5 guys you might not realize are having awesome seasons

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Unless you play fantasy or are a fan of the team these guys are
employed by, you might not be aware that they’re putting up some pretty
sick numbers.

Javy Vazquez: The 7-7 record is deceiving. Javy’s ERA
sits at 2.86, his WHIP is 1.048, and he has struck out 141 batters (3rd
in MLB) in 126.0 innings (also good for a 5.88 K/BB).

David Aardsma: Much of the preseason hype for a Seattle closer was given to Brandon Morrow.
But after he imploded, Aardsma took over, and has coverted 22 of 24
saves, has an ERA of 1.83 and strikes out more than a batter an inning
(53 K in 44.1 IP). Perhaps even more impressive is that he has allowed
runs in only 4 of his 45 outings.

Wandy Rodriguez: 117 strikeouts (Johan Santana=117). 10-6 record (Johan=11-7). 2.72 ERA (Johan=2.92). 1.23 WHIP (Johan=1.19). 125.2 IP (Johan=123.1).

Jermaine Dye: Quietly crushing the ball yet again. 21 homers, 59 RBI, and a .294/.368/.557 line (along with an OPS+ of 135).

Derek Jeter: Remember last year when Jeter was being
written off (career-low .771 OPS, only 11 SB, worst fielding shortstop
of all-time)? Well, the batting average is up to .319, his OPS is at
.847, he has 18 steals, and his 10 homers are one shy of lasy year’s
total (thank you, New Yankee Stadium). He’s also walking more than he
ever has in 10 years (10.6%), with the lowest strikeout rate of his
career (12.7%). And don’t look now, but his UZR is 1.8, second-best on
the Yankees. Maybe he was hurt last year and no one knew?

Travis d’Arnaud’s position in Wednesday’s box score read “3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B”

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The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.

The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.

The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.

Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.

John Lackey stole the first base of his career

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Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.

Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.

Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.

Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.