Anne Rogers on the adjustments Brady Singer made that helped him put together a quality start on Tuesday:
Armed with a new grip, Singer called his slider a “difference-maker” Tuesday. Pitching coaches Brian Sweeney and Zach Bove asked Singer to try the grip in his bullpen over the weekend, and Singer committed to it right away.
The pitch registered about three more inches of horizontal break (seven inches) from his year average (four), and he was able to manipulate the velocity. He averaged 82 mph with the pitch but dropped as low as 78.8 mph and as high as 85.5 mph.
The D-backs whiffed seven times on 22 swings on Singer’s slider (32%), and he got five called strikes on the pitch.
Craig Brown at Into the Fountains has observations from Tuesday’s win, including Michael Massey getting going:
In his second at-bat, Massey hit one on the button that was a fly out to center. However, with an exit velocity of 103.3 MPH, it was his fifth-hardest batted ball of the season to this point. The distance of 384 feet was tied for the furthest he’s hit one this year.
In the fifth, he squared up a low 0-1 fastball that was located over the middle of the plate for a run-scoring single. It was a pitch that was begging to become a line drive. And it was a pitch that Massey was routinely missing earlier in the season.
Massey’s second knock of the night came against lefty Anthony Misiewicz in the eighth. That one was on a cutter running away from him on a 2-2 pitch. Another good piece of hitting on a pitch that was probably supposed to slide a little bit off the outer edge for a swing and a miss.
Wrapping up about that game, David Lesky is uncomfortable with the bullpen:
The late innings were again a concern. Taylor Clarke walked a couple of hitters and gave up a run. Aroldis Chapman had another weird inning with an infield single that led to him getting banged up followed by a single and a grounder up the middle that Witt made an incredible play to stop and then he just tried to do too much and made a terrible throw that scored the fourth run for the Diamondbacks. Thankfully, Scott Barlow looks back to form. He came in with a runner on second and one out and got strikeouts of both Gabriel Moreno and Alek Thomas.
Then in the ninth, he put himself in danger by allowing a leadoff double. After the runner moved to third on a groundout, he got a huge popup from Ketel Marte, who had a brutal game, and then walked Corbin Carroll. On the third pitch to Christian Walker, he put a slider in a good spot and it was grounded to Nicky Lopez who threw across the diamond to seal a rare victory for the Royals. Can this be a jumping-off point? Sure. Will it be? I have no idea, but I’m sure glad to be writing about a win instead of another gut punch loss.
Freddy Fermin knocked the cover off the ball on a dribbler.
Mike Gillespie at Kings of Kauffman wonders if this is the end of the line for Mike Moustakas.
North Kansas City seems to have emerged as a contender for a new ballpark site should the East Village fall through.
We have new Statcast data for catchers! Caught Stealing Above Average goes way beyond the old CS%, incorporating a ton of data going back to 2016 to paint a more complete picture. Among 48 qualified catchers since 2016, Salvy is second in total CSAA, behind only J.T. Realmuto, who’s in another universe in this metric. Salvy’s career may be looked at differently if he had played in a world with ABS.
MLB Pipeline ran an early mock draft of the top ten picks. Jim Callis mocked Vanderbilt CF Enrique Bradfield Jr. to KC, while Jonathan Mayo picked Massachusetts prep lefty Thomas White. I’ve watched a lot of Bradfield over the past three years and will be writing about him at some point.
Bryce Harper’s recovery from Tommy John surgery has been absurdly fast.
Wander Franco is making the leap to superstardom.
Jeff Passan breaks down some early season trends, including the rise in injuries ($).
Three mid-majors enter the top ten in this week’s college baseball Top 25.
Oft-injured Clippers star Kawhi Leonard has a torn meniscus.
There’s playoffs going on in other sports. First up, in the NBA:
- The New York Knicks knocked out the Cleveland Cavaliers for their first postseason series win since 2013.
- The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Los Angeles Lakers to force a Game 6.
- The Miami Heat take down the Milwaukee Bucks in an OT thriller, becoming the first eight-seed to advance in the playoffs since the 2012 Philadelphia 76ers.
- The Golden State Warriors take a 3-2 lead with a victory over the Sacramento Kings.
In the NHL:
- The Florida Panthers staved off elimination with an OT win over the Boston Bruins.
- The Seattle Kraken take down the defending champion Colorado Avalanche to take a 3-2 series lead.
Up in Phil’s Kenai, a moose wandered into a movie theater to enjoy some popcorn. Here’s another video of it from the employee’s perspective.
Astronomers have figured out how quasars - the brightest, most powerful objects in the universe - are ignited.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a pretty cool game, but also it’s hard to review games in the era of day-one patches.
The NFL Draft begins tonight at Union Station, will you be attending?
Your song of the day is When The Summer Dies by deadmau5 and Lights.