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Padres Fan

Ian Kennedy posted by Padres Fan

Born December 19, 1984, Ian Kennedy plays MLB for San Diego Padres as their pitcher. Kennedy throws five types of pitches, including two-seam and four-seam fastballs at around 90 to 95 mph, a knuckle-curve at around 75 to 78 mph, a Vulcan changeup that is above average, and a cutter at around 85 mph. Kennedy started playing baseball in school and he was awarded many "valuable player" awards. In college, he played for University of Southern California and again received several awards and broke school records.

Kennedy started his professional baseball career in 2006, when he was drafted in the first round by the New York Yankees. He pitched for New York Penn League's team, Staten Island Yankees for 2.2 innings. In 2007, he played 63 innings for Tampa Yankees of Florida State League and posted record of 6-1, 1.29 ERA, and struck out 72. This earned him a promotion to Trenton Thunder, Double-A team of the Eastern League, where his record was 5-1, ERA was 2.59, and he struck out 57.

In September 2007, Kennedy made his debut in MLB, playing for the Yankees as a replacement for Mike Mussina. In seven innings, he struck out six, and allowed three runs and five hits. In December 2009, Kennedy was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and started with two scoreless innings for his new team. However, in April he had his first victory playing 8 innings, where he struck out six, and allowed six hits and four runs. In August, while pitching against the San Diego Padres, Kennedy struck out 12 and allowed only a single hit, which is his career best. In July 2013, Kennedy was traded to the San Diego Padres, and was immediately included in the rotation of the team. In 2014, Kennedy made his 200th strikeout, which made him the fourth pitcher of the Padres to reach this record.

Continue reading "Ian Kennedy"


David

A baseball read to hold you over until Opening Day posted by David

If you’re looking for a baseball book that will keep you entertained until Opening Day, check out Dirk Hayhurst’s The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran.  The book details Hayhurst’s 2007 season at three different levels of the minors.  He describes long bus rides, living with host families, Kangaroo Court, and battling the urge to give up on a dream.  It’s an honest story about the arduous journey it takes so many ballplayers to reach their ultimate goal, knowing they may never achieve it.

Hayhurst has since made it to the majors, pitching in 25 games, making three starts, and compiling a 0-2 record and a 5.72 ERA for the Padres and Blue Jays.  The Kent State University graduate’s book received rave reviews from Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, Tom Verducci and Tim Kurkjian, and made The New York Times Bestseller list.

Hayhurst also played for my hometown’s college summer league team, the Bethesda Big Train, back in 2001.  After missing all of 2010 with a shoulder injury, he signed a minor league contract with the Rays and will hope to spend this season in Tampa Bay.  Dirk Hayhurst, best of luck.

A big step in my career

After spending last season working for the Toledo Mud Hens, I’ll start a new job next month in the Research Department at MLB Network.  I’m thrilled for the opportunity to work with baseball people who love the game as much as I do.  The researchers support the on-air personalities by providing statistical and analytical information for each broadcast.  In addition to Bob Costas and Peter Gammons, MLB Network on-air personalities include retired ballplayers Sean Casey, Bill Ripken, Al Leiter, Kevin Millar, Harold Reynolds, and John Smoltz.  Since I’ll be living so close to New York City, hopefully I’ll make it to Citi Field and New Yankee Stadium this year for the first time.

Continue reading "A baseball read to hold you over until Opening Day"


David

Trevor Time calls it a day posted by David

Trevor Hoffman, Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader, announced his retirement this week after an illustrious 18-year big league career.  The seven-time All-Star finishes his career with 601 saves, a 61-75 record, a 2.87 ERA, and 1,133 strikeouts.  In 1089.1 innings pitched – spanning 1035 games – he surrendered exactly 100 home runs.  Hoffman spent the bulk of his career with the Padres, with whom he won four division titles and one National League pennant.


Hoffman was drafted as a position player, but after hitting .249 and .212 in his first two seasons in the low levels of the minors, the Reds turned him into a pitcher.  Hoffman found immediate success on the mound, going on to become a dominant closer for nearly two decades, but Cincinnati lost him to the Marlins in the 1992 Expansion Draft.  After half a season in the majors, he was traded to San Diego in a deal that sent Gary Sheffield to Florida.  Hoffman would spend the next 15 and a half seasons in a Padres uniform.


Hoffman’s best season came in 1998, when he recorded 53 saves (at the time, tied for second in a season), boasted an ERA of just 1.48 and a WHIP of 0.85, and allowed only two home runs.  In 73 innings, Hoffman struck out 86 batters while walking 21.  That same year, he came in second in Cy Young Award voting despite receiving more first-place votes (13) than the winner, Tom Glavine (11).  In an MVP race that saw sluggers Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire finish first and second, Hoffman came in

Continue reading "Trevor Time calls it a day"


David

Another Triple Crown candidate storms to the top posted by David

Albert Pujols and Joey Votto have been battling each other all year, but Carlos Gonzalez has leap-frogged the front-runners in the Triple Crown race.  Gonzalez leads the National League in hitting (.337), is tied with Votto for the league lead with 100 Runs Batted In, and with 32 home runs is just five back of Pujols, two behind Adam Dunn, and tied with Votto and Mark Reynolds.  While he may have the best shot at the Triple Crown, I suspect Gonzalez’s home-road splits (.387/.435/.783 at Coors Field, .288/.310/.450 on the road) will keep the voters from naming him the NL MVP.

How 'bout that?

How about Joakim Soria?  The Mexicutioner has very quietly put together an outstanding season in Kansas City – a 1.71 ERA, 37 saves, and 63 strikeouts compared to just 14 walks.  The Royals’ closer allowed zero runs in the entire month of August (12 innings, 12 strikeouts, eight hits, and two walks) and has continued his scoreless streak through the first week of September.  Though Mariano Rivera is having one of his finest seasons at the age of 40, Soria has been the best closer in baseball this year.

How about Nelson Cruz?  Three trips to the Disabled List have kept him from putting together an MVP-caliber season, but the guy can flat out hit the ball, and despite his size (6’2”, 240), Cruz can run pretty well too – he’s racked up 15 stolen bases to go with his .313 batting average, 17 home runs, and .567 slugging percentage.  If anybody likes playing at Rangers ballpark, it’s Cruz, whose line at home is a robust .359/.414/.660 – a sure way to become a hometown favorite.

Continue reading "Another Triple Crown candidate storms to the top"


David

Will Chipper hang 'em up? posted by David

Chipper Jones is out for the year with a torn ACL, but let’s hope this isn’t it for the man who has played his entire major league career for manager Bobby Cox.  Chipper has made it known since last season that retirement could be around the corner, but like Baseball Tonight’s Eduardo Perez, I don’t see Chipper calling it quits now that his season has ended unexpectedly.  He wants to go out on his own terms, and these aren’t them.  At 38, his career is nearing the end, but I find it hard to believe that he will be able to say good-bye after watching from the bench as his team battles for the National League crown.

If he’s truly done, Chipper’s numbers speak for themselves: a .306 career batting average and .405 On-Base Percentage, 436 home runs, 147 stolen bases, 2,490 hits, two Silver Sluggers and an MVP award.  The six-time All-Star won a batting title at the age of 36, hitting a staggering .364 to edge Albert Pujols, who hit .357.  He is also tied for the most home runs in a season by a switch-hitter (45 in 1999; Lance Berkman accomplished the feat in 2006).  A little known fact about Chipper is that he and Paul Waner hold the Major League record for most consecutive games with an extra-base hit (14).  Chipper will join Waner in Cooperstown as soon as he is eligible.

How ‘bout that?

How about Jered Weaver?  The 27-year-old righty leads the majors with 182 strikeouts and is having his best season (11-7, 2.87 Earned Run Average) since his rookie year (2006), when he went 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA.  Since the All-Star break, Weaver has been even better, posting a 1.93 ERA, limiting opponents to a .204 batting average, and averaging seven innings per outing over six starts.  With the Rangers playing so well in the AL West, the Angels are unlikely to win the division for the fourth straight year and may even finish under .500 for the first time since 2003, but they have to be pleased with how their ace has pitched this season.

Continue reading "Will Chipper hang 'em up?"


Michael McGauley

"Time for the Giants to Focus on the Rockies and Not Wednesday's Disaster" posted by Michael McGauley

Okay Giants' fans, it's time to get over Wednesday's loss, and get ready for the Rockies Friday night. Hey, I can be just as greedy as anyone, especially when it comes to a potential three-game sweep of the defending N.L. Champion Phillies. Everything was looking good: Lincecum on the mound, a three-run lead in the top of the 9th, and Brian Wilson getting loose in the pen should Timmy run out of gas. Then, with one out, a four-pitch walk to Shane Victorino, Bochy yanks Lincecum after 106 pitches, and Wilson cannot close the door. Jayson Werth's bases-clearing bloop double down the right field line tied the game at 4-4. In my opinion, total fluke! Wilson had not allowed a single run all season, and actually retired the first batter he faced. There were two outs before Utley singled and Howard walked to load the bases. Listen, if Wilson had finished off the game as he usually does, we wouldn't be having this endless discussion about Bochy's ill-fated pitching change. If he had left Timmy finish the game and he blew it, the same people would be criticizing Bochy FOR NOT making a move. It's really an impossible position for the skipper. I don't mind seeing Lincecum throw 120 pitches, but you have to figure it will make a difference later in the season once he exceeds the 200-inning plateau. If Bochy can save him, and limit the pitch count here and there, it could keep him fresher into September, and that's really the big picture. Don't pound your horses into the ground in April. Yes, it would have been nice to see the complete game, but IT IS Wilson's job to slam the door, and Wednesday just wasn't his day.

Continue reading ""Time for the Giants to Focus on ..."


Jeff Lewis

The Chicago cubs 2010 posted by Jeff Lewis

    After two consecutive years of winning the National League Central Division, the Chicago Cubs watched their hated rivals the St. Louis Cardinals win it. In order for this not happen again, the Cubs have some concerns they have to address in order to get back to their winning ways.

    First, they have to get rid of Milton Bradley. This guy was a cancer on and off the field. He was quoted saying that he does not like the Cubs fans. I am here to tell you that the feeling is mutual. The Cubs general manager, Jim Hendry, needs to get this guy off this team no matter how. If that involves eating majority of his contract in a trade, then that's the way it needs to be done. There have been a few teams mentioned in trade talks for Bradley. The Tampa Bay Rays, the San Diego Padres, and the team that keeps getting mentioned the most the Texas Rangers. It doesn't matter what team the Cubs get the deal done with, as long as this guy is off the team come next year.

    Second, the Cubs need a lead-off hitter and center-fielder. These two go together, because the Cubs can fill both of these holes with one player. Coco Crisp. Crisp is a great player. He has speed, he is a descent outfielder, and he can hit. He did have a down year last year, but he played for the Kansas City Royals. Put a good team behind Coco he will shine! Look what he did in Boston an few years ago. There have been rumors that the Cubs are in the Curtis Garnderson sweepstakes. Grandy would be a good fit with the Cubs, and probably benefit from the National League style of play. The one downside to getting Garndy is that he can't hit left-handed pitchers. So the Cubs would have to find someone to platoon with Grandy in center when they are facing a lefty. With the Cubs payroll, I don't see that happening. Crisp should be Hendry's guy, but we will see what happens.

Continue reading "The Chicago cubs 2010"


Michael McGauley

"Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for Giants' Offensive Struggles" posted by Michael McGauley

  

  Do we really blame Carney Lansford for a bunch of over-anxious, free-swinging hitters?  The stats certainly don't lie.  Only the Padres, Pirates, and Astros scored fewer runs than the Giants' 657 runs in 2009.  San Francisco's 122 home runs was second-to-last in the N.L., behind only the Mets, who stroked just 95 homers with a half-injured team in their brand-new, spacious Citi Field. Walks: 392 for the Giants was dead last in the league (the Rockies had 660 walks to lead the league). And that leads us to on-base percentage; where the Giants ranked last at .309!  That is just dismal, anemic, pitiful....any other good adjectives to throw in there?

  Bottom line, this has been a consistent problem for the Giants for several years now. They never really replaced Bonds and Kent - the last time they had a legitimate three-four combination in the batting order.  Yes, they've built up the pitching big time. Yes, Pablo Sandoval can rake. But that's not enough -- we need two or three more hitters like Pablo. Hey, you've got to give up something to get something, and the time is now to part with a starting pitcher, and acquire a bat. It's not the most desirable scenario, but consider the lack of available sticks in free agency. In addition, they will have to invest some money to keep the young guys happy (Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson are due for BIG raises, and I say, give them whatever they want!).

  Back to Lansford, I don't blame him. He won a batting title (1981 with Boston), and knows how to hit. That doesn't always translate into being able to teach others how to do the same however. Just to use a brief basketball analogy -- how good of a coach was Magic Johnson with the Lakers? Same idea, but on a smaller scale. Lansford is bright and knowledgeable, but without a couple of big thumpers, this line-up loaded with number two and number six hitters (besides Sandoval) is not going to get the job done. We all know this. The Giants know this. But for some reason, they felt like they had to make a statement with this firing. The rest of the staff was retained by the way, when it was officially announced that Bruce Bochy would be returning for two more years with a club option for a third year. Same goes for GM Brian Sabean.

Continue reading ""Carney Lansford the Scape Goat for ..."


Debbie Donner

Barmes' Unbelievable Catch - Was It Real? posted by Debbie Donner

Of course we all know by now that Barmes' unbelievable catch was just that. More of an acting job than catching. To his credit, he did make an outstanding defensive play, getting two outs off the pop-up by Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick, that would have otherwise tied the game.  Seeing this catch brought back bad memories from two years ago, when the Rockies beat the Padres in a tie-breaker game for a play-off spot, because of a bad call at home plate.  Did Holliday really touch home plate or not?  I think not, after they showed the play over and over again.  Those dang Rockies are always gettin' lucky.  I'm real close to rooting for the Dodgers in this last series coming up between them and the Rockies.  The bad call at home plate from two years ago just stings too much still.  So what do you think?  Should the MLB use instant-replay challenges like they do in the NFL? At least during post-season games? Hmmm.

The past two days were thoroughly enjoyable though, watching the Padres take both games against the Dodgers.  Another great finish by the Pads late-inning pitchers.  If they should end up losing Heath Bell to another team next season, Gregerson has my vote as the Padres' next closer.  Or Adams if he can stay healthy.  With Clayton Richard's one-hit shutout and Kouz's three-run shot, the Padres made sure the Dodgers are going to have to work for the NL West title.  I'm not sure what's been going on with the Dodgers lately, losing six of their last ten games.  They went so strong all season I think maybe they're spent.  Or maybe Manny's hair is just too long now.  I think it's getting in his way.  Vin Scully even noticed it last night too.  Maybe if Manny would cut his dreads it might change the bad mojo.  Just a thought.

Continue reading "Barmes' Unbelievable Catch - Was It Real?"


Debbie Donner

San Diego Padres - Lookin' Good! posted by Debbie Donner

Woohoo! Lovin' my Pads these days!  After taking three out of four games against the Pirates to win their fourth consecutive series, the Padres are headed to Colorado to hopefully continue their role as spoiler in the NL West.  What a difference from last season, when the Padres were hard-pressed to come back in a game, any time they were down by two or more runs.  This season, how many times have they been down by four, five, even six runs, and they fight back to win a game. I love it! 

 I am so proud of this 2009 San Diego team.  They started off strong at the beginning of the season, in spite of having several inexperienced youngsters on the team  They hit a long rough patch when they were suddenly inundated with injuries prior to the All-Star break, losing some key veteran players, and suddenly the San Diego Padres were more like the "San Diego Rookies."  But man, have these young players stepped up! I mean, obviously they are going to be eager to prove themselves, and I think they have done just that.  Cabrera, Venable, Headly, Blanks, Gwynn - they have been impressive.  And of course our remaining veterans have done no less - Gonzalez, Eckstein, Kouzmanoff.  Is Brian Giles still on the team?  JK, but seriously, we probably don't even need him now, so I'm wondering what will happen for him next season.

I am very excited about next season.  These Padres have shown a tremendous amount of heart as a team, especially during the second half.  And finally we seem to have a solid starting rotation of pitchers and a strong bullpen.  And our late relievers?  Adams, Gregerson, Thatcher (coming around this season), and closer Heath Bell?  Pitchers that I think other teams are not looking forward to facing these days.  So awesome.  If they can keep this group of players together, I think this could be at least, a division-winning ball club in another season or two.  go Pads!

Continue reading "San Diego Padres - Lookin' Good!"

San Diego Padres News

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Cardinals extend lead over Padres

St Louis Cardinals beat San Diego Padres 6-2 to move 2-0 ahead in the National League Division Series. [read full article]

From BBC Sport


The Walk Off: Chris Heisey lifts Nationals over Twins in the 16th (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about. Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was supposed to have the day off Sunday, but the Baseball Gods had other plans. Harper did not start the game, and only received one at-bat, but he played a key role in the Nationals 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] With his club down by one run in the ninth, Harper was called upon to work his magic. He would deliver. On the seventh pitch of his at-bat against Kevin Jepsen, Harper sent a game-tying solo home run into the seats in center. Harper, however, was replaced in the 10th inning by outfielder Chris Heisey. While normally that move would never pan out, baseball has a silly way of focusing in on those types of things. Harper was just warming up the crowd for Heisey's future theatrics.  In the bottom of the 16th inning, Heisey blasted a 79 mph slider from Michael Tonkin out to left center for a walk-off home run. Yes, the man who replaced Harper wound up winning the game for the Nationals. With the win, Washington is now 14-4 on the season. TOP PERFORMERS Paul Goldschmidt: The Diamondbacks may not have won Sunday, but it wasn't Goldschmidt's fault. He did everything in his power to help his club. Goldschmidt started things off by giving his team the lead with a solo home run in the first inning. With his club trailing by two in the ninth, Goldschmidt hit a game-tying two-run blast off Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mark Melancon. At that point, the Pirates no longer wanted to take their chances with the slugger. Goldschmidt was intentionally walked the next two times he came to the plate. That worked, as the Pirates managed to pull out the 12-10 win in a crazy game .  Steven Souza Jr.: Souza had plenty of success against New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda on Sunday. In the first inning, Souza tagged the big righty for a two-run shot, giving his team a 5-0 lead. He would pile on just a few innings later. In the fifth, Souza against went deep, this time adding a solo shot off Pineda. He finished two-for-four, with two runs scored and three RBI in the 8-1 victory. Jason Hammel: The Cubs may not have had one of their big three on the mound, but Jason Hammel came through. Hammel tossed six strong innings, giving up three hits and two walks during the scoreless outing. He struck out seven. Through four starts this season, Hammel is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA. That third win came during the Cubs 9-0 drubbing of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. [Elsewhere: Shelby Miller saw time in the outfield during Sunday's crazy game ] Jedd Gyorko: Gyorko found a way to get some payback against his former club during the St. Louis Cardinals' 8-5 win over the San Diego Padres. Gyorko went 3-for-5, with a single, triple and home run. He finished just a double shy of the cycle. MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT Heisey may have played the hero for Washington on Sunday, but none of it was possible with Harper's game-tying blast. And, let's face it, watching Bryce Harper destroys baseballs always makes for entertaining highlights. Harper only received one at-bat during his off day, but made it count in the biggest way. He's so locked in right now that you can't help but respect the performance. The 23-year-old is hitting .323/.405/.855 with nine home runs and just nine strikeouts(!) in 74 plate appearances.  THE SCOREBOARD Blue Jays 6, Athletics 3: Jose Bautista hit an early two-run shot, andthat was enough to propel Drew Hutchison to a win. Indians 6, Tigers 3: The Indians won, but Carlos Carrasco left early with a hamstring injury. Trevor Bauer came on in relief and managed to pick up the victory. Mets 3, Braves 2: Jacob deGrom wasn't dominant, but pitched well in his return. He allowed one run on eights hits in 5 2/3 innings during the win. deGrom struck out three and did not issue any walks.  Brewers 8, Phillies 5: Ryan Braun smacked his fifth home run of the season in the fourth inning. He also had a single during the contest. After being limited in the spring due to offseason surgery, Braun is hitting .364 through 74 plate appearances. White Sox 4, Rangers 1: Offseason reclamation project Mat Latos pitched another gem for Chicago. The righty lasted six innings, giving up just one run on seven hits. He struck out two and walked two during the outing. Latos now has a 0.74 ERA with his new club. Royals 6, Orioles 1: Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer each hit their second home runs of the season while Yordano Ventura gave the Royals seven strong innings during the win. Mariners 9, Angels 4: Kyle Seager's first inning home run padded the Mariners lead, while Leonys Martin and Seth Smith each added long balls of their own later to put the game out of reach. Marlins 5, Giants 4: J.T. Realmuto's eighth inning home run provided the go-ahead run for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton also homered earlier in the contest. Dodgers 12, Rockies 10: Jake McGee collapsed in the ninth, allowing five runs on five hits and one walk in just 2/3 of an inning. He received a blown save and a loss. Red Sox 7, Astros 5: A late Colby Rasmus home run couldn't save the Astros. Jackie Bradley Jr. managed a knock in a run in the 12th and Ryan Hanigan scored on a wild pitch, giving Boston the win. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Gyorko, Hazelbaker hit 3-run homers in Cardinals' 11-2 win (The Associated Press)

The St. Louis Cardinals put on quite a hitting display in what's supposed to be a pitchers' park. Rookie Aledmys Diaz had his first five-hit game, Jedd Gyorko and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit three-run homers and the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 11-2 on Saturday night. Diaz had a two-run double in the ninth, while Gyorko homered against his old team and Hazelbaker snapped an 0-for-17 slump. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Cardinals-Padres Preview (The Associated Press)

Wil Myers' hot hitting and St. Louis' continued cold spell at the plate was the right combination for the San Diego Padres to win their first matchup with the Cardinals this season. Myers went 3 for 3 with his fourth home run and a double while driving in three runs in a 4-1 victory Friday, his first game against St. Louis. The first baseman is batting .444 with a pair of homers and six RBIs in San Diego's 4-2 stretch while hitting mainly in the No. 2 spot. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The Walk Off: Cubs win again and are off to best start since '69 (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about. It's safe to say there's no early-season disappointment with the Chicago Cubs. And Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Reds just reinforced that. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] The Cubs won their fifth straight game, beating the Reds 8-1 to complete a three-game sweep. The Cubs have the same record as the score — 8-1, which is their best start since 1969. That year, the Cubs won 11 of 12 games to start the season. Things didn't end so well that season , of course, but that team didn't have Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.  Bryant hit his second homer of the season while Russell had three hits and scored two runs. Cubs starter Jason Hammel threw six scoreless innings too. Perhaps most impressive about these Cubs is just how forceful their wins have been. Their run differential is +43, by far the most in MLB. The Cardinals are +24 and nobody else is even in the 20s. Enjoy these additional factoids about the Cubs' early-season onslaught: Highest Run Differential - 1st 9 Games of Season In Modern Era 1999 Indians +44 1905Giants +43 2016 @Cubs +43 Via @EliasSports — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 15, 2016 The last @Cubs team to post a better run differential through 9 games played in 1885 … as the White Stockings. pic.twitter.com/7wYq1k5T4p — MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) April 15, 2016 The Cubs have a +43 run differential through 9 games. Last year, only 11 teams had a run differential that good over 162 games. — Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) April 15, 2016 These are all nice things. TOP PERFORMERS • Jaime Garcia: What's the best-possible scenario for the St. Louis Cardinals and starter Jaime Garcia? Exactly what happened Thursday. Garcia threw a one-hit shutout and struck out 13 as the Cards beat the Brewers 7-0 . He did it all in 104 pitches. • Vince Velasquez: Get this: Garcia's performance might not have even been the best of the day. Vince Velasquez, the 23-year-old Philadelphia Phillies starter, K'd 16 San Diego Padres while throwing a three-hitter that put him in the record books . The Phils won 3-0 and Velasquez went the distance, hitting 97 mph on his final pitch of the day.  Vince Velasquez, wow. He'd be the 5th-youngest pitcher to have a scoreless start of 14+ K, 0 BB behind Gooden, K. Wood, J. Fernandez, Blue. — Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) April 14, 2016 • Ian Kennedy:  We'll end this trifecta of pitchers with Kennedy, the new Kansas City Royals starter, who kept the Houston Astros offense quite most of the night. In fact, he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. All told, he gave up two hits and one run while striking out seven as the Royals beat the Astros 6-2 . MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT This is Bryce Harper's 100th career homer and his first career grand slam. Nice, both of them. He's also 23, so that's important to note. One more thing: This gave the Washington Nationals enough offense to beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-2 . The Braves, by the way, still haven't won a game this season. THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD •  Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 2 : Dodgers score five in the seventh, as Ross Stripling throws six innings in his second MLB start. • Detroit Tigers 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 4 : New Detroit Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann has yet to surrender a run with his new squad, including his Thursday start against the Pirates.  • Chicago White Sox 3, Minnesota Twins 1 : The Twins have still won as many games as you this MLB season. Nada. • Cleveland Indians 6, Tampa Bay Rays 0 : The Indians hit three homers and rough up Rays ace Chris Archer.  • Colorado Rockies 11, San Francisco Giants 6 : Matt Cain gave up the six runs in 4.2 innings, not getting out of Colorado's nine-run fifth inning. • Toronto Blue Jays 4, New York Yankees 2 : Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki homered, while Marcus Stroman went eight strong innings.  • Texas Rangers 6, Baltimore Orioles 3 : Rougned Odor lands the go-ahead double as the Rangers rally for five in the sixth inning to beat the O's. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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