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 MLB saw two ‘rare’ events, with John Means and Wade Miley both throwing no-nos. Albert Pujols got cut by the Angels, the Cubs came alive a bit, and the Yankees’ Corey Kluber looked pretty darn good.
News & Notes
2 - No hitters last week, one by Orioles starter John Means, who threw the first complete game no hitter for Baltimore since Jim Palmer did it in 1969 (the O’s threw a combined no hitter in 1991). Later in the week ten-year veteran, and soft-tossing Wade Miley threw one for the Reds. The 21st century Dead Ball Era has apparently arrived!
99.5 - Career bWAR for Albert Pujols, who is fourth all time in Cardinals bWAR. Pujols posted nearly 13 wins with the Angels, who DFA’d the sure-fire Hall of Famer last week. It’s been about half-a-decade since Pujols was a worthwhile regular, and the Angels simply did not want to maintain him on the roster.
3 - Game sweep by the Cubs over the Dodgers last week in the North Side. Two of the three games were walk-offs against Dodgers reliever Garett Cleavinger.
8 - Losses in a row for the Kansas City Royals who were leading the Central coming into last week, and are now in third place after losing two-of-three to Minnesota, and then getting swept by both Chicago and Cleveland. A 1-9 record against the division in a week-and-a-half will expose any team that is overperforming to start a season.
.400 - Batting average for Giants catcher / first baseman Buster Posey. Posey is having a renaissance of sorts, and is leading the Giants to one of the best records in baseball. San Francisco leads the NL West, and has been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far.
Mets ace and best-pitcher-in-baseball, Jacob deGrom came out of his weekend start after the fifth inning. The Mets skipped a deGrom start earlier in the week due to side ‘tightness’. It’s unclear if he’ll need an IL stint to get healthy, but it’s bad news for the Mets who are keeping pace in a mediocre (so far) NL East.
George Springer has only played five games between IL stints, as he’s back on the injured list again, after aggregating his strained right quad. Indications are that he’s not likely to be in the lineup immediately after the ten days are up.
Similar to Springer, Brewers All Star Christian Yelich is back on the IL with a back strain just one game after returning to the Milwaukee lineup.
Cleveland backstop Roberto Perez has undergone finger surgery and will be out multiple months. Austin Hedges will fill-in for at least the next couple months.
Byron Buxton is currently on the injured list with a hip strain. The injury derails a torrid start for Buxton, who has nine homers and a .370 average.
LA starter Dustin May is considering Tommy John Surgery following his untimely departure from his most recent start.
Pitching Matchups to Watch
Tuesday, May 11th
Chris Bassitt (OAK) v. Nate Eovaldi (BOS), 7:10 ET
The teams with the best records in the AL square off this week at Fenway Park. The Athletics got off to a horrid start, but turned things around quickly and lead the AL West. The Red Sox made easy work of the Orioles, taking all three weekend games, and they took two-of-three from Detroit last week.
Wednesday, May 12th
Gerrit Cole (NYY) v. TBD (TB), 7:10 ET
Yankee pitching has been better of late, as the team has hovered around the .500 mark due to inconsistently pitching and untimely hitting. New York is coming off a series against the Nats where they won two walk-offs, one on a walk, one on a dribbler. The Yankees get to see what John Means brings post-no hitter on Tuesday, and then put up Gerrit Cole against Tampa mid-week.
Thursday, May 13
Wade Miley (CIN) v. Chi Chi Gonzalez (COL), 8:40 ET
Miley is coming off a once-in-a-lifetime performance, how will he do against a poor offense in a hitter’s paradise?
Friday, May 14th
Max Scherzer (WAS) v. Riley Smith (ARI), 9:40 ET
Scherzer took the hard-luck loss in his most recent start against the Yankees, where the DC bullpen blew multiple leads en route to a Yankee walk off. The DBacks got swept by the Mets last week.
Saturday, May 15th
Adam Wainwright (STL) v. TBD (SD), 9:40 ET
Waino just doesn’t seem to ever age. He’s coming off an 8 ⅓ three hit, no run performance against the Rockies, but faces a real MLB lineup against San Diego next Saturday.