Flamethrowers set to square off

Originally Published: May 9, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 7:05 p.m. ET: The Pitching Matchup of the Day will be in Florida, where there will be many fastballs thrown. Roger Clemens works for Houston, while A.J. Burnett takes the mound for the Marlins. All hitters should bring extra bats.

A.J. Burnett
Burnett

Roger Clemens
Clemens

• 7:05p.m. ET: The week's Big Series will be in Baltimore, where two playoff contenders square off, with the Orioles playing host to the Twins. Daniel Cabrera, coming off a strong but losing outing last Tuesday, pitches against Minnesota's Carlos Silva.

• 7:15 p.m. ET: The team with the best record in baseball probably feels good about its chances to keep its eight-game winning streak alive. The White Sox will be in Tampa Bay; Freddy Garcia works against Hideo Nomo. This is the Reverse Lock Game of the Day, because all logic suggests the White Sox can't lose.

• 8:05 p.m. ET: The Hitter Most Likely To Go Deep will be in Texas -- Alfonso Soriano, blistering hot, faces the left-handed hard stuff of Detroit's Nate Robertson. Look for those kids to be tumbling on the grass beyond the center field fence. Chris Young throws for Texas.

• 9:40 p.m. ET: Two hard workers go at it in Arizona, with the Nats' Livan Hernandez pitching against the D-Backs' Brandon Webb.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Sunday
The Good
The White Sox closed out a three-game road sweep in Toronto on Sunday, running their winning streak to eight, with Mark Buehrle running his record to 5-1. Right now, Chicago is on a pace to win 125 games. Decent start.

The Bad
Tim Redding had a chance to close out a four-game sweep in St. Louis for the Padres. Instead, he got hammered for eight runs while getting only two outs, allowing five hits and three walks.

The Ugly
Did the Houston Astros show up in Atlanta this weekend? We're not sure. Their defense was frighteningly bad, but that wasn't actually the worst part of their performance: Houston was outscored 38-8 in the four-game series and out-hit 49-18. You couldn't blame Clemens if he begged to get out of Houston after this series.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is available in paperback and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine