Padres featured in new trailer for TV drama about first female pitcher in MLB
Things between the Rangers and Blue Jays got very heated Sunday night in Texas. Jose Bautista was plunked in apparent retaliation for his ALDS bat flip, then Bautista slid in hard at second base on a take-out slide. Rougned Odor responded with a shove and by punching Bautista square in the jaw.
On Monday, Odor doubled down on the punch and said he has no regrets even though a suspension is surely coming. He also said he respects Bautista.
Based on the reaction of players on Twitter and in interviews, most weren’t too upset to see Bautista take a punch like that. “Respected” is a better word than “beloved” to describe his standing around the league。
Odor, 22, has a bit of a history when it comes to brawls. He is likely facing a suspension of at least eight games, matching what Carlos Quentin received for breaking Zack Greinke’s collarbone a few years back. It could be longer, however. Michael Barrett received 10 games for punching A.J. Pierzynski in 2006.
Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Matt Bush, Jesse Chavez, and Blue Jays manager John Gibbons are all facing suspensions as well. Bush hit Bautista with the pitch, and Chavez retaliated by hitting Prince Fielder the next inning. Fielder laughed it off. Gibbons returned to the field during the brawl after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes earlier in the game.
The Rangers and Blue Jays do not play again this season. Gibbons called the Rangers “gutless” for waiting until Bautista’s last at-bat in their last meeting of the season to throw at him.
Give Angels general manager Billy Eppler this much: he’s trying. Eppler’s effort isn’t likely to keep the Angels’ postseason hopes alive, but his intent is admirable. On Monday, Eppler was reportedly nearing his first addition since acquiring Brendan Ryan and Jhoulys Chacin. You might’ve heard of him before — goes by the name Tim Lincecum?
In all, 10 teams since 1913 (the back end of searchable data) have won at least 27 games out of their first 35. We know about the this year’s Cubs and the three teams named above. Also winning exactly 27 were the 1921 Pirates, 1923 Giants, 1931 Athletics, 1946 Red Sox, 1955 Dodgers, and 1977 Dodgers.
Of those nine other teams going at least 27-8, four won the World Series, four lost the World Series, and one — the ’21 Pirates — missed the postseason altogether.
Here’s how these nine fellow travelers fared after their first 35 games (not counting postseason play) …
1921 Pirates: 63-55 (.529)
1923 Giants: 68-50 (.576)
1928 Yankees: 73-46 (.613)
1931 Athletics: 80-37 (.678)
1939 Yankees: 78-38 (.667)
1946 Red Sox: 77-42 (.636)
1955 Dodgers: 71-47 (.597)
1977 Dodgers: 71-56 (.559)
1984 Tigers: 74-53 (.583)
In the aggregate, those teams won at a .607 clip. If the Cubs do that the rest of the way, then they’ll wind up with a 104-58 record. It so happens that the SportsLine Projection Model mentioned above presently tabs the Cubs for 105 wins in 2016.
Jordan Zimmermann ($10,100, $10,300)
Speaking of little K potential, Zimmermann has struggled mightily in that area this year. His 5.25 K/9 is the fourth worst in baseball among qualified pitchers. He has a 1.50 ERA that screams regression, but his matchup is so good it’s hard to pass. Zimmermann seems like a fairly safe play, which may make his ownership higher than it really should be.
Pirates vs. Braves
This is the easiest call of the night. Williams Perez is a bad pitcher with a bad defense behind him. The Pirates are third in baseball in OBP and 6th in wOBA. Anyone in the Pirates outfield is in play, as is Jung Ho Kang and whoever leads off. Over his career, Perez has surrendered a .373 wOBA to LHH, so I’d focus first on any lefties hitting in the top six in the order.
Red Sox @ Royals
This is a little bit trickier. The Red Sox are red hot on offense and face a pitcher with a FIP over over five. Ventura has struggled mightily with his control this year and his strikeouts are way down, but hitters aren’t exactly hitting him hard. RHH have a .302 wOBA and a .328 SLG against Ventura this year. Still, there’s huge potential here, especially for left handed bats. The only other concern for this game is weather, so make sure you check closer to lock.