Dave Busk Previews the Weekend's Top MLB Series
by Dave Busk - 8/28/2009
Once again we have some good series to preview that have some playoff implications on the line as we get closer in the stretch run for the division and the Wild Card playoff spots.
Colorado at San Francisco
These two teams just met last weekend with the Rockies taking three of four and now they lead the Giants by three games in the Wild Card chase. We get a great pitching matchup in Game 1 of the series with Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum squaring off before getting another rematch from last week in Game 2 with Jason Marquis facing Barry Zito, who walked six Rockies in his last start before his bullpen walked a additional seven. Sunday's matchup features Jason Hammel throwing for the Rockies. He has been very good on the road this year with a 2.88 ERA away from Colorado and he did make a start in San Francisco, pitching six innings of shutout ball. Matt Cain will be on the bump for the Giants and he is winless in his last six starts, but don't be fooled by that as Cain has been outstanding with a 2.72 ERA over that span and at home this year he is 6-2 with an ERA of 2.28. He has pitched seven innings in all eight off his starts since the all-star break and owns a 2-1 record with a 2.84 ERA in three starts vs. Colorado this year.
Tampa Bay at Detroit
This is a huge series for both teams here as the Tigers lead the White Sox by four games for the division and they could really put some distance between the Sox with Chicago in New York to play the Yankees. Tampa sits 3.5-games back of Boston for the wild card and they need to keep pace with Toronto in Boston for a weekend series. The Rays send Matt Garza to the hill in Game 1. He has been inconsistent this year and this start could be a challenge for him with a 0-3 record and a 4.94 ERA that includes an 0-1record and a 6.10 ERA in two starts in Detroit. The Tigers send a 20-year-old rookie Rick Porcello to the bump as the Tigers have been watching the young hurler's innings, so a pitch count here could be an issue. Game 2 sees young gun David Price, who has struggled with control and has had some problems on the road with a 0-4 record and a 8.07 ERA away from home. The Tigers give the ball to Nate Robertson after a two-month stint on the disabled list and after five rehab starts he looks ready with a 1-1 record and 1.89 ERA and he is also hitting 91 miles per hour on the radar gun. For Game 3 of the series Tampa has not named a starter yet but Justin Verlander will oppose whoever it is. In Game 4 of the series it looks like it will be Jamie Shields going for Tampa; Shields in two starts at Detroit has been good with a 1.13 ERA there and he will face Jarrod Washburn, who is coming off his first win for the Tigers. Washburn has a 12-3 record with a 2.59 ERA in 17 career starts vs. Tampa Bay.
Chicago White Sox at the New York Yankees
This is a huge series for Chicago after losing three of four at Boston and now they are four games off the division lead and it looks like the Wild Card will be the Sox only way into the postseason. They need to get their ace, Mark Buehrle, back on track as he hasn't won since throwing a perfect game on July 23 vs. Tampa. For his career against the Yankees he is 1-6 with a 6.84 ERA in nine starts. Buehrle will face Yankees ace C.C Sabathia, who beat the White Sox this year in Chicago but he didn't pitch well, giving up five runs on 10 hits in seven innings. In Game 2 the White Sox haven't listed a starter and may be calling up a minor leaguer but the Yankees will send in Sergio Mitre after he was skipped in his last start. He has a 6.04 ERA this year in six starts. In the third game the White Sox send Freddy Garcia to the bump as he is trying to make a comeback vs. Joba Chamberlain. In my opinion this guy will never live up to his billing as starter and is much better as a reliever.
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