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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Shutouts, quick hooks and late-game gaffes


There were both highs and lows for various pitchers on Monday. We give you “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”:

THE GOOD
Chris Carpenter
Carpenter
Chris Carpenter won his third straight start, pitching 8 scoreless innings in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 1-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds. Carpenter has allowed just two runs in his past three starts, good for a 0.75 ERA in that span. The scoreless outing was just Carpenter’s second this season. He went 7 innings without allowing a run on April 17 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Twins pitcher Brian Duensing threw a six-hit shutout against the Tampa Bay Rays in Minnesota’s 7-0 win. The shutout was the second of Duensing’s career, with the other coming on Aug. 14, 2010. It was the fifth shutout by the Twins pitching staff since June 1, the second-most in MLB in that span (Philadelphia Phillies, six).

THE BAD
John Lackey
Lackey
Red Sox pitcher John Lackey continued to struggle this season, allowing seven earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings in Boston’s 9-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. It was Lackey’s fourth start this season allowing seven earned runs or more, which tied him with Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona for the most such starts this season. Lackey’s home ERA now sits at 9.17.

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Jakubauskas had a game to forget, allowing six runs in 2 innings in a 13-4 loss to the Texas Rangers. His six runs allowed were a season high, and his most since also allowing six runs on July 25, 2009 against the Indians.

THE UGLY
Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol’s wild pitch in the 10th inning allowed Jayson Werth to score from third in the Cubs' 5-4, extra-inning loss to the Washington Nationals. It’s the first time the Cubs have lost on a wild pitch since May 12, 1999, when Rod Beck threw a game-ending wild pitch in a loss to the Dodgers.

Aaron Crow
Crow
Unlike their neighbors to the north, the Chicago White Sox were the beneficiaries of a late-game gaffe. Kansas City Royals reliever Aaron Crow balked home the game-winning run in the 9th inning, allowing White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski to score from third in the White Sox 5-4 victory. The balk was the first of the newly-named All-Star’s career.

The Royals are the second team this year to lose by balking home the game-winning run (New York Mets, June 16). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time since 2000 where there were at least two walk-off balks in a season. That year, the Texas Rangers (Jeff Zimmerman, April 28) and Atlanta Braves (John Rocker, May 8) lost via game-ending balk to the Orioles and Florida Marlins, respectively.