Santana-Harden worth waiting for this weekend

Updated: June 5, 2008

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Ervin Santana faces off against Rich Harden in Sunday's series finale between the Angels and A's.

WEEKEND PREVIEW

The most appealing pitching matchup of the weekend doesn't come until late Sunday afternoon, but it figures to be well worth the wait. The Angels and Athletics meet this weekend, with the Angels holding a 3½-game lead in the American League West. On Sunday, Rich Harden goes up against Ervin Santana, and both have pitched very well so far this season.

"SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL"

Cubs at Dodgers, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

On the other side of the country, the marquee matchup in the National League pits the Phillies against the Braves at Turner Field. The Phillies have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the NL East with a couple of good weeks. They've shown the best combination of pitching and offense as they bid to repeat as division champions.

Friday

Jamie MoyerPhillies (Jamie Moyer) at Braves (Tim Hudson), 7:35 p.m. ET
Jamie Moyer) tries to win his fifth straight start, and he'll do so in a place with some unpleasant memories for the Phillies. The last game in Atlanta for Philadelphia was Sept. 5, 2007. The Phillies had an 8-2 lead in the eighth -- and lost 9-8. They were up 8-6 with two outs and nobody on in the ninth when Braves put together a game-winning rally, capped by Matt Diaz' three-run double.

Felix HernandezMariners (Felix Hernandez) at Red Sox (Bartolo Colon), 7:05 p.m. ET
Ichiro Suzuki has had his troubles in Fenway Park the past few years. He has just one hit over his past 29 at-bats there. He's a career .313 hitter against Friday's starter, Bartolo Colon, with 20 hits. Colon, off to a 3-0 start, already beat the Mariners earlier this season.

Scott KazmirRays (Scott Kazmir) at Rangers (Vicente Padilla), 8:05 p.m. ET
A matchup of two hot starters in the warm Texas weather. Scott Kazmir (the pride of Houston) is 5-0 with an 0.55 ERA in his last five starts, allowing no more than one earned run in each of those appearances. He struck out 10 Rangers on May 28, allowing three hits and one run. Vicente Padilla, his opponent, is 5-0 with a 2.82 ERA in his last seven starts.

Complete list of pitching probables for Friday's games

Saturday

Carlos ZambranoCubs (Carlos Zambrano) at Dodgers (Derek Lowe), 3:55 p.m. ET
Carlos Zambrano is 7-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his last 10 starts. He seems to have finally grasped the concept that he can become an elite pitcher if he cuts down on his home runs and walks. Zambrano has yielded only four home runs and 28 walks in 86 innings this season, numbers significantly better than those he's compiled previously.

Livan HernandezTwins (Livan Hernandez) at White Sox (Mark Buehrle), 7:05 p.m. ET
Livan Hernandez has an 8.31 ERA in his last three starts. The Twins may be the cure for what ails Mark Buehrle. He's beaten them 20 times in his career, most of any opponent.

Kyle KendrickPhillies (Kyle Kendrick) at Braves (Jo-Jo Reyes), 7:10 p.m. ET
The Phillies always seem to win, no matter how well or poorly Kyle Kendrick pitches. They are 8-1 in his last nine starts, despite his 5.18 ERA (and 4-0 record) in that span.

Complete list of pitching probables for Saturday's games

Sunday

Barry ZitoGiants (Barry Zito) at Nationals (Odalis Perez), 1:35 p.m. ET
Barry Zito is in danger of being the first pitcher in the majors to 10 losses. Zito has never lost his 10th game earlier than Aug. 2. Zito has been plagued this season by an inability to get right-handed hitters out. They're batting .338 against him this season, 94 points better than they did in 2007.

Joba ChamberlainRoyals (Zack Greinke) at Yankees (Joba Chamberlain), 1:05 p.m. ET
Joba Chamberlain makes his second career start. His first lasted only 62 pitches and he issued four walks in 2 1/3 innings. In his last four appearances, Chamberlain has thrown his curve/slider/other off-speed pitches for strikes just seven times on 19 pitches against lefties (38.6 percent).

Ervin SantanaAngels (Ervin Santana) at A's (Rich Harden), 4:05 p.m. ET, ESPN
The premier pitching matchup of the weekend pits two pitchers who are a combined 11-2 this season. Rich Harden is 3-0 this season, 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA since returning from his latest stint on the disabled list. Ervin Santana is 8-1 with a 1.25 career ERA against the Athletics. He's won his last four decisions against them. In fact, he's allowed one run and 11 hits in 28 innings in his last four starts against them.

Complete list of pitching probables for Sunday's games

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: June 4 | June 3 | June 2 | June 1 | May 29 | May 28


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BBTN ON THE AIR: FRIDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Tim Kurkjian, Orestes Destrade
12 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Tim Kurkjian, Orestes Destrade

BBTN ON THE AIR: SATURDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Tim Kurkjian, Orestes Destrade
12 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Tim Kurkjian, Orestes Destrade

BBTN ON THE AIR: SUNDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
12:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Phillips
Analysts: John Kruk
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: John Kruk, Steve Phillips

BASEBALL TONIGHT MINUTE: RED SOX-RAYS BRAWL

THURSDAY'S NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

GOOD
Elijah DukesElijah Dukes hit a walk-off homer to finish off a 4-for-6, four-RBI game as the Nationals split a doubleheader with St. Louis.
BAD
B.J. RyanToronto closer B.J. Ryan coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth inning against the Yankees by giving up three in a 9-8 loss at Yankee Stadium.
UGLY
James ShieldsJames Shields gave up four runs in an inning of work, and also got himself thrown out of the game for hitting Coco Crisp.

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF FRIDAY'S GAMES

Tristan Cockcroft examines the pitching matchups in store for the 15 games on Friday's schedule.

Tristan also looks at current injuries and details player reports that could help shape the way you put together your roster for Friday's games. Daily Notes

FANTASY 3:50: CHAMBERLAIN'S IMPACT

NEWS AND NOTES

Hideki Matsui •  Hideki Matsui struck out to end third inning against Toronto -- it was his first strikeout in 59 at-bats. According to Elias, it was the longest stretch of his career.

Rick Ankiel •  Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel was not in the lineup Thursday. He was out with an infected knee. Ankiel is hitting .261 with eight homers this season.

THIS DATE IN MLB HISTORY (JUNE 6)

1925: White Sox Eddie Collins, at age 38, became the sixth major leaguer to collect 3,000 hits when he doubled off Washington's Walter Johnson.

1932: Citing poor health, the Giants announced the resignation of long-time skipper John McGraw; in his 32-year tenure, the fiery manager won three World Series and nine National League pennants, including a record four in a row.

1941: The New York Giants became the first team to wear protective headgear as they donned plastic helmets in a game against the Pirates.

2003: Insisting the corked bat, designed to put on home run displays during batting practice, was accidentally used in the Devil Rays' game, Cubs' slugger Sammy Sosa is suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball (it was reduced to seven games). Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, agreed the Chicago's outfielder use of an illegal bat was an "isolated incident," but one that still deserved a penalty.

2007: At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman became the first reliever to save 500 games.