Jose Berrios was fantastic again Wednesday night, shutting out the Indians over seven innings. Unfortunately for him, Carlos Carrasco was equally superb, and both left after seven with a 0-0 tie. In fact, the game remained scoreless until the 14th inning, when both Edwin Encarnacion and Miguel Sano hit solo shots for their respective teams. The game was still going at the time of this writing, in the
15th 16th inning. Berrios allowed three hits and no walks, and now has a 1.63 ERA, 0.58 WHIP and an eye-popping 29:1 K:BB ratio over 27.2 innings.
In the latest installment of Recency Bias Theater, I posed the following question:
Corbin’s outing last night and overall start to the season was the lead story in my blog last night, and I figured it would still be pretty fresh in everyone’s minds. With that in mind, I thought the comparison was pretty close, and the vote, such as it was, would be pretty close. Insert Ron Howard’s Arrested Development narrator voice: “It wasn’t close.” In my informal, non-poll question, Berrios won overwhelmingly, 23-to-5.
In Berrios’ favor, he was the higher-rated starting pitcher to begin the season, by a pretty wide margin. In the 15-team NFBC Main Event leagues, Berrios’s ADP was 98.71, while it was 218.85 for Corbin. Corbin has had his moments before (2013 in particular, before his TJS, was strong), but Berrios was the better pitcher last year. He’s younger – which meant that he was still considered a work in progress last year, and thus had/has a higher ceiling. Where would you draft Berrios if you were doing an in-season draft? Would he be solidly among the second-tier starters (Carrasco, Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, etc…), or on the next group below? I think I’d slot him in right after the top-10, ending with deGrom.
Here’s a few other items that caught my eye on Wednesday:
- Yoan Moncada has had two pretty huge days in a row, after a bumpy start to the season. As Hans Gruber might say, “… you want miracles? I give you the Oakland A’s.” But it’s too simplistic to just credit the A’s wretched pitching staff for Moncada – he’s always been a high pedigree prospect, and there’s going to be these sorts of bust-out days. It’s the day-to-day consistency that’s lacking with him, and with that the batting average will suffer. But I feel pretty strongly that he’s going to be great one day, and that the White Sox are going to have a collection of excellent young hitters peaking at or around the same time. It’s just going to be a question of whether they can develop the starting pitching to go with it for their version of “The Process” to work.
- I was among those alarmed by Robbie Ray’s velocity drop and recent results. He carried a 5.74 ERA and his average fastball was two mph slower in his first three outings than it was last season. So Wednesday’s outing against the Giants allayed my fears somewhat:
- Freddie Freeman left Wednesday’s game late after getting hit on the left hand/wrist in nearly the same spot that he did last year, when he had to miss 44 games. He didn’t even bother trying to stay in the game this time, instead going straight to the clubhouse. No bueno.
- I’m officially treating the Red Sox with my starting pitchers as I would a Coors Field game – especially when weather is not an issue. I made the mistake of having Tyler Skaggs active in the RotoWire Staff Keeper league this week – that’s straight-up malpractice, and I feel great shame. I’m even nervous starting my aces against them, but aces being aces, I’ll go forward. But absent having a pitcher in the top two tiers, it’s time for them to be automatically benched when the Red Sox are on the schedule.
- In today’s bit of media criticism, I was watching the ESPN broadcast of the Twins-Indians game, when Karl Ravech tried to make the case for the extra-innings rule currently being implemented in the minors. He tried to appeal to the hypothetical ‘young person’ that wants more action, and otherwise might turn away from the game if it lasted too long. Logically, that just doesn’t make sense. Think about it. If this hypothetical young person has made it through 2.5 hours of a close baseball game, let’s presume that he or she has been actually enjoying the experience! Why else would they watch in the first place? Do you really think that they’re going to be turned off by a close game, and more of it? Who are you really appealing to? Conversely, the hypothetical “casual fan” that has the attention span of a moth drawn to a light – do you really think that they’re going to start watching more simply because the game has been gimmicked up to end sooner? They don’t even like the game that much to begin with (at least in this hypothetical)!
Baseball is an awesome game with an avid fanbase. I really wish that those powers that be would stop trying to make it something it isn’t, in an attempt to capture an elusive market share of the younger, casual fan. If they’re going to watch, they’re going to watch anyhow. Stop trying to make MLB into the NFL or NBA. Let’s appreciate each game because of their differences.
While we’re at it – who really is getting served by these attempts to shorten the game, and give us less of what we love? Those that are punching the clock (broadcasters and writers), and rights holders, who can only sell so much inventory before they have diminishing returns.
Am I wrong about this? Let me know, or share any other feedback that you might have, at my Twitter account.
What else caught your eye with Wednesday’s games?
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