Daily Notes: Doubling Down on San Diego’s Burch Smith

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Featured Game: Washington at San Diego, 22:10 ET
2. Other Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Featured Game: Washington at San Diego, 22:10 ET
First of All, Concerning a Regret of the Author’s
The author would be remiss not to mention how he’s ashamed of having used the phrase “doubling down” in the title of this post, which expression (i.e. “doubling down”) appears to be some manner of card-playing terminology, but which the author has only ever encountered colloquially, and from which expression he’s derived little pleasure previously.

Moving On, With Regards to This Game
Starting this game for San Diego is Burch Smith, to which right-hander’s major-league debut the author dedicated the largest part of his Notes column this past Saturday and about which right-hander’s debut one might reasonably use a word like “Ick” or “Yeesh.”

Burch Smith’s Debut, His Line from It
Here’s Burch Smith’s line from his debut on Saturday (box): 1.0 IP, 10 TBF, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 GB on 6 batted-balls (33.3% GB), 6.46 xFIP.

Regarding Burch Smith, The Author’s Opinion of Him
Despite Burch Smith’s poor debut, the author’s opinion of him is still an optimistic one — first of all, because he (i.e. Smith) has had considerable success in the minor leagues this year and, second of all, because he (i.e. still Smith) sits at about 93-94 mph with his fastball. Also, Smith has limited walks as a minor leaguer. All those qualities tend to serve a pitcher well in the majors.

For Reference: Burch Smith’s PITCHf/x Chart
For the benefit of the readership, here’s a lightly annotated PITCHf/x chart from Burch Smith’s debut, from which chart the reader will conclude that Smith threw almost exclusively fastballs:

BS Chart

Video: Burch Smith’s Fastball, Mostly
Here’s video of Burch Smith’s fastball, mostly, to Tampa Bay leadoff hitter Matt Joyce and set to a MIDI version of Beethoven’s “Für Elise”:

GIFs: Burch Smith’s Curveball
Of the 42 pitches Burch Smith threw in his debut, only three of them were curveballs. Of those three curveballs, however, two of them were called strikes.

Here’s one of those called-strike curves (to Kelly Johnson):

Smith CU Johnson

And here’s the other one (to Luke Scott, in this case):

Smith CU Scott

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast
Per the results of our crowdsourcing project from the 2011-2012 offseason, FanGraphs readers prefer Washington Radio (link).

Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
Arizona at Miami | 19:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
That Trevor Cahill (50.0 IP, 103 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR) faces Kevin Slowey (49.1 IP, 106 xFIP-, 0.8 WAR) in this game is a goddamn fact. That both pitchers have been rather lucky in terms of run prevention (having recorded ERAs of 2.70 and 2.55, respectively) isn’t a fact, but is a probability.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Arizona Television.

Detroit at Texas | 20:05 ET
Rick Porcello (32.1 IP, 92 xFIP-, 0.3 WAR) faces Nick Tepesch (38.0 IP, 88 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR). Regarding Porcello, here’s the line from his first four appearances: 13.0 IP, 3 K, 3 BB, 3 HR. And then from the next three appearances after that: 19.1 IP, 18 K, 4 BB, 2 HR. The latter three starts are markedly better, is the point.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Texas Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.8.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Matt Harvey NYN 10 7 7 4 6 CHN Edwin Jackson 14:20
Tony Cingrani CIN 10 4 7 1 6 PHI Cliff Lee 19:05
Jordan Lyles* HOU 6 4 6 7 5 PIT Jeanmar Gomez 19:05
Brandon Maurer SEA 4 5 6 10 6 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 19:05
Jer. Hellickson TB 5 7 4 7 2 BAL Jason Hammel 19:05
Mark Buehrle TOR 3 5 4 5 4 NYA Hiroki Kuroda 19:05
Trevor Cahill AZ 4 4 4 0 4 MIA Kevin Slowey 19:10
Hyun-Jin Ryu LAN 7 2 6 8 5 ATL Paul Maholm 19:30
Rick Porcello DET 7 8 7 4 7 TEX Nick Tepesch 20:05
Clay Buchholz BOS 7 9 5 3 3 MIN Vance Worley 20:10
Wily Peralta MIL 5 6 6 2 7 STL Jaime Garcia 20:15
Mad. Bumgarner SF 8 6 6 7 3 COL Jorge de la Rosa 20:40
Chris Sale CHA 8 1 5 5 3 LAA C.J. Wilson 22:05
James Shields KC 6 7 5 6 3 OAK Jarrod Parker 22:05
Gio Gonzalez WAS 7 2 9 5 14 SD Burch Smith* 22:10

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Well-Beered Englishman

I suppose Daily Notes readers are no longer so envious of my having had tickets to Verlander vs. Darvish. However, there was some excellent action: Leonys Martin was caught dead to rights in a rundown but ducked under Prince Fielder’s tag and ran safely back to first, and Yu Darvish threw a 62 mph curveball to strike out Miguel Cabrera swinging in the 8th inning, the latter of which I recommend to Cistulli as a potential GIF capable of yielding great and lasting pleasure!


Plz re-post the link?


that wasnt the third strike

Alexander Nevermind
Alexander Nevermind

Must’ve been a little too well-beered, because neither of those things happened. The ball was dropped by Fielder during the rundown and Miggy grounded out in the eighth.