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What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action


We have a short slate of games today, as many teams are traveling to begin new series on Tuesday. The Blue Jays already beat the Red Sox earlier this afternoon, but there’s seven games left on the docket. The one I’ll be watching tonight at 7:05 PM EST — and I’d be watching this even if I weren’t a Phillies fan — is the Mets/Phillies game, which features the flamethrowing Noah Syndergaard opposing beautiful curve ball creator Jerad Eickhoff. Odds are we’re in for a low-scoring game, even if it is at Citizens Bank Park.

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello explained today that Syndergaard is the current leader in fastball velocity and perceived fastball velocity. What that means is not only is Syndergaard’s fastball the fastest by traditional measurements, but when one takes into account where the pitcher releases the ball, Syndergaard’s fastball is still the fastest. Some pitchers can gain or lose velocity based on how they deliver the ball. For instance, Joel Peralta doesn’t get much extension when he throws the ball, so his fastball isn’t as fast as the radar gun reads, because it’s covering more distance. Carter Capps, because of his funky delivery, releases the ball much further out, so his fastball actually looks faster as it’s covering less ground.

Eickhoff was one of the six players the Phillies received from the Rangers last year in exchange for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman. He impressed last year, finishing with a 2.65 ERA over eight starts, and has continued the success in two starts to begin the 2016 season, yielding only two earned runs in 12 innings. Eickhoff’s curve is a thing of beauty, which you can see in this highlight video of his most recent start against the Padres. Of the 12 strikeouts the right-hander has accumulated this season, nine of them (75%) have come on the curve. He had 49 strikeouts last year, 29 of which (59%) were finished with a curve.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Colorado Rockies (Jordan Lyles) @ Cincinnati Reds (Dan Straily), 7:10 PM EST

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EST

Chicago Cubs (John Lackey) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake), 8:09 PM EST

Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago) @ Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon), 8:10 PM EST

Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson) @ Minnesota Twins (Phil Hughes), 8:10 PM EST

Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy), 10:15 PM EST

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.