Thursday, April 13, 2006

Baseball Post: 3 picks - National League Aces

April 13
Doug Davis (MIL) vs. Jeff Suppan (0-1) (STL)
This is the final game of the inaugural series at St. Louis' gorgeous new ballpark. Doug Davis put together 208 strikeouts last year with a .500 record and shows a lot of promise. But the big draw for watching Brewer's games is that phenomenal closer - Derrick Turnbow. I'm hoping that guy turns in 50+ saves this year.
update: final score - MIL 4, STL 3 (11 innings) -- W Jorge De La Rosa, L - Jason Isringhausen, SV - Derrick Turnbow
This was the game of the day by any standard. It's good to see Turnbow picking up his fifth save of this young season but the story of this extra innings affair is clearly Carlos Lee as he pretty much won it single handedly with a wall climb to rob a would-be walk-off 2-run homer off the bat of Juan Encarnacion in the bottom of the 10th and then led off the top of the 11th with the home run that determined the outcome of the game. I'm trying to remember why I didn't put Lee on my fantasy team.
Doug Davis: 6.0IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 4SO, 0HR - ND
Jeff Suppan: 6.0IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 2BB, 2SO, 0HR - ND

April 14
Jason Schmidt (0-1) (SFG) vs. Brad Penny (2-0) (LAD)
actual: Jamey Wright (1-0) (SFG) vs. Brad Penny (2-0) (LAD)
The old Giants/Dodgers rivalry renews itself in Los Angeles this year with a couple of big game pitchers. Both these guys have some postseason pitching experience that I remember well. In particular I remember Penny's wins against the Yankees back in the 2003 World Series when he was a Marlin. Schmidt was also a winner in his World Series appearance in 2002 even though the Angels ultimately took that series.
update: final score - SFG 2, LAD 1 -- W - Jamey Wright, L - Hong-Chih Kuo, SV - Tim Worrell
After a rain delay to start the game it was Wright that actually took to the mound for the Giants as a pitching duel ensued. Randy Winn supplied one home run for San Francisco and Jeff Kent balanced it with a homer for Los Angeles. But in the end it was a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ray Durham that allowed Omar Vizquel to score the winning run for the Giants at the top of the ninth.
Jamey Wright: 8.0IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 5SO, 1HR - W
Brad Penny: 6.0IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 4SO, 1HR - ND

April 15
Jake Peavy (1-1) (SD) vs. John Smoltz (0-1) (ATL)
Peavy was rocked by the Colorado Rockies (and some bad defense working behind him) in his last start on April 9. The Padres need this ace to get back to his dominating form. When he's on he's electric and incredible to watch. And Smoltz is still tough in the tail end of his Hall of Fame caliber career.
update: final score - SD 0, ATL 2 -- W - John Smoltz, L - Jake Peavy
This will be a long, long season if the Padres don't provide some kind of run support for their ace pitcher. This was a good, old fashioned pitcher's duel and complete game shutout performances tend to win games and that's what Smoltz delivered to get the better end of this short, well-pitched game.
Jake Peavy: 7.0IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 8SO, 1HR - L
John Smoltz: 9.0IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 4SO, 0HR - W

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