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, Ichiro finally gets to 3,000 via a blast at Coors Field, Alex Rodriguez' services are no longer wanted in the Bronx, and Danny Duffy looked masterful last Monday ; it's all in this week's Musings.
30 - Players in the 3,000 hit club now that Ichiro Suzuki joined the club on Sunday afternoon. Ichiro did not join MLB until he was 27 years old, and he still managed to get into the elite club. A sure-fire Hall of Famer, here's a look at his career in the United States. Ichiro and Paul Molitor are the only players to hit triples for number 3,000. He's 42 years old and still fun as ever!
1506 - Games played (to date) for Alex Rodriguez in New York. The Yankees are divesting most of their aging talent, and with the waning ARod standing in the way of plate appearances for younger players, the Yankees have decided to part ways. While Rodriguez had a strong 2015, he has cost the Yankees over one win (per FanGraphs WAR) this season. Let's make it clear, this is not a mutual parting of ways; the Yanks have effectively fired their slugger. Rodriguez is four home runs shy of 700.
35 - Swings and misses for the Royals' Danny Duffy in a magnificent start against the Rays last Monday night. Across eight shutout innings, Duffy allowed only one hit and one walk. He struck out 16 batters and set the PITCHf/x era record for swings-and-misses.
26 - Different Dodgers who have been on the disabled list this year. That's more than an entire active roster. Bud Norris was number 26, but despite the numerous starting pitchers LA has churned through, the Dodgers remain only one game behind the faltering Giants.
521 - Wins as the Orioles manager for Buck Showalter. Showalter is second to Earl Weaver on the all time O's managerial winning list. He has quite a way to go, as Weaver tallied 1480 victories for the Orioles. Baltimore is tied with the Blue Jays for the AL East lead, with the Red Sox only 2.5 games behind them.
2.7 - fWAR for Rockies rookie Trevor Story, who is out for the year after having surgery to repair a torn UCL in his thumb. Story took over at shortstop amidst the Jose Reyes debacle, and Colorado never looked back. A strong candidate for Rookie of the Year comes to a screeching halt.
14 - Game hitting streak for the Rockies' David Dahl who joined the Rockies and has played in...14 games. Dahl is chasing the 17-game record set by the Reds Chuck Aleno back in 1941.
4 - Home runs for Max Kepler in a two-game span last week. Kepler is the first Twins player since Kirby Puckett to smash four homers in a two-game period. Puckett accomplished the feat back in August 1987.
25 ⅓ - Number of innings it took newly-minted Mariners closer Edwin Diaz to reach 50 strikeouts. Diaz has tallied 56 Ks in only 30 innings and possesses a 16.80 K/9 rate.
1 - Pitcher who has won on both sides of the New York Subway Series. Bartolo Colon beat the Yankees last week as a Met.
11-2 - The Rangers' record against the Astros this season. The ‘stros took one of three at home against the division-leading Rangers but will remain a full-step behind Texas if they can't ever beat them. Texas has a commanding seven-game lead in the West.
What to Watch
Tuesday, August 9
Trevor Bauer (CLE) v. Max Scherzer (WAS)
Two first place teams but with pitchers on different spectrums. The Nats turn to Max Scherzer who has been as good as ever; he has not gone fewer than six innings since May and has yielded more than three runs only once since June. Bauer on the other hand is still trying to establish himself on an up-and-coming Indians team. He got destroyed in his last start in which he went only 2.2 innings and gave up seven earned runs against the Twins.
Wednesday, August 10
Justin Verlander (DET) v. Felix Hernandez (SEA)
The Mariners were atop the AL West but now look up at both the Rangers and Astros who are eons ahead. King Felix seems to be in his twilight, but for a night we may get a matchup that just a few years ago would be a prime time must-see.
Friday, August 12
Adam Wainwright (STL) v. Jake Arrieta (CHC)
The Cardinals are 11 games behind the Cubs, and although they send out their ace in their series opener in the Windy City STL is really looking toward a Wild Card berth. Arrieta has plenty of season to go, but the June and July inconsistency is hopefully behind him. He went eight strong in his last outing against an anemic Oakland offense.
Saturday, August 13
Anibal Sanchez (DET) v. Cole Hamels (TEX)
The Tigers have their sights set on the division and trail Cleveland by only 2.5 games. They face Yu Darvish on Friday and Cole Hamels on Saturday, which will be a test to their offensive capabilities. Anibal Sanchez has had a rocky 2016 but has put together two good starts in a row against the White Sox and Mets, respectively.
Sunday, August 14
Chris Sale (CHW) v. Jose Fernandez (MIA)
The White Sox are going absolutely nowhere this season, but Chris Sale remains a must-watch. Going up against a surging Marlins team that very well may make the playoffs makes for a nice Sunday afternoon matinee. Between the two of them, we have 341 strikeouts in just over 284 innings.
Pitching Matchups based on early week probables
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