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Good morning baseball fans!
Teams were very active yesterday, trying to help their teams out for the playoff push. The big move of the day was the Marlins acquiring Fernando Rodney from the Padres.
Needing some pitching help, the Dodgers acquired Bud Norris from the Braves.
Earlier in the day, they placed Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list.
What’s going on with Chris Archer?
Now it’s the end of June, and Chris Archer lost his 11th game of the season on Tuesday night against the Red Sox. He is 4-11 with a bloated 4.76 ERA and a 3.63 xFIP in 98 1/3 innings. That xFIP ranks him 24th in the majors, and even puts him just ahead of the White Sox’s Chris Sale, who sports a 3.64. But when sorting stats by ERA, Archer drops down to 73rd in the majors and is sandwiched between Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals (4.73) and Kendall Graveman of the A’s (4.84).
Archer’s main problems this season seem to be length and consistency. I looked at his game logs and noticed that he has pitched more than seven innings only twice this season, and there have been a number of times when he’s gone into only the fifth or sixth inning having thrown over 90 pitches. His worst start of the year occurred on May 22 against Detroit when he gave up six runs on eight hits in only three innings. He threw 77 pitches that game.
The Braves signed Omar Infante to a minor-league deal.
For the first time since 1976, a manager declined to use the DH and instead had his pitcher hit. The pitcher? Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
Rays starter Matt Moore is drawing interest from the Texas Rangers.
Here is a roundup of news from around the National League East.
One of those NL East teams, the Mets, are having trouble coming through in big situations.
Going now to the Play Index, we can look at how teams have done in the past in those situations. My stat of choice is tOPS+, which measures split performance vs. overall performance. By this measure, the worst team in recorded history with runners in scoring position is the 1962 Mets, who finished with a tOPS+ of 77. The 1987 Indians finished with a tOPS+ of 80. As I write this, this year’s Mets have a tOPS+ of 74. Another mark that would be the worst ever, if it were to keep up. Clearly, the points are related. The Mets have been historically unclutch, and it’s mostly because they’ve been historically bad with runners in scoring position. They shouldn’t stay like this going forward, but a lot of damage has already been done.
Thankfully for them, they remain in the race. And no one should be convinced that the Mets are bad. The Mets, on talent, are one of the better teams in the league, and though they’ll probably be without Wright, they could trade for an infielder. Or they could sign Yulieski Gurriel. Travis d’Arnaud should hit more than he has. The Mets basically have what they should need, and it would be absurd to write them off. It’s fine to be disappointed by the offense. The offense has been disappointing. It ought to improve. And then maybe all the concern should be reserved for Syndergaard and Matz. To me, those issues seem more likely to linger.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1916, Honus Wagner is the oldest to player to hit an inside-the-park home run, at age 42 yeras and four months.