Interleague Play Comes to an End

JIM HURLEY'S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK

STATS AND SUMMARIES FROM THE FINAL DAY OF IL ACTION

We wanted to spend some time running the numbers from Sunday afternoon action, so we could look at the teams and summarize IL play all in one fell swoop. Here are key boxscore numbers from yesterday, plus a look at where everyone finished vs. the other league.

From this point forward, it's back to the traditional wars. Here's one last look at INTERLEAGUE 2010!

Games are presented in rotation order...

PHILADELPHIA 11, TORONTO 2
Total Bases + Walks: Toronto 13, Philadelphia 20
Starting Pitchers: Cecil 4.2 IP, 5 ER, Moyer, 7 IP, 2 ER
Vegas Odds: Pick-em, total of 9.5
NOTEBOOK: Somehow, some way, Jamie Moyer keeps posting great numbers in this Philadelphia bandbox. On the road, he's throwing batting practice. In Philly, he's Cole Hamels. Moyer's home ERA drops below 3.00 with this performance. Bad luck for the Jays that they had to lose a home series because of the G20 conference in Toronto. It's not like they were going to make the playoffs anyway. Philadelphia finishes IL play with a 10-8 record. Toronto falls to a disappointing 7-11. Philly is 9-4 its last 13 games overall, and look to be getting back into winning form after a surprisingly long slump.

CLEVELAND 5, CINCINNATI 3
Total Bases + Walks: Cleveland 19, Cincinnati 11
Starting Pitchers: Talbot 7 IP, 1 ER, Arroyo, 5 IP, 4 ER
Vegas Odds: Cincinnati -170, total of 9.5
NOTEBOOK: The Tribe salvage some pride after an abysmal 5-13 run through Interleague play. Very tough for the AL to maintain its past dominance when the bad teams were such pushovers this year. Cincinnati finishes 8-7, which is below what other NL contenders were doing for the post part. We'll probably touch on the relative weakness of the NL Central again soon. Cincinnati can be thankful this year for an unbalanced schedule. The Reds do win the weekend series two games to one at least, earning bragging rights for the year in the state of Ohio (by default!).

NY METS 6, MINNESOTA 0
Total Bases + Walks: Minnesota 10, NY Mets 28
Starting Pitchers: Baker 4.1 IP, 6 ER, Niese, 6 IP, 0 ER
Vegas Odds: Pick-em, total of 8
NOTEBOOK: Probably the best example we'll see today of TB+W turning a baseball score into a football score. The Mets continue to sparkle at home, moving to 28-12 on the season. Visitors are having big troubles adjusting to the uniqueness of that new stadium. Mets pitchers in particular love it. Niese may have had his career saved. New York finishes IL play at 13-5, suggesting very strongly they're ready to really contend in the NL. That was six games against the Yankees remember, with visits from Detroit and Minnesota as well. The Twins fall to 8-10 vs. the NL, very disappointing based on what they had been doing in recent years.

DETROIT 10, ATLANTA 4
Total Bases + Walks: Detroit 23, Atlanta 13
Starting Pitchers: Verlander 7 IP, 4 ER, Hanson, 3.2 IP, 5 ER
Vegas Odds: Atlanta -115, total of 7
NOTEBOOK: The bats were due to explode after a couple of pitchers duels. Plus, Verlander had struggled on the road this year while Hanson had struggled at home. Great show for the fans! Detroit avoids a sweep to finish 11-7 against the NL. Atlanta finishes 9-6, which is very respectable when stepping up in class (and the size of that step seems to be much smaller this year). Both of these teams should stay in contention based on their recent form. Great to see so many contenders this year instead of just the same old teams winning the same old ways.

BALTIMORE 4, WASHINGTON 3
Total Bases + Walks: Washington 15, Baltimore 13
Starting Pitchers: Atilano 7 IP, 2 ER, Guthrie, 6 IP, 3 ER
Vegas Odds: Baltimore -115, total of 9.5
NOTEBOOK: A rare reversal on the scoreboard, as Washington had more offensive bases, but didn't cluster them as productively as the Orioles. Both teams have really been horrible of late. Somebody had to win the series! Washington finishes IL play at 5-13. The Orioles rallied for 7-11, which is much better than what they had been doing before IL play started. Note that Washington is 5-19 its last 24 games that weren't played against dying Pittsburgh. The hype about Steven Strasburg has hidden the overall collapse of the team. A soft schedule didn't hurt. It toughens up this week with the Braves and Mets.

ARIZONA 2, TAMPA BAY 1
Total Bases + Walks: Arizona 13, Tampa Bay 10
Starting Pitchers: Lopez 6 IP, 1 ER, Davis, 7.1 IP, 2 ER
Vegas Odds: Tampa Bay -185, total of 9.5
NOTEBOOK: Speaking of hidden collapses, Tampa Bay continues to fall off the map. They just dropped home series to Arizona and San Diego to fall to 7-11 in IL play (same as Baltimore and Toronto). They're 12-19 their last 31 games. Their offense looks like one of those little league teams that gets squashed in preliminary play in Williamsport. They didn't do much yesterday in their win, did little today, and got no-hit Friday Night. Where are the bats?! Arizona finishes 6-9 in IL action, which isn't a disaster considering they were playing the AL East. You'd think Vegas oddsmakers would eventually adjust to Tampa Bay's demise. They're still getting priced like a powerhouse despite being one of the worst teams in the AL over the past month.

CHICAGO CUBS 8, CHICAGO WHITE SOX 6
Total Bases + Walks: Cubs 26, White Sox 19
Starting Pitchers: Dempster 7 IP, 3 ER, Danks, 5 IP, 6 ER
Vegas Odds: White Sox -140, total of 7.5
NOTEBOOK: The Cubs snapped out of their coma, lighting up a pitcher in John Danks who had been stellar at home this season. Looks like the players may rally around the leadership of Derek Lee, and how management is dealing with the Zambrano nonsense. Let's see if this victory triggers good things for the Cubbies. They finish IL play at 8-10 against an admittedly soft schedule. The White Sox see an end to their long win streak that closes out IL play at 15-3. This was the month that got them back in contention. Was that a short term fluke against an easy schedule? Or...are the White Sox ready to make a run at the Twins. We're interested to see how the team fares when they have to go back to playing AL foes rather than the Nationals, Pirates, and Cubbies.

MILWAUKEE 3, SEATTLE 0
Total Bases + Walks: Seattle 7, Milwaukee 24
Starting Pitchers: Vargas 5 IP, 3 ER, Narveson, 8 IP, 0 ER
Vegas Odds: Milwaukee -115, total of 8.5
NOTEBOOK: This is what's called a "no-show" by a bad team that's more interested in flying to New York to play the Yankees than it trying to hit a lousy pitcher like Narveson. A day like this does wonders for your ERA. The only mystery is how Milwaukee managed just three runs on 24 offensive bases! Final score here should have been more like 6-2 with that kind of production. Milwaukee finishes 9-6 vs. the AL, offering hope they might still get hot in the NL Central in time to make things interesting. Seattle finishes at 9-9, which is actually solid for a bad AL team. The other stragglers were worse this year.

KANSAS CITY 10, ST. LOUIS 3
Total Bases + Walks: St. Louis 14, Kansas City 22
Starting Pitchers: Garcia 2 IP, 5 ER, Chen, 5 IP, 2 ER
Vegas Odds: St. Louis -140, total of 9
NOTEBOOK: There are days like this where it looks like Kansas City is about to get things back in gear. But, they can't seem to maintain any consistency. Today's blowout of a very good pitcher puts them at 8-10 for the year against the NL. St. Louis settles for 9-6 and a 60% win rate against the AL. Probably the best evidence for things evening out between the leagues this year is how many winning records you see from the best NL sides. What's got into Bruce Chen? Hadn't he heard he was supposed to be washed up? Royals take the weekend series and save some face in the Missouri media. 

LA ANGELS 10, COLORADO 3
Total Bases + Walks: Colorado 16, Angels 23
Starting Pitchers: Chacin 6 IP, 2 ER, Santana, 6.2 IP, 3 ER
Vegas Odds: Los Angeles -140, total of 8.5
NOTEBOOK: The Halo's clustered their bases very efficiently, turning what should have been a bout a 6-4 win into a scoreboard rout. They finish 11-7 in IL play, combining that with a strong run vs. the AL to create quite month. Colorado used stellar home performances to finish 9-6, continuing their ability to thrive vs. the AL in recent seasons. Note that Ubaldo Jiminez is showing signs of wearing down from heavy early use. Let's keep an eye on that this week as he faces two divisional rivals. The Angels have a huge series with Texas starting Tuesday Night. They can either get back into the race...or drift out of the race based on that big trio of games.

OAKLAND 3, PITTSBURGH 2
Total Bases + Walks: Pittsburgh 18, Oakland 10
Starting Pitchers: Ohlendorf 6 IP, 0 ER, Gonzalez, 6 IP, 1 ER
Vegas Odds: Oakland -250, total of 8.5
NOTEBOOK: You have to be pretty bad to screw up an 18-10 win in offensive bases. Pittsburgh is that bad. They outhit Oakland 8-3, yet lost a game that the 29 other Major League teams would have won. The Pirates fall to 2-13 in IL play, and join Houston as the anvils holding down the NL this season. People knew this would be a bad team coming into the season. Some decent early results created illusions that the kids just couldn't fulfill. The big news to us is Oakland. They've fallen so far lately that they need to catch some breaks to beat Pittsburgh! The A's finish 8-10 vs. the NL League despite having a manageable schedule...and opening with a three-game sweep of the Giants several weeks back. They were 5-10 in this batch of IL games in other words.

BOSTON 5, SAN FRANCISCO 1
Total Bases + Walks: Boston 25, San Francisco 6
Starting Pitchers: Lester 9 IP, 1 ER, Lincecum, 3 IP, 4 ER
Vegas Odds: San Francisco -115, total of 6.5
NOTEBOOK: Tim Lincecum has looked mortal in recent days. He's another big name guy who seems to be wearing down from high pitch counts. Those dominant efforts of April and May were nice to behold. It's a 6-month season! Strong outing from Lester, as Boston reminded everyone they're a force to be reckoned with. This was a scoreboard rout in a game people were anticipating all weekend. The Red Sox finish IL play with a 13-5 mark despite playing many games against teams with winning records. San Francisco falls to 7-8, and has to be disappointed to see San Diego pulling away in the standings. Note that the Giants host the Dodgers in a very important NL West series starting tonight.

In Sunday's only National League game...

SAN DIEGO 4, FLORIDA 2
Total Bases + Walks: San Diego 16, Florida 15
Starting Pitchers: Latos 5.1 IP, 1 ER, Sanchez, 6 IP, 1 ER
Vegas Odds: Pick-em, total of 7.5
NOTEBOOK: This may be the road trip that finally convinces everyone that San Diego is for real. The Padres took two out of three at Tampa Bay, then swept Florida in Miami. Not bad for a team from the West Coast that everyone still thinks is a pretender! San Diego moves to 45-30 on the season, which is something that didn't seem possible before the season started. Florida drops to 35-40, and is a kind of purgatory without a manager right now. Why fire Fredi Gonzalez if Bobby Valentine wasn't ready to take over right away? The owner wants to make the playoffs this year, but flushes a week down the toilet for no good reason. Four straight losses for the Marlins. These guys weren't involved with IL play today. But, we've been posting everyone's IL records. San Diego finished with a solid 9-6 mark against the AL (vs. a soft schedule though). Florida was 7-8 against the Americans.

That wraps up our look at Sunday baseball. Call JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK at 1-800-323-4453 to get on board the winning bandwagon. Game day releases can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card. Back Tuesday with more baseball news and notes!

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