@Marlins 5, Dodgers 4 — Miami blew a Jose Fernandez win in the 9th, but they still walked off smiling after Jeff Baker’s winning double. Baker had come up short pinch-hitting in the 7th with two ducks on the pond, but he seized his next chance and bagged the second winning hit of his 10-year career.
Adam Dunn is now three years removed from his historic cratering to a 54 OPS+ in 2011. Since then, he has compiled almost as many strikeouts as total bases, but has still managed a modestly respectable 112 OPS+ with a nice total of 80 home runs and almost 200 RBI.
That one season of 54 OPS+ is the only time in Dunn’s 14-year career that he’s finished south of 100. While nobody else can say that about an OPS+ season in the 50s, other players have turned in truly dreadful campaigns the only time they’ve been below 100 OPS+. More after the jump on the very worst single seasons in otherwise consistently good careers.
@Reds 6, Brewers 2 — Johnny Cueto gave up two solo homers, but nothing else until an infield single in the 8th, lasting through that frame for the 4th straight game. Cincy tallied three in the 4th off Yovani Gallardo, sandwiching a HBP, and Cueto singled home another in the 6th. Tyler Thornburg’s 13-game scoreless streak died in a 2-run 7th, and all the while, Cueto kept firing strikes.
Brewers 2, @Reds 0 — Wily Peralta’s “Little League All-Star” night: 8 scoreless innings on 3 hits, and a dose of Mike Leake’s medicine, breaking a scoreless tie in the 5th with a 2-out, 2-run double. Francisco Rodriguez closed 1-2-3 (yawn), with nothing past the infield — his 17th straight scoreless game. Milwaukee restored a 6-game lead over St. Louis, 7.5 on Cincy and 9.5 on Pittsburgh.
- K-Rod’s yield so far: 7 singles, 4 walks. Twelve of his 14 saves preserved a lead of 2 or less.
April has come and gone and warmer weather lies just ahead. That will be a relief for those players whose game tends to heat up with the weather.
But, this post is about other players, those who start the year hot. Over a career, there are some players who consistently play their best in the opening month. But, as this post shows, knowing that may not help you predict the league leaders in any given April.
After the jump, more on April’s heroes.
Here’s some stuff that I didn’t get time to fully organize & tidy up…
Rays 2, @Red Sox 1 (day) — Unscheduled rotation anchor Cesar Ramos hasn’t gotten fully stretched out yet, but he’s yielded just 2 runs in 14.2 IP over his last three. Today’s odd outing: 14 outs, one hit, 6 Ks, 6 walks. But Tampa scored the lead run in the 4th on a force-feed by Jake Peavy, who walked three straight. David DeJesus drew the payoff pass, after he hit a tying homer in the prior session.
It’s hard to imagine a player having a better first month in the big leagues than Jose Abreu did in April. He managed to lead all Major Leaguers in home runs (10) and RBI (31) while totaling more bases than any other player as well. His presence in the lineup has been the lightning bolt that electrified the White Sox offense Frankenstein offense back to life and thanks to a brilliantly balanced approach at the plate the Cuban slugger shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Read the rest of this entry
The whole Eastern seaboard is swamped, those four games all washed away, so I’ll ramble a bit before a few game notes.
How far can we project Milwaukee’s 20-8 start? Based on teams from the past 100 seasons, it’s still too soon to draw strong conclusions. (All records here projected to a 162-game schedule.)
Seven starters went out with ERAs under 2.00, including three matchups (see pregame ERAs). Some corrections occurred.
@Marlins 9, Braves 0 / Jose Fernandez (1.99) vs. Alex Wood (1.54) — The reprise of last week’s bedazzler was a one-man show. Wood’s night headed south in the 2nd: He fanned trying to bunt up a runner from first, and that man never got home despite a 2-out double. Back on the hill, Wood got two quick outs and two strikes on Christian Yelich, then triple, single, Giancarlo. In the 5th, he caught Stanton looking to strand a pair, but three knocks after a leadoff walk sent him off in the 6th, and the hits kept coming.