One Inning At A Time: April 20, 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres

I love baseball. Always have. Yet with life being as it these days – dad, spouse, employee, dad again – I rarely make much of an effort to sit down and watch for any extended period of time. But I miss it. The rhythm of baseball gives me comfort and peace. So I made a deal with myself, to watch an inning a day for the duration of the 2017 MLB season. The daily dairy won’t deliver much in the way of research or analytics – there are enough high quality experts out there with an academic grasp of the sweet science – but I am hopeful it can provide some mildly interesting observations about a game that has given me so much.

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April 20, 2017: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres 

9:45 EST

Top 2. 2 outs. Runner on 3rd. Score tied 2-2.

I’m running a little late on this one. It’s playoff hockey’s fault. At some point I’d like to watch a playoff game in Montreal. Or Toronto. Or Calgary. I guess anywhere in Canada would suffice.

The Padres starting pitcher tonight is wearing #3. You don’t see a lot of single digit pitchers. I wonder why not? Also these Dbacks uniforms have only been around for a couple of seasons and they are are not aging well.

A.J. Pollock ground out to 3b. Three outs.

Or did he? Could be a review situation. Arizona manager thinks Wil Myers pulled his foot off the first base bag. And the survey says….nope, he kept his foot on the bag. This raises an interesting point about converting players to first base. I think many fans incorrectly assume that the switch, even for an athlete like Myers, is relatively easy. However, in the wise words of Ron Washington in Moneyball the movie “it’s incredibly difficult”.

Bottom 2nd

Yangervis Solarte ground out to shortstop. One out.

I can think of worse places to spend an early spring evening than Petco Park. San Diego weather really is perfect. I visited last summer during what my friend referred to as the “June Gloom” and let me tell you, what SoCal calls gloomy we in the Northeast would celebrate with a sacrificial offering of hamburgers and hot dogs. Reminds me of another funny weather related story this time from Los Angeles where on a perfectly beautiful 82 degree afternoon a couple of friends decided not to take part in a backyard BBQ and badminton gathering opting instead for the climate controlled surroundings of a multiplex cinema for a double feature. Again, if it were New England we would be setting up every piece of living room furniture on our front lawns.

Austin Hedges grounds out to short. Two outs.

Erick Aybar slow roller to 3b. Three up Three down. Move to the top of the 3rd score still tied 1-1.

One Inning At A Time: April 19, 2017 – Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

I love baseball. Always have. Yet with life being as it these days – dad, spouse, employee, dad again – I rarely make much of an effort to sit down and watch for any extended period of time. But I miss it. The rhythm of baseball gives me comfort and peace. So I made a deal with myself, to watch an inning a day for the duration of the 2017 MLB season. The daily dairy won’t deliver much in the way of research or analytics – there are enough high quality experts out there with an academic grasp of the sweet science – but I am hopeful it can provide some mildly interesting observations about a game that has given me so much.

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April 19, 2017: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals

Welcome to the bottom of the 3rd inning in St. Louis where the Cardinals announcers tell us that the temperature is going to reach 80 degrees this afternoon. That’s a little toasty for April. The pitcher Michael Wacha leads off against Gerrit Cole. Good pitching matchup in this one. Although I’m not so sure if Wacha is living up to expectations after a promising start. As a rookie didn’t he contribute World Series title?

Wacha strikes out swinging. One out.

I still don’t totally understand why Dexter Fowler left the Chicago. Unless the money/years were that much better in St. Louis why leave such a comfortable situation?

Fowler homers to right. 1-0 Cardinals.

As I was saying. Cardinals announcers call Fowler’s first home run of the season a potential slump buster. It’s his first RBI too.

Greg Garcia line out to center. Two outs.

Andrew McCutchen with a great play. I assume he’s back in centerfield because Starling Marte was suspended for PEDs. Vice Sports interviewed Victor Conte, a BALCO infamy, about the drug Marte tested positive for and his basic point was that it was the worst substance to cheat with because even a trace amount will stay in your systems for months. The article also mentioned that even incidental contact with the hormone can lead to a positive test. I also read – and I forget where this was – that Marte is the best player to ever have been suspended under MLBs “new” drug policy. I find this hard to believe and would be willing to accept other nominations. [Read more…]

Corey Gammill

My good friend and charter fishing boat captain Corey Gammill joins the podcast to discuss the NHL Playoffs (1:00), coaching and teaching professional athletes like Jonathan Quick, Nick Bonino and Cam Atkinson (4:00), becoming a fishing boat captain on Nantucket (7:00), making work about more than money (12:00), the not so glamorous life in a resort community (16:00), dealing with entitled customers (20:00), competition with other fishing captains (26:00), irrational fears on the water (29:00), climate change and the perilous future of the fishing industry (34:00) and the value of catch and release (42:00).

One Inning At A Time: April 18, 2017 Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves

I love baseball. Always have. Yet with life being as it these days – dad, spouse, employee, dad again – I rarely make much of an effort to sit down and watch for any extended period of time. But I miss it. The rhythm of baseball gives me comfort and peace. So I made a deal with myself, to watch an inning a day for the duration of the 2017 MLB season. The daily dairy won’t deliver much in the way of research or analytics – there are enough high quality experts out there with an academic grasp of the sweet science – but I am hopeful it can provide some mildly interesting observations about a game that has given me so much.

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April 18, 2017: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves

Bottom 4. No score. Braves at the plate. Max Scherzer on the mound for the Nationals. I like what Scherzer once said about pitchers needing Tommy John surgery. His basic point – if I’m recalling correctly – was that the longer a pitcher survives without major reconstructive elbow surgery the more likely it is that the player avoids surgery all together. This line of logic contradicts conventional wisdom which states that there is a direct correlation between number of pitches and arm injuries. This makes Max Scherzer a “pitch count truther”.

Freddie Freeman walks. Runner on 1st. No outs.

Nick Markakis singles to center. Runners on 1st and 2nd. No outs.

Classic Markakis. Fouls off a bunch of pitches before blooping a base hit just beyond the reach of the outstretched infielder.  Brandon Phillips tries to bunt (twice). I’m sorry to sound my age but a Major League hitter should be able to get a bunt down.

4-6 fielder’s choice. Runners on 1st and 3rd. One out.

I think that’s Eddie Perez coaching 1st base for the Braves. I remember when Perez was Javy Lopez’s backup and Greg Maddux’s personal catcher.

6-4-3 double play. Three outs. No score heading into top 5th.

The Braves announcers like the new stadium. I like the Braves announcers. They remind me of a simpler time when the only games on tv were Atlanta games on TBS.

Matt Wieters doubles to left field. Runner on 2nd. No outs.

Passed ball and Wieters advances to 3rd. The ball bounced hard off the brick backstop all the way into catcher Kurt Suzuki arms.

Wilmer Difo singles. Wieters scores. 1-0 Nationals. No outs.

Scherzer sacrifice bunt. Runner to 2nd. One out.

Adam Eaton singles to center. Difo scores. 2-0 Nationals. One out.

Eaton caught stealing. Two outs.

That was strange. Adam Eaton stopped running halfway down to second and Brandon Phillips threw him out diving back into first.

Anthony Rendon walks. Runner on 1st. Two outs.

The Atlanta fans are booing pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. Or maybe that’s Bryce Harper. Foltynewicz has a lot of tattoos on his right arm. Can an opposing team complain to the umpires about a pitchers tattoos being too deceiving?

Harper walks. Runners on 1st and 2nd. Two outs.

Murphy flies out to deep right center field. Three outs. Nationals lead 2-0.

 

 

One Inning At A Time: April 17 2017 Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

I love baseball. Always have. Yet with life being as it these days – dad, spouse, employee, dad again – I rarely make much of an effort to sit down and watch for any extended period of time. But I miss it. The rhythm of baseball gives me comfort and peace. So I made a deal with myself, to watch an inning a day for the duration of the 2017 MLB season. The daily dairy won’t deliver much in the way of research or analytics – there are enough high quality experts out there with an academic grasp of the sweet science – but I am hopeful it can provide some mildly interesting observations about a game that has given me so much.

April 17, 2017: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins

Bottom 5: Indians 3 Twins 1

Bert Blyleven is an announcer for the Twins. I don’t remember much about Blyleven the pitcher other than he was very good and had a beard.

Kepler pops up to 3B. 1 out.

Miguel Sano digs in. Is he still considered one of the Twins better prospects or has that bloom off the rose?

Sano flies out to left field. 2 outs. 

Joe Mauer is now a first baseman now and this makes me sad because it was not that long ago when he was one of the best catchers in baseball. If we were to poll Twins fans today would most say that Mauer has over performed or under performed expectations? When Matt Wieters first came up with the Orioles scouts often referred to him as “Mauer with Power”. That ended up being kinda true because Wieters did hit more home runs than Mauer – which isn’t really saying much because Joe Mauer doesn’t hit home runs – but was never able to live up to the hype, fair or not, which most likely contributed to his leaving for the Washington Nationals.

Mauer singles to left. Runner on 1st. 2 outs.

But Joe Mauer can still use all fields! Danny Salazar pitching to Robbie Grossman. Salazar was one of those injured Indians players that made last year’s run to the World Series all the more improbable. He looks healthy now though. And with the high socks!

Grossman grounds out. 3 outs.

That was a quick half inning. Looks cold in Minneapolis. Which might be why there don’t appear to be many fans in the stands. When I visited Target Field years ago it was standing room only. Of course it was July. And much, much warmer.

Top of the 6th still 3-1 Cleveland. Gibson pitching for the Twins. I have not heard of really any of these Minnesota players which is as much about my ignorance as it is their reliance on young, relatively inexperienced talent.

Fly out to center. 1 out. 

Paul Molitor is the manager of the Minnesota Twins. Always liked watching Molitor hit. Such an economical swing. Kept his body and hands incredibly still until BOOM!!! bat to ball with lighting fast precision and efficiency.

Yan Gomes hit by a pitch. Runner on first. 1 out.

Walk. Runners on 1st and 2nd. 1 out. Pitching change.

Francisco Lindor up. I enjoyed getting to know Lindor last October. He’s the best player on a Cleveland team that should be good for a long time

Lindor grounds into a 4-6-3 double play. 3 outs.

Oh well. Lindor is still the best player on the Indians and one of the most talented players in all of baseball. 3-1 Indians over the Twins as they head to the bottom of the 6th. I probably won’t watch the rematch tomorrow night – and judging from the empty seats in Target Field – the Twin Cities will be busying themselves with some other distraction (playoff hockey???) as well.