(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
Bryce Harper hit a home run. Then he hit a home run further. Then he hit a third even further. Here are almost 1300 combined feet of home runs in one video Marlins starter Tom Koehler will never want to see again:
Everyone was casting aside their doubts and ready to start the Trout vs Harper debates all over again when he weakly grounded out to second in his fourth at-bat, dashing the hopes of the all EW listeners eagerly awaiting the four (or five) homer game. Also, Trout is still pretty good, so Bryce has a little catching up to do. At least Harper knows he can count on Koehler to pitch to him in the Home Run Derby.
Joey Votto blew his top at home plate umpire Chris Conroy after being ejected against the Pirates, bumping Conroy and yelling in his face after he realised he had been tossed. Votto did not initially realise he had been ejected as he was on his way to field first base after striking out, which he had already reacted angrily to by throwing his helmet down and shouting, although it was not clear who at. Votto apologised for the bump after the game and said that he regretted the physical contact. A suspension is expected, as is usually the case when players make physical contact with an umpire. Votto would not say who his initial reaction was directed at, even though presumably only Conroy, Pirates starter Gerrit Cole and himself were in some way responsible for the strikeout.
Elsewhere in the league, lots of teams off to disappointing starts had better nights, with the White Sox teeing off on the Tigers’ bullpen (who could have foreseen that would be a problem?!), Cleveland dismantling Danny Duffy in the first, and the Brewers continuing to make Craig Counsell look good, in a game that also saw the rescue of Bob Uecker from the broadcasting booth. The night went less well for the Rockies and Tyler Matzek, as Colorado dropped a doubleheader which started with Matzek throwing the lowest percentage of strikes in a game since the start of the 2000 season.
Former Phillies teammates Mitch Williams and Lenny Dykstra apparently still do not like each other very much, a fact they expressed openly and with no shortage of expletives during the recent Philly Sports Roast event. As Chris Cwik points out, this appears at least in part to be due to the fact that Dykstra still blames Williams for blowing the save that cost Philadelphia the 1993 World Series, although the insults extend to Williams’ recent firing from MLB Network and Dykstra’s criminal record. Needless to say, this unpleasant exchange is Not Safe For Work.
Speaking of NSFW, Pedro Martinez told Seth Meyers about the kinds of things Manny Ramirez used to put in a cocktail.
And finally, moving from off-field to on-field hijinks, Starlin Castro convincingly mirrored Kris Bryant’s throw on this groundball in last night’s Cubs victory, which Anthony Rizzo was considerably less amused about than Castro:
TWEETS WE LIKED
Are you kidding me with this Aroldis Chapman changeup? Came right after a 101-mph fastball at the eyes. Beautiful: pic.twitter.com/askPJ1UAOJ
— August Fagerstrom (@AugustF_MLB) May 7, 2015
Pirates just IBB’d a hitter with a .578 career OPS to face the pitcher, who has a .579 career OPS — Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) May 7, 2015
ARTICLES WE LIKED
That Matt Trueblood continues to pop up all over the internet, this time at Sports on Earth to tell us about the discipline of those young Cubs in an article that earned him a mention from none other than Cubs announcer Len Kasper.
For Just a Bit Outside, Anna McDonald spoke to Jim Bouton, Rob Nelson and a host of other professional gum-chewers about the genesis and development of Big League Chew.
In honour of the imminent BP Ballpark Night, J.P. Breen attempted to discover the meaning of Ryan Braun’s disappointing first month.
TODAY’S BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS
(Deserved Run Average included in brackets)
Jake Arrieta (CHC, 3.46) vs. John Lackey (STL, 4.02) (1:45 ET)
Ok, I know it’s three days in a row, but I’m really not a Cubs or Cardinals fan, honest. They just keep having the most interesting matchups.
Corey Kluber (CLE, 3.46) vs. Edinson Volquez (KCR, 3.35) (2:10 ET)
Look, I can’t help it if the teams with more interesting starters keep facing each other. Kluber’s line will come around to match his peripherals soon enough, and the near-impossibility of hitting a home run in Kansas City has been helping Volquez, who also appears to have his walk rate under control in the early going.
Nick Martinez (TEX, 3.35) vs. Chris Archer (TBR, 3.29) (7:10 ET)
Ha! I haven’t used either of these teams this week. Both starters in this matchup rank in the top five for ERA so far, and their DRAs aren’t too shabby either. I don’t actually think Martinez is any good, as he doesn’t even have a 10% strikeout rate, he has walked hitters almost as often and somehow no-one has hit a home run off him in 131 PA, which somewhat accounts for that 0.83 ERA. Why is this here again? Oh – Chris Archer! Archer’s strikeout rate has gone way up (including an excellent SwStr% over 20%), his walk rate is down, he’s throwing harder and he has developed the use of his slider to excellent effect. Watch him and enjoy.
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