36-37, 3rd place, 2 games behind CWS.
Rick P climbed the mound last night against the same team that battered him for the worst performance of his career eight weeks ago, and turned in his best performance of the year. He threw first pitch strikes to 19 out of 27 batters, and used the Texas heat to consistently threw his best sinker of the year down in the strike zone. Now, he still walked 3 and gave up 6 hits before being pulled 1 batter into the 7th, but he was charged with only 1 run (due to Villareal’s only bad pitch of his outing). I think that Porcello still has a lot to learn about the art of pitching, but that sinker can win a lot of games.
Smyly back up today and will make his first start in 15 days. Smyly’s brief career can be defined by the number 6 – as in 6 brilliant starts to begin his career, and then 6 mediocre ones. He started his career 4-2 with a 1.59 ERA (including 1 ER over 6 IP against Texas), but is 1-2 with a 6.67 ERA since. Let’s hope that this begins a devilish 6 game win streak and brings his 6 streak to 6 – 6 – 6.
No word on how debilitated Yu Darvish has become from hearing the intro to Soldier Boy over and over.
I’m wondering if it may make more sense to bat Berry 1st, and Jackson 2nd. With Jackson’s ability to go the other way, I think that he can develop into a great #2 hitter; and Berry’s speed and base stealing ability almost mandate that he bat 1st.
A few notes:
– Dave Cameron demonstrates how pitchers are successfully pitching to Josh Hamilton.
– Fangraphs posted an argument that JV could have entered the 7th on Sunday with a no-hitter on the line, but for Cabrera’s defense. (Video replays included, makes for healthy debate).
PoPG is Cabrera. He mashes against Texas – .378 BA and 1.033 OPS over his career. He leads the AL in hits since May 10th with 60, and has posted a 1.065 OPS during that time.
Tonight’s Seemingly Rational Lineup Until I Looked at Order Splits:
1. Jackson, CF
2. Berry, LF
3. Cabrera, 3B
4. Fielder, 1B
5. Young, DH
6. Boesch, RF (2012 OPS batting 6th – .615, 2012 OPS batting 7th – .839)
7. Peralta, SS (virtually identical 6/7 order splits)
8. Avila, C
9. Santiago, 2B