Weekly Roundup 05/18/15-05/24/15

Monday saw the following performances from certain starters:

Corey Kluber: 9 IP, 1 R

Chris Sale: 8 IP, 1 R

Matt Harvey: 8 IP, 0 R

John Lackey: 7 IP, 1 R

Not one of those pitchers received a win. (h/t @espnstatsinfo.

- Speaking of Kluber, the Indians are just 2-8 in his starts this year.

On Tuesday, Jack Leathersich walked Randy Choate.
- Choate, 39, hadn’t had a plate appearance in 11 years.

Wednesday, Bartolo Colon reached base. As a batter.
- Because of a Yadier Molina error:

More pitcher-batting wackiness: Madison Bumgarner hit a home run off of Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday:

- Speaking of the Giants and the Dodgers, the Giants swept the series with the Dodgers without allowing a run, just the second time in Giants’ history that it’s happened. Via @espnstatsinfo.

Didi Gregorious hit a home run in two consecutive games.
- The second of those games also saw a Garrett Jones pitching appearance:

On Sunday, Ryan Goins hit a home run.
…And Carlos Frias came out of the Dodgers/Padres game with a game score of -4.

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Weekly Roundup 05/11/15-05/18/15

Clint Robinson pitched an inning for the Nationals.
- He’s a first baseman.

On Wednesday, Corey Kluber struck out eighteen in eight innings.
- He’s just the second pitcher ever (Randy Johnson in 1992 being the other) to strike out that many in less than nine innings.
– Via @suss2hyphens, Todd Jones had 14 strikeouts in 2008, and 18 saves. For, you know, comparison’s sake…

Also on Wednesday, the Twins had triples from Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, and Joe Mauer.
- Russell Martin tripled this week, too.

On Thursday, the Cubs won on a walkoff walk.

Sonny Gray gave up one run in seven innings. He lost to Wade Miley, who entered the day with a 6.91 ERA.

San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers both had rain delays on the same day.

On Saturday, Jacob deGrom had two hits. In one inning.
- Reminder that he’s a pitcher.
– The Mets scored 10 runs in that inning. There were no ten-run innings in all of 2014.

And, finally, the end to the Cubs game on Friday, in which an outfielder falls down…but it’s not a Cub!

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Weekly Roundup, 05/04/15-05/10/15

The Pirates turned a 4-5-4 triple play against the Cardinals.
- This was the first 4-5-4 triple play in history.
– In the same game, Vance Worley hit a double.

Chad Billingsley homer!
- That homer was off Bartolo Colon, to boot.
– Chad Billingsley pitching might be considered YCPB to some.

Alex Rodriguez hit a triple.
- Delmon Young made a spectacular catch to prevent A-Rod from hitting HR #661, which would have passed Willie Mays on the all-time list.

Mark Buehrle beat the Yankees.
- The only two Yankee pitchers Buerhle has beaten? CC Sabathia… and Jorge De Paula.
– Both CC Sabathia and Corey Kluber are 0-5 so far this year.
— The last time Buehrle beat the Yankees, A-Rod was playing in his seventh game as a Yankee.

Catcher David Ross pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the Cubs.
- Ross’ first career home run came against… Mark Grace pitching. (h/t @mwhite06)

Marcus Semien had two home runs off Felix Hernandez.

2015 Casey McGehee hit a grand slam.

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Weekly Roundup 04/27/15-05/03/15

The Astros have the best record in the American League.
- They’ve won ten in a row…
– And are ELEVEN games over .500.
— No other team in the AL West is over .500.
—- In all of baseball, only the Cardinals have a better record.

On Monday, the Mets and Marlins played a game in 1:58.
- Dillon Gee had 59 pitches…through seven innings.
– Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead ninth inning home run. It came on closer Steve Cishek’s 17th pitch. Cosart, the Marlins’ starter, didn’t have an inning over 16 pitches.

#Yearofthetriple update:

Dan Uggla hit triples in back-to-back games.
Nelson Cruz and Ryan Howard also tripled this week.

Monday’s (04/27) Rays/Yankees game was the first time all season that the Rays actually played a game outdoors; the Rays play all their home games in a dome, and their previous road trips had taken them to Toronto and Miami, where the roofs remained closed.

On Tuesday, the Braves jumped out to a 9-1 lead against the Nationals. They lost.
- On a Dan Uggla home run, to boot. Remember, the Braves are still paying Uggla.
– A.J. Cole, pitching for the Nationals, came out of the game with a line of 2.0 IP 9 H 9 R 4 ER BB K. He received a no decision.
— Julio Teheran didn’t pitch much better – 5.2 IP 10 H 7 R 3 ER 0 BB 4 K 2 HR. He also received a no decision. If not for Uggla’s home run, he would have gotten the win.

Speaking of pitching lines you’d like to forget, Chris Sale on Thursday exited with a line of 3.0 IP 9 H 9 R 8 ER 2 BB 4 K HR.
- It happened against the Twins.
– The Twins are now above .500. The Nationals still are not.

On Friday, Alex Rodriguez hit a pinch-hit home run against the Red Sox. Via @ktsharp, it was Rodriguez’s first career pinch-hit home run.
- Need we remind you that Rodriguez has been playing in MLB since 1994?

On Saturday, Logan Schafer ran all the way around the bases on a ground ball to short. This is how:

Also on Saturday, not one but TWO games – The Dodgers/Diamondbacks and Angels/Giants ended on a baserunner being hit by a batted ball:

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Weekly Roundup 04/20/15-04/26/15

After an 11-game winning streak, the Mets had sole possession of the best record in baseball.
- How do you win eleven in a row? With Bartolo Colon doing things like this:

– The Mets’ streak was brought to an end on Friday night, when they lost to the Yankees.

Former Met Ike Davis made a pitching appearance in Oakland’s Tuesday night game.
- Other unusual positional changes include a center field appearance from Kris Bryant.

In the Yankees-Tigers game last Monday, the Yankees had two extra base hits, including a home run, and the Tigers had none.
- The Tigers won.
– At one point, Miguel Cabrera had made five outs in four pitches.
— The Monday win was the only one the AL-leading Tigers had against the Yankees in the four-game set.
—- On Wednesday’s game, the first INNING of the Yankees-Tigers game took a combined *87* pitches.
—– Also in that game, Gregorio Petit, who came into the game hitting .111/.150/.111, was just intentionally walked.

Via @sky_kalkman, Mark Teixeira has a .163 BABIP and is 11th in the majors in wRC+.

By Monday, Paulo Orlando had hit five triples in seven games.
- If 5 triples in 7 games doesn’t sound like a lot: Victor Martinez has 3 triples in 1470 games & teammate Mike Moustakas has 3 in 527 games.
– When Orlando hit his fifth triple, it gave him more triples than teammates Christian Colon and Jarrod Dyson had hits…combined (4).
— His fifth triple gave him, at the time, more triples than the entire Brewers’ team had home runs (4).

Speaking of triples – Joe Mauer hit a two-run triple on Sunday.
- Other unlikely triples this week include back-to-back triples from Carlos Beltran and Chase Headley, as well as one from Yonder Alonso, which was the second of his career.

The Brewers have had a hard time hitting home runs in 2015 — as of Sunday night, they have as many home runs as a team as Nelson Cruz does on his own (nine), and Cruz plays his home games in Seattle.
- That said, Elian Herrera did hit a grand slam on Tuesday. It was the third grand slam of their game against the Reds.
– In the same game, Zack Cozart, who hit four home runs in all of 2014 (147 games/543 PA), hit two.

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Weekly Roundup, 04/13/15-04/19/15

As you may have heard, Jon Lester hasn’t so much as attempted a pick-off throw in a while. As in, since April. 2013.
- On Monday, he attempted a pick-off for the first time since then.
– The results were… less than spectacular.
— Jon Lester had to throw to first again today, but couldn’t get the ball out of the glove, so he did this instead:

—- Another first since 2013: a Juan Uribe stolen base.

Bartolo Colon has two RBIs in the season.
- As of Friday, he led the league in pitcher RBIs.

Wil Nieves and Stephen Drew both hit grand slams this week.
- Stephen Drew and his teammate, the 39 year-old Alex Rodriguez, both have more home runs than Giancarlo Stanton so far in 2015.

Paulo Orlando hit three triples before his first career MLB single.
- As of Sunday morning, only one TEAM (Oakland) had more triples (5) than Orlando’s four.
– Michael Cuddyer, Mike Napoli, and Brian AND James McCann also hit triples.
— Sam Fuld has three triples already.
—- And Ichiro Suzuki hit a pinch-hit triple.

Jeff Francoeur has hit cleanup for the Phillies in multiple games this season.

The Royals started 2015 with a 7-0 record.
- Their first loss? The Twins.

The Tigers have already pitched four shutouts in 2015; they had eight in all of last season.
- Saturday’s game against the White Sox, however, was anything but – Jose Abreu had three hits, including a grand slam, and was a triple away from the cycle…by the end of the fourth inning.
– Anibal Sanchez allowed a career high nine runs and has allowed more homers than he did last year.
— J.D. Martinez hit his fifth home run of the season on Saturday, leaving him behind only Nelson Cruz for the lead in MLB home runs.

Shane Greene allowed a run.
- Bizzaro YCPB!

On Friday, the Blue Jays hit five home runs and lost. On Saturday, they grounded into five double plays…and won. (h/t @ngtariabluejays and @every5thday.

On Saturday, Craig Kimbrel faced five batters and didn’t strike any of them out.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Rangers intentionally walked Robinson Canó to get to Nelson Cruz…who leads MLB in home runs. (Predictably, it didn’t work out well for Texas).

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Opening Week Round-up, 04/05/15-04/11/15

Happy Opening Week!
-The Mets have the best Opening Day record in all MLB, despite never winning an Opening Day game until 1970.

In the opening game of 2015, Jon Lester only recorded 13 outs for the Cubs.
- It’s the fewest outs he’s recorded in an outing since June 2012.

The first rain delay of the season came at the retractable-roofed Marlins Park.
- Speaking of unlikely delays, the Dodgers, whose home state is in the middle of an historic drought and just announced water restrictions for the first time in state history, had their second game delayed by rain.

The Reds scored their first run of the season on a balk, and Bob Davidson was not involved.
- It took the Twins until their third game to score their first run, and they didn’t get their first RBIs until Friday night (04/10/2015).
– Adrian Gonzalez alone had seven by the start of play Friday evening.
— Actually, heading into Thursday’s games, Adrian Gonzalez had more home runs than Yankees, Brewers, Braves, Pirates, Twins, Rangers, Cubs, Astros, Mets, Cardinals & Marlins…combined.
—- And Brandon McCarthy’s bases-loaded walk on Wednesday temporarily gave him more RBI than the twins.

In his first start of the season, Kyle Kendrick threw seven shutout innings.
- Meanwhile, Cole Hamels gave up four home runs for just the second time in his career.
– Speaking of Opening Day starts, Clayton Kershaw allowed three ER to the Padres; it’s the second-most runs he has ever allowed to San Diego.
— Ryan Rua broke up Sonny Gray’s attempt at an Opening Day no-hitter with his 32nd career hit.
—- The game was Oakland’s first Opening Day win since 2004.
—– Via @ckamka, for Opening Day starters who were debuting with a new team:

Team lost: Lester, Scherzer, Samardzija, Shields, Gallardo
Team won: Kyle Kendrick

Kendrys Morales, who walked 27 times in 2014, walked three times on Opening Day.

Mat Latos’ ERA after his first start? 94.50.

Jeff Francouer hit a three-run home run, which was his first home run while in the majors since June 2013.

Unpredictable stolen bases include Salvador Perez on Wednesday, and Miguel Cabrera’s steal of third on Friday, which gave him more stolen bases than home runs on the season.

The Indians lost a combined no-hitter with one out in the ninth when Nick Hagadone surrendered a solo HR to Jed Lowrie.

Unpredictable player positions: Carlos Gomez played second base in Milwaukee in the ninth inning, and Garrett Jones pinch ran for Alex Rodriguez.

On Friday night, the Yankees and Red Sox played a 19-inning game that lasted nearly seven hours and went on until 2:13 in the morning.
- Mark Teixeira was 34 when the game began and 35 when it ended. Seriously!
– The Yankees tied it in their last at-bat three different times.
— This game was also delayed about fifteen minutes due to a light bank going out.
—- It was the longest game the Red Sox have ever played. They’ve been around a while! It’s the second-longest game in Yankee history, too.
—– Mike Napoli had a “golden sombrero” (four strikeouts) in extra innings alone.

In Cole Hamels’ second start of the season, he walked Doug Fister – an opposing pitcher – on four pitches.

Paul Orlando of the Royals has three major league hits; they are all triples.

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New Season, New Style

Welcome back, folks!

With Opening Day finally upon us, we figured we’d bring you up to speed on some changes that are afoot here at YCPB. This is our sixth (!) season bringing you the best of the wackiness from every game, both here and on Twitter.

While more people follow us there than we ever could have imagined back in 2010, the truth is that the vast majority don’t wind up on this webpage. Considering the number of people who read the full roundups vs. the amount of people who would read them as, say, a series of tweets, and the amount of work it takes to write them, complicated by real life intruding on these pages, well, the math doesn’t really add up. Long story short, we will not be producing a daily roundup in 2015.

We have no plans of shuttering YCPB, or even significantly downsizing; we are just moving the majority of our content to where more people will see it. Our Twitter feed will expand with info that would normally have appeared here, while this site will continue publishing roundups less frequently, likely weekly. We will also attempt – as our time allows us – to publish more long pieces, here and for ESPN’s Sweetspot Blog.

Thanks for all your continued support,
-The YCPB team

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2015 Bold Predictions

Hello, all!

It’s the best time of the year – the beginning of baseball season! And with the start of baseball season comes a deluge of predictions. As always, we aren’t sure why a site called You Can’t Predict Baseball does predictions every year, but without further ado, our bold predictions for 2015!

Boston Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval hits fewer homers than he hit last year.
Tampa Bay Rays: They will have a 16-game winner.
Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis qualifies for the batting title with an .850+ OPS, and the Orioles win fewer than 96 games.
New York Yankees: CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka combine to throw 350+ innings.
Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion account for less than 30% of their total dingers

Cleveland Indians: Michael Bourn steals 40 bases.
Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander posts a 4+ bWAR.
Minnesota Twins–Phil Hughes has a K/BB over 10 again.
Chicago White Sox–Chris Sale throws 200 innings.
Kansas City Royals: They finish under .500.

Oakland Athletics: They will have the best rotation ERA in the AL West.
Houston Astros: Dallas Keuchel wins 15 games.
Seattle Mariners: Nelson Cruz leads the majors in home runs again
Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz finishes in the top 5 in the AL in saves.
Los Angeles Angels–the infielders (C included) hit more homers than the outfielders.

Philadelphia Phillies: They win 75 or more games.
New York Mets: Matt Harvey doesn’t lead the team in wins, ERA, or strikeouts.
Washington Nationals: Their starters win fewer games than they did in 2014.
Miami Marlins: Henderson Alvarez strikes out 150+.
Atlanta Braves: Melvin Upton has an OBP over .300.

Chicago Cubs: They will finish with a top-2 record in the National League.
Cincinnati Reds: Aroldis Chapman will set a new career high in saves while having his worst season since he became full time closer in 2012.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Andrew McCutchen goes 30/30.
Milwaukee Brewers: By OPS+, they have a top-three offense in the NL.
St. Louis Cardinals: They will miss the playoffs as Wainwright puts up an ERA over 3.

San Diego Padres: No one hits 25 homers.
San Francisco Giants: Madison Bumgarner posts a 3.50+ ERA for the first time.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw isn’t their winningest pitcher.
Arizona Diamondbacks: They finish with an above league average team ERA.
Colorado Rockies: They have a team ERA under 4.50.

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Wild Card Game Roundups

We all know what happened in A’s/Royals, so we won’t attempt to recap, just run through the wacky facts of it all. And oh, there were so very many:

- When James Shields was pulled, he had just 88 pitches. He’d thrown over 88 pitches in every single game he’d pitched for the Royals in his two years on the team, including over 88 pitches in a game where he was left in to give up ten runs in 3.2 innings.
– After Yordano Ventura gave up a home run to Brandon Moss and got into further trouble, the Royals were left with a 7-3 deficit. They hadn’t scored 8+ runs since August 17.
— Brandon Moss had two home runs in this game, after hitting .173/.310/.274 in the second half with only two home runs since July 24.
—- Jon Lester picked Billy Butler off. Lester hadn’t attempted a pickoff all season.
—– Seven different Royals stole bases.
—— Seven steals is tied for the most that any team stole in a game this season. That team was also KC, but only three different players stole bases in that one.
——- Alberto Callaspo drove in the go-ahead run for the A’s in the 12th. Callaspo hit just .223/.290/.290 this season (with 451 PA!), and his last RBI had been August 24.
——– Is that more or less weird than an Eric Hosmer triple?
——— Also, a reminder that the final score of a A’s/Royals game started by James Shields and Jon Lester was 9-8. Shields had 4 ER in 5 innings; Lester gave up 6 ER in 7.1.

As for the distinctly more routine NL Wild Card game:

Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam.
- It’s the first time a shortstop has ever hit a grand slam in the postseason.
– It’s also the first time a postseason grand slam has ever been hit in Pittsburgh (h/t dakern74).
— So far, everyone who has hit a home run in the playoffs has been named Brandon.

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