Lost in the excitement of the New York Mets and Miami Marlins’ 15-inning battle and the 19-inning epic between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was a pitching showdown between two of baseball’s most exciting young arms. Matt Harvey versus Jose Fernandez was scheduled to be some fine Monday evening viewing, on paper. Alas, Fernandez struggled with consistency and saw his night come to a halt following the fourth inning, and Harvey threw 121 pitches through 5.1 innings of work.
Harvey struck out seven Marlins while walking two and giving up one earned run on seven hits. Fernandez surrendered two earned runs on three hits and three walks, with the damage coming off a two-run shot by John Buck in the fourth. The 20-year old rookie struck out four, showing off some near NSFW nastiness in the process. We shall examine.
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If we look back at any of the wealth of preseason projections and informed fantasy themed predictions on Anthony Rizzo, they all sing a similar refrain: expect an impact hitter.
ZiPS projected the 23-year old Chicago Cubs first baseman to hit .279/.349/.503 (.362 wOBA), with 31 home runs. While the returns on the power numbers have been impressive, Rizzo has seen his K% take a sharp spike upwards to 26.5% in the first month of the 2013 season. The increase in strikeouts and some early contact issues have rendered a .211/.304/.511 (.353 wOBA) in 102 plate appearances.
Sample size? Sample size.
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It took him 18 games, but Giancarlo Stanton made up for lost time by clubbing his first home run of 2013 a long, long way. Only the glass beyond the left field wall in Marlins Park can protect the people and businesses of Little Havana from the power of Stanton.
How far was it? Well…
Your weekly dose of browser killing fancy pictures has arrived. We lead with this acid-tripping Yu Darvish five pitch brain melt .gif. A tip of the hat to the image’s creator, Drew Sheppard.
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The Colorado Rockies Instagram feed released a photo of a young Troy Tulowitzki sporting an incredible Kentucky Waterfall on Thursday. It seems as though Tulo’s appreciation for the mullet goes back to his youth. The Rockies shortstop’s propensity to do strange things with his lettuce suddenly makes a whole lot more sense.
You’ll have to forgive Matt Carpenter for his actions in the second inning this afternoon. You see, the Cardinals’ third baseman got a little overzealous with a hit he dropped over the heads of Jayson Werth and Denard Span of the Washington Nationals. Not willing to settle for a stand up double, Carpenter rounded second base and made a few strides for third, and then blew a wheel en route to providing us with some LOLs via a terrific TOOTBLAN.
Alfredo Aceves and the Boston Red Sox put on quite a performance of incompetence in the third inning of Tuesday’s 13-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Aceves, who walked three in the inning and was called for two balks, can’t be held responsible for all of the blame for the six runs against in the frame, but he sure did his part to make it easy on the A’s.
The right-hander piled up some excuses in speaking with the media following the seven inning contest, via the Boston Herald:
“It’s hard to explain to you guys,” Aceves said. “You guys just see the errors, the runs, the hits, whatever. It’s really hard to — how can I explain? — to get through that plate. For whatever reason, the strike zone got small. Obviously you guys don’t see it that way. You see the runs. As a pitcher, man, it’s not easy. Also, the weather, whatever weather it is, we should be able to play. Also it don’t matter what score it is. We’ve got to have our backs, not because it’s 10 or 13, I’m going to sit back and relax for the next game. No, there’s no second game. We’ve got to have our backs. Pretty much that.”
Oh, there’s more:
“Also, we got our hacks. Why don’t we hit?”
Yeah, that’s probably not going to go over so well in the clubhouse. Enjoy the above display of inadequate defense, as we may have seen the last of Alfredo Aceves on the mound for the Red Sox.