Nation STATion: Baseball's most annoying phrase

191542.jpg

Nation STATion: Baseball's most annoying phrase

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Friday night, Adrian Gonzalez singled in the 1st, doubled in the 2nd, and homered in the 5th. He ended up the game going 3-for-4, and drawing a walk. It was another really good night for ALs first-half MVP.

Had that simply been the description I would have been quite content, but noooooo! I had to hear Gonzo was just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, and there is no phrase that drives me crazier than that one. If my media colleagues had said He ended up just one hit shy of a perfect night, I would have been fine, but the cycle issue drives me nuts.

Let me explain. When something is just shy of an amount it's just short of that amount by a little, teeny-weeny bit. A triple just doesnt fit that description.

A cycle is a hard thing to accomplish, primarily because of the triple. Since 2006, there have been 25 cycles hit in the majors. None, zero, zippo by the Red Sox. In fact, there have been none hit by anyone so far this season. As a frame of reference, there have been 16 no-hitters thrown since 2006 and two already this season.

There have been 17 cycles hit by the Sox since 1919, none since 1996:

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com

Since 1919:
There have been 239 Sox batters who missed the cycle because they didnt homer
There have been 67 Sox batters who singled, tripled and homered in a game
There have been 29 Sox batters who doubled, tripled, and homered in a game
But how many Red Sox batters have had games in which they were a triple shy of the cycle? Including Big Papi, twice in May, Carl Crawford once in May, Kevin Youkilis just over a week ago, and Gonzo Friday night, the count is 632.

A triple is hard to hit. There have been about 300 more batters who missed the cycle by a triple than all the others who missed by one combined because triples are hard to hit. Thats why A-Gon, who has three this season, tying his career high, is teasing everyone about his speed as Maureen Mullen shared with us, I was telling speedster Jacoby Ellsbury, who has two, I got more triples than you do. Whats going on? Gonzalez said. He just said, Hey, you're faster than me.

This is Nation STATion so here are some numbers to show you how hard it is to hit a triple.

So far this season:
There have been 18,460 hits, 673 by the Sox

Of those hits, there have been:
12,528 singles, 427 by Boston
3676 doubles, 151 by Boston
1879 homers, 81 by Boston
377 triples, 14 by Boston

Plain and simple, there are not a lot of triples hit. So my baseball friends and fellow members of the media, puh-lease do not use the phrase, he fell just a triple shy of the cycle.

Its like saying, The Vancouver Canucks fell just five goals shy of winning the Stanley Cup.

Pomeranz gets chance to rebound from first shaky Red Sox start

boston-red-sox-drew-pomeranz-giants-072516.jpg

Pomeranz gets chance to rebound from first shaky Red Sox start

BOSTON -- His first start wasn’t exactly what everyone expected.

Now, Drew Pomeranz has his shot at redemption in more ways than just improving on his last start — which won’t take much.

The lefty makes his second start since joining the Red Sox at the tail end of the All-Star break, following a shaky Minnesota series that John Farrell admitted could have easily gone south.

“We’ve come off a couple of days where we’re a pitch away or a swing of the bat away from being in a spot where we’re possibly looking at four consecutive [wins] in this series,” Farrell said after the Red Sox’ 8-7 victory Sunday. 

And each day was a different issue -- with the exception of a blowout win on Thursday night.

Friday had no offense. Saturday had crazy wind, sketchy fielding and another subpar performance from David Price. And Sunday saw a couple of fly balls land that shouldn’t have -- to go with the bullpen nearly blowing the lead.

In fact, the bullpen had a 6.97 ERA this weekend. In 10 1/3 innings of work, they gave up eight earned runs.

Take out Brad Ziegler’s two shutout innings and they almost averaged one run per inning -- which would be a 9.00 ERA.

So, the fielding has been shaky. The bullpen blew a game where the Red Sox scored nine runs Saturday night and nearly did it again the next day when the Sox scored eight.

Add that on to a second outing where you’re trying to win over a city and region after pitching only three-plus innings, and allowing five runs, in your debut, in which the offense had given you plenty of run support, staking you to an 8-0 lead Wednesday night against the Giants (the Red Sox held on to win, 11-7).

And, you were traded for one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball -- who has become even more valuable in everyone’s eyes since you’re debut.

Last, and probably least, the guy who traded to get you -- and expressed he’s had interest in you since you were drafted -- well, you’re pitching against his old team and the guy who -- although on the decline -- has been the face of the Detroit Tigers franchise for nearly a decade in Justin Verlander.

No pressure though.

Welcome to Boston.

Report: Cubs, Yankees agree on Aroldis Chapman trade

yankees-aroldis-chapman.jpg

Report: Cubs, Yankees agree on Aroldis Chapman trade

By Bill Baer, NBCSports.com Hardball Talk

Update (12:28 PM EDT): CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports that 22-year-old outfielder Rashad Crawford is also headed to the Yankees. Crawford is not ranked among the Cubs’ best prospects. This season, at Single-A Myrtle Beach, he has hit .255/.327/.386 with 29 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 370 plate appearances.

*
The deal between the Cubs and Yankees involving closer Aroldis Chapman, first reported on Sunday, is complete according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports' Today’s Knuckleball. The Cubs will get Chapman while the Yankees will receive infield prospect Gleyber Torres, outfield prospect Billy McKinney, pitcher Adam Warren, and one more as yet unnamed player. Despite what yesterday’s report indicated, there is no contract extension for Chapman, so he can become a free agent after the season.

Torres, 19, is rated the Cubs’ #1 prospect and #24 overall in baseball by MLB Pipeline. The shortstop has spent the season with Single-A Myrtle Beach, batting .275/.359/.433 with nine home runs, 47 RBI, 62 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 409 plate appearances. The Cubs, however, already have Addison Russell at shortstop and have middle infield prospect Ian Happ.

McKinney, 21, is the Cubs’ #5 prospect and #75 overall in baseball. This season, with Double-A Tennessee, he has put up a .252/.355/.322 triple-slash line with 16 extra-base hits, 31 RBI and 37 runs scored in 349 PA. He suffered a hairline fracture in his right knee last year, which might explain why he’s been a bit lackluster with the bat this season.

Warren, 28, is a former Yankee as the club sent him to the Cubs in the Starlin Castro trade over the winter. He’s been unremarkable in one start and 28 relief appearances for the Cubs, posting a 5.91 ERA with a 27/19 K/BB ratio in 35 innings. Warren, earning $1.7 million this season, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining.

Since returning to the Yankees, Chapman has recorded 20 saves in 21 chances with a 2.01 ERA and a 44/8 K/BB ratio in 31 1/3 innings. Andrew Miller will likely move into the closer’s role with Dellin Betances setting up the eighth inning for the Yankees.

Chapman, 28, served a 30-game suspension beginning at the start of the regular season due to an offseason incident during which he allegedly choked his girlfriend and fired off eight gunshots in his garage. The police didn’t file official charges.

Follow @Baer_Bill on Twitter.