NBC SportsTalk: handicapping the NL Cy Young race

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As I mentioned, last night I made my debut as a talking head on NBC SportsTalk, our new studio show on Versus (which, as of the first year, will be known as the NBC Sports Network).  I didn’t barf, drop any F-bombs or ruin any equipment, so I assume that they’ll have me back on from time to time.

We covered all kinds of ground on the show last night, so I figured I’d share some of the segments today as little video posts a la HBT Daily.  Only differences: (a) I wasn’t in my basement; and (b) no Tiffany.  Don’t worry, though: I’m taping some stuff with her later this morning, so you’ll get your fix today and tomorrow.

First up: some chatter about the NL Cy Young race.  We taped this before Halladay’s ridiculous start yesterday and before Kershaw’s aborted-yet-still-awesome game against the Dbacks.  Still, given that Cliff Lee is likely to go out there and toss a near perfect game or something, I believe the point I make about this being the tightest awards race in recent memory stands.  Today Halladay has an edge, but it’s goin’ down to the wire.

Enjoy:

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Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.