Monday, April 19, 2010

News and Notes

- If Cole Hamels pitches like he did on Sunday against the Marlins, the Phillies have nothing to worry about with their young lefty. Hamels allowed two earned in eight innings plus and took the loss as the Phils offense stayed cold for a second straight day. However, he had good life to his fastball, mixed in his trademark change, and even threw some very good curveballs, freezing Hanley Ramirez for strike three with one of them.

- While the top part of the Phils rotation is rounding into form, the bottom half is getting scary in a hurry. Kyle Kendrick hasn't been able to do anything right since the season started, Jamie Moyer gave up five runs in the first inning on Saturday, and now J.A. Happ may miss some time with a forearm issue. Joe Blanton is making a rehab start at Lakewood soon, and he can't get back soon enough.

- The Mets and Cardinals really did play 20 innings on Saturday, and Tony LaRussa really did pull Matt Holliday from the game when the Cardinals had not scored a run yet. Alber Pujols saw exactly no pitches to hit after that, and the Mets finally won when they were able to push across two runs against Joe Mather. Yes, that Joe Mather. Joe Posnanski does a good job outlining LaRussa's work in his latest column.

- Tom Verducci asks if this is the end for Pat Burrell, Alfonso Soriano and David Ortiz. Yes, yes, and yes. The easiest call for the team is Burrell, as he doesn't have a contract after this year and doesn't have any emotional currency with Tampa, other than beating them in the World Series with Philadelphia. Ortiz looks finished, and Soriano is turning into an unproductive hitting, defensive liability who is owed a lot of money.

- Soriano and Carlos Zambrano are two long term deals the Cubs have completed of recent vintage that don't look great right now.

- Must see TV this week? Jason Heyward taking his hacks against Roy Halladay in Atlanta on Thursday night.

- Only 74 more "Raise up the Jolly Roger" announcements to a .500 season for the Pirates

- The Rays are back. It's early. But they're at least back-ish.

- The Red Sox... well, some of these all-defense, no-hit contracts better start hitting something soon

- Good for Ubaldo Jimenez, no-hitting Atlanta for the Rockies first no-no. The Mets still haven't had one, and next year is their 50th season.

- Nelson Cruz is a legit power threat. Is is possible that Texas is really more Colorado than Colorado? Which is to say, they'll always hit, but never pitch, as was feared about the Rockies for the first 10-12 years of their existence.

- Thanks for coming, Houston and Baltimore. Better luck in 2011.

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