Quick peek at the best pitching match-ups on Sunday:
Red Sox at Blue Jays: Could it be Roy Halladay's final start as a Blue Jay? Guessing that if he gets traded, it'll be closer to the deadline, so probably not. He's struggled (all relative) lately, going 0-2 with a 4.50 since a DL stint, and had a rough time in the All-Star Game. It's his first start against Boston this year, after dominating them in 2008 (2.56 in 5 starts). Meanwhile, Jon Lester has found it in a big way, rocking a silly 1.48 ERA in his last 8 outings, including 69 Ks in 54 2/3 innings. He's also 2-0 against the Jays this year, giving up a total of 2 runs.
Brewers at Reds: The Battle of Red Hot But Now Struggling Youngsters. Both Yovani Gallardo and Johnny Cueto were dealing for the first 3 months of the year before opponents started soiling their All-Star credentials in July. Gallardo has given up 9 runs in his last 10 innings. Cueto didn't make it out of the 1st inning against the Phillies (very embarrassing), and then got lit up by the Mets (even more embarassing). Interesting albeit useless fact: they were born 12 days apart in February, 1986.
Giants at Pirates: Zach Duke and Matt Cain are linked because the former took the latter's place on the All-Star roster because of an injury. Duke faces a terrorizing G-Men lineup that has scored 1 run in 23 innings this series. To be fair, the Pirates have only scored 4. If Cain doesn't come through today, you can bank on Chris "Mad Dog" Russo's Monday radio show to be even more animated than his rant from a couple weeks ago when he "fired" his whole staff. Go Buccos.
Tigers at Yankees: Sure, the two starters are intriguing (Edwin Jackson vs Joba "5 and a third" Chamberlain). But I gotta think everyone headed to the Stadium today for Old-Timer's Day is just itching to see Pat Kelly put on the pinstripes again. I guess Alvaro Espinoza wasn't available?
Angels at A's: Be sure to tune in as John Lackey helps out his ERA in healthy doses against the woeful Oakland offense. At least the A's have Brett Anderson on the hill, who is only 138 outs shy of Orel Hershiser's consecutive scoreless innings record.
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