Arizona----Eric Byrnes must like the Southwest, because he seems to do his greatest damage against a couple of Arizona clubs, including the D-Backs, when he tied a franchise record by clubbing three home runs against Arizona pitching, all solo shots, including one to trigger an eight-run seventh against the sagging D-Backs pen, en route to a 16-2 thrashing of the Western Division contender in front of their home audience.

Byrnes gave teammate Joe Blanton (4-2, 3.53) an early lead with a solo shot with one out in the top of the first, but D-Backs starter Cole Hamels (2-2, 6.04) was stingy after that, allowing only two more hits in the next four frames. But, in the sixth, with Byrnes leading off, the roof fell in. Oakeyland’s left fielder hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left for his second circuit shot of the contest, and this seemed to finally unnerve Hamels, who loaded the bases with two outs and then hung an 0-1 curve to Nick Swisher, who CRUSHED it, over the wall in left-center, a grand slam.

That was all for Hamels, but not all for the Ballers, who sent a season-high 12 men to the plate in the seventh as Byrnes homered AGAIN, Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis hit run-scoring singles and Orlando Cabrera and Jorge Posada both took D-Backs relievers deep. The laugher pulled the Ballers within two games of .500 and four-and-a-half games of division-leading Las Vegas.

In other BARB action:

LAS VEGAS 2, BLACK MESA 1 (11 innings)
WP: A.J. Burnett (3-4, 3.67)
LP: John Maine (3-6, 4.62)
SV: Rivera (13)

A.J. Burnett pitched into the tenth, and Jimmy Rollins scored on a wild pitch from John Maine in the top of the eleventh as the Luchadores held on to win a battle of the bullpens, maintaining their Central Division lead.

WP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 6.35)
LP: Jeremy Sowers (6-4, 4.68)
SV: Neshek (1)
In something of a 'showcase series', Central League import 'Dice-K' got his first (and perhaps only?) start in a Squirrels uniform. Despite some disappointing outings and a fat ERA, Matsuzaka showed his potential in this game, taking a shutout into the seventh and getting lots of help from Albert Pujols, who homered twice to raise his total to 18 round-trippers, second in the league to Darwin's David Ortiz.
DARWIN 11, BROOKLYN 4 (1st game of DH)
WP: John Smoltz (1-3, 3.84)
LP: Chien-Ming-Wang (0-3, 5.08)

DARWIN 3, BROOKLYN 1 (2nd game of DH)
WP: Scott Kazmir (5-4, 3.71)
LP: Zach Duke (2-6, 3.64)
SV: Hoffman (14)

Billy Hall drove in five runs, homering with a man aboard in the fourth and then lashing a bases-loaded triple to key an eight-run sixth to give John Smoltz (who actually did not pitch that well) his first win of the season in the opener of a twinight doubleheader in Brooklyn. In the nightcap, Scott Kazmir scattered five hits in eight-plus innings, Aaron Rowand hit a sac fly and an RBI double, and Trevor Hoffman stranded Chase Utley at third in the ninth for his BARB-leading 14th save.

WP: John Lackey (3-7, 4.99)
LP: Noah Lowry (4-4, 4.17)

John Lackey overcame an early error by Rockets IF Freddie Sanchez, twirling a four-hitter, while batterymate Jason Varitek hit a two-run double off a tiring Noah Lowry to send the Creepers to yet another close loss, their BARB-worst 35th of the season. In a typical play, Matt Murton doubled with the bases loaded but C Ramon Hernandez was thrown out in an ill-advised attempt to score from first on the play.

WP: Scott Shields (3-0, 2.81)
LP: Javier Vazquez (3-3, 4.23)

Making a spot start, Scott Shields would need little help after the fifth as the Firebirds banged out 13 hits, four by 2B Brian Roberts, off the exhausted Boom Sticks pitching staff, who were not helped by a pair of Dan Uggla fielding gaffes. The injury-plagued S-Mart staff can’t get healthy soon enough: with Schmidt, Robertson and Rogers all out, the club's overworked pen can't keep the Boom Sticks in games.


ejcMOABS said...

Last season's AL CY Young runner up??? Chien-Ming-Wang (0-3, 5.08, what has happened?

Andrew Haynes said...

Frankly, that doesn't surprise me. Soft-tossers just don't do too well in BARB. Look at Jamie Moyer for me in BARB 2004: 2-7, 6.57 in 18 starts. Gave up 125 hits in 89 innings. His 2003 MLB stats? 21-7, 3.27, 199 hits in 215 innings.

The big surprise for me is Pottsylvania's lack of success. They have the worst record in BARB after making the playoffs last year? Wow.

Matt Caskey said...

Or what about Worcester? best record in BARB and did not make the playoffs last year.

Andrew Haynes said...

Sorry, Matt, your team doesn't surprise me too much. Everyone knew you had a great team, so this is expected.

And I suppose the "playoffs to bad team" thing has happened before, with Black Delta making the playoffs in 2003 and 2004 and having a terrible season in 2005.