So I’m off to an 0-3 start in the NFL after missing (badly) with the Saints over Jacksonville on Friday. Damn good thing it’s the
preseason and the games don’t count, right? (Hey, I figured if players and coaches can drop that cliché after shitty preseason performances, I might as well give it a shot.) Back to the diamond tonight for one of the more obvious plays in recent memory. Here you’ve got the Mariners, who have won five in a row (allowing just eight total runs), seven of eight overall and 12 of 13 at
home, hosting the Indians, who have lost five in a row (including getting swept in Oakland over the weekend), 18 of 22 overall and 15 of 16 on the road.
Based on those numbers alone, you’d figure Seattle would be at least a minus-150 favorite tonight. Instead, this is (somehow) a pick-em contest. Which of course means that Cleveland has a major edge in starting pitching tonight. Nope, the erratic Ubaldo Jimenez takes his 9-12 record, 5.62 ERA and 1.63 WHIP to the mound for the Tribe against Kevin Millwood, who has pitched much better (4.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) than his record (4-10) indicates. Moreover, Jimenez is 4-9 with a 7.54 ERA in 14 road starts, and those numbers have gotten worse of late. To wit: In five starts away from Cleveland since the All-Star break, Jimenez has surrendered a total of 32 runs (all earned) in 23 2/3 innings, good for a whopping 12.17 ERA.
Conversely, here are the stats from Millwood’s last eight home outings: no runs (on three hits) in six innings vs. Texas; no runs (on no hits) in six innings vs. the Dodgers; four runs (three earned) in five innings vs. San Francisco; one run in 2 2/3 innings vs. Oakland (left early with an injury); three runs in 6 2/3 innings vs. Texas; three runs in seven innings vs. Yankees; one run (unearned) in 6 1/3 innings vs. Kansas City; two runs in seven innings vs. Tampa Bay. Millwood’s ERA over this stretch: 2.31. One final bit of info for you: Indians relievers have a 4.83 ERA this season, including 5.82 on the road. Mariners relievers have a 3.24 ERA this season, including 2.24 at home.
Damn right I’m kicking off the week with a four-star selection.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Friday’s Result: Saints (-6½) vs. Jaguars (Loss)