MLB viewing guide: Thursday schedule spotlight

Jim McIsaac

The oddly intertwining careers of Kazmir and Colon collide, while the reigning Cy Young Award winners face off for the first time in 14 years.

Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians

Day

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Time

Where

9-May

Bartolo Colon (3-1), 3.62 ERA, 3.24 FIP

Scott Kazmir (1-1), 6.28 ERA, 5.79 FIP

12:05 pm ET

SportsTime Ohio

Kazmir's prime came just as Colon's career appeared to be slowing down following his controversial Cy-winning season in '05, but by the time Colon had seemingly vanished from the game in 2010, Kazmir was toast as well. That's a testament to how disappointingly short Kazmir's prime lasted: from 2006-09, Colon only made 47 starts to Kazmir's 111, but from 2011-12, Colon has made 50 starts to Kazmir's one. Now, Colon is unquestionably the better pitcher again despite being Kazmir's senior by ten years. Baseball's a funny game.

New York Yankees at Colorado Rockies

Day

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Time

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9-May

Jeff Francis (1-2), 7.27 ERA, 5.27 FIP

CC Sabathia (4-3), 3.31 ERA, 3.94 FIP

3:10 pm ET

YES Network, ROOT Sports

The Yankees squeaked out a victory last night to avoid a three-game losing streak, and now they send their best to the hill to face the Rockies. CC will surely be ecstatic about the chance to hit, too. He's never been shy about how much he loves to hit, and a .238/.245/.352 career triple slash with three dingers and a 53 wRC+ in 109 plate appearances is more than acceptable for a pitcher. The thought that CC could bat higher than ninth in the Yankees' lineup was amusing as recently as two days ago, but after Joe Girardi batted David Phelps eighth Wednesday night (he of zero career plate appearances), anything's possible. If he still has the power from 2008, then why not?

Detroit Tigers at Washington Nationals

Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Day

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Time

Where

9-May

Dan Haren (3-3), 5.01 ERA, 5.07 FIP

Doug Fister (4-0), 2.48 ERA, 3.07 FIP

4:05 pm ET

FOX Sports-Detroit, MASN

Although Haren had a 3.63 ERA in 10 starts against the Tigers back in his days with the Halos and A's, he's a bit of a different pitcher, so it is difficult to say how he will perform against such a strong offense. Who is the real Haren in 2013 -- the one that dominated the Braves on four hits in eight innings, or the one that gave up seven runs in 4-1/3 innings to the 10-25 Marlins? Regardless, a guy who gives up a lot of homers must pitch very carefully to Messrs. Cabrera and Fielder.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays

Day

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Time

Where

9-May

David Price (1-3), 6.25 ERA, 4.41 FIP

R.A. Dickey (2-5), 5.36 ERA, 5.19 FIP

7:10 pm ET

RSN, Sun Sports

All 2013 statistics aside, it is not every day that you get to see the reigning Cy Young Award winners face off in a pitchers' duel. Hell, it's only happened two other times in 23 years (Roger Clemens vs. Tom Glavine in '99 and Frank Viola vs. Orel Hershiser in '89). Both Price and Dickey will be pitching in a pitcher-friendly environment at the Trop, so expect both to step their games up and turn in gems. Viola/Hershiser ended in a 1-0, three-hit shutout by Viola; can one of Dickey or Price match that?

Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks

Day

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Time

Where

9-May

Patrick Corbin (4-0), 1.80 ERA, 2.95 FIP

Cole Hamels (1-4), 4.34 ERA, 4.42 FIP

9:40 pm ET

MLB Network, CSN, FOX Sports-Arizona

Corbin was a second-round pick by the Angels in '09, but although he was part of the deal that sent Haren away from Arizona three years ago, he was never rated by Baseball America as a Top 100 Prospect. He made his debut last year without much fanfare and finished with about an average season (109 ERA-, 97 FIP-). All of that is what has made his sudden excellence in early 2013 so amazing. He's left-handed, turns 24 in July, and pitched well every year after '09 in the minors with superb control (2.3 BB/9 in 430 minor-league innings).

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