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What We're Keeping Our Eis On -- Wednesday Edition

We have an early edition of the notes today… Why? I'm not quite sure… Just pitchers again, but check out our writers' updates in the MLB News section… I'll come on before the games start (got all of 'em tonight) and throw some of the more important notes into the comment section…


Mike Pelfrey v Russ Ohlendorf

Pelfrey held the Marlins to one run on five hits in 7.2 innings in his last start but wound up with an ND… After a four-walk performance to begin May, Pelfrey finished the rest of the month with six in five games (34.2 innings)… He struck out six in each of his past two games (@ BOS, FLA), but his 3.7 K/9 this season is a career low… A 31-pitch first inning doomed Ohlendorf in his last start, which lasted all of five innings… He allowed at least one home run in every May game, and allowed 10 in his past seven… He went more than six innings just once in six May games


Josh Beckett v Armando Galarraga

Beckett's ERA fell below 5.00 for the first time since April 25 after holding the Twins to one run on three hits in seven innings… His eight K's in that game were a May-high… As were the four walks… His walk rate this season (four per nine) is off the charts… It stood below 2.0 the past two years… Galararraga has been reportedly working on his mechanics, but has five losses in his past six starts… the other start was an ND… He allowed 10 home runs in those six starts… He could be out of the rotation after a few more starts to clear room for Jeremy Bonderman


Randy Johnson v Jordan Zimmermann

This is Johnson's first go at win No. 300… These milestones are not automatic… Just ask Jamie Moyer, who was stuck on 249 for five starts… Johnson's attack at 300 should not draw out as long… He has allowed two earned runs on nine hits over his past two starts, striking out 11… Note those starts were against the light-hitting Mariners and Braves, while the Nationals have scored 240 runs this year… I just dealt for Zimmermann in a home league, so he's due to pitch poorly… In all seriousness, the guy has done a great job of finding the strike zone this season…. 66 percent of his pitches have gone for strikes… He has done a pretty poor job of missing bats (.298 BAA, .357 Opponents' OBP)… 47 strikeouts in 46 innings means he knows how to get guys out, but he does not know how to avoid mistakes (seven home runs, three HBP)… President Schoenke did a great job poking fun of the media's proclamations of "Last 300 ever"…  I'll say Zimmermann chalks up No. 301 23 years from today… Probably won't happen, but I'll start running infomercials if it does


Scott Feldman v Andy Pettitte

Feldman made his first start of the season April 25 and has yet to pick up a loss… He has drawn some pretty favorable matchups, but his only true mistake has been a two home run game in Houston May 23… Only 12 strikeouts in his past four games (25 innings), but opposing batters hit just .205/.286/.307 off him in that span… Playing against the Yankees in NYS does not qualify as a cushy matchup, and we would not expect his stats to come out as pristine… Pettitte walked five in five innings in his last start before a stiff back ushered in his yanking… He played catch in the interim, and said he is capable of starting… Do not expect him to be at 100 percent


Braden Looper v Sean West

Looper's last start was emotional, coming a day after his grandfather's funeral… He held the Reds to two runs on two hits in seven innings and picked up his fifth win of the season… Like a few other pitchers already mentioned in this blog, Looper gave up a home run in every May start (nine in six starts)… Those accounted for 25 percent of his hits allowed in the month… 65 percent of his May pitches found the strikezone, but he earned only 16 K's in 35.1 innings… He allowed five runs on eight hits against the Marlins May 13, but the Brewers pounded in eight runs to give Looper the win… West is not related to Adam, of Batman and Family Guy fame… He drew two tough matchups in his first two starts (TB, @NY-N), and Wednesday's assignment is not much easier… He allowed a total of three runs on eight hits in those two starts (13 innings)… He struck out seven, but also  walked five… He will need near-perfect performances from here on out if he wants to stay in the rotation… Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) returned from the DL Tuesday and Ricky Nolasco (terrible pitching) could be back from Triple-A NOLA after another start or two…


Jered Weaver v Casey Janssen

Weaver makes this start on nearly a week of rest (his last start was May 27)… It is unclear how that will affect him, as he averaged 4.2 days of rest during his 10-game tear to start the season… He has given up seven home runs in those 10 starts, but has not allowed one since May 12… His 1.034 WHIP is second in the AL only to Zack Greinke, as are his two complete games… Janssen has been good, but far from dominant, in his first two starts since 2007… He allowed 11 hits and two walks in seven innings Friday against Boston, but he stranded 10 of those runners… Only two strikeouts to three walks, but he was never much of a strikeout pitcher…


Ted Lilly v Derek Lowe

Lilly was stellar against the Dodgers in his last start, holding the team from LA to one run in seven innings… That run was a Matt Kemp solo shot that came after six scoreless innings… I may start calling him TR after learning his first two names are Theodore Roosevelt… TR has factored in 10 decisions in 10 starts… He has had four starts with zero walks, but he has had four starts with 3+ walks… He has allowed 11 home runs this year, but four came in his first start…  Those 11 bombs have only resulted in 15 runs… Lowe allowed a season-high 10 hits in his last start… Four of those hits (and four runs) came after a Kelly Johnson error that would have otherwise ended the inning… He only has eight strikeout to five walks over his last four starts (29 innings)… But opposing batters have only hit .221/.252/.298 off him in that same stretch…


Brian Bannister v Jeff Niemann

A matchup of a guy who started the year at Triple-A and a guy who was expected to be at Triple-A once David Price got the call… Banny has pitched surprisingly well in his eight starts, striking out 5.6 per nine and allowing 0.6 home runs per game… Things have gotten a bit rougher since suffering some shoulder stiffness May 13… He is allowing batters to hit .342/.380/.493 in the three starts since, though he has struck out 12 in 17 innings… One has to wonder if that shoulder problem is still hanging out in the background somewhere… Niemann only pitched three innings in his last start because of a rain delay… Four of the nine outs recorded to that point came via the K… He has hit four batsmen this year, but has not hit one since May 7… Only two walks allowed over his past 17 innings of work (to 12 strikeouts)


Jason Marquis v Brian Moehler

Marquis' first five games at Coors have been worse than his first five games on the road…. However, he has given up four bombs on the road compared to two at home… He did not allow a run on six hits in eight innings in his last start… That start was against the soft-hitting Padres… He had a 20:12 K:BB ratio in 42.1 May innings… Moehler also thrived off poor hitting in his last start, throwing a complete game against the Pirates May 29… He allowed one run on seven hits and had a shutout going into the ninth inning… This was his first complete game since the 2000 season, so we're not expecting another anytime soon… His 6.2 K/9 this season is a career high, and he had at least four in every May game


Cliff Lee v Anthony Swarzak

A year after winning the Cy Young, Lee leads the American League in hits allowed with 88… He threw four complete games last season, but has not reached the ninth inning this season… He has finished the eighth inning on three occasion… He still does a good job at keeping the ball in the yard (four home runs through 11 starts) and still throws 3.38 times as many strikeouts as walks…. Swarzak's second start was a step back from his first… After holding the Brewers to no runs in seven innings in his MLB debut, he allowed four walks to three strikeouts in six innings against the Sawx and Jason Varitek homered twice… 24 flyballs to 17 grounders in two starts


Johnny Cueto v Kyle Lohse

Cueto took the loss to the Brewers in his last start, and the long ball was his downfall (two allowed)… He has pitched at least seven innings in all but his first two starts… Calling his control inconsistent would be a compliment… He struck out nine and walked one in a May 3 start, but then he walked four and only K'd three in this May 29 game against the Brewers… His K/9 is holds at a healthy 6.7, but that's a point-and-a-half lower than last year's 8.2… Fortunately the walk rate is also down, and his ERA+ stands at 180… Lohse was supposed to start Friday, but a bruised forearm pushed it back to Tuesday and then Wednesday… Lohse threw a few good bullpen sessions since suffering the injury, but he could be on a short leash… May was a weird month for Lohse, who dealt with left elbow, back and forearm issues… Two starts lasted for less than five innings, but he threw eight shutout innings against the Royals in his final start of the month


Josh Outman v Clayton Richard

Is there any better name for a pitcher than the "Out" Man?… Probably… He has struck out 40 in 47 innings, which translates to a 7.7 K/9… He has also averaged four walks per nine innings… Those ratios did not play out in a May 25 start, in which he walked five D-Backs and struck out none… He rebounded in his next outing, striking out nine Rangers in 6.2 innings… He faces Chicago for the first time in his career and the Sox are notoriously bad at facing pitchers for the first time… Take away a 3.1-inning start that began Richard's tenure as a starter and he has struck out 18 in 20 innings, walked only seven and held opposing batters to a .191/.263/.309 clip… Talk in the Chicago media now has Bartolo Colon exiting when Jose Contreras returns … He was fairly efficient in his last start, achieving 21 outs and in 92 pitches


J.A. Happ v Chris Young (the pitcher)

Happ went to the veritable Northwestern University, alma mater of Rotowire's founders… Happ has been suitable since replacing Chan Ho Park in the Phillies' rotation, going 1-0 with five runs allowed on seven hits in 11.1 innings… He allowed a home run in both games, but struck out nine to three walks… A .184 BAA as a starter is nothing to complain about either… Young only allowed one run and two hits in his May 29 start against the Rockies, but he let up six walks… Six Walks… he had a game of five walks a month earlier on April 27…  Six walks… Outside of a four-homer game May 13 against the Cubs, he has only allowed two long balls this season


Bradley Bergesen v Jason Vargas

Bergesen beat the Tigers in his last start, going a career-high eight innings… He walked four May 19 in NYS, but has not walked any since… 69 percent of his pitches went for strikes in his last two starts, and he held opposing batters to a .291 OBP… Note he has been re-united with minor league battery-mate Matt Wieters, who caught hits eight innings against the Detroit boys…  Vargas replaced Carlos Silva in the M's rotation May 12, and has gone 3-1 since with five earned runs allowed on 18 hits in 23.2 innings… He has held opposing batters to a .214 batting average, and only waked eight… He struck out seven Giants May 22, but only has six strikeouts over his other three starts… He owns a 1.90 ERA in his four starts, but he's no Johan/Zack


Jon Garland v Chad Billingsley

Garland has given up 19 earned runs and 29 hits over his last three starts… He lasted 2.2 innings in a May 29 start against the Braves… He only struck out seven over his past five starts while walking 12… He said he will use some altered mechanics Wednesday, but it's unclear how much that will change the results, especially when he's going up against a strong Dodger lineup… Billingsley has a career-high 9.2 K/9 through 11 starts… His 76 strikeouts are sixth best in the NL and he should top 200, barring health issues… He held the Cubs to two runs in seven innings in his last start but could not pick up the win… The home run allowed in that start was only his second of the season…

-DK Out