Chris Sale looks like his old self. Unfortunately for New York, so do the Mets.
Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.
This week we take a look at Hyun-Jin Ryu’s continued dominance, Chris Sale’s career record in strikeouts, and some injury news and notes.
All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
17 – Strikeouts for Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who on Tuesday night, walked zero batters and allowed two runs over seven innings. His only real mistake was a pitch that Nolan Arenado took deep, but he still left the game after seven innings with Boston up 3-2. Brandon Workman coughed up the lead, and the Red Sox lost in 11 innings despite striking out a combined 21 batters over the first nine innings, an MLB record.
2 – Home runs belted by Toronto rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Coming off injury, Guerrero did not start-off his Major League career as successfully as he would have liked, but this past week he broke out, hitting four homers in six games. At 20 years and 59 days, he is the youngest Jay to homer.
3 – Game sweep the Marlins handed the Mets this weekend in Miami. The Fish entered the weekend at a putrid 10-31, having put together only two consecutive wins all season. Miami out-slugged New York 8-6 in the opening game Friday night and then shut out the Mets 2-0 and 3-0 over the weekend. The Mets sit at 20-25, 6 ½ games behind the division leading Phillies
10 – Game winning streak for the red-hot Astros, who finally lost the series finale against the Red Sox in Boston on Sunday afternoon. It was their second 10-game winning streak of the season, and the 31-16 ‘stros are 13-4 in May, and currently have an 8 ½ game lead over the 22-24 Angels.
31 – Consecutive scoreless innings for the Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been nothing short of masterful this season. Over the weekend, he shutout Cincinnati over seven innings, scattering five hits and a walk. He is quite a ways from Orel Hershiser’s MLB record consecutive scoreless innings streak of 59. Next, he faces the Pirates on Saturday evening.
14 – Teams that veteran journeyman has suited-up for in his Major League career. He made his Blue Jays debut on Wednesday afternoon against the Giants. Since being drafted by the Dodgers in 2006, he has played for the Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, and Athletics.
12 – Games that Yankees’ third baseman Miguel Andujar has played in this season, before resigning himself to an unfortunate season-ending labrum repair surgery. On March 31st, Andujar injured his shoulder diving back into first base, and after trying to avoid surgery, he and the team agreed that to be the best next step.
2 – Hits for Trea Turner in his first game in six weeks, after returning from a broken finger he suffered at the beginning of April. It’s good news for the Nats who continue to struggle with a 19-27 record.
Matchups to Watch
Monday, May 20
The first-place Phillies kick-off a series visiting the first-place Cubs with two veterans taking the mound. Neither Arrieta nor Darvish have been particularly good this season, but despite their mediocre (and often worse) performances, both the Phillies and Cubs are well-positioned with strong division leads.
Tuesday, May 21
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) v. TBD (TB), 8:10 ET
After losing two-out-of-three at the hands of the Yankees, the Rays dropped from first place for the first time in nearly two months. They go up against another strong lineup, and have to face Clayton Kershaw in the first of a quick two-game set that starts on Tuesday night at the Trop.
Wednesday, May 22
On the surface, this looks like a classic Cy Young battle between two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, likely pitching for two teams trying to vault ahead in the crowded standings. In reality though, it’s a game against two pitchers who have the talent to be the best in the league, but have been plagued by inconsistency, pitching for two sub-.500 teams trying to turn their season around. In his last start, the pathetic Marlins’ offense roughed-up deGrom for six runs in five innings. Scherze has been ok recently, allowing three runs in six innings against the Cubs last time out; he has not had a quintessential-Scherzer dominant start yet this year.
Friday, May 24
The Astros took two-of-three against the Red Sox in Boston last weekend, Boston can return the favor in Houston this upcoming weekend. After coming off the a game in which he garnered the most strikeouts in his career, Sale faces a potent Astros lineup that is running away with the American League West.
Saturday, May 25
Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) v. TBD (PIT), 7:15 ET
Ryu is performing as one of the best pitchers in the game, and hoping to keep his scoreless streak alive against the Pirates on Saturday night. The recovery and reemergence of Ryu has been nothing short of spectacular to watch, as he’s been a major part of the Dodgers excellent 31-17 start.
Sunday, May 26
The Twins have been as good as the Astros all season, but continue to fly under-the-radar. This upcoming week, they face the Angels and White Sox, two teams they should beat-up-on pretty easily before undertaking a challenging stretch against Milwaukee, Tampa, and Cleveland.
*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables
Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano