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 catch up on David Ortiz news, the College World Series, a right handed-heavy Yankees thumping lineup, and celebrate the greatness of Shohei Ohtani.
All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
6 - Men arrested in the Dominican Republic in connection to the attempted murder of former Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz. In THE unexpected news story of the week, Ortiz was ambushed at a DR nightclub and shot at point blank range. The Red Sox flew him to Boston for medical care, and he is recovering. For ongoing developments check The Boston Globe.
7 - Innings this year’s Futures Game will go, with the game starting on Sunday evening, when most, if not all, MLB games are completed. One of the most fun (and underrated) events of All Star game weekend, the Futures game pits the stars of tomorrow against one another in what is generally a fun event.
2 - Different teams that Albert Pujols has hit 200 home runs in his career. He hit number 200 last week, making his career total 645 dingers when adding his 445 he hit in St. Louis. He joins elite names such as Jimmy Foxx (Red Sox & Philadelphia Athletics), Mark McGwire (A’s & Cards), Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners & Reds), Rafael Palmeiro (Rangers & Orioles), and Manny Ramirez (Red Sox & Indians).
21 - Home runs for Edwin Encarnacion, who is leading the American League, and was traded to the Yankees from Seattle last week. The Yankees add yet another right-handed bat to their already-righty-heavy lineup, but got him for a song; Seattle received pitching prospect Juan and cash for E5, and are likely eating a significant portion of his salary.The Seattle rebuild has officially begun!
8 - Teams vying for the College World Series this week in Omaha, Nebraska. The tournament kicked-off this past weekend with Michigan beating Texas Tech, Florida State defeating Arkansas, Vanderbilt beating Louisville, and Mississippi topping Auburn. You can find the schedule for the rest of the tournament here on the NCAA’s website.
72 - Strikeouts and 13 walks in 65 ⅔ innings for Padres’ rookie Chris Paddock, who San Diego optioned to triple A last week. The move is meant to limit his innings, but the same thing could be accomplished by moving him to the bullpen. Service time manipulation abounds in today’s MLB...and fans are worse-off for it.
1 - Japanese player in the history of MLB who has hit for the cycle now that Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani did it last week against the Rays. He helped propel the Angels over Tampa Bay by hitting a three-run homer in the first inning, then he led off the third inning with a double, he hit a triple in the fifth inning, and singled in the seventh.
92 - Runs scored in the four-game Padres / Rockies series last weekend. 131 hits and 17 home runs later, the teams split the series, amidst some dramatic late-inning Rockies’ meltdowns. Colorado won a normal slugfest Thursday, 9-6, on Friday, San Diego scored six ninth inning runs to win 16-12 in 12 innings. On Saturday Colorado took another bopping game 14-8, though on Sunday, Colorado blew a 13-10 ninth inning lead and lost 14-13. The wild weekend was the most runs scored in a four game series since a 1929 Phillies / Dodgers series.
Matchups to Watch
Monday, June 17
Yonny Chirinos (TB) v. Masahiro Tanaka (NYY), 7:05 ET
The Yankees and Rays have basically been even in the standings for the last month+, and the Rays visit the Bronx this week to try to separate themselves and add to their half-game lead on New York. the series kicks off with Yonny Chirinos, who shut down the Red Sox in Boston then threw a two-run six-inning game against Oakland against Yankee ace, Masahiro Tanaka.
Rick Porcello (BOS) v. Jose Berrios (MIN), 8:10 ET
While the Yankees and Rays play in the Bronx, the Red Sox, fresh off a sweep at the hands of the Orioles, face the hottest team in the AL in the Twins. Minnesota is running away with the Central and is basically even with the Astros for best record in the American League.
Tuesday, June 18
Justin Verlander (HOU) v. Anthony Desclafini (CIN), 7:10 ET
JV is coming off his first 15-strikeout performance of his career, in a game against the first place Brewers. He’s having another great year, currently with 125:19 strikeouts to walks, and a sterling 2.50 ERA in 100 ⅔ innings.
Wednesday, June 19
Lucas Giolito (CHW) v. Jon Lester (CHC), 8:05 ET
The three-game cross-town riveral set culminates with the youngster taking on the veteran, as Lucas Giolito tries to continue his breakout season.The White Sox can’t manage to stay at .500, but a series win against the Cubs will go a long way to feeling better about their first half of the year.
Thursday, June 20
Shane Bieber (CLE) v. Mike Minor (TEX), 2:05 ET
Thursday’s matinee pits two teams who are both defying expectations coming into the year. Few expected the Rangers to make noise in the wild card race, but thanks to Mike Minor (who I profiled last week) and Lance Lynn (who Kenny Kelly profiled last week), are right in the hunt as we near the mid-way point.
Friday, June 21
Brad Peacock (HOU) v. James Paxton (NYY), 7:05 ET
It’s a big week for the Yankees who are first taking on their divisional rivals, and then facing perhaps the best team in the American League. James Paxton pitched well against the White Sox last week, it was the first time he’d gotten out of the fifth inning since April 26th!
*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