August. Sounds like the player of the month, right?
  • The Rangers over the Indians: Ah, Ubaldo Jimenez, what happened, man? Where did you lose it? And you did lose it. Sure, one out of five starts might be okay. But the rest? Pure stink-o-rama. Unless this is one of those one-out-of-five events, Ryan Dempster should get the win.
  • The Blue Jays over the Bay Rays: Okay, getting a bit giddy with this one. But why the heck not? Brandon Morrow throws seven shutout innings and Jeremy Hellickson gives up two or three runs.
  • The Mets over the Marlins: This pick is not a comfortable one. R.A. Dickey is going for his seventeenth win and that seems favorable. But the Mets' offense is weak. Nathan Eovaldi is the type of pitcher who can have a good game once in a while. Mike Stanton could probably hit a knuckleball about 600 feet if he got a hold of it.
  • The Phillies over the Braves: It is still hard to pick against Roy Halladay. He is still a strike throwing machine and if you don't get to him early, you are not going to get to him at all. Plus, Mike Minor is not having a good season for the Braves.
  • The Reds over the Astros: Mike Leake over Fernando Abad. And yes, it is way too early in the morning to be thinking about what Abad season the Astros are having.
  • The Twins over the Royals: Yeah, this one is fun. Not. Cole De Vries versus Will Smith. What do you do with that? Pick one and move on. Check.
  • The Pirates over the Brewers: Mark Rogers has won two in a row and has pitched well against the Pirates. But Jeff Karstens is a favorite here in the FanDome. He is a worker bee and there is a place in baseball for guys like him who game it out.
  • The Rockies over the Padres: Clayton Richard does really well with big ballparks. Coors Field is not a big ballpark (or at least it doesn't play like one). Alex White should be better with his 75 pitches. But what happens after that is the scary part. Yeah, this picker still hates the 75-pitch thing.
  • The Mariners over the Angels: Kevin Millwood at home is a good pick. Yes, it is. Oh, stop frowning. Dan Haren, on the other hand, has not been good and there is no way he is pitching healthy right now. 
  • The Dodgers over the Diamondbacks: There is no confidence here in Trevor Cahill. He was overrated with the A's. But like his A's days, Chavez Ravine is a nice place for pitchers. So who knows. The same goes for Aaron Harang. Going with the Dodgers as the home team.

And the Game of the Day!

  • The Athletics over the Red Sox: Oh gosh, AaRon Cook again. The poor schlub has nothing to get him through six innings of any game other than hope and a prayer that the BABIP goes with him for a night. Brandon McCarthy seems like a much better pick.

Yesterday: 7-4
Week: 36-29
Month: 242-170
Season: 1079-850
Games of the Day: 80-62

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