Two of the best arms in baseball will help decide the series between High Cheese and the Bulls today. The Bulls will rely on Roy Halladay while High Cheese throws young ace Gio Gonzalez. Their efforts will go a long way in deciding a series that has nine categories still up for grabs.
The Bulls 8, High Cheese 3
The Bulls enter the final day with a commanding overall lead but it is built on narrow category leads that can vanish quickly. The current score is the result of a wild Saturday that saw Derek Lowe and Dale Thayer get hammered and High Cheese finish the day with a 29.25 ERA. It wasn't much better for the Bulls, as setup man Wilton Lopez and starter Bud Norris were both rocked. It was Wei-Yen Chen, a familiar hero for the Bulls, that earned a critical quality start. Joaquin Benoit and Scott Downs each had a hold Saturday to give the Bulls a narrow lead in that category. Offensively, Colby Rasmus homered and stole a base for the Bulls while Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones stole bases for High Cheese. While the spotlight will be on Halladay and Gonzalez, each team will have a second starter in action Sunday. Chris Capuano will pitch for the Bulls and Adam Wainwright for High Cheese. For the Bulls, a series win would be the fourth consecutive and sixth in the last seven weeks. High Cheese is looking to break a two week losing streak.
Vicious Fishes 6, Twinkle Toes 5
The hot bat of Paul Konerko has sparked an amazing rally for the Fishes, which was left for dead early in the week. Konerko is the highest rated player this week, going 12-for-20 with two homers, six RBI, eight runs scored and just two strikeouts. On Saturday, Konerko scored three times, drove in two runs and reached base every time he was at bat. The Fishes scored eight runs and drove in 11 more to take the lead in both categories. While the Fishes have the lead, the series is far from over. The Quality Start category is tied and Twinkle Toes will send Ubaldo Jimenez, Jeremy Hellickson, and Brian Matusz to the mound. One quality start will tie the series. Three could give Twinkle Toes the WHIP category and the series win. Twinkle Toes hasn't won a series in four weeks and is hoping to avoid its third consecutive series loss. The Fishes are also hoping to avoid a third consecutive series loss.
Los Coche Bomba 8, Marin Menehunes 2
This could get ugly for the Menehunes. Matt Garza and Brandon Beachy will throw today for Bomba with an opportunity to take the Quality Start category. The Menehunes will look to its bullpen to try and gain points in Holds and Saves. The Menehunes saw a golden opportunity slip away Saturday when Bartolo Colon, Max Scherzer, and Jaime Garcia all failed to earn quality starts. Only Johan Santana kept the day from being a total disaster. Andrew McCutchen left his imprint on the series Saturday when he stole two bases and stole the category for Bomba. A series win would be the sixth in the first eight weeks for Bomba and the third consecutive. The Menehunes had won three of their past four series and two in a row entering Week 8.
Give it a Yankee 8, Jersey Boys 3
It looks like the Jersey Boys will have to wait one more week to earn its first series victory of the 2012 season. Josh Beckett threw a critical quality start for Give it a Yankee Saturday and setup man Jordan Walden recorded the first hold of the series. The team will rely on Luke Hochevar to protect the Quality Start lead today while the Jersey Boys have an opportunity to tie the category when Hiroki Kuroda and R.A. Dickey pitch. A series win for Give it a Yankee would be just the third in the first two months of play and would break a four-week losing streak. The Jersey Boys have lost five straight series since tying High Cheese in Week 2. The Jersey Boys have fought injuries all season and have played the league's toughest schedule to date.
A-Rod's Mirrors 8, Bacon at Mile 11 3
Neither team has a scheduled start on Sunday so it will be up to the bullpens to decide the Strikeout category that the Mirrors currently lead by one. With a big day, Bacon could also earn category wins in Runs and OBP. The Mirrors are wondering how ace Stephen Strasburg got roughed up Saturday and failed to earn a quality start which would have given the team the category win. Bryce Harper and Denard Span both hit home runs for the Mirrors while Eric Hosmer, Dan Uggla and Logan Morrison each scored two runs for Bacon. If the Mirrors hang on, this would be their fourth series win in the past five weeks. A loss for Bacon would mean six series losses in the first two months and five in the past six weeks.
Lower Haighters 7, The Machine 4
The Machine should break the Quality Start deadlock in this series when Matt Cain, Ricky Nolasco, and Gavin Floyd pitch today. Three quality starts could help the Machine win the ERA category and tie the series. On Saturday, Felix Hernandez allowed a grand slam and failed to earn a quality start for the Lower Haighters while Jake Peavy was rocked for the Machine. The two teams have combined for two quality starts all week. Offensively, Albert Pujols continued his onslaught with another homer for the Lower Haighters while Shin-Soo Choo scored twice for the Machine. A series win for the Lower Haighters would give the defending league champions it second consecutive series win and fourth in the first eight weeks. The Machine is hoping to rally to stretch its current winning streak to six consecutive series.
The Cys 9, Home Run 101 3
The Cys will rely on C.J. Wilson, Yu Darvish, and Edinson Volquez to pitch adequately today to give the team a big series victory. The three starters just need to avoid disasters on the mound for the Cys to maintain their category leads in WHIP and ERA. Home Run 101 will try to salvage a point in the RBI category, where it currently trails by one. The team had just two RBI on Saturday while Jason Kipnis was driving in four of the seven RBI recorded by the Cys. Kipnis homered twice giving the Cys a chance to win that category as well. A series win for the Cys would be the team's second straight and third in the past four weeks. Home Run 101 is looking at its fifth series loss in eight weeks.
Scully's Slammers 6, HUMA 4
HUMA can gain a point by winning the Quality Start category today when Mat Latos toes the rubber. After recording 10 runs, three homers, and 10 RBI Saturday, the team is also in position to steal the RBI category and possibly the series. Josh Hamilton, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Mitch Moreland all hit home runs for HUMA, helping to offset a brilliant night by Mark Teixeira for the Slammers. Teixeira had two home runs and five of the team's six RBI. Octavio Dotel earned a point for HUMA Saturday when he recorded a hold. The Slammers are trying to hold on for their third consecutive series win while HUMA is hoping to avoid its third series loss in the last four weeks.