I'm trying to get you the blog quicker, so that means more lineup notes will be in the regular MLB section.
This isn't quite as long as my past few posts, but that may be because there aren't quite as many late games tonight. Unfortunately, just one pitching matchup catches the eye (Don't Mess with the Johan v Zimmermann the pitcher) and the rest are fairly mediocre.
It's a dreary day here in the land of Lincoln (and Obama), but the news of Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 lacking Auto-tune brings a smile to my face. The Carlos Zambrano ejection also makes me chuckle.
Here's what the RW army and I will be looking for tonight
FLA @ PHI
Badenhop hops from the bullpen into the rotation for a spot start, his first of the season… It looks like he will swap roles with Hayden Penn, who was given first dibs on Ricky Nolasco's rotation spot… Badenhop has 11 relief appearances thus far… Tossing 19 strikeouts in 20.1 innings and walking eight… He has not made an MLB start since June 3, 2008… 70 pitches should be the ceiling for this start… Myers' K/9 stands at 6.7 through nine starts, which is his lowest average since 2004… He said he made some mechanical adjustments prior to his May 16 start, and he has two W's since then with 13 strikeouts… He also allowed five home runs in those two starts
TB @ CLE
Andy Sonnanstine v Zack Jackson
Scott Kazmir to the DL means a whole lot more immideate job security for Sonnanstine, who has allowed 12.2 hits per nine innings through nine starts… His May K rate has fallen faster than Terminator 3… 66 percent of his pitches go for strikes, but he strikes out just 3.78 per nine… Five home runs allowed over his past three starts… Jackson makes his first start for Cleveland after spending the past month with Triple-A Columbus… He did not start in his first stint with the Tribe, but made four starts with the Clippers of Columbus… He issued just five walks and three runs in those four starts… He only went into the sixth inning once, so it may be a long night for the Cleveland 'pen
HOU @ CIN
Paulino's stock has taken a hit in Houston, and this may be his last start with Brandon Backe (ribs) due to come off the DL… Paulino has six walks to five strikeouts over his past two start, and he has also allowed three home runs in those games… In his May 12 start, he allowed seven earned runs despite not allowing a single line drive hit… Arroyo has a 6-3 record through nine starts, meaning he has factored into every decision possible… He averages 99.3 pitches per start and lasted at least 6.2 innings in all but one outing… His ERA is more than seven points higher at home than on the road (10.45 v 3.06), but he allows home runs at nearly the same rate (five in four home starts, seven in five road starts)…
NY-A v TEX
Yankee fans have to be upset with Burnett so far, but he has avoided injury through nine starts… He leads the league with seven wild pitches and has hit four batters… His 4.2 BB/9 is higher than any of his seasons with Toronto, and it is his highest full-season average since 2001… He allowed three home runs in his last start… They were against the Phillies, but off the bats of Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth… Holland. Curveball. Brace yourself… This will be the first sighting of a Holland curveball since he turned pro in 2006… This will be his second career start… He got the no-decision in his first one, striking out four in 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on five hits and no walks… Facing the Yankees will be much more intimidating than facing the Astros, as he did in his first start
WAS @ NY-N
Through seven starts, the least you can say is that Zimmermann knows how to find the strike zone… 65 percent of his pitches have gone for strikes, resulting in a K/9 average of 8.6 and a Hits/9 of 10.1… He has allowed six home runs on the season, but three of those in one start (against the Cardinals)… He allowed one run in 5.1 innings in his last start against the Mets… Outside of Zack Greinke, Santana may be the most dominant starting pitcher this season… His 293 ERA+ is tops in the NL and trails Greinke's absurd 536 league-wide… He has struck out 5.36 times as many as he has walked with 75 K's to 14 BB's
Lineup Notes: Carlos Beltran sits with a bone bruise in his knee, Angel Pagan starts in center… Fernando Martinez gets a second-straight start… Omir Santos was originally in the Mets' lineup, but was scratched with a swollen bruise… Ramon Castro is behind the plate…
BOS @ MIN
This will be Dice-K's second start since returning from a tight shoulder… He allowed the Mets to score four runs on five hits in five innings in his first start back… He was limited to 80 pitches in that start, but that number should increase Wednesday… Slowey has slowly gotten rolling… He has a 20:2 K:BB ratio in five May starts, though opponents have hit .319/.336/.491 off him… He has allowed 65 fly balls in those starts…. Those should be no problem for Minnesota's speedy outfield, provided the balls stay in the yard
SD @ AZ
Peavy's last start came less than 24 hours after rejecting a trade to the White Sox, and he K'd 10 in six innings… The performance brought his May strikeout total to 47 compared to 10 walks… Batters have hit just .144 off him in those starts… The Padres snapped a 10-game win streak with a 5-6 loss Tuesday… I refuse to crack a 1986 World Series joke in talking about Buckner… He was sharp against a hapless A's team in a cavernous in his first start of the season, allowing one run in 7.1 innings… He owned an 8.4 K/9 in 28.1 innings at Triple-A Reno before coming to Phoenix… He also allowed just one home run in his Reno tenure
CHI-A v ANA
Floyd snapped a streak of six bad outings in seven starts Friday when he limited the Pirates to two hits and two walks in eight innings… He had at least seven strikeouts in each of his last two wins (5/22 and 4/19)… He has not done a good job holding runners on base, allowing nine steals in his last seven starts… Weaver has been very good in his last four starts, allowing a total of six runs and two home runs… In that span, he has 22 K's in 29 innings and a .252 opposing OBP… His season K/9 of 6.7 is lower than last year's 7.7 (he also had a 7.7 in his ROY-caliber 2006), but he has more K's through his first nine 2009 starts (45) than in his first nine 2008 starts (37)… All but one of his seven home runs allowed have been solo shots… Luck or not making mistakes with runners on base?
ATL @ SF
Kawakami "outpitched" Roy Halladay in his last start, throwing seven strikeouts over eight shutout innings… Kawakami has struck out 42 through 45.2 innings, and he has five six-plus strikeout games… Kawakami allowed five home runs in April, but has yet to allow one in May… Johnson strikes out more than one an inning (49 K's in 46 IP), but he sports an ERA on the wrong side of six… Part of the reason for that may be the 10 home runs allowed… He averages 16.85 pitches per inning, and opponents reach base at a .358 clip