(with apologies to Ogden Nash)
Hi, everyone! And welcome to Write-Up For Yesterday, BttP’s guide to what the heck happened yesterday in baseball. We’re not gonna just hand you some scores here, because we trust you know how to type the letters E-S-P-N into your internet machine. Instead, we hope to give you a fuller and richer understanding of important goings on from yesterday in baseball. The big stories, and the noteworthy performances-good and bad.
STORY LINES AND NEWS CYCLE EPHEMERA
Much more serious things than baseball are happening in Baltimore, where the White Sox-Orioles game was postponed in light of the riots following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries allegedly sustained while in police custody. The National Guard has been deployed after fires broke out, many properties were looted and a number of people, including multiple police officers, were injured in the violence. A curfew will be imposed between 10PM and 5AM for the next week.
Following up on yesterday, Josh Hamilton is now officially back in Texas. When asked about Angels owner Arte Moreno’s comments regarding Hamilton’s lack of accountability, Hamilton said that he had “no clue what he’s talking about”, adding that he worked very hard to be ready for the season but the Angels did not seem interested in having him on the team. This should get particularly interesting when the Angels head to Arlington in early July, a series that will no doubt see Hamilton hit five home runs in a game.
Baseball players are still getting hurt. The Dodgers haven’t been able to stop Brandon McCarthy from getting injured; although the right-hander has suffered a different injury from the stress reaction that has been a recurring problem throughout his career, that different injury is a torn UCL, so it’s hardly an improvement. McCarthy is staying upbeat (about both pitching and his sex life). Homer Bailey has a sprained elbow ligament that sounds like it might be a season-ender, Jose Reyes has apparently decided that playing with a cracked rib is a bad idea, and Adam Ottavino, Gregory Polanco, Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford and Jed Lowrie helped to fill out the injury report.
Andrelton Simmons appears to have started another feud by way of a slide, as he cut Yunel Escobar’s hand in the process of knocking the ball out of Escobar’s glove at third base last night. Simmons was later hit by a pitch, Jonny Gomes showed his clubhouse presence by getting ejected (despite not playing) and Ian Desmond called the slide ‘ugly’, suggesting that Simmons should be ‘way smarter’. Someone will presumably have texted Brett Lawrie about this so stay tuned. The Nats, meanwhile, have lost six in a row and have seized last place from the Phillies.
That brings us to that weekly staple, the power rankings. ESPN determined that just as everyone expected three weeks ago, the Royals and the Mets have the power while the Phillies and the Brewers don’t. The aforementioned Nationals couldn’t even crack the top half this week, with their power clearly located somewhere in the vicinity of Anthony Rendon’s knee. MLB.com also can’t get enough of the Mets and so it’s left, surprisingly, to FOX Sports, with their entirely BP playoff odds-driven rankings, to point out that the Dodgers and Cardinals are in fact still the most powerful.
Lounging somewhere around the middle of those rankings are the Toronto Blue Jays and their amazing imploding bullpen. What once was an exciting young experiment has now turned into a convincing replica of last year’s staff, as 20-year-old sort-of-closer Miguel Castro served up the game-winning run to Mookie Betts after fellow rookie Roberto Osuna allowed Boston to tie it up in the eighth. Brett Cecil, having already lost the closer gig once, now looks to be getting it back, at least until the next opportunity goes up in smoke. The Jays have blown four saves already and their relief corps has allowed more than five runs a game thus far. Somewhere in Buffalo, Steve Delabar is awaiting a call.
TWEETS WE LIKED
Hold up. pic.twitter.com/ZXuLlaAQtp
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 28, 2015
Wow I had no idea how much I was tipping my change-up. Thanks @toppscards! pic.twitter.com/Xsqy1Qs50Y — Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) April 28, 2015
Mets are now 15-0 when scoring more runs than their opponent. Tremendous start to 2015 for them. — Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) April 28, 2015
It’s first and third 1 out and pitcher is up. I have a gun to my head. If he sacrifices I will pull the trigger. — Mitchel Lichtman (@mitchellichtman) April 28, 2015
The #RedSox starting rotation is single handedly fixing the run environment issue.
— Julien Assouline (@JulienAssouline) April 27, 2015
ARTICLES WE LIKED
Sam Miller provided irrefutable proof that Scott Boras has the world’s most accurate projection system.
BP hitting guru Ryan Parker answered Ryan Sullivan’s questions about declining offense, scouting and his biggest hitting pet peeve.
Saul Jackman of The Hardball Times wondered whether Tyson Ross’ slider or Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter is more valuable – and then created a model combining pitch arsenal scores with usage to find out.
TODAY’S BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS
A.J. Cole (WAS) vs. Julio Teheran (ATL) (7:10 ET)
This was all set to be a Scherzer-Teheran matchup, but as pitchers can’t bat without getting hurt these days, highly-rated prospect Cole will make his first big league start against the Braves’ ace. Ranked as high as 30 (by BP) on preseason prospect lists, the 23-year-old may have to face such challenges as A.J. “1.080 OPS” Pierzynski, Eric Young and Kelly Johnson, as well as any ill will the Braves might bear the Nats after they forget what started yesterday’s argument in the first place.
Jered Weaver (LAA) vs. Sonny Gray (OAK) (10:05 ET)
You have to wonder how much longer Weaver and his 83mph fastball can be effective, but while he’s still finding a way to get it done, this matchup against one of the best young pitchers in the league should be a battle worth watching.
Madison Bumgarner (SF) vs. Clayton Kershaw (LAD) (10:10 ET)
If last week’s matchup of left-handed aces and reigning NL and World Series MVPs wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck, as Bumgarner and Kershaw come right back round to face each other again.Why the Red Sox Shouldn’t Trade for Cole Hamels
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