Doug Waechter (0-2) (TB) vs. Josh Beckett (6-1) (BOS)
With just 6 games scheduled (typical for a Thursday as so many teams travel for the weekend series) the most interesting matchup is between two teams that surprisingly have a bit of bad blood between them. Waechter will be looking for his first win of the season and he's up against the former Marlin (there's a lot of those scattered around this year) who has been outstanding so far.
update: final score - TB 1, BOS 4 -- W - Josh Beckett, L - Doug Waechter, SV - Jonathan Papelbon
This one was well pitched on both sides. Though the Red Sox pitching staff had much better control as they issued just one base on balls through nine innings versus five walks from the D-Rays through eight. But these Rays are developing some serious experience points as they grow into a competitive force where as the Red Sox are competing for this year. Eventually the Tampa Bay pitching staff will settle in and gain that confidence and consistency that marks the elite clubs of this division.
Doug Waechter: 5.1IP, 11H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 3SO, 0HR - L
Josh Beckett: 6.0IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 7SO, 0HR - WMay 26
Felix Hernandez (3-5) (SEA) vs. Francisco Liriano (2-0) (MIN)
The recent shake up in the Twins starting rotation has given Liriano a shot at being a regular in the starting rotation. I think he's a pretty good upgrade for the Twins and long overdue for this shot. King Felix will be working to confront his difficulties on the road.
update: final score - SEA 1, MIN 3 -- W - Francisco Liriano, L - Felix Hernandez, SV - Joe Nathan
King Felix actually pitched much, much better than his previous starts (even the starts that resulted in a win) despite getting the loss in this one. The combination of Liriano's outstanding work (along with the rest of the Twins staff) and the near total lack of run support made this one more of a Mariners loss than a Felix Hernandez loss -- even if he's the one ultimately charged. I mean, one RBI from Yuniesky Betancourt? What does it say when your only RBI comes from the guy hitting ninth in the batting order?
Felix Hernandez: 7.0IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 8SO, 1HR - L
Francisco Liriano: 5.0IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 6SO, 0HR - WMay 27
Jamie Moyer (2-4) (SEA) vs. Boof Bonser (0-0) (MIN)
The great veteran "crafty" lefty takes on the Boof as he puts his 1.50 ERA on the line in just his second start in the majors. Boof is another addition to the new-look Twins starting rotation. And it's just so much fun to say: "Boof." I want to know what he was drinking when he legally changed his name.
update: final score - SEA 5, MIN 9 -- W - Boof Bonser, L - Jamie Moyer, SV - Juan Rincon
Despite a healthy bit of run support for Jamie Moyer - notably a big 3-run home run from under-rated talent Raul Ibanez -- Boof Bonser picked up his first major league win on just his second career start (also his first decision) with a healthy 9-spot on the board to prop up his 4 earned runs allowed. There was also that triple play turned against the Mariners in the 8th inning. An impressive feat. Though I've been looking at that footage a few times and it looks like it was a regular double-play with a bonus out at the end thanks to some incredibly poor base running from Carl Everett. Aside from violating the rule about "not making the 1st or 3rd out of an inning at third base" his inability to get back to the bag before the long throw from first base after getting two outs is exactly the kind of mental breakdown I would expect from this bad off season pickup. His bat does not cancel out the negatives he brings to this team.
Jamie Moyer: 6.0IP, 11H, 8R, 7ER, 0BB, 2SO, 2HR - L
Boof Bonser: 5.0IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 5SO, 1HR - W(Graphing by Fangraphs)