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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2014 Bold Predictions – The Results

In what has become a tradition at YCPB, we make bold predictions before the season begins every year – because what’s more unpredictable than a blog called You Can’t Predict Baseball trying to, well, predict baseball? You can find our original predictions from 2014 here and our All-Star Break update here, but here’s our final update.

Blue Jays: Three or more pitchers throw 200+ innings for them.
Only R.A. Dickey (215.2 IP) and Mark Buehrle (202 IP) threw 200+ innings for the Jays. Drew Hutchison was third, at 184.2 innings pitched. Of note: the remarkably durable Buehrle has thrown over 200 innings every season since 2001. This prediction is a bust, though.

Orioles: Tommy Hunter is a top-five closer in the AL.

Hunter lost his job as Baltimore’s closer after putting up a 6.60 ERA through mid-May. He was quite good after that, posting a 1.77 ERA (with no saves) for the rest of the season, but he was by no means a top-5 closer in the AL. Bust

Rays: Evan Longoria finally plays a full season with a .900+ OPS.

Not only is this a bust, but Longoria had by far his worst professional season this year. He hit only .252/.320/.404, for a .724 OPS that is his career low by 117 points.

Red Sox: Grady Sizemore plays at least 81 games.
He didn’t do it all with Boston – he played 52 games with the Red Sox and 59 games with the Phillies – but Sizemore did play in 111 games this year. We’ll count this one as a success.

Yankees: The infield (C not included) will hit more total home runs than the outfield.
Yankees outfielders (meaning anyone who hit a home run while playing the outfield; you can see the splits here) hit 47 homers, and infielders hit 58. Success

Indians: Justin Masterson doesn’t have the lowest ERA among starters.
Masterson’s ERA was a terrible 5.51 before he was traded to the Cardinals in July (where he was even worse). Every other member of the Indians’ rotation ended up with a better ERA than that. We hope Masterson pitches well again in the future, but for us, this is a success.

Royals: Both Hosmer and Moustakas exceed an .800 OPS.
Hosmer hit .270/.318/.398/.716. Moustakas was even worse, at .212/.271/.361/.632. Well, hey, they’re going to the playoffs anyway. That’s better than we did on this prediction, which is a bust twice over.

Tigers: Max Scherzer is better than he was in 2013, but he doesn’t win more than 15 games.
While Scherzer was very good this season, he was, comparatively speaking, not as good as he was in 2013. He also won 18 games, making this prediction a bust on both levels.

Twins: For the second year in a row, no Twins starter strikes out 8 or more in one game.

This happened 12 times. That’s still on the low end – they were tied with the Marlins for 27th in the majors, and ahead of only Colorado and dead-last Baltimore (!!!), while Cleveland led the majors with 47 such games – but enough to make this a bust. Of note: while the Marlins also had 12 such games, six of those were Jose Fernandez starts. Jose Fernandez only made eight starts.

White Sox: Adam Dunn bats over .240.
He hit .221 in 2014 – .220 with the White Sox, and .222 with the Athletics. Bust

Angels: Mike Trout has more runs scored than strikeouts.
Trout scored 115 runs, and struck out 184 times. Bust

Astros: They have more than one All-Star.
Their All-Star was Jose Altuve and only Jose Altuve. Bust

Athletics: Yoenis Cespedes hits 40 home runs, with an OBP under .325.
His OBP, at .301, was under .325, but he only hit 22 home runs. And yes, it’s still weird that Cespedes isn’t on Oakland any more. Bust

Mariners: Robinson Cano doesn’t hit .300, hit 30 homers, or drive in 100.
He hit only 14 homers and drove in just 82 runs, but he did hit .314. Bust

Rangers: Prince Fielder has a lower OPS+ than last year.
Fielder played his last game on May 16, then had season-ending surgery on his spine. His OPS+ was 105, compared to last year’s 122 (interestingly, his OPS+ went up five points since we did our updated predictions at the Break despite Fielder’s numbers remaining the same. We miss offense). We hope Fielder is healthy and good next year, because baseball’s better when he’s one of the game’s fearsome sluggers, but for our purposes, this is a success.

Braves: Despite losing half the staff to Tommy John surgery, their starters still finish top-5 in the NL in ERA.
Atlanta’s starters were indeed fourth in the NL in ERA at 3.42, trailing only the Nationals (3.04), Dodgers (3.20), and Reds (3.37). If only they scored any runs at all. We miss offense. Success

Marlins: Jose Fernandez leads the NL in wins.
Fernandez won four games but made just eight starts before going down with season-ending surgery. Clayton Kershaw led the NL with 21 wins. Bust

Mets: Matt Harvey wins at least two games.
He didn’t pitch at all. Bust

Nationals: Strasburg strikes out 250.
League-leading 242. Close, but Bust.

Phillies: Ben Revere hits a home run.
Success!!!!!!!! MULTIPLE home runs!!!!!!!

Brewers: Ryan Braun has his best season by OPS+.
Braun hit .266/.324/.453/.777 for a 114 OPS+. All five of those are career lows, by a decent amount. Bust.

Cardinals: Matt Carpenter wins the batting title.
Your NL batting champion is Justin Morneau, at .319. That is the lowest batting average for a league leader since Terry Pendleton in 1991, and he also hit .319. You have to go back to Tony Gwynn’s .313 in 1988 to find a NL batting champion with a lower average; in the AL, you have to go all the way back to Rod Carew’s .318 in 1972. We miss offense. Anyway, Matt Carpenter hit only .272, and ended up tied for 31st out of 64 qualified players. Bust

Cubs: Jeff Samardzija remains a Cub all year.
This one was a bust by the time we did the first update on our bold predictions.

Pirates: The Pirates win no more than 85 games.
They won 88. Bust

Reds: Billy Hamilton doesn’t steal 50 bases.

He stole 56. Bust

Diamondbacks: Bronson Arroyo gives up more home runs than Mark Trumbo hits.
Both of these players had injury-plagued 2014s. Trumbo played in only 88 games and Arroyo made just 14 starts; Trumbo hit 14 home runs, and Arroyo gave up 10 homers. Relatively close, but bust.

Dodgers: Matt Kemp leads their position players in WAR.
While Kemp hit a very good .287/.346/.506/.852, 14o OPS+, including a downright scalding .971 OPS in the second half, WAR really does not like Kemp’s defense. His 1.1 WAR was 3rd-worst among Dodgers with 90 games played. Bust

Giants: Their team ERA+ is over 100.
Despite a team ERA of 3.50, their ERA+ was… 99. In 2000, a team ERA of 3.50 would have been the best in baseball by more than half a run. We miss offense. Bust

Padres: Huston Street gives up more home runs than at least one regular starter.
Street gave up four home runs all year – three with the Padres, then one with the Angels – which wasn’t more than any qualified starter on either of his teams, or any other team, this year. Bust

Rockies: Michael Cuddyer bats .330 or better again.
Cuddyer hit .332, but he only played in 49 games this season, so he didn’t qualify. We’ll still call this a tentative success.

With seven successes out of thirty, we had a “batting average” of about .233 this year. Considering the state of the game when it comes to offense, that’s still somewhat respectable, and it’s better than the batting averages of (among others) Carlos Santana, Chris Davis, Brian McCann, Curtis Granderson, Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn, Jay Bruce, Mark Teixeira, Allen Craig, and BJ Upton. We miss offense.

Stay tuned for the playoffs here at YCPB!

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Daily Roundup, 09/28/14

Entering the final day of the season, there were still three races with one-game playoff potential.
- Unfortunately, none of those scenarios came to pass, as Detroit clinched the AL Central, Pittsburgh lost (clinching the NL Central for St. Louis), and Oakland beat Texas, finally eliminating Seattle.

In that Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game, it was 1-1 when Jason Bourgeois led off the 8th with a triple. After a lineout, Johnny Cueto’s spot came up. With Cueto sitting on 19 wins and the Reds already out of it, he was allowed to hit for himself.
- He singled in the go-ahead run.
– Cueto becomes the first Reds pitcher to win 20 games since Danny Jackson in 1988.

Congratulations to Jordan Zimmermann on his no-hitter.
- This is the second year in a row with a no-hitter on the final game of the season. Henderson Alvarez did it last year against Detroit.
– The pitcher opposing Zimmermann today? Henderson Alvarez.

The Royals finished the season with 95 home runs – as a team.
- That’s the third-lowest team total since 1996, and the lowest from any AL team.
– They are the first AL team not to hit at least 100 home runs in a full season since 1992. Even in shortened 1994, there was only one AL team that didn’t hit 100 home runs (and that team, the Brewers, hit 99 home runs in 115 games).
— Again, this team is going to the playoffs.

Joe Nathan managed to record 35 saves despite a 4.81 ERA.
- That’s the 5th highest ERA for anyone to reach that milestone.
– It’s not even close to the record though–in 2004, Shawn Chacon saved 35 games with a 7.11 ERA.

Derek Jeter was removed from today’s Yankees/Red Sox game in the third inning after an infield single. Again, congratulations to Derek on a remarkable career.
- However, this information is mostly notable here on YCPB for his replacement: Brian McCann. Which means Brian McCann was pinch-running for someone.

Bobby Abreu ended his chronically underrated major league career today, too. He got his last hit as well, a hit as a Met against the Astros. His first MLB hit in 1996 was for the Astros, against the Mets.
- His manager was Terry Collins back then, too.

We wanted to take this space to thank all of you for following along with us this in this season of unpredictability. Stick around for the postseason and offseason, featuring a review of our bold predictions, plus thoughts on the World Series and Hall of Fame nominees. And remember – sometimes, the Royals make the playoffs.

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Daily Roundup 09/27/14

Francisco Liriano scored a run.

Nelson Cruz tripled.
- It’s actually his second triple of the season.

Ramon Santiago hit a walk-off grand slam:

Samuel Deduno doubled for his first Major League hit.
- It’s the first double for an Astros pitcher this year as well.

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Daily Roundup 09/26/14

The Royals are going to the playoffs!
- It’s the first time the Royals have made the playoffs since 1985.
– It’s the first time ever that the Royals and Pirates have made the postseason the same year.
— Via @marc_normandin and @hollinger, The entirety of Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer’s major league careers happened since the last time the Royals made the playoffs.
—- Actually, you should probably just read this.

Jean Segura hit a home run.

The sequence of these tweets is impressive, to say the least:

(h/t @acomack).

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