The picks yesterday ended up seven of eleven, which is not bad. But they could have been nine of eleven if Jonathan Papelbon had done what he was supposed to do and then the Phillies could have scored in the bottom of the ninth when they had the bases loaded with nobody out, and, if the Mariners' bullpen could have gotten six outs after Felix Hernandez gave them a 7-1 lead after seven. What fiascoes. What ineptitude.
And the thing about the Phillies' game was that Cole Hamels left with a 1-0 lead, 116 pitches thrown and eight shut down innings. You would think Hamels should have had a chance to get three more of his own outs. But the mighty pitch count strikes again. What foolishness.
To give Seattle a little credit, Yoervis Medina did strike out Jonny Gomes with a perfect pitch on the outside corner and was not given the call. But the truth is that the Mariners should not have been in that position in the first place--not with a then five-run lead.
Oh well. Rant over. That is baseball. Friday's picks:
- The Dodgers over the Cubs: Another Friday day game for the Cubs at Wrigley might be a close game as Travis Wood should hang with Hyun-jin Ryu. But the Dodgers will eventually win the game as they are the much better team.
- The Braves over the Phillies: Ethan Martin makes his Major League debut for the Phillies and I am somewhat dubious of the decision. He has a good record in Triple-A and a low hits per nine there. But his control is not there and has averaged five walks per nine in the minors including this year. Kris Medlen for the win.
- The Pirates over the Rockies: The Pirates finally lost last night to the Cards (in a big way) but should bounce back with a win today at home. Gerrit Cole is good. Jhoulys Chacin is good at times. But the nod is to the Pirates.
- The Tigers over the White Sox: It is hard to count on Doug Fister for a win. At least that is my experience. But Hector Santiago is not a fearsome opponent. The White Sox are so bad...
- The Red Sox over the Diamondbacks: Randall Delgado has had quite a few nice outings and could shut down the Red Sox. But there is no way the pick can go that way--not as good as the Red Sox are. Jon Lester had a better outing his last time out.
- The Marlins over the Indians: There are so many questions in this one. Jose Fernandez is dazzling at home. But can his bullpen hold it? Ubaldo Jimenez seems to be back. But is he? Should I pick against the Indians losing streak? I have to go with Fernandez at home. Go kid go.
- The Mets over the Royals: I have been poking holes at Wade Davis all season. And he shut me up a little with a great performance his last time out. Citi Field should be good for him with its length. But for that same reason, I am going with Dillon Gee.
- The Giants over the Rays: Chris Archer looked fantastic against the Yankees. He sure is a cocky kid. But in this match-up, I favor Madison Bumgarner to shut down the Rays' offense.
- The Cardinals over the Reds: Judging from his last start, a little rest did Shelby Miller a lot of good. If he pitches like that again, the Cards will beat Bronson Arroyo. But Miller will need to be that good to win.
- The Twins over the Astros: I really like Jarred Cosart and he will keep this game close early. But that bullpen is ravaged by the trade deadline and Sam Deduno has won a string of games with great outings.
- The Nationals over the Brewers: For most of the season, Jordan Zimmermann has been my guy. But he has thrown like five stinkers in a row leading me to wonder about his arm. But I have not given up on him yet and think he will beat the Braun-less Brewers and Tom Gorzelanny.
- The Athletics over the Rangers: I have not liked what I have seen from Alexi Ogando since he came off the disabled list. He just does not look overpowering anymore. Then again, Tommy Milone is not a stud either. But you have to go with the A's at home even if the Rangers really need to sweep this series.
- The Angels over the Blue Jays: The battle of the disappointing teams continues. I don't like picking Todd Redmond or Tommy Hanson. But one of them has to win.
- The Yankees over the Padres: CC Sabathia has been the worst pitcher on the Yankees' rotation for over a month now. Can he get it together in his home state? Will the Padres get the good Andrew Cashner or the bad one?
And the Game of the Day:
- The Orioles over the Mariners: Can you pick the Mariners after last night's debacle? Does Aaron Harang at Camden Yards frighten anybody but me? Going with Chris Tillman who has put a great string of games together.
Games of the Day: 70-47 +1