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Saturday, April 11, 2015

NL East...Upside Down

NL East...Upside Down
By M.S.

Through five games, the NL East is the opposite of what you expected coming into the year. The rebuilding Braves, who shipped off Craig Kimbrel right before Opening Day, stand undefeated at 5-0. The Phillies, led by such illustrious pitching stalwarts as Jerome Williams and Aaron Harang, sit at 3-2, having just walked off in victory against the Nationals in 10 innings today. The Nats, just about everyone's World Series pick, are now 1-4, the same record as the Marlins, a trendy pick to make the playoffs, led by their young and exciting outfield of Stanton, Yelich, and Ozuna.

  • Clayton Kershaw gave up five runs in 6 1/3 against the Diamondbacks today, his second consecutive shaky outing.
  • Top prospect Archie Bradley threw six shutout innings to out-duel Kershaw. 
  • Big Game James Shields and Madison Bumgarner are facing off in a World Series rematch, and it's looking like Shields will have the upper hand this match. I'm hoping for a big season for Shields in Petco.
  • Jenrry Mejia, my preseason target for my favorite weapon, the SP-eligible closer, is suspended for 80 games for PEDs. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lincecum vs. Morrow

Lincecum vs. Morrow
By M.S.

Tonight saw the matchup of Tim Lincecum vs Brandon Morrow at Petco Park. Both Lincecum and Morrow were first round draft picks in the 2006 draft, with Morrow going fifth overall and Lincecum going tenth. Both Lincecum and Morrow used to be flame-throwing studs but have fallen off in the past few years, whether due to injury or velocity decrease.

The results: both threw shutout ball over seven innings, with Morrow striking out seven and Lincecum five. Are we going to see bounce-back seasons from Lincecum and Morrow? If Morrow is finally healthy, we should expect a solid season from him in the pitching friendly confines of San Diego. The Giants and the Padres don't exactly have the most fearsome offenses so far this season, so we'll have to wait at least a few more starts for both before we can proclaim resurrection seasons with any certainty.

Other notes:

  • Billy Hamilton swiped another base tonight without even getting a hit. The quest for 100 steals is on.
  • I am hoping for a big post-hype season by Taijuan Walker. However, he got rocked tonight by the off and on A's offense.
  • The Yankees and Red Sox just did battle for 6 hours and 49 minutes- 19 innings. Xander Bogaerts had four hits, all coming after the 9th inning. He had three hits yesterday and is definitely looking like a post-hype sleeper. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Opening Week 2015

Opening Week 2015
By M.S.

Tonight we bring you the first post of The Summer of Baseball, where we will explore all things baseball for the 2015 season. We are friends spread out across the country from California to Kansas City to South Dakota, united by our passion for baseball, writing, and stats. The vision and plan for this site is very much up in the air. Whether anyone ever actually reads it remains to be seen. Hopefully, this will be a site that explores our passion for baseball through a variety of lenses: statistical, fantasy, hometown team fandom, popular culture, literary, analytical, and so forth.

A few notes from the opening series of the 2015 season, aka things that stood out to me:
  • The A's Sonny Gray taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning on opening day. Can the A's rebound with the likes of Brett Lawrie and Ben Zobrist adding their multi-positional skills to the team? Their opening series with the Rangers zigzagged blowouts, as the two clubs split the four game series.
  • Adrian Gonzalez's home run barrage. Has his power rebounded in a big way, or is this merely opening week randomness?
  • Billy Hamilton's stolen base barrage. He has stolen six bases in three games, at least one steal every game. He even successfully stole when the Pirates pitched out. Can Billy swipe 100? 
  • The successful return of Matt Harvey this afternoon, a much needed boost for the Mets.
Today's game of note: the Giants outlasting the Padres in 12 innings by a score of 1-0. Ian Kennedy is looking like he will hit the DL.