The Miami Marlins had a game on Thursday and there was a play at the plate. No worries — nobody got blown up, nobody is injured, but the Marlins ended up surrendering a run because their catcher was ruled to not have given the runner from third a lane to the plate. Rule 7.13 says the runner must have a lane, but if the ball carries the catcher into the lane then there’s no obstruction. Was the catcher obstructing? Here’s the video for you to be the judge:
Manager Mike Redmond talked after the game about his thoughts on the call, and like he was on the field, he was not happy.
Of course, anytime this rule comes into effect, the names Scott Cousins and Buster Posey come up, much as the Giants and Giants fans would prefer to not recall that incident when Cousins went out of his way to collide with the Giants catcher, the result of which took him out for the season. This is not lost on anybody, and Miami Herald beat writer Clark Spencer took it upon himself to let the Giants fanbase know how he felt:
Basically, the #Marlins got hosed on a confusing rule which had as its genesis the Cousins/Posey collision and the cry-babying that ensued.
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) August 1, 2014
Cool, cool. I bet owners and general managers are really upset that the league set out to protect their catchers, what an awful, awful thing. Is the rule perfect? Definitely not, and it’s shown its growing pains in the 2014 season. The garbage that was being talked against Bruce Bochy and company was not taken lightly by Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming:
Clark Spencer has been retweeting emotional Giants fans onto his timeline to show how much he’s enjoying being supported in the “crybaby” narrative, but never acknowledged Flemming with a retweet. Of course, it is very much possible they interacted privately. We all know what the old school people think of collisions, but here’s a view from Grant Brisbee:
People in favor of home-plate collisions are like truthers, birthers, and anti-gay-marriage twits. Can ignore all subsequent words.
— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) August 1, 2014
Strong responses from the leaders of the Giants camp. Glad Giants fans have interactive personnel like them to stand up to others when they start throwing their fighting words. In a country where concussions are being taken so seriously in a very popular sport, this rule had to have been something that happened in a matter of time. The old school is mad it happened the way it did and the rule isn’t doing well, and that’s too bad for the old school folk that want things The Way They Were, because it doesn’t look like the rule is going anywhere.
Marco Scutaro has started one game in the five games he has been eligible to be in the lineup, and since you remember the one game he was in, you have figured out he’s not in Saturday’s lineup. It was reported yesterday that Scutaro is dealing with a stiff neck, this probably in addition to his imperfect back is making it too difficult for Scutaro to play. While the Giants try to figure out if they need to deal for a second baseman, Scutaro in this very small sample size of games is making the case that he is an upgraded Freddy Sanchez. He has the chance to use another small sample size of games upcoming to prove he’s better that.
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pence rf Panik 2b Posey c Sandoval 3b Morse lf Belt 1b Crawford ss Blanco cf Hudson p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) July 19, 2014
7/19 @Marlins lineup vs SF Yelich LF Valdespin 2B Stanton RF McGehee 3B Jones 1B Ozuna CF Saltalamacchia C Hechavarria SS Alvarez P
— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) July 19, 2014
The trade deadline is approaching, so there will be plenty to think about as the 31st comes around. Cleveland is one game over-.500 and only two-and-a-half games back of the second Wild Card spot, so this may be a bit unlikely for July. Certainly “a big if.”
Asdrubal Cabrera and Mike Aviles would come with much different price tags, Cabrera being the more valuable.
I wrote about the Huston Street trade very quickly. Street isn’t the only Padre that was being looked at, as Chase Headley, Ian Kennedy, Chris Denorfia, and Joaquin Benoit‘s names been floated around from the media regards to other teams being interested in the last twenty-four hours.
…so price would be somewhat less. Benoit also 36, Street 30. Benoit signed for $8M in ’15 plus $1.5M buyout on $8M vesting option in ’16. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 19, 2014
Meanwhile, from Arizona, the Diamondbacks reportedly think holding on to a reliever with another year and at least $6.5 million owed to him is a fantastic idea instead of getting back some help for the farm.
Sources: Tigers have inquired on availability of DBacks reliever Brad Ziegler, but Arizona seems inclined to keep him.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
Perhaps when the D-Backs heard what the Tigers would be offering they felt the return wouldn’t match what Ziegler has produced.
First pitch in Miami is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST.
The Miami Marlins came into AT&T Park with a 4-15 road record, so it stands to reason that they are one game away from winning the four-game series. Sunday Funday brings former Detroit Tigers prospect Jacob Turner to the mound to face off against Ryan Vogelsong. Turner (4) has had half the starts Vogey has had (8), so all three of Turner’s bad starts for the Marlins are blowing up his numbers to the point where fans are probably expecting some sort of a 18-7 game in favor of the Giants. The #5 starter has been getting lit up by RHH thus far, facing fifty-five batters, with a .415/.436/.660 line and a .476 wOBA against. “Is that good,” you may be asking, and I can confirm that no, it is not. Turner’s game-high in strikeouts so far is four, so don’t look for a lot of throws around the bases, and walks have actually been kept relatively low, averaging less than two a start. Interesting to note that Turner has only gone against NL West teams in his four starts: two vs. the Dodgers, one vs. the Padres, and his season-opening start against the Rockies. Here’s how Turner’s pitches have been faring thus far, courtesy of Brooks Baseball:
Relying a lot on his fastball, I would expect his fastball control hasn’t been solid this year, whereas his sinker has enough movement to have saved him from the long ball so far. His off-speed pitches have been getting knocked around as well, but only for two extra base hits thus far.
Ryan Vogelsong may not have had the best April, prompting a lot of noise on social media to announce how done he was, but his last four starts he has lasted at least six innings, with his most recent start probably falling victim to a lack of focus after his defense was consistently letting him down for an inning. His three May starts have him at a .272 wOBA against, while the first month’s wOBA against was .399. He’s also been able to help out the bullpen, going only 23.1 IP in April, while already going 19.1 IP in May. This season, Vogey has posted a 24% K% against RHH, which isn’t too bad (10.8% K% against LHH). For the season, the man who eats enchiladas has seen his pitches fare as such:
Those numbers against the changeup are ridiculous, and you would expect those values to go down. Cutter’s numbers not great either, but otherwise decent for the #5 guy that Vogelsong is. Garrett Jones and Giancarlo Stanton have double-digit plate appearances against the Marlins, so they might be able to share their wisdom on their relatively short experience against facing Vogelsong.
The lineups for today look like this for the Marlins (with no Giancarlo Stanton!), looking to take a series on the road:
#marlins Hechavarria ss, Dietrich 2b, Yelich lf, McGehee 3b, Jones 1b, Lucas rf, Ozuna cf, Mathis c, Turner p
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) May 18, 2014
Pagan (jammed left shoulder) is out today. Blanco CF Pence RF Posey C Sandoval 3B Morse 1B Colvin LF Hicks 2B Crawford SS Vogelsong P
— Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) May 18, 2014
First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PST. The Giants will have a day off on Monday as they being a three-game road trip in Denver to face the second-place Rockies.
When the work week began, the Miami Marlins were a half-game ahead of the Washington Nationals by a half game, but after losing two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, they sit in third place, a half-game behind the Nationals. No doubt, you’ve heard by now Jose Fernandez has been sidelined, and he’s scheduled to have Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Definitely a big loss for the Marlins, obviously because he’s a top MLB talent, and you consider he pitched into the sixth inning in six of his eight starts.The Fernandez-less Marlins still have the scary Giancarlo Stanton, who has enjoyed his time at AT&T Park:
It’s like a second home for the 24 year old from Sherman Oaks, CA. A safe over/under on the amount of times Stanton will dinger is 1.5, and I’m kind of surprised he’s “only” homered four times in fourteen games at AT&T.
As for the lineups, here we go for the Marlins, the team that is 4-15 away from Marlins Stadium:
5/15 @Marlins lineup vs. SF Yelich CF Dietrich 2B Stanton RF McGehee 3B Saltalamacchia C Johnson LF Jones 1B Hechavarria SS Eovaldi P
— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) May 15, 2014
The home team Giants, six games above .500 at 12-6 at AT&T:
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Pagan CF Pence RF Posey C Sandoval 3B Morse 1B Colvin LF Crawford SS Hicks 2B Cain RHP
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 15, 2014
Nathan Eovaldi, former Dodger, throws a pretty fast fastball. I had no idea until I looked at his player page to take a look at some of his averages on Brooksbaseball.net:
So hitters will probably be looking fastball-slider the first time around, especially if Eovaldi isn’t getting ahead in the count. In his last game against the Padres, Eovaldi actually had a streak broken when he did not complete six innings pitched, only going five in that outing. Every start in 2014 thus far had seen Eovaldi complete those six innings. Eovaldi walking four in his last outing, when he had not walked more than two in previous outings, probably did not aid his cause. For the season, his 56.3% ground ball percentage is tied for sixth-highest amongst qualified MLB starters. If you’re curious, Tim Hudson is third-best at 61.7%.
Here’s the number of runs scored in each of Matt Cain‘s start in support of the horse: 4, 2, 0, 1, 12, 2. Two-thirds of his starts have been typical Matt Cain run production, and to ask Cain to allow 0 or 1 run(s) in his outing is a tall order to ask of most MLB starters. Today’s Matt Cain stat to note would be his splits:
So far, so good against LHH. Not so much against the same-side.
Game time is 7:15PM PST, looking forward to the Marlins continuing their losing ways away from Miami.
Not all may be right in the world of the San Francisco Giants, but here are the facts: The Giants are in first, and the Dodgers are not. Recently (last ten games), everybody except the Dodgers have been playing at least .500 ball. The Diamondbacks are finally stringing some wins together, the Padres just took the same amount of games the Giants did against the Dodgers from the NL East second-place Miami Marlins, and the Rockies are busy either scoring very few runs or are abusing opposing pitchers left and right. The NL West is playing at a competitive level right now, so I guess right now is a good time for the Giants to leave NL West competition to face somebody else (even if they are 17-12 against the NLW). The standings:
Rockies (23-17, 2.0 GB)
Dodgers (20-19, 4.5 GB)
Padres (18-21, 6.5 GB)
Diamondbacks (15-25, 10 GB)
The Giants will be playing thirteen of their next sixteen games at home, and will kick it off with the Braves for a weekday three-gamer and a four-game series with the Marlins. The combined record of those two teams? 41-33! The Marlins feel no pity as they face the Giants and the Dodgers, who combine for a 44-33 record. Speaking of the Marlins, if their pitching rotation continues as scheduled, the Giants, though they play four games against the Marlins, will miss Jose Fernandez. The Marlins, in turn, will miss Madison Bumgarner. A quick peek at the two teams the Giants will square off with this coming week.
Atlanta Braves (21-15, 1st in the NL East)
Wednesday, 12:45 PM: Julio Teheran and Madison Bumgarner
Remember when the Giants swept the Braves in their own Atlanta home, holding them to three runs the whole series and very few appearances from that awful chop chant? That was pretty great. The Braves just did some sweeping of their own, though maybe not as impressive, doing it against the now 12-24 Chicago Cubs, they look to ride that winning streak into AT&T Park and return the favor. Their pitching staff’s 2.91 FIP and 24.6% K% lead the majors and they have plenty of other pitching stats that are Top 5, which is always helpful in making an effort to lead the division. For the season, their bats have been rather lackluster, but over the past week, they’ve seen Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson‘s offense come back to life a little bit. Keeping Freeman, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward quiet in this series will be a good starting point to winning another series against Atlanta.
Miami Marlins (20-18, 2nd in the NL East)
Saturday, 6:05 PM: Tom Koehler and Tim Lincecum
Sunday, 1:05 PM: Jacob Turner and Ryan Vogelsong
The Marlins had a four game winning streak off of their series with the Mets, then lost three of four to the Padres. Some speculated this would be a team to watch for a playoff run, and their record through May 11th has some people wondering still if that is a possibility. The Marlins have decent pitching, and their bullpen actually is a little impressive — hopefully the Giants aren’t going to face them in a losing situation. Their hitting and team defense appears to be good, with their hitting of course led by the legendary Giancarlo Stanton. They have plenty others that have tallied triple digit plate appearances have are above average in wRC+, so that this team is putting up Top 10 wRC+ and wOBA is not a shocker. This is not the Marlins team of old, they could be developing into a team the Giants will be glad not to see in the final month of the season. Odd stat: the Marlins are 3-13 on the road. This actually is not as bad as the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have a home record of 3-15.
Domonic Brown has been on a tear of late, winning two consecutive Player of the Week awards, a Player of the Month award for May, thanks in part to a twelve homer May and he hasn’t been slowing down this month, either. Yesterday he hit this bomb (make sure you pay attention to the end of the video):
As you can see, even in slow motion, it’s confusing whether Brown is going back to the dugout, or to first base, and the bat flip — the bat flip — it was one that celebrates homers, for sure. The Marlins, not ones to disappoint, have brought about some bulletin board material:
— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) June 4, 2013
Hooray. So because Brown celebrated in a manner that some deemed excessive, the Marlins might throw at the
26 25 year old. Hopefully, the umpiring crew takes control of the matter by warning both benches beforehand and stopping any intentional violence towards a hitter in the first place. All it takes is one HBP to the head for things to become awful, and all because the Marlins had their feelings hurt by a celebration. You wanna stop the celebration, Miami? How about you stop making mistakes up and away from the intended location and start executing your pitches to their target around home plate where your catcher is setting it, not at another human being. Immature and pathetic, in my opinion, but I know there are others that feel this is necessary. Clearly, I disagree with that school of thought.
If you hang out on the internet long enough, you get to observe conversations between between people. Many people. The internet is a beautiful thing because it connects me to so many people that have such a variety of knowledge of different things. This is what I observed today
@crawfordchrisv Historically terrible, yes.
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) April 25, 2013
They were talking about the weighted runs created plus (wRC+) stat after Cameron had mentioned that the Astros were 8th this year. The link takes you to the Fangraphs page where it describes wRC+ better than I probably can, and to summarize it, the stat tries to measure a player’s production in runs, where 100 is league average, and every point above/below it is one percent better/worse than that. The page notes that wRC+ is also park-adjusted so you may compare players (and a group of players — a team) across eras. This is relevant to the discussion at hand because the 2013 Miami Marlins come up. I wanted to check out how “historically terrible” this Marlins number was. Their number is 59, so 41% less runs created than league average. That sounds pretty bad, and the closest to them are the White Sox at 74, the Cubs at 81.
I decided to stretch the time back to the year 1900 since the seasons by then were longer than they were in recorded organized baseball’s earliest days. I wasn’t sure if it was fair to include the 1884 Brewers that had a wRC+ of -100 in 109 combined games (not to mean they played 109 games, but that if, for example, ten players played in one game, that would mean one game totaled ten games on this stat sheet). But in the worst twenty wRC+ numbers in baseball history since 1900, the Marlins have the lowest number, with the 1920 Philadelphia Athletics next in line at 66. Interesting that the White Sox crack the bottom twenty tied at number 17! Before the Marlins and White Sox were able to make this bottom twenty list (or tied for a place in it), the 2004 Diamondbacks but up a dismal 74, and then there was a four decade break between that and the 1964 Colt .45’s whom are tied for the eleventh at a wRC+ of 73 (actually repeating their number from the previous year).
So, yes, the Marlins wRC+ is historically bad, even more so than the White Sox. The Marlins wOBA is also historically bad (worst again at .258), and I tried to find players I knew with a wOBA of .258 but it’s full of position players I’ve never heard of.
It’s only April 25th, though. Maybe the Marlins will get better and get out of that historically bad hole, or maybe wRC+ will end up dubbing them history’s greatest monster.