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Wednesday, July 19

   by Larry Ness - 07/19/2006

The 'good streakers' kept it up last night while the 'bad streakers' put an end to the non-winning. The Angels beat the Indians last night 7-5, extending MLB's longest active winning streak to eight straight games. Meanwhile the Braves made it seven straight wins by pounding the Cards, 14-5.

I do not have a free play in Wednesday's MLB action but I do have a HUGE day of action. Looking to break out of a three-day slump, I'm opening with my 15* NL Getaway Day Game of the Month and in evening action it's my 15* Blowout of the Month plus another exclusive Las Vegas Insider, as I look to improve on my 24-11 run since May 1!

The Rockies ended MLB's longest active losing streak (had lost eight straight) with a 13-4 win at Pittsburgh and the Dodgers ended their five-game losing streak by beating the D'backs 4-1.

The Angels have now won 13 of 14 in July and won their eighth straight in much the same way as they won their seventh straight. Joe Saunders, an emergency call-up from Triple-A Salt Lake, pitched seven innings allowing just four hits and two runs (one earned). Like Dustin Moseley the night before, Saunders was sent back to Salt Lake after the game.

Speaking of Moseley, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he made history in Monday's cameo appearance. He became the first starting pitcher in the "live ball" era (1920-present) to win his big league debut despite throwing only five innings and allowing 10 or more hits.

The Braves didn't need much pitching to win their seventh straight game, as they pounded out 18 hits in their 14-5 win over the Cards. Atlanta has now scored 10 or more runs in five straight games (have 81 hits and have scored 65 runs), becoming the first team to accomplish that feat since the 1930 Yankees. Not bad company for a team that enters today's play 45-49, 11 1/2 games back of the Mets in the NL East.

The Rockies finally scored some runs last night in ending their eight-game losing streak. The Dodgers scored just four runs in ending their losing streak but it marked the first time in seven games that the team had plated more than three runs. LA also ended a seven-game road losing streak with the win but has still won just two of its last 15 games away from Chavez Ravine. With Colorado's and LA's wins, the Devil Rays and Indians own the longest active losing streaks at five apiece.

A quick update on Sidney Ponson, for those of you who are regular readers. Ponson allowed a three-run HR in the first last night but settled down after that in his first start for the Yankees. However, he did leave the game with two outs in the seventh while trailing 4-2, having allowed five hits and four ERs. New York's two-run ninth (aided by a blown call at first) and Cabrera's walk-off HR in the 11th, let him off the hook. In the Weaver vs Ponson 'battle', Ponson owns the early advantage.

It's another full schedule of games on Wednesday (15), with eight having afternoon starting times. The Angels and Braves own the majors' two longest winning streaks and while the Angels are big favorites against the Indians, the Braves face a tough battle against the Cards.

John Lackey takes his 27-inning scoreless streak to the mound this afternoon (3:35 ET) along with his four-game winning streak. The Indians send Paul Byrd to the mound (who was 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA last year with the Angels) and while Byrd is 6-6 with a 4.26 ERA this year, the Indians are just 2-7 in his nine road starts.

The Braves will have their work cut out for them in trying to extend their seven-game winning streak and their five-game streak of having scored at least 10 runs. Chris Carpenter is on the mound for the Cards and last year's NL Cy Young winner enters this game 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA (team is 12-6 in his 18 starts).

Opposing Carpenter for Atlanta is Jason Shiell. He was just called up from Triple-A Richmond for Wednesday's start at St. Louis. His last major league start came with the Red Sox against the Rangers on July 30, 2003. In three starts at Richmond, he was 1-1 with a 2.14 ERA. In his big-league career, Shiell is 2-0 with a 5.84 ERA for San Diego and Boston.

The day's marquee matchup involves the second game of a three-game series between the White Sox and Tigers in Detroit (7:05 ET on ESPN). The White Sox beat the Tigers last night 7-1 and have now beaten the Tigers in six of seven meetings this year, including all four at Comercica Park. The Tigers own the best record in baseball, but are 3-11 against the AL's three next-best teams record-wise - the White Sox, Red Sox and Yankees.

Detroit is 62-31 on the year and the White Sox are 58-34 but Detroit still has a huge lead over the White Sox when it comes to the moneyline. A $100/ bet on each of Detroit's games this year has one up $2,674 while the same on the White Sox shows a profit of $1,394. However, that is the second-best mark in MLB, with the Red Sox (plus-$1,149), the Twins (plus-$1,116) and Mets (plus-$1,109) rounding out the top-five.

It's interesting to note that the Tigers, White Sox and Twins all play in the AL Central, while the Mets are the lone NL team in the group. Due to the AL's dominance in interleague play, just four other NL teams (three in the NL West) are showing a profit this year. They are the Reds (plus-$409), the D'backs (plus-$323), the Padres (plus-$315) and the Rockies (plus-$59). The Cards, who own the NL's second-best record at 52-41, are minus-$248 against the moneyline.

Closing note

MLB's only two active 300-game winners meet tonight in Chicago (8:05 ET on WGN) when the Cubs host the Astros. Clemens and Maddux have combined for 667 wins and 11 Cy Young Awards and pitch against each other for the third time in their illustrious careers. Clemens has a 2.96 ERA in five starts this year but is just 1-3 with Houston losing four of his five starts. As for Maddux, after starting 5-0 (1.35) this year, he's 2-10 over his last 14, with a 6.43 ERA.

From the "I don't believe it" department comes this fact. Steve Trachsel goes for his eighth straight win tonight when the Mets visit the Reds at 7:10 ET in Cincinnati. Trachsel last lost on May 17 and has gone 7-0 with a 4.43 ERA (now that sounds like the Trachsel I know) over his last 10 starts!

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday at 1:00 ET.

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