The baseball season is long. And we’re here to help: MLB Overnight covers the interesting night-in, night-out goings-on of The Show.
After action on April 6th, the Philadelphia Phillies had the third-worst scoring offense in the National League and the fifth-worst in baseball. They sported a -14 run differential during a 2-4 start.
On Saturday, they turned everything over by dropping 20 runs on the Miami Marlins. Philadelphia hit four home runs, two of which were grand slams by outfielder Aaron Altherr and third basemen Maikel Franco. They spread 20 hits literally through their whole lineup—starter Vince Velasquez had two hits, as well.
Small sample sizes lead to wacky swings in statistics. So do 20-run outings. Philadelphia scored 19 runs total in their first six games. They topped their season total in seven innings yesterday. Their expected win-loss on MLB.com flipped from 2-4 to 4-3 in one day. After a tumultuous week for the Phillies, their outburst was nothing short of cathartic.
For the Marlins, they sent a position player to the mound, an always-popular move here at Bronx to Bushville. [Editor’s Note: Yes. –b.] Catcher Bryan Holaday pitched a perfect eighth, striking out Rhys Hoskins along the way.
The New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox head into Sunday as the only one-loss teams in baseball. New York is 6-1 to open 2018, a hot start that includes two wins over heavy division-favorites the Nationals this weekend. With one exception, the starting pitching has been near league best so far. But it’s the bullpen that has shined. In 27 innings of work, New York’s bullpen has the second-lowest ERA in the league. they’ve given up the fewest hits and are tied for the fewest earned runs allowed. Their .091 WHIP is also a league-best mark.
The Red Sox were the covert contender this winter. In last year’s postseason of tight contests, Boston was handled relatively comfortably, and their frustrating flirtation with J.D. Martinez was exhausting compared to the flashy smash-and-grab Giancarlo Stanton deal done by their eternal-rivals. Boston still seems like they’re flying under the radar, but they’re flying high below everyone’s attention. A 4-0 mark in one-run games has helped them to a 7-1 start.
Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Hanley Ramirez are all performing at the plate, with each hitting .300 or better. Bogaerts, Betts, and Devers all have an OPS over .900. But Boston’s starting rotation has been nearly flawless: David Price hasn’t allowed a run in 14 innings; Chris Sale has given up only one and has 15 K’s through his first 11 innings; and Rick Porcello has made two promising starts in his bid to rebound from an awful 2017.
While his former team is setting the pace in the NL Central, Andrew McCutchen has been trying to find his with the Giants. After a hitless day against Seattle on April 4th (in a game the Giants scored 10 runs but McCutchen was responsible for leaving eight guys on), McCutchen carried an .083 average through his first seven games with San Francisco.
He broke out in a big way last night, going 6-7 with four RBIs and both his first home run and first walk-off for the Giants:
San Francisco’s two big offensive veteran imports—McCutchen and Evan Longoria—have not played well seven games in: McCutchen’s average jumped 175 points with yesterday’s show to .258, while Longoria is hitting .080 in 25 at-bats. The Giants would like vintage Longo to appear any time now.
Last night, they got a big performance from vintage Cutch.
Khurram Kalim is a senior writer for Bronx to Bushville.