This four game set matched the AL West and AL East division leaders at Yankee Stadium. Both teams feature lineups with some promising young talent mixed in with a few veterans. Each also has a solid top of the rotation that turns a bit iffy at the bottom, so it’s good that both offenses are among the highest scoring in the league. More after the jump.
This is my first post in what I hope will become a series as the season progresses (I’ll take my cue from our reader response, or lack thereof). I’ll be picking a series each week, or maybe two, involving the leading teams, and see what nuggets I can pull out of the games or, perhaps more likely, gems that you contribute through your comments.
So, to start, I’m looking at this inter-league rivalry matchup between the NL East leader and, as the series begins, the second place team in the AL East, just a half game in arrears of the leading Yankees. It’s a four game home-and-home set, starting in Baltimore and finishing in D.C. More after the jump.
With one month in the books, here’s a look at some of the noteworthy pitching performances for this April.
Before injury led to an abbreviated outing on the last day of the month, Noah Syndergaard had four starts with 6+ IP and nary a walk or home run allowed. That ties him with Adam Wainwright in 2013 for the longest such streak to begin a season.
Dr. Doom here, with my final post about re-voting MVPs. I want to begin by thanking you all for participating in these discussions. It’s been a lot of fun to write the posts and to read what everyone’s opinions are on these issues. If/when I have ideas about stuff in the future, I’ll write and see if I can convince Doug to post more stuff. I’ve been on this discussion board since it was the baseball-reference blog (I’m thinking it was sophomore year of college when I started posting a lot – the 2006-07 school year). I may be younger than a lot of the commenters here, but I stretch back as far as just about anyone in terms of being part of this community, and it’s meant a lot to me as it’s moved from bbref to blogspot and finally here. In all that time, I’ve been part of a lot of great discussions in the comments, but it’s been really, really fun to actually contribute some posts.
In Monday’s Angels-Blue Jays game, Toronto second baseman Devon Travis was called out for batter interference on this play. Travis swings and misses on what was apparently an intended hit-and-run, striking Angel catcher Martin Maldonado with his bat on his swing follow-though. Maldonado makes a throw that is high and too late to catch Jay third baseman Chris Coghlan advancing to second base. Home plate umpire Tony Basner applied rule 6.06 (c), calling Travis out for interference and sending Coghlan back to first base. The ruling was significant as, with nobody out, Toronto lost an out and a base in the 7th inning of a one-run game.
More on rule 6.06 (c) after the jump.
This post takes a look at some of the more unusual happenings this season, some you may have heard about, but hopefully more that you haven’t (at least not until now). More after the jump.
Hey everyone! Dr. Doom here again, with my penultimate post on MVPs from the past.
By 2004, it had become rote; more often than not over the previous six seasons, the Yankees and the Red Sox were both in the playoffs. Unsurprisingly, yet again, the Yanks and BoSox finished with the top two records in the American League. Even thought the final margin was only 3 games, the Yankees led the division from June 1st on, which makes that race a lot less exciting. They won 100+ for the third straight season (exactly 101 for the second year in a row). Was there a little extra drama due to the way they’d beaten the Red Sox the year before? Sure. I mean, if you’re leading the ALCS by 3 in the eighth inning of Game Seven, it’s probably going to add a little fuel to the fire of next year if you lose, as the Red Sox did. But mostly, it was an uninteresting race.
Not every player enjoys the good fortune of playing on good teams. Position players, even on bad teams, can attract attention with stellar counting or rate stats. But, it isn’t so easy for pitchers who, even today, can still be overlooked without an attention-grabbing W-L record.
This post is looking at pitchers who sported bad W-L records for bad teams, but who nonetheless turned in creditable if under-appreciated seasons.
I imagine it must have made a splash at the time, but I completely missed Brandon Crawford‘s 7 hit game last August, only the fifth time since 1913 (and first since 1975) that a player has rolled a lucky seven (or more). But that wasn’t the only remarkable aspect of Crawford’s game; he also posted the 3rd highest recorded single game WPA score.
After the jump, more on baseball’s best WPA games and why Crawford’s is especially unusual.