A Country Breakfast Past Midnight Decides the Gentleman’s Cup Game

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This week five Gentleman’s Game Cup series was decided by two ‘great’ calls by Swindaman3: the stones to use Clay Buchholz, who delivered 36.2 points with 11 strikeouts in Seattle; and a contrarian play of Billy Butler in a game that got wild late out in Oakland.

Diamondhoggers led the contest almost the entire way until when it mattered, aided by 26 points from Gerardo Parra and 30 points from two-homer Ryan Braun.

Who would know that a late-night base hit by Country Breakfast that didn’t even make Sportcenter could decide such high drama.

Four of the five contestants used Clayton Kershaw who scored 28.8 points.

 

Yearly Standings:
Diamondhoggers – 23 points
DStars45 – 19 points
t3bird04 – 17 Points
Swindaman3 – 17 Points
Jsquad34 – 13 Points

Here’s a copy of the winning lineup that got the job done for Swindaman3:

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The Gentleman’s Cup Series is heating up with the weather. Things are getting tight in the middle and Diamondhoggers is beginning to distance themselves from the likes of JSquad34. But we have an entire summer of Gentleman Fun to decide the victor.

Will a late-night Country Breakfast give someone a gallstone attack next weekend? Will anyone have the audacity to use Clay Buchholz once again? Will Pete Kozma ever make an appearance in the Gents cocktail party?

You must all stay tuned to find out.

Bryce Harper makes Petco Park Play Small

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[Box Score]

On the night that the Washington Nationals caught the New York Mets in the win column, Bryce Harper wrestled away the National League lead in home runs from Todd Frazier. He homered off a guy who isn’t famous enough to have a post tag on this blog named Shawn Kelley. Kelley was just trying to mop-up for Odrisamer Despaigne and Harper caught an off-speed pitch for his 13th home run of the 2015 season.

Harper also singled twice and walked. His current slash line sits at .317/.460/.690, which is Barry Bondsian. If he manages to stay healthy, he’s going to put together a special season for everyone that has been so patiently or impatiently waiting on it.

Poor Giancarlo Stanton

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Note to the Marlins – when Giancarlo Stanton homers; especially twice – you should win more often than you lose.

The Marlins dropped another one tonight. The headlines are all about Stanton’s 474-foot blast that landed in the camera well in center field; another rarely-reached spot in a park that he’s touched now with a baseball. That blast tied the game at 3-3.

Earlier in the game, he hit a blast off Julio Teheran to tie the game at 2-2.

It has to be frustrating playing for a 16-20 team that has floundered and underachieved all season. Stanton leads the National League in RBI but the Fish refuse to gel. After a while it just wears on a guy, no matter how many times he makes the SportsCenter Top 10 with his titanic video-game blasts.

That makes ten home runs on the season now for Stanton. He’s probably going to keep doing it too. He has 25 home runs of 450 feet or more since 2010. That’s ten more than any other player in baseball in that span of time.

A Wrigley Start to a Weekend

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There is no better way to start the weekend than a matinee game at Wrigley Field. Sometimes when the Pirates and Cubbies lock horns, wild things happen. And today, the Cubbies Cubbie’d the shit out of things.

It certainly seemed like a given that Kris Bryant would get one off Jeff Locke today. And get one he did. His home run to left field was the talk of the afternoon, and this was a game that featured a lot of fireworks.

In this game:

  • Anthony Rizzo, Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, and Josh Harrison all also homered.
  • Jorge Soler had FOUR walks.
  • Gregory Polanco had four walks.
  • Matt Szcur had three RBI, and Francisco Cervelli had four.
  • Edwin Jackson was the pitcher of record in relief.

In the end, the Cubs prevailed 11-10 in 12 innings. It happened when Gregory Polanco tripped on a routine fly ball. A wild ending to a wild one.

Michael Taylor’s Grand Slam steals another series for the Nationals

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[Nationals 9, DBacks 6]

Since one of the first times we saw Michael Taylor, we liked the looks of him as a ballplayer. The kid looks like a nice athlete, smooth gliding speed and some thunder in his bat.

He was only in the game yesterday because Bryce Harper got ejected. Harper doubled and stole his first bag of the year before getting tossed.

But it was Michael Taylor who saved my bet, saved the Nationals, and took a piece of Addison Reed he can never have back.

Alright, so I’ve decided after seeing a good bit of Michael Taylor; he reminds me a little bit of Reggie Sanders. I really think this is a great comp, and I think it’s fair to say because I saw a TON of 1992 to 1998 Reggie Sanders. I am proud of my comp.

I don’t know where, and I don’t know how, but there will be a spot somewhere in the big leagues playing every day for a guy like Michael Taylor.

Does Troy Tulowitzki want out of Colorado?

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Of course if you’re following your baseball news like a good scholar, you heard that Troy Tulowitzki will meet with the team with his agent present tomorrow to explore possibilities of his exit plan from Colorado. He has six years remaining and over $100 million dollars on his current contract from an extension signed in 2010. Unless the Rockies can talk the shortstop down from the ledge, it sounds like it could end badly.

I thought it may be more smoke than anything until I heard Peter Gammons on MLB Network after work tonight. I’m paraphrasing a bit here:

I talked to Troy Tulowitzki in the offseason and he mentioned in the thin Colorado air how hard it is to recover; how hard it is to keep your body healthy and get your career back on track. I would like to see him go to St. Louis and I think he would like to come to a situation where he goes elsewhere.

Hey now, Petey has never really blown smoke. When he reports something like that, the conversation was had and it’s pretty much the gospel. He also mentioned things like Mike Hampton needing an oxygen chamber for recovery in between starts.

This is the first I’ve heard of players complaining of of not being able to recover while playing in Denver, but as you think about it; it may hold some levity.

Coors Field is just a major pain in the ass in general. Sure, it’s fun with all the offense and such; I like high-scoring games as much as the next guy. But the bottom line is this franchise will have trouble ever building much of anything long-term. You’ll never get a pitcher to come there via free agency, you’ll never be able to construct any type of pitching staff, and now guys are saying they can’t recover from injuries due to the altitude.

I am glad I wasn’t born into being a Rockies fan. Oh, and by the way they’re in the midst of a ten game losing streak.

Reds win, Going nowhere fast

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I see you Raisel Iglesias – throwing eight innings of one-run baseball to get the Reds back to .500 on the season with a 5-1 win in the Queen City.

The fact of the matter is; I thought that Craig Calcaterra summed it up perfectly with his post about last night’s Reds game.

The Reds are simply stuck in the mud, and outside of a few really nice positives (Todd Frazier is great, Votto is back, Leake, Cueto, Iglesias and of course Aroldis) there are some really depressing aspects of the Cincinnati Reds and they’re going to ‘one up, one down’ us all year at best.

Just as I thought to myself last night that Brandon Phillips has been playing awfully well and doing it quietly, he’s down with a turf toe. Jay Bruce went 0 for 4 again, and he’s down to .167 for the year. This is one of the most pitiful seasons I’ve ever seen a player have. It is sad to acknowledge. Billy Hamilton collected a couple hits, and yet he’s floundering at .211 in his own right.

The Reds just aren’t entertaining. They’re not even good enough to ‘tease’. They are the antithesis of mediocre.

Corey KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKluber

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Lordy. Where the Hell did that come from?

Corey Kluber had a historic performance today at Progressive Field, hanging 18 strikeouts on the team with the best record in baseball. He predictably whiffed Mark Reynolds three times in three at-bats. Two first-inning runs were all the Indians needed to coast to a 2-0 win.

Maybe, just maybe this is the game that gets the Tribe going a little bit. And suddenly that little feat of 16 or more strikeouts and zero walks by a pitcher that we mentioned a few days ago has occurred twice within a week.

Baseball can be weird. Very weird.

Bryce Harper adds an Arizona Rubby to his gemstone collection (Home Run no. 12)

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[Box Score]

I think Rubby De La Rosa is a nice little arm, to be honest. I am probably in the minority; but he’s caught my eye. Bryce Harper is so torrid right now, he hits a pitcher’s pitch out of that great run-scoring environment by simply putting barrel to ball.

Now we warn you before watching, this is not your typical, beautiful Harper swing. He’s just insanely locked in. And this ball is getting out in that good humidity out there in Scottsdale.

At the end of the day, the Nationals lost the game 14-6 and things got out of hand because Stephen Strasburg has not yet tapped into his vast potential. But let it be written that Bryce Harper recorded his 67th career home run and 12th of the 2015 season off a pretty good young arm in Rubby De La Rosa.

Giancarlo Stanton hit one out of Dodger Stadium and into the San Gabriel Mountains last night

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[Box Score]

Something about Los Angeles, Chavez Ravine, The Dodgers, everything out there in California has a real mystique and magic about it. It’s my number one bucket list place on earth.

Last night, Giancarlo Stanton added to the legend that we consider the grandest lady of them all.

The Marlins are such a strange group right now. This was the only run they scored. They lost once again. But you can count on Giancarlo Stanton just going out and giving a phenomenal effort despite where the Marlins are in the standings. A true warrior who will not rest until they’re atop the mountain.

On Tuesday evening, Mike Bolsinger provided the kerosene for a legendary Stanton bomb.

Happy Noah Syndergaard Day!

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Today, Noah Syndergaard makes his big league debut at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. What a magical occasion that’s going to be. As we like to do with all heralded prospects coming out of the minors on their debut-day, we provide you with the scouting report from Baseball Prospectus on Syndergaard:

Syndergaard’s best pitch is his fastball, a mid-90s offering that will get up to 98 with some life. He’s not just a hard thrower, as the young Texan has two above-average offerings to keep hitters off his plus-plus heater. The best of these is his change; it’s a pitch that offers excellent deception from both a velocity difference (typically in the high 70s as compared to the 94-96 mph fastball) and his ability to keep that difference without losing much arm speed. His curveball—a well below-average offering when Syndergaard first entered the big leagues—now flashes plus with hard spin and some depth, and he can either bury the pitch out of the zone or throw it for strikes. It’s the least consistent of the three offerings, and there are times when he’ll “overthrow” the pitch and it will end up in the middle of the zone.

And while the stuff alone makes Syndergaard an upper-echelon pitching prospect, what makes him one of the best in baseball is his ability to throw all three of his pitches for strikes. There isn’t much effort to his delivery, which allows him to repeat it on a consistent basis, and though the command isn’t Pedro-esque by any stretch of the imagination, he’s generally within the margin of error and does a good job keeping the ball below the belt.

You hope Syndergaard can avoid the arm troubles that seemingly all young pitchers encounter in present day baseball. Hopefully he has a couple years where he’s successful, exciting to watch, and just stays healthy. We’re excited to see what he can do at Wrigley and for the rest of the season.

Kris Bryant’s First Big League Home Run

We won’t document every Kris Bryant home run here like we do for say; Bryce Harper. But we’ll definitely run the big ones. And the first one of his career the other day off Kyle Lohse was definitely a milestone.

Who knows how many more he has in his bat before the final chapter is written. It would not shock us one bit if he’s a sub-400 home run guy by the end of his career. The guy he’s most commonly compared to is Troy Glaus, who ended up with 320 in his career. That would be a pretty remarkable career.

Baseball