The weekend has arrived and we’ve got just eight days until the All-Star Break begins. Some teams can’t wait. Most teams can’t wait. I can’t wait. But, we’ve got plenty of games before that happens and a full day of baseball today.
To the card we go.
Marlins/Mets: Both Pablo Lopez and Chris Bassitt were effective yesterday, but the Mets bullpen struggled in the 5-2 loss. Lopez did need 93 pitches to get 15 outs and only had five strikeouts, but he also only allowed six hard-hit balls. The Mets offense still has a 107 wRC + over the last 30 days, but their .313 wOBA ranks 17th. Their soft contact has caught up with them a little bit and it coincides with Atlanta being the hottest team in baseball, hence the gap in the NL East closing.
Nationals/Braves: Speaking of the Braves, they pummeled Erick Fedde and coasted to a 12-2 win. I’m glad the game restarted after the rain delay because totals and Braves run line bettors would have really gotten screwed. I’m shocked that they did after a 75-minute rain delay in a blowout.
Michael Harris II was 4-for-4 with four RBI as he continues to surge. He’s batting .310/.342/.542 from predominantly the No. 9 hole. Lineup balance 1 through 9 matters. He gets on base to turn it over to Ronald Acuna Jr. I’d still rather see him hitting fifth or sixth, but he’s that “second leadoff hitter” that managers sometimes like to use and it’s worked.
Pirates/Brewers: Kevin Newman was thrown out by 30 feet to end the game and keep us from hitting the over. This game had 10 walks where only two of them scored and two guys thrown out on the bases. The handicap was mostly right on the starters, as the 1st 5 total went over. The bullpens were sadly better than I had hoped, though Josh Hader did struggle in throwing 24 more pitches. Another reason why sending Newman was an asinine decision. I felt like I had two good handicaps yesterday that lost anyway. Every loss stings. Some are worse than others. All you can do is keep troubleshooting and moving forward. Or take a day or two off, but that’s harder for me given my career path.
Phillies/Cardinals: The reason why I mention potential delays and weather concerns is because they can alter game play. It only took 219 pitches to play this game after a 56-minute delay. Players don’t want to be there all that late, especially when there’s a day game the next day.
The pitching matchup helped, too, as Zack Wheeler threw seven shutout and Adam Wainwright threw a complete game loss. Waino only gave up five hits (two solo HR) despite 15 hard-hit balls. The home/road splits are real, y’all.
Rockies/Diamondbacks: Six runs is quite an offensive explosion for the Road Rockies, as they scored four off of Zac Gallen in five innings and a couple more off of the bullpen. Fastball command hurt Gallen yesterday. For the season, batters own a .199 BA with a .338 SLG on his fastball. Yesterday, the Rockies were 4-for-6 on batted balls with a homer and two doubles. Gallen also had a spin rate decrease across the board. We’ll see how he looks next time out.