Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)
Happy Bastille Day to Bruce Bochy (and happy birthday in advance) who was born July 19, 1978, in Landes de Bussac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.
Chris Sale hasn’t won a start at home since July 11, 2018, and now holds the all-time record of 13 consecutive starts at Fenway Park without a win. In 23 overall regular season starts since August 13 of last season, Sale is now 3-9 with a 4.22 ERA. Yes, he has struck out 178 in 123.2 IP, but he has also allowed 18 homers. AND: Sale has allowed 5 runs in each of his last 5 starts.
With runners on base this season, Justin Verlander leads the majors with a tiny .145 BAA; batters are 17-117 in 129 PA against him. Of the 1439 batters who have faced Verlander since he became an Astro, not one has received an intentional pass.
Last season, the Yankees had the best record in the majors against teams .500+ at 41-30. The Dodgers were next at 51-38, followed by the Red Sox at 41-33. This season, the Yankees have the best record in the majors against teams .500+ at 24-15. The Astros are next at 35-24, followed by the Twins at 26-19. The Dodgers are 26-20, while the Red Sox are 18-26.
Beltway Bullpen Blues – The Orioles have the worst bullpen ERA in the majors at 6.07 and the Nationals are 29th at 5.95. It should be noted that since June 1, the Mets bullpen has the worst ERA in the majors at 7.03.
The Eight MLB Players with an OPS of 1.000+ (minimum 1000 games)
Of all the coincidences relating to the Angels’ tribute no-hitter to Tyler Skaggs that reinforced my belief in the baseball gods, it was the fact that the last time there was a combined no-hitter in the state of California was when the Orioles’ Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson, and Gregg Olson combined to no-hit the A’s in Oakland on July 13, 1991, the same day Tyler Skaggs was born. Hall of Famers Harold Baines, Rickey Henderson, and Dennis Eckersley all appeared in that game for Oakland. Cal Ripken was in the O’s lineup.
When asked, Lee Smith who his baseball heroes were when he was growing up he said they were Bob Gibson and then Ferguson Jenkins. It was just announced that Gibby was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Here’s hoping that Gibson is healthy enough to be at Cooperstown to welcome Smith and many HOFers in the future.
Christian Yelich is a .389 hitter this season in day games, hitting in an MLB-leading 14 homers in 108 AB. In night games, Yelich is hitting .296 with 17 homers in 206 AB.
If as expected the Indians trade Trevor Bauer, the team that gets him does not want to face the Minnesota Twins’ Max Kepler in the postseason. Kepler has five career homers against Bauer (in five consecutive AB, no less). But Kepler is “only” hitting .351 against Bauer (13-37). Manny Machado has hit four homers (and two doubles) against Bauer and has a .643 BA going 9-14.
Through games of July 13, there are 38 players with 20+ homers, the same number as throughout the entire 1989 season.
The next homer that Albert Pujols at Angels Stadium will be #100. Pujols hit 111 homers at the current Busch Stadium and 94 at Busch Stadium II. Albert has a lot of swimming upstream to catch the all-time homer leader at Angels Stadium, Tim Salmon who hit 160 and Mike Trout who has hit 134.
Nine to Know: The Most Recent Games in which a team had five triples
I’m with Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, who writes: “Right now, we have way too many balls flying out of play. Seeing a home run used to be the biggest thrill in a baseball game. Now it has become the biggest yawn.” You may not agree with Justin Verlander‘s Rawlings/MLB conspiracy theory, but you have wonder why Commissioner Rob Manfred did not express concern about what has happened this season.