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Marty’s musings: it’s All Star week

What we’ve learned the first ‘half’ of the 2021 season. 

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/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.

It was a busy end to the first part of the 2021 season. The Cubs went from buyers to sellers in just a few weeks, the Yankees ended the first half with an up-and-down weekend, and MLB hosted the Rule Four draft on Sunday.

News & Notes

129 - Pitches thrown by Gerrit Cole in a complete game 1-0 shutout Saturday night against the high-powered Astros. Cole was absolutely dominant, striking out 12 and walking only two and giving up three hits. It looked like a great statement game for the Yankees heading into the break until Sunday, when they gave up six runs in the ninth inning and lost to the ‘stros 8-7 in their last game before the break.

3 - Of the six division leaders were projected to win the division in the pre-season: the Astros, Mets, and Brewers. The Giants and Red Sox have been the biggest surprises of the first half, with the Yankees and Twins the biggest disappointments.

2-12 - Record going into the All Star break for the Cubs, who were tied for first place on June 25th, and now sit 8 ½ games behind the Brewers.

9 - Braves hitters the Marlins Pablo Lopez struck out to start the game on Sunday. It’s the most Ks to start a game in MLB history.

7/15 - The earliest Trevor Bauer will return to the Dodgers following serious and credible allegations of sexual assault.

5 - Pitchers for the Rays combined for a 4-0 seven-inning ‘no hitter’ last Wednesday. Since MLB decided in 1991 that no hitters had to be nine innings, the no hitter is not actually considered a no hitter. Go figure.

1st - Player selected in Sunday’s Rule Four draft was Louisville catcher, Henry Davis. The Pirates selected the bat-first backstop with the first overall pick in the draft.

Injury Report

The stinging news of the week is Ronald Acuna’s torn ACL which will sideline him for the remainder of the year. The Braves have been hovering around .500, right with the .500 Phillies behind the Mets in the NL East.

White Sox backstop Yasmani Grandal will miss at least a month with a torn tendon in his knee. Despite the White Sox numerous injuries to their projected starters, Chicago finds themselves eight games up on the second place Indians in the AL Central.

Games & Events to Watch

Monday, July 12

MLB Home Run Derby

Shohei Ohtani will be participating in his first Home Run Derby which is reason enough to watch. Pete Alonso will be attempting to defend his crown in Coors Field’s launching pad. Oh, and the balls won’t be put in the humidor for the Derby.

Tuesday, July 13

MLB All Star Game

It’s been two years since we got to see a mid-summer classic. Ohtani will likely pitch and hit in the game, and the light-hearted competition across the board should be fun.

Thursday, July 15 through July 18

The Yankees and Red Sox kick off a four-game set as the only scheduled game this Thursday.

Friday, July 16 through July 18

The division leading Astros and White Sox play in Chicago. In mid-June, Houston swept the Sox four straight in Houston.

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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