Thoughts and prayers Papi. This blog’s for you.
Good morning Major League Baseball fans. As explained in prior versions – this is your Monday morning Round Up blog for all the cool shit that happened over the weekend. We do this because following baseball for 162 games can be very hard and I understand most of you are casual fans. So let’s stay High Level and leave all the heavy lifting Sabermetric stuff to the nerds (but also follow our new Sabermetrics vertical)
This season is shaping up to be Bigger than any season in the steroid era. There’s more longballs, strikeouts and unchecked aggression than ever before. For a lot of people, that’s bad news because they’re Purists.
Another way to describe them would be MORONS.
Baseball is so much better when it’s All Gas No Brakes and that’s exactly where MLB is headed. Consider this a new Golden Age.
Cup Check Standings Check
– The Red Sox are teetering on average. From experience – the Cubs were 2 games under at the ASG in 2017 and still went to the NLCS, so it’s not over by a longshot. But goddamn do they need to get going after losing 3 of 4 at home to the 1st plays Rays.
– If you combined the Blue Jays and Orioles, I still think they’re the 4th best team in the AL East
– Minnesota is still so fucking good and no one really wants to talk about them including me
– 6 teams within 4 games of the Wild Card. Adding the 2nd spot sucks when it’s your team in the Play In Game. But it’s awesome pretty much every other day of the year so I’ll take it. Having a race between Texas, Oakland, Chicago, LA, Cleveland and Boston would be sooooo hilarious to watch unfold.
– There should be 2 very good races in the East and Central at least until late August
– You could have as many as 8 teams looking at a Wild Card spot around the trade deadline = madness
– SELL THE GIANTS
– Colorado vs. Arizona for secondary supremacy in the NL West is my favorite WC storyline.
Top 5 Storylines: Familiarize yourself with these Big Ticket items
5. Christian Yelich is leading the National league in home runs (24) and stolen bases (14) while
4. Keuchel To The Braves
3. Nats Go Back To Back To Back To Back
2. Kimbrel To The Cubs
1. Max Muncy’s Quote:
Cardinals @ Cubs
The Cubs swept the Cardinals exactly one week to the day from getting swept last weekend. It was the perfect bounce back for Cubs fans and an absolute nightmare for the Cardinals. Obviously I’m biased but that’s exactly what the club needed
Outscoring your rival 17-6 is pretty good.
Javy Baez is very good.
It’s impossible to say a negative word about the guy without sounding like a total asshole.
Kyle Schwarber – not so much – but he’s settling in as the Cubs’ leadoff hitter quite nicely. Here’s him literally SWATTING a home run on the 11th pitch of the plate appearance.
There’s 4 home runs this year on 11 or more pitches in the single plate appearance. Kyle Schwarber owns two of then.
What else –
Hilarious considering That and watching This
He seriously looks like a college freshman while CarGo legit looks like a Bad Mamma Jamma
White Sox @ Royals
Have you heard of Lucas Giolito?
I hope so
His fastball command is as good as I’ve ever seen it. Look at some of these strikeouts: 4
Those are all riding the edge of the strike zone and good evidence that there’s nothing more effective than a well located fastball. Don’t believe me?
Let’s throw a belt high slider to Eloy over the middle of the plate and see how that goes
The White Sox lost game 1 then bounced back to take the last 2 games of the series behind Gio and (surprise surprise) Reynaldo Lopez.
I’ve been saying it for months now on Red Line Radio – don’t let the White Sox get hot with this young core. Whether it’s now or next season, they can fuck you up very badly if you’re not careful.
Dodgers @ Giants
You probably didn’t hear yet…
Madison Bumgarner is officially dead courtesy of Max Muncy
He also flashed some skin / leather ?
Nice play from a very chunky/husky guy.
Other notable things from the weekend:
That should make you go Holy Shit and rightfully so. 21 straight starts without recording a Loss is bananaland USA population everyone who understands that significance. Borderline unnatural, no?
Regardless and like I said, SELL THE GIANTS
Orioles @ Astros
It’s hard to win when you’re the Orioles (because you suck) and even harder when you’re facing Gerrit Cole.
For those keeping track at home, that’s 130 strikeouts in 84.2 innings, good for 13.8/9 otherwise known as Craig Kimrbel’s average last year. YEESH.
How does he do it?
That’s a good question, and I’d love to speculate. But for the life of me I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially knowing that Astros fans are overly prone to getting upset. So I’ll just stop here and say Congratulation To Gerrit On His OVERWHELMING Success And Health And Slider Command
Here’s your lone Orioles highlight from the series loss
And here’s your reminder that the Astros will never be bad again.
Even when they have injuries to their best players, they still have more Best Players like Yordan Alvarez, the 34th best prospect in baseball. His OPS in AAA is 1.184 which is basically Mike Trout level of dominance.
Braves @ Marlins
Next order of business, the Braves get a Beef
Dipped. Wet. Hot. Extra Hot.
Dallash Keuchel is the perfect arm for their starting rotation because they have a bunch of younger arms on inning counts throughout the year. Keuchel can stabalize that, give off days to Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz while supporting Fried and Soroka and pitching behind Teheran.
It’s all deadly.
Opposite him, the Braves lineup is nasty.
Ronald Acuna (casual subtweet btw):
Veteran Josh Donaldson
Stud Closer Josh Tomlin *barfs*
They’re not going anywhere and only getting better.
Athletics @ Rangers
4 game set in Texas turned into a 2-2 split for 2 teams that would probably sacrifice (as in “kill”) a AA bullpen catcher to get to the Wild Card this year
Not sure if either team gets there because my brain is so occupied with the fact that Hunter Pence is still playing Major League Baseball
We also had a straight steal of home which is by far the most exciting play in baseball. Triples eat shit compared to this:
Nationals @ Padres
There were back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs on Sunday. 4 long balls in 6 pitches. And we’re gonna get there, but first
The little dude is back which means everyone who gives a shit about baseball is much better off.
His return also coincided with the S L O W E S T walk off in MLB history (confirmed via statcast)
But he’s still not the shortstop? I’m confused about the left side of this infield but not enough to complain. Tatis and Manny are physical specimens and that’s putting it lightly
People forget the Padres have the top farm system in baseball by a mile. So in no time I expect Tatis and Machado to translate into a lot more domination. For now, they’re on schedule as evidenced by a 2-2 series split with the Nats: they’re good but not great.
Example – they took the first 2 games in the 4 game series easily. Then they got mowed down and destroyed by Scherzer and Strasburg.
The difference for the Padres when they’re up and running full steam will be tagging one of those 2 all star caliber pitchers for several runs. They didn’t do it this time around, but they’re not far away.
Rays @ Red Sox
When can I start comfortably saying the Red Sox just aren’t that good?
Maybe when Brandon Lowe looks like a Hall of Famer?
Yankees @ Cleveland
Welcome back Didi
I hate watching the Yankees shorthanded because that means listening to Yankee fans bitch about how the Yankees are shorthanded.
I need a level playing field for them at all times, and the fact we get one of the best shortstops in baseball back in the process is that much better.
What else… did you see Brett Gardner slam a helmet off his face? It was awesome. He had to get robbed first:
Then he had to react:
I give that 7.5 beefs. What
Twins @ Tigers
Nelson Cruz sucked throughout May and the Twins still kept rolling through people. Now in June, thru just 5 games he’s got 4 bombs and almost as many total bases (19) as he did all April (20) in about 35% of the plate appearances. He will only get better at least through July as the weather gets hot. That’s always been Cruz’s game.
Opposite him, I want to talk about Matt Boyd from the Tigers. He’s 2nd in the AL in strikeouts per nine from a starter and throws GAS from the left side. At 28 years old, he’s finally settling into his stuff and becoming the ace the Tigers thought he’d be when they traded for him. He’s averaging 6 innings, 8 strikeouts and 6 base runners over the last month.
Bet him any time he’s an underdog. I don’t care about the circumstances. It’s great value until he gets named to the All Star team.
Pirates @ Milwaukee
Each week I pass on a series and for the 5th or 6th week in a row I pick the Pirates / Brewers without first mentioning that Christian Yelich is very good.
That’s his 75th home run this week.
Reds @ Phillies
Pretty hard to get annihlated by a guy with a 5.29 ERA but then again that’s Sunday Day Baseball in June. Keep that in mind next time you’re thumbing through -1.5 bets on Sunday morning.
From here we’re going to cut highlights short and just say the Reds social game is strong to quite strong.
Rockies @ Mets
Pete Alonso is a god send to the Mets fanbase. He’s homegrown, actually Gigantic, hits bombs and seems like a No Bullshit kinda dude. That’s perfect because Mets’ fans need someone to respect and I can very safely say that hasn’t been David Wright in about 9 years. So kudos to Alonso
He’s 2nd in the NL in home runs (21) behind Yelich (24) with a 150 OPS+ meaning he’s about 50% better than a major league average hitter this year. It’s just a damn shame he can’t get any help as frustrations mount
Oh not not a staring contest.
In other news, Nolan Arenado got robbed by a barehanded play at 3rd and I’m curious how he feels about it
Arenado does shit like that ALL THE TIME. You imagine he can crack a smile / tip his cap because he knows the other end all too well.
And speaking of knowing the other end, how about Murphy going 2nd level upper deck
My life will always be haunted by his 2015 NLCS performance against the Cubs in a Mets uniform, so naturally this hits home with me. It’s hilarious the Rockies picked him over DJ LeMahieu:
I don’t think anyone will ever understand that move. But I also think we’re all better off as baseball fans with DJ on the Yankees because it’s such a natural fit. He’s a total gamer and now is about the time I realize I’m not talking about the Yankees. I’m talking about the Mets.
Let’s check in on Clem
YEESH. That’s a bad look.
But kind of laugh out loud funny at the same time because you know it’s true. So the next question is what the fuck are the Mets waiting for? You don’t get deGrom and Syndergaard forever and Noah has been nails 6 out of last 7 times out. If you want to make a run, this would be considered a make or break time. Get someone in there that can run the fucking team and make Barstool some more $ in the process. Also, I’m curious what a happy KFC looks like around baseball season.
Diamondbacks @ Blue Jays
The Blue Jays got swept because they suck.
On the bright side, this was pretty cool
While this was a certified jaw dropping play. How much ground can one man cover?
Answer: 41 yards.
Next question, how slow can Zack Greinke throw a pitch and still strike you out?
Answer: 67 miles per hour.
Since his first start where he gave up 7 ER, Greinke has gone 7-1 with a 2.25 ERA. The Dbacks are 9-4 in his starts while opposing hitters have mustered .203/.232/.326 slash line against. And then probably most impressive is that the future hall of famer is 35 years old with no end in sight. This is what happens when you have plus-plus command. He could very easily be the 2nd coming of Bartolo should he want to pitch into his early 50’s.
Mariners @ Angels
Mike Trout got on base 7 out of 13 plate appearances this weekend while scoring 4 runs and striking out 3 times. He’s on pace to score more than strikeout for the 2nd time in 3 years which is just fucking insane.
Also insane: Tommy La Stella is hitting .315 with 15 home runs. The Cubs traded him for a duffle bag of condoms this offseason so obviously I’m unhappy. But also because his homeruns look SO good
But that’s not enough as the Angels drop 2 of 3, largely because they have a bottom-3 pitching staff in MLB. They presently finish last or close to last in the following categories: starter ERA, runs, earned runs, walks, and home runs. As a group, there’s limited fastball command which means falling behind which means walking guys and giving up mammo bombs.
That was Vogelbach’s 16th of the season. So for you keeping track at home – that’s 31 total home runs from Vogelbach and Tommy La Stella – two guys that were completely out of place in Chicago.
I’m not mad. I’m just salty the Cubs developed these guys as pros and now they’re fucking killing it elsewhere. In the meantime, Ian Happ can’t get out of AAA and Addison Russell just stinks. But this isn’t a Cubs blog so let’s pivot and end with a question
Best Throw Ever?
Bo. Final Answer.