Tale of two pitchers
Nobody tell 1-0 Phillies ace Wilson Valdez, but making a living hurling a baseball can be tough. Cases in point: Baltimore's Jake Arrieta and Kansas City's Luke Hochevar.
On Wednesday night, Arrieta allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out seven, and walked three but failed to post a perfect inning and got the hook after 106 pitches.
"He's fortunate to get through six innings. He worked himself into some trouble," O's manager Buck Showalter said.
By the way, Arrieta won the game and is now 6-2.
Showalter said his pitcher's outing was acceptable, but described the righthander as "kind of a victim of his potential to do even better." (That Buck, what a motivator!)
Hochevar, on the other hand, went seven innings, five of them perfect for the Royals. But his fourth inning went something like this: Double, single, RBI groundout. Walk, RBI double, wild pitch, run scored. Walk, RBI single, walk, RBI single, two-run single. Pop-out to shortstop, run scored on a throwing error on a fielder's choice, groundout.
Baltimore sent 13 batters to the plate in the eight-run fourth and then made it stand up for a 9-2 win, leaving Hochevar at 3-5. He had an explanation for us non-pitchers, though: "Everywhere I wanted to throw the ball, I just didn't throw it there." (Which kind of explains Valdez, too.)
That other streak
On the same night that Yankees closer Mariano Rivera became the first pitcher in major-league history to make 1,000 appearances with the same team, Toronto Blue Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes equaled another, more dubious mark: he notched his 28th consecutive start without a win, tying Matt Keough's achievement set way back in 1978-79 with the A's, and Cliff Curtis' streak with four teams (including the Phillies) in 1911-12.
Reyes, who went three innings, gave up five runs on five hits (two homers), and walked two in the 7-3 loss to New York on Wednesday, started his run in 2008, when he was with the Atlanta Braves. The lefty actually hasn't pitched badly every game - his teams have not always provided the run support. And though he has an ERA of 4.70 this season, the pitcher tied for the most wins in the majors (six) has a 4.57 ERA - yep, none other than that Jake Arrieta.
Hunter heats up
Though he went 0 for 3 on Thursday, the Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter seems to have found his groove: He has two homers in his last five games, after hitting just four in his first 47 outings, and eight RBIs - including three game-winners - in his last seven games.