Spin those fastballs

Another day, another seven home runs. But how do you turn seven homers into just thirteen overall? Easy, just get a bunch of solo shots, because otherwise they were struggling to get on base. Padilla was apparently sharp, and maybe his injury woes and the rest have helped him turn a corner. Hopefully he’ll remember what he’s doing now next year. Hopefully Mike Wood will forget, because he imploded pretty badly, helped by Ron Washington’s slow hook.

I got to listen to the 8th and part of the 9th, because when I got in the car for lunch we were up 11-0, and they said David Murphy had a shot at a cycle, just needing a single. Decided to wait in the car to hear what happened with him, and ended up hearing Mike Wood’s debacle of a performance. In the last few days the suggestion has been that he’s playing for the long man role next year, well, this was not a good audition today. I was so sure Murphy was going to get the single, I waited through five Detroit runs, and then of course Murphy struck out while swinging at everything. I’ve been impressed with him so far, he may only be fourth outfielder material according to the Red Sox, but that could be a good enough thing for him to get four hundred at-bats next year.

Michael Young had a pair of 1-for-4s, so I think he now needs 23 in 18 games.

Game time temp for the night game was 64 degrees. It ought to be 64 here in Texas pretty soon, say, November. (Okay, I kid, actually the low tonight is supposed to be 64, it has been pretty cold and wet the last few days. I’ve almost felt like turning the air up a degree, so it’s not blowing so cool).

Anytime you’re compared to Adam Eaton, it’s a bad thing. Brandon McCarthy tonight gave the Rangers their shortest start since Eaton a year ago. By the way, if you care, Eaton is 9-8 with a 6.28 ERA this year. So it wasn’t just us. I think he was damaged goods coming over from San Diego in the first place.

McCarthy shouldn’t have been out there, of course, but for some reason they decided he didn’t need to rehab. Errr, maybe because the minors are done for the season? Anyway, he clearly wasn’t ready to start, which has been the story of the Rangers’ whole year, and something has to happen in the winter to change that problem, or the Rangers will be fifteen games out before they blink again next year.

Another game in Detroit tomorrow, then out to Oakland. I’m flip-flopping again, it would be nice to not finish last, but there’s that draft pick to consider. I don’t mean the difference in one slot, which really comes down to a crap shoot. I mean the worry that the Rangers might have the 16th pick, because the first 15 are protected from being lost if you sign a free agent. We should not be looking at big free agents next year, but the ever-present Torii Hunter rumors are out in force again. Too much money, for someone who is too old to earn it. We already have one of those, I talked about Michael Young yesterday. The Rangers are currently in the 11th spot, but surging, and 16 is just four games away. Held by the Cubs right now, isn’t that laughable, since they’re fighting for a playoff spot, just a game back of Milwaukee in the worst division in baseball.

If you haven’t been reading the comments lately, you’ll have missed a few from Mike Fast. Mike produces Fast Balls, a blog where he has been cataloguing Gameday analysis across the internet. This has been excellent stuff, it’s made it much easier for me to find what other people are saying, and I’ve gotten some good ideas and info from it. If you were to read one Gameday site (apart from mine!), read his. Anyway, today he has a post about Edinson Volquez, following on from my post about him on the weekend. Mike takes what I had posted and goes a little deeper, using some spin analysis to separate Volquez’s fastball into a two-seam and four-seam. I had noted that I thought there might be two pitches in there, but I hadn’t separated them, so Mike continues my thought and actually does the dirty work for me. Very good stuff.

Yesterday I said I was working on some stuff for Michael Young. Today I changed topics again, after thinking all day about something to do with pitching, I ran a bunch of counts and charts tonight that were totally unrelated. I have fifty different ideas running through my head, if I could get some of them done there’d be a flood on this site. In the meantime, if anyone knows where I could get career ERA+ numbers for everyone who ever pitched, I’d appreciate it. Baseball Reference has the top 1000, but I don’t know where to get the rest, short of spidering their site and parsing it out, which would be a pain.

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