Women's World Cup:

Scott Pianowski

Closing Time: Everybody hurts

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Big-name pitchers were falling all over the place Friday, with the biggest aftershocks felt in San Diego. Let's get right into it.

The supposed "tweak" to Jake Peavy's(notes) right ankle injury turned out to be a big deal after all; he's going to have a cast on the ankle for at least a month and it's possible he could be sidelined 12 weeks. It's a big hit for MLB's trade season, too; Peavy was unquestionably the best available pitcher on the market. The Pads can slide by with their remaining rotation until June 20, so it's not clear where the fill-in will come from. Peavy's a big part of my 2009 hopes in the Yahoo Friends & Family League, so the first wall-punch in the comments will come from yours truly.

As much as we all admire the most durable pitchers in the game, just about anyone who toes the rubber is an injury risk by rule – contorting your body and throwing a baseball at a high rate of speed is an unnatural act, no way around it. The spinner landed on Roy Halladay(notes) Friday – a groin injury forced him out of his start after three innings, and it's very likely he'll miss at least one turn. We'll see what the club says after Halladay's MRI on Saturday.

Erik Bedard's(notes) somewhat-underappreciated comeback season has been put on hold for the time being; he's dealing with "slight inflammation" in his throwing shoulder according to manager Don Wakamatsu, and he won't make his scheduled turn at Colorado Saturday. The latest Brandon Morrow(notes) starting experiment will get a quick jump, as he's been named the emergency starter. Wakamatsu insists that the decision to move Bedard back is not a big deal. "This is precautionary," the skipper said Friday. "He could probably pitch, but it's safer to push him back. To keep him healthy all year, we felt it's best to push him back one start." If Bedard proves to be healthy he'll probably slide into trade rumors soon enough; he's a free agent at the end of the year, along with teammate Jarrod Washburn(notes).

Although Mark Reynolds(notes) posted a useful four-category season in 2008, I have to admit his batting-average risk (.239, 204 strikeouts) pushed me away at the draft table. He's getting the last laugh this time around; while the strikeouts haven't gone away (87 through 224 at-bats), he's amped up the power (16 homers), started running even more aggressively (13 swipes), and basically turned into one of the surprise stars of this fantasy season. I'll be flabbergasted if he keeps his current .277 average (fresh off Friday's 4-for-5, with a homer and a bag), but so long as A.J. Hinch keeps letting Reynolds run free on the bases and the occasional ball flies over the fence, why worry? You can fix your average somewhere else, I suppose.

The Red Sox decided to keep the hot David Ortiz(notes) in the lineup Friday, letting him start at first in Philly and sliding Kevin Youkilis(notes) over to third. Ortiz went 1-for-3 with a strikeout before leaving the game.; he's not expected to start Saturday. The surging Jon Lester(notes) had to settle for a no-decision when Jonathan Papelbon(notes) Ramon Ramirez fritted away his win, but the Boston lefty and FIP darling now has double-digit strikeouts in three consecutive games (on the heels of a four-start run where he totaled just 19 whiffs).

The earth shifted its axis around 7:47 EST Friday night when Atlanta phenom Tommy Hanson(notes) pitched to Baltimore savior Matt Wieters(notes). Score the first round to Wieters (two hits), and Hanson was far from dominant in his second outing (5.2 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 5 K), though he scored a victory anyway. Hanson's next turn will come at Cincinnati.

Francisco Rodriguez(notes) fell into his first blown save of the year when Luis Castillo(notes) couldn't handle a two-out popup off the bat of Mr. Clutch, Alex Rodriguez(notes). Hey, the Yanks will take it, a win's a win (of course had Derek Jeter(notes) been up in the same spot, he probably would have hit the ball out of the tri-state area). Joba Chamberlain(notes) couldn't command his stuff in a forgettable turn (4 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 3 K); it's the fourth time this year he's worked less than five innings.

Vin Mazzaro(notes) looked solid enough at San Francisco, permitting just six singles and a walk over six quality innings (along with four strikeouts). Unfortunately for the rook, the Giants strung most of those singles together in the fifth inning when they scored the only three runs in the game. You want my Mazzaro endorsement for his Chavez Ravine start next week, you got it. Tim Lincecum(notes) cruised on the other side (7 H, 1 BB, 8 K) and the entire duel took just 2:02 start to finish (give the Yanks and Sox two hours and you're looking at a five-inning game).

Alfonso Soriano(notes) played an inning at second base Friday, so check your position-eligibility rules. He hasn't been much of a treat at the dish lately; a 1-for-4 day with two strikeouts pushed his average up to .237, and he's basically stopped running, perhaps because of a sore knee.

Jose Valverde(notes) (calf) is scheduled to come off the DL Saturday and will go back his normal closing role after one appearance to shake out the cobwebs. Kazuo Matsui(notes) (hamstring) is in the middle of a rehab assignment and is in line for a Tuesday return.

Speed Round: The stats keep coming for Troy Tulowitzki(notes) (2-3-1-1, homer, steal), and he also moved up a spot in the order, to the No. 6 position. … Adam Lind(notes) didn't do anything in the cleanup spot (0-for-4), while Alex Rios(notes) didn't take his demotion to the six spot personally (4-1-2-0, two steals). … Joe Torre finally made a move with Russell Martin(notes), batting him eighth (and Rafael Furcal(notes) ninth) at Texas. Martin took another collar and the Dodgers as a team managed just eight hits and one run against Vicente Padilla(notes) and two relievers. … Scott Kazmir(notes) didn't have any problems in a simulated game and should be able to start his rehab assignment as scheduled next week. … Luke Hochevar(notes) went the route against the Reds (3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K), getting 15 ground balls and needing just 80 pitches. Nifty result, but it's hard to get too excited about pitch-to-contact success like this; up the strikeouts, big guy, and we'll talk. … A sore shoulder has Jeremy Bonderman(notes) back on the DL, which means Dontrelle Willis(notes) will hang around the Detroit rotation and continue to walk batters by the truckload. … Casey Kotchman(notes) (calf) will start a rehab assignment this weekend and might be ready to hit singles and doubles for your team next week. … Ricky Nolasco(notes) was strong in the YYZ (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K), though he had to settle for a no-decision and I'm not in a trusting mood for his Fenway Park turn next week. … J.P. Howell(notes) got the last four outs for the Rays and picked up a win when Tampa Bay took the lead in the eighth. … I understand the Rockies wanted to give Huston Street(notes) a rest after work in four straight games, but did it make sense to let Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) throw 127 pitches? … Last call on Kevin Kouzmanoff(notes), who homered Frday and now has RBIs in five straght games. … Rick Porcello(notes) scattered six hits and a walk over seven strong innings at Pittsburgh, grabbing win No. 7. Unfortunately for Detroit Rock City, the Penguins won the more significant matchup between the cities on Friday night.

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