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INSIDE BASEBALL


INSIDE BASEBALL
It's easy to take the Chicago Cubs' starting rotation for granted, as it has been amazingly steady the last few years. Entering the weekend, Cubs starting pitchers had worked six-plus innings 22 times, three more than any other team in the majors. The teams with the fewest six-inning starts were the New York Mets (12), Baltimore Orioles (12) and Oakland Athletics (11). . . . Zack Greinke-mania has hit Kansas City, where the Royals are getting TV ratings that indicate a busy summer at the box office. He has pitched his team into first place, retiring the side in order in 17 of 45 innings before Saturday's start against the Angels. He had won nine straight starts dating to last season, with an 0.50 earned-run average in that stretch.

Owen Wilson is going to play a Washington Nationals relief pitcher in an upcoming movie featuring Reese Witherspoon. The Nationals have used 58 ones in their five years in D.C. . . . Felix Pie is on his last legs as an Oriole after batting .158 in his first 24 games. The Orioles may try to sneak him through waivers to get him to triple-A. . . . Is the hiring of A.J. Hinch to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks a waving of the white flag? That's not how it is being sold, but Don Baylor or Alan Trammell would have been better picks to deliver an instant contender. The Cubs won't stand in the way if a team wants to hire Trammell, who is Lou Piniella's bench coach, even if it is during the season. . . . Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay has picked up a decision in 24 straight starts, an amazing streak in this era. . . . Don't rule out a huge second half for the Giants. Pitching prospects Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson, along with catcher Buster Posey, aren't that far away. Bumgarner, a 19-year-old lefty with great stuff, and Alderson were promoted to double A last week.

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progers@tribune.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 10, 2009

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