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(crazy lead nonchalantly in the air, grabs it with my bare hands before posting it) Well, it’s been a hectic day in baseball. The Mets cratered, two historic franchises asked for patience amid slow starts to the season, and hey – would you like to hear about a mystery photo of what appears to be a prophetic iPad? Of course you would. I’m Levi Weaver, here with Ken Rosenthal – welcome to The Windup!
A tyrant underdog could win
On paper, a three-game series in Detroit should have been a cakewalk for the Mets. Instead, it looked like they were trying to step on a real cake, sliding on the icing like a 1980s Nickelodeon show.
After the usually pretty solid Adam Ottavino lost his lead in the eighth inning of Game 1 en route to a 6-5 loss, Max Scherzer came back from suspension and allowed six runs on eight hits in just 3 1/3 sleeves. in Game 2, and Detroit won 8-1.
Eric Haase hit a home run in every game, bringing his total for the season to… two.
Ken brought it up yesterday, but one can’t help but wonder if the multiple doubleheaders are starting to catch up with the Mets. Or in Scherzer’s case, is it time to ask if it’s more than that? After all, he just came back from a 10-game timeout for his use of sticky stuff.
Now they’ll be counting on Justin Verlander to be accurate in his first start as a member of the Mets after a Teres muscle injury cost him the first month of the season.
The two losses dropped the Mets to 16-15 for the season, tied with the Miami Marlins. For more on NL East, here’s Ken.
Ken’s Corner: the Braves keep rolling
While the Mets worry about Max Scherzer and the Phillies worry about the crumbling of their bullpen, the Braves are reacting to their own troubling developments as if they were picking lint out of a sweater.
The Braves’ latest setback came in the third inning on Wednesday, when Kyle Wright left his Miami start with right shoulder pain. The Braves were already leading, 8-3. They then won 14-6. And if Wright needs to be shut down for an extended period with the same issue that forced him to start the season on the injured list, they’ll find something else.
Dylan Dodd, a surprise member of the opening day rotation, was recalled from Triple A early Thursday. Jared Shuster stays at Triple A and Mike Soroka returns to the majors for a rehabilitation mission. None are the equivalent of Wright, who led the majors with 21 wins last season and ranked 21st with a 3.19 ERA. But they could at least be reasonable alternatives.
The Braves, 21-10, lead the Mets and Marlins by five games and the Phillies by 6 1/2 even though they’ve played all season without their closest project, Raisel Iglesias. They lost receiver Travis d’Arnaud to a concussion on April 8 and shortstop Orlando Arcia to a microfracture in his right wrist four days later. And just so no one forgets, they’ve bid farewell in free agency the past two offseasons to first baseman Freddie Freeman and shortstop Dansby Swanson.
It’s like the Braves barely notice him.
Vaughn Grissom works fine in place of Arcia, Swanson’s original replacement. Sean Murphy, acquired from the A’s, plays at a level close to MVP in the absence of Arnaud. The bullpen entered Wednesday ranked sixth in the opposing OPS majors.
Did we mention the Braves roster includes first-time MVP Ronald Acuña Jr., perennial Cy Young contender Max Fried and two of the game’s most enduring stars, first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Austin Riley? The Braves will have their downtime, like all clubs. They just seem better prepared to handle them than most.
Look what I found, look what I found
Until I read Grant Brisbee’s story about a mysterious photo, believed to be of an iPad on a plane in 2015, that exposed 12 potential rule changes for Major League Baseball, I didn’t. had no idea of this baseball tradition. This seems legit, as nine of the rules have been implemented.
Grant, of course, takes a look at those who were not.
It seems the league generally drops the good guys. Moving the bottom of the hitting box up a bit, for example, would just lead to more boring walks and three true outcomes, which seems counterproductive compared to the “more hits, more action” outcomes. of lag prohibition and step clock. Resetting the roster in the ninth inning would be, as Grant describes it, “Calvinball”
But while I’m with Grant in opposing a leniency rule, I have a long-held belief (and I’m firmly on the case here) that managers should give up more in explosive plays. You save your arms from the bullpen, and if you drop more than nine points, you also get your point differential back — forfeits are officially in the record books as a 9-0 loss.
Also, if the goal is to infuriate the opponent and make their wins much less enjoyable, imagine canceling the whole thing in a no-hitter game that you lose by 14 runs?
Either way, you should still read Grant. How else will you be remembered for the time Matt Holliday got a moth stuck in his ear?
Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid (be afraid)
Here’s a phrase that never worked as intended, no matter how many times we as a species keep trying it: “Calm down.”
Neither Cardinals primary owner Bill DeWitt Jr. nor Yankees general manager Brian Cashman used that dreaded phrase this week, but the fact that both answer questions that go back to “Hey, what is this happening?” is a pretty accurate sign of how their respective teams’ seasons are going.
• The Yankees, whom Cashman called a “championship-caliber operation”, showed some life this week, taking two of three from the Guardians, including a win from behind on Wednesday. Willie Calhoun made a questionable big outing from Tanner Bibee by tying it at 3 with a one-out single in the ninth mega-closure for Guardians Emmanuel Clase, then in the 10th (after an Isiah Kiner-Falefa sack bunt), Jose Trevino walked it with just one. (I said you should not count the 2021 Texas Rangers.)
• “Don’t give up on us, that’s all I can tell you,” Cashman told reporters on Wednesday as part of a 30-minute media scrum that ran the gamut from injuries to lack of movement during training. off-season. Cashman acknowledged the difficulty of meeting the team’s needs in April, which also happened when…
• DeWitt (and his son, team president Bill DeWitt III) spoke to the media on Tuesday, also saying they’re still optimistic about their team, despite a record that was 10-19 at the time.
• “I still feel great with the team and the roster,” said young DeWitt. “I mean, you don’t have a situation where there are glaring points happening. Of course, you would like the pitch to be a bit better, but I think you just see a number of things that seem be unusual and one-off situations in April. At least I hope so.”
• The Cardinals lost to the Angels on Tuesday and Wednesday night, losing 10-21.
Handshakes and High Five
If you’re wondering where I’m at on the great Wander Franco”ball reversalWednesday’s debate, let’s put that aside: the Wander Franco rules. Of course, the Pirates were upset about that, but they lost 8-1, their second straight loss to the Rays. When a basketball player gets a breakaway and a windmill hits it, we all cheer. How is it different? If you’re making the game easy for the opponent, don’t be grumpy when they fight their boredom by giving themselves a little bonus task as a treat.
When I said Bryce Harper might need a little time to readjust to big league pitching, I guess I meant someday? He went 3-for-3 with a double and two walks on Wednesday, but the Phillies still lost 10-6 to the Dodgers on a Max Muncy grand slam.
Today at The Pulse, I spoke to Chris Branch about the Twins’ refusal to participate in the 2023 Great Stolen Base Boom. One big reason? The Twins pay attention to Byron Buxton (and it pays off).
The Giants took two of the Astros’ three this week, and I’ll never put that Andrew Baggarly story up better than he did.
It’s weird that Anthony Rendon still doesn’t have a home run – maybe he should take a southpaw at bat?
The White Sox are experiencing a mini-renaissance. Not only have they won three in a row (including two in a row against the division-leading Twins), but now Liam Hendriks is set to return after being diagnosed with cancer last year.
Hey, stories about hitting the mechanics can be interesting. Here’s one on Zach Neto’s leg kick.
(Photo: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)