Up The Hill For The Catch: Is there a park with more ridiculous features than the ballpark in Houston? Between the train that sits on top of the stadium, to the Crawford boxes, to the Chick-Fil-A cow signs on the foul poles, to that ridiculous and dangerous hill in centerfield
MLB Record Watch: Beyond the Boxscore looks at a couple of players who could break some records this season including a dubious one. First Manny Machado could break the doubles record this season. Right now Machado has 31 doubles (!!!!) and could finish the season with 72 doubles breaking the record by 5. And then you have Chris Carter chasing down Mark Reynolds strikeout record. That's one record though you don't want your name alongside of.
Corey Kluber Society: If you're not reading Carson Cistulli's posts over at Fangraphs then you're doing yourself a big disservice. Even if you're not a stathead you need to read his posts like this one on the Corey Kluber Society. That post is everything that I enjoy about Cistulli's work and proof that there can be humor in advance metrics.
Every Manager's Face: Another humorous advance stats writer is Sam Miller who is compiling pictures and .gifs of every manager's face. You'd be amazed at how many of them chew gum, have bitter beer faces, or stone cold killer eyes.
"clutch skills" with a look at the best and worst relievers in baseball. Needless to say relievers like Brandon League, Heath Bell, and Carlos Marmol have been terrible this season.
Strange Career Paths: Grant Brisbee looked at some of the stranger career paths taken by current major league players. There's the guy who eventually improved into a great hitter: Yadi Molina. There's the guy who struggled in the minors and crushed the majors: Hanley Ramirez. And there was the broken pitcher who became unhittable: Cliff Lee.
The Pirates Making a Run at Giancarlo Stanton?: David Schoenfield of SweetSpot suggests the Pirates make a serious run at Giancarlo Stanton. While a Stanton-McCutchen outfield would be pretty sweet, I doubt a deal could be made. I have a hard time conceiving any other scenario than Jeffrey Loria getting involved in this deal and asking for way too much. Factor in that Stanton is still young and under contract and I just don't see how this happens.
Games of the Weekend: Looking at the best games and pitching matchups for the weekend.
Friday, Baltimore at Toronto, Hammel vs. Dickey: The Blue Jays have been coming on strong lately. They've won 8 out of 10 games are only 7 games out of first place in a suddenly very tight AL East. As for this pitching matchup as hard as it is to believe but Dickey has almost a full point lower ERA than Hammel and doesn't average nearly as many walks.
Saturday, Texas at St. Louis, Perez vs. Miller: Who's ready for Buck-McCarver talk about game 6 of the 2011 World Series? On a side note why does Fox air their baseball primetime games during the basketball season and then stop after the basketball season is over? Wouldn't it make sense to air the primetime baseball games from July until mid-August? Why are people who program events for baseball so bad at their jobs?
Sunday, Boston at Detroit, Doubront vs. Verlander: A sneaky subplot of the season so far has been how kinda mediocre Justin Verlander has pitched this season. One of his problems is that he's averaging 3 walks a game. Another problem is his BABIP is way up. While I'm sure he'll regress a little the 3 walks per 9 innings isn't looking good though.