Friday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
Matt Harrison, Texas Rangers (10-3, 3.24 ERA)
The Rangers’ big lefty has been close to perfect lately, holding his opposition scoreless in four of his last five starts. He has allowed just one run in that stretch spanning 27 1/3 innings. Harrison was forced to leave his last outing after five innings after experiencing back tightness, but is expected to be ready to go Friday against Oakland.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers (8-4, 2.52 ERA)
After a short slump, Verlander is back to his normal form. He has rebounded from three straight losses by helping the Tigers to wins in each of his last four turns in the rotation. Verlander hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of those outings and is coming off a complete-game 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh that saw him strike out seven and walk one.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies (0-4, 3.72 ERA)
The Phillies have lost four consecutive games with Lee on the hill as the veteran continues to search for his first win of the season. His ERA is up to 5.10 over his last seven outings and he has uncharacteristically given up four leads during that span. Lee has allowed 14 runs over his last three.
Paul Maholm, Chicago Cubs (4-6, 5.38 ERA)
The Cubs have won just one of Maholm’s last eight starts and the last time he actually landed in the win column was way back on May 9. The lefty worked just 3 1/3 innings in his last outing, getting smacked around for six earned runs on nine hits while walking three. The Cubs average just 3.4 runs in his starts this season.