1st pitch: A good start for young arms

Today’s Trivia: Since 1990 there have been just eight rookies to win at least 15 games in a season. Only one team has produced more than one of those eight. Can you name the team and the pitchers? [hint: the years were 1992 and 1999]

Quick Hits: It’s been a good year so far for rookie pitchers, and three of the best are on the mound tonight – Jaime Garcia, Mitch Talbot and Mike Leake. Here’s a look at some fun facts on rookie pitchers this season:

* Cardinals rookie Jaime Garcia’s 1.04 ERA is the lowest ERA in April by a rookie starter since Tom Browning in 1985.
* Garcia has gotten ahead in the count 0-2 13 times this season and has yet to allow a base runner in any of those 13 situations. That’s tied with Carlos Marmol for the major-league lead in 0-2 counts without allowing a base runner.
* Indians rookie Mitch Talbot finished April with a 2.05 ERA. Over the past 50 seasons, the only Indians rookie with a lower ERA in the month of April (min. 20 IP) was Charles Nagy in 1991.
* Talbot has induced a double play in 31.6 of double-play situations this season (6 of 19). That percentage trails only Brad Penny among pitchers with at least 15 double-play situations.
* Opponents are batting just .245 against Mike Leake this season – on pace to be the lowest by a Reds rookie since Tom Browning (.245 in 1985).
* Brian Matusz has a 2.90 K/BB ratio this season - on pace for the second-best ratio by an Orioles rookie in the last 50 seasons (Josh Towers, 3.63 in 2001).

Today’s Leaderboard: Kevin Correia is 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA this season, but Bud Black may want to consider pulling him earlier than usual tonight against the Rockies. Opponents are batting .409 against Correia the third time through the lineup – tied for the fourth-worst average in the majors this season.

Highest Opp BA
3rd Time Through Lineup, Min. 20 AB

Key Matchups: Adrian Gonzalez is batting just .190 in 21 career at bats against Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez. That’s Gonzalez’s 4th lowest average against a pitcher which he’s faced at least 20 times. The numbers are even worse when he faces Jimenez in Petco Park. Gonzales is just 1-10 against Jimenez in San Diego. The one hit was a home run in 2008.

Alex Rios has a .571 career batting average (12-21) against Gil Meche. That’s his highest batting average against a pitcher which he’s faced at least 20 times. Kenny Rogers and Jamie Moyer are the only others against whom he’s batting over .400.

Trivia Answer: Mariners. Dave Fleming (17-10 in 1992) and Freddy Garcia (17-8 in 1999) were the pitchers. The others on the list are CC Sabathia, Jason Jennings, Rodrigo Lopez, Jeriome Robertson, Justin Verlander and Daisuke Matsuzaka.