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Wednesday, August 23

   by Larry Ness - 08/23/2006

MLB's longest active winning and losing streaks both came to an end last night in the same game, as the Mariners beat the Yankees in Seattle, 6-5. The Yankees saw their five-game win streak end when they allowed a 5-3 seventh-inning lead slip away and the Mariners' comeback win ended the club's 11-game losing streak.

My free play for Wednesday is on the Tex Rangers over the TB Devil Rays at 7:15 ET. Last night's win on Milwaukee upped my current run with Las Vegas Insiders in MLB to 7-1 since Aug 5 and upped my current all-sports run to 9-3 since Friday. Just a single MLB game again tonight, my 20* NL Game of the Month (current 4-1 run with 20* AL or NL Games of the Month). Get it now!

The Yankees loss leaves the Mets and Angels (five straight wins apiece) with MLB's longest active winning streak. The Mets won in dramatic fashion last night, overcoming a 7-1 5th-inning St Louis lead (Pujols had a GS and a 3-run HR!). Beltran's two-run walk-off HR in the 9th, gave the Mets an 8-7 win.

The Mets now lead the NL Central by 13 1/2 games, a margin that's six games better than any other division leader. For St Louis manger Tony La Russa, it was his 1,966th career loss. However, it was just the 10th time his team had lost a game after leading by six or more runs!

The Angels beat the Red Sox last night 4-3, keeping pace with the Mets. It was Boston's sixth straight loss and with Seattle beating the Yankees, Boston now owns MLB's longest active losing streak. Boston's losing streak is its longest since a nine-game drought from Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2001, and their 15 losses this month are the most by the team in any month since August 2002 (12-15).

Jamie Moyer (43-years-old) made his first NL start last night (for Philly at the Cubs) since May 5, 1991. At that time, his career record stood at 34-54, 4.56. He's since gone 178-110, 4.06 in the AL before winning last night in his NL return, 6-3. The 15-year gap between starts in the two leagues is the third-longest of all time.

The Tigers made it two-for-two this week over the White Sox, as Detroit won 4-0. Mark Buehrle took the loss for Chicago and is now 1-7 with an 8.10 ERA in his last 10 starts. It's the most losses for any pitcher this season since July 1 and his ERA (min. 40 innings) is second-worst behind Seattle's Joel Pineiro (8.50).

It's another busy 15-game schedule tonight in MLB. The White Sox and Tigers will conclude their three-game series in Detroit at 7:05 ET and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Chicago defeated Detroit three straight times earlier this month. Just 10 days later, the Tigers are on the verge of returning the favor.

Freddy Garcia goes for Chicago and rookie Zach Miner for Detroit. Garcia is just 1-4 with a 5.25 ERA in nine outings since the start of July, but the one win came against Detroit on Aug. 13 to complete the sweep.

Garcia gave up three runs in seven innings of that 7-3 victory, and the White Sox have won all three of his starts against the Tigers this season. He is 13-5 with a 3.65 ERA in 22 career starts against Detroit. The 13 wins are tied with the Los Angeles Angels for Garcia's most against any opponent.

Zach Miner (7-4, 4.15) will try once again to recapture his first-half form when he gets the start for the Tigers. After going 6-1 with a 2.57 ERA through the first seven starts of his career, the 24-year-old right-hander is just 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA in seven outings since the All-Star break.

The Mets will be trying to make it six straight wins when they host the Cards at 7:10 ET. New York will have the services of Shawn Green, acquired Tuesday from the D'backs. He's batting .283 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI this season. On the mound for New York is Steve Trachsel.

Trachsel lost to the Cards back on May 17 (1-0) but in 16 starts since, is 10-1 with the Mets going 13-3. Mark Mulder starts for St Louis and makes his first start since June 20. Mulder (6-5, 6.09 ERA), whose 88 wins from 2001-2005 were tied with Bartolo Colon for the most in the majors, opened the season 5-1 with a 3.69 ERA after defeating the Mets 1-0 on May 17 at Busch Stadium.

However, he went 1-4 with an 11.39 ERA in his next six starts before landing on the DL June 21 due to an injury in his throwing shoulder. Mulder made three minor league rehab starts and gave up five runs in four innings in his last outing on Thursday for Triple-A Memphis, but said pain did not bother him and pronounced himself ready to go.

Mulder is not the only pitcher making his first appearance in quite awhile tonight, as Toronto's Gustavo Chacin makes his first start since June 9, when the Blue Jays host the A's at 7:05 ET. Chacin (6-2, 5.61) has been sidelined with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow.

He has allowed 13 runs and 22 hits in 13 innings in four minor league rehab starts. Chacin went 13-9 with a 3.72 ERA in 34 starts last season as a rookie, but has struggled with his control this year, pitching fewer than six innings in six of his 10 starts but the Blue Jays have won eight of them.

The Angels will try and make it six straight wins tonight when they host the Red Sox at 10:05 ET, with the Red Sox attempting to stop their slide at six straight losses. The pitching matchup is worth looking into. Rookie Jon Lester goes for Boston and Kelvim Escobar for the Angels.

When Lester beat the Royals 1-0 right after the break, he stood at 5-0 with a 2.38 ERA. However, in his last six starts, he's 1-2 with a 8.13 ERA (team is 2-4). Escobar went an eight-start stretch (5/17-6/25) where he was 0-7 and the team was 0-8 but he wasn't pitching that bad.

In six of the eight, he allowed three ERs or less. Over his last eight starts, Escobar is pitching about the same (seven times has allowed three ERs or less) but this time he's 4-1 with the Angels going 5-3.

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

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