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Marty's Musings, June 8th: This week's look beyond the box score

The Twins still lead the Central and an unlikely pitcher hands Giancarlo Stanton the golden sombrero.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another edition of ‘Marty's Musings, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week Major League Baseball. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the prior week and the upcoming matchups to watch, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

This week history was made in the Mets / Padres series...twice, the Rangers called up power prospect Joey Gallo and Pat Venditte, Oakland's ambidextrous reliever, logged his first major league innings; it's this week's installment of ‘Marty's Musings'.

Here are this week's ‘Numbers Beyond the Box Score':


 Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

2.1 - Innings pitched by Oakland Athletics reliever Pat Venditte. Venditte is a product of the Yankees' farm system but was not resigned after the 2014 season.  The ambidextrous pitcher tossed 2.1 innings this weekend against the Red Sox; he struck out one batter walked zero and gave up one hit.

350 - wRC+ for Nelson Cruz against left-handed pitching going into Sunday. Cruz leads the majors in home runs with 18 and has a .227 isolated slugging. With Robinson Cano's bat seemingly on a spring vacation, Cruz is keeping the Mariners somewhat relevant in the American League West.

12/0/5 - On Monday night, Andrew Cashner became the first pitcher in modern history to strike out at least 12 batters, walk zero, and not make it through the fifth inning. Oddly, something similar happened the following night when Noah Syndergaard did the same thing against the Padres, going four innings, striking out ten and walking none. You can't make this stuff up.

2 - Consecutive months Dallas Keuchel won American League ‘Pitcher of the Month Award'. Keuchel's 81.2 innings leads the majors, as does his 1.76 earned run average. He has a 3.00 xFIP and it would not be surprising to see some regression due to his low .220 batting average on balls in play. Nevertheless, Keuchel has emerged as an Ace for the Astros, and is projected to be a 4.5 Win player per  FanGraphs' projection systems.

4 - Giancarlo Stanton strikeouts by Colorado starter Chris Rusin. Rusin made only his second career start on Saturday and is the first pitcher to ever strike out Stanton four times in one game. Rusin K'ed eight and did not walk any batter in the Rockies 10-5 victory over Miami.

12 - Number of home runs given up by Minnesota ‘ace' Phil Hughes so far in 11 starts this season. In 209 innings, Hughes gave up 16 home runs all of last year and finished seventh in Cy Young voting. Aaron Gleeman breaks it down, as Hughes' numbers are nearly identical to last seasons....except the long ball. As of Sunday, the Twins are in first in the A.L. Central, but are projected per FanGraphs depth chart standings to be the league's worst team the rest of the year.

3 - Hits for Clayton Kershaw in his start against the Rockies on Tuesday night. It's the first time he has gotten three hits in a game in his career. Kershaw went seven strong innings, giving up two runs, striking out seven and walking only one batter.

2.8 - Max Scherzer's fWAR. Scherzer is significantly ahead of second place Gerrit Cole's 1.9 fWAR. Scherzer got roughed around in the latter innings of his loss against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

9 - Starts in which Gerrit Cole has give up two runs or fewer and gone at least six innings. Cole has been absolutely fantastic this season and has finally broken through to show why he was drafted in the first round on two separate occasions. He has absolutely destroyed right handed hitting, with a slash line against of .204/.266/.283.

1 - Home run for Joey Gallo in his first major league game. Gallo has 80 raw power, and scouts and fans alike would show up to minor league stadiums to watch him take batting practice. On Tuesday night, with his entire family in attendance, he crushed this home run in the third inning. Gallo complemented this blast with a double and a single in a 3-4 night. He is a boom-or-bust hitter who compiled a significant number of home runs in the minors, though his double-A 34 percent strikeout rate is something to watch.

What to Watch

Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, June 9

Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) v. Miguel Gonzalez (BAL)

All aboard the Eduardo Rodriguez train!  The 22 year old rookie was traded from Baltimore to Boston for late-season rental Andrew Miller. In his first two starts, Rodriguez has thrown 14.2 innings and allowed only one run. He's striking out one batter per inning and has been exactly what the Red Sox needed after a tumultuous start for their rotation. This division remains wide open, and it seems increasingly likely the winner will have 85 or fewer wins.

Tuesday, June 9

Max Scherzer (WAS) v. Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

Scherzer got roughed up in his last start but still has a sterling 1.85 earned run average. Tanaka was brilliant in his first outing off the disabled list against the Mariners when he went seven innings, struck out nine and walked zero.

Friday, June 12

Felix Hernandez (SEA) v. Brett Oberholtzer (HOU)

Hernandez cruised through the first few innings of his game against the Yankees, but it all fell apart for him in the fourth and got even more disastrous in the fifth. The ‘King' went only 4.2 innings and gave up seven earned runs, more than he allowed in his previous five starts against New York. He goes up against the all-or-nothing Western division-leading Astros on Friday.

Saturday, June 13

Jeff Samardzjia (CHW) v. Chris Archer (TB)

Chris Archer joined Doc Gooden as the only pitcher to strike out 12 and not walk anyone in back-to-back starts. Tampa continues to roll in a fully open American League East while the White Sox are under .500 and need to turn it around quickly if they want to sniff a playoff berth.


Steven Martano is a Featured Writer at Beyond the Box Score and a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano.