In the past week:
-Francisco Liriano pitched 2011’s first no-hitter. Liriano came into that game with a Season Score of -46, second worst among AL starters, ahead of only DL resident Phil Hughes.
-Josh Johnson came into his start against the Cardinals with the NL’s best Season Score, 157, while his opponent, Jake Westbrook, had been the third worst in the NL at -42. Westbrook kept the game close enough for the Cards to pounce in the eighth, handing Johnson his first loss of the season.
-Jered Weaver also picked up his first loss. Weaver actually pitched a strong game in losing to the Red Sox, but he ended a streak of six 63+ Game Scores with a 53.
-The Red Sox are 3-5 on their current homestand. Their wins came back-to-back-to-back against reigning AL Cy Young Felix Hernandez, and Angels co-aces Weaver and Dan Haren, then the two best pitchers in the American League in 2011. Their losses came in games started by Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro, and Scott Baker.
-Cliff Lee struck out a season-high 16 in seven innings against the Braves, but because of a string of singles in the third inning took the loss. In the same game, Derek Lowe took a no-hitter into the seventh, finally yielding two hits in the seventh when his skin disappointed him.
-Tim Wakefield, who outpitched King Felix in his first start of his 45-year-old season, leaving in the sixth before surrendering a run, gave up eight in less than five innings against the Twins his next time out. Wakefield’s 14 Game Score is tied for the fifth worst of the season in the AL. Teammate John Lackey has the second and third worst, a 6 in his first start and an 8 the day before Wakefield’s 14.
-Tim Hudson, formerly the only Braves starter not among the top 20 pitchers in the NL, thew a complete game one-hitter against the Giants, recording a 90 Game Score. Hudson is now tenth in the NL in Season Score at 100, and the entire Braves rotation is in the top 17.
Perhaps the best thing about baseball is its unpredictability. On any given night, with any given pitching matchup, any team can pick up a win. Even the Pirates.