Mark Simon wraps up the struggles of the aces on Sunday. Here are some more quick thoughts on Sunday's action.
OK, Matt Cain. He matched a career-worst with nine runs allowed. Even stranger, they all came in one inning and at home -- where he allowed just 26 runs in 15 starts last year. I wasn't watching the game, but went back and watched that fourth inning, which Cain had entered having retired nine in a row. Here's what happened:
-- Matt Carpenter, hard line single to right.
-- Allen Craig, sac fly to right.
-- Carlos Beltran, four- pitch walk.
-- Yadier Molina, groundball single into left field to load the bases.
-- Matt Adams crushes 1-0 90-mph fastball into Triples Alley for ground-rule double.
-- Ty Wigginton lines 0-1 slider into left for RBI hit.
-- Pete Kozma, bloop base hit to right.
-- Adam Wainwright pops out bunting.
-- Jay, walks.
-- Carpenter, soft liner to right on 3-2 pitch. Couple borderline calls went against Cain. Anyway, Jose Mijares came in and two more runs scored. Other than the Adams double, nothing was really hit that inning. But only Kozma's bloop was a true gift. Just one of those innings that can happen even to the best of 'em. The bigger first-week issue for the Giants: They scored just 15 runs in six games.
Will Middlebrooks slugged three home runs as the Red Sox routed R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays. This one traveled a very far distance. Middlebrooks flew out to the warning track in a bid for his fourth home run. "I was blowing on it running down the line but it didn't have enough steam," he said. And, no, I'm not worried about Dickey. It's two starts. He had a 5.71 ERA after three starts last year with the Mets.
Besides Middlebrooks, another young AL third baseman to watch is Lonnie Chisenhall, who slugged a laser beam home run off David Price in Cleveland's 13-0 romp (Carlos Santana went 5-for-5). Price allowed only three homers to left-handed batters in 2012. Like Middlebrooks, Chisenhall's control of the strike zone will go a long ways to his future. He's yet to draw a walk (Middlebrooks has two).
Caught a little bit of Marlins' rookie Jose Fernandez's debut. The 20-year-old looked impressive in his five innings, showing a nice out-pitch curve and striking out eight while allowing one run. The kid isn't exactly lacking in confidence, nicknames his curve The Defector (Fernandez escaped Cuba in 2008). After the game he said, "I was more nervous watching five through nine than when I was pitching. It didn't feel any different. It was more like a spring training game." Well, when you're facing Collin Cowgill, Mike Baxter and Anthony Recker, it probably did feel like a spring training game. The Mets got the last laugh, however, scoring two runs off Steve Cishek in the ninth to win 4-3.
The White Sox wore the 1983 AL West champion throwback uniforms -- and they looked just as bad as they did 30 years ago. But Dayan Viciedo did his best Greg Luzinski impression and hit a walk-off home run off Kameron Loe in the 10th.
The Pirates are hitting .119.
The Astros have nine walks and 74 strikeouts in six games. My lord are they awful.