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2011 MLB Season

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May 13, 2011 12:07:55 PM

At Dave's suggestion, I figured I'd start a separate thread for the MLB season, as the other thread turned into a NBA discussion of sorts.

My Cubs have been stinking up the joint...big shocker. Just like years past they cannot seem to come through and score runs when they have the chance. You know things aren't pretty when the Pirates are ahead of you in the central.

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May 14, 2011 1:19:01 AM

buwish said:
At Dave's suggestion, I figured I'd start a separate thread for the MLB season, as the other thread turned into a NBA discussion of sorts.

My Cubs have been stinking up the joint...big shocker. Just like years past they cannot seem to come through and score runs when they have the chance. You know things aren't pretty when the Pirates are ahead of you in the central.


Yes I used to be a Pirates fan a long time ago. Went to games at Forbes Field and Three Rivers before I moved to DFW. I saw the greatness of Clemente, Billy Maz, and Willie Stargell. It is a shame these days what that franchise has become. These days I am a Texas Rangers fan but they are also having a tough time so far this year. Thanks Kevin,
Dave
May 14, 2011 2:10:30 AM

Yes, the Rangers are having a bit of a tough start to the season. In comparison to last year their pitching is lacking to say the least, not to mention the fact that Hamilton is out.
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May 14, 2011 4:15:30 PM

How about Verlander and his 14 consecutive innings of no hit pitching? Heck of an accomplishment. To me Verlander is a prototypical Nolan Ryan of the modern age- filthy stuff, especially a wicked curve and of course, a wicked fastball that easily hits 100mph + a few times a game. I believe that his fastball averages like 97.1mph or something like- not the hardest thrower in the game, but the most consistent. He's no Chapman for the Red's though, i.e. the guy who was clocked at 105.1mph last year.

I love flame throwers.
May 17, 2011 12:29:34 AM

I also love the fastball. Nolan Ryan was known for his fastball and strikeouts and no hitters. Man that Chapman speed is off the charts. I think I will get back into baseball once the NBA playoffs are completed.
Dave
May 17, 2011 5:44:35 AM

It's the only thing left- may as well!

I saw that Chapman is on the DL with shoulder inflammation. That's the trouble with flame throws- you never know if they'll hold up or not.
May 17, 2011 4:20:31 PM

Verlander fan too. That no-no was a great one. I read somewhere that his curveball spins at 3000 RPMs, so it's ridiculously difficult to tell it's a curveball (can't see the seams).

Love having him in Detroit. Hoping the Tigers can keep playing decent ball and catch the Indians. Who would have thought Cleveland would be leading the division?
May 17, 2011 5:32:03 PM

Indeed. Cleavland has been the surprise of the league. Not to mention, KC as well. I guess it's only a matter of time before they were due for a good season.
May 17, 2011 6:50:40 PM

I have to agree about KC...I thought for sure they had the tools in place to be better for a few seasons now, but just couldn't put it together. They can't be rebuilding forever, can they?
May 17, 2011 9:20:09 PM

I thought that they were throwing the towel in when they got rid of Greinke, but I've been proven wrong. Even if they don't win the division it would be nice to see them finish around .500 or a bit over.
May 20, 2011 11:58:15 PM

The Rangers started 9 and 1 out of the gate. They have come back to earth with a real issue in their bullpen. I will start paying more attention after the NBA playoffs.
Dave
May 21, 2011 8:46:16 PM

We'll have to see if the Rangers make any trades in the coming months to shore up the bullpen.
May 22, 2011 5:37:55 AM

It's been an interesting Cubs vs. Red Sox series thus far. Actually, it's been rather exciting, especially seeing that the Cubs haven't played in Fenway in 93 years. The first game was a blowout for Boston, while tonight's game was a blowout for the Cubs. It was also nice to see a little fire from both sides, i.e. a little beam ball action. However, I'm not a fan of hitting someone in the head like what happened to Byrd, even though it was unintentional. I guess if you're going to throw at someone, do it like Zambrano did by plunking Youk in the rear end.
May 23, 2011 5:15:25 PM

I agree about the Cubs at Fenway...it's crazy it's been that long. It' already been an interesting season.
May 23, 2011 9:29:52 PM

You would have figured that at some point in the past 14 years of interleague play that there would have been more Cubs vs. Red Sox at both parks just for the simple fact that it would be a huge money maker. It would've been more interesting than the Cubs playing the stinkin' White Sox or Boston playing Philly.
May 24, 2011 4:58:02 AM

I'm a huge Tigers fan. Have to say that Verlander has the strongest arm in the MLB in my opinion. I've never seen anyone that can hit that kind of MPH that late in the game. That being said, I feel he's not at the elite level. He has a tendency to get roughed up early, and get high pitch counts. With his kind of stuff, he should be able to strike out guys with less pitches.
May 24, 2011 7:00:09 PM

I'll agree about Verlander. When he's on, he's ridiculous to touch, but too often he seems to be just off his game and server some stuff up.

He is still pretty young...here's hoping he keeps improving and can keep it up.

Another one that I am amazed by is Tim Lincecum - a guy that size should not be able to be that good - he's got nearly perfect mechanics. Simply amazing.
May 24, 2011 10:33:48 PM

Verlander is 28, so hopefully within the coming seasons he'll figure it out to give him that push to the elite level, i.e. more consistency. Still though, in 7 seasons (including this year) he's 87-55, with 5 double digit win seasons- I'm sure this year will be another double digit win season. But as mentioned above, he does throw a lot of innings, which may get to him eventually.

As they say about Lincecum, he's a freak!
May 24, 2011 11:19:28 PM

I don't put much stock in the win/loss record. A lot of that depends on the offense backing the pitcher.

I've been real impressed with Lincecum so far. Though, he doesn't have a real well built body. I wouldn't be surprised if he has injury problems.

I sign up for at least 4 fantasy baseball teams every year. For most of my teams, I always try building my teams around:
Miguel Cabrera
Mark Teixeira
Matt Holliday
Roy Halladay
Justin Verlander
Felix Hernandez
Josh Johnson

among a few others. There just seems to be few elite players, and these always seem to be among the best at the end of each year. (yes, I know I left out Pujols. I rarely get the 1st pick)
May 25, 2011 1:48:49 AM

If I were a fantasy league man I'd probably go with the same players. In retrospect though, Pujols has had an off year thus far, so you've been lucky by not getting him. I suspect that the contract talks and such are on his mind and he's just not mentally there like he has been in past seasons. I will laugh very hard if the Cubs get him next season, as it would be a rather effective insult to STL.
May 25, 2011 4:36:53 AM

I just don't seem Pujols going anywhere. He knows he's the face of that franchise. There's really no other good options for him to go to. The Phillies, Yankees and Red Sox are set at 1b. The Dodgers and Mets are broke. The Cubs are an option, but have nobody to protect him in the lineup. He won't find protection in any lineup, like he has with Holliday, in St. Louis.

One of my 4 fantasy teams this year, did get Pujols (of course).

Call me a home town slappy, but I think the Tigers have a chance to have one of the most dominant pitching staffs for a long time. They have a guy about to come up, named Andy Oliver. He was a #1 pick, and has been tearing up the minors. Add him to Verlander, Scherzer, and Porcello, and they have 4 top of the rotation type pitchers, all under 30.

Any picks for Division, Pennant, and WS winners?
May 25, 2011 7:50:18 PM

Good to see another Tigers fan. I'll agree with you on the pitching staff. Now if they could just go out there and not waste some of those 2 run games...kills me to watch one of the starters pitch so well and get no run support.

You can't win them all, but if you can put it together most of the time, or at least not blow some great performances, I'll be happy.
May 25, 2011 8:59:54 PM

Yep, I'd really like to see some offensive production come up through their system. I've been excited to see Boesch put up some decent numbers so far, but they need more.

May 27, 2011 1:21:36 AM

I get the gut the feeling that Pujols will stay as well, but there is a little doubt in there yet.

In a previous thread I had picked the winners and such (I believe the NBA thread, which started off as an MLB thread). This is who I picked before the season began:

-AL Division Winners and Wild Card-
East: Yankees
Central: Detroit
West: Angels
Wild Card: White Sox

-NL Division Winners and Wild Card-
East: Phillies
Central: Cardinals
West: Colorado
Wild Card: Milwaukee

Who knows if that will hold up. Things are rather close right now in all of the divisions, save for the AL Central and surprising Indians.
May 27, 2011 5:28:48 AM

I think the Yankees are going to have their hands full with the Red Sox, who started off slow, but are coming on with a vengeance. And I have little doubt that the Indians will fall off. Their team is being infused by a bunch of young talent/role players. Those players usually fade off during a 162 game season. I love the Tigers, but their track record of fading in the 2nd half, and inability to beat their own division is going to be their downfall (unless they make a big deadline move).

AL
East: Boston
Central: White Sox
West: Texas
Wild Card: Yankees

NL
East: Philadelphia
Central: Cardinals
West: Rockies
Wild Card: Reds
May 27, 2011 5:39:27 AM

I'm not sure about the White Sox either. They just do not have it thus far this year. A serious lack of clutch hitting is killing them, not to mention that Dunn isn't panning out as expected. You can't forget about their questionable starting pitching as well.
May 27, 2011 5:59:59 AM

Dunn will hit. He's a proven veteran, still in his prime. It often takes guys a little time to transition from league to league. As good as Miguel Cabrera is, I remember even him having a transition period. Plus, the White Sox just got Jake Peavy back, and he's a solid Ace on that staff.
May 27, 2011 9:39:09 PM

Cabrera is a beast- a definite star. The only thing I worry about with him are his off the field issues, i.e. the domestic violence thing a few years ago and the drinking. If he stays out of trouble off the field, he has a chance to make the hall one day if he keeps his current pace up. There was only one man who could drink like a fish and act like an idiot on and off the field and that was George Herman Ruth.

When Peavy is on he is one of the best in the league, but thanks to injuries, even those prior to the shoulder/lat detachment he hasn't been very consistent. I also worry that with the rare type of injury he suffered that it could pop up again or cause him other issues.

Ugh...I've been listening the Cubs all day on the radio and caught the last inning on TV and needless to say, they have issues with starting pitching and the front end of the bullpen. Doug Davis is pathetic as a starter, plain and simple. These injuries are killing them. If they can get the game to Marshall, Wood, and Marmol, they are usually good to go. Marmol is a closer you do not hear much about, but man does he ever have one of the best sliders I've ever seen.
June 2, 2011 1:57:09 PM

Traveled to Chicago recently to see Wrigley and the Cubs play...it was 30s/40s and raining. The only thing worse than the weather was the team - man...the Cubs starter pitched almost 60 pitches and gave up 7 runs in one inning, I believe.

Rough outing, but a fun place to see a game.
June 2, 2011 3:24:58 PM

:lol:  Poor cubbies.....They waste so much money on bad players.
June 3, 2011 12:07:30 AM

Indeed. I love going to Wrigley. Wrigley and Fenway are by far the best parks in terms of being close to the action. Plus, there is something great about the fact that fans almost a century ago saw the action in the exact same way.

And yes...the Cubs/Hendry tend to throw money at players who don't deserve it. For next season it would be best if they went young and take things from there.
June 3, 2011 2:08:14 PM

I'll agree with that...Fenway was another fun park to see a game. It's loud and feels so close. It reminded me of old Tigers stadium in that sense. Yes, Comerica is a nice place to see a game, but that history and feel can't really be recreated.
June 3, 2011 4:14:18 PM

Give it a hundred years and there will be history there.
June 3, 2011 5:42:27 PM

I heard on the ol' AM radio that the Cubs have the 2nd high ticket prices in the league, while Boston is number 1 in that regard. I haven't gone to a game since the Cubs new ownership took over. I don't have anything against them and I know that they have to make money someway, but when you're 75 miles South of Chicago, it's a pain and expensive to buy gas to go there, the tickets, the food at the park, the beer, etc... I just don't have it in me to spend that kind of money right now. I guess that's why attendance is down for most teams this year- higher ticket prices to compensate for the crap economy.
June 4, 2011 10:45:48 PM

I've been viewing the Cubs-Cardinals game all afternoon (it's 95 degrees out- mowing the grass was enough for me). The Cubs may suck this year, but rivalry games are always best, as both teams seem to play on par with each other. I've noticed that as the season has gone on, Kerry Wood has started to throw better and harder. A few times he hit 97mph, which is always good to see.
June 5, 2011 11:29:43 PM

Pujols burned the Cubs yesterday and today with a walk off homer in extra innings. You have got to be kidding me... Who pitches to him with the game on the line?
June 6, 2011 6:18:15 AM

Well, in all fairness, he's just starting to heat up. He's not been very good this year. I'm glad he's perking up though. One of my fantasy teams appreciate it.

On another good note, the Tigers just bent over the White Sox 2 out of 3. The Tigers have missed the playoffs so many times in recent years, because they can't beat their division. Well, they're sticking it to the Twins, Royals, and now the White Sox (and I detest no other team more than the White Sox).

It's also been a strange start to the season. There are so many good hitters, that just aren't hitting. Some seem to be perking up, but it's odd to see so many struggle, across both leagues.
June 6, 2011 11:30:15 AM

Yes, he has had a slow year by his standards, but still, you have to be aware of the fact that he is Albert Pujols.

Good to hear you detest the White Sox! I do as well. I must admit though that Ozzie Guien is a laugh riot- the media in these parts get a kick out of him anyways. If things keep up it looks like it'll be just the Indians and Tigers going at it. I suspect that the White Sox will fade as the season goes on, while the Twins and Royals shouldn't be a threat in the long run.

June 7, 2011 2:57:40 PM

Ok...not sure if any of you saw the Tigers/Rangers game last night. I was thinking Detroit would have some issues in the heat and worried because they have been streaky and Texas has been good recently (10 of 14 before last night, I believe), but Detroit hammered the ball.

Couldn't believe Boesch was 5-6 with 2 HR and had 5 RBIs, I think. It'd be nice if he was going to get hot again.
June 7, 2011 3:20:40 PM

I watched it, and loved it. I've been a Boesch fan since he came up last year. Scherzer got roughed up a little, but Texas is a great offensive team. So I give him a pass on that.

What I found interesting, is it wasn't really Cabrera doing the damage. It was nice to see others doing some damage.
June 7, 2011 4:57:15 PM

Agreed...if Cabrera has some protection (Boesch and Martinez), then he can have "off" nights, or get some pitches to swing at...I hate watching him get walked (but totally understand doing it).

Looking forward to another good game tonight.
June 7, 2011 9:30:41 PM

Speaking of Detroit, I was impressed by Verlander the other night against the White Sox. I think it was the 8th inning and he struck the last batter out first with 98mph fastball up and in and then a 100mph fastball on the outside corner- just painted it. The man has an amazing arm to be throwing 100mph after 8 innings of work.
June 7, 2011 10:35:57 PM

Flame throwers have always made me nervous (zumaya, matt anderson, frank tanana, etc...), but Verlander is a different type of animal. He's got an amazing arm.
June 8, 2011 2:50:53 AM

Indeed. He doesn't seem like the type who will blow his arm out anytime soon.
June 8, 2011 3:24:06 AM

The Tigers just put up 20 more hits on that Texas pitching, and gave them another good spanking. [:aford10:7]
June 8, 2011 1:57:07 PM

I worry about flamethrowers too...Zumaya in particular. I'm not convinced he'll ever make it back...been injured pretty much every season and for siginificant amounts of time.

I had worried about Verlander, but wonder if he'll be more like Nolan Ryan...able to throw heat late into his career. He sure is fun to watch. He's even excited the days he isn't pitching - looks like he really just enjoys the game.

Yes, the Tigers just kept hammering the ball last night. Not sure what has come over them, but I will not complain. It's fun to watch when they are hitting like that.

Only 1.5 games back now. Anyone else out there you guys are watching?
June 8, 2011 6:26:44 PM

I've noticed with flamethrowers that if they can make it 3-4 years without a significant arm injury, they'll be fine. Yet it's the ones who run into arm injuries early in their careers that seem to have continuous issues, i.e. Zumaya. But the first guy you think of is Strausburg. He has easy gas, i.e. 100mph+ consistently, but his mechanics were flawed/the Nationals may have pushed him too far. The same with Kerry Wood. It's not so much the fastball that kills the elbow, but the sliders and other breaking balls. That's why you never see anyone throwing a screwball anymore.

Luckily, most guys who have Tommy John surgery to replace the UCL in the elbow (I think we have 3 UCL's per arm- wrist, thumb, and elbow) come back stronger and throwing harder. If Strausburg comes back on a decent, slow schedule, he'll be the monster we're all expecting. Hopefully, they'll also fix his mechanics so it doesn't happen again.

Chapman on the other hand, is someone to be very worried about. It's a matter of time before he seriously screws his arm up throwing 100+ with ease, i.e. the 105.1mph last year. He's rehabbing in the minors right now from an arm issue. Still incredible though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3wJ-HgsnCg&feature=rela...
June 9, 2011 12:26:06 PM

Whoa...I didn't see him hit 105. I have got to check that out...that seems ridiculous.

By the way, did anyone else see the article a while back stating that the radar gun is not the only thing they check now? It was saying how some people are deceptively fast based on how far they stride towards home plate before they release. By doing so they reduce the distance, and therefore the time that a player has to see the ball, so their 93 MPH may seem like 96 or 97. Same article talked about curveball rotation and how the faster it rotates, the harder it is to see that it's a curve, since most batters look for the rotation. I think it was Verlander who had 3000+ RPM on this curve, making it nearly impossible to distinguish from a fast ball.
June 9, 2011 3:21:39 PM

Yes, I've heard that before. They say, that's one reason why Randy Johnson was so hard to hit.

The ball doesn't maintain the 95mph speed, or whatever it registers, from hand to home. It will actually lose several MPH because of the threads cutting through the wind, and the distance/wind resistance.

I heard that at one of the baseball camps I was at a few years back. I think it's been on Sports Science too.
June 9, 2011 5:20:12 PM

The link in my last post is of the 105mph fastball. By all accounts the radar gun was spot on.

Yep. I think they clock it a few feet out of the pitcher's hand. However, the harder you throw, it cuts down on a reaction time for the batter, regardless of how much speed the ball has lost over the entire 60ft. I think it's something like 5mph due to drag. In essence, the human eye cannot track and register in the brain a 95mph fastball- to a degree, it's a lot of guessing, hence why it's considered good if you only fail 7 times out of 10.

I've tried the 100mph batting cages on various occasions. I felt proud hitting a few foul balls and that was with a really light bat. I'm sure the more you do it the easier it becomes, but still it's ridiculously hard.

Here's the Sports Science on reaction time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrZVRuK77EE