13) Modern baseball; Friday night in Oakland, the Indians brought in lefty Oliver Perez to face a lefty hitter with a man on second. Predictably, the A’s sent up a righty hitter instead and Terry Francona ordered the righty hitter intentionally walked.
With another righty up next, Francona took Perez out and brought a righty in, creating the unique situation where a pitcher is removed from the game without throwing a pitch or even a pickoff throw— technically, the intentional walk counts as a batter faced.
12) As the owner of a fantasy baseball team, I try and find players wherever/whenever; Marlins brought up a pitcher named Pablo Lopez to make his MLB debut Saturday.
Lopez starts the game by striking out Brandon Nimmo on three pitches; I scramble to get to MILB.com to look up his minor league history. Before I find his page, Jose Bautista homers to left field, then Michael Conforto gets a hit. My enthusiasm wanes.
11) Lopez is 22 years old. looks like he was rushed to the majors; this was his first season in AA, and he was really good, going 1-2, 0.62 in eight starts in the AA Southern League.
So the Marlins promoted him to AAA and he was 1-1, 3.38 in four starts there. 62.1 IP above A ball is a little bit fast to get to the big leagues.
Lopez wound up throwing six innings, allowing only two solo homers; a solid debut for the kid.
10) Hunter Wendelstedt umpired the plate at Wrigley Field Saturday; not to say it was hot in Chicago, but he umpired with a wet towel draped around his neck. Never saw that before, but it seems like it was the smart thing to do.
9) Astros are 10-15 in one-run games, 45-15 in their other games.
Mariners are 25-11 in one-run games, 28-20 in their other games.
8) Kansas City Royals are 13-15 vs lefty starting pitchers, 12-42 vs righty starters.
Toronto Blue Jays are 11-21 vs lefty starters, 28-22 vs righthanders.
7) Enes Kanter has played seven years in the NBA, scoring 11.7 ppg; last three years, he scored 12.7, 14.3, 14.1 ppg, all while playing 21.0, 21.3, 25.8 mpg.
Kanter has earned $72,889,846 in his NBA career, will tack on an additional $18,622,514 this coming season. In his last two seasons with the Thunder (2015-16, 20-16-17), he started one freaking game!!!
Kanter shot at least 54.5% from the floor the last four years. He must be a good teammate.
6) Colorado Rockies called up OF Raimel Tapia, optioned their Opening Day starting pitcher Jon Gray, to AAA Albuquerque. Tapia is a leadoff-type hitter; will they give him a chance to play every day? Hope so, I’ve had him stashed on my fantasy team for three years now.
5) Star pitchers Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber both played college baseball at Stetson.
deGrom played shortstop his first two years for the Hatters; he hit .243 and .258, then added pitching to his resume, going 4-5, 4.48 in 17 games (82.1 IP), while hitting .263. He pitched one inning in those first two seasons.
4) Mets’ TV guy Gary Cohen is very good at calling games and he wants the Mets to win but he is fair and questions why certain things happen.
Mets have a 22-year old 1B named Dominic Smith who hasn’t started the last three games against righty starters, even though Smith bats lefty. Cohen openly asked on the air why Smith wasn’t starting— “If he isn’t starting, then why is he here?”
You don’t get stuff like that on most local baseball broadcasts.
Smith is hitting .203 in his first 230 major league PA; he went to Juniper Serra HS in California, same high school that Tom Brady and Barry Bonds went to.
3) Lakers’ G Lonzo Ball has a torn meniscus in his left knee, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
2) Reds’ pitcher Michael Lorenzen homered again Saturday, now has three pinch-hit HRs in his career. The only other pitcher to do that in the last 60 years: Gary Peters, who hit four from 1964-71, playing in the pre-DH era for the White Sox, Red Sox.
1) Happy Canada Day to all our friends north of the border!!!