Matt Cain was scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start after cutting his right index finger while making a sandwich in the Giants clubhouse hours before the first pitch, but for now at least the team is planning on him rejoining the rotation Monday.
Yusmeiro Petit filled in at the last minute Tuesday and will again be on call next week in case Cain can’t pitch. Petit tossed six shutout innings in his place against the Padres and has a 3.31 ERA in 73 total innings for the Giants dating back to 2012. In the meantime Cain is avoiding doing any throwing for fear that the wound will open up again.
A few seasons ago Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt sliced open his finger while trying to separate frozen hamburger patties, so manager Bruce Bochy and company may want to think about just banning anything involving meat and bread at this point.
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You know the baseballs are different. We know the baseballs are different. Pitchers have been saying the baseballs are different. And now Major League Baseball has acknowledged that the baseballs are different in a report of findings by a team of scientists from some of the top universities in the world, like Stanford, Caltech, and M.I.T.
You can read the whole thing here in PDF form. Here’s the gist …
The ball is not bouncier — or “juiced” — but it is most definitely carrying farther. From MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince …
Though the study did not discover meaningful changes in the ball’s lift, it found that the drag coefficient of MLB balls has decreased since 2015. The researchers used a physics model to calculate that if the change in home run rate was attributable entirely to changes in drag, one would expect the drag coefficient to have decreased by approximately 0.012. The exact change in drag coefficient in the time period studied — if you’re scoring at home — was 0.0153.
It’s not the seams or the core that has changed — those aspects were tested — and it’s not the weather either. In fact, the commision couldn’t figure out what is causing the decrease in drag, despite numerous tests on all elements of the ball. It might simply come down to manufacturing advancements. Looking at you, Rawlings …
“Rawlings is always trying to improve the manufacturing process to make it more uniform,” Alan Nathan, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told MLB.com. “So the interesting question that comes up is whether the goal should be to improve the manufacturing process or to keep the ball performing exactly the way it is, regardless of whether it’s improved or not.”
Baseball Prospectus began studying this three years ago, as home runs began to increase around the league. Their write-up on MLB’s report is a must-read.