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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Rapid Reactions: Napoli is a Yankee Killer

By ESPN Stats & Info

It should come as no surprise that Angels catcher Mike Napoli homered in their game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that his career OPS against the Yankees coming into tonight's game was 1.142. That's the highest OPS vs the Yankees in the live-ball era (since 1920) among those with at least 85 PA.

The Baltimore Orioles put on an impressive offense explosion against Tampa Bay tonight. Especially Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones who hit back-to-back-to-back HR in the bottom of the second inning. It ties a record for the most consecutive HR for the Orioles in a game (done 6 times previously).The most recent occurrence before Tuesday: September 5, 1995 vs the California Angels (Jeff Manto, Mark Smith and Brady Anderson did the trick). Even more notable from September 5, 1995 for the Orioles? Cal Ripken tied Lou Gehrig's streak for consecutive games played at 2,130.

But the most notable and impressive trend that has continued on Tuesday night so far? Armando Galarraga struggled once again, which is nothing new since his memorable shutout and near-perfect game of the Cleveland Indians on June 2. Since that "Jim Joyce Game", Galarraga is 1-2 with a 5.61 ERA in his six starts.


While it didn't go down in the books as a perfecto, Galarraga may be suffering from the same curse that is affecting those pitchers who DID pitch perfect games the last two seasons. Mark Buehrle was 10-3 last season when he twirled his gem on July 23, 2009, and since then he is just 4-9. Roy Halladay is 3-5 since his perfect game on May 29 and has dropped his last three starts. And then there's Dallas Braden who is 0-5 since his history-making effort on May 9.

Braden is pitching against the Boston Red Sox later tonight as he hopes to end this strange curse.