MLB on Sling TV: Cardinals at Pirates and Dodgers at Giants on ESPN; regional action on Fox Sports Networks
St. Louis Cardinals (Leake 4-4, 4.22) at Pittsburgh Pirates (NIese 6-2, 3.93) 5pm ET on ESPN
After a rocky beginning to his Cardinals career during which his ERA ballooned to 6.03 over six starts, Mike Leake has seen that figure trend steadily downward over his last five starts. Part of the newfound success is a drop in his BABIP, but he’s also seen his SO/BB ratio spike from 2.4 over the first six games to 4 over the next five games. He most recently held the Brewers to 2 runs over 6 innings, during which he K’ed 4 and walked just 1.
Not unlike Lamb, Niese’s first six starts with his new team were well short of awesome, but over his last five starts he’s been pretty darn good. Niese’s ERA hit 5.94 after he’d given up 6 runs in just 5 innings against the Cubs, but since then has been just 2.64, thanks in large part to a jump in his SO/BB ratio, from 1.79 in the first “half” to 2.75 in the second. What hasn’t changed is Niese’s newfound love of the wild pitch, as he continues to uncork them at a league-leading pace, with his total of 6 already matching his career high, which was originally achieved with the benefit of an additional 126 ⅓ innings.
Los Angeles Dodgers (Urias 0-1, 6.94) at San Francisco Giants (Peavy 2-6, 6.41) 8:30pm on ESPN
At just 19, Jose Urias had been dominating the Pacific Coast League, where the average pitcher is 27. He had the lowest ERA, 1.10, among all starters, had the best WHIP, at .78 – including relievers, and his 5.5 SO/BB ratio was the sixth-best. So the Dodgers decided to call him up to The Show and see what he could, but thus far the jury’s still out. The first start, against the Mets, was bad – 2 ⅔ innings, 5 hits, 4 walks, 3 runs, putting the Dodgers on the path to a 6-5 loss. In his next start he wasn’t as wild, in fact, he was probably getting too much of the plate, as the Cubs pounded out 5 runs on 8 hits, including 3 home runs in just 5 innings. His third start, however, showed promise, as he struck out 7 Rockies while allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and a walk, but lasted only 4 innings as the Dodgers are trying to keep him on a pitch count of 80-90.
After appearing to have righted ship with 3 strong starts over a 4-game span (let’s not talk about what happened in Chicago), Jake Peavy lost the plot Sunday against the Cards, giving up 4 runs in 5+ innings, though, to be fair, 2 of those runs scored after he’d left the game. Though, to be fair to the bullpen, Peavy did leave them with men on first and second and nobody out, so… Anyway, where Peavy has been truly awful this year is on extra rest – in 4 starts this year with more than 4 days of rest, he’s lasted just 14 ⅔ innings, allowed 23 hits and 8 walks for a slash line of .365/.431/.683, and an ERA of 10.43. Good news, Giants fans, Peavy’s pitching on 6 days rest tonight.
And here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land…
Houston Astros (Keuchel 3-8, 5.44) at Tampa Bay Rays (Moore 2-4, 5.56) 1:10PM ET on Fox Sports Sun
Oakland Athletics (Manaea 2-4, 6.20) at Cincinnati Reds (Lamb 1-3, 4.74) 1:10PM ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati
Chicago Cubs (Lester 7-3, 2.06) at Atlanta Braves (Kelly 0-2, 2.93) 1:35PM ET on FOX Sports South
Detroit Tigers (Fulmer 6-1, 2.83) at New York Yankees (Pineda 3-6, 6.14) 2:05PM ET on FOX Sports Detroit & YES
Boston Red Sox (Porcello 7-2, 4.04) at Minnesota Twins (Dean 1-2, 4.75) 2:10PM ET on FOX Sports North
Kansas City Royals (Duffy 1-1, 3.35) at Chicago White Sox (Carroll 0-0, 11.57) 2:10PM ET on FOX Sports Kansas City
New York Mets (Matz 7-2, 2.69) at Milwaukee Brewers (Davies 4-3, 4.29) 2:10PM ET on FOX Sports Wisconsin
Cleveland Indians (Salazar 6-3, 2.24) at Los Angeles Angels (Huff 0-1, 12.27) 3:35PM ET on FOX Sports West & SportsTime Ohio
Miami Marlins (Conley 3-3, 3.76) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray 2-5, 5.14) 4:10PM ET on FOX Sports Arizona & FOX Sports Florida
San Diego Padres (Friedrich 3-1, 2.57) at Colorado Rockies (Butler 2-3, 5.48) 4:10PM ET on FOX Sports San Diego
Texas Rangers (Hamels 5-1, 3.32) at Seattle Mariners (Miley 6-2, 5.27) 4:10PM ET on FOX Sports Southwest