(I need a gimmick, so I’m only doing games with at least one team over .500.)
Cardinals 5, @Blue Jays 0 — Shelby Miller took a no-no to the 6th and finished off a 3-hitter, and Randall Grichuk’s maiden homer broke a scoreless tie in the 5th to hang a tough loss on Mark Buehrle.
The Cards tacked on four more in the 8th, once Buehrle left, as Toronto’s bullpen bugaboo bit again with 4 walks, forcing home a pair. Miller snapped his 3-start skid and went beyond the 7th for the first time this year. Buehrle doled out 5 walks for just the 6th time ever (2nd this year), two to Oscar Taveras, but nothing hurt him save Grichuk’s line drive to center that just kept on truckin’.
- 4th time in 143 career SP losses in which Buehrle yielded just one run. All four runs came on homers.
@Tigers 8, Red Sox 6 — All night, it seemed like one big hit for either side could have ignited a blowout. But that hit never came, and Detroit held on for a close win. Jon Lester and Max Scherzer combined for 11 IP, 23 hits and 9 runs, but Max spaced ’em just a little better, for his first win in four starts. Lester’s 12 hits tied his one-time career high, in his shortest stint since last August, and third game ever with no strikeouts.
Two-out doubles in the 1st by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez led to 2 runs, starting a skein of four straight scoring frames that built a 5-1 lead. Scherzer raced through the order once, but Dustin Pedroia snapped the string of 9 straight outs with his first long one in 23 games. Shortstop Eugenio Suarez, making his first start, answered with his first homer, but Max began to bog down. Boston collected 9 hits plus a walk from the 5th through 7th (seven 2-out hits), driving Scherzer out after 115 pitches, but only tallied once per frame. The Bengals kept up their attack, despite no breakthrough bash — Miggy finished with 3 knocks (2 doubles), Nick Castellanos the same with his 5th HR — and the home nine led 8-4 after eight.
But no situation is safe for Joe Nathan these days. The foundering closer threw 28 pitches before his first swing-and-miss, yielding 4 hits and 2 runs, before Stephen Drew’s flyout stranded the last two Bostons.
- Detroit hit .239 in 17 games between Sox meetings, but 29 safeties in the first two games of this set left them at .351 and 5-0 against Boston this year.
- Since swatting a career-high 21 HRs in 2011, Pedroia’s slugging marks have shrunk from .474 to .449, .415 and .373 before tonight. Boston led the majors in SLG last year, down to 12th in the AL this year.
- Suarez is the 4th to start at SS for Detroit this year. That position produced an MLB-worst .492 OPS, one HR and 6 extra-base hits in Detroit’s first 57 games.
- Miggy vs. Lester: 14 for 27, 9 walks, 3 Ks.
Brewers 9, @Pirates 3 — “Curtain up!” seemed to catch the hosts unready, as 3 errors in two plays on leadoff man Jean Segura gave the Crew a run without a hit. A 2-out knock by Pedro Alvarez gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead through three, but Khris Davis doubled in the 4th to khey a 3-run rally off Edinson Volquez, as Lyle Overbay’s 2-run single brought a 4-2 lead (and punished an IBB to Scooter Gennett). Matt Garza got a DP grounder in the 6th from Jordy Mercer to minimize a potential big inning, and a spate of wildness and bad defense fueled Milwaukee’s 4-spot in the 8th, capped by Ryan Braun’s 2-run double.
- Brewers are 9-3 against the Bucs this year, though outscored 56-53.
@Orioles 6, Athletics 3 — Caleb Joseph’s ribby double broke a one-all tie and sparked a 4-run 5th off Sonny Gray, who’s yielded more than 4 runs twice in 23 career starts — his only ones against the O’s. Joseph, a 28-year-old rookie catcher, was 5-for-41 this year before the hit. Kevin Gausman, the #4 pick two years ago, allowed just Coco Crisp’s solo home run in seven strong stanzas for his first win in 7 career starts. He induced two DPs, and mustered two of his 6 Ks when the A’s had two in scoring position in the 6th.
- David Lough’s 2-run shot off ex-Oriole Jim Johnson made it 6-1 in the 6th. Hard to believe Johnson had stunk so bad this year before serving a tater.
- Josh Donaldson donned the golden sombrero for the first time.
- Keeping up with the Jones: Adam’s homer in the 1st gave him 3 in the last 5 games. More geek-intriguing, though, Jones has one walk in his last 44 games, and 5 walks in 264 PAs this year. Remarkable for most, but old hat to Adam; last year, he had 8 walks through 85 games, 368 PAs, including a walk-free streak of 43 games. For what it’s worth, his current pace is 14 walks (13.5, really) in 713 PAs. The record for fewest walks with 600+ ABs is 13, shared by Hi Myers (1922) and Lave Cross (1904). For 700 PAs, it’s 16 by Woody Jensen (1935), one of the all-time hackers. No live-ball player has had 600 PAs with a ratio as high as Adam’s current 52.8 PA/W.
- Jeff Francis, 2008-13: 5.20 ERA, 86 ERA+. Cincy stashed him in the minors this year, then gave him one look and cut him. Somehow, he lands with the AL’s best. He worked an inning in his A’s debut, May 24, then nothing until tonight. It’s not long enough for a DL stint, and he hasn’t pitched in the minors for them; has he just been sitting in the bullpen for the last 12 games?
Mariners 7, @Rays 4 — Seattle had Endy Chavez leading off (4-for-21 this year, career .306 OBP); hitting 2nd was 25-year-old rookie James Jones, not quite a hot prospect. After Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager came slumping rookie catcher Mike Zunino (10 for his last 56, with 20 Ks). Then the non-developing Dustin Ackley; minor-league lifer Cole Gillespie (age 30, with 50 big-league hits); Brad Miller, batting .167 as a regular this year; and Willie Bloomquist, manning first base (career 79 OPS, 18 HRs in nearly 3,000 PAs). Rookie Roenis Elias made his 13th start. That lineup ripped 11 hits for 7 runs in the first 5 innings, with nothing much from the two proven bats, and beat Tampa easily.
- Kirby Yates (Tyler‘s kid brother) debuted for Tampa with four straight outs, fanning two; third Yates in MLB history. More importantly, we haven’t had a Kirby since the late, lamented one retired in 1995. This new one’s no kid, arriving at age 27, but he’s been a devastating closer at AAA, 1.45 ERA and 128 Ks in 87 IP (one run in 25 IP this year).
@Rockies 5, Dodgers 4 (10 inn.) — With two away, Brandon Barnes stroked the third walk-off triple in Coors Field history, one each year since 2012. It was Colorado’s first extra-base hit, after 15 singles. The hit scored Justin Morneau, who singled on a 3-0 count with one down.
- Adrian Gonzalez went 0-5, with a DP and three outs that ended innings with two aboard. He has one hit in his last 6 games, dropping his BA to .249; 8 for 58 since his last HR on May 21.
- Just one Rockies home game has seen either side get 15 or more hits with no extras.
- Barnes joined the Rockies in December in a swap for Dexter Fowler, who hit the first Coors walk-off triple.
- Tim Federowicz was 5 for 51 this year, then hit a go-ahead 3-run HR on the first pitch by Nick Masset.
- What’s the record for same-team starting players leaving a game with right-hip injuries?
@Royals 8, Yankees 4 — KC gave up a 3-0 lead in the top of the 6th, but got that back and more in their half. David Phelps had steadied since a 3-run 2nd, but he walked the first two Royals after his mates had rallied. New York stalled for time, as the bullpen raced to ready; but Phelps stayed in, and Salvador Perez crushed the next pitch way gone to left. Lorenzo Cain tripled off the wall on 2-and-0, and Nori Aoki slipped a 2-out single inside third.
- Danny Duffy was cruising in the 6th, until a 2-out walk to Mark Teixeira put two aboard. Carlos Beltran smoked a ribby double on the next pitch, their first extra-base hit, and Yangervis Solarte singled on 1-and-2 to tie it.
- One-a-Month Vitamins: Eric Hosmer’s mammoth blow snapped his 2nd streak this year of exactly 30 games without a homer.
- Teixeira’s .466 slugging average leads the Yanks. It would be their lowest team-leading mark since 1991.
@Arizona 4, Atlanta 3 (11 inn.) — Momentum’s nothing but the guy who takes the hill next inning. Arizona got the tying run off Craig Kimbrel in the 9th, then asked Addison Reed to keep it there. Too big an ask: Jason Heyward jacked one with two outs, the 8th time Reed’s bell’s been rung this year. Atlanta turned to Anthony Varvaro, who whiffed Paul Goldschmidt on a full count, but served one up to Miguel Montero. Three whiffs followed a leadoff walk in the visitors’ 11th. Snakes finally won it off David Carpenter, although a leadoff bunt “hit” was overturned. Gerardo Parra got the walk-off, redeeming his error that created ATL’s first run.
- With one out in the 9th, Kimbrel walked rookie Ender Inciarte (12 for 69, no homers, one XBH), who then swiped second. Aaron Hill stayed alive for three pitches from 0-and-2, then doubled to tie the game. Hill would move up on a wild pitch, but Kimbrel fanned the last two.
- Interesting: Dan Uggla went 0-4 and made his 8th and 9th errors, letting in the only run off Ervin Santana. But Fredi Gonzalez left him in after he made the last out heading into the home 9th.
- Still not sure what keeps Addison Reed in a high-profile big-league role. This is his 3rd full year, and the results just aren’t there — ERA over 4, ERA+ right at 100, that’s bad for a game-finisher.
Cleveland 8, @Texas 3 — Yan Gomes launched a tiebreaking 3-run bomb in the 6th. Texas pulled close, but Cleveland’s 4-run 7th let Josh Tomlin last 8 IP for the first time in over 2 years, and both teams landed back at .500, whence they began this series.
- Tomlin, of course, was injured and didn’t start from August 2012 until this May.
- Gomes and Carlos Santana both had OPS+ over 130 last year as regulars. Who dreamed they’d wind up batting 8th and 9th in the same game this year? Hard to guess why Gomes hit 9th today — maybe just to spare Santana’s feelings? Carlos has never started in that spot; Friday was his first time in the 8-hole.
- Santana drew 2 walks to go with his 2 hits, for season totals of 46 and 31, or 1.48 W/H. Barry Bonds is the only qualifier ever with at least 1.4 walks per hit (232 W, 135 H in 2004). Santana’s batting .171, but walked in 20% of his PAs. Lowest qualified BA with such a walk rate is Jimmy Sheckard’s .194 in 1913; lowest qualified BA by the modern standard is Jimmy Wynn’s .207 in 1976.
- Jason Giambi started at DH for the 12th time this year. He had some big pinch-hits last season, but has only filled that role once so far. His season started late, so I guess Francona’s trying to give him enough PAs to find his timing. I’ll be a bit surprised if he lasts out the year.
@Cubs 5, Marlins 2 — Jeff Samardzija bounced back strong from his worst outing and led Chicago’s 5th straight win, matching their longest of the last 3 years. Emilio Bonifacio’s first homer in 105 games followed Samardzija’s 3rd-inning single, flipping the score in favor of the shaggy right-hander, and Junior Lake splashed a pair of 2-out crowd–pleasers (including one very special guest).
@Angels 6, White Sox 5 — Chris Sale was posting Johnny Cueto numbers this year and this night: one hit through 6 IP, a big whiff to end the 7th with a 5-0 lead. But it was Comeback Night in SoCal, and the home 8th started double, single, error. Howie Kendrick fought back from 0-and-2, fouling three and working the count full before his single filled the sacks. Mike Trout followed suit, but played the trump card: Grand slam; tie game; no Sale; and still the Halos wanted more. Three 2-out hits off Jake Petricka brought the lead, as Erick Aybar finished what he’d started, and Ernesto Frieri even pulled off a clean save.
- Sale gave up two slams last year; he hadn’t faced bases full in his first 52 innings this season.
- First Angels slam since last August; first since 2008 that brought a tie or lead from behind in the 8th or later.
- Chicago had 9 hits in 5 IP by Matt Shoemaker, none in 4 IP by the bullpen.
- Batting cleanup for the Angels: David Freese, slugging .299 this year, .361 since 2013.
@Padres 4, Nationals 3 (11 inn.) — Yonder Alonso’s solo sock tied it with two outs in the 9th, and Cameron Maybin’s single won it in the 11th, capping a 2-out push. Four was the Friars’ lucky number once again; they’re 10-0 when scoring exactly 4 runs.
- Maybin came in with one RBI in 101 PAs this year, 2 for 20 (no ribs) with RISP, then collected two 2-out ribs.
- Rafael Soriano’s allowed just 3 runs all year, but two of them blew saves.
@Giants 5, Mets 4 — I waited all night for the other shoe to drop. And sure enough, the Mets dropped it. Starting the 9th with a 4-3 lead, a third strike to Angel Pagan got away from Anthony Recker; he still had time to get the out, but he threw wide. Hunter Pence took a mighty rip and almost fell over, but still pulled a double down the line (SF’s first XBH), and Pagan flew all the way home to tie the game. Buster Posey’s fly to left pushed Pence to third with one down, ’cause Grandy has no arm. They chose to walk just one man and pitch to Mike Morse, who drove the first offer past the pulled-in outfield, and sunk the Mets to 8-17 in one-run games.
- New York did all they could to give it away before the 9th, including a baserunning gaffe worthy of Babe Herman that turned a bags-full drive off the RF wall into one run and one out, and David Wright’s ridiculous bad-form-for-no-reason 2-out throwing error that led to 2 unearned runs. Had Tim Hudson on the ropes every inning, as he had no idea where his curve would go, but went 3 for 18 with RISP (0-7 by #3-5) and left 12 men on base. What haunts this team? Ah, shite, they’re just bad.
Random Saturday notes:
Danny Santana tied a record with 5 RBI as a leadoff DH, the 8th such game in history. Only Tony Phillips did that before without a homer. Santana had a 2-run single, 2-run double and another ribby rap, each scoring Kurt Suzuki, who tied his career high with 3 runs scored (last time in 2009). Dropping the DH part: 4+ hits and 5+ RBI leading off, with no run scored — 4th time since 1914 (Pokey Reese, Al Bumbry and Rip Radcliffe). For just the RBI: 5+ RBI batting 1st, no runs — 17th time since 1914, last done in 2006 (by a pair of current Mets outfielders, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young); only two leadoff men ever reached 6 RBI without scoring.
This out at home plate stood up to review. I don’t know the full plate-blocking rule, and I can’t fault Devin Mesoraco, who seems only to have done what was necessary to catch the throw and apply the tag. He wound up covering every inch of that plate, but I think that should be legal if it happens organically.
Perusing my Fireside Book of Baseball yesterday (trying to kick a BJHBA addiction), I noticed something in John Lardner’s comical recap of Babe Herman’s exploits. The Babe was hanging on as a PCL bench player during wartime, and doing very well in that role. Lardner recounts his claim to have cowed a young pitcher into a game-winning walk: “The score was tied going into the 10th inning. Seattle’s young pitcher, a kid named Soriano, had already struck out ten men. Hollywood filled the bases on him, with two out … but the boy was still strong and fast. The manager asked Mr. Herman if he was in shape to go in and pinch-hit. ‘I may not be sharp … and maybe I can’t hit him. But I won’t have to. I’ll paralyze him.'”
Well, as the story goes, the Babe just glared through six straight pitches, and got the walk. But I was more interested in “Soriano.” It’s not such a common name; only Alfonso and Rafael have made the majors. Many more have minor-league records, but only one before 1973: Dewey Soriano, from British Columbia, pitched in the PCL between 1939 and ’51, starting and ending with the Seattle Rainiers, and surely faced Babe Herman of Hollywood many times from 1939-42 (before Soriano went into the service).
I’ll guess that most Seattle baseball fans know plenty about Dewey Soriano, but I’d never heard of him. Silly me. The short story, from Wikipedia: “part-owner of the Seattle Pilots … served as president of both the Pacific Coast League and the Western International League … pitched in the minor leagues for several years before becoming the owner and player-manager of the Yakima Bears.” Here’s much more, from David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman, and well worth your time.
Athletics 4, @Orioles 3 (11 inn.) — We can debate Nelson Cruz’s decision to try for a walk-off steal of home, with two outs in the 10th and Chris Davis batting. But here’s another question: Why did Davis jump out of the box, clearing the way for Derek Norris to make the play? If he stays put, it’s a much tougher play, and maybe interference. Rule 7.07:
If, with a runner on third base and trying to score by means of a squeeze play or a steal, the catcher or any other fielder steps on, or in front of home base without possession of the ball, or touches the batter or his bat, the pitcher shall be charged with a balk, the batter shall be awarded first base on the interference and the ball is dead.
(Emphasis added.) If Davis stays in the box and Norris touches him, it’s a balk, and the O’s win. Sure, it’s hard to think clearly when you suddenly see the 230-pound Cruz barreling towards you. But that’s why you think about situations in advance. Maybe I’m an armchair hard-ass, but that’s a potential game-winning thought right there, and the O’s wound up losing. Players spend hours on video and scouting reports, looking for some edge to win a game. But sometimes you can get as big an edge just from anticipating the unlikely play.
Or maybe I’ve just read Paul Fisher’s short story, “The Spitter,” too many times (in The Fireside Book of Baseball): “In this here book you say you want my greatest day in baseball, and you perfer me thinking. This time I’m going to tell you about, I done some of the tallest thinking I ever done in my life.” “Perceed,” she says, and I done so.
Meanwhile, Manny Machado got his knickers in a twist. OK, he’s only 21; he ran too far on the play, and his overreaction was probably part embarrassment. Manny said afterward, “He made the right play, but I just didn’t agree on the tag that he made on me and I just had to get up and confront him. You get in the heat of the moment and things start flying.” Well, good thing Josh Donaldson’s fists didn’t start flying and bust up the jaw that Manny led with. But Donaldson chose just to “do my job and play the game of baseball.”
- Sean Doolittle fanned three straight on 12 pitches for the save. He’s whiffed 42 of 106 batters, with just one walk. The highest K/W ratio ever with at least 40 Ks is 18.3, by Dennis Eckersley (1989 and ’90); highest by a lefty reliever is Billy Wagner’s 9.8 (2004). Doolittle’s surge began last September. In 41 IP since then, 54 Ks, one walk, 25 hits (0.63 WHIP).
- Unearned? When Stephen Vogt singled home John Jaso with the lead run in the 11th, it was scored an unearned run. Jaso had gone from second to third with one out on J.J. Hardy’s error. Reconstruct the inning without the error: If Jaso was on second with two outs, wouldn’t he probably have scored on this grounder through the left side? He surely would have tried, and Jaso (though a catcher) is a good baserunner. He’s scored from second on a single in 35 of 45 career chances.
- With plays like this, Craig Gentry’s 4th in dWAR by center fielders since 2011, despite starting just 201 games.
- Which Oakland catcher’s batting .292/.881, and which .299/.891? Norris and Jaso both have 40 hits, 14 for extra bases, 6 HRs.
@Tigers 6, Red Sox 2 / @Blue Jays 3, Cardinals 1 — Anyone with a read on last year’s World Series foes, please contact Game Notes. Not since the ’94 strike have both defending pennant winners finished .500 or below. The average follow year for the 1995-2012 WS teams was 90-72, with every follow year producing at least one team with 88 wins or more. Only the fire-sale 1998 Marlins won as few as the 73 that Boston’s now on pace for.
The champs are on a 7-14 roller-coaster — 10 straight defeats, then all 7 wins, and now another skid. They never lost 4 straight last year.
- Victor Martinez in 54 cleanup starts this year: .337 BA, 14 HRs, just 34 RBI and 26 runs. That’s a season pace of 153 starts, 40 HRs, 97 RBI and 74 runs, by an AL cleanup hitter. Since 1914, only two cleanup men have failed to reach 100 RBI while batting .300+ with 30+ HRs in at least 130 games in that spot: Ron Santo (1966, 94 RBI) and Adrian Beltre (2012, 99). The only one with those criteria and less than 80 runs was Fred McGriff (1999, 73 runs).
St. Louis seemed to have found themselves in mid-May with a 9-2 stretch that raised them to 28-22. But that was built on pitching and narrow victories; their offense still hasn’t broken out. The point is old by now, but no less true: The main difference between the Cards’ NL-best 4.8 R/G average last year and their sub-par 3.8 mark this year is the unpredictable fluctuation of clutch hitting. Last year’s hits were concentrated with men on base, to an historic degree. This year’s distribution has flipped:
- 2013 — .236 with bases empty, .313 with men on base
- 2014 — .262 with bases empty, .238 with men on base
Friday, Allen Craig came through in their very first RISP chance, putting the Cards up, 1-0. But on the same play, Jose Bautista cut down Matt Holliday at home, the 7th out on base for the now lumbering left fielder (3rd-most in MLB), pointing up another phase in which the Cards have backslid. They didn’t score again, going hitless in their last 11 RISP chances.
- Jose Reyes reached 5 times from the leadoff spot, but never scored; 5th such game in the last 5 years.
- The best development for Toronto may be that Jose Bautista has been fit to play in every game, after missing 40+ each of the last two years. He’s already matched his WAR average from those seasons.
Nationals 6, @Padres 0 — Tyson Ross missed with four straight to Denard Span leading off, and Anthony Rendon followed with a homer. Then it was all about Tanner Roark, who nearly echoed his April three-hitter, also against the Pads.
- Roark in 17 career starts: 2.58 ERA, 22 walks in 108 IP. His only games reaching 8 IP or 7 Ks were against San Diego.
- Makin’ hay: Nats are 18-11 vs. sub-.500 teams, including 4 straight wins.
- Last 14 games, Washington’s outscored foes by 63-47, but split those games — 4 one-run L’s, 4 blowout W’s.
- Nats trail Atlanta by one game, thanks to a 1-5 head-to-head in early April. Nothing new there: Since 2012, Nats are 7 games worse than Atlanta overall, 17-26 heads-up (including 8-13 at home). Next meeting starts June 19, 4 games in D.C.
- The mysteries of life include LA’s record by starting pitcher for the last 2 years: 30-10 with Greinke (2.78 RA/9); 26-15 with Ryu (3.23 RA/9); and 23-17 with Kershaw (MLB-best 2.29 RA/9).
- Two triples and 3 RBI for Dee Gordon, both career firsts. First since 2011 with 2 triples and a stolen base.
- Here’s something I would not have guessed: The most triples in a 90-SB year is 13, shared by Ty Cobb (1915) and Omar Moreno (1980), each with 96 SB. Gordon’s pace is 94 SB and 15 triples. Only Cobb and Eddie Collins notched the 80/15 combo. The LA Dodgers triples record is 16, by Willie Davis (1970). Gordon’s home park works against him; only Tommy Davis ever hit 7 in a season at Dodger Stadium, back in its first year.
- Gordon stole second in the 6th with a 6-0 lead. What’s the Coors conversion factor for this “unwritten rule”? Surely a 6-run lead isn’t safe with four raps left for the home nine. Sure enough, Colorado rapped 3 extra-base hits in their 6th, plating a pair.
- Drew Stubbs homered and doubled against Ryu. He’s gradually finding his level as a platoon player, which he should have been long ago. His OPS is near 1.000 this year off southpaws.
@Texas 6, Cleveland 4 — Michael Choice’s home run in the 7th gave the win back to Yu Darvish, who squandered a 4-0 lead.
- Rougned Odor’s 2nd HR gives him 7 XBH out of 19 hits, slugging about .480. Why did I assume he had no power? Maybe ’cause that’s the sort of middle infielder Wash seems to like. But Odor’s doing just about the same as at his top minor-league level, where he hit .293 and slugged .490.
@Pirates 15, Brewers 5 — Pittsburgh’s most runs since 2010. They’d gone 298 games without topping 12 runs, the 2nd-longest streak since 2012. (Seattle’s 330 is still going strong.)
Pittsburgh’s 613 straight games of 14 runs or less was 3rd-longest in Bucs live-ball history. They went 782 games from 1962-67, and 626 from 1992-97. The latter came right on the heels of a 602-game streak starting in ’89; the game in between clinched their 3rd straight NL East title.
He’s not allowed to affect the outcome any more, but just how long will Milwaukee go with rule-5 draftee Wei-Chung Wang? His latest leaky mop-up left him with a 12.79 ERA and 26 hits allowed in 12.2 IP. He’s had four scoreless outings in nine tries, but even those totaled 4 hits and a walk in 4 IP.
@Giants 4, Mets 2 — Carlos Torres hung a slider to Buster Posey with the game tied in the home 8th, one batter after walking Angel Pagan on 4 pitches leading off.
Torres is 1st in relief pitches thrown, 2nd in games and innings, a bigger workload than he’s ever borne (on pace for 96 relief innings), and had yielded just one HR. It was bound to catch up to him.
Three Mets reached first base (specifically), and each was immediately wiped out on an easy DP. One Met doubled, and Daniel Murphy immediately crushed a homer. My conclusion: Run until they throw you out! (Shoot, I’m just try’na think outside the box, here. We cain’t outplay these fellers, but mebbe we can out-figger ’em.)
@Angels 8, White Sox 4 — Four straight 2-out hits tallied a nickel in the 4th, blowing this one open.
- Jered Weaver’s ERA has bested his FIP in 8 of his 9 seasons. Among 62 active pitchers with 1,000 career innings, Weaver and Johnny Cueto have the lowest ERA/FIP ratios — 3.39/3.92 for Cueto, 3.24/3.70 for Weaver. Worst are Ricky Nolasco (4.44/3.80) and Francisco Liriano (4.20/3.63). Just what this tells us, I’m not sure; perhaps our own bstar will translate?
- 450th home run for Adam Dunn, off 330 different pitchers, totaling 727 RBI. He also has 162 scoring singles, good for 180 RBI. Dunn’s .238 BA is the worst by far among the 36 men with 450+ HRs, but seven had a lower OBP.
With 3.4 WAR this year, Dallas Keuchel is halfway to the record for an Astros southpaw, set by Andy Pettitte (2005). Just three others reached 5 WAR: Mike Hampton (6.6 in ’99), Mike Cuellar (5.6 in ’66) and Dave Roberts (5.2 in ’73). Hampton’s the only lefty to win 18 or more in a season; Keuchel’s on an 18-win pace.