"I say it time and time again, what Yadi calls...I throw."
-- Cardinals rookie, Shelby Miller.
Miller gave up a leadoff single to Eric Young Jr. and then retired 27 straight Rockies last Friday night in a perfect, non-perfect game. A day later, Adam Wainwright threw a two hit shutout. I want Yadier Molina...
Welcome back to The Full Count, baseball fans. First of all, we gush over the Mets' pitching phenom, Matt Harvey who was definitely our April man-crush. Our May man-crush probably will end up going to Cardinals rookie Shelby Miller, who basically threw the equivalent of a perfect game on Friday night.
The young pitcher is only eight starts into his fledgling career, yet he has already provided St. Louis a glimpse of a bright future. He has already pitched three starts where he has only allowed one hit. Last Friday was the first (of what will be many) career shutout. In April, Miller retired the last 17 Brewers that he faced against Milwaukee and he topped that with his last start against the Rockies. He looks every bit like the kid the Cardinals took in the first round of the 2009 draft. Watch out N.L. Central for the next, like decade or so.
In other baseball news to cover, we've got the nicest act on a baseball field since...ever? Also, the Cubs rebuilding project, those damn Yankees, video replay doesn't help and almost perfect games. When will the first one be thrown in 2013? This and more in today's MLB Wrap Up (a day late).
Cardinals pitching staff is like, really good
I promise you we have more content than just St. Louis pitching, but the aforementioned Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright combined in back to back starts to retire 40 straight Colorado Rockies. I guess things aren't as good away from Coors Field. I have a theory that the Cardinals starter that has the worst start of the week gets gang-tickled by Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso and Allen Craig. Carlos Beltran watches from the side with an evil smile.
Matt Kemp is super nice to mortal people...
Sometimes we forget that baseball players are just people. But sometimes baseball players forget that they are just people too. Matt Kemp doesn't have that problem with one of the nicest gestures caught on video to make the day of a gravely sick kid. If you haven't watched, you should...
And the world has hope again. Right after a tough loss in a hostile crowd at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Matt Kemp still has the decency to go out of his millionaire way to make a kid's day and give him a little bit of encouragement. Sometimes small acts go a long way. Way to go Matt. I wish so much sometimes that you didn't play on the Dodgers.
Lester almost perfect too
Jon Lester is really good right now and the Blue Jays are really sucky. Not a good combination as Lester only needed 58 pitches to retire the first 15 Jays in order. It was only a low change-up over the middle of the plate that kept him from a perfect game as Maicer Izturis laced for a double as Lester ended up striking out five on 118 pitches without a walk. It was his third career shutout and the Red Sox snapped out of a mini-skid. It will be a competitive A.L. East, that's for sure.
Do MLB umpires really suck this bad?
We touched on David Price's incident with home plate umpire Tom Hallion, during a previous recap, but there was still more umpire controversy with not one but two missed calls during last weeks play. The first one comes courtesy of the A's-Indians game last Wednesday, when Adam Rosales' potential game-tying home run was not overturned despite video-replay showing it to clearly be a home run.
The A's would lose the game, 4-3. So that sucks. Here's the quick replay...
Just a night later when the Astros faced off against the Angels, Houston manager Bo Porter signaled for reliever Wesley Wright to come into the game out of the bullpen. It made sense considering that the lefty Wright was going to face lefty J.B Shuck. But when Porter saw the right-handed Luis Jimenez on deck to pinch hit, he immediately summoned a righty out of the bullpen, violating Rule 3.05(b), stating that a pitcher must face at least one batter before coming out of the game.
Mike Scioscia immediately argued to no avail and then played the game under protest. He was saved when the Angels rallied and won the game, but like, still. How does a Major League manager and an entire officiating crew not know the rule? Not a good week (or month) for umps. Robots are coming. And we take one more step to baseball Matrix. Message to umpires: get better before lasers take your jobs. Here's this one too...
Let's hope they get better. The crew chief umpire in the Astros-Angels game was suspended, which I think is totally fair. Hopefully he uses those days off to go over the rules again.
Chris Sale almost perfect too...
In front of a national audience on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, White Sox southpaw Chris Sale showed everyone why he's one of the few bright spots on an otherwise dismal season so far for the Second City's second team. Sale started 6 1/3 perfect until who else but Mike Trout broke up the bid with a single. It must be those classic uniforms. Three pitchers flirting with perfection in a week? It's gonna happen and it will happen soon.
Anthony Rizzo can now get that dream car
Just a few stops up the Red Line in Chicago, Anthony Rizzo became a wealthy Cub by signing a seven year, $41 million extension. With options and something called "escalators", the contract could be worth up to $73 million. So if Rizzo wants 35 cars instead of the 21 he's going to instantly buy, he should strive to hit those.
GM Theo Epstein has literally taken Rizzo everywhere he has been and probably has a semi man-crush on the young first baseman. Like every Cubs fan should. In today's day of huge contracts, the Cubs now have Starlin Castro and Rizzo locked up long term, through their prime years. Good move by the Cubbies.
Theo's rebuilding project close to complete
The Cubs are doing exactly what they need to be doing to compete. It's now year two of the Jedstein rebuilding project and expect the Cubs to be major spenders when a ton of bad contracts are off the books. If you were ever going to follow a bad team, the 2013 Cubs would be a good team to start following as you can really see what's going on in the farm system and the draft. The article linked above that no one probably every clicks is a Grantland article and if you scroll all the way down, you'll see that the Cubs know what they're doing. Read it. It's worth it.
Joba and Mo Rivera aren't the best of pals
Don't ever tell a Yankee legend to "shush." At least that's what Joba Chamberlain learned the hard way. After a spat during a Yankee press conference where the two got into it, Joba is probably going to come out looking like a bad guy. Joba didn't really apologize either and now faces the wrath of the New York media who love Mo like they love high gas prices and not drinking super-sized sodas. Hopefully the two make up soon. Click on the link above to get all the juicy, Yankee gossip, but I know you won't. Prove me wrong.
Astros now hiring for the "World's Worst Job"
Astros CEO/President, George Postolos resigned. Probably a good career move as title of "CEO of the Worst Team in Baseball" probably doesn't look good on a resume. But in all seriousness, Postolos was responsible for helping drive a complete team makeover after the disastrous reign of former owner Drayton McLane. Why he choose to quit now will probably be revealed in the next couple of days, but it says something when Craig Biggio refused to comment on the situation. The Astros are the worst team in the AL and attendance is down almost 3,000 from this point at last season. Even I can't make it to all the games down here. Also a lot of Houston fans are pissed due to a botched Comcast deal that prevents Houstonians from watching their hometown team unless they have Comcast as a cable provider. Expect the Nolan Ryan rumors to begin heating up.
But enough about baseball's worst team. Let's wrap it up with our traditional...
Today's theme is that there is no theme. It's the first rule of LWUFLP.
● Austin Jackson hurt, so Tigers won't score obviously ● Met's improve offense by signing...Rick Ankiel? Yeah that will totally work ● Wei-Yi Chen on the DL for the Orioles, fantasy owners take note ● The "Flyin' Hawaiian" can now play ● Curtis Granderson should be able play to soon too ● Pink bats are cool as hell. Love you Mom! ● David Ortiz to Boston media: suck it! ● Roy Halladay apologizes to Phillies nation ● Girardi has 500 wins -- all bought and paid for of course ● Speaking of Yankees, be careful Mo ● Mattingly on the hot seat...because LA is terrible and all ● Josh Johnson out until June so yeah