Video rewind: Saturday game notes

— I’ve lost a few baseballs in the bushes, but never like this.

King Felix made the courtiers happy. In 13 starts against the Twins, he has a 2.40 ERA, 0.97 WHIP … and a 5-5 record.

  • Since 2005, the leaders in “ace starts” (a term I just made up for 8+ IP allowing 1 run or less): Roy Halladay 48, Cliff Lee 44, CC Sabathia 40, Felix Hernandez 39.
  • Minnesota already has been held to 1 hit or less in 2 games, matching their 2011 total, which was the MLB high. They’ve had 2 hits or less 3 times and 3 hits or less 4 times, both tops in the majors.

— Not often are the Yankees stymied by a guy with a 10-31 record.

  • The Royals will go for a home series win over the Yanks on Sunday, a trick they haven’t turned since April 2008. Since 1996, KC is 39-95 against New York, including 24-43 at home. (Update: They didn’t get it.)

Mike Minor vs. Jamie Moyer: First NL game this year with both starters allowing 10+ hits. Each one did it in 5 IP; each of the last two season has seen just one such game. There have been 30 such games since 1995, 8 of them at Coors Field.

  • #3 hitter Carlos Gonzalez reached safely in all 5 trips, but never scored.
  • Michael Bourn has drawn 6 bases-loaded walks in 45 chances.
  • In 3 of their last 4 games, the Braves have totaled 37 runs on 52 hits and 15 walks, with 7 HRs and 7 doubles. In between, Joe Blanton skunked them on 3 singles.

— Friday’s first-ever meeting between Jonny Gomes and Brandon Gomes (no relation) resulted in a HBP. Their meeting Saturday ended in a 4-pitch walk. Their fortunes continued diverging from that point: Jonny’s nice catch in the bottom of the 10th and his HR in the 12th led his new mates to victory over the red-hot team that developed him, while Brandon was optioned to AAA after the game.

James McDonald and Erik Bedard are both on pace to reach 200 IP. The Pirates are the only team that hasn’t had a 200-IP man in the past two seasons.

Jose Valverde put the pitch right where his catcher wanted it. Unfortunately, Adam Dunn wanted it there, too.

— Don’t sweat it, kid. Giancarlo hits ’em that far off everyone.

— The first HR by an Angels first baseman was a no-doubter. They also got their first HR from the leadoff spot. They still have none from 3B or SS.

Mike Trout (age 20) is the youngest player to homer this year. Only two position players age 21 or under have appeared in the majors in 2012.

— On 0-and-2, Chris Johnson was looking for the curve, and he got it. His first salami scored three men walked by Jaime Garcia, who hadn’t walked more than 3 in 12 starts since last August.

John Jay, pick on someone your own size!

— “All aboard for a free ride to Lansdowne Street!

  • Early returns on the Jeremy Guthrie trade: Jason Hammel, 4-1, 2.09 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 38 Ks in 39 IP; Matt Lindstrom, no ER, 0.91 WHIP in 11 IP.
  • More favorable trade winds: Last year’s deadline deal of Koji Uehara brought in Chris Davis (.944 OPS) and Tommy Hunter, who’s given them a chance to win 4 of his 5 starts.

Here at HHS Recap, these are a few of our favorite things:

— Youngsters, here’s a good reason to listen when your folks tell you to polish your shoes.

Belated note:

— Overshadowed by Friday’s dramatic ending was yet another strong start by Tigers rookie (and AL ERA leader) Drew Smyly. The second-year pro is the first Tiger in the searchable era to start his career with 5 starts allowing 2 runs or less. Smyly has 29 Ks in 28 IP; only one Tiger has ever had a qualifying season with 9 SO/9.

19 thoughts on “Video rewind: Saturday game notes

  1. 1

    “That play does not get made in San Francisco.”

    – Oakland color man talking smack about the Giants’ Ballboy.

    • 4
      RJ says:

      It’s not great smack seeing as the average age of the “balldudes” in San Francisco is about 80.

      • 12
        Lawrence Azrin says:

        This reminds me of KC Stengel’s comment about the fans he’d see in spring training: “Down here in Florida, the average age is dead”.

  2. 2
    Timmy Pea says:

    Damon 2 hits today, on his way to 3,000.

  3. 3
    Mark in Sydney says:

    Loved that checking of the ball for boot polish. Perhaps Umpire Ed should have gotten Brauny to take off his boot and checked the condition of his pedicure? Brilliant.

  4. 5
    Evan says:

    Re: More favorable trade wins

    Hunter was knocked out in the 5th yesterday and Davis’ OPS took a bit of a hit after an 0-8 with 5K, but he did get the win after moving from DH to P and throwing 2 scoreless innings.

  5. 6
    topper009 says:

    In the Midwest we prefer “homerun in a silo”

  6. 7
    Paul E says:

    I don’t know when the appropriate time to address this would be, but Brett Lawrie has accumulated some very significant dWAR in his 700 innnings of work over the last two 1/2 seasons at 3B. Has anyone noticed that his defensive runs would be at 32 for the 1200 inning threshold and that this tops the two greatest seasons ever by a 3B – Brooks Robinson in 1967 and 1968?

    Just curious, Neil L., or anyone out there, is does this guy really “look” to be the superior of Nettles, Schmidt, Rolen, Beltre, and Brooks? You know, by the “eye test”. Lemme know

    • 9
      John Autin says:

      I have hardly seen Lawrie on defense, but one thing I see in his defensive stats is a very high number of DPs — 18 in 71 games, which equates to a Longorian 39 DPs per 162 games.

      Such things can certainly be affected by the number of innings thrown by lefty pitchers, and the Jays did have an above-average number of those last year. But this year, they’re on the flip side of that coin, and Lawrie’s DP rate is even higher than last year.

  7. 8
    JDV says:

    I know the discussion is coming, but I can’t wait. We must talk about Sunday’s games, and it must include my Orioles. OK…I’ll be patient now.

  8. 13
    Timmy Pea says:

    Does anyone know if Bryan LaHair is considered a rookie this year? He’s going to be 30 this year and is killing the ball for the best 12-17 team in baseball.

    • 14
      bstar says:

      I’m not sure, Timmy, but I got my first view of LaHair tonight against the Braves. First pitch from Tommy Hanson, LaHair hit one 395′ to dead center that certainly would have gone out without that wet, cold fog blowing in over Wrigley. The very next pitch in his next at-bat, he drills one out into the right-centerfield seats. Consider me impressed, and it is really hard to not root for a career minor-leaguer like LaHair who’s finally getting his day in the sun.

      • 17
        John Autin says:

        Not only is LaHair a 9-year minor-league veteran (with 5-1/2 years at AAA), he was drafted in the 39th round in 2002. He’s the only player signed out of that round to make it to the majors.

        (Hochevar and Stavinoha were drafted in that round but didn’t sign.)

      • 18
        Timmy Pea says:

        Absolutely it’s a great story, a 39th round draft choice.

    • 15
      John Autin says:

      Hi, Timmy — No, LaHair had over 200 PAs before this year, and the cutoff is 125. But heck, if he can’t be Rookie of the Year, he can still be MVP!

      By the way, do you have laryngitis? Shouldn’t you be singing about Big Z right now? A CG, 3-hit shutout with 9 Ks and 1 walk! His last shutout was almost 3 years and about 40 pounds ago! (You can’t be that bummed out over his 0-3 at the plate!)

      • 16
        Timmy Pea says:

        Thanks John, I wasn’t sure of the rule for rookies. The guy looks to be a great hitter, LaHair that is. I commented earlier on the great start Z had. He looks to be in the best shape of his career and the slider is really snapping.

  9. 19
    Doug says:

    Paul E,

    Lawrie is impressive offensively and defensively. He’s a max effort guy on every play, so that helps his range but may hurt his error total. But, so far his arm seems strong and reliable.

    In a recent game, John Farrell employed an exaggerated shift on the right side with Lawrie in short right. The batter hit a little nubber down the first base line and the throw to first went into right field. Lawrie fielded it and rushed a throw to first (it was wild, but no harm done). Replays showed he could indeed have retired the runner with a good throw, but I suspect 99 guys out of 100 just pick that ball up and lob it into second.

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