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In Case Yu Haven’t Seen It Yet

Yu Darvish is un-hitable in the early parts of 2013. He was one out away from a perfect game on day 3 of the 2013 season. Now he sports a 1.65ERA with 49K’s in 5 games.

His pitch arsenal was ridiculous when he arrived in the US. Some claiming he has 7 different pitches. Currently, he throws 5 main pitches… and here they all are… at once.

What’s amazing is that his motion and release point are almost completely on top of each other. No wonder why no one can hit him, there is no way to even tell what pitch might be coming.

3 down, 159 To Go… What You May Have Missed

I know what you are thinking… ‘It’s only 4 days in to the season. What could I have possibly missed?’

Well, here’s a quick run down:

  1. Everyone in Oakland is doing ‘The Bernie‘ these days.

  2. The Astro’s pounded the Rangers on Opening Day to get a win. They only need 62 more to beat the line.
  3. The Astro’s looked like the projected Astro’s two nights later when Yu Darvish was 1 out away from a perfect game (it seems too early for no-hitters too). He needs to work on blocking the 5-hole.
  4. Marmol looks like typical Marmol… Strike Out, Hit Batsman, RBI Single, Walk, Pulled from game. And Axford looks like 2012 Axford, not 2011 Ax-man… 6 Hits, 4 Runs, 3 HR, 1 Blown Save, in 1.2 Innings.
  5. AJ Burnett got pranked on April Fools

  6. Michael Morse took his beast mode to the West Coast from the East Coast… 3 Homers in 9 At-Bats.
  7. Speaking of Home Runs, the Rockies won’t need pitching if they keep hitting like this… 41 Hits, 19 Runs, 8 HR, in 3 Games.
  8. When did pitchers learn to hit? Kershaw throws a complete game shutout with a solo home run. And Gio Gonzalez hit a solo home run in a 3-0 win on Wednesday.
  9. Red Sox’s front office fear losing their sellout record and persuade fans to come to the stadium by offering free food and half price beer (still $5, but cheaper than most stadiums)
  10. On Day Three (Tuesday), every home team lost.
  11. MLB may have to invoke the slow pitch Softball rule of not having to run the bases for home runs just because Pablo Sandoval may not be able to physically make it around the bases many more times.
  12. Take a tip from this guy on what not to do when taking your girlfriend or wife to a baseball game.
  13. Four walk-offs on Day 4… Votto, Escobar, and Joyce.
  14. Front Row Amy Andy made his first appearance in the Brewers stands on Tuesday.
  15. Gio Gonzalez claims to have done the unthinkable with his hand in public.
  16. Raymond, the Rays mascot, got caught on hidden camera admitting to murder.
  17. And Finally, Manny Ramirez hit his first Home Run in Taiwan.

That should get you caught up through the first four days.

No News, Old News, And New News

Wow… A MONTH! A month without any news from the greatest commissioner.

I know you were worried based on all the concerned emails, comments, and tweets I received. No need to fret. Yours truly is A-OK. But now that football is returning and having already completed 2 fantasy drafts with 2 to go (yep, sold my soul to the football devil), I have reunited with my one-true-love… Baseball (after my wife of course).

I didn’t ever turn my shoulder on baseball these year. I only gave the cold shoulder to blogging about it. So let’s recap what has been on my mind and not shared with you, the Sultans of Swat. The Free Swinger Groupies. The Juggernaut Jury. The Royal Family of Cork. The Blog’s Fans.

Here comes a long winded rant:

    Umps are profiling all TB pitchers (AP)

  • Did a pitcher really get thrown out for too much pine tar? I can’t remember the last time pine tar was even relevant since the great pine tar incident of 1983 (That event was very interesting, I highly recommend all baseball fans read how it ends). What is funny with Peralta is that he got called out, was found guilty, booted from the game, and then Joe Maddon was allowed to investigate one opposing team’s pitcher. The National’s pitcher was clean and then Fernando Rodney came in to save the game for TB but made sure to walk to the mound with his hands up and glove between his legs… hilarious.
  • I’ve started my application process to trademark “This is a Clown Competition, Bro.” If Bryce wasn’t already in line to make millions, he will now be taking his smart ass mouth all the way to the bank. Really? A 19-year old phenom who hasn’t figured out how to keep his swagger alive since the All-Star break is going to trademark a phrase he gave to a Canadian reporter. I’ll keep you all posted on when the “This is a Clown Competition, Bro” shirts will hit the KoC merchandise store.
  • As if Jim Thome hasn’t made enough cash in his career, he got a $5K bonus check from teammate Papelbon for getting Papelbon off the hook for a blown save. I’m still waiting for my $5K check from my co-workers for getting them out of a tight deadline. You still think athletes aren’t overpaid?
  • Mike Trout deserves to win Rookie of the Year and MVP at the age of 21. He is a stud… enough said.
  • Umps do not have the easiest jobs in the world. On any close play, he upsets hundreds of people (players, coaches, fans) regardless of which way the call goes. But it seems umps are missing the easy calls this season. Really, Really, Really easy calls. First, the Helton play where Helton missed first base by more than 3 feet. Then, Carlos Santana (the catcher, not the singer) gets called safe when he was obviously walking into second base. But then came the worst when Dewayne Wise came from the stands with NO BALL IN HIS GLOVE. But some how he still got the catch, and more importantly, the third out. These all bring to mind the popular Little League chant “I’m Blind, I’m Deaf, I want to be a Ref”.
  • Seattle’s Safeco field is a great place to watch a baseball game. The stadium is new. The fans and people of Seattle are friendly. The garlic fries are AMAZING. I had the opportunity to enjoy this great stadium and great city this season (and almost had a chance for Big Papi’s 400th career HR which fell just short of my front row seats in RF). I highly, highly recommend a trip to the city of Seattle and if you happen to be in town while the Mariners, Seahawks, or Sounds are playing, I recommend catching a game in the city’s great sports complex. I had only two disappointments in Seattle: there fan support for the Mariners is lacking (especially on a night I saw King Felix pitch). And the stadium could have been built with an amazing view (the architects must have had a hangover when they put the walls up to hide the mountains).
  • Whatever happened to good cartoons? No wonder why most of our kids are brain washed. They don’t get to enjoy great cartoons like Tiny Toons, Garfield and Friends, Scooby Doo, Anamaniacs, Sonic, Transformers, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, Felix the Cat, Inspector Gadget, and the list goes on. Are there even cartoons on after school or on Sunday morning anymore? Instead kids are stuck watching crap like Judge Judy, Rachel Ray, Jerry Springer, or Maury.
  • Did Atlanta really sign Ben Sheets the man with the glass arm? Sheets has only pitched over 160 innings in a single season 4 times in his 10 year career (being a Brewer fan, that seems like a lot) and is trying to come back from his second tommy john in 4 years. His last comeback failed in Oakland but Sheets looked amazing in his first 5 starts for Atlanta (giving up only 5 earned runs). Then, someone threw a rock at his glass arm and we now see the Sheets we all know… the one sitting on the DL.
  • I’m in the middle of a major home renovation project and I’m still looking for my retirement fund in the walls. Seriously, where do these people keep finding this hidden gems. $3 Million in pristine baseball cards… ok, they may have exaggerated a bit in the first story.
  • Do you know how bad ass Brian Wilson is? He is dating a Sasquatch.
  • Baseball is known as the child’s game that adults get paid to play. Well, some of the players are still kids at heart and that makes them some of the most loved in baseball. Adam LaRoche (star of Outdoor Channel’s Buck Commander) is one of those players and his Ozzie Guillen/Bryce Harper combo prank was priceless this season. Nothing like making an unsuspecting Rookie look like he’s rubbing a seasoned manager’s face in Pine Tar.
  • What’s with teams giving the worst birthday gift to their players? “Can I see you in my office? Ya, we decided to go a different route. You are going to be cut. Oh, Happy Birthday.” This not only happened to the ex-pitcher, now power hitting OF, Rick Ankiel but also to Brewers’ flame-throwing Randy Wolf (flame-thrower might be a bit of a stretch… Wolf threw a curve ball 49 MPH).
  • Let’s talk about some rare home run feats because this is a home run blog after all. How often does a pitcher hit a home run? Maybe 10 a year. Maybe. How often do starting pitchers hit homers in the same game? Once every 10 years. How often do opposing starting pitchers hit homers in the same inning? Once every 20 years. That’s just what happened when Hamels and Cain both connected on pitches in the same inning. Kind of cool to help yourself out in the game. Not so cool when you give it right back to what is suppose to be the easiest out in the NL lineup. Even more rare… how bout brothers hitting not just their 99th but also their 100th career home runs on the same night. SAME NIGHT! That’s just what the Upton brothers did. But at least they hit home runs, unlike Carlos Gomez who trotted all the way around the bases only to find out he hit a long foul ball. Then, proceeded to strike out.
  • Still think Bonds didn’t have some help with steroids? Of course not. But do you want more proof that he should have an asterix next to those 762 home runs? I give you “The Clear” evidence to the right…
  • Social Media is getting a little too creepy. No one wants to know what your doctor said about your endoscopy. No one wants to know about your bowels. Social media was only created for stalkers (don’t deny it, we all are guilty of the stalking). This couple took social media creepy and odd to a whole new level. Kind of cool to see strangers come together for the love of a team. But a little creepy that it was documented on social media. I can’t decide which adjective should be used to describe the outing. What’s your thoughts?
  • Speaking of social media, what the heck is Shell thinking by letting the public make advertising for the company. Some of those are funny but just plain wrong (like, “Birds are like sponges… for oil”). Another random thought about social media, why does everyone want to hack into celebrities’ accounts and posting crap. At least this hacker had something funny to say (odds are he wasn’t a Yankees fan).
  • This season it seems something has crawled up every umpires’ you-know-what hole. Every little thing seems to trigger their ejection finger these days. But this umpire must have had something wedged up there extra far. Who ejects the sound guy? The home team should have been given an extra run for the sound guy’s creativity, but instead they lost their PA. Again, the saying goes “I’m BLIND, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref”.
  • The sound guys haven’t been the only ones getting creative. There have been a few fans that have taken creativity to a whole new level. Take this fan for example who rode into McCovey Cove to catch a few Giant home run swings. A Delorean is cool enough, but a Delorean Hovercraft is insanely awesome. Who knew it only took a flux capacitor to get on television these days. Or how about the Lucha Libre at the Orioles game. The fact that he was made even creepier by making it on TV over Getz left shoulder is awesome. And if you are one of those fans who wants to propose at a baseball game just make sure your bride to be isn’t away getting you a beer. There will be plenty of time for that after she says ‘yes’.
  • Hail to the King! King Felix pitched the 3rd perfect game of 2012 and the 23rd in MLB history and the 1st for the Mariners organization. What’s even more impressive is that that 1-0 win was King Felix’s 3rd 1-0 win in the month of August… three! It’s going to be hard to not vote for him as the Cy Young this season (unless Verlander continues to lead the Tigers to a pennant). But what’s even more impressive than Hernandez’s perfect game is that a 9-month-old boy has now witnessed TWO perfect games in his life. Most fans just hope to watch one on TV from first pitch to last let alone hoping to see one live. And it’s not like this kids parents have taken him to every Mariner game this season, he’s only been to TWO games ever. Yep, two games, both perfect. Better wrap that kid up and ship him of to Boston. The Red Sox are going to need all of this kid’s luck and more if they want to see a post-season in 2012.
  • Someone finally caught the ‘Milk Man’ cheating with their loved one… baseball. Melky Cabrera admitted to a positive Performance Enhancing Drug test which will result in him sitting out the final 50-regular season games for the Giants (guess that’s better than testing positive for Meth which doesn’t enhance your game like these 3 Rays minor leaguers). But he will get to play again in October (assuming the Giants can hang on to a playoff spot). What’s even more ridiculous than allowing Melky to help his team in the postseason? He can win the batting title WITHOUT having to bat in another regular season game. You thought Jose Reyes benching himself in the final game was a cheap way to win a title, how about admitting to cheating, serving a suspension, and still winning it. Let’s hope Andrew McCutchen can dethrone the Milk Man before October rolls around.
  • Speed Round: Literally, Speed. Billy Hamilton is a name you need to get to know. He has a legitimate shot at breaking Ricky Henderson’s MLB record of 130 in a season, if Hamilton ever reaches the big leagues. What has he already accomplished? He broke the minor league record of 145 set by Vince Coleman in 1983. He currently sits at 155 SB in 192 attempts… 192 attempts!!! Even more impressive is that he needed 3 to break the record and he stole 3 bases in the first 3 innings. This kid is quick. Hopefully his day comes in the majors because I can’t wait to see a 100 SB season.
  • What is Roger Clemens trying to prove? Either that or it’s a gimmick for the Sugar Land Skeeter’s to make some last minute bucks on the soon to be ending 2012 minor league season. He should probably stick to his over-50 softball league.
  • After getting sold, the LA Dodgers are All-In for the 2012 season. They were the most active team during the trade deadline. Picking up Victorino, Beckett, A-Gon, Punto, Carl Crawford and most of the remaining money on their contracts (great news for the Red Sox who may now be looking at a HUGE off-season acquisition). The Dodgers aren’t even leading the NL Worst West or own either of the NL Wild Cards. But with these acquisitions, the Dodgers should own the NL West title by October (I mean it’s inevitable when A-Gon homers in his first at-bat as a Dodger). The Dodgers will also own a for-sale sign in 2014 when all of these outrageous contracts start hitting their back end loading.
  • Don’t you wish that all of your employers and competitors honored you with gifts when you retired? That’s exactly what Chipper Jones is seeing as he makes his baseball farewell tour this season I would have to say that Yahoo’s #2 ranked gift is the coolest. You all know I’m not a Cubs fan, but anything that’s associated to Wrigley Field is an amazing peace of history and baseball memorabilia.

Remember, football is beginning but that doesn’t mean baseball is over. There is still a solid month of regular season ball left (and Home Run Derby) and an entire month of playoffs (that my BrewCrew is trying to make a push for by going 11-3 over their past 14 games).

Three Starts to the Win-d

While you are looking for your missing $200 Million, baseball picks back up where it left off after a 4 day hiatus. And if you are looking for a game to watch Friday, tune into the Brewer game to witness history.

You don’t need to watch the entire game. In fact, if the Brewers continue to play like they have recently, I wouldn’t stay tuned in past the 3rd.

But what happens Friday at 7pm CT will be the first in 95 years. No it’s not the Pirates starting in 1st place after the All-Star break (that’s only been 15 years). For the first time in 95 years, a pitcher will start 3 consecutive games in the same season. The last player to achieve the feat… Red Faber on Sept 4, 1917.

Red started both games of a double header on September 3rd for the White Sox and then started again on the 4th. This was back in the period where pitchers threw nearly 400 innings in a single season. Babe Ruth pitched 326 innings that 1917 season.

This Friday, Greinke takes the mound for the 3rd straight game for the Brewers. But he may have a two small asterisks next to him in the record book. The first one is for the fact that his 3 consecutive games happened across the All-Star break. Thus, his 3 games spanned across 7 days. The second asterisk comes from the number of pitches Greinke threw in his first game. He threw… four.

Last Saturday, Greinke was ejected from his start after only 4 pitches for getting frustrated on a close call at first base. So he took the mound Sunday where the home plate umpire was the same ump to eject him from Saturday’s game at first base. The ump may have been trying to prove a point as Greinke labored through 3 innings and 66 pitches.

And unlike Red Faber who won all three of his games in 1917, Greinke is trying to win his first game out of his 3 starts.

Get ready Kings of Cork fans for an exciting second half. If your team is within 15 homers, your team has a very legitimate shot at winning the entire season. Those further than 15 back aren’t out, your team just needs to get some hott bats over the next 2.5 months.

Congrats to our first half leader, Grand Salami’s, who had a big run to overtake our previous leader before the All-star break. More importantly, congrats to our month of June winner, Bang Biscuit. His team mashed 35 homers in June (tying the Grand Salami’s) and had the fewest At-Bats required to reach that number.

Now we can all focus on July and get ready for the exciting trade deadline that is closing in fast.

No Homers, No Problem

On a night that the Brewers got burnt on Hot Soup

Albert Pujols not hitting a home run was not the biggest news in an Angels score recap.

In fact, almost no offense would have been required from the Angels thanks to their Ace on the mound… Jered Weaver, who threw a no hitter vs the Minnesota Twinkees Twins. Weaver’s no-hitter is the second of the 2012 season only behind Humber’s perfect game. Had Weaver not walked a man in the eight, the only other blemish on his scorecard was a dropped third strike that Parmelee safely reached first base on.

Weaver becomes the 10th Angel pitcher to throw a no-hitter. Nolan Ryan owns 4 and Ervin Santana owns one from July 27, 2011. It was a little redemption for the White Sox too who got no-hit by the Twins’ Liriano 365 days prior to Weaver’s.

Weaver has been one of the most consistent pitchers since 2010. He has sported almost a 1.00 WHIP the past two seasons and currently sits at a microscopic 0.78 WHIP for 2012. His ERA in 2010 was 3.01 and 2.41 in 2011. Now it sits at 1.61 in 2012 so he seems to be following the right trend. I do believe this could be his season to take home the prestigious Cy-Young award. He may have to pry it from Verlander’s hands but I think he could be the best player to do it.

Selig Chicks Do Dig The Long Ball

It’s only 7 days into the season and there is already a controversy and this time it doesn’t involve an umpire. It takes a true baseball fan to enjoy a pitchers’ duel of 1-0 where the only run came on a solo home run by the pitcher suicide squeeze. What most fans want to see… The Long Ball.

What is the new conspiracy? Due to a down economy, the MLB has changed the hardness of baseballs to aid in easier to hit home runs (according to a bullpen catcher). You can find an entire story here on yahoo or here on NBC, both stating the same ‘facts’ myths. MLB did officially report that the consistency of baseballs has not changed. And I think some of our Home Run Derby owners can agree that the baseballs aren’t flying out at an unusual rate (Congrats to Pick Me Out A Winner Bobby who was the last team to record a homer, and no FRANtastic Five you may not choose an entirely new team).

To my amazement, the first fingers to point are not pointed at ‘The Clear’ aka Roids. Can we actually say that we have moved on past the steroids era? Rickie Weeks seems to have put on some extra muscle and Howie Kendrick already has a third of his typical season home run total. I’m not pointing fingers, but its only a matter of time before someone important does.

Or what about the bats? This isn’t the first time… or the second time… or the third time equipment has been modified to aid the player wielding it. Maybe the bat makers union has decided they are fed up with the Phillies Fab Four and took matters into their own hands. Or batters are sick of hearing that 2011 is the year of the pitcher.

Or maybe the MLB is just one big script and every season is predetermined from start to finish. We have already covered Strasburg’s Major League debut was scripted. I will seriously question this season if the BoSox come back from 0-6 to win the 2011 World Series in a sweep. I may stop watching baseball… may.

The All-Star Head-to-Head 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team

Something to read while the Flying Tomato lands a four-peat.

With fantasy football a few weeks behind us, the real American pastime can begin to grasp hold of America. Don’t even attempt to begin a battle you should already know you will lose. Football is just another easy out for American sports enthusiasts and should not even be mentioned in the same breath as Baseball. (This blogger should be beat with Pa’s Ol’ Beatin’ Stick… his only valid point is #5)

According to the countdown in the upper right of the site, Pitchers and Catchers report for training in roughly 10 days, 23 Hours, and 20 minutes. And since we are within the 2 week period, it is officially time to start talking Fantasy Baseball… and it isn’t a minute too soon as I was beginning to go bananas.

Fantasy Baseball comes in two opposing identities (there are other formats but not nearly as popular)… similar to Cinderella and the Ugly Step-Sisters. Rotisserie and Head-to-Head. One may ask… so which format is Cinderella and which format is the Ugly Step-Sisters. The Commish’s opinion is only one small opinion, but seeing as you are reading this post, it’s an opinion that you care about (I’m just stroking my own ego at this point). But, Cinderella only plays in Rotisserie format Fantasy Baseball, for several reasons.

  • It encourages building a superior all-around team.
  • It encourages research on all players and trying to find that turd to polish diamond in the rough and not streaming pitchers.
  • The best team always wins.
  • There is no luck involved because there is no ‘easy schedule’.
  • You can’t cheat (I’ll explain this comment below).

The one thing Rotisserie lacks in compared to Head-to-Head is the ability to provoke competitiveness, friendly banter, and managers in last may stay interested longer (although no manager should walk away from a team). In Head-to-Head, your team always has a specific opponent. Sure your team may be in last and out of the playoffs in August, but the ability to play against your arch nemesis (probably your boss), who is ranked number 1 in the league, and pull off a week victory leaves you feeling as if you had just won the World Series. Yes, Head-to-Head is perfect for the league that survives on cockiness and not necessarily on baseball knowledge and wits.

What fuels this hatred of Head-to-Head of mine? It’s the idea that one can walk into a league with very little baseball knowledge but has a fined tuned ability to dissect the rules and scoring. For anyone who has any morals and participates in Head-to-Head Fantasy Baseball leagues, please turn away and do not continue any further with this post. Because what follows next will give you the tools to be almost unstoppable in any Head-to-Head league.

Are you sure you want to continue reading? If you continue, I cannot be held responsible for you being banned from your high stakes league with all your old high-school buddies for using “the force” for evil and not for good.

To Learn About The Force: Follow the Jump…

Adam Dunn Leaves Damsel In Distress, Strasburg Loses

Strasburg’s hero… his Superman… his Spiderman… his BATman… missed the bat signal on Wednesday night. Adam Dunn goes 2 for 4 but fails to drive in a Strasburg saving RBI.

OK, I’ll be honest. I haven’t seen every Strasburg pitch, but I’ve made sure I’ve seen at least 1 Strasburg pitch in his first 4 games. I have, however, made sure to watch, gamecast (Thank You Al Gore for the internet), or receive texts (4-INFO is the greatest free mobile alert system available) of every Strasburg inning. If you still don’t think he is the second coming of “The Ryan Express“, you need to double check his remarkable stats. This is the guy who had 14K and 0BB AND 0 fly ball outs in his MLB debut. This is the guy who had 32K in his first 3 major league starts (new MLB record). This is the guy who has only allowed 5BB through 4 games (all in one game). One can argue his opponents have been a bit week (Pit, Clev, Chi Sox, and KC), but to have the command to only walk 5 is remarkable.

However, Strasburg (before tonight’s game) was 2-0 in 3 starts; and most would like to credit his amazing 100mph fastball. Some would like to credit his un-hittable change-up. What I would like to credit it to is his modern day superhero… Adam Dunn.

Let’s do a quick offensive synopsis of Strasburg’s first 4 major league games:

Game 1: Let’s Be Friends
Strasburg was all the hype the past 2 months of the MLB season and he sold out the Washington ballpark quicker than any other name has before. He was lights out with 14K’s (striking out 8 of the last 9 batters faced), 0 walks, and 0 flyball outs (the most remarkable, I believe). But he still would have gotten the loss if it weren’t for his damsel in distress call to Adam Dunn in the bottom of the 6th. With no one out, one guy on, and trailing by 1 run, Adam Dunn came to the plate. He took his typical mighty cut and connected. Crack! Hello 2-run home run (which I still believe was partially scripted) and the lead for “The S.S Burger”, the National’s Battleship (he has no nickname yet, so I will try to coin mine… it’s either that or the “Ice-Berg”, sinking Titanic teams since 2010). Eventually, the Nationals offense picked up and built a cushion for the rookie phenom. Strasburg would eventually take the win in his Major League Debut with a final score of 5-2.

Game 2: I Need More Help
For the Rest of the Story: Follow the Jump…

Rookies Say “Go Big or Go Home”

In the past week, MLB rooks have taken a stand against the simple stats and are rewriting the record books. In fact, three of them are starting a new trend for Generation Y and have made the official move to making your first MLB home run not a solo shot but a grand slam. That’s right, three have hit grand slams this week as their first MLB homers. Two did it in their first game. One did it on the first pitch they saw.

So who are these mystery three. Let’s start with the most recent.

  • Mike StantonIf you haven’t heard of this top prospect yet, he is the next coming of Mark Reynolds and Adam Dunn. A very powerful, even more free swinging batter with little concern of setting the single season strike out record. He is one of the Marlins top prospects who got his Major League call-up on June 8. He hasn’t wow’ed anyone by any means yet… that was until tonight. On his 32nd MLB at-bat, he had the bases loaded against the Rays Matt Garza. He battled his way to a 3-2 count when he lifted a high fast ball to left field. The crowd reacted similar to Jason Heyward’s first home run. But Stanton’s was a grand slam. He helped knock Garza out of the game after 1 1/3 innings and 71 pitches. Now that he’s broken the ice, you should expect many more long balls from him in years to come.
  • Aaron Cunningham – I don’t know a lot about this guy, but I do know he made his first home run even more impressive than Stanton’s. In his first Major League game on Tuesday June 15 on his 3rd ever Major League at-bat, Cunningham came up with the bases loaded against Brett Cecil (who has been white hot this season for the Blue Jays). He knew what he had to do for Generation Y… and he did. His first MLB home run was also a grand slam.
  • Daniel Nava – Of course, the Boston Red Sox player has to show everyone up. Nava came to the plate for his very first at bat on Saturday June 12 with the pond full. On the very first pitch Nava saw, he took it yard. That’s right, after one pitch, Nava was 1-1 with 4 rbi’s and an OPS of 5.00. I hate to say it, but there’s no where to go now but down, Nava.

Is it just me or is 2010 the year of the rookie because these three aren’t the only rookies making a splash this year. Here’s a list of players making major contributions in their first year:

For the Rest of the Story: Follow the Jump…

Step Right Up, Buy Your Tickets To See The Pitching Machine

Have you watched the Nationals new machine pitch in its last two starts? If you haven’t seen either or even highlights, then you aren’t worthy to be reading this post. If you have only seen his second but not the first, you missed out on the best show. If you saw the first, you probably have to sleep with the lights on from the nightmares in the night.

During Stephen Strasburg’s second performance, he wasn’t awful by any means. But he didn’t have the 14 K’s and 0 BB like he had the first time. In fact, he had 5 BB but that wasn’t his fault. That fault lies on the Cleveland Indians grounds crew (he’s already demanding respect like a hall of famer… the ego is already larger than the 7000 sq. ft Yankee Stadium’s Hard Rock Cafe). In all seriousness, this kid looks good. When his command is perfect, he is un-hittable. When it’s slightly off, he still looks well above average. His 100 mph fastball compliments his 93 mph hard breaking changeup so well that it makes batters lock-up (Suppan’s fastball barely touches 93 at top speed and everyone can hit that).

I would like to invite everyone to start planning their summers around Strasburg’s starts. In fact, Obama should just go ahead and make every Strasburg start date a new national holiday (the kind of holiday where no one works but still receives pay). I’ve projected out Strasburg’s projected starts for the rest of the season. These dates assume that there will be no rain outs, no rotation changes, and the Nationals won’t mix the rotation up at the 4 day break for the All-star game.

I circled the game I will be attending, so if anyone wants to join me, hit me up.

For the Rest of the Story: Follow the Jump…