Tag: A.J. Burnett

Max Scherzer

HBT First-Half Awards: National League Cy Young


With no baseball on Wednesday or Thursday, we’re taking stock of the best performances of the first half of the season by handing out midseason awards. Maybe someday we’ll have the budget for an actual Midseason Award Trophy, but for now they merely get our kind and admiring words. Next up: National League Cy Young Award.

Craig Calcaterra‘s ballot:

1. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
2. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Zack Greinke is making some ERA history at the moment, what with his microscopic 1.39 ERA. In terms of ERA+ — which adjusts for park and era and compares him with other pitchers in the league — Greinke is at an astounding 265. To put that in perspective, the year Bob Gibson set the modern ERA record for starters with a 1.12 mark, his ERA+ was 258. Greinke also leads the NL in pitching WAR, by a wide margin pursuant to the folks at Baseball-Reference.com and a smaller margin by the guys at FanGraphs.

Still, ERA ain’t perfect, even if Greinke’s margin in that category is pushing a full run over A.J. Burnett and Max Scherzer. And, quibble with me if you want as I am not a hardcore stats guy, but pitching WAR always gets a bit of the side eye from me.

That’s why I’m going with Max Scherzer. A guy who while “only” posting an ERA of 2.11 has a better WHIP, better strikeout ratios, better fielding independent pitching numbers and a lower opponent’s batting average than Greinke and just about everyone else. He has an astounding strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10.71 which, if it holds, will be one of the best marks in that category in history. Scherzer leads the NL in innings pitched, complete games, shutouts and batters faced as well. To me he’s the clear choice, even with that microscopic Greinke ERA.

Kershaw? Well, I feel like it’s a two-horse race here and I figured the third horse may as well be the guy leading the league in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He also leads the league in xFIP while coming in second in FIP. The guy has pitched in some bad luck, especially dingers-wise. If that’s not good enough, I have him here so you deadenders who insist that he doesn’t “have what it takes” in the playoffs or some such can get mad.

Aaron Gleeman‘s ballot:

1. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
3. Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates

There are definitely other compelling arguments to be made–for Max Scherzer leading the league in innings pitched and having the best all-around numbers, or for Clayton Kershaw being the best pitcher on the planet and leading the league in strikeouts. Ultimately, though, I’m a simple man and when someone goes into the All-Star break with the best first-half ERA by any starting pitcher since 1968 they get my vote.

Zack Greinke’s secondary numbers aren’t as good as his historic ERA, but they’re pretty damn good and his ERA is 1.39. One-thirty-nine. Greinke also ranks second to Scherzer in innings pitched and opponents’ batting average, is currently riding a 35.2-inning scoreless streak, and blows away the competition in Win Probability Added. I think there’s a strong chance Scherzer will wind up being the most deserving pitcher at the end of the season, but in the meantime I’ll ride with Greinke.

Zack Greinke and Dallas Keuchel named All-Star starters

Zack Greinke AP

All-Star managers Bruce Bochy and Ned Yost have chosen their starting pitchers, with right-hander Zack Greinke of the Dodgers getting the assignment for the National League and left-hander Dallas Keuchel of the Astros being the pick for the American League.

Greinke’s excellence is well known. He’s a three-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner who currently has a 35.2-inning scoreless streak and an MLB-best 1.39 ERA that’s the lowest by any starting pitcher at the All-Star break since 1968.

The other starting pitchers on the NL roster are Madison Bumgarner, A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Martinez, Clayton Kershaw, Shelby Miller, Max Scherzer, and Michael Wacha.

Keuchel is a great story. He was never considered a top prospect, had a losing record with a 3.74 ERA in the minors, and went 9-18 with a 5.20 ERA for the Astros in 2012 and 2013. Then last season he took a huge step forward, throwing 200 innings with a 2.93 ERA, and Keuchel has been even better this season with an 11-4 record and 2.23 ERA in a league-high 137 innings.

The other starting pitchers on the AL roster are Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Chris Sale, and Hector Santiago.

Last year’s All-Star starters were Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals for the National League and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners for the American League.

Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

Andrew McCutchen

What a night it was at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

The host Pirates were down 2-0 to the visiting Cardinals after the top of the third inning and 3-0 after the top of the fifth, but Bucs starter A.J. Burnett hit a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth and then Jung Ho Kang and Pedro Alvarez tied the game with back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth.

The score would remain 3-3 until the 10th, when Cardinals first baseman Mark Reynolds slugged a go-ahead solo homer — his second homer of the game. But then Pirates catcher Chris Stewart answered with an RBI single in the bottom half.

Jhonny Peralta put St. Louis back on top once again in the top of the 14th on an RBI single that scored Matt Carpenter, but that just set up Andrew McCutchen to play the hero with this walkoff blast …

Pittsburgh has won two in a row and now stands just 3 1/2 games back of first place.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Blue Jays 6, Royals 2

Tigers 5, Twins 9

White Sox 5, Cubs 1

Diamondbacks 2, Mets 4

Braves 2, Rockies 3

Reds 3, Marlins 14

Astros 0, Rays 3

Athletics 5, Indians 4

Nationals 7, Orioles 4

Yankees 3, Red Sox 5

Cardinals 5, Pirates 6

Padres 6, Rangers 5

Phillies 5, Giants 8

Angels 0, Mariners 5

Brewers 7, Dodgers 1

Settling the Score: Friday’s results

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 10: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the first inning during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on July 10, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

After Carlos Martinez got the best of the Pirates in the first game of an important NL Central battle on Thursday, it was Gerrit Cole’s turn last night. Cole allowed two runs over seven innings as the Pirates defeated the Cardinals 5-2 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

Cole held St. Louis to five hits while walking two and striking out three. The only offense against him was a two-run homer from Matt Carpenter in the third inning.

Neil Walker led the charge for Pittsburgh’s offense, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer. Lance Lynn gave up five runs in just four innings of work in the loss. Mark Melancon finished off the win for Pittsburgh with his MLB-leading 29th save.

Cole leads the majors with 13 wins and has an excellent 2.30 ERA and 116/28 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings this season.

With the win, the Pirates are 4 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. The series will continue tonight with a matchup of John Lackey and A.J. Burnett.

Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:

White Sox 1, Cubs 0

Cardinals 2, Pirates 5

Yankees 5, Red Sox 1

Diamondbacks 2, Mets 4

Athletics 1, Indians 5

Astros 1, Rays 3

Reds 1, Marlins 0

Nationals 2, Orioles 3

Padres 3, Rangers 4

Blue Jays 3, Royals 0

Braves 3, Rockies 5

Tigers 6, Twins 8

Brewers 2, Dodgers 3

Angels 7, Mariners 3

Phillies 2, Giants 15

Pitchers and reserves for 2015 MLB All-Star Game announced

All-Star Logo

After the starters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game were unveiled on Sunday, the pitchers and reserves were announced tonight on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN. The 2015 MLB All-Star Game will take place at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14.

National League


Andrew McCutchen OF, Pirates – will start in place of the injured Giancarlo Stanton
Kris Bryant  3B/OF, Cubs – replaces Stanton on roster
Joc Pederson OF, Dodgers
Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Dodgers
Nolan Arenado 3B, Rockies
Brandon Crawford SS, Giants
Yadier Molina C, Cardinals
Yasmani Grandal C, Dodgers
Anthony Rizzo 1B, Cubs
D.J. LeMahieu 2B, Rockies
Joe Panik 2B, Giants
A.J. Pollock OF, Diamondbacks
Justin Upton OF, Padres


Max Scherzer SP, Nationals
Zack Greinke SP, Dodgers
Gerrit Cole SP, Pirates
Madison Bumgarner SP, Giants
Michael Wacha SP, Cardinals
Jacob deGrom SP, Mets
Shelby Miller SP, Braves
A.J. Burnett SP, Pirates
Trevor Rosenthal RP, Cardinals
Aroldis Chapman RP, Reds
Mark Melancon RP, Pirates
Jonathan Papelbon RP, Phillies
Francisco Rodriguez RP, Brewers

American League


Albert Pujols 1B, Angels – Will start in place of the injured Miguel Cabrera
Manny Machado 3B, Orioles
Adam Jones OF, Orioles
Prince Fielder DH, Rangers
Jose Bautista OF, Blue Jays
Russell Martin C, Blue Jays
Jason Kipnis 2B, Indians
Stephen Vogt C, Athletics
Brock Holt INF/OF, Red Sox
Mark Teixeira 1B, Yankees
Jose Iglesias SS, Tigers
J.D. Martinez OF, Tigers


Chris Sale SP, White Sox
Dallas Keuchel SP, Astros
Sonny Gray SP, Athletics
Felix Hernandez SP, Mariners
David Price SP, Tigers
Chris Archer SP, Rays
Dellin Betances RP, Yankees
Brad Boxberger RP, Rays
Zach Britton RP, Orioles
Wade Davis RP, Royals
Kelvin Herrera RP, Royals
Darren O’Day RP, Orioles
Glen Perkins RP, Twins