10:39 p.m. –BJS: Dodgers win, 4-3 in a very good game. The Cardinals still take two of three for the weekend, and as Brian mentioned, they welcome the Hedonistic Rays to town on Tuesday. The Dodgers travel to Pittsburgh to take on Andrew McCutcheon and the Pirates.
Quite honestly, I think these two teams will most certainly match up in the playoffs. These Cardinals are turning it on to win the NL Central, and the Dodgers are still in a dogfight for the NL West. But both of these teams are playoff-worthy, and there’s no question in my mind we’ll see a best-of series between these two.
Live blogging has been a blast, and thanks to Brian (and Van!) for joining me. Hope you all enjoyed it as well.
Every year, StanGraphs likes to take a moment to review the latest copy of Out of the Park Baseball, an absolutely top-notch baseball simulator. Personally, I’ve been playing the various iterations of the game for a good decade, and fellow staff member Brian Vaughan is not far behind me at all thanks to me introducing it to him, which is probably the best thing that could ever happen to anyone.
This year, OOTP 15 hit the market, and after a few months of playing it, we can happily endorse this fantastic game more than ever. I would literally set up a stand on the corner of a busy New York City intersection and peddle digital licenses to the public — the game is that good. Anyone with an appreciation at running a baseball team, reliving baseball history, or even handling in-game strategy on a day-to-day basis will be knee-deep in bliss after just a few minutes of immersion in OOTP.
Video evidence clearly shows that Jeter picked up a hit against Adam Wainwright to start the 2014 All-Star Game. Some like me feel like the pitch was “grooved”. The actual level of “grooviness” may merit debate, but let’s pretend that the arbitrary designation matters little for the moment. Throw a non-incendiary device at the fat part of the plate, and Jeter will likely inside-out that ball into right field. He’s done this a thousand times before. The outcome had a somewhat unwelcome but familiar feel to it. Jeter took Waino to the opposite field. Done.
Home runs! Not home runs! The Toddfather! All of these things and more await you in this edition of the Backup Catcher podcast. Brian and Van go over the results of the Home Run Derby (and the results of their bet), talk about the Mets, play some trivia, and discuss year end predictions as well. Also there is a shit-ton of talk about LeBron James and the Cleveland Vampires. Listen at it!
Baseballs Am Fun! by Pedro Alvarez
Are you ready at baseball? Pedro always ready to have at baseball!
Since Pedro was little boy he was always hitting at the baseball. “Stop that with some thing!” That’s what Momma Pedro would say. “Stop your baseball swing at doggies!” Pedro would just laugh and laugh and laugh. Doggies did not go very far when hit with baseballs swing.
Now Pedro given at money to hit baseball. Swing and swing Pedro goes!
A Yadier Molina injury was the very last thing the Cardinals needed, and yet here it is thanks to a cruel twist of fate likely propagated by a Brewers-loving baseball deity. Molina initially messed up his thumb on Wednesday being all Molina-ish while sliding into third, but concern seemed minimal in the moment. Despite Molina exiting the game, his near-insistence on continuing through the contest made the whole thing seem like a precautionary move. This turned out to not at all be the case, as Molina tore a ligament in his thumb and will now miss eight to 12 weeks, a time frame which comprises much or all of the remaining season. Continue reading
Did you vote in the All-Star game for your favorite player? If so, you probably voted incorrectly. Allow Brian and Van to tell you who really should be going to the midsummer classic with this groundbreaking episode. In it, you will also find Jake Peavy trade rumors, Brett Anderson love, fantasy player valuations, and a very special interview with 7-time Oklahoma Collegiate short story something, something winner Bryan Smith!
Wainwright & Gibson
Arbitrary, subjective, and potentially blasphemous – Wainwright’s 2014 season could be the “lowered mound” era equivalent of Gibson’s 1968 season. Waino hasn’t quite reached that level, but he’s prancing around the warning track at this point.
Trevor Rosenthal‘s name looks good on the NL Saves leader board with the likes of Francisco Rodriguez, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen, and Huston Street. After Rosenthal’s 4th blown save opportunity of the season, Mike Matheny was quick to point to Rosenthal’s 26 saves when defending his closer’s body of work. After all, the guy is 26 for 30, and that’s not terrible at all. Yet that seems insufficient to quell the growing discontent among the Ballpark Villagers.
Having missed out on the Jeff Samardzija sweepstakes but still in contention in the increasingly volatile American League East, the Yankees made a splash today by picking up starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks for hurler Vidal Nuno. The oft-confused Diamondbacks were even nice enough to devour half of the $4.1 million McCarthy is still owed this season, because everyone knows the Yankees were totally concerned about that extra money. Continue reading