Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout baseball, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
This week, Sean Manaea tosses the first no-hitter of the year against the hottest team in baseball, Aaron Judge becomes the fastest player to hit 60 homers, and one team axess their manager. It’s all in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
100 - Game score for the Athletics Sean Manaea who tossed a no hitter against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night. Manaea allowed only two walks and struck out ten Boston hitters. He dealt the Red Sox only their third loss of the year, and was the first pitcher to complete six innings or more since April 3rd. Some Red Sox hitters took it in stride, understanding full well that a loss is a loss.
197 - Games it took Aaron Judge to get to 60 home runs. Judge made history last Monday, jacking number 60 against the Marlins Caleb Smith at Yankee Stadium. He got to number 60 in 5 fewer games than it took the previous record-holder, Mark McGwire.
3 - Home runs by Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts on Tuesday. Boston pounded Angels’ prodigy Shohei Ohtani, forcing him to leave after only two innings in the opening game of a three-game sweep in California. Ohtani suffered from a blister but looked mortal on the mound and at the plate.
11 - Home runs the Red Sox hit in the three-game set versus the Angels --- the most homers in any Boston three-game series since 1977. In the three-game sweep, Boston outscored Los Angeles 27-3.
2 - Blown saves for Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen who only blew one save in all of 2017. Jansen has allowed six earned runs already this year after allowing only ten all of last year, and he’s already given up three longballs to only five in 2017.
104 - Game started in Matt Harvey’s career. New York announced that he will be moved to the bullpen after yet another trouncing on Thursday, this one at the hands of Atlanta. So far in four strats this year, Harvey has allowed 14 runs in 21 innings, averaging a game score of 33 over his last three outings.
1 - Managerial change already in basell. Last week the Cincinnati Red axed manager Bryan Price. Over four+ years, Price’s teams never made the postseason, and compiled a .419 winning percentage. Former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman will be at the helm for the 3-18 Reds for the remainder of the season.
2 - Outs recorded on a traditional baseball play on Thursday night...but Evan Gattis walked off the field thinking the double play ended the inning. His walking out of the baseline caused an unconventional triple play.
21 - Pitch at bat in a battle between Angels’ pitcher Jaime Barria and the Giants Brandon Belt. Barria ultimately prevailed, inducing a fly-out, not before Belt raced up 21 pitches in what is the most pitches in one at bat ever recorded.
Matchups to Watch
Tuesday, April 24
Jose Berrios (MIN) v. CC Sabathia (NYY), 6:35 ET
A rematch of the 2017 American League wild card game pits Twins ace Jose Barrios against Yankee veteran CC Sabathia. Berrios looks like he’s taken the step to be an impact player for the Twins, and in 99 innings so far this year, he has only walked one batter. He’s already accumulated 1.3 fWAR, compared to 2.8 all of 2017.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) v. Charlie Morton (HOU), 8:10 ET
Ohtani struggled with a blister in his abbreviated outing against Boston, which did not go as well as his previous starts. He takes on another powerful lineup in Houston on Tuesday. Charlie Morton meanwhile has been unbelievably effective in his post-Pittsburgh career. He is following up his 2017 playoff heroics looking like he absolutely belongs in the company of Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. Expect the Angels and Astros to be jockeying for the AL West lead all season.
Wednesday, April 25
Tyson Ross (SD) v. Jon Gray (COL), 3:10 ET
An NL West matinee on Wednesday gives us an opportunity to see Tyson Ross, who went 7 ⅔ hitless innings on Friday night. He ended up with the no decision in the game, but a healthy Ross is always exciting to watch, as he’s always had great potential, but rarely could stay healthy enough to be impactful.
Friday, April 27
Luis Severino (NYY) v. Andrew Heaney (LAA), 10:07 ET
Yankees ace Luis Severino takes on the Angels in a three-game set on the West Coast. The Yankees will miss Ohtani, but Severino against Mike Trout is going to be a fun one to watch.
Saturday, April 28
Junior Guerra (MIL) v. Jose Quintana (CHC), 2:20 ET
The Cubs have had their ups-and-downs so far this year, especially in a rotation that has not received anything of value from Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish. The Brewers are keeping pace in the NL Central, in part due to the good, though minimal innings of Junior Guerra. Signed as an undrafted free agent, Guerra meets his match against a potent Chicago lineup.
Patrick Corbin (ARI) v. Jeremy Hellickson (WAS), 4:05 ET
Arizona is off to a strong start, and leads the Dodgers in the NL West by a handful of games. The Nationals have struggled to gain traction, and gets the DBacks resurgent ace in the middle game of the set. Keep an eye on this matchup, as there’s a possibility the rotation gets adjusted and Corbin goes up against Strasburg.
*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching 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