It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 37 which means it’s time to talk about, excuse me, gloat about how just two days ago I told you this was the next year of the pitcher. It’s not often you get to say “I told you so” about predicting a Wade Miley no-hitter, so when you get the opportunity to brag about it, you do it. This season is a mirror of 1968. The horrendous triple slashes and no-hitters aside, the one thing I am hopeful for is a change in the pitching mound. Baseball needs this change. I’m the same guy who said we do not need seven-inning doubleheaders, extra innings ghost runners, 26 man rosters, and a whole host of other things. Instead, I am the guy who will say I told you so about needing to move the pitching mound back. It’s needed MLB, make it happen.
Wade Miley is the bell of the ball tonight, no-hitting the Cleveland Indians. Shockingly, the Indians went less than a month between games where they were no-hit, so, that’s not good. Miley allowed three baserunners but only one walk [to Cesar Hernandez]. Cleveland’s other two baserunners reached via errors on Kyle Farmer and Tyler Naquin. Miley struck out eight hitters which were the most he has had in a game since August 19th of 2019. At age 34, no one is expecting a breakout season from Miley but he now has a 2.00 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. Yes, a no-hitter absolutely helps, but it was no too long ago that he had a 2.57 ERA across 16 starts in 2018. There’s value here, especially pitching in the NL Central.
Julio Urias was blown up in Los Angeles today, allowing five earned runs across five innings. It was technically a road game since the Dodgers were on the road against the Angels, but for all intents and purposes, this was a home outing for Julio. Justin Upton and Taylor Ward took him deep while David Fletcher drove in two with a single and Shohei Ohtani one with a double. This start wasn’t earth-shatteringly bad, it was just regular bad. Urias is still an every-outing starter, but when these bumps in the road happen it just stinks. You can’t predict weak games like this, and your fantasy team just has to wear them. They blow.
Zach Plesac has allowed only five earned runs across five starts that are not against the Chicago White Sox. Still, those White Sox starts count so his ERA and WHIP are a mediocre 3.83 and 1.03. After allowing two early singles and a Nick Castellanos double in the fourth, Plesac sat down the final 15 batters he faced in a row. Naturally, all of the talk from this game will be about Wade Miley, but savvy owners will slide into the DMs of Plesac owners with so quality trade offers. Zach is the type of pitcher you want to acquire today. Good track record, a collection of great starts, just two bad ones mixed in. Buy these types of players folk, they’re worth it.
Akil Baddoo went 1 for 4 today against the Twins. Normally that means you are ineligible for Who’s Not since you didn’t have an oh four. Unfortunately, this made Baddoo 2 for his past 33. There are plenty of hot starts each season and those that hot start will have their hype pieces. It’s just that when May and June come around, no one will have told you how these months look. Baddoo is a Rule V pick who is going to struggle, and this cold streak is absolutely one that could be foreseen. Next year when there are some huge hot streaks at the beginning of the year, remember what happens next.
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
David Fletcher drove in three runs while scoring two of his own as the Angels beat up the Dodgers in LA. Just like we did not expect Julio Urias to pitch poorly, we did not expect the Angels’ offense to keep scoring after Urias left the game. Fletcher is the perfect rally starter, as he’s a singles hitter who qualifies at 2B, 3B, SS, and OF. An absolute find defensively that just seems to find his way towards a .300 average each season, Fletcher is a Bonifacio’s Bonifacio. One could say Fletcher emulates his game straight from Emilio, and when this category was made, Fletcher was one of the players I had in mind. Congrats David, you earned this one.
The James Shields Award
Wade Miley, Zach Plesac, Sean Manaea, Jack Flaherty, Zach Eflin, Zach Davies, Jose Urquidy, Mike Foltynewicz, Chris Flexen, and Jameson Taillon picked up a Shields today. That’s a whole bunch of pitchers. Three Zach’s! Three! Manaea had a no-hitter through seven yet he had the third most effective start on this list. Everyone up to Eflin allowed two runs or less. Davies and Urquidy allowed a combined two runs and three strikeouts! Foltynewicz, Flexen, and Taillon all and true Shields starts where they allowed 3+ runs. Today had something for fans of all types of innings. Baseball is the best when there is a little bit of all types of starting pitching.
The Brad Lidge Award
Emmanuel Clase blew up tonight. Miley and Plesac combined for zero runs across 17.0 innings. Clase and no one combined for three runs across 0.0 innings. Emmanuel allowed only two earned runs on three hits, but all four baserunners reached due to his fault. He had a throwing error on a comebacker and then immediately balked in the next run. He’s still the clear ninth-inning option for Cleveland as Francona loves using Karinchak as the roving stopper, but damn. This outing really hurt because Clase looked much worse than the final numbers. On one hand that’s good, on the other hand, it’s not.
The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. The no-hitter is a perfect part of baseball. It needs to exist. It just cannot exist at this frequency. The modern term is that baseball will fix itself. Shifts will stop being en vogue once hitters hit-em-where-they-ain’t. Except this isn’t true. Rules have always changed within the game. Originally, balls caught on a bounce were outs. Four balls were not a walk. The mound was not its current height. Rules need to be changed in order to keep the same success rates for hitters. Teams will always try to minimize their opponents’ offensive rules, but those in charge of the game need to make sure statistics match up over time. Move the mound back. Just do it.