WASHINGTON (AP) With two short answers, Andy Pettitte called into question the validity of his testimony against Roger Clemens, part of a discouraging day for prosecutors in the retrial of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
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Once again, the Rockies have split a series. Once again, the Rockies try to fight back to .500. It'll be a tough one, as Clayton Kershaw is a dastardly foe. We can only hope that one day his opponent in the game, Drew Pomeranz, will be even a shadow of Kershaw's talent.
Mar 19, 1988
Nov 22, 1988
Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 1:10 PM MDT
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 15-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.
Monday, Apr 30, 2012, 7:05 PM CDT
Minute Maid Park
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.
Jan 18, 1979
Sep 22, 1986
Rick Ferrell: Hall of Fame Compiler (Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library)One nice thing about Wins Above Average (which I first posted about here last week) is that it makes it easier to identify "compilers". When your Hall of Fame case is being[...]
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From Marc Carig:
Left fielder Brett Gardner is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday, though Girardi called his activation on that day ?a little doubtful.?Great, we get to see more of this:
Gardner is ticketed to make at least one appearance in a minor-league game, which will likely push back his return from a strained left elbow.
If Gardner isn?t back on the roster by later this week, Eduardo Nunez may see more time in the outfield, with the Royals scheduled to start two left-handers.
Sometimes there's a great post on Talking Chop that needs to be posted again, and sometimes a sponsor pays you for a post on male grooming ... months after it was written. So that leads us to this awesome post that was originally published back in November of last year.
Doc Samson is a Marvel Comics superhero. To cut to the chase, Doc Samson was radiation-afflicted with superhuman strength - when his hair was long. His strength was proportionate to the length of his hair, so the longer it grew, the stronger he became; conversely, if a dastardly villain were able to shear any of his green locks off, Doc became weaker.
The first time I saw a picture of Tommy Hanson was shortly after he hurled a no-hitter in the minor leagues, shutting out the Birmingham Barons down in Pearl, Mississippi. By this point, the cbtitses of the internet were bragging about how they knew about Hanson before Hanson was now suddenly cool. Casual minor league baseball enthusiasts researched to find out more about Tommy Hanson before their peers could. Fans suffering through the dredges of the 2008 season now had a tangible face to associate with the beacons of hope developing in the minor leagues. But to this author's sometimes-eccentric thought process, I couldn't get over this Thomas Hanson's hair. He had a mullet.
Later that year, Tommy Hanson was sent to the Arizona Fall League to pitch for the Mesa Solar Sox. While continuing to sport the mullet, Hanson took the AFL's MVP honors, striking out 49 batters in just 28.2 innings of work. His peers actually started called him "Jesus."
In 2009, Hanson showed up to Spring Training still rocking the mullet, and we Braves fans got our first glimpse of how he fared against limited Major League talent. Naturally, for the obvious financial reasons, Hanson started the seasons in the minor leagues, where he made eleven starts for the Gwinnett Braves, striking out hitters to the tune of an absurd 12.2 K/9, while the mullet continued to grow to Neanderthal-ithic proportions.
On June 7th, 2009, Tommy Hanson made his debut for the Atlanta Braves on a beautiful Sunday afternoon game against the Milwaukee Brewers. I remember arriving to the ballpark very early and parking myself in front of the Braves' bullpen, so that I could watch this young phenom's preparation, and get a good first-hand look at his stuff with my own eyes. When Eddie Perez ushered the young Hanson into the bullpen, I was in awe of his ginger mullet, exploding out from the back of his fresh new Atlanta Braves cap. It wasn't the prettiest debut in history, but Hanson still went six innings, and struck out five, most notably in the second inning when he struck out Prince Fielder, Mike Cameron and Mat Gamel consecutively in just 12 pitches.
Throughout the next five weeks, the Atlanta Braves went 6-2 in games started by the mulleted Tommy Hanson, with Hanson himself going 5-0 in this stretch. But at some point after the All-Star break* Tommy Hanson suited up for the Braves, and something was different - the mullet was gone! What happened next was predictably academic: the Braves lost. Tommy Hanson gave up nine hits, and only struck out one. Just one start ago, against the Giants, Hanson had struck out eleven batters in an easy win. It was at this point, that I came to the eye-test conclusion that Tommy Hanson pitched better with a mullet, and pitched better the longer it got, and have continued to inject such absurd logic into all opinions I have shared in regards to Tommy Hanson on Talking Chop since.
*could have been at any point between July 9 through July 25 due to the lack of photographic evidence of the starts versus San Francisco and Milwaukee, but we're going to go with the latest time to make my story sound more awesome
Since the debut in 2009, I have always felt relief when Tommy Hanson's hair grew to mulleted proportions, and dreaded the All-Star Break, knowing that Tommy was going home, and was probably going to return all close-cropped and buzzed-cut. Depending on what numbers you're looking at, 2010 might be considered Hanson's worst year; it also happened to be the year where he started the season without the mullet, and just as it was almost grown back again, the All-Star Break occurred, and he came back without it. As far as eye-tests were concerned, I had all the reason in the world to believe that Tommy Hanson's success was related to the length of his hair.
But since we live on the internet, and no matter how much we would like for opinion = fact, that simply just is not always the case, especially when it comes to discussing baseball on the internet.
With that in mind, I went through Getty's extensive photo library of just about every single Tommy Hanson start to determine the periods of his career where he had the mullet, and when he didn't. And then, with the expertise of our very own Jacob Peterson doing all of important number-crunching, we bring to you the following conclusions.
In conclusion, as much as it pains me to say it, but it turns out that Tommy Hanson is overall the more effective pitcher, over his mulleted counterpart, Doc Hanson. The wins and losses are superficial, compared to the very legit K/BB rates, lower HR/9 and ability to get deeper into games.
Cashing in this cherry-picking card, Jacob was kind enough to eliminate all five of Doc Hanson's post-All-Star Break starts from 2011, where he uncharacteristically decided to not shear off the mullet. The rationale for such cherry-picked omission was the very obvious shoulder troubles that flared up and inevitably preemptively ended his season in August. Considering at the drop of that hat, he suddenly turned into an 8.10 ERA pitcher allowing hitters to hit .313/.370/.626 off of him, I think it's valid to take a second look.
As you can clearly, obviously see, Doc Hanson WINZ EVEN MOAR, at an .800 clip, goes deeper into games than Tommy, has a vastly lower ERA, allows fewer hits, and even fewer of those batted balls to land for hits, and churns out more positive results per start. Completely ignore the irrelevant rate numbers; his K/BB might be lower than ever, but that's because he's generating OUTZ without being so reliant on the strikeout.
In conclusion, Doc Hanson is the best pitcher on the face of the planet. He needs to never cut his hair ever again. If you disagree, you are wrong.
Present day update ... it's still early in the season, but the mullet-less Tommy Hanson's numbers are more in line with the previous numbers the mullet-less Hanson has put up throughout his career. Check out the stats for yourself, and compare with the ones above.
I recently spent four days in Lexington watching the Legends in action, and I was able to talk to Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski about his pitchers. It was a fast and furious ten minute interview, but I was able to at least touch on the entire Legends pitching staff. Let's look at what he had to say about five of his relief pitchers.
Jason Chowning April 2012, Photo by Jayne Hansen
I asked Borkowski who his most reliable relief pitcher was and I was not surprised to hear Jason Chowning as his answer. Chowning has a 0.00 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP with three saves through his first nine outings. "You know what you're going to get out of him. No situation phases him." When I asked why he hadn't been promoted yet, Borkowski told me that they were looking for Jason to trust his fastball more to get outs. He went on to say that just because he started the year in Lexington didn't necessarily mean that he would finish the season there.
Borkowski described Dayan Diaz as being "young in pitching." Although he has great fastball life (and one of the best fastballs on the team), he needs to refine his command and his breaking ball, but as Borkowski put it, "The arm works well." I would say it works well as evidenced by the 0.49 ERA and the 0.873 WHIP. In response to a question about his best fielding pitcher, Borkowski cited Diaz without hesitation, and actually said that Diaz might be the best fielder on the team period.
Murilo Gouvea, the lanky Brazilian righty, is someone that I didn't have much information about so I was particularly interested in hearing what Borkowski had to say about him. Gouvea has good fastball life but his curveball is his bread and butter. "It's nasty. It's 12-6 and it's really untouchable when he's got it on." Over 15.1 innings, Gouvea has a 4.11 ERA (mostly due to three home runs allowed) and a 1.239 WHIP with 19 strikeouts to only four walks.
Nathan Pettus doesn't have the greatest numbers on the team (6.46 ERA and 1.696 WHIP), but he is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He is currently working long relief because he missed so much time due to surgery and they need him to get the work. He lives on his 2-seam fastball with sink on it.
A 19-year old lefty with a projectable frame, Evan Grills opened some eyes between last year's instructional league and this year's spring training. Borkowski was somewhat animated in discussing Grills as someone who wasn't on anyone's radar screen, but "works his butt off, and he competes and he wants the ball every day" with an outstanding attitude. He currently has a 3.29 ERA and a 1.463 WHIP. I was rushed for time and didn't discuss Grills' specific pitches with Borkowski, but you can see what David Coleman had to say about him when he was drafted.
There have been some issues with starting pitching in Lexington, but the relief corps has proven to be quite strong. Mike Foltynewicz told me that he had no qualms in turning over a one-run lead to this staff. I like this group and, In my opinion, Folty knows what he's talking about.
Andre Dawson 1988 Topps All-Star – Tiffany! My friends, I am making some great progress as I get closer and closer to unique card #1,000 of my Andre Dawson collection. I still have some ground to cover to get there, … Continue reading →
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Sanchez (1-1, 6.75 ERA) vs Verlander (2-1, 2.41 ERA)
This game could get ugly early with Sanchez on the mound.
'Nother hot one today. The kind of heat that makes us all sit around on the porch, fanning ourselves and speaking in Antebellum accents. Hopefully that will throw off the Phillies.
The Braves hitters have been in a funk the past few games, they need an easy starter to beat up on and restore their confidence ... oh well, maybe tomorrow.