B. J. Upton- TB- Cold- Upton said something naughty to umpire Paul Emmel in the 8th inning and was given the rest of the game off to think about what he had said. Having struck out for the third time in the game and fifth time in 9 at bats over the first two games of the series against the Red Sox, Upton may have been feeling frustrated. With a .316 BHIPx heading into the game, we may start to see some regression to the mean and a drop in Upton’s average. Between his overly good luck and an unprecedented (for him) Batting EYE of .78, there is room for downward movement in Upton’s production.
John Danks- CHA- Caution- Yesterday, Danks needed 96 pitches to get through 5-2/3 IP, with 41 of them balls. The inefficiency is nothing new for him, as he has had pitch counts in the upper 90s to over 100 and recording no more than 6-1/3 IP in 6 of his last 7 starts. The poor control is uncharacteristic, but that may not be as bad as his other outings, when he tends to throw a lot of strikes in his mix of pitches. Over those 7 starts, Danks has averaged a little over 4 pitches per batter. He has given up 43 hits and 13 walks in 38-2/3 IP over that span for a WHIP of 1.45, which is high, but not outrageously so. Yet he has thrown 65% of his pitches for strikes. What all this indicates is that hitters tend to foul off a lot of pitches from Danks. They are often getting a piece of him. Where this can end up being a problem is later on in the season when fatigue sets in. If Danks loses a little off his pitches those fouls become batted balls in play, and more of them will turn into hits. In 2007, Danks showed a marked decline in production as the season wore on. The same could happen this year, so he is a “sell high” candidate based on his current ERA.
Daniel Cabrera- BAL- Stats- Despite the two hit batters and a wild pitch, Cabrera did not have that much of a problem with control last night. Only 36 of the 102 pitches he threw were balls and he did not walk anyone. Of the 27 batters Cabrera faced, only six ended up with a count with three balls. His main problem was that he gave up his 8 hits and hit the batters in bunches, allowing the Twins to score twice in 3 separate innings. That kind of distribution can be just a product of chance. Cabrera’s performance, while not helpful especially in the ERA department, is not a reason to think he has regressed to his old ways.
Jered Weaver- LAA- Cold- Weaver won yesterday’s game, but it was certainly not a performance to so cartwheels over. For the 5th time in his last 7 starts, Weaver failed to record a quality start, giving up 4 runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out 3 in 6 IP. Could his impressive 2006 debut primarily have been a product of luck? Weaver’s .234 BHIPx indicates that may have been so, considering his following performances. Of course, his marks of .311 last season and .301 so for this year may indicate that Weaver is not as bad as he has shown recently, but he is still not as bright a light as he was two years ago.
Nate Robertson- DET- Cold- Robertson can’t chalk this one up to feeling ill. He was just plain bad, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in 6-1/3 IP while striking out 5. Robertson has been fighting bad luck, with a .329 BHIP% entering the game, so there is hope that a regression to the mean will help bring his numbers in a positive direction.