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 key pitching matchups.
Last week the A’s continued to put on their show, winning over-and-over again. Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom continued to make his case for best-pitcher-in-baseball,
News & Notes
13 - Game winning streak by the Oakland A’s who started the season 2-7, then pulled off two weeks of nothing-but-wins. Oakland lost to Baltimore on Sunday 8-1 to knock ‘em down a peg, but during their 13-game winning streak, they won two walk-offs and swept a double-header, and ascended to the top of the West.
15 - Strikeouts in Jacob deGrom’s most recent start. He went the distance in his complete game shutout against the Nationals on Friday night (he also had an RBI to-boot). On the season, deGrom has 50 Ks, and only one earned run in 29 innings.
0 - Hits by the Braves in a seven-inning no hitter by Madison Bumgarner. No one really knew whether to celebrate, no one knew what to do after the last out was caught...baseball is very strange in these times.
1 - Pitcher in the history of baseball who has struck out double-digit batters in his first four games: Shane Bieber. Bieber nearly extended his streak to five games, as he struck out nine Yankees in a pitchers-duel loss (Gerrit Cole was masterful in an excellent game Saturday evening and led the Yankees to victory).
5 - Fernando Tatis Jr. home runs in the four-game series against the Dodgers this weekend. LA is the best team in the National League, but the young-gunning Padres have made a rivalry of it. Tatis hit two homers in each of the middle games, and broke up Dustin May’s cruising on Sunday. SD came back in a Sunday night thriller to win the series 3-1.
9 - Errors by Tatis in the first 15 games of the season. Well, at least the kid can hit! It doesn’t bode well for a long-career at shortstop, but it’s still early in the year, and early in his career.
The Astros’ Jose Altuve tested positive for COVID last week, but was asymptomatic. After a forgettable 2020, he’s off to a good start in 2021 and should be joining the team in the next week-or-so.
Miguel Sano went on the injured list with a strained right hamstring. It’s bad news for Sano and bad news for the Twins, who are 7-13 and struggling as we head to the last few days of April.
2020 National League batting champ Juan Soto is currently on the injured list. The Nationals’ star is sidelined with a strained left shoulder. He joined starter Stephen Strasburg who was put on IL due to right shoulder inflammation.
Pitching Matchups to Watch
Monday, April 26
Shohei Ohtani (LAA) v. Jordan Lyles (TEX), 8:05 ET
Ohtani hit another home run last week, totaling seven on the year. He’s also only allowed one earned run in 8 ⅔ innings to date. The two-way player is one of the most fun to watch in all of baseball.
Tuesday, April 27
Max Scherzer (WAS) v. TBD (TOR), 7:07 ET
In Scherzer’s last three starts, he has thrown 19 innings and given up only one run, shutting down the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals. The young Blue Jays team is no pushover lineup.
Wednesday, April 28
Nick Pivetta (BOS) v. Jacob deGrom (NYM), 6:40 ET
A fun interleague matchup, the best pitcher in baseball presently takes on the number one offense in the league. While the Sox bats have slowed a bit (they went a mediocre 5-5 on their longest homestand of the season), they still have plenty of sluggers in their lineup.
Friday, April 30
Shane Bieber (CLE) v. Dallas Keuchel (CHW), 8:10 ET
Bieber took a tough loss when he was outdueled by the Yankees’ ace, Gerrit Cole on Saturday. The Indians are struggling to get above .500 and take on the White Sox who have been everywhere from brilliant (Carlos Rodon’s no hitter) to treacherously bad (Lucas Giolito not getting out of the first inning against Boston last Monday).
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