Brad Penny- LAN- Hot- Penny ran his record to 3-0 and dropped his ERA to 0.89 by holding the Diamondbacks to 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings of work. Penny's WHIP of 1.23, while solid, is not as outstanding as his ERA and he has only recorded 6 Ks in 20-1/3 innings of work. He is posting a BB/9 rate of 3.54, significantly above the 2.57 he had in 2006. Penny's results seem to be arising from a vastly improved efficiency. Last year he averaged 17.13 pitches per inning. This year it has dropped to 14.46. This makes it look that, at this point, hitters are making contact early and balls are being hit at the fielders. With the underlying numbers, the likelihood is that Penny's production will head downward as the season progresses, as he is benefiting from some luck in the early going.
Jeff Francis- COL- Cold- Francis didn't have to worry about having to have another 111 pitch outing like he did in his previous start. He didn't last long enough to get near that number of pitches. In 5 innings of work, Francis was charged with 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks and didn't strike out anyone, not even Barry Zito. In the 3rd inning, the Giants batted around, scoring 5 runs. Zito led off and closed out the inning, grounding out both times up. This could be a case of Francis' last outing working him a bit too hard, despite him getting an extra day of rest.
Kevin Gregg- FLA- Cold- It wasn't a blown save, since there was no save opportunity when Gregg entered the tie game to start the bottom of the ninth. However, he didn't help his chances of going to the front of the Marlins' closer committee by failing to retire any of the four batters he faced. Gregg was tagged with the loss after walking the first two batters and then allowing back-to-back singles to end the game. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that it in no way impacts Gregg's chances to close games, but it can't improve them.
Chris Capuano- MIL- Hot- Despite falling one out short of a quality start, Capuano can feel good about yesterday's outing. The three runs he was charged with were unearned, coming in the sixth inning after a leadoff error. The miscue was followed by two hits. Capuano then retired two batters, but didn't have enough left to get the third out. Up to this point, only one batter had scored, but Luis Aquino allowed a base hit to score the other two. Capuano only allowed 2 other hits in the game and walked 1 while striking out 5 and running his record to 2-0. He only threw 94 pitches, so it looks like he was not extended far enough to have an impact on his next start.
Ian Snell- PIT- Hot- Snell's excellent pitching finally got him a win as the Pirates scored enough to get it for him. They didn't have to do much as he allowed just 1 run on 3 hits and 4 walks in 7 innings while striking out 6. It was close, though, as the Pittsburgh offense provided only 3 runs and the bullpen allowed 1 to make it a 3-2 final. Snell's 65 strikes in 97 pitches gave him an excellent ratio and reasonable workload.
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