Daily Notes for Friday: Road testing E. Santana
The Yankees return to Cleveland for the first time since the Bug Game, with the same exact pitcher, Andy Pettitte, on the mound for them as on that fateful October night. Joba Chamberlain can only hope for friendlier circumstances if he's called upon in the eighth this time around. Anti-road warrior Ervin Santana gets his first big test of 2008, a road start against the red-hot Tigers. Meanwhile, Yovani Gallardo, coming off a 112-pitch road gem in his first start off the DL, takes his second turn back at home.
|7:05 p.m.||Andy Pettitte||L||3-1||2.45||1.29|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Ervin Santana||R||3-0||2.67||0.96|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Adam Eaton||R||0-0||4.74||1.34|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Jair Jurrjens||R||2-2||3.20||1.26|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Tim Wakefield||R||2-0||3.96||1.40|| |
|7:35 p.m.||Ryan Dempster||R||3-0||3.00||1.04|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Scott Olsen||L||3-0||2.60||0.98|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Nick Blackburn||R||1-1||2.49||1.22|| |
|8:10 p.m.||A.J. Burnett||R||2-1||6.85||1.84|| |
|8:11 p.m.||Brian Burres||L||2-1||3.63||1.62|| |
|8:15 p.m.||Shawn Chacon||R||0-0||2.77||1.19|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Randy Johnson||L||0-1||3.38||1.50|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Dana Eveland||L||2-1||1.90||1.18|| |
|10:15 p.m.||Aaron Harang||R||1-2||2.83||0.94|| |
|10:40 p.m.||Ubaldo Jimenez||R||1-2||4.64||1.92|| |
All times are ET. Statistics are from the 2007 regular season.
Michael Bourn, OF, Astros (groin)
Chad Cordero, RP, Nationals (shoulder)
Coco Crisp, OF, Red Sox (hamstring)
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B, Royals (back)
Carlos Guillen, SS/1B, Tigers (leg)
Placido Polanco, 2B, Tigers (back)
Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees (quadriceps)
Gary Sheffield, DH, Tigers (shoulder)
Jason Varitek, C, Red Sox (flu)
Brad Wilkerson, 1B/OF, Mariners (hamstring)
Brian Schneider, C, Mets (thumb)
Hitters: With Jake Westbrook on the DL, the Indians will turn to Paul Byrd, a move that has to please Yankee hitters. Melky Cabrera, in particular, has an impressive history against Byrd: 3-for-5 with a home run and six RBIs. ... A matchup against strong-armed Ivan Rodriguez and the Tigers isn't a favorable one for a baserunner, but Chone Figgins remains a useful option as a hitter, thanks to his .438 career batting average (7-for-16) against Nate Robertson. ... Geoff Jenkins is a clear sit whenever he's facing a left-hander, as he's batting .208 (15-for-72) with three homers against them since the start of last season. That's especially true against Pirates southpaw Zach Duke, against whom Jenkins is 2-for-12 with seven K's in his career. ... Pay attention to track records against a knuckleballer: In this case, Rays hitters face the Red Sox's Tim Wakefield. Eric Hinske (7-for-32), Carlos Pena (4-for-26) and B.J. Upton (4-for-17) have historically struggled against him, but the latter two should be reserved only if you have a deep, deep roster. ... Neither Austin Kearns (2-for-12, 5 K's) nor Paul Lo Duca (0-for-11) has experienced much career success against the Cubs' Ryan Dempster. ... If you've been worried about Ryan Braun's sluggish start, Friday seems a good time for him to begin heating up. He's a .430 hitter with a 1.399 OPS in his career against left-handers, and in three career plate appearances against the Marlins' Scott Olsen, he's 2-for-2 with a home run and a walk. ... John Buck is one of the few Royals who has hit A.J. Burnett well in his career: He's 2-for-6 with the two hits both homers. Meanwhile, David DeJesus (1-for-8 lifetime against Burnett) and Mark Teahen (1-for-8) are better left on your bench. ... Nick Markakis is about the only Orioles hitter worth your consideration on Friday; he's 4-for-7 with a homer against the White Sox's Mark Buehrle. Check out the poor track records of some of the rest: Ramon Hernandez (5-for-34 lifetime against Buehrle), Kevin Millar (4-for-25), Melvin Mora (4-for-21) and Brian Roberts (5-for-22). ... Slow-starting Khalil Greene warrants a look based on his .400 lifetime batting average (6-for-15) with a homer against the Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson. Conversely, Brian Giles is a must-sit, as he's 3-for-30 with 13 K's lifetime against the Big Unit. ... Dodgers hitters don't seem to have much trouble getting to the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez. Check out some of their best lifetime stats against him: Andre Ethier (2-for-5 with a homer), James Loney (3-for-9 with a homer) and Jeff Kent (4-for-8 with three doubles).
Hitters: Entering Thursday, Reed Johnson had started eight consecutive games for the Cubs, helped by Alfonso Soriano's DL status. Soriano might be due back next week, but count on Johnson being in there on Friday on account of his hot hitting, as well as his 5-for-8 career performance against the Nationals' Odalis Perez. ... Chris Duncan continues to tear up right-handed pitching, with a .382 AVG/1.147 OPS against them this season and .293/.957 for his career. He's 2-for-5 with a homer against the Astros' Shawn Chacon. ... He might be one of the game's most brittle players, but Bobby Crosby is off to a hot start, one well worth riding for as long as it lasts. He's 5-for-14 with a homer in his career against the Mariners' Miguel Batista, so plug him in for Friday. ... Giants hitters as a whole don't stack up that well against the Reds' Aaron Harang, but one who does is Randy Winn: He's 5-for-17 with a homer against the right-hander. ... The Dodgers should give some thought to slotting Chin-lung Hu into Friday's lineup, perhaps at third base. He's 2-for-2 lifetime against the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez, including one of his two career homers.
Pitchers: Brian Fuentes has been named the Rockies' new closer, and warrants a pickup in all formats immediately. Considering he has a 2.45 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to date this season and did a nice job in the role from 2005 through the 2007 All- Star break, he's well worth activating right away. ... Few pitchers possess the type of track record at one ballpark that Tim Wakefield does at Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field. In 20 career games there (14 starts), he's 9-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, and in nine starts there since the beginning of the 2004 season, he's 6-1 with a 2.95 ERA. Sounds like a matchup to exploit, doesn't it? ... He may have been knocked around by the woeful Giants last time out, but Braden Looper's matchup again leans towards the favorable side. He has already beaten the Astros this season, is 3-1 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in five starts against them since the beginning of last season and is 9-5 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 18 starts at Busch Stadium in 2007-08. ... Miguel Batista is a respectable 10-6 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 20 career games (18 starts) at Safeco Field, and the opposing Athletics rank among the game's 10 weakest offenses in terms of team OPS.
Three Friday games are weatherproof: Red Sox-Rays, Marlins-Brewers and A's-Mariners. Rain could be an issue in the Midwest/Great Lakes region; doesn't that sound like a broken record? Check out these probabilities of rain: Yankees-Indians (50 percent), Angels-Tigers (50), Phillies-Pirates (30), Blue Jays-Royals (60), Orioles-White Sox (70) and Astros-Cardinals (60). Based on full-day weather reports, the games in Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis seem the most at risk. Want good weather? Check out games in Los Angeles (Dodgers-Rockies), New York (Mets-Braves), San Diego (Padres-D-backs) and San Francisco (Giants-Reds).
Tristan H. Cockcroft covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.