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Anthony DeSclafani

Anthony DeSclafani

Back from a little sabbatical and throwing myself back into the game today. Yesterday I woke up at 3:30 AM in order to make a bus that took me 3.5 hours away to a conference. All told it was an 18 hour day, 7 of which was spent in a bus.

I’m a little zonked right now.

Did manage to get home in time to catch the end of Reds/Cubs. Cubs tried to play the role of the comeback team for a 3rd straight game, but fell short. They put men on 1st & 2nd against Aroldis Chapman with 1 out, down by 1 in the bottom of the 9th. Then Chapman remembered “Oh ya! I’m Aroldis Chapman!” and whiffed grey-beard, David Ross, and (less surprisingly) Mike Olt.

So what do the Cubs have now? 4 more games before Kris Bryant’s glove is deemed adequate enough to start at 3B in the Bigs?

Setting snark to the side now…

For Cincinnati, Anthony DeSclafani continues to shine. He threw 7 shutout innings for his first win of the season and is now sporting a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings of work. A 0.77 WHIP (7 H, 3 BB) to go along with 7.6 K/9 and that trade for Mat Latos is looking pretty good right now. Latos is currently 0-2 with a 17.36 ERA, lasting all of 4.2 innings across two starts.

Small sample size, sure, but that’s pretty bad.

The Cards and Brewers had a rare Tuesday off, so that leaves the Pirates as the only other team in action last night. A.J. Burnett racked up a ton more strikeouts (8 in 6.2 innings) but Shane Greene of the Detroit Tigers was dominating, going 8 shutout innings to lead the Bengals to a 2-0 win over the Bucs.

Starling Marte did not play for Pittsburgh last night, giving way to a start in right field for Corey Hart. Marte is carrying a 25 OPS+ in 7 games this season, with a .115/.176/.269 slash line. In 30 plate appearances, Marte has struck out 14 times.

* * *

Today’s schedule has a little bit of intrigue in every game.

In the first game of the night, I’m curious to see if Francisco Liriano can lead the Pirates to an interleague series win over the 7-1 Detroit Tigers. They should have won game 1 pretty easily, but a 9th inning meltdown turned it into just a one-run win. Last night they played solid on one side of the game, just not the other, losing 2-0. So they’re holding their own.

The second game of the night (Reds @ Cubs) is probably the least interesting pitching match-up (Jason Marquis – seriously – versus Travis Wood), but they are currently the top two teams in the Central. (It’s early. I KNOW!) So there’s something there. Plus, having Marquis start means we’re almost guaranteed to see Jumbo Diaz or Kevin Gregg pitch, so anything could happen.

And then the final game of the night has the Brewers at the Cardinals. I still see the Brewers as a last place team (maybe 4th place…) and the Cardinals as the class of the division, but the latter is off to just a 3-3 start. Lance Lynn deserved a win in his first start, but got hung with an L when he was out-pitched by Jake Arrieta. The time seems right for the Cards to get a winning streak started here.

* * *

Some of my favorite stories from the last few days…

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson’s spike curve is investigated at Fangraphs

Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon likes geeks

* * *

Schedule

7-1 Detroit Simon (1-0, 5.06)
3-5 PITTSBURGH Liriano, F (0-0, 2.57)
6:05 PM CT
5-3 CINCINNATI Marquis (0-0, 4.50)
4-3 CHICAGO Wood, T (0-1, 5.79)
7:05 PM CT
2-5 MILWAUKEE Peralta, W (0-0, 2.57)
3-3 ST. LOUIS Lynn (0-1, 1.50)
7:15 PM CT

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
Cincinnati 5 3 W1
Chicago 4 3 0.5 L1
St. Louis 3 3 1 L1
Pittsburgh 3 5 2 L1
Milwaukee 2 5 2.5 W1
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