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Monday, May 12, 2008

Around the League

Great pitcher's duel going on in Cleveland tonight. Shawn Marcum and Cliff Lee posting zeroes up there.

Lee has been remarkable this year and he got some help from the defense a little earlier. Asdrubral Cabrera turned an unassisted triple play. With runners on first and second in the top of the fifth, the Jays put the runners in motion. Cabrera made a diving grab of the liner stepped on second for the second out and tagged the runner coming from first for the third. Only the fourteenth unassisted triple play in the history of the majors.

Marcum has gotten through the seventh. So we're headed to the eighth with blanks up there.

Boston scored three in the top of the first, but Minnesota has rallied back for a 7-3 lead. The Twins surprising a lot of people, including myself, this year. After trading away Santana, many expected them to fall off. Plus they lost Torii Hunter to free agency. But right now they are a game in the lead in the mediocre AL Central.

It's always fun watching a baseball game from Canada broadcaster TSN. Because they break in between innings for hockey highlights.

The Pirates won for the sixth straight time earlier today. But then they lost the nightcap to the doubleheader so the streak is over. But the Buccos are playing better baseball right now. The outfield of McLouth, Nady and Bay is pretty solid. Ryan Doumit has provided some offense behind the plate. They have a group of young pitchers, who should be ready to get guys out and pitch consistently at this level. They have struggled a little thus far, but seem to be getting better at the moment.

Be interesting to see how the Sox handle Clay Buchholz. Right now, even though he's not exactly pitching well, they need to keep him in the rotation. But later in the year, they might get Schilling and even Colon back and then Buchholz' 5+ ERA may move him to the bullpen or back to the minors to get him some confidence. Right now, he just isn't sharp enough with his fastball to get major league hitters out consistently. His curveball is impressive, but he can't live on that. Hitters have come to realize they can ignore the curveball and hit the fastball. He turns 24 in August, which is still fairly young, but he still needs some innings to mature and develop at this level.

Most Oriole fans would have taken 19-19 at this point. And it was certainly good to see the team rebound from the 1-5 start to the road trip, to finish up 4-6. Still, the promise of the organization is in all the young arms that the Birds are starting to accumulate in the minor leagues. In addition, Matt Wieters has answered any questions as to whether or not he'd be a true prospect. He's torn up the Carolina League in the first few months of the season. He was the Carolina League player of the week last week, when he hit three homers and extended his hit streak to nine games. Meanwhile, Jake Arrieta was named the pitcher of the week. I'm beginning to think that Arrieta might just be the top pitcher at A-Adv Frederick. I think you could see both both players at AA-Bowie after the All Star Break.

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