August 30, 2013

The Week in Baseball: 8/25-8/30

Matt Harvey's Elbow: The big news on Monday was that Matt Harvey has a torn UCL. The Mets say they're going to try to rehab the injury but most likely Harvey will need Tommy John surgery. As always in today's environment people went looking for someone to blame for Harvey's injury. I agree with Jonah Keri in that these things just happen. There's no one to blame and there's hopeful reason to expect Harvey to be back to normal once everything is fixed. The sad thing is that baseball fans won't be able to watch one of the most exciting pitchers in today's game.

DatDude Loses DatMind: Brandon Phillips is known to be a pretty cool guy. Well unless you question him hitting 2nd in the lineup because of his OBP. Then he's not a cool dude. Love Dusty's smirk in this video.

Detroit's Best Starter Isn't Verlander or Scherzer?: The Tigers are so stacked with talent that their 3rd starter is actually the best pitcher on the team. It's true! Anibal Sanchez is in fact the Tigers best starter on the team if you dig deep into his stats like Beyond the Boxscore has done. People love talking about how talented the Dodgers are, but have you seen the Tigers?

18 Innings Anyone?: Last Saturday the Phillies and Diamondbacks played one of the craziest games you'll see in baseball. The Phillies already had to come back from 5 runs in two innings to tie the game and that's when things got weird. Both teams just kept leaving base runner after base runner on base until the 18th inning when the Diamondbacks finally broke loose with a 5-run inning. Here are some of the crazy stats from that game:

- Adam Eaton became the first player since 2008 to have 10 at-bats in a single game.
- Cliff Pennington and Tony Campana became the first teammates in the live ball era to each walk 5 times in a game.
- The Diamondbacks as a team had 18 walks in the game.
- They left 24 base runners on base.
- Here's the Win Probability Chart of that game via Fangraphs.

Position Players Pitching: Staying with that Diamondbacks-Phillies game with the fact that two position players for the Phillies (Casper Wells, John McDonald) pitched in that game. At Baseball Prospectus Andrew Koo brings up the fact that more position players have pitched this season than any other season before. The significance of this is that we'll probably see more position players pitching in the future because bullpens are used more frequently now than before therefore relievers are worn out and need a break.

Byrd Is The Word for Pittsburgh: The New York Mets traded Marlon Byrd and John Buck to solidify the Pirates outfield and backup catcher spot for a playoff run. Yes the Pirates are in contention while the Mets are rebuilding. And this is actually a good deal for the Pirates. They get a backup catcher for Russell Martin and Byrd has been a pretty solid player this season. Of course the Mets had to screw up the deal by trading Byrd on his T-Shirt night at Citi Field.

Holes On Contenders: While the Pirates improved their team with the Byrd acquisition, there are other contending teams with holes in their lineups. Most notably the Tigers still have bullpen issues. Yes they improved with Jose Veras but as a whole they're still a mess.

Games of the Weekend: A look at the best games and pitching matchups of the weekend.

Friday, St. Louis at Pittsburgh, Miller vs Liriano: This series is huge for Pittsburgh. They've struggled in August and that has made them slip to 2nd in the division at 1 game back of St. Louis. Thankfully for them Liriano has been one of their most consistent starters and they'll need a good start from him to climb back atop of the NL Central.

Saturday, Tampa Bay at Oakland, Cobb vs Gray: This is a big series in terms of Wild Card. Both teams are in the wild card hunt and depending on how this series plays one of them could exit the wild card standings with a bad series and a good series from...........

Sunday, Baltimore at New York, Chen vs Hughes:............Baltimore who needs a good series after barely getting out of Boston with a victory. Their best chance at a victory in this series is against Phil Hughes who hasn't been that great this season.

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