June 25, 2024

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Rafael Devers is wandering into the Red Sox history books. The most exciting baseball game

Rafael Devers is wandering into the Red Sox history books.  The most exciting baseball game

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Rafael Devers is on a six-game winning streak, Kane is evaluating a shortened All-Star run, Christian Yelich is acting like he’s 22 again, and college baseball has an incredibly cinematic plot unfolding in real life. I’m Levi Weaver, here with Ken Rosenthal – welcome to The Windup!


Historic Homeowners by Raphael Devers

Well, it’s good to have a routine.

HR: Devers (10, 4th inning off Bradley, 1 in, 1 out)

That’s how the box score reads in the bottom of the Boston Red Sox division in yesterday’s 5-0 win over the Rays. When Devers hit that home run, he went straight into the Red Sox history books. Why? Check out the entries from his previous five matches.

Sunday, May 19 – HR: Devers (9th, 6th inning off Fernandez, 1 on, 2 out)

Saturday, May 18 – HR: Devers (8, 4th inning off Mikulas, 0 on, 1 out)

Friday, May 17 – HR: Devers (7, 3rd inning vs. Gibson, 0 on, 1 out)

Thursday, May 16 – HR: Devers (6, 2nd inning from Littell, 0 on, 0 out)

Wednesday, May 15 – HR: Devers (5, 6th inning off Mattoon, B, 0 on, 1 out)

The previous franchise record was five consecutive games with a homer, held by six players before Devers: Jimmie Foxx (1940), Ted Williams (1957), Dick Stewart (1963), George Scott (1977), Jose Canseco (1995) and Bobby. Dalbec (2020).

Although there are some surprising names on that list, anytime you beat Jamie Foxx and Ted Williams with one swing of the bat, it’s a great moment.

If you’re wondering, the MLB record for consecutive home runs is eight; Performed by Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956). The Red Sox play two more games in St. Petersburg (Rays pitchers gave up Second most housemates in the AL) before returning to Boston for a weekend series against the Brewers (tied with the Cardinals for most home runs allowed in the National League).

Gene McCaffrey has all the other details on Devers’ historic night, plus some bad injury news in Boston.


Keane’s Notebook: Youngsters Make All-Star Start

From my column today about the latest wave of cool young adults:

If you had to pick a starting shortstop for an American League All-Star team right now, it wouldn’t be the Texas Rangers’ Corey Seager, the Minnesota Twins’ Carlos Correa or any other member of the 2021 Great-Agent shortstop class. -22.

No, the starting catcher will be either Bobby Witt Jr., 23, of the Kansas City Royals, or Gunnar Henderson of the Baltimore Orioles, 22. Another young player, Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees, 23, will be on the edge of the conversation. . So does 26-year-old Houston Astros outfielder Jeremy Peña.

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When asked about their preferences in an unscientific poll, 11 MLS players, coaches and managers – all granted anonymity for their candor – revealed an almost even split between Witt and Henderson.

The recent wave of shortstops also includes several NL youngsters: the Cincinnati Reds’ Eli De La Cruz, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Maasyn Wynn and the Colorado Rockies’ Ezequiel Tovar, all 22; C.J. Abrams of the Washington Nationals, 23, and O’Neil Cruz of the Pittsburgh Pirates, 25. However, it is unlikely that any of them will start the All-Star Game over Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts. And the AL group is currently better.

At the start of the week, Henderson and Whitt ranked fourth in the majors in FanGraphs’ version of Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) with 2.8. Volpi was tied for 10th. De La Cruz, the NFL’s best shortstop among those 25 and under, was tied for 14th.

When was the last time two shortstops 25 or younger finished a season in the top five in fWAR? Go back to 1998, when Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

WAR, which estimates a player’s value based on his offense, defense, and base running, is not a definitive, all-encompassing metric. Some players rank higher in different versions than others, depending on the formulas applied. But no matter how you look at it, Henderson and Whitt are playing like stars.

That doesn’t mean either of them will start in the All-Star Game. Fan voting begins on June 5. The game will be held at Globe Life Field, the Rangers’ home park. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Rangers fans voted en masse for Seager, who was named the 2023 World Series MVP, but is not performing at his usual level following sports hernia surgery. It also wouldn’t be surprising if Yankees fans do the same for Volpe.

Whatever it is, the debate between Henderson and Witt is one that fans and reporters could talk about for the next decade or longer. Witt, in the first year of an 11-year, $288.78 million contract, will remain in Kansas City. Henderson could become a free agent after the 2028 season and his agent Scott Boras generally prefers for his clients to establish their values ​​on the open market.


Christian Yelich gives an impressive performance

You’ve heard that a home run is the most exciting play in baseball. I disagree. There’s one play that increases the adrenaline a little: house robbery.

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See, Homer in the Park can’t really be planned. The ball bounces weirdly off the wall, one player dives for the ball and spits it out, another weird thing happens and everyone thinks: Could this be on the field?

It’s exciting, but when a player steals the house, you’re seeing the result of some underhanded machinations that happened long before we – or the other team – realized what was happening.

Christian Yelich homered in a home run in the top of the sixth inning last night against the Marlins. He actually stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by Miami catcher Nick Fortes. Fortis then made a soft throw to pitcher Ryan Weathers, and Yelich pulled away.

First, I don’t want to ignore a really great play by Withers, who lifted the throw with his hands and brought it back to the plate in one motion. But Yelich had a good jump. So good, in fact – he raced home while Fortis still had the ball.

This is also a clearer angle of impact. Another thing you should consider before robbing a house: Am I willing to give and/or receive pain? The Marlins struck out Fortes, but not until the eighth inning, so it seemed situationally appropriate, rather than injury-related.

One last thing I was curious about. Was Fortis throwing Withers the whole time? I went back to earlier in the inning, when Yelich was still at first base.

Bingo.

Unfortunately, the theft was pointless (except for my extreme happiness). The Marlins came back to win 3-2 in the ninth inning. This is their fifth win in nine home victories this year.


The Alabama college baseball team is playing for a school that will close its doors

Division III college baseball may not be on your radar, but this story should be. Over the weekend, the Birmingham-Southern (AL) Panthers defeated the Transylvania (not really) University (KY) Pioneers 5-2. With the win, they advanced to the DIII Super Regionals.

Why is this important enough to include in this newsletter? Because Birmingham Southern College is It closes its doors forever On May 31 due to lack of funding.

If the Panthers can advance through the Super Regionals (May 24-25) and into the tournament finals (May 31-June 7), they will represent a school that no longer exists.

Wait, it gets even wilder.

Remember 2016, when White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche suddenly retired? Here’s the story from way back the first year of The athlete.

Ken Rosenthal, a baseball insider, tweeted that his source told him that White Sox vice president Kenny Williams asked LaRoche to stop bringing in his son and that appears to have prompted the retirement.

(No word on whether this was the scoop that led us to hire Ken a year later.)

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Adam’s son, Drake, was 14 years old at the time. Want to guess what he’s up to now?

He is 7-3 with a 3.48 ERA, playing for the Birmingham-Southern Panthers.

The school has a very rich baseball tradition for a DIII school – 33 of its players were inducted, including two seniors: R.H.P. Connor Robertson (A, D-back) and C Bruce Maxwell (like).

Now, the 30-14 Panthers — led by the kid who was the talk of baseball when he was 14 — are trying to win a DIII championship before their school closes for good. They will play a best of three match against Denison University (OH) over the weekend. We’ll let you know if they come forward.

More college baseball: The Men’s College World Series begins in just over three weeks. Mitch Light has a primer to help you follow his college baseball week in review.


Handshakes and high fives

If you read one story from today’s links section, read Matt Gelb’s story about Phillies outfielder Edmundo Sosa. Sosa spent his childhood with his family in a one-bedroom apartment in Panama, and worked admirably while Trea Turner was in IL.

Zach Mizell and Will Sammon examine Francisco Lindor’s legacy as he returns to Cleveland.

This week the Power Rankings crew takes a look at the odds for each team that could pitch in the major leagues at some point this year.

Brendan Cottee tells us how Juan Soto has improved his biggest flaw: his defence.

It appears that Jose Abreu could return to the Astros as early as this weekend.

If you want to get a sense of how a manager influences a pitching staff, it’s helpful to talk to a pitcher. Patrick Mooney spoke to the Cubs’ Hayden Wisneski about Craig Counsell.

The guards have risen Ramon appointed Laureano for the task. We will never forget That’s one throw.

Released by the St. Louis Cardinals Call City uniform yesterday. My Thoughts: …Actually, I’ll let shortstop Masyn Winn take that idea.

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(Top Image: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)