pitching star GRANT BALFOUR was back on the hill today with a brief
contribution for the Tampa Bay Rays in their 2-5 loss to the Oakland
Athletics. Balfour pitched 0.1ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (7.94ERA) to record the final
out of the sixth inning in relief of Matt Garza with two runners aboard.
Balfour immediately loaded the bases with a six pitch walk issued to Mark
Ellis but he escaped the jam by overmatching Landon Powell who was left
looking at a 93mph cannonball.
In yesterday's 8-2 win by the Ray's over the A's BALFOUR pitched
1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k in relief of a brilliant start by lefty Scott Kazmir. 'Balf'
took good care of the bottom of the seventh by getting Matt Holliday to
ground out to the short stop, Jack Cust to fly out to centre field and Kury
Suzuki to ground out to the second baseman. It was a very neat 1-2-3 inning
with six strikes among only nine pitches!
MOYLAN picked up his second hold of the new season yesterday with a
strong 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 1k (9.00ERA) for the Atlanta Braves who topped the
Cincinnati Reds 4-3. Starting the bottom of the seventh,
Pete first took care of pinch hitter Darnell McDonald who grounded out to
the first baseman, then he struck out Willie Taveras with a wicked
curveball. He then lost a seven pitch battle with Chris Dickerson who walked
before making life interesting with his own error while trying to field Joey
Votto's infield squibber off a changeup. Moylan tidied up by getting Brandon
Phillips to fly out to the centre fielder.
pitching again yesterday was RICHARD THOMPSON who was the first man
summoned from the bullpen yesterday during his Los Angeles Angels' 3-8
defeat by the Seattle Mariners. Rich took over after starter Shane Loux was
shelled for eleven hits in four innings with four runs already scored in the
inning and the bases loaded with none out. Thompson cashed in one of Loux's
runs with a wild pitch, then he secured the first out when Franklin
Gutierrez grounded out to the first baseman. His day ended with another run
scored by Yuniesky Betancourt who lifted a sacrifice fly. Richard was
replaced by Daniel Davidson after pitching a pretty good 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k
(2.70ERA) under tough circumstances.
During this morning's televised game
featuring the Seattle Mariners, it was great to hear news that Australian
ROWLAND-SMITH is soon to be re-activated from the disabled list after
what was described as "fluid on the elbow". It was suggested that Ryan would
skip his next probable start in the Mariners' rotation, but it was
reassuring to learn that his injury was relatively minor.
NICK GREEN (IBLA Internationals 2001)
may have been one of the few to "miss the party" with 0-3 for the Boston Red
Sox in their wild 16-11 slugfest win over the New York Yankees, but he was
in the thick of the action yesterday. In this game he batted 2-4 (.333) with
a vital RBI to help the 'Bosox' to sink the 'Evil Empire' 5-4 in the
eleventh inning after an amazing ninth inning comeback.
Platoon catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) batted a mighty 2-4
(.375) with a RBI to help the Atlanta Braves to vanquish the Cincinnati Reds
MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) was close to perfection today
with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 3k (7.71ERA) for the Kansas City Royals in their 1-9
defeat at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. In his previous outing he
not escape unscathed with 0.2ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k in Kansas
City's 2-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Once again enjoying a fine
offensive game was Houston Astros' infielder
BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted 2-3 (.320) plus two walks in
their narrow 8-9 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.