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Maty’s musings: dingers, COVID postponements, and the emerging Rays

COVID postponements persist as the games mostly carry-on.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

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 see more positive COVID tests in the game that cancels another series, the White Sox bats go crazy, and the Red Sox pitching gets worse and worse as a trade signals they’re throwing in the towel.

News & Notes

3 - Game series postponed between the Yankees and Mets due to new COVID positive tests on the Mets. The league has had to postpone nearly 40 games this season as COVID positives are popping up on a near-weekly basis.

112 - Year history for the Boston Red Sox, who unfortunately set a franchise record by giving up 86 runs in nine games recently. The Red Sox pitching is historically bad in their reset season. Of the 16 pitches pitchers who have thrown more than five innings, 13 have an ERA above 4.00.

2 - Relievers traded from the Red Sox to the Phillies last week. I wrote about the terrible Philadelphia bullpen a couple weeks ago, but they’ve made two upgrades in acquiring Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from Boston for Nick Pivetta and prospect Connor Seabold. Philly also acquired reliever David Hale from the Yankees.

3 - Game sweep the Rays put-on the Yankees last week. They scored 20 runs in the three-game series and looked like the overall better team in the small sample. Tampa leads New York by one game in the AL East.

7 - Game winning streak for the Padres, who are being led by young star Fernando Tatis Jr. The Astros have yet to win a game against a team above .500 this season. The Padres are on a tear, while the Rockies are plummeting, having lost their seven games.

8 - Consecutive batters K’d by Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda, a Twins record. Maeda threw eight innings of one-hit ball on Tuesday night against the Brewers, and though it took 12 innings, the Twins won in a walkoff.

6 - Jose Abreu home runs in the three game series against the Cubs this weekend. Abreu crushed two homers on Friday night against the Cubs, he hit three against them on Saturday, and hit another on Sunday afternoon. The White Sox took two-out-of-three against the NL Central leading North Siders.

17 - Games Hunter Pence has played for the Giants this year prior to him being designated for assignment by the Giants. In the first ⅓ of the season, Pence hit a putrid .096/.161/.250.

60 - Game injured list for Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg, who is undergoing surgery to address carpal tunnel syndrome. Strasburg has consistently found himself on the DL/IL over the years, and he’s done for the year after throwing only five innings over two starts. The second lasted just two outs before he was removed due to the injury.

Series of Note

Athletics v. Astros, August 27th - August 30th

I wrote about this unassuming, league-best Athletics team last week. They’ll be able to continue making a statement in the AL West with a good showing against their division rivals. Houston is 4 ½ games behind Oakland in the West.

Yankees v. Braves, August 25th - August 26th

The Braves lead the NL East, and take on the powerful Yankees in a rare matchup. The Yankees haven’t played a game since last Thursday when the Rays completed their sweep. The two-game series is buffered with off days on either side of it, and the Yankees are scheduled to play the Mets next week, COVID-tests pending. It’s possible the Yankees end up playing tow games in 10 days if that series is postponed.

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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