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Golden Sombrero: J.D. Martinez (4/16/2012)

Date: April 16, 2012 vs. Washington Nationals

Top 1: J.D. Martinez struck out swinging against Stephen Strasburg (5 pitches)

Top 4: Martinez struck out swinging against Strasburg (3 pitches)

Top 6: Martinez walked against Strasburg (9 pitches)

Top 7: Martinez struck out swinging against Ryan Mattheus (4 pitches)

Top 9: Martinez struck out swinging against Henry Rodriguez (3 pitches)

Final Line: 0-for-4, 4 K, BB

RE24: -0.545

WPA: 0.001

Notes: I don’t know how, but Martinez finished the game with a non-negative WPA. I feel as though golden sombreros at the hands of the Nationals may be a common theme this season.

2012 Total Sombreros: 6

Golden Sombrero: Mike Stanton (again)

Top 1: Mike Stanton struck out swinging against Stephen Strasburg

Top 3: struck out swinging against Strasburg

Top 6: grounded out to shortstop against Strasburg

Top 9: struck out swinging against Drew Storen

Top 11: struck out swinging against Collin Balester

Top 13: doubled to left field against Balester

Final Line: 1-for-6, 2B, RBI, 4 K

Notes: Stanton’s golden sombrero on Saturday against the Washington Nationals was his second of the season.  Two of his four strikeouts came against Strasburg, who only struck out three over six innings.  With a chance for platinum in the 13th inning, Stanton picked up his first hit of the game with a two-out, RBI-double that gave the Marlins a 4-1 lead.

Total 2011 Sombreros: 117

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/7/11

–  As a former student of the University of Nevada, I saw my fair share of drugged out women of the night.  Watching CJ Wilson last night brought back memories.  His cutter and curve were as nasty as the workers of Reno’s 4th street corners.

–  Speaking of the Rangers, who put firecrackers inside David Murphy?  Homeboy is blowing up right now; making the Rangers say “Nelson who?”

–  I really have to wonder what is in those cigs that Jim Leyland smokes.  Detroit has pulled away from the rest of the division by going 15-4 since August 19th.

–  Erik Bedard has been scratched from his next start…well of course he has, he is Erik Bedard.

–  Jordan Pacheco made it onto Baseball Tonight last night as part of the Rockies highlight.  Big ups to the kid who is a fellow New Mexican.  He was part of the La Cueva High School (Abq, NM) Bears baseball team that held the national record for consecutive wins.

–  Did anybody else realize that since June 18th, the Vanimal, Vance Worley, has made 14 starts, and the Phillies have won every single one of them?  I hadn’t realized that either.  Impressive.

–  And I don’t care who you are, watching Stephen Strasburg pitch last night was fantastic.  And to think it was a mere 12 months and 3 days since he was cut on.  Mind-blowing to think about.

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 9/2/11

-       Stephen Strasburg’s final rehab start has come and gone.  He again looked supreme in comparison to the hitters he faced.  He even appears to have more of a mental edge after recovering from Tommy John.  Watching the way he carried himself, and the mound presence he exuded, gave me goose bumps.  MLB hitters be wary.  Strasburg is about to eat your soul.

–       Had a conversation with a friend last night and discussed what it was like to face Matthew Moore as a senior in high school.  My friend faced him twice that year and said he went from being “…Unreal the first time I faced him…to absolutely unhittable the next time I faced him.”  I can’t wait to see how Moore does with the Rays.

–       Tim Lincecum has finally reached stardom- sort of.  He has his own t-shirt.  The sillohette is pretty good, including the fantastic job they did with his hair.  However, $38 for a t-shirt is stupid.

–       Anybody who says the power/speed guy is history has no idea what they are talking about.  The 20/20 guy is alive and well in major league baseball.  There are currently seven players who have already reached this mark with more than 15 others who are a mere five HR’s or SB’s shy of reaching the milestone.

–       It’s no wonder the White Sox are struggling the way they are.  They are rostering three of the most detrimental players in the game.  Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Juan Pierre have all posted negative fWAR’s so far this season.  Adam Dunn at -2.6, Rios at -1.2, and Pierre at -0.1.   Good luck getting that extension Ozzie Guillen.

–       Goodbye Carlos Zambrano.  The Cubs have said he will not pitch again this season- yet they will still pay him.  Sounds like a cushy job.  Until you realize that we won’t be seeing anything like this again this season.

Changeups and Screwballs: A Southpaw’s Perspective for 8/29/11

-       Sure, the Yankees are one of, if not the most storied franchise in baseball.  They have a history of being larger than life, no doubt.  However, do they really believe that they are in a position to complain about rescheduling a couple games due to a freaking hurricane?  Forget being happy about the fact that they were not the ones trying to gather the pieces of their lives and put them back together.  Forget the fact that the payroll of that organization could provide a lending hand and still turn a profit of a billion dollars.  Nope, they want to complain about rescheduling baseball games.  Go be the whales you are NY, and blow it out your hole.

–       Congrats to the kids from Cali.  They took home the LLWS title in a most dramatic, walk-off fashion over the weekend.  The only way this game could have been better would have been if the SS from Japan had not booted the opportunity to turn two the batter before, and the game went to extras for a walk off victory.  I feel for the little guy.

–       It might just be that I am a former Tommy John victim, but following Stephen Strasburg’s Phoenix-like rise from the ashes of an operating table is remarkable.  The fact that he will return to the Nationals around September 6th is downright absurd.  Man, am I glad to say I saw him pitch live once in my lifetime.  An arm like that is once in a lifetime folks.  I suggest you watch it every chance you get.

–       Jamie Moyer is still rehabbing from his own Tommy John surgery and believes he will be ready and able to pitch again in the bigs next season.  The dude turns 49 in just a few months.  Good luck, partner.  I am definitely in your corner.

–       I can’t wait to see the Moneyball movie next month.  I only hope that Hollywood does not ruin it for me.  I also am afraid that the average person who goes to that movie will not be able to truly understand, or appreciate what that story is about.  It forever changed the way that not only baseball, but all sports, are viewed, played, and managed from the front office on down.

–       I am not sure what is happening at The Ballpark in Arlington, but this is starting to become downright ridiculous.

–       Go Astros!  We were able to win in extra innings last night, despite the fact that we are basically a Triple-A team right now.  Wandy Rodriguez on the bump tonight (a fellow southpaw), and I expect him to record 8 K’s against the Pirates.