Miguel Cabrera drove in seven runs, homering twice and doubling in a run as part of a five-run fifth, and Jeremy Bonderman, staked to an early 6-1 lead, poured nothing but fastballs past an emaciated Creepers lineup as the surging (48-40) Moabs gave their bullpen the night off and moved within three and a half games of first in the tightening East race.
Bonderman (7-4, 2.85) has pitched his best ball after a 1-4 April and May, going 6-0 in his 11 starts to move among the leaders in several BARB pitching categories, including ERA (third in the league), strikeouts (fourth) and batting average against (sixth). Cabrera, meanwhile, is in the middle of a hot streak, hitting 27-for-84 in his last 18 games to raise his season average to .292.

Pottsylvania, meanwhile, fielded a lineup that was minus C Ramon Hernandez, CF Jim Edmonds, 3B Aramis Ramirez and 1B Lyle Overbay, all on the disabled list. "What BARB club could possibly sustain that many losses to their projected lineup and remain in contention?" asked BARB Commissioner Scott Hatfield rhetorically. Certainly, the whole process was made tougher by another rough outing by veteran Mike Mussina (2-6, 4.65). The Creepers are going to have to move to a younger club next season, as Mussina, David Wells and Randy Johnson's average age is 41 years, 8 months...
In other BARB action:
WP: John Smoltz (5-5, 3.00)
LP: Kevin Millwood (5-6, 4.27)

Aaron Rowand snapped a 1-1 tie in the seventh with a sac fly and Carlos Guillen later added run-scoring singles in the seventh and eighth as the Finches batted around against the Ballers bullpen to take an 8-1 lead into the ninth. The Finches would go on to win, but (rather ominously) banished starter Jose Contreras again struggled in a relief outing, giving up three runs in the ninth.

WP: John Lackey (7-9, 3.80)
LP: Ted Lilly (4-7, 5.63)

Torii Hunter hit two of the Rockets’ four long balls in this contest and John Lackey took a 6-0 lead into the seventh before needing some relief help, as the visiting Rockets jumped all over the host Anomalies in Black Mesa. After beginning the season 1-5 with a 5.85 ERA, Lackey has turned it up, going 6-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts which includes 4 complete games and a pair of shutouts.

WP: Gil Meche (3-4, 5.90)
LP: Brad Penny (5-8, 3.35)

Hard-luck pitcher Brad Penny has been a victim of poor run support frequently this season, but this one was all his fault: Penny and three relievers combined to surrender a season-high 18 hits to the host Eliminators to take an 8-3 lead after five innings, more than enough for an ordinary (11 hits allowed) Gil Meche to win another spot start. Penny has lost six games in which he allowed two or less earned runs, including complete-game losses to Brooklyn and Arizona-–owch!
WP: Brandon Webb (10-3, 2.29)
LP: C.C. Sabathia (10-6, 3.20)
SV: Villareal (3)

Brandon Webb not only joined the short list of BARB starters with wins in double figures, he lowered his ERA to a league-leading 2.29 among all starters in edging Yuma ace C.C. Sabathia, who competed well but gave up a two-run shot to D-Backs 3B David Wright in the first, and Arizona, playing at home, never looked back. The D-Backs have won eight of their last ten games to move back into the West race, six games out.
WP: Ben Sheets (6-5, 4.58)
LP: Alan Embree (1-3, 5.91)

Miscast as a starter, Alan Embree was again punished, paying the price for the injury woes that have crippled the Boom Sticks rotation and forced erstwhile relievers into starting roles. This time, it was Ben Sheets who benefitted, going the distance on just 91 pitches and backed by a big homer from Albert Pujols, his BARB-leading 31st shot of the season.

No comments: