Johnny Come Lately
It’s been a rough start in Kansas City for Johnny Cueto, who has been lit up in his last four starts. Cueto (9-11, 3.24 ERA) has surrendered 22 runs on 37 hits over 20 innings in four consecutive losses. Three of those losses came at home in Kansas City, where he is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA this season. His next start comes on the road in Baltimore, and the Orioles tagged him for six runs on eight hits in five innings in a home loss at the end of August.
It was just a few days ago that Washington appeared to have the Mets on their heels, but after dropping all three games in a home series versus New York this week, the Nats are 7.5 games back in the NL East. Now they head out on the road to take on the Marlins in a three game series in Maimi. Washington has not performed well on the road, losing 12 of it’s last 16.
The Brewers upset the Pirates in Game 1 of this four game series in Pittsburgh on Thursday night. They won by a score of 6-4 in extra-innings, defeating the Pirates for the ninth time in the last 10 meetings between the two teams. The series wraps up on Sunday, and Taylor Jungmann will get the start for Milwaukee in the finale. He’s 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA against the Pirates this season.
WAG of the day
Alex Wood’s girlfriend Sunzanna Villareal
* Boston’s rookie center fielder Mookie Betts is on fire over the last seven days, batting .500 (12-for-24) with a home run and six RBIs. He was 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in Boston’s win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
* Kyle Seager is sizzlin’ out in Seattle in September. He’s 15-for-32 (.469) with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs since Sept. 1. He has a favorable matchup this weekend facing the Rockies at home. Colorado’s pitching staff ranks dead last in the majors with a 5.09 ERA.
* Jake Arrieta followed up his no-hitter versus the Dodgers by tossing eight scoreless innings at home versus Arizona, and he’s allowed just one (unearned) run over his last four starts. His next scheduled start comes on Friday in a matinee against the Phillies.
* Marcus Stroman is set to make his season debut for the Blue Jays on Saturday in the Bronx. He was 11-6 with a 3.65 ERA as a rookie last year, and he was 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in three starts versus the Yankees.
The Pirates host the Brewers this weekend, and both these teams are trending toward high scoring games. The Brewers have won nine of the last 10 in the series, and nine of those 10 games went over the total. The Pirates have seen the total go over in eight of their last 10 overall, while the Brewers have gone over at a rate of 12-3-2 in their last 17 on the road.
* Josh Hamilton will have minor knee surgery on Friday, but he’s expected to return before the end of the season. The Rangers are right in the thick of things in the Wild Card race, and may well be playing in the playoffs.
* Mark Buehrle received a cortisone shot on September 8, and he’s expected to be skipped in his next spot in the rotation as he rests a sore left shoulder.
* The over has gone 4-0 in the last four ball games that Manny Gonzalez has worked home plate. He’s expected to be behind the dish in Pittsburgh when the Pirates host the Brewers Friday.
* The Cincinnati Reds have gone 5-1 in their last six games when Jim Joyce is calling balls strikes. He’s scheduled to work home place in Cincy when the Reds host the Cardinals Saturday.
* There is a 58 percent chance of rain that could fall at Progressive Field in Cleveland when the Indians host the Detroit Tigers Thursday evening. Furthermore, wind will blow in from centerfield at around 12 miles per hour during the game.