The Baseball Notebook

April 23, 2010 12:21 PM

Week 3 Weekend Preview

The Cardinals and Yankees are still undefeated in terms of winning series, having taken the first five of the season. Each came west early this week and got two of three. St. Louis won in Arizona, with New York taking out Oakland, a set highlighted by young Phil Hughes taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Both teams stay out west for the weekend taking on fellow contenders. St. Louis is in San Francisco, while New York goes to Anaheim to face the Angels.

St. Louis will be hard-pressed to win another series. Chris Carpenter doesn't go this weekend, while Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain are lined up to go for Frisco. New York is better situated. While LAA has Brian Fuentes back in the bullpen, he's not pitching particularly well, and it's hard to see how Mike Scoscia can squeeze nine quality innings out of this staff against this lineup. In

another key series, Atlanta goes to Queens to take on the Mets in a tightly packed NL East. Friday night features two pitchers looking to get untracked in Kawashi Kawakami and John Maine. Sunday night the teams will be the ESPN showcase with two pitchers who doing well, in Tommy Hanson and Mike Pelfrey. The Mets are languinshing behind the pack right now, but only three games back and trying to stay afloat until Carlos Beltran comes back in mid-May.

All the races are close in the NL and there's no real separation, but two contenders are facing early holes in the AL. On Sunday, in our "Who's To Blame" post (see Recent Posts) the White Sox and Red Sox were two of the teams we looked at. Boston has a chance to get its record healthy with a home series against Baltimore, but Chicago has a tough weekend ahead with Seattle. Mariners' pitcher Doug Fister goes Saturday and is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA. If he's for real, he could be the third arm the M's need

to win the West. King Feliz threw a complete game against Baltimore this week and Cliff Lee will make a rehab start on Monday, in preparation for return to the rotation by the end of the month after an abdominal problem. The White Sox need to plant their feet and make a stand in a tough spot.

See you Sunday evening to recap Week 3.

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