Three home runs were hit by three improbable players during last week's action.
Sometimes there is no obvious story. Sometimes there is just the beauty of the thing. Baseball's limitless capacity to surprise keeps those of us afflicted with fandom enthralled. This past week alone bore witness to three unexpected home runs, among other things. Such are the moments that define any given game, season, or lifetime of watching baseball.
Monday, April 30: Ransom vs. Buehrle
In the second inning of a scoreless game at Miami, the Diamondbacks' Cody Ransom stepped to the plate against Mark Buehrle. With Paul Goldschmidt on second and Gerardo Parra on deck, Ransom got ahead in the count, 3-0. Buehrle then grooved an 85 mph two-seam fastball down the middle, and Ransom drove it over the 386-foot sign in left-center for his second home run of the year.
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In the wake of the Matt Moore extension, revisit Nate's discussion of the perils of counting on pitching prospects and his remarks on the most promising southpaws.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Last week, the Rays signed young lefty Matt Moore to an extension that should prove to be team-friendly if he stays healthy, but as Nate discussed in an article which originally ran as a "Lies, Damned Lies" column on April 12, 2007, it's never safe to assume that a young pitcher's arm will remain intact.
Pegging who will win and why in a great matchup between two teams tweaking their rosters to go after one another.
When the Division Series matchups came together, it seemed relatively simple to divine the issues that would determine each series. Looking to the League Championship Series, though, the narratives aren't nearly so clear. These teams are pretty evenly matched, were the first and second seeds in their leagues and went a combined 12-1 in the first round. This is probably the strongest final four we've seen in some time, and the only thing that would be a surprise is if we didn't have long series.
Kevin ranks the top fifteen lefty starters in the minors, featuring a few Dodgers and a prize from the Jim Thome trade.
Left-handed pitchers are always at a premium, and the reasons
are obvious. While studies vary, it's generally accepted that 10-15% of the
population is left-handed, yet in any one year 25-30% of the pitching
population is southpaw. This means lefthanders have more than twice the
chance to make it to the big leagues as a pitcher than righties, so parents:
start tying that right hand behind your child's back as soon as possible. This also explains why it's hard to find lefthanders with the same stuff as the top
righthanders, as we are selecting more from a much smaller pool. So in
summary, righthanders are generally better pitchers than lefthanders, but a
good lefty is more valuable. OK, enough of that, onto the sinistras.