Daily Roundup, 07/24/11

- THE PIRATES ARE BACK IN FIRST PLACE (tied with the Cardinals and Brewers, but STILL).
This was how they won their game today.
— The Reds are sub-.500 and still only three games back.
—- How the heck are the TWINS only seven games back? DFA the Central divisions, please.
—– Uh oh, Joe Mauer’s slumping. His BA is down to .288. That’s still higher than the *OBPs* of Ben Revere (their leadoff guy!!), Danny Valencia, Delmon Young, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

- Seattle, looking to break a fourteen-game losing streak, scored eight runs behind Michael Pineda. It’s only the seventh time they’ve scored eight runs all year.
– Didn’t work. They still lost. Pineda’s actually given up at least five runs in all of his last three starts.
— Tim Wakefield gave up 7 ER in his “win” against the Mariners, while recording his 2000th strikeout as a Red Sox. Only Roger Clemens had ever done that prior to today, though Pedro Martinez had 1683 in 1383.2 innings.
—- Brendan Ryan grand slam.
—– By the way, the Mariners have lost fifteen in a row. Fifteen. The Pirates and Cubs, two organizations that have been around for a very long time and have lost a lot, haven’t EVER lost fifteen in a row.
—— Kind of – the 1996 Cubs lost their last two games, and then the 1997 Cubs started off 0-14 (!!!!).

- Micah Owings and Zach Duke combined to shut out the Rockies.
– While Ubaldo Jimenez gave up five runs over five innings.

- Brett Cecil threw a complete game shutout today.
– This was the first time in his career he’d ever gone nine innings, or threw over 120 pitches.
— He came into today’s game with a 5.77 ERA in 2011, and he’d already been sent to the minors once.
—- Oh – and he did this all against the Rangers, in Arlington. They can kinda hit.
—– Prior to today, in two starts against the Rangers, he had an ERA of 19.29.
—— And was 1-0 against them.

- Chad Billingsley had a nearly 40-pitch first inning against the Nationals, which began thus: walk, hit by pitch, single, single. At this point one run had scored, but the bases were still loaded with nobody out.
– Billingsley proceeded to strike out Jayson Werth, Rick Ankiel, and Jesus Flores to end the inning without further damage.
— Those two hits were the only ones Billingsley would give up all day. His final line, even after that seemingly disastrous first inning: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 10 K.

- From @williamnyy23, the Yankees gave up 38 hits this weekend – the most they’ve given up over any three-game series this year.
– This was against the Athletics.
— They still won two of three.
—- Mariano Rivera gave up four hits today and still got a save, the first time he’s done that since August 20, 2003.
—– Hideki Matsui, hitting .224/.303/.355 coming into today’s game, went 5-for-5. Of course he did.
—— This was only the second five-hit game of his career. The other was part of a 5-for-6 day in 2007 in a game where the Yankees scored 21 runs against the then-Devil Rays and James Shields.

- The Cubs have won three games in a row.
– This is the first time they have done that ALL SEASON.
— Oh, and the Reds just won consecutive games for the first time since June 14-15. Seriously, DFA the entire Central.
—- Miguel Cairo homer!
—– Dontrelle Willis only walked three in 6.1 innings!

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