Archive for the ‘FTW: Five To Watch’ Category

So…yeah! All the games, save two, are matinĂ©es on this getaway Thursday. Meaning there is but slim pickings for the nightly baseball watcher. Fear not, we can certainly mine 5 things to watch out of these two epic tilts.

Chris Tillman might be a thing. (Tigers at Orioles)

More grist for the “young Orioles starters” mill. This balanced young staff took a great turn through the rotation once, can they repeat the trick? Chris Tillman left after six no-hit inning his last time out, tonight facing the mixed bag Tigers lineup.

Brad Penny certainly used to be a thing (Detroit versus Bodymore, Murderland)

Brad Penny is going to give this whole “American League” thing another shot. After a wildly unsuccessful and unpopular turn with the Red Sox in 2009, Penny retreated to the warmth of the National League in 2010. 55 effective yet injury-plagued innings later, he’s back in the AL with the Tigers.

Based on his first start, he misses taking his turn at the plate. Good thing he gets to face the perennial doormatfirst place Orioles tonight!

The Nationals and Marlins insist on playing out their season. (Nats at Marlins)

Despite being doomed by vastly superior divisional opponents and playing their games behind closed doors, the Nationals doing so without their franchise pitcher!

Why they don’t just pack up and quit now, I’ll never know. On the plus side, the Nats no longer employ this guy!

Josh Johnson is reason enough to be a Marlins fan

While most of the Nationals young stars are home reassembling their arm bones or painting their faces like the Ultimate Warrior, the Marlins have excellent young players all over the diamond. Gigantic ace Josh Johnson chief among them.

Johnson shut down the Mets in his first start of the season, allowing 2 runs while pitching into the 7th inning. He only struck out 3 but did manage 11 ground balls. Start lining up now as your team could be in the running to empty their farm system in exchange for 4 months of his services soon!

The Red Sox still haven’t won a game.

No, no they have not. They lost this afternoon, 1-0 to the Indians(!), and this was the final play of the game.

Courtesy of Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing. Like almost all good things.

Subscribing to (the rich) or the Extra Innings package (the richer) or having access to shady websites that illegally stream baseball games (the degenerates) can sometimes be overwhelming. Well, considering my vast experience in doing it for women, please allow me to underwhelm you.

Here are tonight’s important matchups:

Oakland (Dallas “Mr. Perfect” Braden) at Toronto (Jesse “Ginger Beard Man” Litsch)

There were brief rumblings earlier this afternoon that Tyson Ross was going to get the call up and start in place of Dallas Braden. Whatever was worrying Braden about tonight’s start was probably quickly calmed when he saw that Mike McCoy would be in the lineup tonight as the Jays designated hitter. It’s the first time in his pro career he’s ever had the honour. Look out, Edgar Martinez.

Minnesota Twins (Carl “Mr. Yankee” Pavano) at New York Yankees (Freddy “Last Picked” Garcia)

Rafael Soriano apologized to the media for bailing after last night’s disasterpiece. He said that he felt badly for C.C. Sabathia who was the pitcher of record when the Yankees set up guy came into the game with a four run lead. After last night’s media maelstrom, Yankees writers weren’t sure what he was talking about this afternoon because they had just gotten word that Derek Jeter was taking a rest tonight.

San Francisco Giants (Tim “The Freak” Lincecum) at San Diego Padres (Tim Stauffer “In The Trunk”)

Watching Lincecum pitch is pretty much the most fun a neutral fan can have. Add the whole rivalry thing from last season when the Padres fell apart and the Giants won the division on the last game of the season, and this series should be as close to must watch baseball as a series in April can get. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that Brian Wilson has been taking off the Disabled List ahead of tonight’s game. Now, if only the Giants will be kind enough to create a situation in which he might be useful.

Boston Red Sox (Daisuke “10 Pitch K” Matsuzaka) at Cleveland Indians (Mitch “Slap” Talbot)

The only thing better than cheering on your favourite team is cheering on the hyperbolic levels of panic currently being spread in Boston after the city’s beloved Red Sox have started the season 0-4. I’d tell Boston fans to just imagine it as a four game losing streak in the middle of July, but I’d be fooling myself if I thought they’d take that any better. The Sox aren’t exactly sending their stopper to the mound tonight, but then again they are playing the Cleveland Indians.

Atlanta Braves (Mike “Don’t Buy Cigarettes For” Minor) at Milwaukee Brewers (Marco “Polo Eric” Estrada)

Two likely playoff contenders send their fifth starters to the mound in a battle to the death. It doesn’t really even matter who’s pitching for the Brewers. Watching Rickie Weeks is a pleasure.