13) Hitting is more difficult now because batters seldom face the same pitcher three times in a game; after the 5th inning, they generally see a different pitcher in every at-bat.
In his Hall of Fame career, Mickey Mantle faced the same pitchers a lot more than guys do these days. Fewer teams, no interleague play, and starting pitchers lasted longer in games.
Mantle faced these four pitchers the most:
198 times— Billy Pierce
161— Early Wynn
138— Frank Lary
128— Camilo Pascual
By way of comparison, in his 10-year career, Manny Machado has faced these pitchers the most:
56— CC Sabathia
52— Chris Archer
48— Jake Odorizzi
41— David Price
See what I mean?
12) Arizona 5-7, Atlanta 0-0:
— Tough day for the Braves, who got one hit in 14 innings.
— Madison Bumgarner threw a 7-inning no-hitter; the only runner reached on an error.
Three no-hitters already this season; there were no walks in those no-hitters.
11) Padres 8, Dodgers 7 (11):
— LA led this game 7-1 after six innings; over the last 50 years, teams that trailed by 6+ runs from the 7th inning on are 11-13,547. Seriously, 11 wins, 13,547 losses.
— Max Muncy walked five times, first Dodger to do that since Greg Brock in 1983.
10) In his three starts since tossing a no-hitter, San Diego’s Joe Musgrove has pitched only 14 innings. Padres need more innings out of their starting pitchers.
9) There were 68 extra inning games last year, under the new extra-inning rule; 47 of the 68 games ended in the 10th inning, which is what MLB wants.
8) Fernando Tatis Jr hit five homers in his last three games; I was playing against him in our fantasy league, so that made me queasy, but the good guys won. Tatis is hitting .246 with 7 homers, but he was explosive this weekend, for sure.
Obscure trivia: Last major leaguer to hit 2+ homers in three consecutive games was Jeff DaVanon of the Angels, in 2003.
Weird thing is, he hit only 33 career homers in eight years.
7) Read something on the Interweb this weekend where David Wells said that throwing a no-hitter was a profitable thing, even after he retired.
Wells said that he banked $300,000 or so a year, doing appearances with Don Larsen and David Cone, other New York pitchers who threw no-hitters. That dried up after 15 years or so, but still a pretty good deal.
6) White Sox TV guys have been raving over hitting sensation Yermin Mercedes, who is batting .414 in 19 games this season, but they were stressing out Sunday over Mercedes’ tendency to slide head-first into first base, converged that he’s going to hurt one of his hands.
5) Tampa Bay TV guys were laughing on air about the unpredictability of how the Rays handle their pitchers.
Sunday, 21-year old sensation Luis Patino looked great in his MLB debut, but was removed after 42 pitches- looks like they’re going to let him go thru the lineup once, then take him out.
Then they put Josh Fleming in; he gets two turns thru the lineup, no matter how well he is doing. Tampa Bay wins a lot of games on a short budget and they do it in a unique way, but it is a little funny that their own TV guys can’t figure it out beforehand.
4) Penn State poached PG Jalen Pickett away from Siena; Pickett played 76 games in three years for Siena, which went 38-16 in MAAC games during that time, but there is a pretty big leap from the MAAC to the Big 14. We’ll see how this works out for him.
3) Sign of the times; You can buy a Dr Fauci action figure online, for $20.
2) Wizards 119, Cavaliers 110— Washington has won eight games in a row, is now the #10 seed in the Eastern Conference. They could be a tough out in the playoffs.
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Mets, Brewers, Dodgers. Wild Card: Padres @ Giants
AL: Red Sox, Royals, A’s. Wild Card: White Sox @ Mariners