Braves, Mets, Spencer Strider discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
It's not like the mets have had a classic mets collapse or anything like that, but the braves just have not been beaten and they've been playing weak teams during that stretch. So there's something to be said for that. They played like the rockies and the pirates and the a's, I think, and maybe one game against the Diamondbacks. So not your strongest opponents, but they have, I don't know, cut the mets lead in half or so. It's a race again, I think. So the braves are 5 and a half back as we speak of the mets and they're making things interesting and I guess it's been a bit of a team effort. It's been players they've promoted from within. It's been some rookies. It's been pitchers who've done well. Like Spencer strider moved into the rotation and Kyle Wright has been very good this year and they've kind of picked up the slack for Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson and then a lot of the bullpen has been very effective, not always the same guys who were great in last year's playoffs, but other guys they've been very good and then of course you have rookies like I guess in center field Michael Harris has come up and has been great defensively and has also hid and William Contreras has been good, but also Ronald Acuna. Has been back and he has really been back. He has not missed beat. He has a one 60 WRC plus this year, which is right where he was the last couple of seasons. He was like one 58 one 57. So he is right where he was and he has seemingly lost some sprint speed. I don't know if he's lost it or if he is just taking it a little bit easy as he comes back, but he's lost a foot plus per second and he's gone down from the 97th percentile to the 73rd percentile in sprint speed, but he's still stealing a lot of bases. He's stolen 11 in 14 attempts. So he is hitting like his old self and he is running like his old self and overall he has been the braves best hitter during the streak, so having him, which they did not for April. That's a big boon too. So we thought the braves were good and they look pretty good lately. It's one of those things where team adds back exceptionally good player. Suddenly is playing better news. Right. Yeah, maybe not that shocking, but. No. But, you know, when you have a guy coming back from an injury like that, you don't totally know what you're gonna get. So a reassuring bit of expectation coming true to be sure. Yeah, and, you know, the mets still have a 61% chance to win the division according to the playoff ads, but slower than it was, so suddenly you're looking at your injured aces and thinking, yeah, we might actually need those guys and then we might need them to come back. So, and in the NL west, because of the Dodgers sweep in the loss of viewer, they're down to 52.4% chance to win the division. So Padres and giants still in the running that is very much a race even though the Dodgers have been great. Well, and one of those things where you look at it and you're like, there's your expectation of winning the division. There's your expectation of making the playoffs. And then you have to grapple with the reality of what happens when you do, but your down guys like that. And hopefully his injury recovery progresses the way that they hope it will, and he is able to come back and have a couple of starts in September and then go on in October run, but it makes you feel less certain than you were before. And this was a team that, you know, despite all of its strength, we were, we were a little bit nervous about what the rotation depth would mean. And we're having to test that much earlier into the year than I think a lot of people were hoping. It would help if they could hit though, you know. That's the other thing is that they just the last little bit, not for a long time. They just haven't been scoring that many runs, which is while given the run differential we talked about last week. All right, well let's end with the past blast. Fast blast. This is episode 1862, and we will be talking about 1862. There was a Civil War on, it was not a great time, but let's talk about baseball because baseball was still happening during that time too. So first I will just follow up. We talked about base hits last time, the definition of a base hit, like what qualifies as a base hit is a home run, a base hit, just because does it have to be a single base? You and I, I think we agreed that generally the way we would use this is to talk about a single, right? Yes. But technically any kind of hit is a base hit. Rule 9.05 of the MLB rule book says a base hit is a statistic credited to a batter when such batter reaches base safely as set forth in this rule 9.05. The official score shall credit a better with a base hit when the batter reaches first base or any succeeding base safely on a fair ball that settles on the ground that touches a fence before being touched by a Fielder, or is that clears offense. So technically, a home run is a base hit according to the rulebook. Now, Richard hershberger, who has been supplying our past blasts here, historian saber researcher and author of the book strike for the evolution of baseball, he provided some historical perspective on the term base hit. So he says the historical pedantic explanation of the term base hits is that it is a shortening of first base hits. So this term arose in the late 1860s with a column in box scores labeled one B this did not mean signals, but rather hits in which the batter reached at least first base without the benefit of an error. This awkward construction was necessary because the word hit was used in its ordinary sense of any time the batter hit the ball, whether fair or fell, and whether or not it was caught. So the one B column appeared in box scores into the 1890s, but was gradually displaced by the shorter B as the long form first base hits dropped out of common usage in favor of the shorter base hits. This in turn was gradually but not completely displaced by the yet shorter form hits, as reflected by the H in modern box scores. In the meantime, the official definition in the rules has remained substantially unchanged. The technical terms hit base hit and first base hit are synonymous, the difference is merely one of how many syllables you want to use. So that's why we say base hit, that is actually shortened first base hit, and we could shorten it further just to say hit, but we haven't completely lost the base hit construction. And I think it's still useful for a single just to specify that it is a one base hit. And listener Joe wrote in to say he had a thought about this. I tend to think of a base hit as a hit that isn't yet defined. So it mostly gets used this way a ball drops in for a hit, the announcer says a base hit for so and so, but we won't know if it's a single or a double or whatever until the play is over a few seconds later, but we know they've gotten a hit of some kind. The reason I think this doesn't really apply to homers is that it's very rare to know someone got a hit before you know they hit a home run. Almost all potential home runs that don't.