Draft day is something you never forget
Bobby Valentine is an analyst for "Baseball Tonight."
MLB Draft Live
Covering the first 50 selections, from Round 1 through Compensatory Round A
Touch 'Em All
Who went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page. For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.
|Adrian Gonzalez, SD||12||PHI||Top 7: 1-1, 1 Out. None on.||Hamels|
|Adrian Gonzalez, SD||13||PHI||Top 9: 3-2, 1 Out. None on.||Baez|
|Michael Saunders, SEA||3||TEX||Top 2: 1-2, 1 Out. 2 on.||Feldman|
|Jay Bruce, CIN||8||SF||Bot 4: 1-1, 2 Outs. None on.||Zito|
|Austin Kearns, CLE||5||BOS||Bot 9: 3-2, 0 Outs. None on.||Bard|
Tuesday's Best Matchups
Pirates at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET
This qualifies as an event. Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft, widely viewed as the ultimate can't-miss prospect, makes his much-anticipated and much-hyped major league debut. Strasburg posted a 1.08 ERA in 33 1/3 innings with Triple-A Syracuse, the final stop on his whirlwind minor league tour.
Blue Jays at Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET
The Rays' Jeff Niemann still hasn't lost. He is 5-0 with a 2.79 ERA, though he faces the team that roughed him up a bit in his most recent outing. Niemann gave up nine hits and a season-high five runs, but he slipped away with a no-decision.
Cardinals at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET
Chris Carpenter has allowed only two runs over his past two innings, a 14 2/3-inning stretch in which he has struck out nine and walked one. Hiroki Kuroda was 5-1 before losing each of his past three starts, a run in which he's given up 23 hits and 14 runs in 16 innings.
BASEBALL TONIGHT ON THE AIR
|10 p.m. ET on ESPN|
Host: Steve Berthiaume|
Analysts: John Kruk, Bobby Valentine, Buck Showalter, Tim Kurkjian, J.P. Ricciardi, Buster Olney
|12 a.m. ET on ESPN|
Host: Steve Berthiaume|
Analysts: Bobby Valentine
Make the throw!
WEB GEMS LEADERBOARD
MONDAY'S BEST AND WORST
BESTDaisuke Matsuzaka, RHP, Red Sox
After being drummed by the Angels on May 6, Dice-K's ERA stood at 9.90. Less than a month later, and thanks to eight shutout innings in a win against the Indians on Monday, it now rests at 4.59. Matsuzaka scattered four hits, struck out five and issued only two walks to improve to 5-2.
WORSTChase Utley, 2B, Phillies
Phillies starter Cole Hamels took a no-hitter into the seventh, but still wasn't working with a lead because Philadelphia's offense could not muster a run against the Padres to that point. Utley went 0-for-4 on the night and watched his average dip to .260 in the 3-1 loss against San Diego.
On May 1, Javier Vazquez had an ERA of 9.78, and those who had asserted that he did not have the personality to succeed in New York were pointing to his first five starts as more proof that he just couldn't cut it in the Bronx. A month later, Vazquez is shutting up his critics, including a sterling performance Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing two runs over seven innings while striking out nine. How has he turned his season around so quickly?The big key has been keeping the ball in the park. In his first five starts, Vazquez faced 112 batters and allowed eight home runs, or one every 14 plate appearances. In his past five starts (and one very brief relief appearance), he's faced 126 batters and allowed just three home runs, or one every 42 plate appearances. The drastic drop in balls flying over the wall has allowed Vazquez to keep the big innings to a minimum, which have always been his Achilles heel. The drop in home runs have come, in large part, due to two factors that are likely related -- a surge in strikeout rate and a run of games against teams that feature right-handed power hitters. Vazquez has been downright horrible against left-handed hitters this year -- they are hitting .283/.383/.566 against him -- but over the past month, he has been able to match-up against line-ups that don't feature an abundance of lefty sluggers.