Wednesday, April 20, 2011
'Hot' pitchers take center stage
By Jeremy Lundblad
Today’s Trivia: When Bartolo Colon, 37, takes the mound Wednesday for his first start with the New York Yankees, he will be the oldest pitcher to start a game this season. Who currently holds that distinction?
Quick Hits: With some of the hottest pitchers set to take the mound, Wednesday sets up to be quite a day for pitching.
• Of the 34 starters scheduled for Wednesday, 11 have an ERA under 2.00 and nine are looking to start 3-0 or better. Eight of the MLB’s top ten in ERA draw starts Wednesday.
• Gio Gonzalez, Justin Masterson, Aaron Harang, Jered Weaver and Matt Harrison are all scheduled to pitch. Each has allowed 1 ER or fewer in 6+ innings in each of their first three starts. (According to baseball-reference.com), the last pitcher to start a season with four straight such starts was Cliff Lee in 2008 (who did it in five straight).
• The last time multiple pitchers started the season with four straight starts of 1 ER or fewer in 6+ innings was 1998: Chuck Finley and Greg Maddux.
• Weaver (4-0, 1.30 ERA) looks to become the first pitcher in MLB history with five wins by April 20, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• He faces Harrison (3-0, 1.23 ERA), who looks to be the first Texas Rangers pitcher to win each of his first four starts since Darren Oliver in 2001.
• Gonzalez (2-0, 0.47 ERA) faces the Boston Red Sox with the MLB’s best ERA. He’s boasts a streak of 17 scoreless innings and opponents are 0-for-13 with RISP.
• Masterson (3-0, 1.33 ERA) has held right-handed hitters to a .103 BA (3-for-29).
• Jaime Garcia (2-0, 1.35 ERA) takes on the Washington Nationals. In his career, he is 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA. In seven career April starts, he’s never allowed more than two earned runs.
• Dustin Moseley is 0-3 despite a 1.83 ERA. A big reason? The San Diego Padres haven’t scored a run in any of his three starts. According to Elias, the only pitcher in the last 30 years whose team was shut out in each of four consecutive starts was Arizona's Randy Johnson in June-July 1999.
• Harang (3-0, 1.50 ERA) draws the second start of the day for San Diego. He looks to become just the third pitcher to win his first four starts of a season with the Padres. Only Randy Jones (1976) and Andy Hawkins (1985) have done so. Dennis Rasmussen won his first four starts with the Padres in 1988, but was a midseason acquisition.
Trivia Answer: Derek Lowe, who also takes the hill Wednesday, is the oldest pitcher to start a game so far this season. Also 37, he’s just eight days younger than Colon. Last season, Jamie Moyer (47) and Tim Wakefield (44) were the oldest to start a game.