Game Notes, for the run-up to Deadline Day
Another go-round with the recent format … rushed to press so we can get to chewing on the deadline deals.
@Atlanta 2, San Diego 0 (Mon.) — Forgive me, Ervin Santana: Your 11-K sparkler deserves the lead, but sheer novelty trumps all. Ex-outfielder Jason Lane made his first mound start, at age 37, and took a shutout into the 7th, but took the loss from an Evan Gattis home run. Lane threw 68 strikes among 92 pitches, allowing four singles and no walks before Gattis broke through, and also had the Pads’ first hit, one of five singles in their 16th shutout loss.
- Gattis is 17 for 43 against lefties this year, with 5 HRs, and .302 BA/.597 SLG in his brief career.
- Santana’s fanned 10+ in back-to-back starts for the first time.
- Petco, shmetco: 11 of SD’s 16 blankings were on the road, where their scoring average is slightly lower (3.06 vs. 3.10). Their home/away splits are virtually the same — BA .219/.218, SLG .340/.334. If maintained, that .218 road BA would be tie the lowest since 1973
- Lane played right field for Houston from 2002-07, peaking in ’05 when the Astros reached the World Series. After a six-year absence, he emerged this June with two scoreless relief stints, including a perfect 3.1 IP against Pittsburgh — one of three debuts since 1914 retiring each of 10 batters or more. Fine company there: Jimmy Key (10 BF) and Max Scherzer (13 BF).
- He’s the 26th modern player with his pitching debut at age 37 or older, but just the sixth of those to start a game — the first since Pat Scantlebury in 1956. The rest: Connie Marrero, 1950; Satchel Paige, 1948; Les Willis, 1947; and Alex “Red” McColl, 1933. Only McColl had a better first start than Lane, a 3-1 CG win, with a 2-run double thrown in; he also won over 300 games in the minors. (I wondered why McColl got a Sept. 6 start for the first-place Senators, but they actually had the pennant about sewn up by then.)
@Marlins 7, Nationals 6 (Mon.) — Washington used various creative techniques to blow a 6-0 lead after six, as Miami scored four in the 9th for their 5th straight win. After Rafael Soriano let in 3 runs to tie it — from a 4-pitch walk through Adeiny Hechavarria’s one-out triple — southpaw Jerry Blevins came on and fanned lefty Christian Yelich. But Matt Williams inexplicably let him face Jeff Baker, and the career .295 hitter against LHPs ripped the first pitch deep to left for the win.
Let’s look at the Nats’ pitcher usage: After Jordan Zimmermann went 7, lefty Ross Detwiler got two outs in the 8th. With a man on third and a 6-3 lead, Williams used Drew Storen to whiff Giancarlo Stanton. I won’t cavil about pulling Storen and his 1.05 ERA for the closer; that ship has sailed. But I still can’t fathom how it came down to Blevins against Baker. Stanton was due up next, and the 8th inning made clear that Williams would have used one of his three remaining righties if Baker had walked. But when a single will beat you, why is Stanton (.294 career vs. LHP) more scary than a guy whose entire career is built on his ability to hit lefthanders? Williams must have known Baker’s splits, but just didn’t put much stock in them.
- The funny thing about the fastball Blevins piped in to Baker: It seems to be right where Wilson Ramos wanted it.
- I see nothing wrong strategically in Jayson Werth’s attempt to stretch a single on Giancarlo, ahead six-zip. But dude, how ’bout sliding?
(Tues.) @Marlins 3, Nationals 0 – A scoreless tie was broken in the 6th with a double by Giancarlo, a leading foil of Stephen Strasburg. Henderson Alvarez issued 4 walks for the first time in his last 30 starts, but held the Nats to 3 hits in 7 IP, trimming his ERA to 2.48 (4th in the NL). Steve Cishek dug himself a hole, but whiffed Anthony Rendon on three pitches to strand the bases full. Miami’s 6th straight win pulled them back to .500, and within 5 games of first-place Washington.
- Stanton plated another in the 9th and still leads the NL with 71 RBI, despite a July slump.
- Ten different Nats came up empty with ducks on the pond.
(Wed.) Nationals 4, @Marlins 3 – Tanner Roark’s 4th straight outing won with (exactly) one run in 7 innings — first such streak in franchise history, first in MLB since Jamie Moyer in 2001.
- Best RA/9 over the last two years (180+ IP): 1) Kershaw, 1.99; 2) Roark, 2.53; 3) Cueto, 2.62. Dunno if I’m quite on board with Eric Byrnes’s gushing declaration on MLB Network (“he’s an ace“), but Roark may have the performance-to-hype ratio among recent breakouts.
Pirates 5, @Giants 0 (Mon.) — Vance Worley withstood a two-out Hunter Pence triple to complete his first shutout, a tidy 4-hitter on 100 pitches. He’s been a boon to the Bucs, with a 2.27 ERA and 8 walks in 7 starts. Their other starters share a 4.01 ERA (none better than 3.40), and their four leading starters all average at least 3.0 W/9.
- Worley had one prior complete game, against the Giants, three years and two days ago. He also won his only prior start in SF.
- In their sixth straight game with no more than 3 runs or 7 hits (where have I heard that before?), the Giants officially ran out of ideas on how to compete offensively.
(Tues.) Pirates 3, @Giants 1 – Francisco Liriano backed Worley’s gem with his own best work this year, 11 Ks and one walk in 7 innings for his third straight team win since the Break (3 runs in 19 IP). Tim Hudson’s 5th loss in a quality start tied him for the MLB lead.
- Not many drives from right-hand batters clear the right-field wall in San Francisco. That’s the first homer for Josh Harrison classed as pure “RF.”
- Harrison’s power surge reached four straight games with a home run.
@Padres 3, Cardinals 1 (Tues.) — It wasn’t in the Cards to capitalize on Tyson Ross’s 5 walks in the first three frames.
- Would you go on contact? Tied in the top of the top of the 5th, Matt Carpenter at third with one out, Matt Holliday at bat, infield in, Matt Adams on deck. I say yes, and so did Mike Matheny. But Yangervis Solarte blew it up with a quick release, and the ensuing hit by Adams went to waste when Jhonny Peralta tapped out.
- Allen Craig can’t buy a break. His OPS+ plunge — from 136 for 2011-13, to 79 this year — is the largest among 40 with at least a 125 OPS+ in the past three years and 200+ PAs this year.
- Confusion Central: St. Loo is 0-1 this week, gaining a half-game on the Brewers, but slipping to third place.
- Last year, the Cards led the NL in scoring a runner from third with less than two out, and in advancing a runner from second with no outs. They’re #1 again in both measures, but their scoring’s dropped from 1st (4.8 R/G) to 14th (3.7 R/G). No amount of productive outs can make up for losing 50 points of OPS.
(Wed.) @Padres, Cardinals — Jesse Hahn is good. And Jeff Francoeur managed to go 0-for-2 in one pinch-hit appearance. He has just one hit in 13 ABs so far, but a shocking 3 walks.
Diamondbacks 2, @Reds 1 (Mon., 15 inn.) — Gad-zooks! Even with six full turns through the order in this marathon, the Reds still haven’t topped 3 runs or 7 hits in 10 games — just the 2nd such one-season streak since 1916. The ’72 Brewers went 12 straight starting with their 2nd game, after a shortened spring training. (AL teams averaged 3.30 R/G that April.) The 1915 Braves also had 10 straight with no more than 3 runs and 7 hits.
Devin Mesoraco homered to open the 2nd, and Brayan Pena doubled with one out. But he was dead meat trying to score after a slow read of Kris Negron’s blooper, as Ender Inciarte (ancient Red ire? a cretin reined? canine retired? or I cratered nine?*) rang up his 6th assist in just 38 starts in CF. Their other three hits were well-spaced singles, by Negron in the 8th, Pena in the 10th and Mesoraco in the 14th. Everyone else went 0 for 29. Maybe the bats truly are to blame?
- As bad as Cincy’s .171 BA during this 1-9 skid is their 95-18 K/W ratio. No active Red has more than 37 walks.
- Shall we blame the Home Run Derby for Todd Frazier’s 6-for-39 skid, with one RBI and 14 Ks against one walk? The pressure of trying to carry a moribund offense? Or is he just finding his level?
- *Don’t even get me started on David Peralta.
(Tues.) @Reds 3, Diamondbacks — Mike Leake’s first scoreless game since April raised the sinking Reds back to .500, despite an output of (yes) 3 runs on 7 hits. Well, they didn’t get to bat in the 9th … Leake drove in one himself and got 23 outs. Jonathan Broxton retired Mark Trumbo with one pitch, ending the 8th with two aboard, and Aroldis Chapman sang the lullaby.
(Wed.) Diamondbacks 5, @Reds 4 – Tack-on runs proved fatal to the Reds, who broke their 3-run/7-hit mold on Devin Mesoraco’s last-ditch 3-run shot, but still came up a buck short. Alfredo Simon yielded only Paul Goldschmidt’s 2-run homer in his seven stanzas, but Cincy cashed none of their 11 runners in Wade Miley’s similar tenure, and their bullpen couldn’t keep it close enough. Didi Gregorius hit a long one off rookie Carlos Contreras, so the 10th served up by Addison Reed was just an agonizing tease.
- The 3rd inning sums up the Reds’ recent futility: Chris Heisey singled, thrown out stretching. Ramon Santiago singled and Todd Frazier walked, to set up their best hitter. But Santiago was caught stealing third, with Frazier holding, and Mesoraco flied out.
@Dodgers 8, Bravos 4 (Tues.) – LA’s nine extra-base hits were their most at home since this memorable rally — eight years and a baseball epoch ago. That’s also the last time four Dodgers each had two XBH or more.
- Yasiel Puig had a shot at a “natural” cycle, after a single, double and his 9th triple in his first three trips, but settled for an infield hit, and whiffed on his final chance. (Look at him bust out of the box for that three-bagger!)
- Matt Kemp’s first 4-RBI game since 2012.
(Wed.) @Dodgers 4, Bravos 3 (10 inn.) — Trade Matt Kemp? Trade Matt Kemp?!? Why, the very notion!!
- Justin Upton hit Kenley Jansen so hard, it knocked Zack Greinke out of the 13-Win club. And did Jansen really throw a 2-2 curveball?
AL EAST – If this is what a “down year” for the AL Beast looks like, that only shows how much we’ve come to expect their dominance over the last two decades. Through Wednesday’s games, the first-place O’s had a better win percentage than four of the other five division leaders. The division overall was 12 games over .500, better than any but the AL West. Are any of the NL Central contenders really better than the Blue Jays? Is any team better than the Rays right now? [Er, strike that last one.]
@Orioles 7, Angels 6 (Tues., 12 inn.) — Manny Machado watched a ball and two strikes from Cory Rasmus, then timed a big bender for his first walk-off blast, and Balmer’s 12th win in 15 O.T. sessions. Starters Jered Weaver and Chris Tillman both were roughed up in 5-inning stints, and Nick Markakis gave the O’s a 6-4 lead with a 3-run homer in the 4th. Josh Hamilton pulled the Halos even with a solo shot (snapping his second 20-game homer drought this year) and an infield hit that capped a two-out rally in the 7th. Machado’s up-and-down night included a tying double in the 2nd, followed by an inning-ending pickoff, and a GIDP that sent the game to extras.
- Who’s “number one” for Baltimore? Their active starters all have ERAs between 3.67 (rookie Kevin Gausman) and 3.97 (Tillman, the Opening Day starter).
(Wed.) @Orioles 4, Angels 3 — Kevin Gausman retired the first 14 Angels, then walked three in a row, and saw them all come home. But he struck out Mike Trout to end the 5th with the tying and lead runs on tap, and breezed through two more frames on six batters.
@Rays 2, Brewers 1 (Mon.) — The Crew managed two infield hits and a Mark Reynolds homer off Jake Odorizzi, and five of their last six went down swinging against Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee. Tampa scored twice in the 6th off Kyle Lohse, starting with a two-out walk to Ben Zobrist and ending with James Loney’s single.
- Odorizzi has quietly moved up to 3rd in AL SO/9, behind Darvish and Scherzer.
- McGee and Boxberger have combined for 129 Ks in 90.2 IP (37.8% K rate), with an 0.83 WHIP.
- Three other bullpen duos each have at least a 33% K rate and 150+ batters faced: Yankees David Robertson and Dellin Betances (40.7% combined); Royals Greg Holland and Wade Davis (38.3%); BoSox Koji Uehara and Andrew Miller (37.6%).
(Tues.) @Rays 5, Brewers 1 – Ben Zobrist tied it with a two-out solo in the 6th, and doubled home the lead run in the 8th, when Tampa scored four times with help from Will Smith’s 3 walks. Alex Cobb outlasted Matt Garza in a worthy duel, fanning seven of his last 10 batters to finish with 12 Ks in eight sterling frames.
- Rays starters have gone 12 straight yielding 3 runs or less, and have a 2.71 ERA this month.
- Desperate times call for … The first sac bunt in six years for Mark Reynolds, setting up the first run on Scooter Gennett’s sac fly in the 5th.
(Wed.) Brewers 5, @Rays 0 – The decision to (finally) pull the trigger on a David Price trade didn’t hinge on the end of his career-best six-start win streak. More like the post-Break resurgence of the Jays (10-3) and O’s (8-4), and even the Yankees (8-5), whose continued relevancy meant that Brian Cashman would keep on dealing.
Blue Jays 14, @Red Sox 1 (Mon.) — Toronto’s homered twice or more in their first four Fenway games this year. The last team with more than four straight in one season was Harvey’s Wallbangers in 1982, with seven in a row. The Jays have won all four such games, matching their own feat of two years ago; no other in the division era has won four straight in Fenway with at least 2 HRs in each.
(Tues.) Blue Jays 4, @Red Sox 2 – Marcus Stroman fanned 8 in his third straight 7-IP win, second in a row over the BoSox, and Colby Rasmus and Anthony Gose led the offense from the lower half. Rasmus socked his 14th for a 2nd-inning lead, and singled in the 4th to set up Gose’s tiebreaking 2-run double. Toronto’s won four in a row, and five straight over Boston for a 9-3 season lead.
- Stroman has a 2.12 ERA in 11 starts, seven with one run or less in 6+ IP.
(Wed.) Blue Jays 6, @Red Sox 1 – Mark Buehrle’s best start to a season had devolved into the second-longest winless streak of his 15-year career, but the limp Sox got him off the schneid.
@Rangers 4, Yankees 2 (Mon.) — Texas scored four with two out in the 5th against David Phelps, overcoming Brett Gardner’s two homers off Yu Darvish, while nine other Yankee hits went for nought in their third straight loss. Adrian Beltre tied it with a double, passing Eddie Mathews for 4th in extra-base hits by a third baseman (and tying Scott Rolen for 4th on that doubles list), and after a 4-pitch walk to Jim Adduci, J.P. Arencibia stroked an 0-and-2 meatball up the middle to plate a pair. Brian McCann went 0-4, each with someone aboard, and whiffed twice to end frames with men in scoring position.
- Gardner is 4 for 10 vs. Darvish, all dingers. Two others own 4 HRs off Darvish: Brandon Moss (23 ABs) and Mike Trout (34 ABs). Matt Dominguez is the only other with two in a game off Darvish.
- The Rangers have lost 29 of 36, but won 2 of 5 from the Yankees.
- Darvish’s career splits show an overall .214 BA and .349 SLG, but with RISP those drop to .181/.267. Both RISP marks are the smallest percentage of overall totals for any active pitcher with 50+ starts, especially the slugging figure. He’s yielded just 3 HRs in 431 ABs with men in scoring position — just one in 229 ABs with two or more on base. (And that one barely stayed fair. So maybe a Lonnie Chisenhall’s 3-HR game was not his most impressive feat this year.)
(Tues.) Yankees 12, @Rangers 11 – A 7-run 6th helped New York withstand a heap of two-out trouble from Arencibia, whose career-high 7 RBI all came with two down, and a wild 9th from David Robertson. Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup after eight games with three walks and a 2-run shot, scoring 3 runs. Four of the six Yanks who walked came in to score. Leading 12-9, Robertson whiffed Arencibia to start the 9th, but doled out 3 walks, and couldn’t exhale until Adrian Beltre flied deep to left on a full count.
- Brett Gardner led the game off with his 13th homer, and opened two other frames with doubles. Eight of his last 11 hits have gone for extras.
- Arencibia has just 10 hits in 11 starts since coming back from Triple-A, but 5 HRs, 16 RBI.
- Gardner and Arencibia are the first pair this year with a HR and two doubles in the same game.
White Sox 11, @Tigers 4 (Tues.) — Two Tigers muffs behind Anibal Sanchez snapped a 2-all tie in the 7th, and Joakim Soria fanned the flames as if he’d been here all year — single, 3-run double, 2-run bomb by Jose Abreu, solo by Adam Dunn, an out and two more hits before the mercy hook.
- First ribby hit in 10 games for J.D. Martinez.
- For the third time in four series with the ChiSox, Detroit will not face Chris Sale, who’s held them to a 2.14 RA/9 and 0.99 WHIP in six starts over the last two seasons.
(Wed.) @Tigers 7, White Sox 2 — A 6-run 1st helped Max Scherzer end the Bengals’ 4-game swoon and join Adam Wainwright with his 13th win. Nick Castellanos capped the outburst with a just-enough 3-run shot to right, part of his first 4-RBI game, and the only extra-bagger among Detroit’s 13 hits. Scherzer blanked the Sox on 3 singles until the 7th; he’s beaten them four straight times this year, 12-5, 2.35 in 22 career starts.
- Here’s what Max’s agent might put in his sales-pitch binder this fall: 34-6 record in the last two years and 65-22 since 2011, most wins and best W% for either period. Second in Ks for 2013-14 and 6th in innings, with about 4 whiffs per walk.
- Pop quiz: Jose Abreu’s current 19-game hitting streak included nine straight with at least one strikeout. The first hit-and-whiff streak to reach 11 games was by Ken Hubbs, in 1962, later matched by Bobby Bonds, Gorman Thomas, and a few others. Who had the only such streak longer than 11 games?
Twins 2, @Royals 1 (Tues.) — Kyle Gibson, Mr. All-or-Nothing, ranks 2nd in the majors with eight scoreless starts and with five yielding 6 runs or more. Danny Santana scored both Minnesota runs after a double and a bunt hit. KC scored with two quick hits in the 9th off Glenn Perkins, but couldn’t get the tying run past first, and fell to 12-21 in one-run games.
(Wed.) @Royals 3, Twins 2 – Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon hit scoring doubles in the 6th, rallying the Royals from a 1-0 hole against Phil Hughes. But Danny Duffy still can’t buy a win; he left on the hook with two out in the top half, and still has a 4-9 record as a starter despite a 2.46 ERA. While he was in the game, they’ve scored 1.9 runs per 27 outs.
- I do not understand batting Alex Gordon 5th. He’s doing a great job there, but he could contribute more higher up. Through Tuesday, KC’s #1-2 spots had produced a .306 OBP and an AL-worst 99 runs (121 is average). Gordon is hands-down the Royal best qualified to hit near the top of the order, and fits the classic #2 profile: bats left, good BA and OBP, some pop, runs well. He’s only batted 2nd in 18 career games — with a .420 OBP, 17 runs, 12 RBI. MLB #2′s have hit .285 with a man on first base only, and .278 with first base occupied; KC #2′s have hit .236 and .244; Gordon’s career marks are .283 and .282 in those splits. Even in what’s not his best year, Gordon still leads the team in BA and OPS with men on base (.303/.874) and RISP (.329/1.029).
@Astros 7, Athletics 3 (Mon.) — AstroPower! Houston’s 3rd in AL homers, but last in BA and next-to-last in OBP.
(Tues.) Athletics 7, @Astros 4 — Oakland scored six times in the 9th, tying it with two out against Chad Qualls on a soft-serve by Yoenis Cespedes, before Brandon Moss beat both the lefty-stifling Tony Sipp and the shift.
- Oakland’s record when trailing after 7 innings is 11-30 — eight wins more than if they had the same percentage as the rest of the league.
(Wed.) @Astros 8, Athletics 1 — Probably just coincidence that Jason Hammel got crushed again the night before Billy Beane dealt for Jon Lester. Jesse Chavez has regressed (4.21 ERA last 10 starts), and workload could be an issue for the outstanding Scott Kazmir and Sonny Gray — Kaz looking to reach 160 IP for the first time since ’07, and Gray facing his first pro campaign of 180+ innings. They’ll miss Yoenis Cespedes; how many first-place teams have dealt away a productive middle-of-the order bat, not to mention one with clutch tendencies? But the return of southpaw-slamming Jonny Gomes, along with the surprise emergence of LHB Stephen Vogt as a passable outfielder and the separate reacquisition of LHOF Sam Fuld, fits Oakland’s mix-match lineup. Gomes is best suited to DH, especially with the spacious outfield in Oakland. But that would fill a need, as their right-handed DHs have hit just .201/.623 so far, and all A’s DHs against southpaws just .185/.619.
Seattle 5, @Cleveland 2 (Tues.) –
(Wed.) @Cleveland 2, Seattle 0 — King Felix got a record, but Corey Kluber stole the show, holding Seattle to three singles (two erased on DPs) in his first shutout. Yan Gomes did the receiving and drove in both runs with a double in the 5th. Kluber used just 85 pitches (16 balls) in his third game this year with 9 IP, no earned runs and no walks (2, 3 and 4 hits). He threw 12 strikes before his first ball and ran just four two-ball counts, none worse than 2-and-1. And suddenly, the M’s are 3 games behind Toronto for the 2nd wild card.
- If a shutout with less than 100 pitches is a Maddux, an 85-pitch shutout must be a Cook – the only man with more than one such game.
- Just one shutout is known to have a better ball-strike ratio: Chris Bosio, 1992, 71 strikes and 15 balls.
- Hernandez notched his 14th straight with 7+ IP on 2 runs or less, breaking the tie with Tom Terrific. The M’s have lost four of those, by 0-1, 0-2, and 1-2 twice.
@Cubs 4, Rockies 3 (Tues., 16 looonnng innings) — If it takes six hours to invoke the name of Kittridge, then damn the bullpens — lay on, Malachi! The mound debut of veteran backstop John Baker produced the 15th straight zero on the visitors’ scoreboard (12 logged by relievers), and the first same-season stints at both catcher and pitcher for a Chicago National since 1896, when Mr. Kittridge hurled in one game for Cap Anson’s Colts, and was their fixture behind the plate.
Baker got through the 16th on 11 tosses, following a 7-pitch walk to Drew Stubbs with a one-hop DP off the bat of Christhian Adames, who grounded to second all three times in his big-league bow. Then Baker led off the bottom half (naturally) with a walk, and scored a walk-off run for the first time in his 7-year career.
- Four Cubs relievers worked at least 2 scoreless innings, the first such game in MLB since last June.
- Last for this team to catch and earn a decision in the same year: Journeyman Joe Brown (win) and Hall of Famer King Kelly (loss), both for 1884 White Stockings. Many such odd things happened that year, when the upstart Union Association tried to challenge the established National League and American Association, making a total of 31 “major league” teams.
- Last time the Cubs played at least 16 innings at home was 2003, and it took two hours less.
@Mets 7, Phillies 1 (Mon.) — Travis d’Arnaud drove two balls off the wall and one way beyond it for a 3-run homer, in his first multi-XBH game. Bartolo Colon worked 7.2 innings for his 10th win, distributing 10 hits (four by Carlos Ruiz) and yielding the run to his last batter. His 87 strikes are tied for 3rd in a game this year.
- Colon’s scheduled start this Sunday will be his first crack at win #200. His 28 wins in the last two years are tied for 3rd, with Clayton Kershaw. OK, “wins” … but this guy’s in his 40s. At least. Only 10 modern pitchers have two 15-win seasons in their 40s.
- Marlon Byrd’s 4 hits made this the first time since 2012 that two Phillies had four in a game.
- Not to make too much of this, but Daniel Murphy is 2nd in NL hits and doubles since 2012, trailing McCutchen and Goldschmidt.
- Going even geekier … The Mets’ defunct 9-game streak scoring 3 runs or less was the 40th since 1994 at least that long — and the first ending with a record as good as 4-5.
(Tues.) Phillies 6, @Mets 0 – Chase Utley’s first grand slam since 2010 cracked a 2-0 game wide open with two out in the 7th. But it was never really that close. Cole Hamels sidestepped 6 hits in the first four frames, making great pitches as needed, then found a groove for 13 straight outs.
- Gary Cohen couldn’t even finish quoting Dillon Gee’s black-and-blue marks against the Phils before Jimmy Rollins jolted an 0-2 fastball off and over the right-field fence. Grady Sizemore pulled a 1-2 slider off the pole for another solo, his first in the senior circuit.
(Wed.) @Mets 11, Phillies 2 –
@Cubs 4, Rockies 1 (Mon.) — Now, just a minute, here: I’m glad that Tsuyoshi Wada earned his first win with a strong outing. But his “Dr. K” nickname listed by B-R — no, that simply won’t do. Sources say he was dubbed “Dr. K of Tokyo” or “Dr. K of the Tokyo Big 6” in his college days; all well and good. I know that some iconic nicknames have been recycled — but let’s see Wada win 20, fan 200, or compete for a Cy Young Award before dropping the diminutive from his moniker.
Through Monday, the average score this year was 5.74 runs for the winner, 2.49 runs for the loser.
Pop quiz answer: Last spring, Joe Mauer hit and whiffed in 15 straight games – 27 for 61, with 20 Ks and no home runs, .659 BAbip. In the five games before the streak, he went 0-19 with just 2 Ks. Of the seven 11-game streaks, only Hubbs went homerless.
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