Sunday was chock full of great pitching performances. We didn’t even get a chance to mention the likes of , , , , , , or in . Any one of them would be a worthy candidate most any night of the season. The circumstances for the guys below — as well as Zito and Cahill shutting down what equate to Triple-A teams — separated these three by the slimmest of margins. The man called Big Z stepped to the plate in the top of the third inning of a scoreless game and powered up, crushing a solo homer to left-center. And though his teammates came through with four more runs on the afternoon, Zambrano didn’t need that much support. He worked 7 2/3 innings, allowing only four hits and one”.Richarlison admits his success in England has been a whirlwind.He told the Daily Mail: “Four years ago I was at home in Brazil with just dreams but look at me now. “Things happen quickly, don’t they? I think I just have to make the most of it. I he run while striking out seven . One of the centerpieces of the trade last July, the 23-year-old right-hander entered Sunday with a career line of 4-7, 6.75 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. White was also carrying the burden of easing the workload on an overworked bullpen and facing the first-place (yes, we know Matt Kemp is out; they’re still in first). White went out and gave the Rockies 6 2/3 strong innings, allowing only two hits and two runs. The five walks were bad, but he worked around them enough to propel . And the Rockies have won six of their last seven. The Astros entered Sunday with no listed starting pitcher and an eight-game losing streak. They were also facing a red-hot team. Lyles was summoned from Triple-A to make the start and allowed only five hits and two runs in seven innings, shoving his This was a rare outing where both teams desperately wanted the starting pitcher out of the game. Bard lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He walked six and only allowed one hit, but it was a three-run home run. He also hit two batters. In fact, the last three batters he faced went: Hit-by-pitch, bases-loaded walk, hit-by-pitch. He blatantly had no clue where the ball was going. Bard was then mercifully removed from the game and showered with boos from the fans — and probably any Red Sox fans in attendance, too. The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner has now lost three straight starts. In his last two outings, Verlander has given up 19 hits, 10 runs (eight earned) and six walks in 12 1/3 innings. Sunday it was a 5-1 loss to the . I wouldn’t stress much about Verlander — especially since he’s only gotten five runs in support in these last three outings — but more about the Tigers in general. When you’re only 6-6 through 12 Verlander starts, that’s just not good enough. Well, that nine-run game Saturday was sure washed away quickly, huh? After a 2-0 loss Sunday to the , the A’s have now been shut out 11 times in their first 53 games. Per CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler, the A’s join the 1954 as the only team to be held scoreless this often, this early since 1918. The are in last place, but they’re still over .500 (28-27) and are only 3.5 games back. They’re just waiting on getting some pieces back from injury. Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07) is one of them, and he’ll return to the hill Monday night after being activated from the DL. His offensive teammates will have their hands full, because they’re facing off against (4-3, 2.42) of the Dodgers. Of course, the Dodgers need a win pretty badly, as they’ve lost eight of 11 and have a certain rival approaching in the rearview mirror. The have dropped 10 consecutive road games and now it’s ‘s turn to try and stop the bleeding. Of course, pitching hasn’t been the problem, as the Cubs continue to waste gem after gem from their staff. It’s the hitting. So Samardzija (5-3, 3.09) better be prepared to throw a shutout. The Giants, meanwhile, are playing really solid baseball and have crept to within three games of the Dodgers in the NL West. (3-2, 2.36) takes the mound in hopes of leading his team to a sweep. The have been outscored 19-1 by the in three games, and that includes having been no-hit by , shut out by and struck out 10 times by Jonathon Niese. They’re surely desperate to get out of Queens, only they have another game to play. Monday, the Mets go for the four-game sweep of the reeling defending champs. A win for the Mets means first place in the NL East (they’re tied with the Marlins and Nats, both of which are idle Monday). A loss for the Cardinals means they’ll be below .500 for the first time all season. (4-3, 4.69) will get the ball for the Mets while (5-1, 3.36) starts for the Cardinals. • Outfielder made a no-hitter-saving catch for Johan Santana Friday night. He also sacrificed his body in doing so, crashing into the left-field wall, and he’ll miss about six weeks with injuries to his collarbone, sternum and ribs. on Queens native Baxter and his background. • Earlier this week, , and looked to how the uses replay as a fine example of what can be done. Sunday, . Assuming this wasn’t a total ripoff — and I trust it wasn’t — this is a sign that the Internet is starting to get soid chief Emilio Butragueno admits they’re fed-up with VAR.Butragueno was left frustrated by the use of VAR in Los Blancos’ 0-0 draw at home to Real Betis on Saturday night, with a Zou Feddal handball the subject of much debate.”We are confused about me momentum with the idea. Let’s hope it continues. If the talk gets loud enough, commissioner Bud Selig will have to listen. At least in theory. • After Johan Santana’s no-hitter Friday night, the Post-Dispatch ran their article with an asterisk, due to a missed call. The Daily News fired back, strongest with “apparently, the Post-Dispatch couldn’t find the asterisk key while Mark McGwire was swatting 220 steroid-aided home runs while a member of the Cardinals and setting bogus records in St. Louis.” Zing!
Cool, a newspaper feud. Daily News fires on PD
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) • I’ve long bemoaned the fact that major-league umpires scream back at managers, coaches and players, making tWatford are moving for West Brom defender Craig Dawson.Sky Sports says Watford have agreed a fee for Dawson.The Baggies have accepted a £5.5m bid for the 29-year-old, who made 45 appearances in all competitions last season.It is claimed that the deal will be completed on Monday, with Dawson set to sign a four-year contract at Vicarage Road, with an option for an extra year.hem the only officials in sports who do so. There was another run-in Saturday night when Yankees manager Joe Girardi and hitting coach Kevin Long got pretty heated with — shocker alert — Bob Davidson. Davidson has already been suspended for one game this season and has a penchant for making himself the center of attention. Sunday, Yankees center fielder — also one of the most eloquent players in the league — asked for more accountability from the umpires. “It’s interesting across the board,” Granderson said (). “You’ve seen a lot of missed plays. They’re humans back there. They’re going to make some mistakes. But part of the game is, sometimes there have to be some consequences for it. As players, if we make mistakes, there are consequences for us. You get errors, you get pulled out, possibly sent down. Different stuff happens to us. There has to be a similar type of situation on the other end. The one thing I’ve seen consistently, the umpire can be as loud and as animated as he wants, and the umpire gets to stay in the ballgame.”• More on Zambrano’s home-run prowess: He’s now tied for sixth all-time with 24 home runs as a pitcher. The record-holder is Wes Ferrell, with 38. Remember, this is home runs as a pitcher, so Babe Ruth has already been passed (he only hit 14 as a pitcher). • In addition to great pitching, another storyline Sunday was prodigious home runs. Zambrano’s shot was 431 feet. And then there’s this:
4 HR today calculated at 440+ feet by our HR-tracking crew: 484, 455, 450, 441
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