Rich Harden as Cliff Lee: The first of two Sunday reports.

Seven innings, five hits, two walks, just three strikeouts.  An economical 7.5 pitches per inning.  First-pitch strikes to 21 of 29 batters.  A tremendous 70 percent strike rate.

 

Sensational effort from Rich Harden.  A great, great win, and yet another Cliff
Lee-like performance from one of his new teammates. 

 

For what it’s worth, a reminder: last year Harden’s ERA
before the All-Star Break was 5.47. 
Afterwards it was 2.55. 

 

Justin Smoak doubled and drove in a run
yesterday.  For AAA Tacoma.  Seattle has optioned the first baseman, who
had 10 hits and one walk (.159/.169/.270) and 23 strikeouts in 63 at-bats since
coming over in the Lee trade.

 

Thomas Diamond will make his big league debut against
Milwaukee on Tuesday, replacing the departed Ted Lilly in the Cubs’ rotation.  Diamond was 5-4, 3.16 for AAA Iowa, striking
out 104 in 108.1 innings and holding the Pacific Coast League to a .218 batting
average.  (His worst effort of the year
came against Oklahoma City two weeks ago, when he gave up eight RedHawks runs
in four innings, including a two-run Saltalamacchia triple.) 

 

Before wrapping this mini-blast up and getting back to today’s
standard report – about Jon Daniels’s third trade in three days and fifth in a
month, different from the other four but genius in its own right – there’s this,
tweeted this morning by new Nationals AA righthander Ryan Tatukso:

 

There
will be one last @NewbergReport article written and I am talking with @MLB to
move my blog over there…stay tuned.

 

Lee vs. Jered Weaver this afternoon, as Texas goes for its 14th
series win out of 17, which would knock the Angels back under .500, down to 10
games back and 11 in the loss column, and all but out of the race.

 

I should have today’s full report out before first pitch.

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