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 the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
This week we take a look at a a second no hitter thrown by Mike Fiers, the Red Sox returning to their former selves, Robinson Cano continues his path towards 3,000 hits, and the reemergence of Hyun-Jin Ryu.
All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
2 - Career no hitters, for the unlikeliest of candidates, Mike Fiers. Fiers has been the quintessential average pitcher during his nine-year career. Overall, he has a career 4.38 ERA, good for an ERA+ of 99. Fiers walked two Reds’ hitters and struck out six on 131 pitches in the Tuesday night no hitter. His previous no-no came in 2015 when he was pitching for the Astros. He is the 31st pitcher in MLB history to record more than one no hitter.
8 - Wins in the last nine games for the Boston Red Sox, who previously had posted a horrible record and horrible fundamentals through the first six weeks of the season. The Sox are eight of their last nine, and have gone 9-2 so far in May. They currently have a 22-19 record, and sit only three games behind the Rays.
3 - Home runs for Justin Turner, who went four-for-five with six RBIs Tuesday night against the Braves. His home runs consisted of two solo shots and a three-run home run. In the same game, the Dodgers also saw the reemergence of Hyun-Jin Ryu….
93 - Pitches it took Hyun-Jin Ryu to shutdown the Braves completely in the complete game shutout. Ryu was super-efficient, walking none and striking out six. He also scattered four hits in the outing. Through 52 ⅓ innings this year, Ryu has walked only three batters, and has K’d 54.
40 - Games missed by Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks, who is scheduled to rejoin the team and make his 2019 debut on Monday. The Yankees’ 24-16 record is remarkable considering the numerous high-impact injuries they have suffered so far this season.
7 - Career starts for the Padres Chris Paddock, he’s given up a total seven earned runs. The results match the stuff, as he is posting a 46:10 strikeout-to-walk rate.
Matchups to Watch
Tuesday, May 14
Chris Paddock (SD) v. Clayton Kershaw (LAD), 10:10 ET
The late-night matchup between the NL Western neighbors pits classic stud Clayton Kershaw against emerging rookie Chris Paddock. Paddock has been masterful to start his career, while Kershaw is still effective, but hardly the dominant starter he was just a few years ago. Over 32 ⅔ innings, Kershaw has 31 strikeouts and six walks.
Wednesday, May 15
Trevor Cahill (LAA) v. Jake Odorizzi (MIN), 1:10 ET
The Twins are four games in front of the Indians, the only other AL Central team with a winning record. Everything seems to be going right in Minnesota, not least of it being Jake Odorizzi, who has not allowed a run in his most recent three starts. He went seven strong against both the Tigers and Astros, and went six shutout innings in the Bronx.
Thursday, May 16
Zach Davies (MIL) v. Zach Eflin (PHI), 1:05 ET
The Brewers entered last week’s series against the Cubs on a six-game winning streak, and they took the first game convincingly, 7-0. The last two games did not go their way, and their roadtrip does not get any easier with the Phillies and Braves coming up next. The Phils are 14-7 at home, and lead the division by three games.
Friday, May 17
Cole Hamels (CHC) v. Max Scherzer (WAS), 7:05 ET
The Cubs started off poorly but turned it around quickly, overtaking the Brewers for first place in the Central. The Nationals meanwhile continue to struggle. With a 16-24 record, they sit 7 ½ games behind the division-leading Phillies. A strong weekend series against the Cubs will go a long way to changing the narrative surrounding whether or not they are real contenders in the East.
Saturday, May 18
Blake Snell (TB) v. Masahiro Tanaka (NYY), 1:05 ET
The Yankees get Aaron Hicks back this week, and can walk away from next weekend’s series leading the division with a strong series against Tampa Bay. They take on the reigning Cy Young winner, though Blake Snell has not been the dominant pitcher he was in 2018.
Sunday, May 12
Brad Peacock (HOU) v. Chris Sale (BOS), 1:05 ET
We might be tiring of ‘Chris Sale Watch - 2019’ but the Red Sox likely go as Sale goes this season. This series is a 2018 ALCS rematch, with the Astros ace, Justin Verlander kicking off the three-game set on Friday (at 7:10 ET) and Boston ace Chris Sale pitching the back-end game on Sunday afternoon.
*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables