30-year-old Matt Palmer earning respect
Angels pitcher 4-0 after defeating Red Sox on Wednesday
Count Torii Hunter among those in baseball who are impressed by Matt Palmer, a 30-year-old rookie right-hander who threw a complete game against Boston on Wednesday in just his seventh Major League start to improve his record to 4-0.
"I saw everything," Hunter told the Los Angeles Times. "He was working his cutter inside, going back-door on some guys, hard in with the sinker. He had guys off-balance. His curve was breaking so much. He spent seven years in the Minor Leagues, but he's up here now, fulfilling his dream, pitching his butt off."
Palmer, a 31st-round pick in the 2002 Draft who spent seven years in the Giants organization before being dropped off the 40-man roster and signing a Minor League contract with the Angels this season, retired the last 19 Red Sox batters he faced on Wednesday.
Zimmerman acknowledges appreciative fans: Giants fans saluted Ryan Zimmerman at the end of his 30-game hitting streak with a standing ovation following his final at-bat.
"We want to thank the Giants fans," Nationals manager Manny Acta told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I thought that was very classy. You don't get that everywhere you go. It was outstanding that everybody acknowledged the streak."
"It was special," Zimmerman said. "Anytime you can get people telling you 'Good luck,' people cheering you on the road, it means something."
Fans come in droves to see Greinke: Zack Greinke may not want to acknowledge it, but Royals fans are showing up in larger than average numbers on nights when he is scheduled to pitch. A sellout is anticipated for Friday night.
"The needle is being pushed," Mike Swanson, vice president of communications and broadcasting, told MLB.com. "People are planning ahead for Zack's starts."
Reimold finds satisfaction in promotion: Nolan Reimold made his Major League debut on Thursday night, picking up a base hit in the Orioles' 9-5 win over Kansas City. He found out on Wednesday night that he had been called up.
"It's something you have been shooting for your whole life," Reimold, who hit .394 with nine homers and 27 RBIs in 31 games in Triple-A, told the Baltimore Sun. "I got here, got to see the clubhouse, see the guys, all the big league players, and it is pretty surreal. It's pretty exciting for me."
Happ targeted for start in doubleheader: J.A. Happ will get his first start of the season on Saturday thanks to a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals. He has worked out of the Phillies bullpen all year.
"I think I'm going to have to take it like I have in the bullpen," Happ told MLB.com. "Go one batter at a time, really focus on each hitter and kind of pitch like I'm still relieving. We'll see how long I can go. It's very hard to say. I'm sure pitch count is going to have a lot to do with it."
Moss sees average on the rise: Brandon Moss' average has quickly jumped 40 points, and he's become an important part of the Pirates offense.
"It just feels great to contribute again," Moss told MLB.com. "It's tough when you keep going out there day after day and don't do anything to help the cause. You start to press. You can't help but press when you're hitting one-something. Getting some hits and driving in some runs helps a lot. I can relax at the plate now."
Geary lands on DL with tendinitis: The Astros placed Geoff Geary on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.
"I've been sore for about a week, a week and a half now," Geary told the Houston Chronicle. "But for me, I threw with pain last year. And I've thrown with pain most of my career. We've had two guys down and guys going up and down.
"I figured, in my stupidity, I could throw through pain. I did it last year. I've done it in my career. I could do it today. I could do it tomorrow. And I just haven't gotten a break."
Hoffman has plenty left: Trevor Hoffman, 41, has converted all seven of his save chances since coming off the disabled list on April 25. In eight innings, opponents are hitting only .115 against Hoffman, and he has eight strikeouts and no walks.
"It's only natural for people to wonder how much you've got left," Hoffman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "But I've felt pretty good out there. My stuff is not going to light you up. It's more location with me. If the location's there, I feel I have a chance."
Vizquel OK with departure from third base: Omar Vizquel, one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball history, filled in at third base while Michael Young was out with a stiff lower back.
"I'm glad I'm not there, for sure," Vizquel told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'm better prepared for it now, but I know it's not going to happen again."
Glavine sees return on the horizon: Tom Glavine got in some simulated-game work when the Braves were in New York. He was encouraged by the results and is targeting the end of May for his return to the Majors.
"I felt like today was my normal, controlled effort," Glavine told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It went well. I'm beyond where I was at Spring Training -- certainly beyond where I was when I started Spring Training -- and probably [where I was] even at the end of Spring Training."
Coghlan finally able to secure home run ball: It took some effort, but Chris Coghlan finally got the ball that he hit for his first Major League home run from a hard-bargaining fan.
"It took some negotiation, but I did get it back," the Marlins rookie, who gave the fan a bat and took a photo with him, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He wanted other things. He wanted tickets to the Yankees games. He wanted a Hanley [Ramirez autographed] ball, a Hanley bat. I was just trying to be as polite as I could and be respectful. You only get one, so I wanted to get it and give it to my mom."
Kennedy rejoins Cabrera: Adam Kennedy will have a reunion with his former double-play partner Orlando Cabrera now that he's with the Oakland A's. The two were teammates on the Angels in 2005 and 2006.
"I think Adam and [Mark] Ellis are similar players -- extremely good defensively, reliable guys, quiet, respectful," Cabrera told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He knows the way I am, and I know the way he is. It's a comfortable situation."
"It was strange for about five minutes, that's all," Kennedy said of joining the Athletics, his onetime rival. "Hopefully, I can help this team win."
Lohse glad to avoid ailments: Over the past few weeks, Kyle Lohse has been bothered by a sore back, a stomach ailment, discomfort in his left elbow and a right knee injury. Now though, the Cardinals pitcher says he's feeling just fine.
"Pretty good week," Lohse told MLB.com. "I'm right back to where I need to be. You're always dealing with something, but my back feels good and my knee feels good. My elbow is still sore, but it was a normal work week, finally. I was happy with that. I'm happy with how I feel. So I'll get back out there, get back on track. It's been a weird four weeks or whatever."
Wells ready to make second start: Randy Wells will make his second career start on Friday against Houston. In his first start last Friday, he threw five shutout innings against Milwaukee. This time, the Cubs pitcher plans to get deeper into the game.
"As much as I tried to tell myself [that it's the same game], I was still jacked up, rushed in my delivery, trying to throw 100 mph," he told MLB.com. "I got lucky and was able to make some pitches when I had to and get out of some jams. Most of the jams I was in I created myself. That's going to be huge. I realize after my last side session, I don't have to throw 100 mph, I can throw 95. If I paint at 91 and change speeds, I'll be more efficient."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.