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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM

Wednesday's Diamond Notes

Hottest team: Giants (9-1 last 10)

Bruce Bochy’s farewell tour as manager of the Giants looked to end on a sour note following a 21-33 start. However, San Francisco has pulled it together the last two months to not only forge above the .500 mark, but making a run at a Wild Card spot after an impressive 12-1 hot stretch since the All-Star break. San Francisco has won six of these games in extra innings, including four walk-off victories on its current homestand, capped off by Tuesday’s 5-4 triumph over the Cubs in 13 innings.

The Giants seek the sweep of Chicago this afternoon at Oracle Park as Tyler Beede takes the mound. San Francisco owns an impressive 6-1 record in the right-hander’s past seven starts, including an eight-inning scoreless effort against the Mets in a 1-0 walk-off win his last time out. The Giants look to improve on a six-game winning streak in series finales as San Francisco embarks on a nine-game road trip following today’s contest.

Coldest team: Pirates (2-9 last 11)

Pittsburgh has had its opportunities recently in the past three games on its homestand, but has come up short every time. It started with a 2-1 defeat in 11 innings against the Phillies on Sunday, followed by another extra-innings setback on Monday against the Cardinals. Pittsburgh jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on St. Louis last night, but the Pirates didn’t score again in a 4-3 loss as the Bucs have won only twice since the All-Star break.

Jordan Lyles is winless in his past seven starts for Pittsburgh, as the right-hander pitched well against Philadelphia his last time out but the Phillies pulled away late in a 6-1 victory. Lyles defeated the Cardinals at Busch Stadium as a +175 underdog in mid-May, 2-1, while allowing one hit and one earned run in six innings of work.

Hottest pitcher: Shane Bieber, Indians (9-3, 3.69 ERA)

Cleveland couldn’t close out Toronto on Tuesday after holding a 1-0 advantage heading into the ninth inning. The Blue Jays tied the game in the ninth and then won it in the 10th inning to hand Cleveland its second loss in the past 10 contests. Bieber is unbeaten in his past four starts as he received plenty of run support in a 10-5 victory over the Royals his last time out in spite of giving five runs in 5.2 innings of work. Cleveland has won four of Bieber’s past five road outings, while yielding two hits and two runs in six innings against Toronto in a 3-2 triumph back in April.

Coldest pitcher: Kyle Freeland, Rockies (2-7, 7.62 ERA)

It’s unbelievable how much things can change in one season as Freeland won 17 games in 2018 and tossed a gem against the Cubs in a Wild Card victory. However, the Rockies’ southpaw has allowed at least five runs in four consecutive starts dating back to May, while not lasting past the fourth inning in any of those outings. Freeland was tagged for five runs in an 8-2 loss to the Yankees as a +200 underdog last Friday night, dropping Colorado to 1-5 in his past six road starts. Freeland takes the ball in the second game of tonight’s doubleheader at Washington as the Rockies went 2-0 in his two starts against the Nationals last season.

Biggest OVER run: Brewers (5-0 last five)

The top spot in the NL Central has been a revolving door recently as the Brewers were atop the division, but the Cubs have moved into first place in spite of losing three straight games. Milwaukee has lost the first two games of its series with Cincinnati at Miller Park, while allowing 20 runs in the two defeats. The Reds lit up the Brewers last night, 14-6, but Milwaukee has scored at least five runs in eight consecutive games. Jhoulys Chacin takes the ball for the Brewers this afternoon as each of his last two starts have cashed the OVER, while Milwaukee owns a dreadful 1-9 record in his past 10 outings.

Biggest UNDER run: Padres (12-2 last 14)

San Diego’s offense came up dry in Tuesday’s 5-2 defeat to the Mets at Citi Field as the Padres fell behind, 5-0 before scoring two late runs. The Padres posted five runs in each of their three games at Wrigley Field last weekend, but San Diego’s starting pitchers haven’t helped out of late by not lasting past the fifth inning in any of the last five games. This UNDER run was helped out by two high totals in Chicago on Friday and Saturday with a pair of 12 ½’s in 6-5 decisions, but tonight’s total sits at 8 ½ against Noah Syndergaard. The Mets are 7-2 to the OVER in Syndergaard’s past nine home starts, while New York scored six runs or more in each of his last four outings at Citi Field.

Matchup to watch: Yankees vs. Twins

In what was probably the game of the season last night at Target Field, New York erased an 8-2 deficit to outlast Minnesota, 14-12 in 10 innings. The Yankees rallied to grab an 11-10 lead in the top of the eighth inning before the Twins re-took the advantage in the bottom of the inning on a two-run blast by Miguel Sano. New York jumped back in front in the top of the ninth inning on an Aaron Hicks home run, but Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman couldn’t hold the lead as the Twins tied it again to force extras with a sacrifice fly.

The Yankees eventually went back in front in the 10th with a pair of runs, but the highlight of the night belonged to Hicks, who robbed Max Kepler with the bases loaded and two outs with a tremendous catch on a slicing line drive to end the game. New York avoided its second three-game losing streak of the season, while Minnesota fell to 8-4 this season in the role of a home underdog.

The two division leaders play the rubber game this evening in Minneapolis as J.A. Happ squares off with Jake Odorizzi on the mound. Happ (8-5, 4.86 ERA) has allowed two earned runs or less in three straight outings, while coming off an 8-2 victory over Colorado last Friday. The Yankees own a terrific 7-1 record when Happ starts on the road, but the southpaw lost to the Twins in the Bronx in early May, 7-3 as he was tagged for four runs in less than six innings of work.

Odorizzi (11-4, 3.18 ERA) picked up a no-decision against the Athletics in his past start in a 5-3 setback as the right-hander yielded three runs in five innings of work. Minnesota had won each of Odorizzi’s previous seven starts at Target Field prior to that loss to Oakland, as the last home defeat suffered with the hurler on the mound came on March 30 against Cleveland. Odorizzi defeated Happ and the Yankees back on May 4 as a short underdog by tossing six scoreless innings and striking out eight batters.

Betcha didn’t know: The Royals have caught fire of late by winning eight of their last 11 games, including Tuesday’s 5-4 triumph as a +205 underdog at Atlanta. Things got dicey in the ninth inning as the Braves threatened with the tying run, but Kansas City’s bullpen held on for its first victory as ‘dog of +200 or higher since June 25 at Cleveland. Georgia native Brad Keller takes the mound tonight for the Royals, as Kansas City is 4-0 in his past four starts since a 1-10 run from late April through late June.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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