Didn't have enough time to write a full F5ive, here's a preview for the two games running on MLB Network today
1- Nationals vs. Reds
Hernandez vs. Volquez Interest Level:4
So, apparently the Nationals have pitchers not named Strasburg pitching for them. When Livian Hernandez got off to that scorching hot start, it was clear that it was built up with smoke, mirrors, good luck and a low BABIP. In other words, Livan Hernandez odds of that great start lasting the season had as good of a chance of surviving as that house made of straw in the 3 little pigs had of surviving the big bad wolf. As of today, his ERA stands at 3.27 and appears to be well on its way to its rightful place in the mid to upper 4 range.
The Reds counter with Edison Volquez (who despite failing a drug-test doesn't actually serve his 50-game suspension because he happened to be injured at the time....I don't see how this could be a controversy if the Reds win the division, but thats besides the point). who pitched well in his first start of 2010 and looks to give their pitching staff a much needed jolt in the arm as they battle the Cardinals for the NL Central playoff spot.
2- Royals vs. Yankees MLB Network Chen vs. Sabathia
The Royals and Nationals on National TV on the same day! This can be placed on the list of things that would never hapen on FOX or ESPN.
Anyways, the Royals are playing their normal role of also-ran, sitting at 12 games out of first (I thought it would look a lot worse for them at this point). The Royals bring Bruce Chen to the hill. Surprisingly, Chen hasn't pitched that bad this year (5-3 4.06 era 104 ERA+) I didn't say it was great but it's not bad either........it's a bit mind boggling that the dude has pitched for 10 teams in his career (including 4/5 of the NL East by the time he was 25)....considering he's left handed and only 33, he could very easily break the all-time record for teams pitched for before all is said and done.
None of this really matters as they are facing the Yankees and CC Sabathia. The Yankees are contending for a division title/world series title (as always) and a pre-requisite of that is taking care of business against also-ran teams such as the Royals.