Trying season for Diamondbacks continues
AP Photo/Paul Connors
By John Kruk, ESPNOn Wednesday, the Diamondbacks learned of the death of pitcher Scott Schoeneweis' wife in Arizona. This news, far worse than anything that could ever happen on the field, added to what has already been a difficult season for the team. At this point, it's tough to gauge what the Diamondbacks can do to bounce back from all this.
TOUCH 'EM ALLWho went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and on the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page. For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.
|Home Run Tracker|
|C. Snyder, Ari||3||Fla||Volstad||Top 5: 0-1, 1 Outs. 1 on.|
|D. Uggla, Fla||5||Ari||Rauch||Bot 5: 2-1, 1 Outs. 2 on.|
|C. Tracy, Ari||3||Fla||Meyer||Top 7: 3-2, 0 Outs. None on.|
|R. Raburn, Det||3||Tex||Harrison||Bot 2: 1-0, 0 Outs. None on.|
|N. Swisher, NYY||9||Bal||Guthrie||Bot 2: 3-2, 0 Outs. None on.|
ON DECK: THURSDAY'S BEST MATCHUPSCubs at Cardinals This will be the third start against the Cubs already this season for Adam Wainwright. Both starts were nearly identical: He gave up seven hits and three runs each time. The Cardinals won both games, although Wainwright got the victory in only one of those outings. Sean Marshall returns to the rotation after coming out of the bullpen. Indians at Royals Zack Greinke starts have become appointment viewing. He still has allowed only four runs all season and has struck out 44 against just eight walks. After posting a 9.50 ERA in April, Carl Pavano has lowered that number to 4.02 for May. Blue Jays at Red Sox Jon Lester has been roughed up in each of his past two outings, allowing 18 hits and 13 runs in 10 innings of losses against Tampa Bay and Seattle. Robert Ray was quite good in his most recent start, allowing three hits and one run over eight innings in a win against the White Sox. For the rest of Thursday's schedule, click here.
BBTN ON THE AIR: THURSDAY
|10 p.m. ET
|Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Tim Kurkjian, Fernando Vina, Buck Showalter
BBTN MINUTE: BIG PAPI HOMERS, RED SOX ROLL
ESPN researcher Mark Simon digs deep, looking for the night's best baseball numbers.Tonight, he looks at David Ortiz, who connected -- finally -- on his first homer of the year in Boston's victory against Toronto. Good news for the Red Sox, right? Well, not if you consider what Big Papi did after hitting his first homer a year ago:
Next 8 games after 1st HR in 2008
WEDNESDAY'S BEST AND WORST
|• Hard to choose between Aaron Harang, Justin Verlander and Chris Jakubauskas, all of whom put up strong performances in wins. Harang struck out nine over seven innings in dropping the Phillies, and Verlander fanned eight in six innings in setting aside the Rangers. Jakubauskas whiffed only one, but he allowed just two hits over six shutout innings in beating the Angels.||WORST|
|• Rockies pitchers had a rough fourth inning against the Braves. Starting with Jorge De La Rosa and continuing with Matt Belisle, the pair gave up nine runs on six hits as Atlanta coasted to a 12-4 win. De La Rosa gave up the first six in the inning, Belisle the other three.|
NUMBERS TO KNOW
Rangers righty Kevin Millwood has posted a 2.93 ERA through his first eight starts, which would be his lowest ERA since he led the American League with Cleveland in 2005. How has a pitcher who is coming off two straight seasons with an ERA higher than 5.00 gotten it back on track? Well, some would say with plenty of luck.Millwood's Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), which measures what a pitcher's ERA would be if you factored in only things in his control, is 4.56; 1.63 runs higher than his actual ERA. Only Mark Buehrle has posted a higher differential between his FIP and ERA. Millwood's batting average on balls in play (BABIP) is also significantly lower than it has been over the past two seasons. Millwood has been generating fewer swings and misses this season than in the past two seasons. More balls have been put in play this season than in the past two seasons. Millwood and the Rangers take on the Tigers on Thursday. Earlier this season, Millwood threw seven shutout innings in a game Texas lost 6-4.
|Millwood (past three seasons)|
|Pct. of PA in play||75.8||79.8|
FANTASY: PREVIEW OF THURSDAY'S GAMES
AJ Mass examines the 14 games on Thursday's slate.
Mass ranks the pitchers scheduled to take the mound and supplies loads of other information that could help shape your roster for Thursday. Daily Notes