On the same night that the 1st overall pick of 2010 made his big-league debut, the 68th pick in that draft, Drew Smyly, earned his first win by holding the Yankees to 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings, with 7 strikeouts.
Smyly, who logged just 128 IP in the minors, has begun his MLB career with 4 straight starts allowing 1 run. Since 1918, only Fernando Valenzuela has a longer streak of starts allowing 1 run or less from the start of his career. Fernando went 7 straight in 1981, with 5 shutouts. (His 10 games in 1980 were all in relief.) Smyly is the eighth pitcher and first Tiger to reach 4 straight.
- For the second straight start, Freddy Garcia didn’t survive the 2nd inning, allowing 6 runs. He had just 4 such starts in his career before this year.
— Boston’s still in last place, but they’ve reached .500 for the first time this year. They had scored 44 runs in the first 5 games of their win streak, but Jon Lester kept the White Sox off the board for 7 IP and Ryan Sweeney scored the game’s only run after a leadoff double in the 4th. He’s now hitting .391 (25-64), without a HR but with eleven doubles and a triple. The last four 1-0 games between the Sox have all gone Red.
- Jake Peavy followed up his 3-hit shutout with a CG 4-hit loss. It’s the first consecutive CGs this year by any pitcher, and the first ever for the former CYA winner. Peavy’s 37.2 IP over 5 starts ranks 2nd in MLB; he hasn’t topped 112 IP since 2008.
— Kyle Lohse gave up his first 2 HRs in his 5th start, but both were solo shots, allowing him to set a personal best with his 9th straight Quality Start, dating to last year. Yadier Molina paced the Cardinal attack with 4-2-4-2 and his 4th HR, pushing his OPS up to 1.000.
— The Angels had their 6th straight game scoring 3 runs or less, but they still beat Cleveland 2-1 behind Dan Haren, ending a 5-game slide. Scott Downs got the save, a day after the team announced that Jordan Waldenwould no longer be the closer.
- Downs has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the last 5 years; his 196 ERA+ ranks 4th among the 127 relievers with at least 200 IP in that span, and 2nd in WPA among non-closers.
Albert Pujols (4-0-1-0) set new personal lows with:
- his 27th straight game without a HR (dating t0 last year);
- his 12th straight game without an RBI; and
- his 8th straight with negative WPA.
He’s also gone 8 straight games without an extra-base hit (his record is 12) and 8 straight with 1 hit or less (his record is 11).
You may remember Pujols starting slowly last year. But there’s no comparing the two seasons. After 21 games last year, his slash line went .250/.309/.512, with 7 HRs and 17 RBI. This year, he’s at .226/.278/.310, with no HRs and 4 RBI.
— Albert’s not the only premier 1B to have a power outage after signing a giant contract this spring: Joey Votto has gone 19 games without a HR, one shy of his longest streak. The good news for Cincy was 7 scoreless innings by Johnny Cueto, lowering his ERA to 1.39 through 5 starts.
— Brandon Morrow had his first HR-free game this year, fanning 9 without a walk over 6 scoreless innings. Morrow began this year with a career average of 10.1 SO/9, but had just 12 Ks in his first 4 starts — the first time he’d ever gone more than 2 games without topping 4 Ks.
— Baltimore has 13 wins after 21 games for just the second time in the last 15 years.
— How long ’til the playoffs start? The 16-5 Rangers have outscored their opponents 118-62. They’ve outscored their foes in in all seven series to date, and have yet to lose two straight games or more than one game in a series. Three of their five losses have been by one run. They’re 8-1 on the road. The only time they were held under 2 runs, they won.
— Arizona scored 2 in the first, but Miami got singletons in the 7th, 8th and 9th. Anibal Sanchez had the year’s high game with 14 strikeouts, also a career high. He allowed no hits after the 1st, and retired his last 18 batters before leaving for a pinch-hitter. That was Omar Infante, whose triple began the comeback; he’s now slugging .764. Randy Choate extended his season-long hitless streak to 9 games (5.2 IP).
— Tim Lincecum’s first Quality Start of the year got the Giants back over .500. Lincecum has a 1.96 ERA in 19 starts against the Padres.
— After 22 career starts, Stephen Strasburg has a 2.18 ERA, 10.9 SO/9 and a SO/BB ratio of exactly 6. On the other hand, Matt Kemp is on another planet, orbiting a sun far larger than our own. In fact, the sun may be orbiting him.
- I supposed we’ve all heard enough about Bryce Harper, but he is just the 4th teenager this century to get a hit in the majors.
Erik Bedard finally got his first NL win after 4 losses, allowing a run over 5 IP. Pedro Alvarez had 2 doubles and his third 2-hit game in the past 6, after starting the year 2 for 30.