Baseball Press presents "The 606", a look into the three most intriguing pitching matchups of the day, with a final prediction of the winning pitcher. You may be asking yourself "What exactly does The 606 mean? There's no major league baseball for that area code- it's in Eastern Kentucky!" BBP isn't listing players from Eastern Kentucky either. The 606 is short for 60 feet and 6 inches. If you still don't understand, I direct your attention to Official Rule 1.07 from Major League Baseball, referring to the distance from the pitching mound to home plate. Now that we've got that squared away, let's take a look at some pitching matchups for Friday, April 23rd.
The 606 had a couple of solid outings yesterday, along with a disaster from former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, who had problems keeping the bases clear against the Rays. He'll need to make some serious adjustments to rebound this season.
Today in the 606, we have some hot-starting young National League hurlers, a pair of American League righties coming off of strong outings, and a couple of AL guys looking to get their season on track after some early season struggles. It all adds up to a good mixed bag to kick-start the weekend, certainly.
Win: Ubaldo Jimenez (7.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0.95 WHIP)
Loss: Jake Peavy (4.1 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 7 BB, 5 K, 3.23 WHIP)
Loss: CC Sabathia (8 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 1.25 WHIP)
The 606 Season-To-Date Record (W-L-ND): 19-17-16, 3.69 ERA (137 ER in 334 IP)
LHP Jaime Garcia - STL (1-0, 0.69 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum - SF (3-0, 0.90 ERA)
Young lefty Jaime Garcia overcame injury early in his career and made the St. Louis pitching rotation in 2010, and he's surprised by showing good success in his first two starts of the season. Garcia has allowed just 1 run in 13 innings, and his last start saw him allow just one hit and a pair of walks in 7 innings against the Mets. The 23 year-old has never faced the Giants in his young career, and he faces a tough draw against the reigning Cy Young winner, but if he can continue his hot start the Cardinal bats might help him scrape out a victory.
There were some concerns about Tim Lincecum entering 2010, mainly because he had struggled so mightily in spring training. There's no concern anymore, as Lincecum has been nothing but completely dominant this season, with 24 strikeouts, just 3 walks, and just 2 runs allowed through his first 3 starts (20 innings). Tiny Tim has dominated the Cardinals in his career, winning all 4 starts against them while striking out 29 in 28 innings and posting a 1.61 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Matt Holliday is 9 for 29 lifetime against him (.310 average), but there's little reason to think that Lincecum can't advance to 4-0 this season with a strong start against the Cards.
Final Prediction: Tim Lincecum
RHP A.J. Burnett - NYY (2-0, 2.37 ERA) vs. RHP Ervin Santana - LAA (1-2, 4.35 ERA)
A.J. Burnett is off to a fast start in 2010, and is fresh off 7 shutout innings in a victory against the Texas Rangers, where he struck out 7. In 6 career starts against the Angels, Burnett has a 2-2 record and a 4.43 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Against the current group of Angels hitter, Burnett has had a particularly difficult time with outfielder Bobby Abreu, who is 20 for 64 (.313) lifetime with 6 doubles, 1 home run, 11 RBI and 12 walks against him. He'll look to continue his winning ways in 2010.
Ervin Santana got off to a rough start in 2010, allowing 9 ER in his first 11.2 innings. This came after a very disappointing 2009 season that saw Santana go 8-8 with a 5.03 ERA, a big drop from his 16-win, 214 strikeout season back in 2008. However, Santana appears to be back on track for at least one game, as he posted a complete game against Toronto in his last outing, allowing just 1 ER, 4 hits, and no walks while striking out 6. He has a 5-3 record with a 5.50 ERA and 1.57 WHIP against the Yankees in his career, and has been knocked around by the current group of Yanks (12 homers in a combined 178 at-bats), so this could prove to be a tough matchup, even if he brings his best. Derek Jeter has been particularly troublesome for Santana over the years, posting a .444 average (12 for 27) with 3 home runs.
Final Prediction: A.J. Burnett
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith - SEA (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd - CWS (0-2, 9.00 ERA)
The "Hurling Hyphen" will make his fourth start of the season Friday, hoping to notch his first win of the year. Rowland-Smith had a strong outing his last time out, allowing just 2 earned runs and 4 hits (3 walks) in 6 innings against Detroit, but failed to get a decision either way there. He's had good career success against the White Sox, allowing just 1 run in 8 innings for a win in his one career start against them. He'll look to build on that success with a win on Friday.
Gavin Floyd's 2009 season (11-11, 4.06 ERA) seemed a result of bad luck and early season stumbles, but his 2010 has been pretty dreadful thus far. This season, Floyd is 0-2 in three starts, his latest being a 1 inning, 7-run disaster against Cleveland. He'll look to snap back from that and reclaim his prior form on Friday against the Mariners, a team he's struggled against throughout most of his career. In 8 career games (6 starts, 31.1 total innings) against Seattle, Floyd is 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Lopez have been particularly difficult for Floyd, as they're a combined 14 for 31 (.451) lifetime against the lefty. He'll have a tough task ahead of him as he searches for win number one this year.
Final Prediction: Ryan Rowland-Smith