Here are several links from the past week that will make your Monday at the office a bit more bearable:
- Grantland’s Matt Borcas profiles Charlie Blackmon, the Rockies outfielder who has been en fuego all month long, posting a .402/.454/.667 slash line in 97 plate appearances.
- How often does the mother of a MLB player get to watch her son slug a home run on her birthday while being interviewed? Who the heck knows, but kindly watch Chris Colabello’s mom’s reaction anyway and read the accompanying story by Fox Sports North’s Tyler Mason.
- Pip at Fungoes highlights Michael Wacha’s bizarre start in Citi Field, in which he struck out ten batters and walked five in four innings.
- In response to the Michael Piñeda press conference following the Dominican Republic native’s ejection for having pine tar on his neck, Carlos Beltran expressed concern that MLB isn’t employing enough interpreters for Latin players with limited knowledge of English. Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger has the details.
- First baseman and left fielder Mike Carp pitched so effectively at the end of a recent blowout loss to the Yankees that Over the Monster’s Marc Normandin had to write about it:
Carp also managed to face seven batters without allowing a single hit. That makes sense. You have to actually throw pitches where bats can get to them in order to give up hits:
No strikeouts — and just 14 strikes in 38 attempts — with five walks allowed. Amazingly, Carp only gave up one run during all of this, on a bases-loaded walk that brought in Brett Gardner from third. It’s no wonder he couldn’t throw strikes when you consider he was relying on a knuckleball almost half of the time.
- Bill Chuck of Gammons Daily highlights the Nationals’ left-on-base woes in their extra-inning loss to the Padres last Thursday, and then points out that, so far this year, eight of nine teams that stranded at least 15 runners on base in a game emerged victorious.
- Unlike the Obamacare rollout, expanded replay has not been a catastrophe, but there have been a few bugs, particularly in the way the “transfer rule” was getting interpreted. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports broke the news that MLB has set things straight:
A catch, forceout or tag will be considered legal if a fielder has control of the ball in his glove, but drops the ball after opening his glove to transfer the ball to his throwing hard, sources said. No longer will the fielder be required to successfully get the ball into his throwing hand.
- In response to the staggering number of pitchers receiving Tommy John surgery in 2014 — 25 at last check — SB Nation’s Bryan Kilpatrick asks: “Are more pitchers actually getting hurt, or is the high number of victims this season just an anomaly?”
- Via Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution: After a miserable 2013 and equally sluggish start to this season, B. J. Upton has finally elected to don prescription frames.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!