Friday tidbits: Yankees, Cain, EJax, and more
A few nuggets, including some baseball, as we head into the weekend…
* I tweeted this in brief, but look out for the Yankees. The schedule is pretty meaty for the next few weeks, but everything else seems to be coming together. Bringing David Robertson back restores the bullpen to as strong as it’s going to be in the absence of Rivera, which is to say pretty dadgum strong. Phil Hughes is definitely trending in the right direction, and it appears Ivan Nova is as well. Andy Pettitte has been brilliant. And the offense is going to hit. Even with those heavily publicized RISP and bases loaded woes, the Yankees are fifth in the league in runs per game.
They already have the best record and second-best run differential in the AL, and that’s with quite a bit of sputtering over the first two months. I picked this as the best team in baseball before the season started, and while they may not reach those heights without Michael Pineda, the Yanks are a very good, very dangerous team that appears to be hitting its stride.
* Did you know how good a season Matt Cain was having even before his perfect game? His 14 K/0 BB showing brought his K/BB ratio for the year to 6.00, but even before that it was at 5.13, which would be fifth in the Majors. His 2.18 ERA is second in the NL, his 14.9 pitches per inning average is 12th in the league and a career-low. It’s no longer quietly a brilliant year, thanks to the perfecto, but it’s still a brilliant year, a Cy Young-type of season at this point.
* Speaking of pitches per inning… I bet if I gave you 25 guesses, you wouldn’t name the most efficient starting pitcher in the Majors so far this season. It’s Edwin Jackson at 13.8 pitches per inning, a drastic drop for a pitcher who’s never averaged fewer than 16.0 and once had a full season where he averaged 18.4
* One of my favorite events starts tonight. The College World Series is the best thing in American sports that seemingly nobody knows about (though thanks to some nice work from ESPN, its profile is growing). The ball is tremendously entertaining, the crowds are great, the drama is huge. Do yourself a favor and check it out, and if you ever get a chance to go in person, do not miss it.
* There’s been a serious dearth of music talk here at OYNAG lately. Thanks to Spotify, I’ve gotten into a few albums lately, though. After 2-3 listens to a whole bunch of new stuff, my favorites these days are Japandroids’ “Celebration Rock,” Dr. John’s “Locked Down,” Justin Townes Earle’s “Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now,” and Red Collar’s “Welcome Home.”
* And, finally, a personal note. There probably aren’t two people in the world who are more devoted readers of what I write than my dad and my father-in-law. I couldn’t have a better one of either and I’m incredibly thankful for them both. Happy Father’s Day to both of you. I know you’ll both see this, so thanks.