Sunday, April 13th
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Paul Konerko
went 2 for 5 a Grand Slam (5 RBIs total).  Joe Crede also hit a Grand Slam.  with Corey Hart went 4 for 5.  Gabe Kapler, Brian Schneider, Chipper Jones, Lastings Milledge, Derrek Lee, Cody Ross, Howie Kendrick, Casey Kotchman, Jeff Mathis, Clint Barnes (4 RBI),  Garrett Atkins, Matt Holliday, Stephen Drew, and Chris Snyder each had three hits.  

Brian Bannister threw a complete game three-hitter, allowing 1 run, to improve to 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA.  Cliff Lee pitched 8 innings giving up 1 hit while striking out 8.  He improved to 2-0 on the season with a 0.61 ERA.  Tom Gorzelanny threw 6-1/3 innings giving up 1 run and picking up the victory.  Jeff Nieman went 6 innings with 5 K’s allowing just 1 run to earn a victory.  Javier Vazquez threw 7 shutout innings with 9 Ks.  Wandy Rodriguez pitched 7 strong innings allowing 1 run and striking out 7 for his first victory of the year.  Tim Lincecum went 6 innings allowing 2 runs to earn his second victory.  He struck out 11.  Greg Maddux (5 shutout innings) won the pitchers’ duel with Chad Billingsley (5 innings, 1 run, 8 Ks).

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Saturday, April 12th
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Jeff Francoeur
decided Saturday was a night for fighting as he bashed Washington pitching with 3 hits, 2 HR & 7 RBI.  Brian McCann, Cristian Guzman, Justin Upton (4 RBI), Chris Duncan, Fred Lewis, Mark Loretta, James Loney, Andre Ethier, Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, and Matt Stairs each had three hits. 

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Roy Halladay
threw a complete game six-hitter.  He allowed 1 run and struck out 6.  Chicago White Sox’s Gavin Floyd gave up 1 hit in 7-1/3 shutout innings.  He struck out 4 Tigers.  John Smoltz allowed 1 run in 6 innings while striking out 5.  Dan Haren gave up 1 run in 6 innings while striking out 7.  Brandon Backe pitched 5 shutout innings.  Cole Hamels pitched 7 innings of one-hit ball without allowing a run and picking up 5 Ks.  Boof Bosner pitched 6 scoreless innings stiking out 4 batters.  Daniel Cabrera (6 innings, 1 run ) and Jason Hammel (7 innings, 2 runs, 6 Ks) were involved in a pitchers’ duel.  Derek Lowe threw 8 innings of 4 hit/1 run baseball picking up 6 K’s along the way.  Carlos Silva churned out 8 more innings allowing 3 runs to pick up his 2nd victory.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Wiltfongjr, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile John Franco.  Here are my findings. 

john-franco.jpg
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
90-87
.508 Winning %
2.89 ERA (League ERA 3.96)
975 Strikeouts
1119 Games
424 Saves (4th All-time)
774 Games Finished (2nd All-time)

Playoffs: 15 Games, 2-0, 1 Save, 1.88 ERA, 14-1/3 Innings, 10 Ks

Awards
1988 & 1990 Rolaids Relief Awards
2001 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
4 All-Star Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 1 Seasons
MVP Votes in 2 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Winning % – Once
Games – Four times
Saves – Twelve times (Led league in 1988, 1990, 1994)
Games Finished – Nine times (Led league in 1987 & 1988)
Starts – Eight times
Innings – Five times (Led league in 1982 & 1984)

When I first thought of Franco, I figured he was a lock.  He’s 4th all-time in Saves, and 2nd in Games Finished.  He had eight 30 Save seasons, but never a 40.  That made me think maybe he wasn’t quite worthy.  His Adjusted ERA (ERA compared to the league), though, brings him back in the conversastion.  He has the 19th best adjusted ERA of all-time.  Not among closers, among all pitchers.  The guys behind him are Bruce Sutter, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Cy Young, Lee Smith, Sandy Koufax, Goose Gossage, and countless others.  I’m kind of on the fence here.  I say until Lee Smith gets in, I don’t even want to hear his name.  However, if forced to choose now, I’d say no.  He only made four All-Star teams and only led the league in Saves three times.  To me, he was always one of the best closers in the game, but not quite one of the very best.

References
Baseball Reference

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Friday, April 11th
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Carlos Pena
brought the pain Friday night with 2 HR & 6 RBI.  Bobby Crosby, B.J. Upton, Nathan Haynes, Vernon Wells, Mike Jacobs, Matt Tolbert, Raul Ibanez (including a pair of HRs), Kevin Kouzmanoff, Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, and Skip Schumaker each had three hits.  Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols each drove in 4 runs.  Jeremy Hermedia hit a pair of HRs.

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Chien-Ming Wang
threwa complete game two-hitter.  He allowed just 1 run while striking out 3.  Clay Buchholz pitched well allowing 1 run in 6 innings.  Nelson Figueroa allowed 2 runs in 6 inning while collecting 6 Ks.  Neither factored into the decision, but Cincy’s Edison Volquez (5 innings) and Paul Maholm (5-1/3) kept the scoreboard blank in their duty.  Tim Hudson fired 8 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits with 5 Ks.  Matt Chico did his best to match (8 innings, 1 run, 3 Ks), but came up short.  Livan Hernandez improved to 3-0 following 7 shutout innings for the Twins.  Brandon Webb went 8 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 6 Ks.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Leafs7420, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Dave Stieb.  Here are my findings. 

dave-stieb.jpg
Illustration by Dave Lemanczyk

The Numbers
176-137
.562 Winning %
3.44 ERA (League ERA 4.21)
1669 Strikeouts
412 Starts
103 Complete Games
30 Shutouts

Playoffs: 5 Starts,1-3, 4.26 ERA, 31.2 Innings, 28 K’s

Awards
7 All-Star Appearances
1982 TSN Pitcher of the Year Award
Cy Young Votes in 4 Seasons
MVP Votes in 3 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – Seven times
ERA – Six times (Led league in 1985)
Winning % – Four times
Strikeouts – Five times
Complete Games – Five times (Led league in 1982)
Shutous – Nine times (Led league in 1982)
Starts – Eight times
Innings – Five times (Led league in 1982 & 1984)

Dave Stieb was a solid pitcher.  He had six seasons with at least 16 wins.  However, he never cracked the 20 win mark.  He made a bunch of All-Star games, but he never finished higher than 4th in Cy Young voting.  He never struck out 200 batters in a season.  He didn’t pick up his play in the playoffs.  He wa a great Blue Jay, and he more than deserves to have his number retired and to be in their Hall of Fame.  However, he’s far from worthy of Cooperstown. 

References
Baseball Reference

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson
Roberto Alomar

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Thursday, April 10th
Geovany Soto went 4 for 5 with a run, 2 doubles, a HR, and 2 RBI.  Ivan Rodriguez, Travis Buck, Jorge Cantu, Mark Teahan, and J.D. Drew had three hits.

Edwin Jackson threw 8 shutout innings allowing 2 hits while striking out 6.  He improved his season ERA to 0.64.  Aaron Harrang pitched 8 strong innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits.  He struck out 3.  Kevin Millwood allowed 1 run on three hits in 7 innings of work.  He did walk 5 though.  Dana Eveland  struck out 6 in 6-2/3 of 3 hit shutout ball.  Shaun Marcum went 7 innings allowing 1 run.  He struck out 8.  Mark Hendrickson allowed 1 run in 7 innings on just 3 hits.  Andy Pettitte went 6-2/3 allowing just 1 run.  Kevin Correia threw 7-2/3 innings of shutout ball allowing 5 hits and striking out 5.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Friday Tidbits 4/11/08

11 April 2008

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Chris Paul dished out 15 assists to go along with his 33 points in a win over New York.  He followed it up with a triple-double vs. Golden State.  He’s making his fantasy owners love him even more as he had 16 assists vs. Minnesota.  Joel Pryzbilla, who had been rebounding like Rodman lately, broke his hand, and will miss the rest of the season.  Stop the presses, the Knick won…twice.  Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Adrian Dantley, Dick Vitale, and Pat Riley were elected into the basketball Hall of Fame.  Al Jefferson had 40 points for the Wolves, but lost.  Chris Bosh messed around and got a triple-double.

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Jarome Iginla scored his 50th goal.  This week’s shutouts:  Philly’s Martin Biron vs. New Jersey & Pittsburgh, St. Louis’ Manny Legace vs. Columbus, Buffalo’s Jocelyn Thibault vs. Boston.  Phoenix’s Daniel Carcillo had a hat trick against Dallas.  Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek had one against Boston.  Buffalo D Teppo Numminen made his return following heart surgery.  Tampa Bay C Vincent Lecavalier will have shoulder surgery.  Montreal will host the 2009 All-Star game.  Keith Tkachuk scored his 500th career goal.  So what if it was an empty-netter.  Dallas signed D Nicklas Grossman to a two-year deal. The Wild’s Nick Shultz had an appendectomy.  Tampa Bay won the top pick in the NHL Lottery.  The Rangers beat New Jersey 4-1 to take the opener.  Pittsburgh beat Ottawa 4-0 to take the 1-0 lead.  Joe Sakic scored the game-winner in OT as Colorado stole home ice from the Wild.  Calgary dropped San Jose 3-2 in the series opener.  Detroit took Game 1 over Nashville 3-1.  Montreal beat Boston 4-1 in their series opener.  Evgeni Nabokov and San Jose shutout Calgary to even the series at 1.  Marty Turco and Dallas blanked Anaheim.  For some moronic reason Washington and Philly haven’t even squared off yet.

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Josh Beckett made his season debut.  It wasn’t a pretty one (5 runs in 4-2/3 innings).  Toronto locked up Alex Rios for seven years, $70 million and Aaron Hill for four years, $12 million.  Michael Cuddyer landed on the 15 Day DL with a dislocated finger.  Bill Hall and Chase Utley each hit a pair of HRs on Friday.  Dontrelle Willis walked 7 as Detroit fell to 0-5.  Kelly Johnson, Mike Jacobs, Frank Thomas, Joe Crede hit Grand Slams.  Jake Peavy struck out 8 while allowing just 1 run on 2 hits.  Gerald Laird hit a pair of HRs to go along with his 6 RBI on Sunday.  Ben Sheets fired a shutout.  Ken Griffey, Jr. hit HR #594.  Greg Maddux won his 348th game.  Pat Burrell and Mark Reynolds each blasted 2 HRs on Monday. Arizona signed Chris Young to a six-year extension.  Talk about taking care of business early.  Scott Spiezio got three years probation for drunk driving and hit-and-run.  I have a couple of thoughts.  First, he should have got another year for that awful soul patch.  Second, to be serious, you or I would have served time.  Derek Jeter strained his quad.  Torii Hunter hit a pair of HRs, the second being a game-winning Grand Slam on Monday vs. Cleveland.  Bill Buckner threw out the first pitch for the Red Sox home opener.  He was greeted with a standing ovation.  Rich Harden missed a start because of a sore back.  He’s so soft.  The Mets put Matt Wise on the DL.  Atlanta Brave prospect Jordan Schafer received a 50 games suspension for HGH.  Bengie Molina hit a pair of HRs on Tuesday.  Cliff Floyd (knee) landed on the DL.  San Diego put Michael Barrett (elbow) on the DL.  El Duque (foot) is out indefinitely. Detroit finally won.  Mike Jacobs and Albert Pujols hit a pair of HRs on Wednesday.  Mike Napoli and Jason Kubel hit Grand Slams.  Cleveland signed Fausto Carmona to a four-year, $15 million deal.  It could increase $28 million more over three years if Cleveland picks up his options.

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Michael Vick is playing jailhouse football to pass the time.  My crack statistics team reported Vick has a passer rating of 75.7.  Some things never change.  Washington signed Jerome Mathis to return kicks.  Cleveland waived  DB Kenny Wright.  David Garrard signed a seven-year, $60 million deal with Jacksonville.  Overpaid.  The Patriots signed LB Victor Hobson.  The Benglas continued cleaning house by cutting RB Quincy Wilson, who was arrested in June.  San Diego signed S Clinton Hart to a five-year deal. The Jets signed S Kerry Rhodes to a five-year, $33 million extension. 

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Kansas knocked off Memphis in OT to win the National Championship.  Mario Chalmers hit a three to send the game into overtime.  He won the Most Outstanding Player Award.  Darrell Arthur was great with 20 points and 8 boards for the Jayhawks.  Earlier Memphis proved everybody wrong (well, most everybody) by knocking off UCLA to go to the title game.  Chris Douglas-Roberts  and Derrick Rose combined for 40 of Memphis’ 68 points.  Chris Douglas-Roberts led the way with 28 points.  Derrick Rose added 25 points and 9 rebounds.  Kansas jumped off to a huge lead, let UNC get within 5, and then pounded them to submission.  Brandon Rush led the charge with 25 points.  One I missed last week:  Ohio State won the NIT tournament.  Mike Montgomery is leaving Stanford for the Cal job.  Dick Vitale earned a spot in the National Collegiate Baskeball Hall of Fame.  Coach K will probably introduce him.  Eric Gordon is going pro.  Joining him is Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger, Louisville’s Earl Clark, Florida’s Marreese Speights, LSU’s Anthony Randolph, UCLA’s Kevin Love and Darren Collison, Syracuse’s Donte Greene, Stanford’s Trent Johnson, West Virginia’s Joe Alexander, Texas A&M’s DeAndre Jordan, USC’s O.J. Mayo and Alabama’s Ronald Steele.  Miami signed Coach Frank Haith to a five-year extension.   John Calipari was named the Naismith Coach of the Year.  He didn’t look the part in the closing minutes of regulation on Monday.  Bill Self will stay in Kansas.  LSU hired Trent Johnson as their new Coach.

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Penn State won’t talk contract with Joe Paterno until after the season.Florida WR Percy Harvin had heel surgery.  Penn State kicked WR Chris Bell off the team after he threatened a teammate with a knife.  Syracuse RB Averin Colier with miss time with a fractured foot.  Carl Edwards won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Tennessee repeated as Women’s NCAA Basketball Champs.  For Pat Summit, it was her 8th title.

Justin Rose and Trevor Immelman lead the Masters.  Tiger is 4 shots back.  

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

Thanks again for supporting my blog. Be sure to check out My Friends’ blogs. They do amazing work.

Wednesday, April 9th
albert-pujols.jpg
Mark Ellis
went 4 for 5 with a run, a triple, an RBI, and 2 SBs.  Albert Pujols shared top honors going 3 for 4 with 2 runs, 2 HR, and 3 RBI.  Jason Kubel made it a three-way tie going 2 for 4 with 1 run, a Grand Slam, and 6 RBI.  Mike Napoli also hit a Grand Slam.  Johnny Peralta Augie Ojeda, Edger Renteria, Amaris Ramirez, Jason Bay, Bobby Crosby, Willy Aybar, Corey Patterson, Skip Schumaker, Brendan Harris, Brian McCann, Ryan Spilborghs (with 5 RBI), Willy Taveras, Yorvit Torrealba, and Eric Byrnes had three hits.  Mike Jacobs hit a pair of HRs.  He also drove in 4 runs. 

Zack Greinke went 8 shutout innings against the Yankees. His ERA after two starts is 0.60.  Ryan Dempster shared top honors with 7 shutout innings allowing 1 hit and striking out 5.  He beat Zach Duke who allowed 1 run in 7 innings while striking out 6.  Jarrod Washburn fired 7 innings for Seattle, allowing just 1 run.  Jonathan Sanchez threw 6 shutout innings, striking out 10 batters.  Justin Germano went 7 shutout innings allowing 4 hits and striking out 3.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

cooperstown-chronicles.jpg
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Leafs7420, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Roberto Alomar.  Here are my findings. 

roberto-alomar.jpg
Photo courtesy of John Biever/SI/Icon SMI

The Numbers
2379 Games (81st All-time)
9073 At Bats (57th All-time)
.300 Batting Average
1508 Runs (61st All-time)
2724 Hits (51st All-time)
504 Doubles (43rd All-time)
80 Triples
210 HR
1134 RBI
4018 Total Bases
474 Stolen Bases (40th All-time)

Playoffs: 58 Games, 72 hits in 230 At Bats (.313), 32 Runs, 17 Doubles, 1Triple, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 20 SB

Awards
1992 ALCS MVP
1998 All-Star MVP
10 Gold Gloves 
4 Silver Sluggers
12 All-Star Appearances
MVP Votes in 7 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Five times
On Base % – Five times
OPS – Once
Runs - Six times (Led league in 1999)
Hits - Seven times
Doubles - Three times
Triples – Five times
RBI – Once
Walks – Once
Stolen Bases - Seven times
Games – Three times
At Bats – Twice

Roberto Alomar was an unbelievable player.  He was easily one of the best at his position in his era, and likely any era.  He was equally as talented on offense as he was on defense.  The only thing that is keeping him from being a first ballot guy in my book is he wasn’t at the very top of certain categories (hits, batting average, runs, doubles, triples) as often as I figured he would.  Of course there was the spitting incident, but that isn’t enough to keep him waiting too long for the call in my opinion, especially when  you consider what players of his era were doing.  This one is a lock for me.

Be sure to check out RobertoAlomar.com for more information.

References
Baseball Reference

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Tuesday, April 8th
Aubrey Huff was the big hitting star Tuesday.  He went 4 for 4 with 4 runs, a double, a walk, and 4 RBI.  Aaron Hill matched him with a 4 for 4 game, including a two-run HR.  Brian Giles went 4 for 5 with and RBI.  Kevin Youkilis, Ichiro Suzuki, Jose Lopez, Matt Holliday, and Matt Kemp each had three hits.  Bengie Molina smacked a couple HRs.

Jake Westbrook threw a complete game, allowing three runs on 7 hits.  He struck out 4.  Oliver Perez worked 5-2/3 shutout innings for the Mets.  He allowed 3 hits.  His bullpen blew the lead.  He hasn’t allowed a run in 11-2/3 innings this year.  Brian Burres allowed just one run in 6 innings for the surprising Baltimore Orioles.  Diasuke Matsuzaka threw 6-2/3 innings of shutout ball.  He allowed 4 hits and struck out 7.  Brian Bannister allowed 2 runs in 5 innings while striking out 6 Yankees.  Tim Lincecum allowed one run in 6 innings, striking out 7.  Doug Davis’s last start before cancer surgery went well.  He struck out 7 in 6 innings while allowing just 2 runs.  I wish him even more success with his surgery.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

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