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The Baseball Roundup (6/8/15)

June 8, 2015

Tony:

Well Mose, I guess we have a bit of catching up to do since we missed Sunday… I’ll start with baseball. I’m assuming this will dovetail into a bunch of Cavs and at least a little Game of Thrones…

I’m glad the Tribe’s front office reads our block. After I suggested Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall may be best suited for a demotion on Saturday, both infielders were sent down on Sunday. Giovanny Urshela was called up, as expected, but Francisco Lindor remains in triple A. Instead, the Tribe called up utility man Zach Walters. This should mean Mike Aviles will be taking over full time at short.

Speaking of Aviles… Paul Dolan shaved his head to support Mike’s daughter as she begins her fight against leukemia. Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher, and Ryan Raburn, among others, have also ditched the hair to support Adriana.

Francisco Lindor, meanwhile, has to be pissed he has hair. I wonder if he thinks he is in the club’s dog house. I’m sure he’s been in touch with Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. who, despite hitting .338 in Triple-A and being one of the best defensive outfielders on the planet, remains in Triple A while Carlos Peguero, Alejandro De Aza, and Rusney Castillo (who is taking bad routes to balls and has a .461 OPS) continue to get at bats.

Bradley Jr. was the World Series MVP on the University of South Carolina team that beat Trevor Bauer and Garrit Cole in 2010.

Murphy Powell wanted to wait for may to finish before claiming Jason Kipnis was healthy again. It is interesting to see the numbers that show the transition from oblique injury to the mental block of an old oblique injury as the new season starts to oblique injury free existence:

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 3.16.08 PM

Cleveland lost 7 – 3 yesterday to Baltimore. Carlos Carrasco got hit pretty hard, giving up 5 on 7 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings. He only struck out 3. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters both went yard for the birds. Parades was 2/5 show how high contact guys are seriously streaky. Jason Kipnis was 3/5 for the Tribe. The team managed only 6 other hits. Only 2 guys in the starting lineup yesterday were hitting over .300. 6 were hitting under .250. Two were near the Mendoza line (Lonnie’s .209 and Yan Gomes’s .203).

Yesterday was the 79th anniversary of Yankees pitcher Red Ruffing throwing a 16-inning complete game in a 5-4 win over Cleveland. Ruffing recorded 48 outs without striking out a single Indian. ZERO STRIKEOUTS!?

Sounds like the Twins… Twins pitchers have the lowest K rate (5.72) in baseball. Think they can keep up the success without missing bats? Glen Perkins thinks so: “Saying that inducing weak contact isn’t a skill would be the same as saying that inducing strikeouts isn’t a skill.” Athletics manager Bob Melvin alluded to a similar conclusion, suggesting that weak contact is created by late movement.

Another “yesterday in history” anecdote? According to NationalPastime.com, the following happened in 1921: “Due to the body of a slain girl found at the ballpark in Kingsport, Tennessee, the game is called to prevent the bloodhounds from becoming confused.”

The Cards beat the Dodgers in dramatic fashion. Peralta homered and singled home the go-ahead run during a three-run eighth inning Sunday night, leading the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory. The shortstop was 11 for 21 with two home runs and eight RBIs during the seven-game season series.

The NL West-leading Dodgers were coming off a 2-0 victory Saturday night in which Clayton Kershaw held St. Louis to one hit over eight innings. All that talk of Kershaw being done starting to feel pretty silly, Moser? This is his third stellar start in a row: On May 26, he pitched seven shutout innings against the Braves, striking out 10 and not walking a hitter. In his next start he went seven more innings and allowed two runs while striking out seven against the Rockies.

Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke held the team with baseball’s best record to six hits through 6 2/3 innings and struck out eight, giving up his only run in the sixth on Peralta’s ninth homer. Dude has to be PISSED. He is winless over his last 6 starts. In 5 of those games he has allowed only 1 run… Ouch.

Andre Ethier stole his first base of the season Sunday night! The Dodgers have 13 stolen bases so far this season. The fewest steals in franchise history was 34, in 1924. Also, Matt Goldman claims Andre Ethier is good again. Truth is, some of the more advanced metrics look good:

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 4.07.26 PM

Similarly, are we seeing a new Josh Reddick?

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 4.09.29 PM

The BABIP isn’t crazy, the strikeouts are down, and the walks are up. Selectivity at the place could mean this is the real thing.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 4.09.36 PM

Reddick and the A’s lost to the Red Sox 7 – 4 last night. Rusney Castillo hit a solo homer and an RBI single during a seven-run rally in the eighth inning that sent the Red Sox over the Oakland Athletics 7-4 Sunday for a three-game sweep. Boston entered with the third-worst total of runs scored in the AL.

Tough loss for the A’s. Kendall Graveman took a shutout into the eighth inning before Castillo led off with a homer. The aforementioned Reddick was 3/4. Your BOY Kung Fu Panda was 2/4. Dustin Pedroia went 2 for 5 and is hitting .394 over 16 games since being moved into the leadoff spot.

Kris Bryant was 1 short of the cycle last night. He tripled, doubled, singled and scored twice as the Cubs sent the Washington Nationals to their eighth loss in 10 games, 6-3 Sunday. It’s been a rough little stretch for the Nats. The Nationals fell out of the NL East lead, passed by the New York Mets.

Just a Bit Outside put together a little infographic for us about our NEW BOY Paul Goldschmidt:

Defensively challenged. Too slow. A small-school prospect who couldn’t mash at the highest level. That was the harsh scouting assessment of Paul Goldschmidt heading into the 2009 MLB draft, which dropped the Texas State slugger to the eighth round despite his earning two Southland Conference Hitter of the Year awards and All American honors. Those same scouting doubts also prevented him from cracking any major top 100 prospect lists in the minors, despite posting an OPS north of one thousand.

The Astros lost 6 – 7, to the Toronto Blue Jays, in the 9th on Sunday. Jose Bautista hit a pair of solo homers and Russell Martin added a two-run shot for Toronto, which scored three times in the ninth to complete a three-game sweep. Donaldson went 2 for 4 and has reached base in 38 consecutive games against the Astros, the longest active streak for any player against one club. Texas SS Elvis Andrus reached in 39 consecutive games against Cleveland from 2009-13. The AL West-leading Astros dropped their season-high fourth straight and lost for the first time in 30 games when leading after eight innings.

Lance McCullers starts tonight for the Astros. He will take on Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. I have both guys starting in the fantasy league. Also playing for the Astros on Monday is shortstop Carlos Correa. Once he debuts, he’ll become the league’s youngest position player

I’m not going to get to all the games and news, but I’ll finish with Chris Archer. Archer made history on Sunday, becoming the first pitcher in more than 100 years to reach double-digits in strikeouts without a walk in three straight starts, leading the Tampa Bay Rays over the Seattle Mariners 3–1 Sunday. Saturday I mentioned that the high strikeout, low walk performances were becoming a league-wide trend. If nothing else, they are a trend for Archer. Archer has gone 23 innings without issuing a walk and just missed becoming the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2001 with 12 or more strikeouts in three straight games.

Seattle fell a season-worst seven games below .500 and closed out a miserable 11-game home-stand 2-9.

Oh yeah. Was shocked to wake up to the game recaps for the Cavs – Warriors last night. What an epic game: Lebron was Jerry West epic, Draymond Green’s block was *almost epic, apparently Matty D’s “D” was epic, JR was epically JR… my favorite though?

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 3.50.11 PM

What else ya got, Mose?

Kevin:

I really cannot talk much baseball after what happened last night: FINALS GAME 2! and THRONES! I realized that my emotional roller coaster for both viewing events was fairly symmetrical, and so with nothing further I give you…

NBA FINALS GAME 2: The Dance of Dragons

As the game gets to the 4th quarter, cavs go up 11.  Lebrons stares down history and his naysayers.

Jon Snow returns with the wildlings, and after some nail-biting waiting, is let through the gate, and we get to see the freakish giant again.

The Warriors start to gain momentum, rattling off 7 unanswered points.  I begin wondering to myself, “This cannot happen again…WTF!?”  Chain smoking begins, things get thrown against the wall, and I start questioning humanity.

Stannis sends Davos to Castleblack.  Given Melisandra’s recent thinking….I wonder to myself, “This can’t be happening. WTF?!?! And start chainsmoking and throwing things against the wall (shout out to Bogart for allowing indoor smoking).

Cavs steal the ball, Schumpert headed for an uncontested layup.

Davos gives Shireen a wooden horse, feel good moment.

SCHUMPERT BLOWS THE LAYUP!!!   Shireen being marched ominously by the Stannis’s guard.

Curry ties up the game….Shireen tied up to the stakes

curry layup 

At this point, in both forms of entertainment, I was racked with anxiety, and was really contemplating turning off the television and punching something.

Lebron has the ball with 7 seconds left, and does what I always want him to do, and takes the ball to the hole.  We are ready for him to save the game!

Shireen screams for her father, and finally Stannis walks out of his tent.  Her mother at first agrees it’s right to give in to the Lord of Light, then has a change of heart, and we expect/hope the Good Stannis that gave such a heartwarming speech two weeks ago has returned.  His eyes glimmer, we are ready for him to save Shireen!

Lebron gets ridiculously fouled (for the 4th or 5th time in the last 5 minutes) and misses the layup, then Tristan misses the put back as time expires.  Stannis shelves his concerns and we are left to watch one of the more heartwarming characters on Game of Thrones be burned at the stake in front of her parents.  This is where my Iphone first got cracked.  Hurtled across the room like Lebron on a fast break, the wall stopped it like Draymond Green at the rim. In both Thrones and The Finals, this is right around where I started to openly weep for what may have been, good times past, the forboding future, etc.

As overtime unfolded, the emotional rollercoaster was just getting started.  Soon, we had Schump hitting a 3, and seeing Tyrion sitting as the hand to the Queen is the fighting pits.

After Lebron hit 2 free throws to go up 5, I was back to feeling okay.  Jorah enters the fighting pit and continues to kick ass and take no prisoners. Eventually, he spears an assassination attempt to save the mother of dragons.

JR Smith reminds us that he is the most awesome player in the league.  This being a more archaic use of the word.  His play truly inspire awe.  Sometimes it is wonder and amazement, sometimes it is disgust.  But it is jaw dropping nonetheless.  He sent Curry to the line to take the lead and, presumably, prove once and for all the God Hates Cleveland. We were surrounded, and things were looking grim.

Daenerys, despite the life saver from Jorah, is screwed.  The slave masters are reminding her that ruthlessness and desire to be in control are intrinsically in the DNA of being a slave master.  There’s like a slavemaster ethic that goes with the territory.  She is surrounded by some guards with no balls, literally, a wee man and another woman who at least is willing to hold her hand. I’m beginning to wonder if this show can really take her out this way.  It’s one of the storylines I’m most interested in, and could potentially ruin the entire show for me.  

Cavs still have a shot to win it.  They come down and misfire, but Deli somehow comes up with an offensive rebound.  He gets fouled on the putback attempt.  Our fate relies in this guy’s hands.

Khaleesi seems to be doing some mind meld shit while holding hands with another babe.  Our suspicions come true when the Dragon swoops in and starts fucking things up.  He immediately commences with the burning and the biting of people. Starting to like my chances better…

Deli makes me out to be a fool by hitting both free throws, potentially saving the day.  I’m still gravely concerned because the Warriors are incredible offensively, and they have Steph Curry.  Even when he’s struggling he’s still Steph Curry.

The dragon kills a lot of bad guys.  Daenarys goes up to give him a loving pat on the nose, as he gets repeatedly speared. Despite the feel good nature of him showing up, I’m starting to get concerned about the damage he’s taking.  He’s unproven at this big stage, and the other side has the numbers…..

Curry misses, Bron rebounds, celebration commences

.dragons

Khaleesi hops on the back of the dragon and does a Jenner style victory lap.  Rubbing it in everyone’s faces that she just turned the tables, and has a freaking dragon.

At the end of both events, I was left dumbstruck, inspired, and hopeful. I also still have pit in my stomach. In Cleveland, we managed to steal one game, but the cards are still stacked against us.  In Mereen, Tyrion and the rest of her peeps are seemingly still surrounded.  Also, Mereen was D’s city to make a stand.  She would show how merciful rule could be adjudicated, and how peace could be maintained without violence.  She took the necessary steps, marrying a total cheesedick, and in the end, they still try to kill her.  Both ended on such notes of positivity but still left me with nagging doubts.  I will continue to tune in, and continue to be open to amazement.  Here’s hoping the two heroes reclaim the Iron Thrones.

Later

Tony: 

Interesting parallels. 15 final thoughts:

1) This terrorist attack ending was 100x more intense and enjoyable than last week’s episode of HBO’s The Walking Dead. Large scale battle is awesome. And the good guys can get their asses kicked, but I need the threat to feel real, and in Mereen it sure did. What a fantastic little twist.

2) The convo between Tyrion and the soon-to-be-dead-fiancee was fantastic. Little moments and dialogues like that propel the show just as much, if not more than 20 minute CGI-battle-orgies. ESPECIALLY when 90% of the show is really sick violence toward women or other generic pointless slaughter. Nice to be reminded at least once every 53 minutes that not everyone is THAT evil. For one thing, the show gets too unbelievable. It takes talent, or a special kind of genetic makeup, to be that evil. To suggest everyone is just walking around that way? Give me a break. Sunday’s was a great break. Really hope Tyrion gets her ear now and kicks this dragon propelled party into gear.

3) Thank God this dragon arrived. It saved D and it saved the show. Not that I was about to stop. And I really liked this season a lot, especially compared to what I thought was a weak season last year, but the dragon’s are the bringers of hope and possibility, whereas everything else, even the arrival of the White Walkers was e fully admitted inevitability (see: “Winter is Coming”). Some unpredictable possibility is a good thing.

4) Meanwhile, I’m still so confused as to how D has not been playing with dragons this whole time. I get it, they got a little big and intimidated her. Still, she wasn’t even trying! It seems like the two locked up haven’t even been fed! How the heck is she going to regain their trust and love? You know what happens when you lock two pitbulls in a dark basement for a really long time? Imagine if they were two dragons.

5) Beyond the practical necessities of actually caring for a creature to keep it alive and useful, if you have dragons as toys, even if you aren’t sure if they are safe and even if you aren’t sure what to do with them, how have you not at least been tinkering!? If someone gave me an M1 Abram’s tank (or three of them…), I would be scared to death of them. I would also start them up once a week to keep them in running order. And I would for SURE be trying to figure out how to use them.

Plans of action:

a) the library – getting your hands on some old scrolls might provide some secrets.

b) trying a new button every day to figure out how they work – you could start with a soothing song, maybe try feeding one by throwing a goat, then get them eating out of your hand, maybe even a nose pat by week two!

c) just rip of the bandaid – she survived a raging fire to birth them, they seem to come when she calls, screw it, go for it. Stare it down like you’re Harry Potter and it’s a hippogriff, and then get on that thing. FACT: a full grown horse could easily kill me and is very dangerous. FACT: if I had three in my possession, at some point (after steps “a” and “b,” though probably not long after) I would just give it a go and hop on that thing.

6) Jon Snow really risked things with the Watch for like 500 wildlings, many of whom are, presumably, the women and children they would have loaded first. Oops.

7) I totally feel you on the intensity of that dragon getting speared a bunch. I thought they were going to kill it off for a moment after which my laptop would have followed your phone into a wall.

8) How much better is this show when we don’t have to dedicate time to Brienne of Tarth?

9) Similarly, isn’t it great when we don’t have to watch eunuch-translator love scenes?

10) Are they starting to pare down some of the storylines now that they are lapping George? Could be a great perk…

11) King’s Landing is so tired, and the fanatics so unengaging, that I didn’t realize until now that we didn’t pop in.

12) The banking scene better come back around later. If that was an annoying and elaborate way of showing us that Arya ran into someone to kill, it was a bit much. Especially since no one cares about the guy from House Tyrell. BUT, if it plays a roll later, it would be one of those little nuances that keep everything connected that I love so much and that seemed so plentiful in seasons 1 and 2.

13) My dude Jorah touched the queen, like, a lot in that episode when “rescuing her.” Do you have to directly touch the infected part to get it? If so, why did Shireen get it from a wooden doll? Were they just sloppy? If so, shame on them. They made him roll that sleeve up in BOTH previous episodes to remind us…

14) Where is the super smart eunuch right now? I miss him a little bit. Didn’t miss Tommy Carcetti at all…

15) RIP…Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.52.25 PM

… not Joffrey. Fat Moser! This doesn’t even look like you now.

 

 

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