.gifs From Last Night: Walk Off Walk Off Flame

White Sox vs. Indians

In which Ramon Troncoso realizes he plays for the Chicago White Sox as the fans behind him cheer with glee. I’ll be honest, I had no idea who Ramon Troncoso was before I looked up number 40 on the White Sox, but he certainly sounds like a reliever and this just looks like a reliever who is quite relieved to not be relieving any longer. What a relief. (boooooooooooooooooooo)

Here we see 93 year old Jason Giambi throwing up his helmet and catching it. Clearly he decided that scoring was not the priority here and he just wanted to show everyone on his team that he still has really good hands. (Sidenote: he doesn’t). It’s unclear why the Indians were given the victory seeing as Giambi never scored but I suppose the umpires were so impressed with Jason’s coordination that they decided the deserved the W anyway.

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All Star Break Record Breakers: Pitchers

The baseball season is 6 months long. The baseball season is mostly during the summer. We call the All Star Game “The Mid-Summer’s Classic.” According to all of these points the All Star Game must be the halfway point of the baseball season.

There have been some great performances over the first half of the year, but what could happen in the second half is even more extraordinary. Check that, what will happen in the second half. You see, when a player has a certain amount of stats in the first half (and they usually do), you can always double that amount to find out what that player will have over the course of the year. Its a really good sabermetric strategy and it always always works. Here are a few pitchers who could will shatter records:

Mark Melancon

First Half Stat: 25 Holds

Will Finish The Year With: 50 Holds

Math Involved: 25 + 25 = 50

Significance: I bet you didn’t know the most holds in a season was Luke Gregerson with 40 all the way back in 2010. A record nobody thought would be broken and definitely a record that everyone should keep an eye on.

Kenley Jansen

First Half Stat: 94.9% Fastballs

Will Finish The Year With: 189.8% Fastballs

Math Involved: 94.9% + 94.9%

Significance: If you thought 100% was the limit, Kenley Jansen says you are wrong. He could shatter the previous record of 100% held by hundreds of players. This has the potential to be an unbelievable story later in the year.

David Carpenter

First Half Stat: 108.00 ERA

Will Finish The Year With: 216.00 ERA

Math Involved: (4/.1) + (4/.1)

Significance: Yeah yeah he might not qualify for the ERA title, but so what? If you ignore the innings qualification, the record for highest ERA in a season belongs to Joe Cleary of the 1945 Washington Senators with an astounding ERA of 189.00. Carpenter has a real chance to destroy that if once he pitches just as bad in the second half.

Trip Preview: Day 4

As some of you know, Jordan and I will be embarking on our crazy trip next week. We will drive over 1,900 miles in the pursuit of whatever it is we are pursuing. We shall chronicle all our adventures on the blog and on the new podcast we plan to start on the trip. In anticipation of these shenanigans, this week I’ll be previewing each of our stops along the way. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10th

Start Point: Chicago, Illinois

End Point: Chicago, Illinois

Approximate Milage: 0 Miles

Driving Time: 0 Hours and 0 Minutes

Baseball Stuff: Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago Cubs

Notes: Gonna be a chill one. We’ll wake up in Chicago at our friends house and spend all day touring Chicago. Hopefully we will go down to Lake Michigan and do some Jetskiing. Then we’ll take a trip down to Milt’s Barbecue For The Perplexed where the Head Chef is a fellow .9er. The day concludes with another trip to Wrigley.

Jose Fernandez Continues Backwards Pitching Revolution

A couple months ago we looked at Angels pitcher Garrett Richards and his new unorthodox approach to pitching. It’s been a quiet time for this new strategy, but last night it struck again thanks to Marlins rookie phenom Jose Fernandez. No, it wasn’t the eight innings of scoreless pitching that got our attention. It wasn’t the 10 strikeouts either. It wasn’t even this absurdly nasty slider that caused Carlos Quentin to quit baseball.

What made Jose Fernandez’s outing Monday night so special was this one pitch to Chase Headley in the seventh inning…

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Tales of #slack: The Josh Hamilton Experience

Everybody takes a break at work. Every day, we all get a little bit lazy for a couple of minutes. We lose concentration and slack off on our work. This fact is the only thing connecting Josh Hamilton to all of us regular humans. Until the day that the sun shrivels up like a raisin and we all die, Josh Hamilton will give away at-bats. I can’t promise many things in life, but I can say with certainty that day in and day out, Hamilton will show a distinct lack of #want, usually to a lefty. So without further ado, I present the first At-Bat Giveaway of the year.

Pitch 1

Count: 0-0

Pitch: 79 MPH Slider

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These Cleats Are Made For Walking: RIP Jeff Keppinger

Well, I suppose it was inevitable but that doesn’t make it any easier. Ever since I noticed Jeffrey Scott Keppinger’s walkless existence around 50 plate appearances in, I had made it my duty to spread his impatience across the interwebz. And in the blink of an eye, it was over.

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.gifs From Last Night: Unorthodox Deliveries

Angels-Mariners

Last night in Seattle, Carlos Peguero hit a ball 450 feet to dead center. Somehow, this wasn’t the most extraordinary thing that happened at Safeco that evening. In one fell swoop, Angels right-hander (left-hander?) Garrett Richards revolutionized the art of pitching.

In the potentially groundbreaking .gif above, we see Mariners designated “hitter” Justin Smoak making his way to the plate. Is he trying to gain momentum by running towards the plate a la Happy Gilmore or is something even deeper going on here?

For whatever reason, Richards begins slightly offset to the left of the mound. His delivery begins with the ball in his glove, as most deliveries do. However, Richards has the glove raised and pointing towards first base. He drops his glove cautiously as if he’s catching a very delicate egg, and proceeds to whip his arm around  and release the ball with stunning accuracy. This motion clearly does not allow Richards to take advantage of about 93% of his body, as his right side is just along for the ride and doesn’t play much part in delivering the ball to the catcher. There is an unusual amount of movement in the lower half that includes several steps backward to help Richards make sure he’s still on the rubber. Let’s slow it down.

This .gif allows us to see the incredible conclusion of this play. Smoak, in all his glory, turns on the circus pitch and rips it right back to the pitcher. Richards, who is already pointing at the plate as if he’s prepared for a comebacker, snags the ball with his bare hand. The sheer velocity of the ball propels him backwards, returning him back to a more familiar position at the top of the mound.

Mechanics Report Card

richards chart

We’re gonna keep an eye out for this mystery of a motion throughout the season, but we doubt we’ll see it again any time soon. For one wondrous moment, Garrett Richards changed baseball. We hope it’s not the last time.