My second day back in Maine turned once again into a negative day. I'm starting to get a complex about being back in my state. Hmm. And the negative day included both extra-inning games falling my way.
What did not help were two games that were blown by bullpens in the ninth inning. They included the White Sox ralphing the eighth and finally the ninth on the Red Sox. They were up, 5-1, going into the eighth. And then the Tampa Bay Rays had a nice lead going into the ninth against the Royals only to cough up a three-run homer to Salvatore Perez in the ninth to lose it.
- The Reds over the Cubs: I don't believe this will be an easy win for the Reds, who lost Brandon Phillips yesterday to injury. Homer Bailey should pitch well, but the Reds will face Kyle Kendricks making his Major League debut. Kendricks is not big on folks' prospect lists, but he has good numbers in the PCL, a tough league and he has excellent control. More of a tough call than you would think.
- The Brewers over the Phillies: I've been wrong picking the Phillies for two games in a row, but I'm nothing if not stubborn. I simply think Matt Garza will be better than David Buchanan.
- The Giants over the Athletics: This one is very interesting. Scott Kazmir has been terrific for the A's. But the Giants actually hit lefties better than the other way around, which is unusual. And Tim Hudson is not going to walk into Oakland's trap of working up his pitch count.
- The White Sox over the Red Sox: This one could go either way. Jose Quintana and Jon Lester are among the best lefty starters in the game. It depends who bends the most and which one gets support. And of course, it depends on if the White Sox can close out a game.
- The Yankees over the Indians: It's not that I have uber-confidence in David Phelps. I don't. But I have even less in T.J. House. Both bullpens will be gassed. Phelps could get deeper in the game to save his. The Yankees showed resilience last night after the news about Tanaka.
- The Nationals over the Orioles: Two more lefties on a night that seems full of them. Gio Gonzalez has been terrific and so has Wei-Yin Chen. So how do you pick? The Orioles have a similar OPS against pitchers from either arm side. But the Nationals are significantly better against southpaws. So that's the pick.
- The Braves over the Mets: Bartolo Colon doesn't mess around and is around the plate. The Braves have no patience, so that suits them just fine. Aaron Harang has kept winning despite my ridicule, so there's that.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: The Cardinals are making their move. I can feel it. After dallying all season, they are putting it together. Of course, Shelby Miller hasn't been great though. But then again, neither is Edinson Volquez. Sweep time?
- The Angels over the Rangers: The Rangers are only a game ahead of the Astros in the AL West. Let that sink in a second and were just swept by those Astros. The Angels, on the other hand, are as good as I thought they would be this year. The one caveat here is that Hector Santiago is pitching for the Angels. Ugh. But the Angels will hit Colby Lewis. So it will be an 8-6 win or something.
- The Tigers over the Royals: The Emoticon, Drew Smyly, has not been very good this season. But one of his best starts was against the Royals. Jeremy Guthrie has had two bad outings in a row, but one of his best starts of the year was against the Tigers. Heh. Pick 'em.
- The Twins over the Mariners: Wait. Tom Wilhelmsen is starting for the Mariners!? Wasn't he their closer? Has he ever gone more than a couple of innings? I am still rooting for Yohan Pino to get his first MLB win.
And the Game of the Day:
- The Dodgers over the Padres: Yeah, I know this Odrisamer Despaigne is good, but Yasiel Puig will know all about him, which helps. AND Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers. That is killer and I can't wait to see what he does this time.
Yesterday: 7-8, July: 73-56, Games of the Day: 51-44, Season: 756-631