Friday's streaking and slumping starting pitchers
Ryan Dempster, Chicago Cubs (5-3, 1.86 ERA)
You know Theo Epstein is just thinking “cha-ching” every time this veteran righty takes the bump. Dempster, who is being shopped by the Cubs, is on a 33-inning scoreless streak entering Friday’s start.
The British Columbia native sports a tidy 0.85 WHIP (walks + hits per inning) over his last five starts, and the Cubs are 5-0 over that period.
Tommy Milone, Oakland Athletics (9-6, 3.54 ERA)
We were all wondering what Billy Beane was thinking when he traded starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill last offseason. Obviously, he liked the players he was getting back in the deals, but he almost knew he had some arms in his rotation that could fill the void, like Milone.
The 25-year-old lefty has allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his last five starts. The A’s are 5-1 in his last six appearances and Milone has delivered quality four quality starts in his last five turns in the rotation.
Johan Santana, New York Mets (6-6, 3.59 ERA)
This former Cy Young winner has pitched back-to-back duds for the Mets. He got knocked around for six earned runs all in the sixth inning in his last start and he gave up seven runs in just 4 2-3 innings the start before that.
James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays (8-6, 4.44 ERA)
Makes sense that a hurler with a moniker “Big Game” would have some of his worst performances in July. Shields has allowed four or more runs in five straight appearances and he’s be tagged for double-digit hits in four consecutive outings.