Good morning. Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday a bit more bearable.
- According to ESPN’s T. J. Quinn and Andrew Marchand, Alex Rodriguez and approximately twelve other MLB players will be supsended later today. The reporters cite anonymous sources who say that, under the terms of the joint drug agreement, A-Rod will likely be suspended for the rest of this year and for the entire 2014 season. Rodriguez, who is prepared to file an appeal, will likely play for the Yankees against the White Sox in Chicago tonight.
- The Red Sox are back in first place and, thanks to a three-way deal with the South Siders and Tigers, now have Jake Peavy fortifying their rotation. But Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics observes that little of the Sox’s success can be attributed to Ryan Dempster, whom the Red Sox signed as a free agent during the offseason.
- Chuck is also a contributor to a new blog, Gammons Daily, named after longtime sportswriter and current MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons. Here, Gammons revisits last August’s six-player mega-deal between the Sox and Dodgers.
- While it is popular to credit Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez for the Dodgers’ recent surge — yesterday’s victory at Wrigley Field was the team’s 14th consecutive road win — Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts thinks much of the credit ought to go elsewhere:
But when you look at how the Dodgers have been playing .811 ball since June 22, winning games like they were free throws, much of it comes down to this — the bullpen simply just keeps getting guys out. . . .
If teams don’t score against you, they’re not going to beat you. The Dodger bullpen has smothered nearly every single fire they have encountered since the fourth week of June.
- David Hruska of High Heat Stats charts “The Rise and Fall of the Philadelphia Phillies,” losers of 13 of their past 14 games.
- Yes, a professional baseball player can get struck out on one pitch, even when he’s not substituting for an injured or ejected teammate. Mark Townsend of Yahoo’s Big League Stew shares the wacky details of what transpired Friday evening at a Double-A game between Midland and Corpus Christi.
- After being dealt from the Diamondbacks, Ian Kennedy made his first start for the Padres yesterday, against his first MLB team, the Yankees. Kennedy put up decent numbers in San Diego’s 6–3 victory.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!