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Sunday's Plastic Cup Can Nail One Down

I missed most of last night's game, but when I got home, I liked what I saw.  Another clutch bomb from Prince (against a lefty, no less), some stylish defense from Ryan Braun, and an inning without pain courtesy of Eric Gagne.  The Cubs are in Washington playing the NL East team that actually does suck, so we're still two games back.

The regulars:

Before we get to some articles, I'd like to present to you a photo essay in four clicks that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face:

  1. Carlos!
  2. Ryan!
  3. Prince!
  4. Gagne!

The Junkball Blues looks at the efficiency of our starting pitching --that is, how many innings are they getting out of the pitches they throw?  The conclusions aren't surprising, but the degree to which Parra is working for his number of frames might be.

Ben Sheets threw yesterday and said, "It felt good."   I would've given this top billing, but you all know as well as I do how little Sheets updates can mean sometimes.

At The Book Blog, MGL tries to rate pitching coaches.   I had considered doing something very similar to this, so I'm glad he did.  As he acknowledges, it's a very difficult effect to nail down, but as it turns out, Mike Maddux appears to have been a positive influence--though not overwhelmingly so--over the last five years.

Some injuries:

In former Brewers news, it's a big day to be a part of the old Brewers-Braves trade.  Dan Kolb (yes, that Dan Kolb) was released by the Red Sox, and Jose Capellan (yes, that Jose Capellan) was promoted by the Rockies.

Speaking of the Rockies, somebody had to go to make room for Capellan, and that someone was...Jayson Nix .  Doug: Gyt oyn thy phoyne, immydyatly!

The Pirates are bad.  Charlie at Bucs Dugout sums it all up in one brilliant post.

I'm guessing most of you haven't heard of Danny Ray Herrera, but he's a great story.  He was part of the Josh Hamilton trade in the offseason, and he just made a successful debut in Triple-A.   For the whole Herrera tale, from being a too-short-for-the-scouts college pitcher to a surprise success in A ball, click here.  (It's a great article.)

That's it for least for the next two hours, until game time.