(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.
Hello I’m Brandon. I’m gonna take you through some things today. Let’s get going.
STORY LINES AND NEWS CYCLE EPHEMERA
TOP TRANSACTION: Look out Hollywood, here comes Ryan Webb!
Ryan Webb’s quest for his first career save takes him to Los Angeles, as the Dodgers completed a trade that landed them the reliever, along with catcher Brian Ward, and the 74th pick in the draft, while the Baltimore Orioles received Ben Rowen and Chris O’Brien. Will Ryan Webb get a save? Ben & Sam noted this morning that two different relievers have gotten saves so far for the Dodgers, so anything is possible.
HAPPY MATT HARVEY DAY!
Matt Harvey returned from Tommy John surgery on Thursday, making his first start since August of 2013. He went 6 innings, struck out 9 and gave up no runs as the Mets topped the Nationals 6-3. It’ll be a long time before we truly know the rest of the story, but for today, Matt Harvey was BACK. (image via Tom Biersdorfer)
Adrian Beltre is a treasure.
Who cares if the ball is at his feet, and who cares if he spun out and looked silly swinging at the pitch before it. ADRIAN BELTRE WANTS TO GO YARD, DAMMIT. So he did. Beltre is no stranger to hitting homers from one knee
Welcome to the show, Paulo Orlando
The Royals completed the opening week sweep of the White Sox with a 4-1 victory, but the story of the day (other than some pretty defense from Adam Eaton and Lorenzo Cain) was Paulo Orlando, the 9-year minor leaguer who hit a triple and walked in his Major League debut. Orlando is only the third player from Brazil to make it to the Bigs. Here’s to a long and prosperous career, Paulo, we all want you to have more than one line in the career register.
Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer had a no-hitter through 6 innings against the Astros but got pulled after throwing 111 pitches (11 strikeouts and 5 walks on the day for Bauer). The Cleveland bullpen continued the no-hitter until Nick Hagadone surrendered a solo homer to Jed Lowrie in the 9th. No free pizza everyone, at ease.
Minnesota finally scored!
It only took them 24 and 1/3 innings to do it, but they did. But also, it was an unearned run. The Twins have still not yet scored a run this season without the aid of an error. Don’t worry guys, there are still 159 games left for you to tag your opponents with earned runs. We’re sure it’ll happen eventually
That’s a thing that happened. Also, the Yankees lost to the Blue Jays.
We all knew San Diego’s outfield defense would be an issue
There are probably four or five CF against whom Pagan just flew out. Definitely a double against all but two or three. Triple against Myers.
— Matthew Trueblood (@MATrueblood) April 10, 2015
The Padres lost 1-0 to the Giants on Fedora Night in San Diego.
Fun Fact Of The Day!
Marlon Byrd has played for land mammal teams (Cubs, Pirates, Rangers I guess) but not for any of the bird teams, nor the Marlins. It’s a shame, really. Now, if he were to play for the Rockies, he could have some connection with Dinger.
FREE PLAY INDEX TIL APRIL 15!
Subscribe to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index, and use the coupon code “Analytics” to receive a free subscription until April 15! More details here. (after that, use the coupon code “BP” to receive the discounted price of $30 on a one-year subscription)
TWEETS WE LIKED
Goddamit …. The Twins decided to TIE the record ….. Couldn't go ONE more out?
— Diane Firstman (@dianagram) April 9, 2015
I had to see about 60 of those hats before I was convinced it was a hat giveaway and not just what San Diegans all wear.
— Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) April 10, 2015
Derek Norris on Angel Pagan: "He was just being kind of a dickhead, and I don’t take kindly to that."
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) April 10, 2015
Derek Norris is a werewolf but if anyone in the league is a werewolf hunter it's Angel Pagan so this whole thing is amazing
— Jason Wojciechowski (@jlwoj) April 10, 2015
— Tommy John (@TommyJohn_) April 10, 2015
I would correct Yordano a couple of things mechanically. He recoils a little bit. He has a small framed body. #Royals
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) April 10, 2015
Just do yourself a favor and follow Pedro.
Definitely isn’t making the Real News Cycle, but Jonah Keri is in the Effectively Wild Facebook group now. In his honor, this tweet:
— ℳatt English (@matttomic) April 10, 2015
ARTICLES (and a podcast) WE LIKED
The Nats GM: Podcast Episode 31 with Jonah Keri: Speaking of Jonah Keri, he was on the NatsGM show, hosted by the Baron of All Baseball Podcasts (and host of the Banished to the Pen podcast) Ryan Sullivan! Jonah has a book signing in Washington DC on April 15 so be sure to hit that up if you’re in the DMV.
Ready, Set, Statcast: Now that Statcast has had its soft launch, Ben Lindbergh from our favorite podcast (no, not Serial) shows us the cool things that it can do.
Major League Baseball Reaches For Its Stars: In the New Yorker, Wendy Thurm looks at Major League Baseball in a post-Jeter world, trying to find its next generation of marketable stars, and bring back a national fanbase (as opposed to the local and regional fanbases that exist right now). Fun side effect of this article is the New Yorker’s style guide, which calls for periods in M.L.B.
Paulo Orlando’s meandering path to the Royals resonates in big-league debut: Kansas City Star’s Vahe Gregorian profiles Paulo Orlando from his beginnings in Brazil, playing baseball with Japanese immigrants up to his Major League debut today.
Baseball Highlights: 2045 (board game) review: Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but Keith Law reviews board games for Paste (for free, no subscription required). This isn’t a new thing, it’s been going on for a while (a year ago he gave Downton Abbey: the board game a 3.0). This time he reviewed Baseball Highlights: 2045 and gave it a 9.0, which, if we’re going by the Pitchfork scale, would give this “Best New Boardgame” and would make it a top contender for the end-of-year list.
Brewers’ Double-A team set to begin 55-game road trip: You thought the Wrigley Field reconstruction was bad? How about the Biloxi Shuckers, the AA affiliate of the Brewers, who are embarking on a 55-game road trip while their stadium is built.
Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens never existed: They’re both missing from MLB’s “Franchise Four” voting. Grant Brisbee has more.
THE WEEKEND’S SIX BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS (that’s two for each day!)
Rotations haven’t turned over yet, so you basically have a bunch of #3 and #4 starters pitching on Friday, which means we’re stretching here.
Travis Wood (CHC) vs. Tyler Matzek (COL) – 4:10 PM ET
Can Travis Wood bounce back from a pretty bad 2014? Maybe. But that’s not what’s important here. Last season Travis Wood finished 2nd among pitchers with 3 home runs (hit as a batter), and in 2013 he led all pitchers in home runs (again with 3). If pitchers hitting home runs is your thing, then check out Travis Wood playing in Coors Field. If that’s not your thing and you’d rather see Real Hitters hit home runs, then you should still watch, because Wood might give up a couple of those as well.
Brett Anderson (LAD) vs. Chase Anderson (ARZ) – 9:40 PM ET
Anderson vs. Anderson, c’mon isn’t that cool?
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs. Archie Bradley (ARZ) – 8:10 PM ET
Hot Prospect Archie Bradley makes his Major League debut against the reigning National League Cy Young award winner. While Bradley had a bit of a down year in 2014, he didn’t fall too far down the prospect lists, ranking top 20 on MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus, and #25 in Baseball America. I know, I know, TINSTAPP, but Bradley is one of the top prospects in the game right now, and will be one to watch this season (or at least on Saturday).
Madison Bumgarner (SFG) vs. James Shields (SDP) – 8:40 PM ET
Bumgarner and Shields started games 1 and 5 against eachother in last year’s World Series back when Shields was pitching for the Kansas City Royals. This year the rematch moves to California as Shields makes his second start for his new squadron, and MadBum yawns his way through another start, ho-hum. If we think the Dodgers are going to win the division (96% of us do) then these will be a couple of the teams battling for a Wild Card spot (or they’ll both get Wild Card spots and this is really just a preview of the NL Wild Card Game! or something).
Drew Hutchison (TOR) vs. Chris Tillman (BAL) – 1:35 PM ET
Drew Hutchison and Chris Tillman both had impressive starts on Opening Day for their respective teams, and in the wide open AL East they could be battling it out for a playoff spot down the stretch. Both of these guys are fun young pitchers to watch, and they made Simon Gutierrez’s list of players who will outperform their projections in 2015.
Phil Hughes (MIN) vs. Chris Sale (CHW) – 2:10 PM ET
Chris Sale makes his first start of the year after suffering a fracture in his right foot and missing Spring Training. Sale enters 2015 as a Cy Young contender in the AL (moving up the ladder each of the last 3 seasons in voting – from 6th place in 2012, 5th place in 2013, to 3rd place in 2014), and should finish high again as long as he doesn’t get hurt. Phil Hughes finished the 2014 season with the all-time best strikeout-to-walk ratio for a single season, got a nice new contract for his troubles, and while he didn’t pitch that well in his first start, he still managed 6 strikeouts to 1 walk.
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