- 1885 George Strief sets a record that still stands by belting four triples in one game
- 1915 Babe Ruth, just a young pitcher, becomes the second person to ever homer into Fenway Park’s right field stands.
- 1918 Babe Ruth becomes the second person in AL history to homer in four straight games. (Bill Bradley did it back in 1902)..
- 1949 Gil Hodges hits for the cycle.
- 1950 Ralph Kiner hits for the cycle, going 5-for-6 with two home runs, and a personal best eight RBIs, helping the Pirates top the Dodgers, 16-11.
- 1968 Bobby Bonds makes his big league debut—and boy oh boy is it ever a good one. He hits a grand slam in it, something no one had done in the 20th century. (Bill Duggleby did it in 1898).
- 1969 As recounted in Ball Four Pilots pitcher Jim Bouton tries to sell the team some Gatorade. They aren’t interested
- 1971 Future Hollywood star Kurt Russell makes his professional baseball debut in the Northwestern League. He singles, doubles, and steals two bases, but his diamond dreams will be dashed by an injury in 1973
- 1976 Toby Harrah has the most memorable day of his career. He hits a walk-off grand slam for an 8-5 Rangers win over Chicago in the first game of today’s doubleheader, and that’s not even the part people remember. Instead, his claim to fame becomes the only shortstop to work both ends of a doubleheader and handle zero defensive chances. Plenty have hit walk-off grand slams, but only Harrah has done that.
- 1978 Rick Wise makes baseball history trivia history by becoming the first pitcher to defeat all 26 franchises then in existence. His final victim is Toronto.
- 1988 Cal Ripken plays in his 1,000th game in a row.
- 1989 The Mets have zero defensive assists in their 5-1 win over the Phillies. Philadelphia fans 13 times, hits 12 fly outs, and the other two are unassisted groundouts to first. Sid Fernandez is the winning pitcher for the Mets, a fact which shouldn’t surprise anyone who remembers the high-King flyballer.
- 1995 Andres Galarraga hits three home runs for Colorado—and in three straight innings, too: the sixth through eighth
- 1996 Mark McGwire nails his 300th home run
- 1997 Chipper Jones hits his first grand slam. His second will come a mere 10 days later. And the third only five days after that.
- 1998 Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa hits his 19th home run of the month, breaking Rudy York’s old record of 18 in a month.
- 2004 Larry Walker smashes three home runs in a game for the third time
- 2008 Houston suspends pitcher Shawn Chacon after he grabs GM Ed Wade by the neck and throws him to the ground prior to today’s game
- 2010 Dustin Pedroia hits three home runs in one game.
- 2010 Arizona pitcher Edwin Jackson hurls one of the most poorly thrown no-hitters of all-time. He walks eight and throws 149 pitches.
- 2011 The Giants beat the Indians 1-0 with the only run coming on a seventh inning balk
Yoervis Medina, SEA
Medina got the first shot at the closer job in Seattle after Tom Wilhelmsen blew a few saves, but, like the Boston situatiom, I can see Wilhelmsen winning the job back once he corrects whatever is ailing him. Wilhelmsen has given up runs in four of his last six appearances, and six of his last nine, and is giving up plenty of long balls.
Heath Bell, ARI
Speaking of giving up home runs, Heath Bell has given up home runs in each of his last five appearances, and with J.J. Putz closing in on a return from the DL, Bell will more than likely fall back into the 7th inning role for manager Kirk Gibson.
Huston Street, SD
I have a feeling Street may be on thin ice in San Diego, as he is giving up home runs at an amazing rate. He gave up back to back home runs to Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in the ninth inning of Sunday's game, and has now given up 10 home runs in 26.1 innings. On a per nine inning rate, he is giving up 3.42 HR/9 right now. That's not easy to do. Luke Gregerson is probably first in line for saves should Street be removed from the role
what’s wrong with Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander isn’t having a bad season, but those who drafted him early can certainly complain about his pedestrian 3.90 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. In fact, over his past seven starts, he’s posted a 6.11 ERA and 1.58 WHIP over 45.2 innings. He hasn’t had a single start all year without walking at least one batter, and after having once gone 63 straight starts pitching at least six innings, he’s failed to do so in six of his 16 outings in 2013. Looking at his peripherals, he’s actually been roughly the same pitcher as ever. Here are his current numbers vs. his career marks: HR/FB% (7.4 vs. 7.9), GB% (42.3 vs. 40.5), LOB% (72.9 vs. 73.7), K% (26.3 vs. 22.9) and SwStr% (10.4 vs. 9.8). This isn’t an entirely fair comparison because Verlander reached another level the last two years compared to the rest of his career, but it still illustrates that for the most part, he’s been a similar pitcher when it comes to most of the underlying stats. So what gives? His current .347 BABIP, which would easily be a career-high, really jumps out. It’s easy to call this bad luck, and it’s certainly likely that number drops moving forward, but since it’s also tied to a career-low average fastball velocity (92.6 mph), it might not necessarily regress as much as his fantasy owners hope.
Jered Weaver Should Not Be Considered A Fantasy Ace
Part of the problem has likely been a decreasing fastball velocity, which is reaching disturbing rates. In 2010 he averaged 89.9 mph, but that has gone to 89.1, 87.8 and this year’s 86.5.
Along with the decline in strikeouts, Weaver has also seen an increase in his line drive rate. Prior to 2012 he had only posted one season above 19%. Last season he was at 21.1% and this year he is currently at 20.3%. While he posted a respectable ERA last season (2.81), a lot of it was due to significant luck (.241 BABIP). He hasn’t been as lucky this season (.290 BABIP), and the results are showing it.
Just to add to the problems, Weaver is giving up more home runs than ever before with a 1.33 HR/9 (career mark of 0.97). Considering his HR/FB is at 9.5%, a believable mark, there is every reason to believe that his struggles could continue
Is there any stopping Yasiel Puig?
Puig had another big day at the plate, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .442 with 7 HR, 14 RBI, 14 R and 2 SB over his first 77 AB. It’s still an extremely small sample size and eventually there is going to be a “cool down” period. Keep in mind he’s currently sporting a .509 BABIP and 46.7% HR/FB (19.3% line drive rate and 26.3% fly ball rate). It’s been a great story, but stay realistic with your expectations
Rangers (44-32) @ Yankees (41-34), 7:05pm
TEX: Yu Darvish (#11, 26, RHP, 7-3, 2.84)
NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (#18, 38, RHP, 7-5, 2.78)
Indians (39-36) @ Orioles (42-35), 7:05pm
CLE: Justin Masterson (#63, 28, RHP, 9-5, 3.48)
BAL: Chris Tillman (#30, 25, RHP, 8-2, 3.71)
Angels (33-43) @ Tigers (42-32), 7:08pm
LAA: C.J. Wilson (#33, 32, LHP, 6-5, 3.61)
DET: Rick Porcello (#21, 24, RHP, 4-4, 4.74)
Rockies (39-38) @ RedSox (45-33), 7:10pm
COL: Juan Nicasio (#12, 26, RHP, 4-3, 4.78)
BOS: Ryan Dempster (#46, 36, RHP, 4-8, 4.23)
Blue Jays (38-37) @ Rays (40-37), 7:10pm
TOR: Mark Buehrle (#56, 34, LHP, 4-4, 4.60)
TBR: Matt Moore (#55, 24, LHP, 9-3, 4.13)
Mets (30-42) @ WhiteSox (31-42), 8:10pm
NYM: Zack Wheeler (#45, 23, RHP, 1-0, 0.00)
CHW: Chris Sale (#49, 24, LHP, 5-6, 2.69)
Braves (44-33) @ Royals (35-38), 8:10pm
ATL: Kris Medlen (#54, 27, RHP, 4-7, 2.96)
KCR: Ervin Santana (#54, 30, RHP, 5-5, 2.64)
Cardinals (47-29) @ Astros (29-48), 8:10pm
STL: Jake Westbrook (#35, 35, RHP, 3-2, 1.76)
HOU: Lucas Harrell (#64, 28, RHP, 5-7, 4.32)
Reds (45-32) @ Athletics (44-34), 10:05pm
CIN: Bronson Arroyo (#61, 36, RHP, 6-5, 3.13)
OAK: Tommy Milone (#57, 26, LHP, 6-7, 3.98)
Pirates (46-30) @ Mariners (34-43), 10:10pm
PIT: Jeff Locke (#49, 25, LHP, 6-1, 2.01)
SEA: Joe Saunders (#23, 32, LHP, 5-7, 4.48)
D'backs (41-34) @ Nationals (37-38), 7:05pm
ARI: Trevor Cahill (#35, 25, RHP, 3-8, 3.92)
WSN: Gio Gonzalez (#47, 27, LHP, 3-3, 3.34)
Twins (34-38) @ Marlins (25-50), 7:10pm
MIN: Kevin Correia (#30, 32, RHP, 6-4, 3.87)
MIA: Jose Fernandez (#16, 20, RHP, 4-4, 3.05)
Cubs (31-43) @ Brewers (31-43), 8:10pm
CHC: Edwin Jackson (#36, 29, RHP, 3-9, 5.49)
MIL: Kyle Lohse (#26, 34, RHP, 2-6, 3.68)
Giants (38-38) @ Dodgers (33-42), 10:10pm
SFG: Mike Kickham (#59, 24, LHP, 0-1, 15.43)
LAD: Stephen Fife (#59, 26, RHP, 1-2, 3.25)
Phillies (36-41) @ Padres (39-38), 10:10pm
PHI: Kyle Kendrick (#38, 28, RHP, 6-4, 3.56)
SDP: Jason Marquis (#21, 34, RHP, 9-2, 3.59)