"Anibal is number one, I'm number two and [Justin Verlander] is just average."
-- Max Scherzer, joking after Anibal Sanchez's 17 strikeout performance against the Braves. Scherzer's career high in strikeouts is 15, while Verlander's is 14.
So I guess he's maybe got a point? The Tiger's rotation is striking out everybody right now.
Hopefully you checked back in today. Today's recap we've got Anibal the Cannibal Sanchez throwing the year's best pitching performance to date, the Braves are suddenly cold due to playing in cold weather (at least J-Upton's still hot), Phil Hughes[?] makes it happen, ditto for Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson, and Casper Wells has a boat-ton of frequent flier miles. All this and more in today's recap. Let's lead off!
Anibal is an Animal
Anibal takes the ball against the best team in the National League on Thursday and promptly sat down 17 Braves batters on strikes. After striking out the side in the 8th inning, Sanchez tipped his cap to the crowd, providing a standing ovation at Comerica Park. At 121 pitches he wasn't going back out for a shot at the MLB record of 20.
Perhaps the most impressive about Sanchez's feat is that he only issued one free pass in eight innings. Most of the time, when you're breaking balls working and biting, a pitcher will let a few batters get away from him but not that night. Perhaps he was helped out a little bit by the free-swinging Braves but regardless, it was an absolutely dominating performance. The Tigers have now won five of their last six and sit at the top of the AL Central.
Oh and to commemorate his 17 K night, here's an "Animal" song for Anibal...
I'm sort of a hipster. Sorry.
Braves Cool Off (Literally)
After a 13-2 start to the season, the Braves then promptly went out and got swept by the Pirates and Tigers with a 2-1 series with the Rockies sandwiched in between. It was the Colorado series that got the most attention though. With two of baseball's hottest teams and 13-5 each, the temperature at Coors Field for the start of the series opener was 23 degrees, the coldest ever at Colorado. It didn't cool off Justin Upton who jacked his 10th home run and leads the majors with 12 as of today.
Braves look to get out of their funk with a home stand against the Nationals. They started well last night against Strasburg, winning 3-2 in the opener. The Braves are 4-0 on the year against their new NL East rivals.
Phil Hughes Shows He Still Has Potential
The Yankees proved Sunday that Toronto still has a long way to go if the Blue Birds plan on competing in the AL East. Phil Hughes whiffed 11 batters and the reeling Jays dropped to 9-17 on the season. Not exactly the type of start they were hoping for after basically giving up a top five farm system in the offseason only to see Jose Reyes go to the DL, Josh Johnson struggle and R.A. Dickey still transitioning to the AL.
Hopefully they will bounce back (or a lot of our preseason predictions will look really bad). Meanwhile, Hughes provided his third straight quality start after a shaky start to the season. If he can anchor the backend of the Yankeees staff, look out Boston. Or Baltimore. Or Tampa. Really anyone can win that Division. Buckle up East Coast baseball.
It Only Took David Price ____ Starts to Get a Win
The exact number is six. Six starts for the Ray's ace to pickup his first win of the season in an 8-3 win over the White Sox on Sunday. That's what you get for stealing Justin Verlander's Cy Young last year. Okay, I'm over it. But a good cure for a struggling ace is to face a team that basically has been told not to draw walks. Wade went over a bit of that here.
Price struck out nine in seven innings of work after laboring for the first couple of innings. The Rays split their four game series with the South Siders and sit a game below .500 on the season. The Sox are worse and are last in the AL Central. Time for both to get things figured out.
Price no likey bad words from angry man
The bigger news developing is Price's claim that home plate umpire Tom Hallion used an expletive towards him after Price disputed a pitch in the 7th inning to Dewayne Wise on Sunday. Of course, Hallion then called Price a liar which prompted the social media savvy Price to head to Twitter to complain, possibly violating MLB's social media policy.
So what exactly did Tom Hallion say that prompted Price to erupt like that? I've got a few guesses:
"It's about time you get a f******* win."
"Hey, you'll still never catch the f****** Red Sox."
"F*** you David, I'm a boss and I MAKE the f****** rules."
"How does it feel to have a hundred f******* fans watching you every game?"
"Your Twitter is b*******. You're not as f******* funny as you think you are."
"B******* Cy Young last year!"
"Someone with a 5.21 ERA shouldn't be f******* complaining about balls/strikes."
"The f******* Yankees won't want you after this year if you keep pitching like this."
"Justin f****** Verlander is better."
"F*** you Price and your ******, ****ing, and your ******* weird coach, ***** *** stadium and your ***, ***** because if you *****, I'll *** your **** or ****** you up because you're a ****** and *** the ****. The Ray suck and ******* always will!"
I can see that last one being a problem. Hopefully this gets resolved peacefully. If Hallion did swear at him, it would puzzling because on replay, it clearly shows he missed the call.....
I don't know enough about Hallion to say that he's a bad umpire but to call Price a liar? Umpires should try to remain in the background and generally keep their mouths shut. Ultimately the call didn't matter and we shouldn't judge umpires based on a few missed ball/strike calls but we also shouldn't have to deal with them publicly attack the pitchers they call games for. Someone's going to get disciplined. Stay tuned for more.
Reds Can't Buy a Hit off Zimmermann
The Reds got one-hit for the second night in a row on Friday and this time it was Jordan Zimmermann that followed Gio Gonzalez the previous night with a shutout of his own, needing only 91 pitches in a 1-0 victory. It was the first time the Reds had been one-hit in back-to-back games since....1900. No, that's not a typo.
Like Sanchez, Zimmermann impressively issued only one free pass and struck out four, allowing only three base runners. If he can stay healthy, he has the talent to help anchor this Nationals rotation with Strasburg and Gonzalez. And if the Nats pitching can keep it rolling, watch out.
Your Players of the Week: Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson
A pretty nice guy for a Canadian. Now that Francisco Cervelli is out with a broken hand, I hope the Yankees have fun with Chris Stewart catching.
Keep killing the ball Russell. Every time you do well, the Yankees look dumb. I like that. Oh, and don't look now but the Pirates are in first place. Their best player is at a .216 average. Their staff ace is being paid CEO money not to pitch for the Yankees. Baseball continues to be a weird sport. I love it. Keep making me look smart, Pirates.
On the AL side, it was Josh Donaldson who capture the Player of the Week award, with a .545 batting average, seven walks and ten RBI. It was the journeyman third basemans' first time being named player of the week, bumping his batting average almost 75 points to above .300 and making a lot of desperate fantasy owners very happy people. Billy Beane continues to find diamonds in the rough for the surprising A's. Look for Justin Timberlake to play him in Moneyball 2, coming out in the summer of 2015.
Phillies Sweep the Reeling Mets in Matchup of Two of my Least Favorite Teams
Ryan Howard came off the bench to hit a pinch-hit double to break a 1-1 tie against the Mets to back Cole Hamels and complete a sweep of the Mets. The Mets have lost five in a row and seven of the last ten. Well, at least they have Matt Harvey. Oh, and they lost to the Marlins in 15 innings last night...yes, the Marlins. Queens baseball is going to need some help soon. Meanwhile Howard is starting to find his bat and the Phillies may work their way back into the NL East conversation with sitting a game back of the second place Nationals.
They've got the pitching experience to do it and the season is still young even though Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are not.
Casper Wells has gotten pretty good at packing this year
The White Sox have acquired the outfielder from the A's this week. This will be Wells' fourth team in the month of April (!?!?!). The journeyman outfielder started the season on the Mariners before being claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays. Since then, he was given the dreaded DFA (designated for assignment) by the Jays on April 15 and traded to the A's for cash on the 22nd. He went 0-5 in three appearances with the Athletics before being being DFA'ed again and picked up by the White Sox.
Oh and if you don't read the links in the title posts, you should at least read this one as the White Sox blog "South Side Sox" gives a hilarious take on Wells journeys this season. It also makes fun of Raul Ibanez's defense which is always cool. I've linked it again here. Read it. Seriously. Still no? Okay fine. Godspeed Casper Wells. May your quest to break Reggie Sander's record for most teams played on go smooth and not be broken at least for a few months.
That's about enough for today, but a wrap up wouldn't be complete without a [drumroll..........]
Today's theme is "Everybody's Hurt." Let's roll...
● Giancarlo Stanton hits homers, gets DL'ed ● Kung Fu Panda has kung fu sore elbow ● A bad back is no excuse for getting rocked ● Foul balls off ankles apparently hurt ● Flyin' Hawaiian still grounded ● Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Angels ● This would be, like, really bad for Rockies ● Youkilis still sore, MRI will show more ● Reyes cast off, I hope Casper Wells still got to sign it ● McCann close to being back ● Greinke throwing, hopefully practicing punching too ● Get hurt, lose your closer job ● Lackey back and beats Astros, so yeah, that doesn't say much ● Scheduled Doubleheaders? I like it! ● Noooooooooo Strasburg. Oh wait, good
That's it for today, we've got baseball all week. Until next time baseball freaks. I'm out. Oh and just because we love our readers....here's Kate again. She helps our site traffic too.