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Marty’s musings: Yankees can’t score, Mets in first place

The Mets take command of the NL East heading into mid-June. 

New York Mets v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/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.

MLB claims they’ll be cracking-down on pitchers using foreign substances, the Mets pull ahead-of-the-pack in the NL East, and White Sox skipper Tony La Russa sets a record.

News & Notes

It’s worth keeping an eye on league-wide spin-rate going into the summer. We know that bats generally heat up along with the weather, but watching spin-rate, especially for pitchers who flaunt spin-rate (Trevor Bauer) or are known to have exceedingly high spin (Gerrit Cole) should be eye-opening.

2-22 - The Diamondbacks record in their last two-dozen games. Arizona has had a horrendous May and June. They get the Angels and then the first place Giants this week.

9 - Pitches, three strikeouts for Yankees’ reliever Michael King who threw an immaculate inning against Boston. Unfortunately, the power pitching did not translate into any power hitting.

221 - Runs scored by the Yankees going into Sunday’s evening matchup with the Red Sox The Yankees are somehow at the bottom of the American League, second-worst only to the Tigers in the AL.

2nd - Most wins on the managerial wins list for Tony La Russa, who passed John McGraw over the weekend. The White Sox 3-0 victory over the Tigers on Sunday gave TLR 2,764wins. Only 967 more to go before he ties Connie Mack!

3 ½ - Game lead for the Mets, who have pulled ahead of the rest of the so-far-mediocre NL East. New York is the only team above .500 in the division.

Injury Report

Stephen Strasburg is on the injured list with a neck strain. This is his second IL stint so far this season.

Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull is on the IL with a strained forearm.

Matchups to Watch

Tuesday, June 8th

Framber Valdez (HOU) v. Martin Perez (BOS), 7:10 ET

Last week the Astros took three-of-four from the Red Sox in Houston, the Red Sox get their homefield redemption this week. Perez won the only game of the series for Boston, outdueling Valdez, pitching a scoreless outing and holding Houston to only six hits in 7 ⅔ innings. Valdez was strong in his effort in the same game, but was outdueled by Perez.

Thursday, June 10th

TBD (SF) v. Max Scherzer (WAS), 7:05 ET

The Giants continue to defy the odds, firing on all cylinders. They’ll face their toughest pitching test of the season when they take on Scherzer at Nationals’ Park.

Saturday, June 12th

Joe Musgrove (SD) v. Jacob deGrom (NYM), 4:10 ET

deGrom has given up one or zero runs in his first nine starts of the season. His ERA+ is an absurd 624 (not a typo). He faces perhaps the best offense he’s seen all year, when the Mets host the Padres next weekend.

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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