Notes: In a game where the Red Sox scored 18 runs on 20 hits, Varitek was the only starter without a hit in Game 2 of the double-dip against the Orioles on Monday. As a team, they struck out six times, and ‘Tek accounted for four of them. Although 39-year-old has appeared in only 67 games this season, he’s managed to drop 11 bombs while posting a .205 ISO – his career ISO is .179.
– Justin Verlander is a beast. 12 consecutive starts, and 12 consecutive wins. Not to mention he has now won 24 games this season. But that’s the obvious. Here are a few nifty stats for you sabr-minded folks: Verlander has a WAR of 7.0-still a full 1.1 WAR behind Doc Hallady; Verlander has guys swinging at pitches out of the zone at a whopping rate (33.8%); He is also only throwing pitches in the strike zone 42% of the time while getting hitters to swing and miss at a rate of 10.2%. Dude is filthier than the turds I leave in the toilet after a night of partying.
– Apparently Dmitri Young is ready to play baseball again…I know, I didn’t believe it either. It must be that whole older brother/younger brother rivalry thing. I can’t think of any other reason for a 40-year-old 1B to come out of retirement after four years.
– Being a fantasy nerd, and at the same time absolutely loathing reality television, I am so thankful for Grantland’s GLRTFL. It now gives me a new perspective on watching the hideous programming that my girlfriend prefers.
– Speaking of fantasy, here is a quick rundown of how the Denslow Cup standings are looking heading in to the final week:
Asik and Destroy ——————-139
The Clownpenis. Farts ————-137
So Fresh n So Sheen Sheen ——–118.5
Dingo Teriyaki ———————–113
tits and giggles ———————–100
The Nads ——————————-97
Dingleberry Smoothies ————–90.5
The Blump Cornelius —————–78.5
Capital City Corporate Towls ——-62
Quade Steak Burritos —————–57.5
The Religion of Mike Hunt ———-55
Ardi’s A-holes ————————-44
As you can see there is quite a race for the championship. Fellow writer Barfy is the manager of Clownpenis. The battle for 3rd is a good one too, with my team (Sheen Sheen) hoping to lock down its first podium finish ever. Editor in Chief, Mike (The Nads), is actually losing to his girlfriend Julia (tits and giggles) but has an outside shot of overtaking her.
Notes: While Jaso’s never been one to hit for a high average, he has always had a knack for getting on base – so much so that Joe Maddon has occasionally hit him leadoff. In 2010, Jaso had a breakout year, as he played in 109 games and posted a .341 wOBA and 2.6 fWAR. This season, however, the left-handed hitting catcher has posted a .291 wOBA and 0.4 fWAR over 86 games.
– How bout those Rays? Can they really pull the rabbit out of the hat and clench a playoff berth? I mentioned this earlier as a joke, but the Tampa Bay Rays are about to pull a Houdini.
– But which is more impressive- The Rays surge, or the Boston Red Sox collapse?
– Good old Manny being Manny again…or is it Manny being Kirby now? Either way, at least Manny Ramirez’s legacy was already tarnished, right? Makes this episode just a bit less shocking.
– I am not sure what all the hullaballo was about MLB not allowing the Mets to wear hats that did not meet the “uniform” requirements as written in the rulebook. It is a rule people. And it is not like there were not other ways that the Mets, and every other NFL and MLB team used to show support for all of 9/11. Sure, they could have shown a little leeway, but then they might be setting a precedent that could cause problems somewhere down the unforeseen road.
– Someone asked me to describe teaching 6th graders in a single sentence the other day…and this is what I came up with- “Teaching 6th grade is the equivalent of herding cats.”
– Watching a player begin his decline as a ball player is always difficult. It is even more difficult when said player has never given anyone a reason to hate. That said, it will be interesting to see how Ichiro Suzuki‘s 2012 campaign goes. Is him not reaching 200 hits that big a deal this year? Does it mark the start of his decline? Only time will tell.
– Good luck to Andrew McCutchen while negotiating what hopefully turns out to be a favorable deal with the Pirates. It’s really exciting to see a team like Pittsburgh rising from their grave. It gives Astros fans hope.
– Speaking of the Houston Astros, we currently host 16 rookies on our roster, with 10 of them being pitchers. Yikes. Talk about rebuilding.
Sunday brought the news that the Tampa Bay Rays, who are now just 3.5 games back in the Wild Card after a weekend sweep of the Red Sox, have finally called up their top prospect, LHP Matt Moore. Not only is Moore the best pitching prospect in their loaded system, he’s the consensus (including all of us here at the Sombrero) top pitching prospect in baseball. And with good reason.
The left-hander enjoyed a breakout season in 2010 for High-A Charlotte in the Florida State League. There he posted a 6-11 record with a 3.36 ERA over 144 2/3 innings. He allowed 109 hits and walked just 61 hitters while fanning 208, as he became the first pitcher since Francisco Liriano in 2005 to record a 200-strikeout season.
This season, the 22-year-old went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA and 210 strikeouts across two levels. Ranked as The Golden Sombrero’s No. 31 prospect headed into the season, Moore dominated for Double-A Montgomery, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.20 ERA and 131/28 K/BB ratio over 102 1/3 innings. Shortly before he was promoted to Triple-A Durham, Moore fired a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts against Mobile on June 16.
After the promotion to Triple-A, Moore absolutely dominated, posting a 4-0 record, 1.37 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, and 79/18 K/BB over 52 2/3 innings. He finished the regular season with a ridiculous 210/46 K/BB, as he became the first pitcher in nearly two decades to record back-to-back 200+-strikeout seasons in the Minors.
Moore’s insane talent will now be on full display for baseball fans as the southpaw will be called up before Monday’s game against Baltimore. While he will likely work out of the Rays’ bullpen, especially with Kyle Farnsworth experiencing elbow discomfort, Moore should receive at least one start when the Rays play a double-dip against the Yankees on September 21.
It’s one thing to keep a player in the Minors if you’re out of the playoff race so that his arbitration clock doesn’t start too early. But when every game matters and your harboring a pitcher with video-game stuff in Triple-A, all concerns are thrown out the window. With the promotion, he instantly becomes the Ray’s third-best starter and their best reliever.
This September call-up carries extra significance for our staff, as Dee and Griff are both New Mexico HS alums like Moore and have been tracking his progress since he was drafted in 2007. We are all pumped to watch him continue his ascent to greatness as begins what will surely be an outstanding MLB career. Happy Matt Moore day, Sombrero Nation.