With only 16 days left in the regular season, here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:
- Jack Moore of Fangraphs points out that the second-place Orioles can win in Yankee Stadium, Tropicana Field, Fenway Park, and the Rogers Centre, but not in the Vegas sportsbooks.
- Also from Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan has a great post detailing the “fifth-weakest dinger of the year,” an Adrian Beltre swing that happened to take place in one of the toughest venues to hit a home run, Petco Park.
- May we gather from the fan and player reactions in Miller Park that a single paper dive bomber hurled from the upper deck is a more fun addition to the game than the Wave?
- Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics takes note of CC Sabathia’s sub-optimal performance on Friday evening. Looking at pitch-heat maps, Chuck finds that it actually fits a season-long pattern:
Now I’m a tad color blind, but even I can see the scarcity of blue here as red has become the predominant color. You can also see by the location of the red in pitches down the middle, that Sabathia has not been effective in fooling or overwhelming batters in the heart of the strike zone. This season, batters are hitting .301 against the fastball that is now averaging 92.4 MPH. That’s a jump of 53 points since the 2009 season on a fastball that is slowing down. He’s allowed six gophers among the 74 hits, but he’s also allowed 12 doubles as batters are slugging .488. He has 31 strikeouts on his fastball.
Understand that the diminishing speed of the Sabathia fastball also lessens the the impact of his other pitches as batters have a smaller differential and are less frequently fooled or can make adjustments.
- Via Sports on Earth’s Joe Posnanski: After last month’s housecleaning that sent three of its biggest stars to the Dodgers, the Red Sox are starting over, and that means a rebirth for 63-year old stats guru Bill James too.
- Speaking of the Dodgers, their summer acquisitions did not improve the team’s fortunes. To make matters worse, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Clayton Kershaw might miss the rest of the season with a hip injury.
- The San Francisco Chronicle’s Steve Kroner reports on Brandon McCarthy’s visit to see his teammates at O.Co Coliseum, a mere nine days after a batted ball struck him in the head and he underwent emergency surgery.
- The Astros have had little reason to cheer this season but, by taking three of four from the Phillies, including a 7–6 victory on Sunday, Houston crippled Philadelphia’s last-ditch effort to make the postseason.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week and, to those celebrating Rosh Hashanah, a good, sweet year!