Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Interleague Break

The next time you want to complain about having to play the Yankees 6 times while the Marlins play Tampa Bay for six, consider this: The A.L. West plays the N.L. East this season, yet somehow the Mets avoid the first place Texas Rangers, instead getting three extra home games against the Houston Astros, who are a healthy 5-22 on the road this season. The rest of the N.L. East are on Texas' docket over the next two weeks.

Tuesday: Roy Oswalt (6-6, 3.06 ERA) vs. Pedro Martinez (6-1, 2.62 ERA)

This has the potential of being one of the classic pitching duels of the season, along the lines of the Pedro/Smoltz matchup from April. Curiously, Willie Randolph flip-flopped Martinez and Victor Zambrano in the rotation, giving away an opportunity to give Martinez an extra day's rest. It should mean that Pedro's feeling good, and it also helps to neutralize the Oswalt effect.

Who's your daddy, Pedro? In this case it's yet another middle infielder. Craig Biggio is batting a career .364 with an OPS of 1.081 lifetime against Martinez.

Wednesday: Brandon Backe (5-3, 4.54 ERA) vs. Victor Zambrano (3-5, 4.24 ERA)

Another matchup where the lineups are generally unfamiliar with these pitchers. Zambrano, who pitch on an extra couple of day's rest, has been very good lately...and he's coming off his best start of the season, an 8+ inning masterpiece against Arizona on June first. Backe's last appearance was on June 4th, a relief stint of 2 innings as Wandy (Wandy?) Rodriguez got torched.

Thursday: Andy Pettite (3-6, 3.47 ERA) vs. Tom Glavine (4-5, 4.63 ERA)

Another interesting matchup. Pettitte's home/road splits are strange. His opponents batting average at home is .233, and .293 on the road. But his ERA is .60 runs lower on the road. For Glavine, it's another chance to put the last 2 years and one month behind him as he's looking for his 6th good start in a row. Hopefully, there will be no hint of precipitation in the air, the infield is perfectly manicured, theh temperature will not be too hot or too cold, Questec malfunctions, and the stars will be aligned for Tom Glavine.

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