Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rays Trying New Look To Draw Fans?

I have a feeling that the new uniforms might be counterproductive to onfield success. I mean really, are the lab coats necessary? This was actually the scene of the Rays' rookies (Jeremy Hellickson, Jake McGee and Desmond Jennings ) leaving the Trop after losing 2-0 to the Orioles and I assume heading to a lavish party in West Hollywood. Or it's just good old fashioned rookie hazing, I never know with these youngsters nowadays.

The Rays clinched a playoff spot despite being just 5-5 over their last 10 and Evan Longoria, David Price and Mitch Williams all complained about the attendance in Tampa Bay. Longoria and Price have since apologized and I'm awaiting Mitch Williams' apology for having a job on the MLB Network any day now. Attendance has always been an issue because of that damn bridge or so I hear, what am I, a city planner?. But the fans will show up for the playoffs, maybe, and so why not have a little fun as the long regular season winds down?

As for the rookies themselves, only Jeremy Hellickson has a decent amount of playing time. And 35.1 innings might be stretching the definition of "decent." But in those 35.1 innings, Hellickson has looked good posting an 8.41 K/9 and a 3.57/3.82/3.95 line. That's ERA/FIP/xFIP and I don't know if anybody uses that line or not but get used to it around these parts. McGee has tossed 3.2 innings of 2.45/2.82/3.56 ball so we don't know anything about him. Likewise, Jennings has only 24 plate appearances and a .190/.292/.333 line but really pulls off the knee-highs with sandals look. I am getting old, I'm still just wearing pants.

[image via]

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Strasburg Speaks

I somewhat blame myself for Stephen Strasburg's seemingly inevitable Tommy John surgery. My unhealthy man crush and unrealistic expectations must have put an ufair amount of pressure on him. Of course I assume he reads my little blog and read many of my dedicated posts to him. I should also point out that my ego is only two notches below Lex Luther on the Super Villain scale. Anyway, Strasburg had his cast removed about two weeks ago and had a little chit-chat with real media types on a conference call that I assume included an iPhone...
"I'm chalking this year up as a great success," Strasburg, 22, said in a 15-minute conference call with media members Tuesday afternoon from his San Diego home. "It's unfortunate for this to happen. But . . . I stirred up the baseball world well enough to have more people become Nats fans. And I know they're going to be there when I come back in a year."
He's right to some extent. I did hop on the Nats' bandwagon hoping to catch a National League version of the Rays in enough time to seem cool. I tried the same thing with the Brewers a few years ago but it didn't work out so well. Strasburg should bounce back just fine but let's keep in mind that it took Francisco Liriano two years to get close to his former self and the Nats' second best starter, Jordan Zimmermann, is just a year removed from his own TJ. But Strasburg remains optimistic about a speedy recovery...
"If I'm doing well, things could get sped up," he said. "There is a target date, but right now it's way too early [to talk about it]. It is a tough process, but I keep telling myself as each day goes by, I'm getting closer to being back out there battling and winning games."
I can't wait for his return. He was almost better than advertised in his first 12 professional starts. His 2.91 ERA was a little bloated according to his 2.10 FIP and the 12.18 K/9 is must see baseball. He's good for the game and great for Nationals' attendance. Godspeed young Jedi. Oh and Stras, I'd also appreciate if you left your over/under on Aroldis Chapman starts before his Tommy John in the comments. Thanks Stephen!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Adam Hyzdu and he's here because he was a member of the last 100 loss Pirates team in 2001.

We are officially in the home stretch of the regular season and I badly need this Jobu because I spent the weekend watching football and the UFC. Well, the second half of yesterday I was pretty much just drinking and cursing Garrett Hartley. Let's take that quick spin around some of yesterday's games...

Giants 4, Rockies 2. Matt Cain took a no-hitter into the 8th and finished with a 9 IP, 3 H, 2R, 8K line. That ladies and gentleman will pretty much wrap up the 2010 season for the Rox. The Giants stay .5 game up on the Padres but if they somehow miss the playoffs, which is possible since the Pads and Giants play each other to end the season, I'm switching my playoff team for the third and final time to the Phillies. Blog favorite Buster Posey: 1-3 with a walk.

Reds 12, Padres 2. The Pads and specifically Clayton Richard couldn't help themselves yesterday. Richard got shelled over 5 innings of 5 hit, 6 run ball adding in 4 walks for good measure. Joey Votto hit his 37th home run of the season. Maybe I'll switch my playoff allegiance to the Reds, they seem like a fun team. By the end of the season, I'll be rooting for everybody but the Yankees.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 3 (10). Speaking of the Yankees, Marino Rivera blew another save but so did Papelbon. The game winner in the 10th was the dramatic walk-off walk by Juan Miranda. Edge of your seat action right there folks. Derek Jeter went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Jeter's .266/.336/.369 line should fetch him a fresh 4-year, $80 million contract next year. Between that and Minka Kelly, my heart is filled with murderous jealousy.

Mariners 6, Rays 2. Isn't that cute? The M's still think baseball season is going on. They're actually screwing with real teams. Matt Mangini played third base for the M's. Did you know he's the cousin of Browns coach Eric Mangini? I have no idea is that's true or not, my research staff is comprised of hobos who sleep in the public library.

White Sox 4, Angels 3. Only 7 more games until the Hot Stove league!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The One Where I Gush About Buster Posey

It's no secret that we play favorites over here at Off Base and Buster Posey is easily one of our favorites. Derwood was turned on to Posey back when he was playing high school baseball in Georgia. I can't easily explain my fascination with him except he's really good at the baseball. He's so good in fact, I'm willing to overlook that his real first name is Gerald. Shame on you Posey parents, Gerald is a 60-year-old's name. The hot hitting catcher is on his way to taking the Giants to the playoffs whether the rest of the offense likes it or not. We'll have a vote for the BBA's regular season awards and, spoiler, our top pick will be Posey. The National League is loaded with potential superstar rookies but here's why we love San Fran's catcher...

1. He plays a premium position. Go look up how many franchise clean-up hitters were catchers. Go ahead, I'll wait. Also, I'm too lazy to do that research on my own. But I assume there aren't that many and Posey certainly looks like he's heading in the right direction.

2. Posey is hitting .323/.370/.524 with 16 home runs and gets very little help from the rest of his lineup as a 23-year-old. His main competition for NL ROY is Jason Heyward who, in 177 more plate appearances, is hitting .285/.400/.472 with 2 more homers while playing right field. That's basically a month worth of more service time. More on that later. Heyward probably deserves a little extra credit though because he's putting that line together as a 20-year-old.

3. Buster was temporarily and ludicrously blocked at catcher by Bengie Molina. The Giants eventually jettisoned Molina to clear the way for Posey behind the dish. I'd love to tell you that all of his receiving skills were vastly underrated but UZR doesn't work for catchers and I'm no scout. But it doesn't seem like the Giants will have to move him off of his position and he can't be any worse than Mike Piazza was, right?

4. What say you, nerdy stats? Heyward is out WAR-ing Posey 4.6-3.9 but, again, WAR is a counting stat so Heyward's extra playing time certain gives him a boost. Then there's the defense issue. UZR rates Heyward as an average right fielder while Posey takes a little hit from UZR for the time he played first base. So far, Posey appears to doing just fine in the catching categories that Fangraphs uses for WAR. Heyward is beating out Posey in wOBA too but just barely at .384 to .378. They're BABIPs are a wash, Posey .339 and Heyward .343. They're even deadlocked with 136 OPS+.

It's really close and both are going to be superstars along with Mike Stanton who might hit 40 home runs next year. There's plenty of time left to decide the ROY and both Posey and Hewyard are still in playoff races. I'm not sure how this evolved into a ROY post but at least all I'll have to do for my official ROY post is change around a few numbers. You're welcome, future me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Keith Lockhart and he's here because his middle name is Virgil and that reminds me of the good old days of the WWF.

Hey kids, I'm still in charge of Jobu which means plenty of lowlights of relief pitching and tons of NL West coverage.

Padres 3, Dodgers 1. Miguel Tejada went 3-4 including his 300th career home run. The Padres reclaimed the West lead by .5 game. Aaron Cunningham lead off for the Pads and went 0-4. Potsy: DNP.

Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 4. My beloved Rox fell 3 games back in the West. Tulo is still struggling at the dish going 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts. Todd Helton hit his 7th home run of the season. Seven. In the year 2000, Helton won the National League Slash Line Triple Crown hitting .372/.463/.698 with 42 home runs. He finished 5th in MVP voting despite leading the league in WAR. His Hall of Fame case is debatable and likely the discussion for another post but it's worth noting his career OBP is .424. Hey, Mark Reynolds only struck out twice.

Cubs 2, Giants 0. The Giants surrendered first place and blog favorite Buster Posey didn't help by striking out thrice. Fukudome homered reminding me that he still plays for a major league team.

Rangers 2, Angels 1 (12). The Rangers trimmed their magic number to 4 because the Angels refuse to score any runs for Danny Haren. Haren pitched 7 innings allowing 1 unearned run. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clayton Richard's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

I skipped writing the last few Sombrero because they just happen so much more frequently than I thought they would. And I'm lazy. But occasionally one will spike my interest which brings us to today. Well, technically yesterday. Everything has to line up just right for a pitcher to record a Golden Sombrero. Clayton Richard threw a complete game and was responsible for 10 strikeouts. He struck out 6 Dodgers and tacked on 4 of his own at the dish. Let's go to the lowlight reel...

Top 2nd: Richard struck out looking against Chad Billingsley. Richard was dealt to the Padres with Aaron Poreda (and others) for Jake Peavy last year. The Padres are getting the better end of that deal and haven't gotten anything out of Poreda yet.

Top 4th: Richard struck out swinging against Billingsley. Okay, so maybe Richard isn't a wizard with the bat but neither are most of the other Padres.

Top 6th: Richard struck out swinging against Carlos Monasterios. Never heard of him.

Top 8th: Richard struck out swinging against Ramon Troncoso. I'd like to take this moment to thank Bud Black for resting his bullpen and the Padres' lineup for somehow scoring enough runs to put this game out of hand.

Fun fact: the last pitcher Golden Sombrero was Anibal Sanchez on 8/10.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Tony Perezchica and he's here because of his whopping 5 career RBI. But we all know RBI is kind of a BS stat.

Hey gang, Jobu is a little late today because I was trying to decide whether or not to devote the entire post to Buster Posey. While I ultimately decided against it, you're still getting a healthy does of my favorite rookie catcher in the history of baseball...

Giants 1, Cubs 0. Buster Posey. Posey won the game with his 15th home run of the season to keep the Giants .5 game up on the Padres. Posey is hitting .324/.373/.522 for the season and, spoiler alert, will get our Rookie of the Year vote when the time comes for the BBA.

Padres 6, Dodgers 0. The Fathers managed to keep close to the Giants riding a complete game shutout from Clayton Richard. I don't know how they scored 6 runs considering that not on of their 1-3 hitters has an OBP over .330. Allow me to present your Manager of the Year, Bud Black and his smoke and mirrors.

Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 1. Welcome back to the NL West edition of Jobu. My newly appointed second favorite team couldn't figure out Joe Saunders and fell back to 2.5 games out of first. Saunders struck out 7 hitters over 8 innings, the most since he struck out 8 on June 26th for the Angels. New blog favorite Troy Tulowitzki fell victim to Saunders' rare K ability once and remains homerless since Saturday.

Twins 6, Indians 4. We discussed it before but it needs to be mentioned more frequently. Jim Thome is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Thome hit his 25th home run of the season and 589th of his career, good for 8th all time. His OBP is .412 this season and .404 for his career.

Angels 2, Rangers 0. Only 8.5 out! Cool Standings has the Angels at 0.1% chance to make the playoffs. So you're saying there's a chance.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Robert Eenhoorn and he's here because his name is ridiculous and he always looks angry.

The Saints pulled out a win, I partook in a few adult beverages and an ex-girlfriend got engaged last night. Let's take a look at some of yesterday's games while I rethink what I'm doing with my life...

Yankees 8, Rays 6. The Yanks padded their lead in the East to 1.5 games based on Curtis Granderson's monster game. I give Granderson a lot of flak about being a platoon player simply because he can't hit lefties but I really do like him as a person. He occasionally blogs over at the Big League Stew and that's pretty much all it takes to get me to like you. Granderson hit home runs off of Matt Garza and Grant Balfour (both righties), walked twice and swiped a bag. Chad Gaudin gets mentioned here because my buddy went to high school with him.

Angels 7, Rangers 4. My beloved Halos moved to a more reasonable 9.5 games back, giving me a little playoff hope while I pretend this is June. Jered Weaver tossed an ugly 6.2 innings giving up 3 earned on 9 hits and only striking out a pair. Peter Bourjos went 2-4 raising his BA to .205 and Brandon Wood's .159 average drools with jealousy.

Phillies 3, Braves 1. Remember when I was gushing about the Rockies last week? Get ready for an obnoxious amount of Phillies love. Cole Hamels tossed 8 innings of 6-hit, 1-run ball and is now 4-0 with a 0.63 ERA in September. That Chase Utley fellow is also tearing up September with a .329/.442/.557 line and I now proclaim him healthy. This could easily be the most dangerous playoff team in baseball.

Twins 9, Indians 3. Danny Valencia hit his 5th homer of the year and is hitting .362/.396/.574 in September. Sure, he could walk a little bit more but he's been a pleasant surprise for the Twins at the hot corner.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Jimmy Jones and he's here because he threw 251 pitches in a high school game. How'd that work out for you?

Hey kids, I took the weekend off to watch football and finally got around to trying some of that "alcohol" you kids keep talking about. Delicious. I'm now super behind on baseball and the pregaming for the Saints' Monday Night Game starts in about an hour. Let's check out some of yesterday's games real quick...

Orioles 4, Yankees 3 (11). Mariano Rivera gave up a Luke Scott homer, blowing a save and frightening more New Yorkers than that Cloverfield moth. While I've never seen that movie or know if that reference even makes sense, it apparently won't stop me from using it. Derek Jeter went 1-4 with a pair of walks, dragging his OBP kicking and screaming to .332 for the season. But the Yanks remain .5 game up in the East because...

Angels 6, Rays 3. Bobby Abreu hit a pair of home runs and even Peter Bourjos got in on the fun crushing a homer to deep left. Scott Kazmir got the win (weird) pitching 5 innings (normal) and allowing only 1 run (very weird). The Angels are just 10.5 games out of first heading into a series against the Rangers. I'm starting to have my doubts about this season.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6. The Rox got in trouble in the 4th after Furcal was ruled safe at first on a double play ball. Then Huston Street blew his save in the 9th before the Dodgers won it on an A.J. Ellis 11th inning single. Troy Tulowitzki didn't hit a home run and I'm quite frankly worried about him. He's now homerless since Saturday. The Rox are still just 1.5 back in the West because...

Giants 9, Brewers 2.
Cardinals 4, Padres 1.

The Giants took a .5 game lead over the Padres after Jose Guillen went crazy all over some baseballs for a change. The unstable "outfielder" went 2-4 with a homer and 6RBI. Blog favorite Buster Posey went 2-2 with 3 walks. Meanwhile in St. Louis, the Padres couldn't do anything about Adam Wainwright or Colby Rasmus and lost for the 11th time in September. They're the Bizarro Rockies when September rolls around. Wainwright pitched 8 innings of 1-run ball for his 19th win of the season and Rasmus added his 23rd home run of the year.

Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 3. Because if I didn't tell you they played, how would you ever know? The Pirates actually swept the Backs in a series that was only a little more exciting than those long thermal underwear with a trap door back.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Tsuyoshi Shinjo and he's here because I found a picture of his bobblehead. They can't all be winners, folks.

Hey kids, I'm reporting yesterday's event live from super hot Baton Rouge. My neighbor's WiFi seems to be working so let's crank out some highlights before they shut me down...

Giants 10, Dodgers 2. San Francisco took a .5 game lead in the West riding a Jonathan Sanchez 7 inning, 1-run 12 strikeout performance to victory. Blog favorite Buster Posey went 2-5 with his 14th home run of the season. He's really good. I thought I should point that out. You're welcome. Some guy named Russell Mitchell hit his first home run of the season for the Dodgers. His batting average (.059) is sad about his OBP (.056).

Indians 3, Angels 2 (11). *hugs football season*

Cardinals 4, Padres 0. Jake Westbrook threw 8 innings of 6-hit shutout ball while walking and striking out 3. That doesn't excite you? How about David Eckstein going 1-3? Work with me people, there were only 6 games yesterday.

Mets 6, Pirates 2. Um, let's see. The Mets played someone named Lucas Duda in left field. His middle name is Christopher.

Twins 8, White Sox 5. Paul Konerko hit his 37th home run of the season. His .323/.402/.604 line isn't getting much MVP hype which is why I employ Paul Konerko dog.

Dogs wearing hats, get on board.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1. I wish I had more pictures of dogs wearing hats. Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless inning for the Reds. Chris Young struck out 3 times for the Backs. Someone bought cotton candy and after two cavities and five sticky fingers, regretted that purchase.

Mets 6, Pirates 2. What? We covered this already? I must have been taking a nap.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Capt'n Jetes' Oscar Performance

During the final game of the Yankees and Rays meaningless battle for first place, Derek Jeter busted out his acting chops. It was quite the impressive performance too. I'm thinking about casting him in my short film Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly on Vacation. It's less of an artsy project and more of something I'm working on for TMZ. He's also pretty crucial to the project. I digress.

Chad Qualls threw an inside pitch to the .262/.330/.368 hitting "short stop" that, upon further review, hit bottom of the bat. Jeter grabbed his elbow and cried out in pain. The acting was so convincing that I assume Derek Jeter lived in Qualls basement in the offseason and watched him hit batters in the elbow while studying their reaction all winter long. It was good enough for home plate umpire to award Jeter first base after a conference and a bag of popcorn. Yankee trainer Gene Monahan even came out to check on Jeter in hopes of landing a best supporting actor nom.

Curtis Granderson followed with a 2-run home run to put the Yankees up momentarily. The Rays would eventually win the game riding Dan Johnson's one game power surge and pair of home runs. Afterward, Jeter seemed proud of the acting even though I'm disappointed he didn't give any credit to the numerous actresses he's dated. From the AP...
Jeter, who stood doubled over while receiving attention from a trainer, confessed that the ball hit the end of his bat and he sold the call to Barksdale with a good acting job.

"He told me to go to first base. I'm not going to tell him I'm not going to first, you know," Jeter said.

"It's part of the game. My job is to get on base. Fortunately for us it paid off at the time, but I'm sure it would have been a bigger story if we would have won that game."
Indeed, Derek, indeed. He has to be a lock for the Entourage movie, right?

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Choo Freeman and he's here because he's Torii Hunter's cousin.

I haven't forgotten about you guys but it's been an almost Internet-free week for me in Baton Rouge. I'll try to make it up to you if I ever get a steady stream of stolen borrowed WiFi.

Rockies 6, Padres 4. The Rox make it back to the top billing after a couple of losses. The Rockies run their September record to 11-4 but remain 2.5 games out of first. New blog favorite Troy Tulowitzki went 3-5 with 2 more home runs and 7 RBI. Tulo has 11 homers and 27 RBI to go with a .361/.409/.984 line in September. Yikes. Adrian Gonzalez also smacked a pair for the first place Pads.

Rangers 11, Tigers 7. Not much quality pitching to be found as the Rangers cruised to their 7th straight win. Vladdy hit his 27th home run of the season proving last year was just a fluky down season. He's back to a respectable .305/.348/.506 line while I yell profanities at my computer every time Hideki Matsui gets an at bat for the Angels.

Angels 7, Indians 0. Speaking of my Halos, Jered Weaver pitched a 7 inning gem, striking out 7. He leads the league in strikeouts (218) and is 5th in ERA (2.96) and FIP (3.05) but with a 12-11 record won't sniff many CY Young votes. Catching prospect Hank Conger got the start for the Angels and went 1-4. The aforementioned Matsui went 1-3, jerk.

Rays 4, Yankees 3. The Rays flip-flopped back into first place on the ridiculous power of Dan Johnson who hit his 4th and 5th homers of the season. Capt'n Jetes showed off his acting chops, hopefully more on that later, after a ball almost hit him. By almost hit him, I mean hit his bat. But he's the almighty Jetes so he was awarded first base. That would draw the ire of Joe Maddon and he'd end up getting tossed. I really don't like the Yankees and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 1. Pitching prospect Kyle Drabek made his debut for the Jays last night. It wasn't the cleanest outing but the kid is only 22-years-old and the Orioles have been much better under the guidance of the Buck Showalter express. Drabek went 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. The future is bright for the Blue Jays rotation. Crazy Jose Bautista hit his 47th home run. I've kind of become fascinated by the Blue Jays.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Damian Rolls and he's happy the Rays are in first place.

Today's roundup of yesterday's games comes just before tonight's games. But I have an excuse this time. I had to drive up to Baton Rouge today and my window to steal the Internet is limited. Also, today's Jobu is in honor of a good buddy of mine who welcomed his daughter into the world today so no "your sister jokes" or "dick jokes" in this post. Which is really going to handcuff me, let's get to it...

Rays 1, Yankees 0 (11). The Rays overtook the Yankees for first place in the East in the most meaningless divisional race ever. It really doesn't matter which teams finishes first. The slight edge in home field advantage in the ALCS is cancelled out by the fact that the Rays get nervous when more than 40 people show up to a home game. Reid Brignac hit the pinch hit, walkoff homer in the 11th to spoil CC Sabathia's 8 shutout inning gem. I hope not getting that win doesn't cost him the Cy Young. That was written in my sarcasm font.

Padres 6, Rockies 4. The Padres clearly don't read this blog and therefore don't subscribe to my theory that the Rockies are incapable of losing in September. The Pads halted the Rox 10-game winning streak and regained a 2.5 game lead over the Rox and stayed up a half of game over the Giants. For the good of my theory, I choose not believe this game took place. New blog favorite Troy Tulowitzki hit a three run bomb that I will allow to stand though.

A's 3, Royals 1. Just thought I'd mention this game happened for anyone who doesn't live in Kansas City or Oakland. You're welcome.

Phillies 11, Marlins 4.
Braves 4, Nationals 0.

The Phils and Brave beat up on their NL East brethren but it's Philadelphia that remains a game up on Atlanta for first place. Werth, Utley, Chooch and Greg Dobbs homered for the Phils. Greg Dobbs was of the pinch hit variety because why would he be in that lineup. Derek Lowe tossed 8 shutout innings for the Bravos striking out 12. The Billy Wagner struck out the side for the save. I didn't believe any of that either until I remembered it was against the Nats.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 2. Jay Bruce went 3-4 with 2 home runs and is now hitting .353/.423/.741 since August 1st. The Reds a really good young, cheap core of players and this might be the changing of the guard in the NL Central. Face it, the Cardinals won't have any payroll flexibility after they sign the Arch over to Pujols soon and that team ain't getting any younger. The Cubs are the Cubs. And the Astros and Pirates? Well maybe if they combined teams, they could finish 3rd.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Billy McMillon and he's here to remind you he was no Mike Stanton.

Alright gang, week one of the new NFL season has just a pair of Monday Night Games to go but there is still plenty of good baseball to talk about. I realize you probably have fantasy football fever and can barely get your eyes to focuse but try to stay with me as we take a quick spin through some of yesterday's games...

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 2. Rox ran their winning streak to 10 games and sit just 1.5 games back in the NL West. Jason Giambi provided the heroics hitting the walk-off 2-run homer coming off the bench to pinch hit. Everything is turning up Rockies in September and I don't think there is a team in the National League that would want to meet them in the playoffs. New blog favorite Troy Tulowitzki only went 1-4 which makes me a little sad.

Rangers 4, Yankees 1. Cliff Lee pitched 8 innings of 1 hit ball to complete the sweep of the ALDS preview. I didn't see it anywhere on the news but I assume there is mass hysteria and rampant punching of the panic button in the streets of New York. Yankees 3-4-5 hitters combined to go 0-10 with 3 strikeouts or 0-11 with 4 strikeouts if you want to count Lance Berkman's pinch hit failure. Neftali Feliz struck out the side for his 36th save of the season and appears to be Austin Jackson's only competition for AL ROY.

Marlins 6, Nationals 5. Mike Stanton continues to provide some entertainment for the dozens of Marlins fan that tune in once a week to watch their team. The 20-year-old rookie slugger is only hitting .251/.318/.529 but hit his 19th and 20th homers in his 320th and 321st plate appearance. That could translate into 40 home runs next season. And what we know about chicks digging the long ball, the Marlins might see a spike in attendance to the low hundreds next year.

Blue Jays 5, Rays 4. Jose Bautista failed to hit a home run and it's getting to a point where that is news. Adam Lind did hit a home run rewarding fantasy patience with his disappointing mediocrity all season. I say next season we swap the Blue Jays with Pittsburgh and see what happens. The Pirates will still get their top 5 draft pick but the Jays might win the National League Pennant.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0. Yovani Gallardo basically won this game by himself. Gallardo pitched 7 shutout innings and hit the game winning RBI double in the 4th inning. Casey McGahee hit an insurance solo shot in the 8th inning but this was all Yovani. Blake DeWitt and his .340 OBP lead off for the Cubs and went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Kosuke Fukudome and his .378 OBP went 1-3 with a walk in the 3-hole. Just sayin.

Giants 6, Padres 1. Blog favorite Buster Posey went 2-4 and hit his 13th homer of the season. He raised his line to .324 /.369/.509 and would get my NL ROY vote if the BBWAA would give me one but they don't think too kindly of my strongly worded emails and violent threats. Loosen up guys. The Giants and Padres are back in the old virtual tie and the NL West race has me strangely aroused. It's time for more counseling.

Cardinals 7, Braves 3. Albert Pujols swung the bat with great vengeance and furious anger going 2-5 with 2 home runs and 2 strikeouts. His 39th home run of the season should put the final nail in the Triple Crown possibility coffin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jayson Werth Wants Every Penny He Can Get

Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth is about to hit free agency at the end of the season and figures to be one the most sought after properties during the hot stove period. Werth bounced around as a prospect between the Blue Jays and Dodgers before realizing his potential in Philadelphia in 2007. Since joining the Phightins', he has 88 homers and a .280/.378/.498 line. The 31-year-old outfielder will depart the brotherly love of Philly during free agency while seeking a Jason Bay-esque contract that he won't live up to and the team will regret for 3 years.

But Jayson is certainly chasing the cash. The Phils could offer an extension but Raul Ibanez is eating all of Philly's payroll like a stray goat in a recycling yard. And my 4th grade teacher said I'd never master a simile. It doesn't really matter though, Werth wants the money, yo. Werth has reportedly cut ties with his former agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, and is seeking new representation.

Shouldn't be hard for the second best free agent outfielder to find a new agent, right? Not so fast hot shot. Werth can't land Boras or the Levinsons because he doesn't want to kick out that 5%. You want 3% of his cantract? Shoot him an email. I did. And Master P, if you're reading this, I want a finder's fee.

Okay, it's his free agent market after Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee sign somewhere. But if they both end up Yankees, Werth won't need that extra 2% to cover New York taxes and the cost of take out and cigarettes. That might not be entirely true, he'll probably end up in Los Angeles.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Kazuo Matsui and he's here to remind you that Hideki Matsui (no relation) is still productive sometimes.

Hey kids, I'm doing some late night house keeping so I can concentrate on the first week of my fantasy football leagues. I'm also very busy studying for a fantasy hockey draft that will probably never happen. All of my old Jobu rules apply, so let's get to it...

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 1. Rox continue to get top bill, extending their winning streak to 9 with a perfect September. Ubaldo Jimenez went 6 innings surrendering a run while striking out 8. Colorado remains 2.5 games out of first in the West while the Padres and Giants duel it out. New blog favorite Troy Tulowitzki went a disappointing 0-4 and CarGo only saw action as a defensive replacement.

Rangers 7, Yankees 6. Another one run game in the ALDS preview series and the Rangers won again. The Rangers used all of their relief pitchers last night and resorted to beer and cotton candy vendors to close the door on the Yanks. Doug from section 112 was especially effective tossing 0 innings of 0 hit ball.

Reds 5, Pirates 4 (10). Joey Votto went 1-3 with a solo shot. There won't be a Triple Crown winner this season. Unless Pujols has a falling out with Tony La Russa and CarGo gets to play the rest of his games at Coors Field. The MVP voting should be interesting though and whatever the outcome is, I'll disagree.

Angels 7, Mariners 4. Hideki Matsui went 1-1 with a home run and a pair of walks. Coming into tonight's game, Matsui was hitting .381/.500/.524 in September. With the Angels a mere 10 games out of the West, Matsui picked a great time to get hot. Thanks for costing the Angels the 12th pick overall next year, jerk. King Felix gave up 4 earned in a messy start dooming his Cy Young chances. He's still the best pitcher in baseball but at 11-11, good luck sir.

Royals 8, White Sox 2. The Royals offense, inspired by the Pat White signing, unloaded all over Edwin Jackson. Wilson Betemit and Kila Ka'aihue both went 3-4 and Kyle Davies even scored a win. Royals 2016!

Braves 6, Cardinals 3 (12). Jason Heyward went 1-4 with a home run while Albert Pujols went 1-3 and didn't hit a home run. Who's the Pujols now, Pujols?

Twins 1, Indians 0. Something funny. I'm tired.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Royals Moving To Spread Offense

Kansas City is headed toward their 5th consecutive season finishing in the bottom 5 in runs scored in the American League. I should note that I only went back 5 years so that stat might be somewhat of an understatement. In times like these, it's important to shake things up. So the Royals signed former Miami Dolphin and West Virginia quarterback Pat White to run their new-look spread offense which I can only assume means trying to get hit by a pitch and then stealing second, third and home. It should be an exciting new brand of baseball in Kansas City.

GM Dayton Moore hasn't had much success in putting together an offensive juggernaut that doesn't strike out or get on base. They're going to finish with the fewest team strikeouts and actually will finish above league average in OBP this year but will still finish next to the bottom 5 in scoring. How does that happen to a team that has a league average .301 BABIP? I'm sure the guys at Fangraphs could tell you but I figure it's a second to worst Home Run/Fly Ball ratio of 6.3% and Yuni Betancourt. Brandon Wood would like to know why Yuni Betancourt has a starting short stop gig in the majors. But I digress.

The Royals have a pretty good looking minor league system and I like Moore's new fangled approach toward former prospects. I don't know what he's been feeding Wilson Betemit this year but of all of sudden Betemit has 10 homers and a .297/.383/.522 line in 240 PA. Is Pat White ever going to contribute at the major league level? I don't know. He was drafted by the Angels coming out of high school in the fourth round in 2004. The Angels drafted him again in 2007 followed by the Reds in 2008 and the Yankees in 2009. He's a huckuva athlete (quote sponsored by John Madden) and probably would do less damage than Yuni Betancourt if the Royals plugged him into short tomorrow.

The Royals will allow Pat White to continue his pursuit of playing professional football but I'm rooting for him to make it to the majors and make an impact for the Royals. Just imagine the thousands of words Joe Posnanski could write about him.

[alternate WVU image, SFW but still fun]

Micah Hoffpauir's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Micah Hoffpauir gets credit for being one of my favorite names in baseball and making the least of his plate appearances. In his 30 PA this season, he has 5 hits and a walk to go with his 11 strikeouts. Brandon Wood nods his head in approval. It took Hoffpauir a mere 5 games with 4 or more plate appearances to record his first Golden Sombrero this year. Unfortunately, for me, the 30-year-old isn't going to be much more than a bench player so these Sombreros might be few and far between.

Usually in special Sombrero situation such as this, I try to break out a nice pinata bloober video but I'm out of them and college football is on. Let's take a quick look at Micah's anti-heroics at the dish yesterday...

Top 4th: Hoffpauir struck out looking against Dave Bush. 3 pitches.

Top 5th: Hoffpauir struck out swinging against Bush. 4 pitches. Micah was trying to get out of there with the quickness. He had the season premiere of Vampire Diaries recorded.

Top 7th: Hoffpauir struck out swinging against Brandon Kintzler.

Top 9th: Hoffpauir struck out swinging against Mark Rogers.

Good game Hoff. Can I call you Hoff?

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Jeff Clement and he's here to remind you that he was taken 4 picks before Troy Tulowitzki. Oh, and he's a Pirate now.

Hey kids, looks like I'll be in charge of Jobu for the foreseeable future. Uncle Derwood suffered a crippling injury to both hands in an unfortunate soup can opening incident. We're trying to decide whether to put him on the 15 or 60 day DL. In the meantime, you're stuck with me at the helm which means plenty of highlights of poor relief pitching. Let's get at it...

Rockies 13, Diamondbacks 4. The Rox won their 8th straight and will continue to get top billing until they lose. They're only 2.5 games out in the NL West and I will switch my allegiance to them in the wake of the demise of the Angels. Troy Tulowitzki went 3-3 with 2 home runs and a double while raising his line to .327/.394/.567. If the young short stop can stay healthy for a full season, he will join the ranks of players who get snubbed on MVP votes. *cough*Chase Utley*cough*

Rangers 6, Yankees 5 (13). The playoff series preview ended in dramatic fashion with Nelson Cruz hitting the walkoff home run in the 13th inning. After a rough 3 innings from C.J. Wilson, the Rangers employed 300 relief pitchers to finish the game off. Derek Jeter went 1-7 but made close to $140,000 for the game. I can't wait for the Jeter hot stove bidding war. It's going to be fun to watch the Yankees bid against sanity.

Marlins 3, Nationals 1. Number of brawls: 0, number of fans in attendance: 37.

Phillies 8, Mets 4. I didn't even realize the Mets were still fielding a team. Roy Halladay gave up 4 earned runs but won his 18th of the season inching him closer to the Cy Young. Chase Utley went 1-5 but the hit was a home run. I still don't think he's healthy.

Rays 9, Blue Jays 8. Jose Bautista continued his assault on baseballs hitting 2 more home runs (46). Adam Lind hit his disappointing 21st homer of the year. It would be interesting to see how good the Jays could be if they played in any other division and stopped leading off with Dewayne Wise. But Yuni Escobar threw the ball in the general direction of first base allowing Evan Longoria to score the go ahead run on an error in the 9th inning.

Giants 1, Padres 0. In what will be the most compelling race down the stretch, the Giants slid by the Padres for the old virtual tie for 1st place in the West. My money is still on the Rockies due to their inability to lose in September. Blog favorite Buster Posey: DNP.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Austin Jackson's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Austin Jackson is having a much better season than most people expected out of him and he's probably your 2010 AL Rookie of the Year. While his strikeout (149) to walk (43) ratio is fantastic for all the wrong reasons, this is actually Jackson's first Golden Sombrero of the season. The Yankees fliped the young outfielder to the Tigers for Curtis Granderson's inability to hit lefties and the Tigers are winning the trade this year. Jackson is hitting .303/.359/.411 while being dirt cheap and UZR seems to think he at least plays a capable center field. His production should tumble some next season as his .415 BABIP isn't sustainable. Granderson, meanwhile, couldn't hit your mom if you could get her off the couch and teach her to throw lefty.

But on Thursday, Jackson didn't have much to offer at the plate going 0-4 with a walk and four strikeouts. So before we all go patting the Tigers on the back, let's take a look at how the rookie padded his strikeout totals...

Bottom 2nd: Jackson struck out swinging against Gavin Floyd. He did draw a lead-off walk in the 1st inning so I'm willing to cut him a little slack on this one.

Bottom 4th: Jackson struck out swinging against Floyd. He saw 5 pitches and they were all strikes. He used all of his patience on that 1st inning walk.

Bottom 6th: Jackson struck out looking against Gavin. I stand corrected. He took 3 balls before watching strike 3.

Bottom 8th: Jackson struck out swinging against Sergio Santos.

In comparison, Granderson: DNP.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Dax Jones and he's here to remind you that his only career homer was of the inside the park variety.

Hey gang, I'm back in charge of Jobu today because, quite frankly, I think Derwood packed his bindle and jumped on the train out of town. I'm going to put his crazy looking mug on some milk cartons and see if anything turns up. If you see him on the streets, proceed with caution. He's very unstable and will probably try to sell you nose hairs. Anyway, there were only 6 games yesterday but that doesn't mean I don't have plenty to talk about. Let's get to it...

Rockies 6, Reds 5. It's September which means the Rockies don't just get hot, they catch fire. The Rockies finished off the 4 game sweep of the Reds while extending their winning streak to a season best 7 games. The Rockies scored the go-ahead-run in the 8th inning with the old fashioned straight steal of home. With the squeeze on, Chris Nelson caught Rockies' pitcher Nick Masset asleep at the wheel and swiped home for his first career stolen base. The last time that happened was 4/21/06 by Dan Uggla. CarGo: 0-4, Votto: 0-4.

Cardinals 11, Braves 4. Somehow, Colby Rasmus talked Tony La Russa into letting him play and all he did was go 4-4 with 2 home runs. Those are the kind of shenanigans that will probably get Rasmus benched for three games. Let's see, some guy A. Pujols hit a home run. Nate McClouth managed to get in the game and went 2-2 skyrocketing his line to .178/.284/.269 while getting the Brandon Wood nod of approval.

Giants 7, Padres 3. John Garland threw batting practice to Aubrey Huff, Juan Uribe and blog favorite Buster Posey all of whom hit towering home runs. Kevin Corriea wasn't about to be shown up by Garland and teed up a ball for Pat Burrell. I don't know if he threw it underhand or placed it on an actual tee or if they practiced before the game but Burrell smacked that thing 421 feet of off the top of Petco. David Eckstein: 1-4. What's up, little buddy? Good to see you still have work.

Rangers 4, Blue Jays 2. Nelson Cruz went 2-4 with his 25th double of the season to raise his line to .313/.368/.567. He could have really helped my fantasy team if he hadn't made as many trips to the DL as your sister made to planned parenthood this year. Jose Bautista hit his 44th home run of the season. Thankfully, no letters were harmed by this dinger. I'd like to set the over/under on Bautista home runs at 31 for next season. Dewayne Wise led off for the Jays and went 0-4 to see his OBP fall below .300 for the season. Either Cito is just mailing it in now or doesn't understand some basic fundamentals.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

At Least A Giant Letter B Didn't Fall On Me

I survived my birthday on Monday fairly unharmed. Sure I'm missing an eyebrow and had to shave my head but other than that and any possible liver damage, I came out of it relatively unscathed. It's not like I went to a baseball game and had a giant letter B fall on me...
A fan at the Toronto Blue Jays' game was OK on Monday after being struck in the right shoulder by a tumbling, metal "B" from a sign honoring Jackie Robinson.

The middle-aged man had a scrape after a foul ball by home run leader Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays dislodged one of the letters in a tribute honoring Robinson's retired No. 42.
Canadian craftsmanship at its finest. Jose Bautista's retooled swing is making some real noise this season. Bautista already leads the league in homers (43) but he's now dismantling The Rogers Center one letter at a time.

Anyway, now that the birthday festivities have run their course, I should be back posting about the home stretch and usual nonsense at my regular pace. Sorry for the interruption.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bay boy is Bob Welch.

Nationals 13, Mets 3. Danny Espinosa, who would've been a perfect middle infielder and No. 3 hitter in front of Benny Rodriguez (Timmy Timmons had a worse throwing motion than Wendy Peffercorn), popped two home runs, one a grand slam, and drove in six runs to lead the Nats. Espinosa, already better than Alvaro Espinoza, has three home runs in five games since last Wednesday's minor league call up.

Indians 3, Angels 2. Carlos Carrasco threw six innings of two-run ball, got a no-decision as Shin-Soo Choo delivered a single in the ninth for the Tribe, then traded his mind for a plum and six raisins: "We've got a very good rotation, a very good team," Carrasco said. "The rotation is good, the bullpen is good, everything."

Phillies 7, Marlins 4. The Phils moved to within in a half game of first-place Atlanta. MTD's ex-boyfriend Chase Utley had a couple singles and a couple RBIs to back Roy Oswalt, who allowed three home runs but won for the fifth time in six decisions in a Philly uniform.

Whitesox 5, Tigers 4 (10). Alejandro De Aza: 0-for-0, run.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day Or Happy Birthday To Me!

I'm sure there is some reason behind Labor Day (please don't email me, I'll google it if I really want to know) but for most of us it's day off of work so we can eat, drink and play Wiffle Ball. It's basically the end of summer Fourth of July. For me, however, it's also occasionally my birthday. On this special day, I like to imagine that you're all celebrating me. But I have a massive ego (that's what she said) and I'm wildly delusional. So while you're trying to figure out how to wrap that steak in hot dogs, let's take a look at my birthday game plan...

1. Finish writing this while enjoying a delicious breakfast of Popeye's fried chicken and scotch. It both warms and stops my heart.

2. Shave my arm hair for a more wind resistant Wiffle Ball bat swing.

3. Apply Bryce Harper/Ultimate Warrior eye black. Do push up to psych myself up.

4. Nap.

5. Put sheets in the washing machine, I got eye black everywhere.

6. Head over to the party house/Wiffle Ball backyard.

7. Drink more rum than Captain Morgan.

8. Strike out 12 with my devastating riser.

9. Declare war on Vermont.

10. Hit on a fire plug I mistook for a short redhead.

Then I'll probably pass out about three feet from the couch. Jealous?

You're welcome for the day off and celebrate my birthday responsibly. No drinking and driving kids. Uncle MTD will be too drunk too bail you out of jail. I've been informed I'm not allowed back on the Internet today so I'll see you guys tomorrow when I manage to get my eyes to function.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jose Guillen's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

This is Jose's third Golden Sombrero of the season but the first since the inception of Off Base and first as a Giant. Guillen has been everything the Royals thought he would be after they traded him to the Giants for a Whole Foods gift card. Guillen is hitting .304/.350/.375 with a home run and 15K/2BB in 60 plate appearances with the Giants. But he does seem to have a low stuff-thrown/confrontation ratio so far hovering around a 0.8 ST/C.

Guillen went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts yesterday while DH-ing standing in right field. Blog favorite Buster Posey hit his 11th homer of the season and, while it would be more fun to write about him, let's take a look at Guillen's day at the dish...

Top 1st: Guillen struck out looking against Ted Lilly.

Top 4th: Guillen struck out looking against Lilly again. Lily had him mesmerized by his calm presence on the mound. Guillen demands a violent delivery!

Top 7th: Guillen struck out looking against Lilly for the MTD Hat Trick. He struck out 3 times, the same way, against the same pitcher. Why isn't this catching on?

Top 9th: Guillen struck out swinging against Jonathan Broxton.

Our Intern Goes To A Nashville Sounds Game

Through the magic power of Twitter, we somehow acquired the services of our very own intern. We even pay him in potato chips. Filosofer will occasionally stop by with a post and you can follow him at @Filosomesa. The debut features a trip to a Triple A game. And I agree with the experience, well, except for the country music.

Since this is my first official post, I figured I'd give everybody a better idea of who I am. Then I realized that I'm not all that interesting a person and you guys would much rather hear about baseball than me. So I'll give you a recap of the first minor league game I attended instead.

It was a Nashville Sounds game. Now I know a lot of people don't like minor league stuff because it's usually more gimmicky, but a giant guitar shaped scoreboard is pretty damn cool. Their playing of country music was pretty awesome too. Now, I'm mostly into rock of various varieties, but there's a fair amount of country in my library as well. If you don't like country music, well... What the hell would you be doing in Nashville anyway?

Anyway, if you haven't been to a minor league baseball game yet, you need to go. I paid $12 for my ticket. Do you want to know where I sat? Front row, right behind the screen. And that's because that's where I chose. For $12, I could have chosen pretty much ANY seat in the stadium.

If I'm going to complain about anything at the game, it would be the bugs. I have a slight (read: huge) fear of bugs, and they were EVERYWHERE. On the other hand, this was Nashville, so if I have a slight (huge) fear of bugs, what the hell am I doing in Nashville anyway?

Now, I'm a subscriber to Triple A being a fairly dull league player-wise. It seems to me that those are either the prospects who were close but not good enough, or were good enough but are washed up now. So if you want big or soon-to-be big name players, Triple A isn't for you. I, on the other hand, could care less. Let's face it, one of my major hobbies is simulating baseball games through a variety of media. If there's baseball, I'm excited.

To speed this up, the Sounds won. Would I have cared if they lost? Maybe. Like I said, I'll watch anything, so I try not to cheer for one team too much.

Anyway, in the future I'll make some real posts. Until then, well, do whatever it is you do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jason Repko's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

With on 6 games on Thursday, you'd think the odds on getting a Sombrero would be pretty low. Don't tell that to Jason Repko, he had plans of his own. Repko strikes out about 30% of the time so I was a little surprised it has taken him this long to record a Golden Sombrero this season. Then I realized he's only had 99 plate appearances this season and it all started to make sense. Jason is hitting .213/.286/.382 or what I like to call a mouth fart line. Repko went 1-5 with 4 strikeouts and a walk in 13 innings. Let's all rejoice under this Sombrero because it's probably the last time Repko will see more than 3 plate appearances in a game...

Bottom 2nd: Repko struck out swinging against Justin Verlander. There's no shame in that, Verlander has dominant stuff. Not for where I drafted him this year but that's another story.

Bottom 4th: Repko struck out swinging against Verlander. Repko bunted foul twice and then struck out swinging. Then he made the National League pitcher's walk of shame back to the dugout.

Bottom 10th: Repko struck out swinging Robbie Weinhardt. Weinhardt. Hehe.

Bottom 12th: Repko struck out looking against Jose Valverde.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Curveballs for Jobu: Nyjer Morgan Edition

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Tim Belcher and he's here because he's still upset about being drop kicked by Chan Ho Park.

Hey kids, I'm covering Jobu today because I know a little more about bench clearing bralws than Derwood. The summer of '93 was not a good time to be playing Wiffle Ball in my backyard.

Marlins 16, Nationals 10. Nyjer Morgan is having an interesting week. He might still end up being suspended for firing a ball into the face of a fan in Philly. Then he ran over 2 different catchers in shady at best behavior and cursed out a fan in Florida. But his coup de gras was his instigation of a benches clearing brawl that contained actual fighting.

Chris Volstad hit Morgan in the 4th and threw behind him in the 6th. Morgan charged the mound, grazing Volstad with a punch. Gaby Sanchez, running over from first base, hit Morgan with a closesline before looking to climb up on the top turnbuckle for his finishing move. Benches cleared, managers yelled and players were ejected. I don't even know if there was any baseball played.

Twins 2, Tigers 1 (10). Max Scherzer continued his hot streak post All Star break. He went 9 innings while giving up 1 run and striking out 9. In his last 83 innings, he has a 1.73 ERA and 76K/29BB. But it wasn't enough for the Tigers last night, the Twins would get a walk off single from Danny Valencia in the 10th.

Reds 6, Brewers 1. Aroldis Chapman got his first career win pitching a clean 7th inning, striking out 2. He would celebrate the win by lighting up a cigar and throwing a ball into the moon. Weeks, Hart and Braun combined to go 0-11 with a walk.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brad Hawpe's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

In honor of Brad Hawpe's first Golden Sombrero with the Rays, and it's a good one, I searched Youtube for an accurate depiction of his night at the plate using a pinata FAIL video. I think this sums it up.

Brad Hawpe swung just as wildly tonight but even when he made contact there was no candy. It was sad for everyone involved. Well, maybe not the pitchers. Hawpe went 0-0 with 4 strikeouts for a nice looking .000/.000/.000 line in the American League. Let's take a look at a whole lot of swinging and missing...

Bottom 2nd: Hawpe struck out swinging against Shaun Marcum. Hawpe took ball 1 befor swinging at the next 3 pitches.

Bottom 5th: Hawpe struck out swinging against Shaun Marcum. Only 2 swinging strikes at this at bat while he took 1 looking and a ball.

Bottom 7th: Hawpe struck out swinging against Shawn Camp. Again it was a looking strike and a ball and 2 swinging strikes. The man knows what he likes.

Bottom 8th: Hawpe struck out swinging against Camp.

It would take a lot more research but it appears that Hawpe struggles against pitchers with some form of the first name Shawn.

How good was Albert Belle from 1994-1996?

The answer is really, really good.

If you can get past the Halloween incident, the throwing the ball into the stands and injuring a fan incident, or the stalking, Albert Belle's career was excellent: .295/.369/.564/143 OPS+/381 HR.

On the Zambrano Scale, Belle was a 7, and that's without the benefit of the rooster in his ear. Despite the serious mental deficieinces, Belle put together such an outstanding three-year stretch from 1994-1996 with the Indians that no one cared.

.357/.438/.714/1.152/193 OPS+/36 HR
.317/.401/.690/1.091/177/50 HR
.311/.410/.623/1.033/158/48 HR

3-year average
.328/.416/.676/1.092/176/45 HR

Belle had a down year in 1997, his first with the Whitesox, but exploded again in 1998, putting together a .328/.399/.655 slash line with a 171 OPS+. Since retiring after the 2000 season, Belle is now a counselor and the assistant volleyball coach at Wennington High School.

Reccomended reading:

The Albert Belle Timeline

Chris Valaika's Golden Sombrero

A golden sombrero is awarded to a player who manages to strike out four times in a single game (real golden sombrero not included). It's quite the feat unless you're Ryan Howard or Mark Reynolds. Unfortunately, cycles and no-hitters are all the rage nowadays. Not for me, though. I will pour over the box scores to bring you the finest at swinging and missing.

Oh, I had to look Chris Valaika up. We here at Off Base have a both coasts bias. We often overlook what's going on in your precious midwest. So I'll occasionally miss a prospect from Cincinnati or Milwaukee or Pittsburgh. Basically anyone from the NL Central. But we're bringing in an intern to help us out with the divisions we don't care about.

Valaika, a 25-year-old second baseman, was called up a week ago and wasted no time collecting his first Golden Sombrero. The Sombrero almost got past me because it was slightly overshadowed by Aroldis Chapman's debut and 103.9 MPH fastball. Aroldis couldn't have gotten to the bigs at a better time after baseball recently lost that pitching prospect for the Nationals. I already forgot his name. I want to say Sam Steinberg. Anyway, Chapman will be all the talk until he has surgery when his elbow explodes.

I guess we might as well take a look at Valaika's poor night at the dish before Chapman completely hijacks this post...

Bottom 3rd: Valaika struck out swinging against Yovani Gallardo. He actually singled in the first so the night was "Mark Reynolds terrible."

Bottom 5th: Valaika struck out looking against Gallardo. Gallardo gave up 8 runs in 5 innings but it was better than his last start. I assume he wasn't robbed at gunpoint again last night.

Bottom 6th: Valaika struck out swinging against Gallardo.

Top 8th: Chapman strikes out Jonathan Lucroy by ridiculousness. Lucroy might as well have been swinging a spoon against the last pitch.

Bottom 8th: Valaika struck out swinging against Todd Coffey.

Curveballs for Jobu

Curveballs for Jobu is Offbasepercentage's daily trip around the ballparks.

Today's honorary bat boy is Pete O'Brien.

Orioles 5, Redsox 2. It's always nice when a jerk no one likes loses as was the case Tuesday when the O's defeated Josh Beckett. After the game, Beckett announced he has added a 9th necklace in preparation for his next start. With the win, Baltimore completed a 17-10 month of August, which officially makes them the favorites to win the 2019 AL East title. Marco Scutaro: 0-for-4.

Reds 8, Brewers 4
Astros 3, Cardinals 0

The staff at Jobu would like to officially put an end to the NL Central race. Tuesday's win for the Reds put them seven games up on the Cards, who when asked to come up to the plate and hit against Houston, declined.

Bluejays 13, Rays 5. Another home run by Brady Anderson-his 43rd-keyed a 10-run sixth inning for Toronto.

Pirates 14, Cubs 7. I had to check this statistic several times before publishing it, but the Pittsburgh win Tuesday was its fifth in the last 43 road games. 5-38. Somewhere, Spanky Lavalliere weeps while soaking in a bubble bath prepared by Jose Lind.

Royals 10, Rangers 9. Matt Treanor: 1-for-5.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0 (10). Chad Tracy singled in the only run in the bottom of the 10th to lead Florida to a win in front of an announced crowd of 11.