We'll start with islands in the stream, and then shift back to Thursday's news and notes.
Streamables Pitching Friday
- Max Scherzer, at Colorado: Don't worry about the park so much, take a shot at some tasty strikeouts.
- Greg Maddux, vs. San Francisco: Like him at home, albeit it's right after a road trip. Also like him against Barry Zito.
- Randy Wolf, at Pittsburgh: He's been a home streamer all season, both in San Diego and Houston, but this doesn't look too daunting.
- Armando Galarraga, at Cleveland: I'm a bit concerned with how he's throwing right now and there's been talk of shutting him down, but at least Fausto Carmona is on the other side, still looking in vain for the command of his sinker.
- Dana Eveland, vs. Seattle: He's been quietly effective over his last five turns.
- Nick Blackburn, at Tampa Bay: If you dial him up, you realistically hope for six innings, three runs.
- Ian Snell, vs. Houston: Look at his last eight starts - five really good ones, and three messes. I've stopped trying to figure this guy out. We'll devote a week to the Ian Snell Project in March, 2009.
- Edwin Jackson, vs. Minnesota: He's hit the wall in September, but at least the Twins haven't seen him yet.
- Paul Byrd, at Toronto: He's won twice here, but I don't like him up against A.J. Burnett.
- Ramon Ramirez, vs. Milwaukee: Brewers didn't hit him last time, but now they've seen him.
- Jon Garland, at Texas: No strikeout upside here, and Arlington is Arlington.
- Barry Zito, at Los Angeles: One step forward, three steps back.
- Jeff Suppan, at Cincinnati: He's allowed 12 homers in his last eight starts, which makes him too risky in Cincinnati. And Suppan has just 21 strikeouts over that span.
Please don't stream anyone in the Baltimore-New York game. The reasoning is left to you as an instructional exercise. (You want Saturday streamers? Catch me in the comments.) Now, onto the Thursday dish:
• Jason Motte got the final out (and the save) for the Cardinals Thursday, cleaning up Chris Perez's mess. Motte has been very sharp since joining the big club (6 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K), and that's a line that could lead to more ninth-inning work over the final nine days.
• The Mariners trotted out a pedestrian lineup against Zack Greinke, and the KC righty was happy to take advantage (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K). With 12 wins, 179 strikeouts and a 3.59 ERA, that's a pretty nifty comeback season for Greinke.
• Nyjer Morgan, anyone? He had his fourth straight two-hit game Thursday and he also stole a couple of bases. Looks like he's pretty settled in the leadoff spot.
• Speed Round: Mike Mussina bagged win No. 18 and plans to start twice more as he aims at his first 20-win season . . . The Giants are going to pitch Tim Lincecum twice next week, perhaps so he can brush up that Cy Young resume. It's probably not needed, but it's their franchise arm, not mine . . . Cameron Maybin got the call as Florida's leadoff man Thursday and came through with four singles and a walk. He's a highly-touted prospect, but his Double-A numbers don't jump off the page at you . . . Another collar for Josh Willingham, who's looked completely lost since he returned from his wrist injury . . . That's not a lineup for the Reds, that's a lab experiment . . . I'm not going to celebrate the exploits of Evan Longoria and Bobby Abreu, but I invite you to, if that's your thing . . . Rickie Weeks continues to ride the pine as the Brewers, new manager and all, continue to play Ray Durham. Good luck in the NIT, guys.
• Alex Gordon is 5-for-14 with three walks since he came off the DL, for whatever that means. I wouldn't bother adding him this weekend given the White Sox are throwing a couple of lefties, and Gordon hasn't hit a lick versus southpaws this year. The surprising Royal on every pitch these days, for whatever it may mean, is Mark Teahen (who also stole a base Thursday).
• Troy Percival returned to action Thursday with a scoreless eighth inning, followed by a Dan Wheeler blowup in the ninth. If the Rays have save chances on the weekend, you have to figure Percival will be back in there.
• Closers making good Thursday: Jonathan Broxton (14), Brad Lidge (38), B.J. Ryan (31), Joe Nathan (37), Chad Qualls (5) and of course Francisco Rodriguez (59). Kerry Wood also picked up a relief win for the Cubs, a few innings after Salomon Torres fell apart on the other side.