Slumps find even Albert Pujols
Chris Singleton is an analyst for "Baseball Tonight."
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.
|Vladimir Guerrero, TEX||11||KC||Top 1: 0-0, 2 Outs. 1 on.||Meche|
|Ryan Braun, MIL||8||HOU||Bot 1: 0-1, 1 Out. 1 on.||Paulino|
|Josh Hamilton, TEX||9||KC||Top 4: 2-1, 1 Out. None on.||Meche|
|Nelson Cruz, TEX||10||KC||Top 4: 2-2, 1 Out. None on.||Meche|
|Cameron Maybin, FLA||4||ATL||Bot 3: 1-0, 0 Outs. None on.||Kawakami|
Wednesday's Best Matchups
Yankees at Twins, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Francisco Liriano has scuffled his past three starts, losing all three after starting the year 4-0. This will be his third consecutive start against two of the three upper-tier teams of the AL. Finally, he gets one at home after losing at the Yankees and at the Red Sox. Andy Pettitte (5-1) is coming off his first loss of the year.
Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET
The Red Sox go for the road sweep, and it'll be John Lackey's charge to finish off the three-game set for Boston. Lackey's 5.07 ERA isn't impressive, and he is coming off a pair of losses. Granted, his offense didn't offer much help, scoring two total runs in defeats at Detroit and at Philadelphia. Matt Garza breezed through the Red Sox's lineup earlier this year, tossing eight shutout innings in a 5-1 win on April 12.
Nationals at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET
Tim Lincecum was roughed up in his most recent start, though he snuck away with a no-decision to keep his perfect record (5-0) intact. Lincecum pitched a season-low five innings at Arizona. Control has been an issue; he's walked five in each of his past two starts.
BASEBALL TONIGHT ON THE AIR
|10 p.m. ET on ESPN|
Host: Karl Ravech|
Analysts: Bobby Valentine, Doug Glanville, Chris Singleton, Buster Olney
|12 a.m. ET on ESPN2|
Host: Karl Ravech|
Analysts: Chris Singleton
Pitchers play defense, too
WEB GEMS LEADERBOARD
TUESDAY'S BEST AND WORST
BESTVladimir Guerrero, DH, Rangers
Vlad slashed a pair of homers and drove home five runs as part of a 3-for-4 day in the Rangers' win against the Royals. Guerrero has hits in each of his past eight games and has had five multihit games during that run. His outing against the Royals raised his season average to .349.
WORSTBen Zobrist, 2B, Rays
The Rays mustered one measly hit against the Red Sox in a 2-0 loss. Zobrist went 0-for-4 with three of Tampa Bay's 12 strikeouts against Jon Lester and Boston relievers Manny Delcarmen, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon. On top of that, both manager Joe Maddon and Carl Crawford were ejected.
One can use a traditional method to make the point that the Tampa Bay Rays have the best starting rotation in the major leagues. The Rays' starters lead the majors in earned run average by a healthy margin, despite Wade Davis getting tagged for five runs in 3 2/3 innings by the Red Sox on Monday night. (James Shields pitched well in a loss against the Red Sox on Tuesday night.)Another way to state the Rays' case is to look at SNLVAR (support neutral league value above replacement), a Baseball Prospectus metric that measures how many more wins a starting pitcher has provided over the course of the season than would a replacement-level player who could be claimed off waivers or purchased from a Triple-A roster. A total of 57 major league pitchers have accumulated at least a 1.2 SNLVAR with just a little more than a quarter of the season gone. A pitcher who finishes with a 5.0 mark or better is considered to have had a very good season. The Rays have the only rotation in which each member has at least a 1.2 SNLVAR. The Rays are one of only two teams with three starters ranking in the top 25, along with the San Francisco Giants, who have Tim Lincecum (fifth), Jonathan Sanchez (17th) and Barry Zito (24th).
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