Please forgive the late post this morning. Once one turns off an alarm on one’s phone to sleep in on a holiday Monday, it’s generally a good idea to turn that alarm back on for business as usual on Tuesday.
Anyway, this weekend was one of the long variety and so you can all be forgiven for leaving technology and the lack of a serious pennant race behind, and going to the cottage and forgetting about baseball for a couple of days. And besides, all it’s going to take to catch up on what’s happening is to read through the following list of links.
U #MadBum Bro?
The San Francisco Giants lost two of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks, making their mountain to climb in the NL West all the more steep (currently seven games back). However, there is some good news for a team that might otherwise end up regretful over trading Zack Wheeler to the New York Mets for Carlos Beltran. FanGraphs suggests that Madison Bumgarner, despite his 10-12 record, has been the sixth most valuable pitcher in the National League this season.
That value was on display on Monday when the 22 year old southpaw went eight plus innings against the San Diego Padres and struck out thirteen batters. He collected fifteen swinging strikes, including eight from his slider. Bumgarner threw that slider 37 times on Monday with 34 of them counting as strikes.
But Where Was He Born?
Despite playing in only thirty games for the Toronto Blue Jays so far this season, Brett Lawrie has the third highest win probability added on the entire team. Not coincidentally, he hit a walk off home run in the eleventh inning against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.
According to Lawrie:
I wasn’t trying to hit a home run there, I was just trying to get on base and give everyone else in here an opportunity to score me. But I was lucky enough to get a pitch I could handle.
In the same game, Boston Red Sox starter Josh Beckett injured his ankle. While the initial results suggest that it wasn’t a fracture or even a sprain, the last thing that the Red Sox want, heading into the postseason, is health questions about their starting pitching.
Perfection Isn’t Easy
Former Toronto Blue Jays starter, now with the Chicago White Sox, Zach Stewart somehow took a perfect game into the eighth inning, and ended up finishing with a one hitter. Impressive stuff. Unfortunately, his team is still eight games back of the AL Central division leading Detroit Tigers.
Eleven in 2011
Tampa Bay Rays starter (and finisher) James Shields equaled Randy Johnson’s feat of eleven complete games in a season. He became the first American League pitcher to collect more than ten complete games and 200 strikeouts since The Big Unit in 1993.
And The Rest
It’s About The Money Stupid questions our reliance on WAR as a perfect statistic.
Milwaukee Brewers catcher George Kottaras became the first player this season to hit for the cycle.
Stephen Strasburg is set to make his return to the big leagues tonight.
Settle down Yankees fans, you’re acting as though it’s the second coming.
Tom Tango tackles the most recent case of fan interference with some fancy lawyering.
Joe Posnanski has another take down of pitching wins. You reading, Buck?
Wild pitches that are changing history.
Is Jered Weaver’s work load catching up to him?
Dustin McGowan: back in the big leagues.
Maybe Mark Reynolds is better suited to first base rather than third.
The San Francisco Giants called Jerome Williams, Jeremy Williams for two whole years.
Finally, via Big League Stew, it’s Marvin Miller, Joe Niekro and Nolan Ryan talking shop at a diner: