Posts Tagged Los Angeles Dodgers

April 7 MLB Roundup: No Lead Is Safe

Obviously, Monday’s biggest sports story had nothing to do with baseball. As we predicted less than a month ago, the Kansas Jayhawks knocked off the Memphis Tigers in overtime, 75-68, to be crowned the collegiate national champions for the first time since 1988.

It was an incredible back-and-forth affair, as neither team could seemingly pull away when it took the lead. It wasn’t until late in the second half, when the Tigers took a nine-point advantage with 2:12 left on the clock, that the game looked to be in hand. Kansas had chosen to foul Robert Dozier, with its apparent game plan being to exploit what was perceived to be Memphis’s glaring weakness, foul shooting. But when Dozier sank both shots, the game looked to be over.

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Nobody’s Perfect, But Detroit’s Still Winless (April 4 Roundup)

It didn’t take all that long for the final undefeated team to take a loss in the 2008 Major League Baseball season. The Kansas City Royals had their hopes of a 173-0 season dashed on Friday night when they were edged out by the Minnesota Twins, 4-3. Lefty John Bale, making his first Major League start since September 18, 2003, kept his then-unblemished team in the game by allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings. Unfortunately for Bale and the Royals, Minnesota’s Scott Baker was a little bit better. The Twins righthander threw 6 2/3 innings of 3-run ball, allowing seven hits and walking none while striking out two.

When Baker departed, he turned the game over to the capable back end of the Minnesota bullpen. Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan joined forces to record the final seven outs of the game while only allowing one hit, enabling the Twins to hang on for the win.

The Royals fall to 3-1 following the loss, and are now tied with the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers for the best record in baseball.

The Detroit Tigers find themselves on the other end of the spectrum after losing their fourth consecutive game to begin the season. A.J. Pierzynski led the charge against the Tigers today, delivering a three-run home run and driving in a total of five runs to lead the Chicago White Sox to an 8-5 win. The White Sox improved their record to 2-2, while the Tigers fell to 0-4.

A quick look at the remainder of Friday’s games after the jump.

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My Bad On Garza-Cabrera (April 2 MLB Roundup)

A day ago, I pointed out what I thought was an interesting pitching matchup in Wednesday’s Tampa Bay-Baltimore meeting. The game was to involve two pitchers who had previously dominated the opposing team — Matt Garza for Tampa Bay (3-0, 2.16 ERA in three starts vs. Baltimore) and Daniel Cabrera for the O’s (6-0, 3.04 ERA in 11 starts against the Rays). I speculated that pitching would likely be the key to the game, even calling it a “sleeper” matchup.

Well, I was wrong. Neither pitcher made it past the sixth inning — Cabrera was gone after four — and neither factored into the decision. Cabrera was particularly awful, relinquishing six runs on six hits in the four innings. As he often does, Cabrera also struggled with his control, walking five batters while only striking out a pair.

Garza’s line wasn’t much prettier. He got the hook after tossing 5 1/3 innings of 5-run ball. He allowed six hits and walked two batters while striking out three. Despite his poor outing, the former Twin left the game in a position to pick up his fourth win in as many starts against the Orioles.

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Me Against The NL Central, Day Four — Now With Deceptive Standings!

The first full day of the 2008 Major League Baseball season has passed, with 12 of today’s 15 scheduled games having been played to their completion. As it usually does, Opening Day provided us with several wild games, a number of star pitchers getting lit up, and a couple of statistical anomalies.

Two of the more interesting anomalies are directly related to each other. The Washington Nationals are currently the best team in Major League Baseball, having won both of their games. They followed up Sunday night’s Ryan Zimmerman walk-off home run with some more late-game heroics, as the Nats, for lack of a more delicate way of putting it, beat the shit out of interim Phillies closer Tom Gordon. Gordon retired only one batter while being charged with five earned runs, which impressively puts his ERA at 135.00.

Two other closers imploded Monday in what was likely the game of the day between the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. Ben Sheets and Carlos Zambrano were both dominant, with both starters taking shutouts into the seventh inning before turning the games over to their respective bullpens. Until the ninth inning, both ‘pens were similarly magnificent, and the game remained tied.

Then came the guys that are paid to slam the door shut.

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MLB Preview: Playoffs In March

Now that I have the regular season predictions out of the way, it only makes sense that I at least give some brief thoughts on what I think things might look like in October in Major League Baseball.

To recap, here are the teams I think will win their respective divisions (as well as the wild card):

National League East: New York Mets
National League Central: Milwaukee Brewers
National League West: Los Angeles Dodgers
National League Wild Card: Arizona Diamondbacks

American League East: Boston Red Sox
American League Central: Detroit Tigers
American League West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
American League Wild Card: Seattle Mariners

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Me Against the NL Central, Day Four

Well, I’m down to 1-2 following Washington’s dramatic 3-2 win over the Braves on Sunday night. With Monday’s slate of games fast approaching, I decided to err on the side of caution and just throw out my quick and dirty picks for Opening Day. In the future, I’ll probably briefly feature at least one of the day’s scheduled games before making my picks. But, in the interest of saving time, I’m just going to bust out the picks and then take about a seven hour nap. If you’re looking for MLB-related content, though, I’ve recently written preview pieces of each of the six divisions, and will probably culminate that series with my playoff/World Series picks on either Monday or Tuesday.

Here it goes.

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MLB Preview: National League West

And now, before I go to sleep, I’ll bang out another couple thousand words, this time about the NL West. Good times!

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