Big dose of relief being felt in Detroit
ESPN The Magazine
Tim Kurkjian is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and is an analyst for "Baseball Tonight."
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Baseball Tonight analysts, ESPN.com writers and SweetSpot Network bloggers chatted and gave their in-game opinions throughout the day's games -- all in Baseball Tonight Live.
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|Miguel Olivo, COL||6||PHI||Bot 10: 0-0, 0 Outs. None on.||Durbin|
|Joey Votto, CIN||8||PIT||Top 1: 1-1, 1 Out. 1 on.||Duke|
|Travis Snider||5||BOS||Top 7: 1-2, 1 Out. 1 on.||Wakefield|
|Roger Bernadina, WAS||1||NYM||Top 4: 1-2, 2 Outs. None on.||Pelfrey|
|Roger Bernadina, WAS||2||NYM||Top 7: 1-2, 1 Out. 1 on.||Rodriguez|
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Host: Steve Berthiaume|
Analysts: Tim Kurkjian, Buck Showalter
Quite the turn
WEDNESDAY'S BEST AND WORST
BESTPhil Hughes, RHP, Yankees
Hughes didn't just stop a three-game losing streak and help the Yankees avoid a doubleheader sweep in Detroit. No, he tossed seven shutout innings, struck out eight, improved to 5-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.38 in New York's 8-0 win in the nightcap.
WORSTManny Parra, LHP, Brewers
The Braves' offense has been quiet much of the year. Except against the Brewers. Atlanta picked up a 9-2 win to complete a series sweep in which it outscored Milwaukee 28-7. The bullpen got smacked around in the latest loss, with Parra starting a procession in which three relievers gave up seven runs in three innings.
THURSDAY'S TOP MATCHUPS
Yankees at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET
The first of the big-name pitching matchups of the day, with the Yankees sending out CC Sabathia and the Tigers going with Justin Verlander. After a slow start to the year, Verlander has won his past two starts, striking 16 in 14 1/3 innings.
Mets at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET
Big pitching matchup No. 2, with the Mets handing the ball to Johan Santana and the Marlins tabbing Josh Johnson. Santana is coming off a pair of no-decisions, including one ugly outing when he gave up 10 runs in 3 2/3 against the Phillies. Since losing his opener, Johnson hasn't lost since, going 3-0 with three no-decisions.
Indians at Royals, 2:10 p.m. ET
Will this be the day Zack Greinke gets some help? He is 0-4 in seven starts -- one was a complete game -- and is carrying around a 2.51 ERA. Over his past three starts, the Royals have scored a grand total of four runs.
Last year, Alex Rodriguez missed the first 28 games of the season, but started the season with a bang, hitting a home run on the first pitch he saw. A-Rod didn't slow down from there, either. He launched seven long balls in May and ended up with 30 homers on the season. Despite fewer at-bats, he was just as productive as in the past, hitting a homer every 14.8 at-bats, which nearly matched his rate of 14.6 in 2008 and his career rate of 14.2.So what's gone wrong in 2010? Rodriguez entered this year with 583 home runs, which was tied for eighth all-time, and many figured it was a lock that he'd pass the 600-homer milestone before the All-Star break. But Rodriguez has failed to find his power stroke this season, as he's hit just three homers in 112 at-bats, a rate of one homer every 37.3 at-bats! Even more evidence of his lack of power is his .464 slugging percentage, which would be his lowest since 1995, when he slugged .408 as a 19-year-old.