Week three was an interesting time in baseball where we saw a no-hitter, unprecedented streaks for 2 pitchers continue, and a first in the world of triple plays.
Brandon Guyer continued being one of the best at getting hit by a pitch, and we saw the fastest throw in MLB history.
Let’s look at a daily breakdown of some interesting facts for the week.
You could call Monday a boring day in baseball as the highlight was Noah Syndergaard of the Mets throwing a fastball that reached 100 MPH.
Doesn’t seem like a big deal these days, right? Well, the impressive thing is that he did it 18 times.
Tuesday saw a power surge from the NL East. The Nationals set a franchise record with 4 HR in the 7th inning as they cruised to a 7-0 win.
Not to be outdone, the Mets hit 6 HR in their 11-1 win where every run the Mets scored came in through a homerun.
Wednesday saw Jordan Zimmerman continue his scoreless streak. At 19.1 Zimmerman became the first Tigers pitcher in history to have 3 consecutive starts without allowing a run to start a season.
The Phillies won in walk-off fashion in the 11th, the Orioles won because of a passed ball with the bases loaded in the 10th, and the Reds won on a walk-off single in the 9th.
Late inning heroics took the league by storm! If streaks and walk-offs are the way to go, how about Aaron Hicks’ throw to home plate? He set a record with a 105.5 MPH throw to get the runner.
Thursday was the day that people will remember for a long time. Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter in 11 regular season starts.
He became the 27th player in MLB history to throw 2 no-hitters in his career, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he threw a few more. We’ll discuss Arrieta’s dominance a little more later in the article.
Another interesting event happened in the Rays game. Brandon Guyer became the second player in MLB history to be hit by 3 pitches and have 2 hits in the same game. Quite honestly, I’m surprised there wasn’t a fight.
Friday was a special day in Chicago as the White Sox turned the rare triple play. What was truly special is that the highlight started in the outfield where Adam Eaton made a great play on a line drive.
Eaton, then, threw the ball to first, doubling off the runner there. The play ended with a run down when two runners got hung up in “a pickle” trying to advance. The final result was the first ever 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play.
In other news, Jacoby Ellsbury stole home for the second time in his career. Ellsbury was the first player to do that since last September.
Believe it or not it happens fairly frequently; 36 players made an attempt in 2012 alone. It’s something that doesn’t occur nearly as often as it used to. Don’t believe me? Ellsbury’s second time stealing home puts him 8 behind a guy named Babe Ruth.
No one thinks of Ruth as a speed guy, but he has stolen home 8 times more than Ellsbury who stole as many bases in his first 3 seasons as Ruth did in his career.
If you’re looking for something a little more heart-warming, look to San Francisco. For most of the fans, Barry Bonds was a villain because of his batting abilities and his connection to steroids.
In San Francisco, he was the hero who could do no wrong. On Friday, Bonds returned as the hitting coach for the Marlins. Don Mattingly did the right thing and let Bonds take the lineup card out.
In doing so, Bonds was greeted with a standing ovation, a round of applause, and fans chanting his name.
Maybe one day, the Hall of Fame will at least recognize him, even if it isn’t the same welcoming that San Fran offered.
Finally, we reach Saturday; a day for “rookie” pitchers. I use quotes because I’m still not sure that Kenta Maeda who was a professional in the Japanese League for 8 years should be considered a rookie.
But, he qualifies, so let’s look at what’s happening with him. Maeda is currently 3-0 with a .36 ERA after 4 starts.
He becomes the 2nd pitcher in history to start his career with 4 consecutive games of 6+ IP, 5 hits or less, and 1 run or less in each start. He’s outperforming my highest expectations for him.
On the other end, one of my favorite prospects made his major league debut at Yankee stadium. If you don’t know Blake Snell, you should look him up.
The kid threw 49 innings without giving up a run in the minors. Somehow, I don’t think he’s going to reach that in the majors this season.
Snell wasn’t amazing against the Yankees because he couldn’t strike batters out. He would get 2 strikes, and then tried to get fancy. He did register 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER and 6 K’s though.
He did better in his first 5 innings than the bullpen did for the rest of the game. He got a no decision as his team took the loss.
Let’s take a look at the hottest bats of the week. Curtis Granderson is playing as if he expects to reach 40 HR again. This week alone, he had 4 HR, 7 R, and 8 RBI. He’s been a big part of the Mets offense all season.
Bryce Harper is a name that will make this list for most of the season – 4 HR, 6 R, and 11 RBI. Boston outfielder Mookie Betts “only” had 2 HR but scored 8 R, drove in 6 and had a steal.
As for pitchers, can you get any better than Jake Arrieta? I mean really, 2 wins, a no hitter, 0 ER, and 14 K’s this week.
Going back to August 20, 2015 Arrieta has 2 no-hitters and allowed runs in 3 starts. He’s given up a total of 5 earned runs in those starts.
For what it’s worth, since last August, 27 teams have allowed more runs in an inning than Arrieta has in all.
As we look forward to the rest of the season, we may have to start discussing Arrieta as having one of the greatest seasons ever.
Make sure you make Bob Gibson’s 1968 season a regular part of your search menu. Arrieta may post similar numbers.
A good week for players that aren’t super human includes guys like Erasmo Ramirez who scored 3 wins this week.
The truly surprising part of that stat is that his 3 wins came in a total of 10 IP. 2 of his wins came as a reliever. He had 1 start where he performed quite well.
Great stats for a reliever belong to Ryan Madson. It’s been 3 years since he was an elite player and he’s finally getting back to form after a number of injuries.
Madson made 4 appearances this week. In 3.2 innings, he allowed 1 hit, 0 runs, and struck out 3 batters.
That was good enough for him to record 4 saves and allow him to tie for the league lead in saves.
Given that Ryan Madson wasn’t considered the favorite for the closer job, that’s a pretty good start to the season.
Now that we’ve looked at who’s hot for this week, let’s look at who’s been a surprise through the first 3 weeks of the season.
If you had Daniel Murphy as the league leader in average three weeks into the season, you’re a better prognosticator than I.
He’s been everything the Nationals could have hoped for- a .411 average with 9 R and 9 RBI. He’s also hitting for extra-bases and showing the ability to take walks.
Mark Trumbo is trying to show the same skill, but hasn’t been able to avoid the strikeout. He’s got a .381 average, 5 HR, 12 R and 15 RBI.
Unfortunately for Baltimore, he’s only got 2 walks and 14 strikeouts. Trumbo will never keep his average high enough to be elite if he has 7 strikeouts for every walk.
Bryce Harper has 8 HR through his first 17 games. Which puts him on pace for 76 HR. I’m not sure that I’d be willing to bet that he does that, but is there anyone else in the game that you’d feel comfortable with the possibility of doing so?
Historically, Harper doesn’t have a “cold” month, though he does seem to lose some power during the month of June.
Either way, whether Harper finishes with 56 or 76, he’s going to make it worth watching the game.
He has been spotted wearing a hat that says “make baseball fun again” and I believe that’s his mission.
Between his skill and his passion, I fully believe that Harper is capable of doing that without help from anyone.
A quick run-down of the records shows that the Orioles are still shocking the world with the best AL record, and 3rd best record in the majors.
They’ve gotten there with the 6th best run differential and a team ERA of only 3.64.
With the offense that the Orioles have, they don’t need to be much better than league average in pitching to have a shot at making noise in the playoffs.
On the other side of things, the Astros have been a huge disappointment. I expected a regression, but couldn’t have predicted them being worst in their division and having a .333 winning percentage.
They’ve allowed the 5th most runs in baseball and are only league average in scoring. They’re pitching is going to have to turn around, and quickly.
That’s our weekly recap. I hope you enjoyed what you’ve read. If there’s something new that you’d like us to start including, feel free to comment below and tell us.