The idea of an official protest seems to be an act of desperation by a desperate team. They rarely work, and when they are upheld it seems that it is usually determined that the result would not have been impacted enough to cause a game to be replayed.
It has happened on a few occasions in the NBA where a call has been determined to be egregious enough to force the replay of several seconds, but never more than that.
That is what could make yesterday interesting. First, the fact a National League team botched a double-switch in their home ballpark is slightly mortifying. It is one thing when an American League manager cannot figure it out, but it should not ever happen to managers that regularly make these moves.
Yesterday, Fredi Gonzalez went to perform a double-switch involving his left fielder. After the at-bat, when the game moved to the top of the eighth inning, Gonzalez mistakenly reinserted a player he had removed.
Joe Girardi realized the mistake, let one pitch be thrown, then protested. This is exactly the protocol. The problem is that nothing material happened on that one pitch. The player did not make a diving catch, or do anything other than stand in the outfield.
Understood that it is against the rules and the Yankees are within their right to protest (any good manager would have). It will be interesting to see, though, if the league rules in the Yankees favor. If they were to, the game would be replayed beginning in the top of the eighth inning.
Could be interesting.
On to the notes.
- C.C. Sabathia was removed from yesterday's game with tightness in his elbow. Sabathia worked the first inning, and recorded one out in the second, but struggled enough that the Yankees felt it was best to get him out. Nothing to be concerned with yet until we hear about results of any exams. The guy is still a horse.
- The Red Sox officially placed Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL with what is being termed a weak shoulder. Terry Francona's comments, though, certainly lead everyone to believe that Matsuzaka has more to work on mentally than physically. Francona alluded to the fact that "he (Matsuzaka) has a lot of work to do to get back." This is likely more than a 15-day thing.
- Ryan Howard was released from the hospital after battling flu-like symptoms over the course of a couple days. Howard should be ready to go again this week without much of a worry. Owners should not be worried about anything long-term with this one, obviously.
- Owners looking at A.J. Burnett this week need to be aware that the right-hander had his appeal heard. While the suspension was reduced to five games, it is not likely that Burnett gets the ball until Saturday as a result. Keep this in mind when setting up rosters for the week.
- Kevin Kouzmanoff continues his hot hitting. Over the last two weeks, the Padres third basemen is 16-for-51 with five home runs and a .314 batting average. The Padres do not show a lot of offense, but he has been one of the brighter spots at the corner. Owners looking for help at third base should look to him. Just ride the hot streak.
- The Giants improved to 11-1 against the Rangers since 2000 with a weekend sweep. An impressive pitcher's duel between Kevin Millwoodand Barry Zito highlighted the finale. Zito took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before allowing a two-run home run to Andruw Jones.
- Congratulations to Chris Davis. Davis became the fastest major league player ever to 100 strikeouts, accomplishing the task in just 219 at-bats. Davis has given moderate power to owners, but the fact that half of his at-bats end by way of the strikeout makes him non-rosterable in anything but AL-only leagues.
- Wandy Rodriguez was solid, and this time on the road. He had been lit up in his last two outings on the road, and had another bad outing saved because of poor defense. He had been 0-4 with a 6.93 ERA in his last five overall starts. With a start at home, where he has a 2.15 ERA in seven starts, on Friday, Rodriguez could be ready to turn the corner.
- B.J. Upton has been on a tear in his last six games. Upton is 12 for his last 28, good for a .429 average. He has added two home runs, nine RBI, and two steals in the process. The Rays center fielder has raised his average 30 points in the last ten games.
- Another Monday with a light schedule. With just four games on tap, make sure to have lineups adjusted accordingly.
- Ryan Dempster is coming off a rough outing where he walked six batters and gave up three runs in six innings. There were certainly problems with command and consistency along the way, but nothing that cannot be corrected. Chipper Jones is 10-for-38, and has the only real track record of any Atlanta starter.
- Derrek Lee has been on an incredible tear, after disappointing nearly everyone in the early part to the season. Better, Lee is 20-for-50 with three home runs and 16 RBI against Atlanta starter Javier Vazquez. Do not expect to see seldom-used Reed Johnson in the lineup at just 3-for-19, so Kosuke Fukudome owners should be fine. That becomes more apparent when you consider Milton Bradley is only 3-for-18.
- David Wright is 7-for-10 against Todd Wellemeyer. He is about it in terms of regulars that simply rake against the Cardinals starter, more because of the injuries that have harmed the Mets than anything else. Wellemeyer has given up six home runs in his last 18.1 innings of work, and posts an ERA of 5.16 on the road this season.
- Tim Redding likely gets half a look as a spot starter today, but more because of the lack of anyone else. Redding has had two decent outings in his last three. He has posted a 3.93 ERA for the month without a win to show for it. It is too early in the week for a reach like this, so there is no sense playing with fire in this one.
- Trevor Cahill has not allowed more than two earned runs in five of his last six starts, and has allowed three in nine of his last 10. Cahill pitched well against the Dodgers in his last time out, allowing only two unearned runs to score in five-plus innings of work. Three of his four walks in that outing were in the first inning. He settled down with command quickly.
- Jonathan Sanchez is 0-6 on the road with a 6.93 ERA in those outings. In June, Sanchez has been hit hard, going 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA. Opponents have hit .328 against him since the beginning of the month. Not something to hang your hat on here.
- Aaron Cook has enjoyed the month of June, posting three consecutive wins, and is now 4-2 in his last six starts. Cook is not a strikeout pitcher, and that tends to be more of a problem pitching in Colorado. He works to contact, but has had success in keeping the ball on the ground of late. In a pinch today, he can help you out if you are looking to get a jump on ERA this week.
- Matt Palmer has pitched well at home, going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts. Palmer has been a pleasant surprise, and the Rockies have struggled when hitting away from home. While the Rockies are 11th in runs scored on the road, they are 22nd in batting average.
- Spot Starts: Cahill, Palmer, Cook
- Joel Pineiro will take the mound tomorrow after leaving his last start with cramping in his legs. Pineiro has gone 0-3 in June, but has not allowed more than three runs in any of his three starts for the month. In fact, he is just 1-5 in his last six starts, but only once has he allowed more than three runs. He has pitched well against the Mets, including a win earlier this season.
- Need a catcher today? Josh Bard could get the start behind the plate for Washington against Brad Penny and Boston. Bard is 7-for-13 against the Boston right-hander. If you can avoid Adam Dunn, that would not be a bad thing. Dunn is 5-for-28 against Penny, but does have two home runs. Have to like Penny in this matchup, especially where his short-term future in Boston is more secure.
- Zack Greinke has given up 12 earned runs in his last 19 innings of work. Greinke has largely struggled since getting off to such a hot start. For the month of June, he is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA. Going to a hitter-friendly park is not likely the solution. Do not hesitate to start your Astros in this one against the Royals starter.
- Tampa Bay draws a soft throwing lefty in Jamie Moyer. The Rays are seventh in the league in terms of average against left-handed pitching, are fourth in home runs, and first in total runs. They play very well at home, and this could be a good matchup for most of their hitters. Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford are both must-starts.
- As hot as Miguel Cabrera has been to this point in the season, he is just 4-for-18 against Carlos Zambrano. Since returning from the DL, Zambrano has looked good in each of his last four outings. This season, he is 3-1 on the road with a 2.58 ERA in six starts. Even against Edwin Jackson, this is a good matchup to keep Zambrano active.
- Spot Starts: Penny, Ubaldo Jimenez, Koji Uehara