Yu Darvish is more than just the fuel for MLB’s unkillable pun machine. He is a starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers, and a good one. This week, he struck out nine Blue Jays in a seven inning opus that only allowed a single run. As one broadcaster put it during the performance, “That’s not fair.” And it isn’t fair. How are other teams supposed to hit if Darvish is allowed to use his slider? And change-up? And arm?
Here come the links.
Bryce Harper’s major league debut was the talk of the weekend, and for good reason. Harper’s arrival was long-awaited by Nationals and MLB fans alike, and the phenom became by far the youngest player in the bigs. However, there was another significant debut made this weekend.
Mike Trout didn’t play in his first game for the Angels this weekend, but he did make his season debut for LA. The Angels are hoping Trout is here to stay, and Fan Graphs’ Paul Swydan agrees with LA’s decision to promote Trout. However, Swydan wasn’t as crazy about the transaction the Angels made to make room for Trout on their roster.
Kings of Kauffman’s Marcus Meade shares the story; The Curious Case of Yuniesky Betancourt.
Lew Freedman’s piece on the endless stream of closers who have suffered season ending injuries was entertaining, well for me it was, not for the pitchers or teams involved.
The job of a MLB umpire is constantly scrutinized. Many fans call for expanded use of video replay in baseball because if we see it clear as day on television, the umps should be able to see the same thing and make the right call. Jonah Keri of Grantland.com provides a slew of instances where instant replay, had it been used, would have possibly changed the outcome of games.
One month into the season is the perfect threshold for analysts to decide whether or not a team is “for real” or not. Everyone knows the intangibles or short blasts of talent that keep a team in the thick of things have a month’s expiration date on them, so now, with it being May and all, we can deduce who is for real and who isn’t.
Which is tough in Baltimore. The O’s have had hot starts before, only to watch things fall dreadfully back to normal. But in 2012, they’re fighting in and out of first place. They’re in the top 10 of ESPN’s power rankings, which, while meaningless, shows they’ve actually been, you know, noticed.
Randy Buchman at Birds Watcher takes on the buzz sweeping through the Charm City. People are starting to believe. And sure, they can’t beat the Yankees yet, but knowing just what this team is capable of is the first step. Well, actually, the first step is ignoring the voice of reason who dispels all the recent success in favor of grotesque familiarity.
But after that… we’re home free.
What is going on between Albert Pujols and Mickey Hatcher in L.A.?