Despite slow starts, hope still reigns for some
ESPN The Magazine
Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and an analyst for "Baseball Tonight." Read his daily blog here.
Baseball Tonight Live
Baseball Tonight analysts, ESPN.com writers and SweetSpot Network bloggers chatted and gave their in-game opinions of all the day's games -- all in Baseball Tonight Live.
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|Travis Hafner, CLE||3||TOR||Bot 4: 0-0, 0 Outs. None on.||Morrow|
|Miguel Cabrera, DET||7||MIN||Top 6: 0-0, 1 Out. None on.||Slowey|
|Matt Wieters, BAL||4||NYY||Top 9: 3-2, 1 Out. None on.||Robertson|
|David Wright, NYM||7||CIN||Top 6: 2-1, 0 Outs. None on.||Cueto|
|Adam Lind, TOR||5||CLE||Top 9: 1-2, 2 Outs. 1 on.||Perez|
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WEDNESDAY'S BEST AND WORST
BESTBarry Zito, LHP, Giants
Waiting for Zito to implode? Keep waiting. The lefty ran his record to 5-0 by scattering seven hits and a lone run in a 3-2 win against the Marlins. He also struck out four and walked one, and his ERA now stands at 1.49.
WORSTBrian Bannister, RHP, Royals
It wasn't pretty for Bannister against the White Sox. He lasted only three innings, but that was enough time to give up seven hits, seven runs and four walks in a Royals loss. Bannister hasn't been around long in his starts this year, going seven innings just once.
THURSDAY'S TOP MATCHUPS
Cardinals at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. ET
Roy Halladay has given up two or fewer runs in all but one start with the Phillies, and already he has posted three complete games in six outings. His command has been pretty good, too. The Philly ace has 39 strikeouts against just four walks over his 49 innings.
Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET
Daisuke Matsuzaka's season debut did not go so well. He gave up seven hits, six runs and three walks in 4 2/3 innings of work -- and threw 95 pitches in that short time -- in a 12-9 loss against the Orioles. Will it get better in his second start?
Giants at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. ET
One of the day's most intriguing pitching matchups, with San Francisco's Matt Cain facing the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco. Cain (1-1, 2.84 ERA) is coming off an eight-inning gem against the Rockies for his first win of the season, while Nolasco (2-1, 4.01) was knocked around and out in four innings by the Nationals in his most recent outing for his first loss.
Chris Young's 2009 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks was less than memorable, when he hit under .200 until mid-September and spent part of the season in the minors. It seemed to be rock bottom for the youngster who came to Arizona in the Javier Vazquez trade in 2005.Young enjoyed a 2007 season in which he finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Young followed that with nice power numbers in 2008, overcoming a .248 BA. The talent that the Diamondbacks had seen in Young while in the minor leagues with the Chicago White Sox was evident, and his 54 combined HRs in 2007 and 2008 was proof. But 2009 was a completely different story, as he hit just .244 against the fastball after pounding that pitch in each of the previous two seasons (.304 in 2008 and .287 in 2007). This year has seen Young return to stellar form, however, hitting over .300 while knocking in 24 runs in his first 26 games. To put that in perspective, it took Young 79 games to reach 24 RBIs last season. He's found success against the fastball again, hitting .302 against heaters this season. Through May 4, Young's .845 OPS is higher than notable sluggers like Matt Holliday.