April 28, 2006
NOT WAITING ON THE KING:
M's starters armed with hope (Bob Finnigan, 4/28/06, Seattle Times)
[T]he team ranked sixth in the league in earned-run average entering Thursday's games, with a 4.64 mark.
Even better, the starters have a 4.21 ERA, which was fourth in the league.
"We're only a couple of dozen games into the season, and it's a good start," said Jamie Moyer, who has had his team in every one of his five games. "But you have to get into the meat of the season to tell for sure who and what we are as a staff.
"However, on the whole, we have good ability and good arms. And some of our guys have shown maturation, that they've learned how to pitch. Others seem to be still learning."
The learned left-hander said the addition of Jarrod Washburn is a significant plus to the rotation.
"He knows what he's doing and he's a true competitor," Moyer said. "He's got some good ideas and he's not shy about expressing them."
Moyer also spoke well of the bullpen, where Rafael Soriano, in particular, J.J. Putz and lefty George Sherrill have given Hargrove a solid group to hold leads through the seventh and eighth innings.
One American League scout singled out that group, saying, "The back end of their bullpen looks good, kids coming of age."
Should closer Guardado continue his mysterious misery, Soriano and Putz give Seattle real options in his place.
Inside the numbers, the rotation is averaging almost six innings per starts and have held the opposition to three runs or fewer in 16 of 23 games.
With Soriano scored on in only one of 11 games, Sherrill in two of 11 and Putz three of 11, relievers have retired 37 of 60 first batters and stranded 24 of 34 inherited runners.
Washburn in particular is one of the most underrated starters in the AL.
Meanwhile, Up in flames - Indians burn Beckett, Sox (Jeff Horrigan, April 28, 2006, Boston Herald)
Prior to last night’s game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona lauded Josh Beckett for his fiery disposition on the mound, which has drawn the ire of opposing batters.
Hours later, however, Beckett was burned like never before on a major league mound, which resulted in a humiliating, 15-3 loss at Jacobs Field.
Beckett (3-1) turned in what was statistically the worst start of his career by getting pounded for a personal-worst nine runs on six hits and five walks in only 3 2/3 innings, including three home runs for the second consecutive outing. It marked the first time that a Red Sox pitcher allowed nine runs in a start since June 29, 2004, when Derek Lowe gave up nine in an 11-3 defeat at Yankee Stadium, and the most overall runs surrendered by the Sox since a 15-2 loss to Toronto at Fenway Park last July 1.
“There’s no excuse for tonight,” Beckett said. “It was brutal, brutal, brutal.”
If baseball were easy Europeans would play it. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2006 12:00 AM