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Marty’s musings: Rays can’t lose, Yankees can’t win, and the San Diego chicken meets Joe West

It’s Memorial Day, time to take a look at the standings and see what we’ve learned through the first two months of the season.

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

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.

The Yankees got swept by one of the AL’s worst teams, meanwhile the Rays continue their torrid pace.

News & Notes

The Braves’ Marcell Ozuna was arrested over the weekend, accused of domestic violence including choking his wife. MLB has a collectively bargained domestic abuse policy, and the Braves came out with a statement.

0 - Outs recorded on a routine grounder to first base with two(!!) outs in the third inning in Chicago on Thursday. Javy Baez ran himself into a ‘double’ on what I would describe as the worst Major League I’ve ever seen in 30+ years of watching baseball.

17 - Game hitting streak for Astros’ infielder Jose Altuve. Altuve’s streak ended against the Dodgers, when LA threw Clayton Kershaw and Joe Kelly at him. Altuve is currently posting a 123 wRC+.

3 - Game sweep of the Yankees that the Tigers pulled-off in Detroit over the weekend, following losing two-of-three to the Blue Jays.

15-1 - Rays record over the last 2 ½ weeks. Tampa is in a virtual tie with Boston for first place in the AL East and show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

4 - Divisions that have two teams in a virtual-tie at the top of the standings with the same number of losses. Even the other two divisions are only 3 ½ games between first and second, and how the season standings will look compared to how they are entering June is anyone’s guess.

5,376 - MLB games umpired by Joe West, who received a chorus of boos during a celebration on the South Side of Chicago. West requested a presentation of a bouquet of flowers by the San Diego chicken. Baseball, man.

Injury Report

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas will be sidelined four to six weeks due to a right forearm injury.

Following a no hitter two weeks ago, the Yankees Corey Kluber is on the injured list and out for at least two months after injuring his pitching shoulder.

Rangers starter Kyle Gibson is on the IL with a groin strain.

Mets’ flame-throwing starter Noah Syndergaard had a setback in his rehab from Tommy John Surgery. He was removed from a rehab start earlier than expected last week with a sore elbow.

The Mets have been hit-hard by the injury bug, as Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil hit the IL last week as well.

Pitching Matchups to Watch

Monday, May 31st

Rich Hill (TB) v. Jameson Taillon (NYY), 1:05 ET

Two teams that are coming off very different weeks, the Rays look unstoppable, and the Yankees are limping after losing two consecutive series to teams that are on-paper, much worse than they are.

Garrett Richards (BOS) v. TBD (HOU), 4:05 ET

Treat yourself to an AL matchup that very well could be a playoff preview. The Red Sox had a better start to the year than Houston, and the ‘stros are a few games behind them.

Tuesday, June 1st

Chris Paddock (SD) v. Kyle Hendricks (CHC), 8:05 ET

The Padres barely lead the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West, while the Cardinals are in first place (for now) and are being chased by the second place Cubs.

Wednesday, June 2nd

Carlos Martinez (STL) v. Walker Buehler (LAD), 9:10 ET

Perhaps the two division favorites going into June, the Dodgers have their work cut out for them in the NL’s toughest division, while the Cards and Cubs stay neck-in-neck.

Friday, June 4th

Jacob deGrom (NYM) v. Blake Snell (SD), 10:10 ET

Snell has been a disappointing for the Padres so far this season, though it hasn’t really effective their record much. deGrom is leading a limping Mets’ team that has been hit badly by the injury bug.

Sunday, June 6th

Nick Pivetta (BOS) v. Domingo German (NYY), 7:10 ET

The third game of the first Yankee / Red Sox series of 2021.

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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