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May 16, 2017

What You Need to Know

When Good Matchups Go Wrong

by Stacey Gotsulias


The Monday Takeaway

One of the best things about baseball is that you can look at the schedule, study the pitching matchups, and think to yourself, “Ooh that could be a good one!” And on paper, the Carlos Carrasco-Chris Archer matchup at Progressive Field seemed like it would be a good one. Archer was looking for his fourth win on the season and Carrasco his fifth, but as we all know you can’t predict this sport we all love to watch and analyze. And sadly, it turned out to be a total dud.

The Rays got on the board first scoring one run off Carrasco in the top of the first, but poor Archer surrendered five runs in the bottom of the frame. He walked three batters and gave up a three-run home run to Lonnie Chisenhall. It wasn’t even that bad of a pitch. It was a 94.4 mph four-seamer that came inside on Chisenhall and he just drove it into the right field seats.

Carrasco started out throwing the ball hard in the first inning, but by the fourth his velocity was down nearly three miles per hour. Carrasco left the game with the Indians' trainer and was diagnosed with a chest injury.

Archer ended up throwing five innings and giving up seven runs on five hits with six walks, six strikeouts, and the home run to Chisenhall.

Andrew Miller finally gave up a run in 2017 on a sac fly off the bat of Logan Morrison. The previous run he gave up was off the bat of David Ross in the World Series. On Monday night, Ross moved on to the finals of Dancing With the Stars. Life is weird, y’all.

Indians skipper Terry Francona pranked Rays manager Kevin Cash during batting practice on Monday.

Poor Cash. That is, as the kids say, savage.

Quick Hits

Yulieski Gurriel of the Astros hit a grand slam off Junichi Tazawa of the Marlins.

This is noteworthy because it is the first time in Astros franchise history that they have hit grand slams in back-to-back games. On Sunday night, Alex Bregman celebrated Derek Jeter Day by wearing no. 2 after his childhood hero and bashing a grand slam off Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Gurriel’s grand slam against the Marlins on Monday was his third home run of the year, and thanks to a 7-2 victory over the Marlins, the Astros improved to a league-leading 27-12.

***

Just as everyone expected, the Braves went into the Rogers Centre and halted Toronto’s six-game winning streak. Freddie Freeman contributed to the victory by belting his 13th home run of the season.

The Braves have played against 10 teams this season—the Astros, Blue Jays, Brewers, Cardinals, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Padres, Phillies, and Pirates—and Freeman has homered against every single one of them. Bartolo Colon earned his second win of the season while Mike Bolsinger took the loss.

***

Oakland has now lost four games in a row and dropped to six games below .500, but they made it a game in the top of the ninth against Seattle. Edwin Diaz walked four batters and the A’s pulled to within one run with the tying run on third, but Tony Zych came in and got Khris Davis to hit into an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 6-5. After intentionally “walking” Yonder Alonso, Adam Rosales was called out on strikes to end the game.

Davis, however, hit his 11th home run of the year to put the A’s on the board in the fourth inning.

***

The Angels homered their way to victory against the White Sox when Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout hit back-to-back jacks in the fifth inning.

Trout has now hit four home runs in four games, which is the longest streak of his career. All four dingers were over 400 feet. His longest of the streak was measured at 431 feet and was hit against Shane Greene of the Tigers on Saturday. It’s the first four-game homer streak for the Angels since May 2012 when Mark Trumbo hit four in a row.

***

The Brewers’ Eric Sogard hit a home run in the 10th inning against the Padres, which gave the Brewers their league-leading 65th round-tripper of the season. They ultimately lost the game on a walk-off home run by Hunter Renfroe in the bottom of the 10th. It was the Padres' 52nd home run of 2017, which places them eighth in the league.

***

The Mets were done in by their bullpen again. This time in Arizona. And the main culprit was reliever Hansel Robles, who gave up doubles to Paul Goldschmidt and Brandon Drury and home runs to Yasmany Tomas and Jeff Mathis. Robles had been lights out for the Mets before they went to Milwaukee this weekend. On Friday night, Robles gave up four runs on four hits, including a three-run home run to Travis Shaw, when he came into the game to relieve Robert Gsellman in what turned into an 11-4 loss.

Defensive Play of the Day

A Godley grab by Zack against the Mets.

What to Watch on Tuesday

Dallas Keuchel is looking for win no. 7 on the year. He shut down the Yankees in his last outing, allowing one run on five hits with nine strikeouts in a 3-2 win, and is looking to do the same to the Marlins. His ERA is 1.69 while is DRA is a minuscule 1.22, and he now has 50 strikeouts this season compared to only 14 free passes. If he wins in Miami, he’ll be the first pitcher in the league to reach the seven-win plateau this season. (7:10 ET)

CC Sabathia is looking to rebound from his last four poor starts. He started off 2017 positively with an ERA of 1.47 after his first three starts, but he has only factored into two decisions in his last four starts, both losses, and his ERA is now a very bloated 5.77 while his DRA is a nightmarish 7.11. The Yankees will face off against the Royals for the first time this season in Kauffman Stadium. (8:15 ET)


Chase DeJong of the Mariners is looking for his first win of the season—he’s 0-3—and he will go up against Andrew Triggs of the A’s, who has already won five games. De Jong will also be attempting to extend the A’s losing streak to five games while Triggs will try to get his team back on track with a win in Seattle. (10:10)

Stacey Gotsulias is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Stacey's other articles. You can contact Stacey by clicking here

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