Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Watched: Power Lefty Night

There were three games that I wanted to watch tonight and all involved left handed power pitchers. CC Sabathia was making his first start for the Milwaukee Brewers against Colorado, Scott Kazmir was starting for the Tampa Bay Rays against the New York Yankees and Cole Hamels of the Phillies was facing the St. Louis Cardinals.

The story of the night, of course, was supposed to be CC Sabathia and he lived up to expectations. The crowd in Milwaukee was loud, the Brewers offense came out swinging (Ryan Braun hit a three run homer before the Rockies had recorded an out in the first inning) and Sabathia was pumping heat. He looked a little nervous, walking two batters in the first inning, but he was also getting his fastball up to 97 mph in the first frame. Sabathia's stuff seemed fantastic all night, but he was a bit wild - walking five men on the evening and piling up the pitch count as he worked in and out of trouble all night. The walks caught up with him in the sixth inning when the Rockies loaded the bases on an infield hit and two walks and then Yorvit Torrealba slashed a two-run double to right. Sabathia survived the inning without giving up another run and left the game with a 4-3 lead (only two runs were earned), having struck out five over his six innings of work. The Brewers tacked on some runs against the Rockies bullpen and won the game 7-3.

Scott Kazmir looked great to start the evening, as well. He struck out five of the first six hitters and seven of the first nine outs he recorded were by strikeout. Unfortunately, he also allowed a single and two doubles in the third inning resulting in two runs. Kazmir didn't manage his pitch count very well, which happens pretty often to strikeout pitchers. He only lasted five innings (97 pitches), striking out nine and giving up five hits and a walk. On the other side of the ledger was Andy Pettitte, who was dominant. He went 8 innings, giving up five hits and no runs and the Yankees took the win, 5-0.

Cole Hamels was also dominant, but, like Kasmir, he was outdueled on this evening. Hamels only gave up three hits over seven innings and struck out eight, but two of the three hits were solo home runs (Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick). Those were the only runs that the Cardinals needed to beat Hamels and the Phillies on this night as Joel Piniero pitched 6.1 shutout innings and Ron Villone, Kyle McClellan and Ryan Franklin were almost untoucheable in relief (Franklin allowed a base hit in the ninth - the only hit off of the St. Louis bullpen).

No comments: