Sunday, July 27, 2008
Ervin's Day Game Problem Comes Back: Orioles 5, Angels 2Maybe Ervin Santana's day game problem isn't all the way gone, or maybe he's just on a cold streak lately: he had a 4.88 ERA in day games coming into this one, and a 3.86 ERA in the second half prior to today, giving up four and six runs in his games against Cleveland and Texas respectively, so it's possible he's having a bit of midseason dead arm. He certainly wasn't very effective today, giving up five runs in as many innings. No homers, just command issues that left fat pitches over the plate, and the O's didn't miss.
The Angels' offense was perhaps a bit hobbled, with Robb Quinlan and Gary Matthews, Jr. spelling Casey Kotchman and either Garret Anderson or Vlad in the outfield, though Vlad did DH. The Angels really didn't hit lefty starter Garrett Olson well, perhaps because they've never seen him before, a problem a lot of teams seem to have. It was only the Angels' second loss since the All-Star break, which is a fine position to be in. The Angels are now 10 games up over second-place Texas, who got there yesterday after beating Oakland 9-4. Update: Make that 10.5 games, as Oakland beat Texas 6-5 today to salvage the last game of the series.
Perhaps also of note: Justin Speier and Darren O'Day both pitched scoreless frames, which is probably more encouraging for Speier than it is for O'Day in that Speier has struggled longer and harder. Since June 14, Speier hasn't posted but one other pair of consecutive scoreless outings, June 20 and 25 against the Phils and Nats. Go, him.
Dodgers Sweep For Kershaw's First Major League Win: Dodgers 2, Nationals 0Clayton Kershaw looked very sharp in his first appearance against the Nationals, generally getting ahead of batters right from the start. No Nationals baserunner got as far as third, and only two made it into scoring position, one of those on a throwing error by Kershaw himself trying to pick off Ryan Zimmerman. Chan Ho Park, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Jonathan Broxton went the rest of the way and were equally impressive against a second-division team without a lot of offensive firepower.
James Loney provided the only run the Dodgers needed, a solo homer in the top of the second against Jay Bergmann, who was himself quite impressive in his second career game against Los Angeles. The only other run he allowed came in the third, when he gave up three consecutive singles to Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp, and Russell Martin.
I should also mention that Nomar left the game early after tweaking his knee on an odd play in the top of the sixth to make an out on Felipe Lopez. He's day-to-day so far as I can tell.