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Marty's Musings: April 24

The first no-no of the season, Bryce Harper blazes his own trail as best player in baseball and JR Murphy and Logan Morrison have a forgettable week. It’s all in this week’s ‘Musings’.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Numbers

89 - Game score for Jake Arrieta in his successful no-hit bid against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday night. He was a tad wild, walking four batters but setting the tone for the Cubs, who handily took care of the Reds in a 16-0 smackdown. Arrieta also had a hand in the 18 Chicago hits, going two for four with a walk.

7 - Extra base hits for Bryce Harper last week, who hit six home runs in eight games spanning from two weeks ago until last Thursday night. On the year, Harper has a 200 wRC+ with a .323/.405/.855 slash line after hitting a pinch hit home run in Sunday's 16-inning game against the Twins.

11 - Stranded men left on base by JR Murphy, which set a record for a nine inning affair. The Twins catcher could not catch a break and went 0-5 in a game in which the Twins beat the Brewers 8-1.

1504 - Career hits for Dustin Pedroia, who passed the 1500 mark last week. He sits in tenth place on the Red Sox all-time hits list. He's halfway to 3,000  ------- one of the most magical numbers in baseball because, let's face it, we like round numbers.

3 - Straight games in which Mets' first baseman Lucas Duda homered against the Phillies April 18-20th. Interestingly enough, all three home runs were on back-to-backs. The Mets took two out of three from Philly and outscored them 25-8 in their three game set.

5/5/2001 - The date of Derek Jeter's steal of home, the last time a Yankees player stole home prior to Jacoby Ellsbury snatching a run against the Rays on Saturday. Ellsbury stole home for the Red Sox against the Yankees in 2009. Despite being an oft-injured players in pinstripes, he remains an electric player when he's in the lineup.

1 - Run given up by Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda in his first four starts of his career. It's the fewest runs given up by any pitcher in his first four starts since 1983, when the mound was moved to 60 feet 6 inches.

8 - Home runs by Anthony Rizzo so far this season, including two on Sunday. He's the first Cubs player with eight or more home runs through the first 19 games of a season since Billy Williams did it in 1970. Rizzo isn't getting many base hits, as his average sits at just .203, but he's getting on base at a solid .360 clip.

22 - Strikeouts for Logan Morrison in 53 plate appearances in 2016. Although the season is still quite young, LoMo looks cooked and currently has a .080/.132/.100 slash line through 19 games.

What to Watch

Monday, April 25

Raisel Iglesias (CIN) v. Noah Syndergaard (NYM)

Syndergaard's starts may remain on this list for a loooong time. He continues to dominate and his starts remain must-watch TV for all baseball fans. Thor's average slider velo is just a shade under 92 MPH ----- faster than over 200 pitchers' average fastball velocities. Additionally, he is one of only two qualified starters with a K-BB rate over 30 percent.

Tuesday, April 26

Vince Velasquez (PHI) v. Max Scherzer (WAS)

The only other starter on the list with a K-BB rate over 30 percent is Velasquez, who has put on a pitching clinic in Philly. He has a 22 ERA- and has only given up two earned runs in 19.1 innings. Max Scherzer got roughed up in two of his four outings so far in 2016 and he's looking to get back on track against a lousy Phillies offense.

Thursday, April 28

Jose Fernandez (MIA) v. Kenta Maeda (LAD)

Fernandez is still one of the most fun pitchers to watch in baseball and he goes up against Kenta Maeda who has been brilliant for Los Angeles. Fernandez has a 32:2 strikeout to walk ratio this season and Maeda has only given up one earned run in four games.

Sunday, May 1

Chris Sale (CWS) v. Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)

In his last two starts, Chris Sale has tossed 16 innings of four-hit shutout ball and struck out twelve (he hasn't even walked a batter). Tuesday night he takes on a potent Orioles lineup that is collectively hitting 37 percent above league average (137 team wRC+).

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano