Don't blame Macha for Brewers' current failures
ESPN The Magazine
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and an analyst for "Baseball Tonight." Read his daily ESPN.com blog here.
Baseball Tonight Live
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.
Touch 'Em All
Who went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page. For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.
|Torii Hunter, LAA||7||CHW||Top 4: 2-0, 2 Outs. 1 on.||Danks|
|Brian McCann, ATL||4||CIN||Bot 1: 3-1, 1 Out. 1 on.||Harang|
|Josh Hamilton, TEX||8||BAL||Bot 2: 0-1, 1 Out. None on.||Guthrie|
|Jason Bartlett, TAM||1||TAM||Top 1: 1-0, 0 Outs. None on.||Burnett|
|Angel Pagan, NYM||4||WAS||Top 4: 0-1, 2 Outs. None on.||Hernandez|
Thursday's Best Matchups
Reds at Braves, 1:05 p.m. ET
A promising pair of talented young arms takes the mound. The Reds' Mike Leake is 4-0 in his first seven major league starts. Tommy Hanson is 3-3, but is carrying around a 2.88 ERA. In two of his three losses, the Braves were shut out.
Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET
Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
Yes, another very good pitching matchup, this one pitting Francisco Liriano (4-2, 2.63 ERA) against Jon Lester (3-2, 3.91). Liriano, though, enters having lost each of his past two starts, giving up 19 hits and eight runs in 12 innings. Lester is 3-0 over his past five outings.
BASEBALL TONIGHT ON THE AIR
|10 p.m. ET on ESPN|
Host: Karl Ravech|
Analysts: Dave Winfield, Eduardo Perez, Buster Olney
|12 a.m. ET on ESPN|
Host: Steve Berthiaume|
Analysts: Eduardo Perez
This might hurt
WEB GEMS LEADERBOARD
WEDNESDAY'S BEST AND WORST
BESTAngel Pagan, CF, Mets
OK, so the Mets lost the game against the Nationals, but that still can't diminish Pagan's wild night. He hit an inside-the-park home run and started a triple play. He is the first player in 55 years to be involved in those two feats in the same game.
WORSTRandy Wolf, LHP, Brewers
The Brewers lost for the ninth consecutive time, and this defeat falls on Wolf. The lefty gave up 10 hits and six runs -- he also handed out five walks -- in 6 1/3 innings against the Pirates. Wolf has lost three of his past four starts and his ERA keeps climbing; it's now up to 5.10.
Losers of seven games in a row entering Tuesday, the Brewers desperately needed a win against the first-place Reds. Holding a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the ninth, the Brewers weren't aware that the unceremonious end to Trevor Hoffman's storied career was on the horizon. While the 42-year-old closer has been bad this season, suffice it to say he hasn't had worse stuff this season than he had Tuesday.Scott Rolen's game-tying home run came on one of those straight changeups, leading to Hoffman's third loss and fifth blown save of the season. Even if last night is viewed as an anomaly, there are plenty of indicators that Hoffman is pitching at an all-time low level. Not since 2002 -- when FanGraphs started tracking pitch stats -- has the right-hander's changeup been below average relative to the rest of the league. This season, it has been one of the least valuable 20 changeups in all of baseball, worth 2.2 runs below average. (It was 8.3 runs above average in 2009.) His fastball, which has always been a weapon merely as a counter to the change, has taken a predictable beating as a result. The pitch has a tiny 2.1 whiff rate (versus a league average of around 8 percent), and batters are having no problem hitting it hard and into the air.