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On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates were unsuccessful in their attempt to sweep a three game weekend series against the San Francisco Giants
Going for a sweep on the San Francisco Giants on Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates came up short. With the 5 0 loss, the Pirates fell to 23 17 on the season. The team did improve to 9 3 1 in their 13 series played this season.

This was one of the more frustrating losses of the young season for the Pirates. This was a game that the Pirates should have won. They were going for a sweep at home against a sub .500 team that sent a bad starting pitcher to the mound, but the Bucs failed to get the job done.
Ivan Nova started for the Pirates on Sunday afternoon and was able to dance around raindrops for much of his start. After lasting just 2 innings in his last start, Nova started Sunday’s start with 5 scoreless innings.

Nova’s 5 scoreless innings did not come easy, though. The first four outs of the game all came on balls that were put in play with an exit velocity over 100 miles per hour http://www.piratesfanaticsjersey.com/josh-harrison-jersey-c-17.html, but Pirate defenders made a play on. It was evident that if Nova kept allowing hard contact he would not keep posting zeroes and that would prove to be true.

In the top of the 6th inning http://www.piratesfanaticsjersey.com/john-jaso-jersey-c-18.html, the hard contact Nova was allowing finally bit him. Ex Pirate Gorkys Hernandez led the inning off with a home run to get the Giants on the board, breaking the scoreless tie.

Then with 2 out and a pair of runners on base http://www.piratesfanaticsjersey.com/jung-ho-kang-jersey-c-19.html, Nova allowed a run scoring double to Brandon Crawford making it 2 0 Giants. Nova was then lifted for Richard Rodriguez who promptly allowed a 3 run home run to Nick Hundley, running the Giant lead to 5 0.

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 13 Nick Hundley 5 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates his three run home run with Gregor Blanco 1 and Brandon Crawford 35 during the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 13, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Hundley’s home run would close the book on Nova who was charged with 4 earned runs on 8 hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched. Nova entered Sunday’s game allowing hard contact 35.1 of the time and hard contact would continue to plague him in the loss. If Nova does not solve this problem, it is difficult to envision him turning his season around.


What made Sunday’s loss so frustrating was the inability of the Pirate offense to score against San Francisco starting pitcher Derek Holland. Entering the game Holland owned a 5.66 ERA, 5.12 FIP, a 21.6 walk rate, and an abysmal 1.80 HR/9. However, somehow, the Pirates could not solve Holland on Sunday.

Despite Holland pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Sunday, the Pirates had chances to score and could not cash in.

To start the game, Francisco Cervelli had a great 8 pitch at bat that ended in a walk. He would be stranded Cory Luebke Jersey, though. They then wasted a leadoff double by Corey Dickerson in the bottom of the 2nd inning and 1 out double by Jose Osuna in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Following Osuna’s double, Starling Marte grounded out to shortstop and Osuna was thrown out trying to advance to third base on the play. After Holland would walk Josh Bell, Dickerson popped out to end the inning.

David Freese singled to start the bottom of the 4th inning and it was followed by a Sean Rodriguez walk. However, Jordy Mercer then hit into an around the horn double play. Holland then retired Nova to end the threat.

Entering Sunday’s game opposing hitters had lit up Holland to the tune of a .536 slugging percentage and a .373 wOBA the second time through the lineup. To Holland’s credit though, he did not allow this trend to continue on Sunday.

One positive from Sunday’s loss was the work of Tyler Glasnow out of the bullpen. Glasnow pitched the 8th and 9th innings, and continues to look like a brand new pitcher this season. In his 2 scoreless innings of work, Glasnow allowed a pair of hits, walked a batter, and struck out 3. He continues to have all the looks of a dominant reliever this year now owning a 2.86 FIP and 29 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings pitched.

Another positive was Clint Hurdle finally batting Francisco Cervelli leadoff. The Pirate backstop responded by going 1 for 3 with a double and his aforementioned walk. Hopefully, Cervelli in the leadoff spot is a trend that continues.

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data journalism website best known for its presidential election forecasts also measures the daily pulse of Major League Baseball — and it says the 2018 Philadelphia Phillies are the hottest team in the majors.

FiveThirtyEight’s 2018 MLB predictions David Hernandez Jersey, which are updated after every game http://www.philliesfanaticsjersey.com/cesar-hernandez-jersey-c-19.html, use ‘Elo ratings’ — or a system designed to measure team strength based on head to head results, margin of victory and quality of opponent. It has the surging Phillies 22 15 up 11 points in the week to week rankings.

It’s the largest one week jump for any team in the National League, the largest jump for the Phillies this season, and matched only by the Minnesota Twins 15 18, winners of six of their last seven games .

FiveThirtyEight now gives the Phillies a 35 percent chance of making the playoffs, and a 21 percent chance of winning the NL East. Those may not seem like the greatest of odds, but statistics suggest the team isn’t about to fall off its current pace. The site puts the Phillies head to head in upcoming games against the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles, for example, and gives Philadelphia the edge in four out of five contests.

Want more fun facts or should we say Phun Phacts ?

Only five teams in baseball — Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Houston, and the New York Yankees — have a better record than the Phillies right now.

By defeating the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, the Phillies pulled off their second four game sweep of the season. By comparison, they had a total of just two four game sweeps from the entire period of 2012 to 2017. It was also Philadelphia’s first four game sweep of San Francisco since 1982.

Philadelphia has swept four of its first 12 series http://www.philliesfanaticsjersey.com/freddy-galvis-jersey-c-18.html, something it last achieved during that magical, memorable 1993 season.

The Phillies have eight more wins through 37 games this season than they did by the same date last season.

Philadelphia  http://www.philliesfanaticsjersey.com/maikel-franco-jersey-c-17.html  is averaging 5.55 runs through its first nine games this month, and Carlos Santana is leading the way offensively with a 1.088 OPS on base plus slugging so far this month. That’s a sabermetric baseball statistic manager Gabe Kapler must love.

Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera doubled to right field in the fourth inning Thursday to extend his on base streak to 39 games. It is the eighth longest streak in franchise history. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt holds the all time mark with a 56 game streak in 1981 82.

Phillies right hander Jake Arrieta 3 1 3.15 ERA faces Mets left hander Steven Matz 1 3, 4.23 ERA in the first of a three game series beginning tonight at Citizens Bank Park

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It’s no secret that the Blue Jays’ starting pitchers have had their fair share of struggles so far this season. While a struggling starting five is a problem by itself, it’s negative impact is compounded when you consider the effect that short outings have on the workload of the pitchers in the pen.
The Blue Jays bullpen has been excellent this season. The unlikely group of hurlers has been fantastic at holding leads and shutting down opposing offenses. Despite having a few blown saves http://www.jaysfanaticsjersey.com/michael-saunders-jersey-c-25.html, the pen as a whole has been undoubtedly terrific.

One thing that hasn’t been so terrific about the pen is the number of innings they’ve pitched. With the starting five going an average of 5.2 innings per start, it’s not difficult to see how this could potentially become a problem as the season progresses. Keegan Matheson of Baseball Toronto crunched the numbers and found something quite alarming.

Matheson notes that through the first 37 games of the season, Blue Jays relievers Tyler Clippard, Ryan Tepera and Seung hwan Oh are on pace for 88, 83 and 74 appearances respectively. Clippard’s career high is 75 2014 with WSN , Tepera’s is 73 2017 , and Oh’s is 76 2016 with STL . Additionally, John Axford is on pace for 70 appearances. His career high is 75, which came during the 2012 season. During that season, he closed for the Brewers, pitching 69.1 innings.

It’s less than ideal that the veterans like Clippard and Axford are projected to approach their career highs in appearances. Given their age and the known volatility of right handed relievers, overworking them could either injure them or cause them to start to scuffle. In the dog days of the summer, it’s especially important to conserve arms as best you can http://www.jaysfanaticsjersey.com/brett-cecil-jersey-c-2.html, with relievers being perhaps the most important.
With closer Roberto Osuna on the shelf for an indefinite period of time, the above pitchers become even more important to the team’s success. John Gibbons has noted that Oh, Clippard and Axford will share closing duties in Osuna’s absence. Closing games will only increase their game totals.

To be fair, Clippard and Axford who are the most concerning , have been outstanding through the first month and a half. Clippard 4 0, 1.40 ERA has pitched 19.1 frames, while Axford 0 0 http://www.jaysfanaticsjersey.com/joe-biagini-jersey-c-1.html, 1.47 ERA has thrown 18.1 innings. The two have formidably eaten up innings late in the game, and have shown signs of keeping it up.

When it’s all said and done Matt Dominguez Jersey, the Blue Jays truly need a long man out of the pen. Whether it’s Joe Biagini, Jake Petricka or Ryan Borucki, they need one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s internal or external, this team needs to find someone to eat up innings during a blowout, and mop up frames when they’re behind.

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o matter how optimistic you might be, it’s hard to look at the Houston Astros’ lineup and rotation and see the A’s challenging for the AL West crown in 2018. The wild card, though, is a different story.

Already the A’s have shown signs of being a .500 team, they have gone toe to toe with the Yankees at Yankee Stadium two days in a row, and if you are a .500 team you are a hot streak, or a key player emerging, from maybe being an 85 87 win team. 85 87 win teams have won wild card spots — most recently, in 2017 the Minnesota Twins rode 85 wins to the one game playoff.

So here are the A’s, possibly an “81 win team give or take 6 games,” and isn’t that enough to give them at least a shot at the post season? And there’s the rub this isn’t like most seasons across MLB.

2018 is shaping up to be the year of the extreme “haves” and “have nots” with at least 3 super teams in the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros who I am assuming, correctly or incorrectly, will eventually pull away from the pack , and more notably some truly bad to awful teams in the Orioles, Royals, White Sox http://www.athleticsfanaticsjersey.com/sean-doolittle-jersey-c-2.html, and Rangers, possibly soon to be joined in the bottom feeding standings by the likes of the Tigers and Rays.

What are the implications on the wild card race? For one, it is almost a given that the first wild card is going to be either the Red Sox or the Yankees, whichever team falls short of winning the division. It is quite possible that both teams will win 95 games http://www.athleticsfanaticsjersey.com/ryan-dull-jersey-c-3.html, setting the bar for the first wild card at 95 wins.

That leaves only one spot for the “pretty good teams” to fight each other over hoping to secure the second wild card. In the Angels and Mariners, as well as quite possibly the Blue Jays, you have teams that while second tier to Houston http://www.athleticsfanaticsjersey.com/john-axford-jersey-c-1.html, New York, and Boston, are in their own right very solid clubs. It seems highly unlikely that the best of those teams is going to win only 85 87 games. More likely Chris Coghlan Jersey, this year the bar for the second wild card is going to be more like 90 92 wins.

A “.500 ish team right now” can certainly hope to win 85 87 games by year’s end, perhaps with an infusion of talent somewhere and/or a few breaks along the way. But jump all the way to 90 wins? That becomes a tall order.


Now there is one avenue, especially considering that arguably the best teams likely to be in the wild card picture reside in the A’s division the Angels and Mariners. If Oakland were to play especially well within the division, knocking off the Angels and Mariners along the way in a series of “two game swing” victories, perhaps the A’s could boost their own record while at the same time bringing down the very teams with which they are competing.

So far so bad on that, to put it mildly. The A’s are just 9 17 against the AL West, including a 4 9 record against the Angels and Mariners combined. Oopsies. That’s a lot of 2 game swings the wrong way — but the A’s do have 25 more cracks at these two teams going forward. Perhaps it’s not just that the A’s need to get hot at some point this summer; it may be that they need to do it at just the right times.

In any event, while you might be wise to take the “under” on 82 A’s wins, there are realistic scenarios where the team takes one important step forward to become a legitimate over .500 team. The problem, as I see it, is that it may be more likely the A’s win 87 games than it is that 87 wins will get you anything better than a comfy seat in front of the TV set.

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