Author: case91615

Pace Car: Angels and Yanks rocking nine-man bands

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Kudos to the Angels and Yankees, who have put together a couple of the most well-rounded lineups of all-time. Or at least it’s headed that way.

As noted on Baseball-Reference Blog, the Angels could have 10 players with 100 hits. The only other team to do so was the 2004 Tigers. Meanwhile, the Yankees have 9 players on pace for at least 40 extra-base hits. That feat, too, has been accomplished only one other time – by the 2003 Red Sox.
In other words, the Yankees could become the first team to have 9 players with at least 40 extra-base hits without the use of steroids or female fertility drugs. I kid, I kid.
By contrast, the Mets will probably only have one player – David Wright – to go over 40. Coincidentally, Wright is the only Mets player who has more homers (8) than his jersey (5). Gary Sheffield (10) is currently tied, but even with more than a month to go, topping that isn’t a sure thing.
Also, Mark Reynolds continues to put up the least hyped awesome season ever. He’s currently on pace for 51 HR, 111 RBI, 224 K, 28 SB, and nearly 20 errors. Again, one of the most action-packed lines we can remember.
Finally, for those of you into the whole magic number thing, here are a few:
Yankees: 36
Tigers: 40
Angels: 38
Phillies: 37
Cardinals: 35
Dodgers: 38

The Show: Advice for Strasburg

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The Washington Nationals will formally introduce top pick Stephen Strasburg today at 2 pm et, and the Nats sold over 6,000 $1 tickets to the presser.

Meanwhile, this week on The Show, Tiffany Simons and Matt Stroup offer some advice for Strasburg, hoping he learns a few lessons from the mistakes of former #1’s. Cameos from Delmon Young, Chase Utley, Anna Benson, and more. Enjoy.

Maybe the HR Derby isn't such a good idea

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Are we ready to blame the Home Run Derby for squashing Albert Pujols’ chance at the Triple Crown, or is that just an easy excuse? We remember players from the past flaming out after taking part in the Derby – David Wright hit only 6 HR after the break in 2006, and of course Bobby Abreu hit a mere 6 dingers in the second half after dominating the slugfest the year before – but such a thing couldn’t happen to Big Al, right?

Perhaps it’s because we’re looking at a small sample size or maybe a slight statistical decline was inevitable because no human being can keep up the absurd offensive pace that Pujols set from April through early July. But it’s worth peeking at the splits before and after the Derby:
Before: 90 G, .332/.456/.723, 32 HR, 87 RBI, 35 K
After:    31 G, .280/.401/.525, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 14 K
These aren’t bad numbers – I’ll take a .926 OPS, thank you. They’re just not what we were getting from Pujols a couple months ago. Did the HR Derby mess up his swing a bit? Probably the only person who might know is him. And it must be nice to be in a relative slump and still have 39 HR in late August.