Baseball is a strange game, as often times what you expect turns out the exact opposite.
Take the last two days, for instance.
Sidney Ponson, who has not posted an ERA under 5.30 in any season after 2003, pitched effectively for the New York Yankees Friday night, as the Bombers salvaged the second game of their doubleheader with the Mets.
Though Ponson ran into bases-loaded jams twice in the early innings, he was able to give the Yanks shutout ball for six innings in a 9-0 romp over Pedro Martinez and the Mets.
Ponson, released by the Texas Rangers earlier in the year, is surprisingly 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA in 2008. Pedro Martinez? The former three-time Cy Young winner, battling arm trouble in recent seasons, is only 2-2 with an ERA over 7.00.
Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre, it was another seemingly pitching mismatch with the Braves' Tim Hudson taking on the Blue Jays' John Parrish.
Hudson, who debuted in 1999, is approaching 150 victories (he is seven away) and is a two-time All-Star. Parrish, on the other hand, has started only 10 games in the big leagues since his 2000 debut, and is only 12-12 in his career.
In fact, Parrish hadn't started a game in the big leagues since 2004, and his other nine starts came in 2000-01. His record as a starter: 2-6 with an ERA approaching 7.00.
Parrish was only starting for Toronto because of an injury to Shaun Marcum, one of the Jays' best starters so far this season.
Yet it was Parrish who outpitched Hudson, and the Blue Jays have a 6-1 lead with the game still in progress.
Hudson allowed homers to Vernon Wells and Rod Barajas, while Parrish surrendered just four hits in six innings before turning things over to the bullpen.
Who would have thunk it: Parrish and Ponson getting the job done?
Baseball, a game of twists indeed.
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