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What We're Keeping our Eis On -- Saturday Edition

… Because gas is almost three dollars a gallon 'round here. Also, why donesn't the NBA have some sort of LeBron-Kobe one-on-one PPV event sometime this summer. I'd pay to watch that. Or at least go to a bar to watch it.

Just pitchers again. Look for hitters in the main MLB section.

Here's what the RW Army and I will be looking for:


Jonathan Sanchez v Andrew Miller

Sanchez only lasted 4.1 innings in a May 31 start against the Cardinals… He needed 83 pitches to record his 13 outs, and he exited after allowing two doubles and two walks (one intentional) in the fifth inning… He threw a May-low two strikeouts in that game, but he still boasts an 8.6 K/9… He has a 36:32 K:BB against right-handed batters, but that number betters to 9:2 against lefties… Miller also only lasted 4.1 innings in his last start… It was his worst start since returning from an oblique injury May 16… He owns 21 strikeouts in 22.1 innings since returning, but he has also walked 14… Either he or Sean West will be bullpen or minors bound if/when Ricky Nolasco returns from his stint with Triple-A New Orleans


Paul Maholm v Roy Oswalt

Maholm picked up his second loss of the season in a seven-inning, one-run effort against the Astros May 31… He has held left-handed batters to a .259 OBP, but righties get on base at a .342 clip… All three of his home runs allowed this season have come against right-handed batters (Bill Hall, Carlos Beltran, Milton Bradley)… Maholm allowed seven runs May 9 against the Mets and May 25 against the Cubs, but allowed a total of four runs in his other four May starts… Oswalt struck out eight in seven innings June 1 against the Rockies… The only run allowed in that game was a solo home run to Todd Helton… He has allowed a stunning 12 home runs in 12 starts… He has struck out 27 in his past 25.1 innings (four starts) to only five walks… The trade winds here will continue to swirl, but his no-trade clause will probably silence most of the rumors


John Maine v John Lannan

John Maine has been combating a stomach since his last start, and his Friday start was pushed back to Saturday… Maine threw six scoreless innings against the Marlins in his last start, picking up his second consecutive win… He allowed only two home runs in May and held batters to a .212 batting average… However, he walked 20 batters in 36 innings… Lannan has struck out nearly a batter less per nine this season than last season (4.9 v 5.8)… He K'd seven Phillies in five innings in his last start… He also had two May starts without a strikeout… He averaged 17.16 pitches per inning in May… That may be the reason he averaged less than six innings per start


Ryan Dempster v Matt Maloney

Dempster has been quietly nursing a blister on his middle finger all season, and manager Lou Piniella cited it when pulling him after 99 pitches in his last start… He was supposed to start Friday, but Wednesday's rain-out (not the blister) pushed him back to Saturday… He threw seven shutout innings against the Dodgers in his last start… He had one sub-par start in May (six runs in four innings against the Pirates), but was otherwise above-average… Maloney makes his MLB debut in taking Edinson Volquez's rotation spot… Maloney had a career nine strikeouts per nine in five minor league seasons, and he had struck out 58 to nine walks thus far in the 2009 campaign… He allowed 18 home runs last season at Triple-A Louisville, but only gave up three this year… A poor start here and the Reds may grab Homer Bailey to make Volquez's next start


Kelvim Escobar v Edwin Jackson

This is Escobar's first start regular season start since Sept. 29, 2007… He suffered a few setbacks during his rehab process, so it may be wise to observe his first start or two before making a transaction… He faces a tough opponent in Jackson, who threw two shutouts in May… He struck out 36 to 10 in 42.1 May innings and held opposing batters to a .270 OBP… He gave up four home runs in April, but only one in May… In fact, opposing batters only slugged .314 off him in May


Jeff Suppan v Javier Vazquez

Suppan failed to go more than five innings in any of his past three starts… He allowed eight walks and five home runs in those three games… His five strikeouts June 1 against Florida were his most since April 25… On the flip side, five strikeouts would be a bad day for Vazquez… His 86 strikeouts rank third in the National League… He has only walked one in each of his past three starts, and he only has three starts all year with multiple walks… Vazquez has not allowed a home run since May 9… All six of his home runs came over three games


Derek Holland v Jon Lester

Holland was supposed to start Tuesday, but he was pushed back to allow Vicente Padilla to start… He still got into Tuesday's game, throwing 1.1 innings of relief… Holland has struck out nine in his 10.2 innings as a starter, and he has also allowed three home runs… He has allowed six home runs in his 27 innings of work, but he has only given up eight walks… Lester K'd a season-high 12 in his May 31 start, and he still complained about how his change-up wasn't working the way he wanted it to… Imagine how he would do if he got that off-speed stuff going… He averages 10.2 strikeouts per nine, which makes his 5.65 ERA much more palatable… His 11 home runs allowed may be a contributing factor to the bloated ERA


Aaron Cook v Todd Wellemeyer

Cook has never been much of a strikeout guy, but his 28 strikeouts to 25 walks is pretty unsightly… He has allowed eight home runs this year, six of which came away from Coors…. He went all of May without allowing a homer, but allowed one to Carlos Lee in his June 1 start… I'll admit that while watching a Cardinals' game on the other day, I thought Wellemeyer was coming on the pre-game show as an analyst and not a pitcher… He has allowed 35 earned runs this season (tied for 10th-worst in the NL)… Only six of those runs have scored from the home run… His ERA reached a zenith of 5.87 May 17, and he has gone 2-1 since then with a .250 BAA and 12 strikeouts in 16.1 innings


Jason Berken v Trevor Cahill

Berken has only allowed three earned runs in his first two MLB starts, but his K:BB ratio stands even at five… He averaged 6.2 K/9 between Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie prior to the call-up… He averaged 2.5 walks per nine during his four-season minor league career… Cahill has not won a game since May 12… He is 0-3 with 13 earned runs on 22 hits in the four starts since, with a 13:6 K:BB ratio in 21.1 innings… He averages 16.9 pitches per inning… Batters get on base at a .344 clip against Cahill


Max Scherzer v Kevin Correia

Scherzer only lasted 3.2 innings in his last start, against the Braves… Eight runs on 10 hits snapped a streak of five quality starts in six chances… It also snapped a two-game streak of 10 strikeouts… He allowed seven home runs in six May starts… He also had a May average of 3.52 walks per nine… Correia also had a short outing in his last start, allowing 13 baserunners and two home runs in 4.1 innings of work… His lone win of the season came May 15 against the Reds… He has allowed a home run in each of his past four games… Three of those games have been played in spacious Petco