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.
Last week several teams had their games postponed due to positive COVID tests, a recurring theme this season. Shohei Ohtani is now a one-way player, and an Astros brawl we all knew was coming finally landed.
News & Notes
9 - Game winning streak for the Oakland A’s, who swept a three-game set against the Astros over the weekend. The A’s also got into a melee with the ‘stros, following a Ramón Laureano hit-by-pitch. Houston hitting coach Alex Cintrón said something to Laureano, next thing you know, a major brawl ensued. It’s the second incident involving the Astros in the last week.
4 - Consecutive games that Padres’ slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a home run, he’s hit five home runs the last four games. His eight long balls on the season leads the league.
3 - Game series between the Cubs and Cardinals was postponed due to positive COVID tests. Last last week the league announced the entire series was being delayed until the Cardinals as a team got a clean-bill-of-health. The Cardinals have missed ten games due to COVID postponements, the MArlins and Phillies have missed seven.
5 - Runs allowed by Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg in his season debut Sunday against the Orioles. He went 4 ⅓ innings, struck out only two batters, and allowed eight of the 20 batters he faced to reach base.
1 ⅔ - Total innings pitched by Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani this season. Ohtani was smacked around in his first start, going only 1 ⅔ innings and allowing five walks to the ten hitters he faced. He faced six batters in his second start, didn’t get anyone out, and left the game with an injury. Per Angels skipper Joe Maddon, he’ll likely be a designated hitter the rest of the way.
Series of Note
The Cubs are leading the NL Central, and are the only team over .500. The Brewers are chasing them, and could make a solid statement against the first-place Twins.
Padres v. Dodgers, Monday, August 10th - Thursday, August 13th
The National League West looks like one of the most competitive divisions in the league so far, and this week pits one of the season’s best-offensive players in Fernando Tatis Jr. against the first-place Dodgers. San Diego will miss Clayton Kershaw this time.
Nationals v. Orioles, Friday, August 14th - Sunday, August 16th
The Orioles beat the Nats in two games, crushing them on Friday 11-0 and winning on Saturday 5-3. Sunday’s game was postponed in the sixth inning, and it will be completed this Friday afternoon. The O’s have a 5-2 sixth inning lead. Last season the Nationals started off terribly, and took the rest of the season to claw their way back into the playoff picture, eventually going on to win the World Series. In a sixty game season, they won’t have such a luxury and need to start beating bad teams.