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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Jun 30, 2011, 5:20 AM EDT

Scott Hairston

Mets 16, Tigers 9: The Mets blast the Tigers’ pitching for the second night in a row (though the Tigers blasted back a bit themselves). Everyone in the Mets’ starting lineup hit, including Scott Hairston, whose bases loaded triple in the first broke it open, after which he did some lame antlers thing or whatever it was. Really, I don’t even. Point is, the Mets have scored 52 runs on 69 hits in their past four games. Phil Coke was a disaster for Detroit. His stint as a starter may have to end soon, because it just ain’t working.

Braves 5, Mariners 3: The Braves take their eighth win in ten tries, beating King Felix of all people. Ten hits. All singles. Eric Wedge left Hernandez in for 127 pitches for some reason.

Twins 1, Dodgers 0: Scott Baker continues to impress. He has a 3.16 ERA and a strikeout/walk ratio of 100/28 in 105 innings.

Reds 4, Rays 3: Ryan Hanigan hit a three-run homer in the fourth. I’m still not forgetting that he missed a ball during long toss that hit me in the arm during spring training. And I don’t care if it is my fault that I was standing right behind him. I believe he was subject to some sort of implied covenant to protect dumb bloggers.

Indians 6, Diamondbacks 2: Four hits and an RBI for Orlando Cabrera. He has raised his batting average by five points since I made fun of him for being an Ayn Rand fan. I’m going to take credit for that. Not because I believe I’m responsible, but because, as a Rand fan, it probably angers him that someone else could be responsible for his self improvement.

Angels 1, Nationals 0: Dan Haren: two hits over seven and a third shutout innings. Davey Johnson has not won a game as a major league manager since Bill Clinton was president.

Padres 4, Royals 1: San Diego continues to roll. This one was aided by Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer combining to butcher a popup that they each lost in the sun, leading to a big unearned-run inning for the Padres. I guess they don’t have sun in Omaha, so it’s understandable that those two had their troubles.  San Diego is now out of the cellar.

Cardinals 5, Orioles 1: Chris Carpenter looked like Chris Carpenter, allowing a single run in a complete game.  The Orioles starting pitching — which most of us felt would be the difference between the O’s being respectable this year and being a punching bag — has turned into something of a punching bag of late.

Phillies 2, Red Sox 1: For once John Lackey looks good — and hell, he even drove in a run with a double — and what happens? The vaunted Bosox offense can’t get anything going. But hey, the Phillies have all of those aces.  Wait, what? It was Vance Worley? Well, then. Oh, and for what it’s worth: Gonzalez in right and Ortiz at first were a non-factor in this game, both for good and for ill.

Blue Jays 2, Pirates 1: Yet another low scoring game on a night full of low scoring games. Brandon Morrow Ks 10 in seven innings.

White Sox 3, Rockies 2: A ninth inning rally off Huston Street, capped by a sac fly that scored Carlos Quentin boosts the Sox over the Rox. Two nights in a row that the game between these two has been decided by a close play — or what should have been a close play — at the plate.

Rangers 3, Astros 2: Two homers for Ian Kinsler. One of which came after he was hit in the stomach by a pitch but, because umpire Bob Davidson said he was trying to bunt, wasn’t awarded first base. Lucky for him I guess.

Yankees 5, Brewers 2: Russell Martin hit a three-run homer. Which is kind of impressive because I was of the impression that Martin was near death and was going to stagger his way through the rest of the season an injured heap. Just kind of a vibe I had.

Marlins 3, Athletics 0: Five-hit shutout for Ricky Nolasco. Two RBI for Hanley Ramirez. That’s how this stuff is supposed to go for Florida.

Cubs 2, Giants 1: A serious duel between Ryan Dempster and Tim Lincecum, though neither got the decision. Carlos Marmol came in to the game in the ninth to lock down the 1-0 Cubs lead but couldn’t, allowing one of Dempster’s runners to score. But never fear, Aramis Ramirez is here, and he singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.

  1. dudebrosday - Jun 30, 2011 at 5:51 AM

    That’s cause Eric Wedge was tossed in the second inning. Apparently forgot to tell the bench coach about pitch limits.

    • mississippimusicman - Jun 30, 2011 at 6:55 AM

      Seattle apparently doesn’t have an emergency manager. That, or it’s the team’s head trainer, who has never managed before. Something like that.

      • mississippimusicman - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:03 AM

        Was it Adam Kennedy?

  2. tsi4431 - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    I believe the “antler” thing. Is actually a high five to his teammates in the dugout. I have noticed that everyone on the team will do it after a hit. A comradery thing.

    • steve keane - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:44 AM

      I kind of remember hearing that the hand over the head was to signal the spotlight was on the player for a big play

  3. Reggie's Bush - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    Yup tsi… It’s a long distance Air high 5 which is returned by teammates in the dugout. That sounds incredibly lame, but how can one pass up high 5s? I believe the Rangers started it last year, with people calling it the much cooler “claw”

    I was disappointed Reyes only had 2 hits last night…
    Jose Jose Joseeeeeee

    I just wish Atl and Philly would stop pitching so well and let us creep up :(

  4. cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    Yup, Blue Jays 2, Pirates 1. The Pirates got a good look at what they gave up in Jose Bautista and he clearly meant business. Had a double, and a pair of walks. Trouble for the Pirates is they should have been watching the New Kid,Thames, instead. First homer of his MLB career and more enthusiasm than a Jack Russell puppy. He was fun to watch last evening. And hey, Rajai Davis had the other run. First time he did anything in a game, besides strike out, all month.

    With that being said, Brandon Morrow will pitch himself a no-hitter one of these days. His breaking pitches move like a Rockette, his cutter bites into lefties and his fast ball is 96 mph. He’s also learned to throw almost 15 mph difference in speeds with the same arm motion. Maybe he read El Bravo’s little explanation on the benefits of changing speeds from a while back?

    The game featured one of the All Star’s officiating crew, Dan Iassonga, behind the plate. He had a hazy notion of the strike zone, but it was at least consistent. Unlike his colleagues 1B-Estabrook & 2B-Foster, who were a might unsure about what constituted being “safe” vs being “out” was, Iassonga seemed to get most calls right or was at least wrong about the same amount of time for both teams. Good enough for me and certainly good enough for the All Star Game.

    • missthemexpos - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      Frank Francisco starting to look good finishing games off. Throwing some real nasty stuff. Hopefully this can continue, as it has been way too long since the Jays had a dominant man to close.

      • cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        mte; I forgot about Frank-Fran. Yep, he can deal it, can’t he? He’s not sneaky like Tom Henke but he’s intimidating like Duane Ward and has Papelbon type power without the nuttiness, which is a shame, really. If he was as crazy as Wilson or eccentric as Papelbon, more people would come see the Jays because 2F would be closing. Still, gotta love that 97 mph fastball, eh?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      cur I feel for you because your Blue Jays are in the same boat as the Mets fans…looking up at a juggernaut who they will never be able to catch. The dfference is that the Blue Jays are looking up at 3 teams who they will likely never catch, whereas the Mets have a legitimate chance because the Braves are playing way over their heads right now and are bound to come down to earth. Enjoy Doc this weekend…I was contemplating taking a ride up to Niagara Falls and sneaking over to watch a game or two, but was outvoted by the boss and will instead be sweating my ass off on the beach in Ocean City. Just another reason why heterosexual marriage should really be banned ;)

      • cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        Yeah, yeah, Chris, rub it in. The trouble is that you are right, damn your oily hide. They got a shot at the Rays, but the Sox and Yankees are really out of reach. The gods of monkeys and men will need to intervene to bring the Yankees down. Maybe a severe change in wind direction rendering that short right porch at NewYankeeStadium (NYS) longer, thus mitigating Cano, Grandy and Tex? Perhaps inducing ARod to running off with Cloris Leachman, and C.C. giving in to his craving for coco-pops once too often? Not too much to ask is it? I wonder if Jim Leyland knows the correct song and dance to make that happen?

      • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Personally, I can’t wait to see how the Catholic Church comes to terms with gay divorce.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        Gator- Those triple ex-communications can be a bitch, ecclesiastically speaking.

  5. paperlions - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:45 AM

    Just to update the score: AL 103 – NL 99 (AL has had 100 home games to 102 for the NL).

    • FC - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      You know at this point the difference is almost meaningless…

      • paperlions - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        Yep, that’s the point.

  6. bigxrob - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    Ibanez a triple short of the cycle last night.
    I feel like this needs to be reported.

    • paperlions - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:27 AM

      With his resurgence in May, I had just assumed that Ibanez had returned to being at least decent….I had no idea his OBP for June was under .300 (as it was for April) and that the HR last night was his first of the month. Age is a bitch.

      • bigxrob - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:34 AM

        April – .161 Avg, .466 OPS
        May – .315 Avg, .941 OPS
        June – .193 Avg, .497 OPS

      • FC - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        That just means in July he’ll go on a tear. Cool down in August, Heat up in September and then we’ll take him out of the post-season roster!

    • sportsdrenched - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      As it should. Rauuuuul was one of my favorite Royals when he was in KC. So I’m glad he has a ring now, and I like to see him do well.

      • bigxrob - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        He was not on the 2008 phils team.

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    I’ve never been happier to admit when I was wrong…and boy was I wrong. Vance, I’m not worthy. You are the man. How about that 3 rookie rotation last night against the vaunted Red Sox lineup…Worley to Stutes to Bastardo. Least I was right about Lackey…he looked real good last night too. Even the pitch Ibanez hit out wasn’t a terrible pitch…Rauuuuul just went down and jacked it out.

    On another note, it’s wonderful to see the Yankees win another game despite being so depleted by injuries. I agree with Craig…I thought Russell Martin was an injured heap as well. Guess not. And now you guys will be getting Cy Colon back on Saturday and maybe Cy Hughes will be back sometime soon too, so you won’t have much to complain about…although I guess there’s always Pedro Feliciano as the fallback injury excuse. Jeter is coming back too, although I guess most of you Yankees fans consider that a negative.

    • CJ - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:36 AM

      you should HAD to go back down this road, didn’t you? Here we go again!

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:39 AM

        CJ, I will go down the road every day until the articles and comments from Yankees fans and sportswriters perpetrating this sham cease to exist!!! Or until tomorrow as I will be away from work for the holiday weekend and there is just not enough time on the days when I am not being paid to come onto this site and comment.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        I’m sooooo happy we got Sergio Mitre back in case CC gets, you know, injured, like.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        Len, you are the one YankEES fan around here who actually gets what the hell I am saying. Thanks.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

      Chris, care to give us an insiders perspective on what it’s like to be a drama queen?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:41 AM

        LOLZ…if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black…OK, Yankers fans. You guys are now in 1st place by 2 1/2 so you are all beating your chests. We’ll see after the next losing streak…when do the Yankers play the Red Sox again?

      • Kevin S. - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        Who here is beating their chests?

      • Kevin S. - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        Oh, that’s right, Philly fans are the ones talking about the inevitability of October.

      • FC - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        I don’t think it’s inevitable. But I like the Phillie’s odds of making it.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      Chris,
      I support you and your argument 100%. Their fans are the only ones who drone on and on about injuries to bit players. Whine when Cano, Tex, CC, etc are out for half the season…not when Hughes and Soriano go down.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        dr, just as a side note, there are a TON of Red Sox fans on here, yet I haven’t heard a single one of them say anything at all about Buchholz being out, even though this is a guy who was 6th in the CY Young voting last year and is a stud…as opposed to Hughes and his 4.19 ERA and Colon and his 38 year old hammies. And they have the nerve to call ME a drama queen? LOLZ. I’m just a Phillies fan looking for something to do at work while I wait for my next requirements document.

      • CJ - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM

        but Hughes had what? like 20 wins last year? SURELY that must count for something! I mean just becuase his ERA was over 4 doesn’t mean that a stacked lineup was constantly bailing him out on a regular basis.

        Oh wait, nevermind.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        Chris, I thought ERA’s was one of those stats that were a poor way to just a pitchers performance in this new way of thinking. Now you throw it up in every Yankee fans face every chance you get with Hughes last year. Well then let’s go from the sublime to the ridiculous. I guess by your way of thinking then if Cliff Lee who went 4-6 with a 3.98 ERA in the 2nd half of the season last year with Texas, had gone down 2 or 3 games into this season after signing with the Phillies it wouldn’t have been any big deal, right. After all his ERA was nearly 4 and he had a losing record with the team that went to the World Series. In fact maybe the Phillies would have been better off to begin this season. Maybe it’s not Yankees fans who are obsessed with the injuries on their team, maybe it’s you. And maybe it’s you because you know what would happen should the 2 teams make it to the World Series and meet again. Yes, you guessed it that’s just my opinion.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Yeah uyf, clearly Lee and Hughes have had the same body of work throughout their careers. LOLZ. See, your inane comment feeds right into what I am saying…Yankers fans are treating the loss of Hughes like it is a good pitcher who got hurt…a guy like Lee, or Oswalt…oh wait, Oswalt DID get hurt and you don’t see Phillies out there saying things like “Despite the rash of injuries, the Phillies have the best record in baseball by 4 games!!!” You know why? Because Phillies fans know that unless the names Halladay, Lee, or Carlton hit the DL list, it all doesn’t make a bit of difference.

        That’s really all I am trying to get through to Yanker Nation…don’t even put the words “depleted” or “injuries” into anymore of your posts. It is beneath you guys. I know you are all much smarter than that.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        Chris, you’re right we are much smarter then that and much smarter then even you give us credit for. Did I mention anything about “body of work” in my comment. I mentioned most recent ERA’s since that’s what you constantly seem to reference with regard to Hughes “lack” of importance to the Yankees rotation. My comment about Hughes and Lee’s relative comparable ERA’s was exactly that. Since you place so much importance on Hughes’s ERA in 2010 then you must place that same importance on Lee’s. It’s that simple. I wasn’t as you would like to believe or others to believe comparing their historical value merely their statical ERA’s at a given point in time. Believe what you want about Hughes importance to the Yankees rotation. Yankee fans know how important he is to it, both now and in the future. Like someone said in an earlier comment he did win 18 games. Whether you or other posters consider this an important stat or not is irrelevant he did contribute and in my opinion he contributed mightily in 2010.

      • CJ - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

        what else would you like us to look at Re: Hughes? His stats in the minors back in ’09? Be serious. It’s not like he has any other “body of work” other than what was referenced. Lee on the other hand most certainly does. It’s a dumb comparison.

    • sdelmonte - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:54 AM

      As someone who has watched his team thrive during the absence of a star who isn’t missed (David Wright), I can understand a certain ambivalence about changing anything right now. Jeter is still a better option than Nunez, but the Yanks might really not need Jeter than much, just as the Mets seem fine without Wright.

      But at the end of the day, are you really better off without them everyday? (And if so, do the Mets work to trade Wright if he comes back strong?)

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      On one hand, Russell Martin acquired by the Borg at a bargain price delivers. On the other, John Buck acquired at a grossly inflated, inexplicable price by…Scrooge McLoria(????)…gone fishing in Rio Mendoza. ‘Tis a reeling world, m’lords.

    • mercyflush - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM

      I don’t know how people are calling Bastardo a rookie. He made his debut in 2009, and pitched in the playoffs against the Rockies that year.

      He also pitched for the Phillies last year before getting hurt.

      • nps6724 - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

        Because I think by definition he still is a rookie. It isn’t like other sports where you’re a rookie whether you play any or not.

  8. Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    John Lackey quoted after the game: ” And I would have won that game all by myself too if it weren’t for that meddling Ibanez.”

    I bet Lackey just hates that guy. He went from being .352 lifetime against Lackey, to .382 (i think). 3 for 3 and accountable for both runs.

    Vance Worley, Was just pretty impressive all night. Big Papi just didn’t help much, Lackey almost smacks one over the fence and Papi did nothing.

    Mike Schmidt : Why is it every time he talks he makes me want to smash things? Last night he went on and on about how the NL should adopt the DH rule to draw more young kids who like offense to the game. Yeah. Then he goes on to say how when he was a player, he was dead set against it. And how he just recently changed his mind and thinks it will be good to draw crowds. I was screaming “SHUT UP” at the screen to one of my childhood heros. This really bothers me, the fact that I’m beginning to dislike Mike Jack Schmidt. It’s nagging me really that I think Mike is an A$$hole. sigh…

    • cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:33 AM

      With age comes wisdom, Jonny. You too will go down this path, seduced by the Dark Side, more machine than man…bwahhaahahhahahaaaaaaa!

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM

        I’m giving you the finger right now Cur, yes, THAT finger.

      • cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Fastball?

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        Yup, right up the middle too.

      • cur68 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Well I’m shaking that off, Jorge 5, and I’m calling the manager out and demanding you be replaced by Martin’s Hair. Dang pie eating catchers, aughta know when to retire.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:36 AM

      Mike Schmidt is also one of the self-aware realists who says that if steroids were more widely available when he played, they’d have been used just as much. Wise man, that Schmitty.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:56 AM

        No, Mike Schmidt is not a “self-aware realist” He’s actually a blowhard who has been quoted saying things to get attention basically. “Hey look at at me, remember me? it’s Mike Schmidt. I used to be the hottest thing in phillies baseball. At one time. before the Phillies were awesome and stuff.” No really Kevin, he says things JUST to stir the pot I’m pretty sure. He’s trashed some players this season and I’m losing more respect for the guy every time he talks.

      • paperlions - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        Agree with Jonny on this one. Everything I’ve heard Schidt say in interviews recently is pretty self-serving and self-important. He was even bitching that players didn’t take the advice on hitting he gave in passing when he stopped by spring training. He is a classic “the game was better back in my day” guy.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        If you look up “Curmudgeon” in the dictionary, you see a picture of Michael Jack smiling with his white-man’s late 70’s fro under the maroon Phillies cap. He’s that old dog who knows everything. He was one of my favorite players, so I wish he would just shut the hell up.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        And it kills me because I used to look at this guy like some sort of hero of my youth. His jersey is hanging in my closet and I can’t even wear it now. What a let down.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:48 AM

        J5…do what I do…if you see him on TV or hear him on the radio, change the channel immediately!!! I have only heard a couple things recently from MJS and that was becausde I was at a bar or restaurant and couldn’t change the channel. I tried to listen to his interview with Mike and the Meatball after the Posey thing, and he comes off as so magnanimous I had to turn it off.

      • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        Sounds to me that all the booing of Mike Schmidt while he was still alive was just a rehearsal for his funeral. Ahhhh, Feeliedelfia….

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:46 AM

      J5, Worley is a stud. He’s going to be a stud in this rotation, and the Phillies have to keep him in there as the #4 and let Heavy B and KK fight over who gets the scraps at #5 if/when Oswalt comes back. This kid has more balls than Heavy B and KK put together. Hopefully, the organization sees this now and keeps him in there permanently.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

        Exactly.. And how about this bull pen stepping up when basically everyone is hurt? I’m very impressed with these rookies this season. Actually Bastardo was impressing me last season as well.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        Bastardo should be groomed as next year’s closer. I think he has the stuff and the make-up to be a closer. Of course, anybody can be a closer I guess if you listen to some people around here. But this kid looks good doing it. If we are going to lose Madson anyway, and because he is a Bor-ass client, I doubt the Phillies will be able to afford him, then let’s see what Bastardo can do.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Type Bastid into your Google search page. Do it. What is the definition?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        J5…I love it…

        Urban Dictionary: bastid
        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bastid – Cached – Block all http://www.urbandictionary.com results
        Phrase commonly yelled while watching the greatest left handed reliever of all time, Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies.

  9. sdelmonte - Jun 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    The Mets have never scored more runs in any four day period, And of the four previous times they scored 8 or more runs four days in a row, three of those teams made the playoffs and the fifth wasn’t eliminated till the last day of the season. So there is room to dream. (Can’t they add that extra wild card this season?)

    I think they delivered most of the MLB run shipment to Detroit yesterday. That would account for all the low scoring games elsewhere.

    • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM

      So they broke a record and hit two grand slams in one game breaking their single grand slam drought in the same series? Nice. About that dream though……… ;)

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:10 AM

      The Mets(yah, as long as they are over .500, I think they should be called the Mets and not Mutts) aren’t out of it just yet. Forget the Phillies, but the Braves are imminently catchable. The Braves have been playing way over their heads and are due to come down. Once that happens, as long as the Mets stay within 4 or 5 games, they will always be just a series with the Braves away form making it close.

      Circle these dates Mets fans…8/5-7(home), 8/26-28(home) and 9/16-18(road). Those are the 9 games left with the Braves. Keep playing well against the rest of baseball, win 7 of those games, and we might see the Mets in the Wild Card.

      I for one and actually rooting for it. I hate the Braves.

      • nps6724 - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        If anything, the Braves are due to improve. Uggla hasn’t hit at all, Heyward has been hurt and his play has been meh, and Prado’s been out for awhile and might be back before the break. If any of those 3 actually play like they can, watch out.

      • tsi4431 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        nps6724,

        Same goes with the Mets. Wright should be back in 2 weeks. Ike Davis hopefully in 3 weeks, Santana in 2 weeks. Bay hasn’t hit at all and is improving. The Mets are getting 3 or 4, depending on your opinion All Stars back in the 2nd half.

      • FC - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        The problem with Uggla is… that he hasn’t hit at all…well… all season long! This could be a down year for him unless he catches up real quick in the 2nd Half.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        Hi nps…welcome back. Those posts of mine were like throwing the blood out to the sharks, or in this case, Braves fans, trying to get them to come out. I think it is strong to say the Braves are “due to imrprove”. They are on a pace to win 93 games, which even to a Braves fan like yourself, sounds pretty high doesn’t it?

      • nps6724 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        It’s probably a lost season for Uggla. But if he can find his stroke in the 2nd half for whatever reason, the Braves should finally hit like an average team. I’ll take a decent month at this point. But even if you discount him, Heyward and Prado proved last year they can carry the offense for stretches and neither has really done that his year.

        While the Braves are on pace for 93 wins, they haven’t yet played like a 93-win team. They’re winning a ton of close games due to great pitching. So really, it depends on how you look at it. The talent is there for this team to get hot and play like a 93-win team. But OTOH, they’ve shown they can fall into a hole and play like crap for extended periods and play like a 80-win team.

        Right now, they’re just finding ways to win. I’d like to see what would happen if they could actually hit for more than a series at a time. I may be waiting until 2012 though.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        The Braves look to have a firm hold of the WC spot imo. The NL East looks to be the best of the NL from my POV.

  10. drmonkeyarmy - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    I’m standing here at work doing my monthly narcotics inventory when something occurred to me. I was reading this article that implied that Bastardo has been lucky because he batting average against of balls in play was super low. I thought that was nonsense because he gets a bunch of pop ups and weakly hit balls. Wouldn’t a more telling statistic be the batting average against of line drives put into play?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      Anyone who would say that is a moron. When a guy has 10.2 K/9, he isn’t lucky. He’s flat-out dealing. I have come over to the idea that I think BABIP is an important stat SOMETIMES, but in the case of Bastardo, he has 33 Ks in 29 IP. To me, that trumps BABIP every day.

    • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:41 AM

      Bastardo has a .4 GB/FB ratio, and the MLB average is .8. Baseball-Reference includes line drives as fly balls, so when the ball is in play, it is being hit into the air. He is getting half as many ground balls as an average pitcher. However, he has a line drive percentage of 20%, which is about MLB average.

      His BABIP is .155, which seems ridiculously unsustainable. His BABIP last year was .375, which is unlucky in the other direction. The reason Bastardo is good this year? He has a 35% FB/IF, which is the percentage of fly balls/line drives that are in the infield. Dude is getting a lot of pop-ups – the MLB average is 13%

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        “The reason Bastardo is good this year? He has a 35% FB/IF, which is the percentage of fly balls/line drives that are in the infield. Dude is getting a lot of pop-ups – the MLB average is 13%”

        kopy, are you implying that he has nothing to do with this FB/IF % or are you just pointing it out? Is this a “luck” stat similar to BABIP? Not starting a sabremetric war, just asking for more info. Never heard of FB/IF%, and it sounds to me like it is something that can be used, unlike BABIP, to say that Bastardo is pitching better instead of saying that he is getting better results “luckily” because of this stat. Know what I mean, or do I need another cup of coffee?

      • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        I would think, like many other stats, it could be a fluke until the sample size gets larger. His first 2 years/40 innings in MLB, his FB/IP was about MLB average (even slightly worse last year), which is why he was a pretty average reliever. He’s had 30 innings this year of getting a lot of pop-ups. Some pop-ups can be the result of a meatball that the hitter swings under because he’s not expecting it, but Bastardo seems to be doing more than getting lucky. My best guess would be that (especially since he’s getting Ks) he is working the zone and fooling guys, and getting pop-ups from jamming batters inside or getting them out in front of off-speed pitches.

        It’s definitely a stat that a pitcher is in control of, and can be used. Pretty much all ground/line/fly percentages are the pitcher’s control, which is why guys get tagged as ground ball or fly ball pitchers. Bastardo’s 35% FB/IF is something that he is doing well, not luck. It’s just a matter of if it’s sustainable, or if he’s temporarily hot right now.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Sustainability is the key, and I think if the stat is more under his control, like this FB/IP% seems to be, then it is more sustainable than something like BABIP, which does seem to me to be more a function of luck. Although, if you think about it, the FB/IP% being controllable kinda feeds into the BABIP, so if a pitcher’s BABIP is low, it may not ALL be a function of luck as much as I thought.

        Considering Bastardo’s BABIP is .155 just on its own, you are likely to conclude that he is lucky. However, if you factor in the 35% FB/IP, then you can say that no, his BABIP being so low isn’t all luck because he is inducing pop outs more than line drives so he is directly controlling his BABIP.

        FB/IP%…another sabremetric stat I am thinking I like. Unless somebody throws something at me that says that Phil Hughes is better than Cliff Lee because his FB/IP% is better ;)

      • nps6724 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        According to Fangraphs, his In-Field Fly Ball % (IFFB/FB) is 27%. Among qualified pitchers, the highest is Matt Harrison with 18%.

        FIP is a more accurate stat than ERA to know how well a pitcher has done. Bastardo’s FIP is 2.91, which is still extremely good. His xFIP, which predicts how he should do going forward, is 3.48.

        Basically, he’s due for regression. Looking at last year’s numbers, the highest IFFB% of all pitchers with at least 60 IP was 17.8%. In ’09, it was 20.8%. In ’08, 24.5%. In ’07, 20.8%. And in each of those years, either 1 or 0 pitchers had an IFFB% above 20. And in the few seasons I checked, never did the same guy lead the league.

        But since Bastardo is still a rookie, it’s hard to say which of his numbers are normal. He may be able to sustain a higher-than-normal IFFB%. But it’s doubtful.

        I will also say it’s unlikely the high IFFB% is the only reason he has a BABIP of .145. The rest of his peripherals look quite similar to his ’09 and ’10 numbers, but the results were quite different.

        It looks like his success is coming from a combination of improvement and luck. Because even if we assume he’s found a way to induce more IFFB than the average pitcher, he’s still getting lucky for that percentage to be so high.

      • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        The stat is actually called IF/FB. I don’t know why I called it two separate incorrect things, but yeah. It’s the percentages of flyballs (including line drives) that don’t leave the infield. Theoretically, this would include line drives that get snagged by an infielder, but Bastardo is getting the MLB average of line drives, like we said. His IF/FB is high because if infield flies.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        nps, isn’t there a degree of subjectivity in FIP though? I mean moreso than in BABIP and IF/FB%?

      • nps6724 - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

        I’m sure there is some subjectivity in FIP. I’m no expert, but from what I’ve seen it does seem to be valid. It just tells you how well a guy has pitched, not necessarily if the results matched.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:05 AM

      Luck is a bad word to use, and far too often it’s used when someone’s BABIP is abnormal. Currently Bastardo has a .145 (roughly 3/20 balls in play fall for hits) BABIP which is unsustainably low. Most fall in the .240-.300 range. Unfortunately expect to see that regress.

      [giant caveat in that he's only pitched something like 70 professional innings, so SSS]

      The k rate is great (10/24/9) and the walk rate is a bit high (4.03/9). However, somethings I would be a little concerned with. One, he has a ridiculous 99.1% left on base percentage. Relievers usually have far higher LOBs than starters, but most are in the 80-85% area. Also, he’s only getting ground balls 27% of the time* which is unfortunate on two fronts. One, ground balls go for outs about 70% of the time. Two, as dumb as it sounds, ground balls can’t be HRs. Seems like Bastardo has a huge fly ball tendency, but he’s getting a ton of infield popups.

      • kopy - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:12 AM

        He’s definitely all about the infield pop-ups. That LOB percentage is crazy, but I imagine that’s because infield popups and Ks, the two things Bastardo gets so many of, are the worst things for runners to advance on. It’s all about whether or not he can sustain his popup percentage or if guys are going to start getting better contact.

  11. uyf1950 - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    The Yankees just keep rolling along. With a record of 14-4 since being swept by the Red Sox for a winning percentage of .778. Even if you look at the entire month of June including the sweep by Boston it’s 17-8 still pretty impressive and a winning percentage of .680 not bad for an “old” team.

  12. yankeesfanlen - Jun 30, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    We had a very pleasant outing from AJ last night, but jeez, it took us long enough to get someone o catch him. Martin continues a great Yankee tradition- going to the mound every third pitch and we still got the game in at 3 hours. Grumpy must have told Russell it was compnay policy to get out there and calm AJ down, and that everyone who was ever a catcher hit a home run.
    So today CC will nail it down, Prince’s audition will be over, the Phightins’ will sweep, and the Metropolitans will have used their run allotment for the year.

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      Feesh win. Huh? Two run homer from Hanley, solo shot from Tweeter. The Good Ricky appears. The Bad Ricky stays back at the hotel with some strange or something. Nice shots of the Curmudgeonly Undead pacing the dugout looking like he was trying to remember why he was there. Better shots of Anibal Sanchez watching the goings-on and wondering what the hell has to do to get some runs scored behind him. Suggestion: take extra batting practice. You guys won’t be playing designatedhitterball forever, you know.

  13. spudchukar - Jun 30, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Two Questions: Could someone please explain to me what this new stats system called Sab… something is all about, and did anybody hear if the Phillies won?

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      No. Nobody can explain it. It’s like spooky action at a distance. There are equations for it, but explanations? Forget it.

      The Feelies won. One horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwich please, waiter.

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