(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
The A’s blew another extra-innings game, this time against the Red Sox, for their sixth such loss of the season. It’s also their fourth one-run loss in the past week and manager Bob Melvin certainly has deja vu, remarking that the A’s seem to have played the same game over and over again this season (I assume he means baseball, although there may well be a scene in Moneyball 2 in which the A’s players lament that the only entertainment they have in the clubhouse is a second-hand Scrabble set which has all the W’s missing) . Oakland has lost six in a row, sitting nine games behind the Astros and no doubt leaving every fan wondering how long it is before Billy Beane picks up the phone and starts trading every valuable major league asset in sight.
The Nationals are so hot, Yunel Escobar had his second five-hit game in a week and immediately retired his bat. Perhaps it will come out of retirement to save the Phillies in a heartwarming sequel, as Ruben Amaro’s crack squad lost their third in a row to open their series with the Pirates, are dead last in the league in wOBA and have been exactly as good as everyone expected (ie. not at all). Meanwhile, the Rangers won thanks to Adrian Beltre’s 399th career home run, and everyone else won because Elvis Andrus simply refuses to leave Beltre’s head alone, ever:
Barry Bonds is suing MLB for collusion, with the all-time home run leader alleging that owners colluded to prevent him from getting a job following the 2007 season, as CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. Bonds had a paltry (league-leading) on-base percentage of .480 that year, with a 1.045 OPS and 28 home runs in 340 at-bats, so would anyone really have given him a job?
Carlos Correa is being promoted…to Triple A. The 20-year-old shortstop hit .385 with seven home runs at Double A Corpus Christi, and it is surely only a matter of time before he’s doing the same at Fresno and we get to recycle all those preseason service time takes, replacing Kris Bryant’s name with Correa and the Cubs with Astros.
The Carolina Mudcats, the Braves’ High-A affiliate, were involved in a bus accident early this morning. Seven players and one trainer were taken to hospital but all have now been released, so fortunately it seems as though any serious injuries have been avoided.
Chris Young can finally stop getting mocked for striking out against a pitching machine, because Adam Jones somehow failed to apply a pie to Chris Davis’ face after the Orioles’ win, which frankly seems much, much easier.
TWEETS WE LIKED
Everybody involved in every game should use this quote every time. https://t.co/v2fCryCvmz
— Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) May 12, 2015
Barry Bonds takes a selfie with his Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame plaque. #sfgiants pic.twitter.com/QZ0pMukAPE — Daniel Brown (@mercbrownie) May 12, 2015
BOB MELVIN WHAT DID YOU DOOOO pic.twitter.com/E7wXpMCa7Q
— Jason Wojciechowski (@jlwoj) May 12, 2015
ARTICLES WE LIKED
Ryan Sullivan didn’t waste his time at the BP Miller Park event, sitting down with BP’s Jordan Gorosh to talk about the scouting process and some guy called Kris Bryant.
Dave Cameron marvelled at how those A’s have been able to lose quite so many games despite playing reasonably well.
Grantland’s Joe Lemire discussed how developments in analytics have impacted Scott Boras and his binders.
BP’s Jeff Long considered the candidates who might wrestle the Greatest Pitch Ever title away from Daniel Bard.
TODAY’S BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS
(Deserved Run Average included in brackets)
Noah Syndergaard (NYM, N/A) vs. Jake Arrieta (CHC, 3.71) (7:05 ET)
I’m not obsessed, this has nothing to do with the Cubs (ok, so Arrieta is also good, but it’s not exclusively to do with the Cubs)! Syndergaard was regarded as the third-best pitching prospect in baseball no matter who you asked this preseason and is considered to have number one upside, which frankly seems unfair given that the Mets already have Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, some more pretty good prospects on the way and, of course, Bartolo Colon. He makes his debut against a Cubs team that has struck out more often than any other side this season.
Chris Sale (CHW, 4.92) vs. Mike Fiers (MIL, 5.15) (8:10 ET)
Speaking of strikeouts, these two have a combined 68 in 57 innings so far this season. What they haven’t had is the ability to prevent runs, as they’ve also surrendered 36 earned (and another 6 unearned) in those same 57 innings, hence the ugly DRAs. The good news is both of these lineups rank in the bottom seven by wOBA.
Stephen Strasburg (WAS, 4.83) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (ARI, 4.00) (9:40 ET)
Strasburg’s early season struggles have been well-documented of late, notably by BttP alum Matt Trueblood and recent BttP podcast guest Paul Cline. He also has injury concerns to boot and saw a chiropractor for his mysterious back/rib ailment last week, so this start should be a revealing one. De La Rosa has taken well to life in Arizona, striking out almost a quarter of all batters faced whilst walking just 6.5%, but he’ll get a tough test against Bryce Harper and the rest of a hot-hitting Nationals lineup.
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