Worst of the Night: Hector Noesi, Brian Matusz, Homer Bailey Get Rocked
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Highlighting the bad performances from the previous night in baseball might be kind of a negative way to start your morning. But look at it this way: If you had a rough night or a bad morning, at least these guys may have had it worse.
Several pitchers had performances on Monday night they would soon like to forget. But we're not just picking on the pitchers. A handful of hitters also didn't come through when their teams needed a contribution.
Here are 10 of the worst performances from Monday night.
Hector Noesi, Seattle Mariners
While Yu Darvish's major league debut was disappointing, Noesi quickly let him off the hook Monday night. The Mariners took a 4-0 first-inning lead over the Texas Rangers, but Noesi let them right back in the game by allowing two runs in the bottom of the inning.
In the third, he served up a three-run shot to Nelson Cruz that tied the game, 5-5. That was followed in the fourth by a two-run homer by Mitch Moreland, and the Mariners were effectively done.
Noesi lasted three innings, giving up seven runs, six hits, three walks and two home runs.
Brian Matusz, Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles were a surprising 3-0 coming into Monday night's game versus the New York Yankees, who were 0-3. The O's had a chance to put the Yanks in danger mode but blew it, due to a disappointing performance from Matusz.
With the game tied 1-1 in the fourth, Matusz gave up three runs, thanks in large part to two walks. He was done after four innings, allowing four runs, six hits, and four walks.
Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds
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Bailey might want to consider changing his name. There's something to be said for a name establishing a career path for someone. I used to work with a butcher named Bill Chopp. Really. So the "Homer" thing may have gotten in Bailey's head.
It certainly looked that way on Monday, as Bailey teed up three home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals, all in the first inning. Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina each went deep, pretty much rendering a TKO before the Reds even came to bat.
Dexter Fowler, Colorado Rockies
Rockies manager Jim Tracy might want to rethink batting Fowler in the No. 2 spot. Fowler went 0-for-4 Monday night, leaving three runners on base. That dropped his batting average to .091 on the season.
To be fair, no Rockies hitters had any success against Barry Zito, who allowed only four hits in a complete-game shutout.
Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals
In a 1-0 game, any hit can make a difference. But the Royals only managed three over eight innings against Oakland Athletics pitcher Tommy Milone.
Middle-of-the-order hitters are expected to produce some runs, so Butler has to be singled out for going 0-for-4. He stranded two runners on base, which isn't many. But considering the Royals needed something—anything—to generate some offense, his failure is all the more glaring.
Nick Blackburn, Minnesota Twins
The Twins could have used a quality start from Blackburn to help end their season-opening, three-game losing streak. They didn't get it.
The Los Angeles Angels jumped on Blackburn for two runs in the first and never gave up the lead. Minnesota managed to cut the lead to 2-1 on a fourth-inning Josh Willingham homer. But Blackburn fell apart in the seventh, putting the first three hitters on base, capped off by a two-run double by Chris Iannetta.
Blackburn allowed five runs, five hits and two walks over six innings, as the Twins went on to lose, 5-1.
Livan Hernandez and Chad Durbin, Atlanta Braves
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Braves general manager Frank Wren picked up Hernandez and Durbin at the end of spring training to provide some bullpen depth and pitch in long relief to lessen the burden on a young pitching staff. Monday night's performance could not have been what Wren had in mind.
Hernandez entered the game in the sixth, with the Braves trailing the Houston Astros, 4-3. He subsequently gave up four hits, resulting in two runs that boosted the Astros' lead to three runs.
Durbin took over for Hernandez in the eighth and surrendered a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell. That put the game out of reach and dropped the Braves to 0-4 on the season.
Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves
Pitching let the Braves down, but their lineup didn't help matters. The middle of the Atlanta batting order went a combined 2-for-15, with Uggla going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
The oh-fer dropped Uggla's triple slash average to .077/.250/.077 on the season. He's traditionally a slow starter and struggled last season until exploding in July. But .077 is taking the "slow start" thing a bit too far.
Shawn Camp, Chicago Cubs
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It wasn't exactly a pitching duel at Wrigley Field Monday night, as both the Milwaukee Brewers' Shaun Marcum and the Cubs' Chris Volstad had surrendered three runs after five innings.
The difference in the game, however, was that the Cubs put Camp in the game to relieve Volstad. In the sixth, he gave up two runs on two hits to give the Brewers the lead. The following inning, Camp allowed three straight hits, capped off by an Aramis Ramirez RBI double.
Henry Rodriguez, Washington Nationals
In Drew Storen's absence, Nats manager Davey Johnson tabbed Brad Lidge and Rodriguez as replacement options to close out games.
Tied 3-3 with the New York Mets on Monday, Johnson brought Rodriguez in to get the final out of the eighth inning. Rodriguez then came back out for the ninth and walked the leadoff hitter. Two batters later, Daniel Murphy drove in the game-winner with an RBI single to push the Mets to 4-0.
Not only did Johnson bring his closer in to pitch four outs, but he put him into a tied ball game on the road. Somewhere in Philadelphia, Charlie Manuel was saying, "I told you so."
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