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 first no hitter since MLB banned ‘the sticky stuff’, a classic game in the corn at Field of Dreams, and a slugger’s retirement.
News & Notes
68 - Years since an MLB pitcher threw a no hitter in his first-ever career start. Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Gilbert did exactly that against a potent Padres lineup, tallying up the eighth no-no of the season, and the first since MLB banned sticky foreign substances.
1 - Year left on Chris Davis’ $160m+ contract. Davis announced his retirement last week after a tenure of frustration and injury. He’s been rehabbing from his may hip labrum surgery, but decided to call it quits early. At one point in the mid-2010s, Davis was a formidable slugger, a home-run-or-bust player who led the majors in dingers in 2013 and 2015.
22 - Runs scored by Atlanta in their series sweep against the lowly and dismantled Nationals. The Braves are alone in first place for the first time all season, one game ahead of the Phillies and 2 ½ against the spiraling Mets, who themselves were swept this weekend at the hands of the Dodgers.
6 - Ninth inning runs in the classic Field of Dreams game put on by MLB last Thursday night. The White Sox ‘hosted’ the Yankees in the corn, and were in full control of the game going into the ninth inning, when closer Liam Hendriks allowed four earned runs and gave up the lead. As quickly as New York took the lead, they lost it. In the bottom of the ninth, Zach Britton gave up a walkoff two run home run into the corn field to Tim Anderson, and the Sox won 9-8.
The Field of Dreams game garnered overwhelmingly positive accolades for an event that could have been hokey, but was perfectly executed.
The Dodgers placed Julio Urias on the injured list after he left Saturday’s game with a calf contusion. He joins Mookie Betts on the IL as he’s suffering from a hip injury.
The Yankees cannot seem to shake the injury bug, as Luis Severino is experiencing shoulder tightness and will undergo an MRI this week.
The White Sox placed starter Carlos Rodon on the injured list. Chicago needs the lefty healthy going into playoffs, as they all-but have the Central division wrapped up with a double digit lead.
Matchups to Watch
Monday, August 16
Jose Suarez (LAA) v. Gerrit Cole (NYY), 7:05 ET
The Yankees are playing well, but not well enough to catch Tampa, who leads the AL East by 3 1/2 games over Boston and 5 ½ games over New York. Monday is Cole’s return to the mound following a bout with COVID.
Tuesday, August 17
Nate Eovaldi (BOS) v. Luis Gil (NYY), 1:05 ET
Tanner Houck (BOS) v. Jordan Montgomery, 7:05 ET
On Tuesday, the Yankees and Red Sox play two seven-inning games. The Red Sox were looking like they were in a tailspin before sweeping the Oriolesin a dominant three-game series over the weekend. The Yankees are trying to get healthy after COVID ravaged its way through their locker room.
Wednesday, August 18
Cole Irvin (OAK) v. Lance Lynn (CHW), 8:10 ET
Lynn didn’t look so hot in his last outing in the Field of Dreams game, but the White Sox’ comfortable lead means health is everything going into the last six weeks of the season. The A’s are only 2 ½ games behind Houston for the NL West lead, but have a tough week with the White Sox and then Giants on the schedule.
Friday, August 20
Tyler Gilbert (ARI) v. Kyle Freeland (COL), 8:40 ET
Gilbert’s coming off his first start (after three relief appearances) and a start in which he completely shutdown the Padres, allowing just three walks in the no hit bid. He takes on the Rockies in his next start this upcoming Friday.
Saturday, August 21
Aaron Nola (PHI) v. TBD (SD), 8:40 ET
A big series for the Phillies and Padres, as both teams are in a tight three-way race for their respective division crowns. The Padres have two formidable teams in front of them, while the Phillies are trying to keep pace with two mediocre NL East foes.
Sunday, August 22
Kevin Gausman (SF) v. Chris Bassitt (OAK), 4:07 ET
The newest rendition of the ‘Battle of the Bay’ arrives this weekend with two teams that control their own destiny in the playoff hunt. The Giants continue to keep pace in the NL West, where the Dodgers and Padres are nipping at their heels.