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Marty's Musings: Kershaw rocks, the Giants roll

The Giants separate themselves a bit from the NL West while Clayton Kershaw continues to assert himself as the best pitcher in the game.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball and looking forward to this week's key matchups. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's key matchups, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

In this week's edition, the White Sox stumble but remain atop a mediocre-looking American League Central, the Giants have an historic road trip, and Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. continues his great leap forward; it's all in this week's Musings.


10 - Strikeouts for both Noah Syndergaard and Max Scherzer in their pitchers' duel at Citi Field last Tuesday. The last time opposing starters both K'ed 10 players was last October when Scherzer faced Matt Harvey

7 - Road game winning streak for the Giants last week. San Francisco swept a three-game set in San Diego and a four game series in Arizona. It is the Giants first seven game road sweep since 1913. They are 9-1 in their last ten games and lead the National League West by four games.

8/19/2002 & 8/20/2002 - The last time two Giants' pitchers tossed consecutive complete games before Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto did it last Tuesday and Wednesday. Bumgarner and Cueto were key in the Giants road sweep, and replace Livan Hernandez and Jason Schmidt as the most recent duo to accomplish the feat.

27 - Game hitting streak for the Red Sox' Jackie Bradley Jr. who over the last two weeks is hitting .469/.527/,918 with six home runs. He's always been a plus defender for the Sox, but his emergence at the plate has been integral to the Red Sox league-leading offense.

31 - Stolen bases for the Red Sox, who have only been caught stealing three times this season, which is the fewest in baseball. Mookie Betts leads the team with eight stolen bases and has yet to be caught stealing.

4/21 - The day of Khris Davis' first home run. He got off to a slow start, but Davis added numbers 9, 10, and 11 including a walkoff against the Rangers on Wednesday night. He followed that up on Thursday with another and only trails Yoenis Cespedes (14), Nolan Arenado (14), Mark Trumbo (13), and Chris Carter (13).

2 - Triple plays turned by the White Sox so far this year, including an unconventional triple play turned against the Rangers on Wednesday night. The last team to turn two triple plays in a season was the 2007 Phillies. Despite their luck getting out of these specific jams, the Sox have faltered in recent weeks losing four straight series to the Royals, Astros, Yankees, and Rangers, respectively.

7 - Shutouts for the Phillies already in 2016. Philadelphia has an anemic offense but is posting some amazing pitching numbers. They have already matched last season's shutout total despite only playing 44 games.

63 - Home runs for the both the Rays and the Orioles. Last week the Rays held the top spot by themselves, the first time ever Tampa Bay led the majors in home runs. The Rays ran over the Jays last week outscoring them 25-10. The Orioles are in a virtual tie with Boston in the AL East.

3-30 - The Minnesota Twins record against every team other than the Indians (4-2) and Angels (3-0). Minnesota has a .256 winning percentage and is already 14.5 games behind the White Sox.

17 - Strikeouts for Giancarlo Stanton in his last 21 at bats. Stanton is in a real funk at the plate right now, hitting .210/.325/.476 this season. His plus power continues to shine, as he has 11 home runs on the year.

88:4 - Clayton Kershaw's current strikeout to walk ratio. In 2014, the Twins Phil Hughes set the Major League record for K:BB with an 11.6:1 ratio. Kershaw's current 22:1 rate has been, let's say, better.

What to Watch

Monday, May 23

Drew Pomeranz (SD) v. Johnny Cueto (SF)

Johnny Cueto has been playing an excellent understudy to San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner. Through nine starts he has an ERA 27 percent below league average and a FIP 40 percent below league average. He is also posting the best strikeout to walk ratio of his career. Pomeranz has been as effective as Cueto recently and in his last four starts has throw two shutouts against the Mets and Cubs potent offenses.

Monday, May 23

Rich Hill (OAK) v. Taijuan Walker (SEA)

Rich Hill is a junk-ball pitcher who consistently gets above average strikeouts mystifying opposing batters and analysts alike. The 36-year-old has 59 strikeouts in 49.2 innings and takes on the division-leading Mariners. Taijuan Walker is on the early side of his career and has been inconsistent. He looks to get back on track against an anemic Oakland offense; Walker has not gone past the fifth inning since April 25th.

Tuesday, May 24

Matt Harvey (NYM) v. Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

It seems as if the Mets and Nats play every week and this matchup is interesting due to the two pitchers at very different places. Stephen Strasburg is having a career year, posting a 2.80 ERA and a 2.30 FIP (that's 31 and 41 percent better than league average). The Matt Harvey saga continues in Queens as the third best pitcher on the Mets looks to come back from his worst career start. In last week's home start against DC, he did not make it out of the third inning and gave up six runs after facing only 19 batters through 2.2 innings.

Wednesday, May 25

Corey Kluber (CLE) v. Jose Quintana (CHW)

A battle of the top two teams in the American League Central, Cleveland gets the gauntlet against the White Sox and get Chris Sale on Tuesday and Jose Quintana on Wednesday. The Indians are 2.5 behind the Sox going into the series.

Saturday, May 28

Juan NIcasio (PIT) v. Yu Darvish (TEX)

Darvish is making his debut after his recovery from Tommy John Surgery. He tore apart the minor leagues in his rehab starts and looks ready to take on one of the National League's top offenses.

*Matchups determined by pitching probables on Sunday evening and are subject to change


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