Last week you may recall I expressed my agitation with pitchers who can’t throw strikes. I don’t know if umpires uniformly decided on shrinking the strike zone (besides the one from the Rays/Rangers game a couple weeks back) but there have been more walks than I can ever remember. This week saw some of the same but also some signs of improvement.
- Indians and Red Sox pitchers combined to walk 15 batters in Tuesday’s nine inning game. Seriously, who has time for that?
- With an obviously different home plate ump on Wednesday, Braves and Royals pitchers struck out 19 batters without issuing a single base-on-balls. My kind of game.
- Phillies hitters went four straight complete games this week without taking a walk.
- Athletics collected 22 free passes in the same time period.
- On Monday, Cliff Lee issued his first walk in his last 169 batters faced. On Saturday he walked three batters in five innings.
- Adam Lind, the Blue Jays batter hitting .227 with no homers on the season came into the batter’s box five times this weekend against the Yankees and might as well have left his bat in the dugout. He walked in all five plate appearances.
- The Amazing Astros
– Erik Bedard continues his bizarre season. In this week’s start Bedard walked four of the first five batters of the game, gave up six runs and only got one out.
– Philip Humber and the Astros bullpen had an unfortunately memorable day Saturday. By the time they had retired the tenth Indian out, 24 batters had been on base including 18 that touched home plate. In three (plus) innings Houston allowed 17 hits, 4 walks, committed two errors and hit a batter. The home crowd was not pleased.
And like Bedard a week ago, Cleveland’s Scott Kazmir couldn’t even stay in the game long enough to get a win despite getting 19 runs of support!
- Sadly, that wasn’t the only wacky pitching performance of Saturday night. Tigers’ Rick Porcello put up this line: 0.2 innings, 9 hits, 9 runs. The first eight of those hits were singles. The ninth was not (no sir, Mike Trout grand slam).
- Johan Santana who? In four starts Mets pitcher phenom Matt Harvey has a .108 batting average against. He’s given up 10 hits in 29 innings.
- Reigning Cy Young winner David Price has offered up five homers and ten doubles already. Indians pitcher Brett Myers has allowed ten homers and five doubles.
- Speaking of Price: Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Price’s teams are 0-12 in games they start.
- Adam Dunn is at it again. He homered Sunday afternoon, snapping a 0-31 slump. Teammate Jeff Keppinger might catch him; he’s still hitless in his last 24 at bats.
- Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks picked up his third hit of the season Sunday. It took him 14 games and 51 at-bats, but he finally got #3. It raised his batting average to .059.
- Braves are 8-0 when Justin Upton hits a home run.
- Upton has hit 9 homers and 7 singles. (J.P. Arencibia, Dexter Fowler and Mark Reynolds each have 7 home runs and 6 singles.)
- Braves won three straight last weekend over the Nationals. This weekend they lost three straight to the Pirates.
- We all know that it seems the Dodgers have been playing with Monopoly money recently, adding payroll like it’s going out of style. Well, Saturday night’s lineup featured Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston Jr, A.J. Ellis, Juan Uribe, and Luis Cruz. Not exactly what you were expecting.
- In one inning Friday night, Brewers Jean Segura stole second base, got caught in a rundown at third base, ended up on first base again, and got caught stealing second base. In a span of five pitches. Hard to believe.
- The two batters with the highest on-base-percentage this season are teammates in Cincinnati. Joey Votto’s OBP is .522 thanks to a ridiculous 25 walks, and leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo is one better, OBP of .523. You would think the manager would maximize production by putting them together in the batting order, but not Dusty Baker…
Players of the Week
AL: Mike Napoli. Gotta go with a Boston player this week. Napoli had 7 extra base hits and 10 RBI.
NL: Carlos Gonzalez. CarGo went 10/24 with 3 doubles, 1 triple and a homer. He also walked 3 times and stole 2 bases, which is as good as two more doubles, helping the surprise Rockies come a Sunday bullpen meltdown away from winning 9 in a row.