Yaziel Puig currently has singlehandedly been breathing life in to the lethargic Dodgers. He has been on a batting tear. The Diamondbacks pitcher singled him out, threw at him and he was hit in the nose. Fortunately, a tragedy did not result, but a brawl erupted.
Both teams are back at it today at 6 PM CT. Mark Buehrle (11-9) will take the ball from Ozzie Guillen and look to improve upon his stellar 3.74 ERA on the season. The lefty has struggled recently however going 0-3 with an 11.74 ERA over his last three starts.
With a 6-5 setback to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field keyed by three RBI each from Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez, the Indians ended the season 69-92 to finish 9-9 against Chicago.
Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham is expected to improve on his rookie year and second year numbers. Catcher A. J. Pierzynski handles the pitching staff well with veteran leadership but also is consistent at the plate, often coming through in the clutch. Young catcher Tyler Flowers may start to press Pierzynski for playing time this season.
Jason Frasor is a graduate from Oak Forest High School and pitched for Southern Illinois University. His record this year is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.98, 37 strikeouts and 10 holds. Stewart was sent to the minors. Frasor will definately be an added bonus to the bullpen that already has sale jerseys, Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos.
Notes — Milton Bradley’s home run in the third inning landed just in front of me. I was surprised to see Matt Murton batting clean up for the Rockies.
One of the tactics is a “brush back pitch”. This tactic is usually used to move a potentially dangerous hitter away from the plate and instill a little fear while he is at bat. causing him to think and perhaps, hesitate.