One Night Only: Hot Game Previews for May 16th

Play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough was an original member of NKOTB.

This edition of One Night Only contains:

1. Expanded previews for three games: New York (AL) at Tampa Bay, Cliff Lee at St. Louis, and the world-beating Cleveland Indians at the world-beating Kansas City Royals.

2. Pitcher and Team NERD scores for every one of tonight’s games (using the experimental pitcher-heavy method discussed last time).

3. All of the synonyms for amazing.

New York Americans (8) at Tampa Bay (8) | 18:40 ET
Starting Pitchers
Yankees: A.J. Burnett (4)
50.2 IP, 6.93 K/9, 3.20 BB/9, .228 BABIP, 41.1 GB%, 10.3% HR/FB, 3.98 xFIP, 100 xFIP-

Rays: David Price (8)
57.2 IP, 7.34 K/9, 1.40 BB/9, .287 BABIP, 42.6 GB%, 6.5% HR/FB, 3.24 xFIP, 81 xFIP-

• So, I guess we have to watch this game, looks like.
• Let’s find something redeeming.
Sam Fuld? Brett Gardner? Curtis Granderson?
Ben Zobrist has a 2.4 WAR already.
• David Price will be pitching for the straight-on Tropicana Field center-field camera.

If I Had My Druthers
• The AL East would stop acting like that kid who went to all the special SAT prep classes.
• Like, maybe it’d hang out with the NL West for a while.
• And then it’d be more like, “Let’s just chill or whatevs.”

Philadelphia (2) at St. Louis (7) | 19:05 ET
Starting Pitchers
Phillies: Cliff Lee (10)
52.1 IP, 11.01 K/9, 1.20 BB/9, .348 BABIP, 40.3 GB%, 9.3% HR/FB, 2.22 xFIP, 60 xFIP-

Cardinals: Jake Westbrook (4)
39.0 IP, 5.31 K/9, 4.62 BB/9, .348 BABIP, 61.0 GB%, 10.7% HR/FB, 4.21 xFIP, 112 xFIP-

This game will be fine, on account of Cliff Lee is pitching and because the center-field camera at Busch is one of the more ably positioned of the league’s 30 total cameras. Mostly, though, I’d like to use this game — which is ESPN’s Monday Night game — to submit an endorsement of (for?) Jonah Keri’s interview with Monday Night play-by-play man Sean McDonough.

In said interview, you’ll be treated to:

• A story about how college basketball analyst Bill Raftery got wicked sauced this one time.
• The implication (by McDonough) that said episode was not an isolated incident.
• Some reflections on the Making of Jerry Remy.

Cleveland (10) at Kansas City (10) | 20:10 ET
Starting Pitchers
Indians: Josh Tomlin (5)
46.2 IP, 5.01 K/9, 1.74 BB/9, .170 BABIP, 38.7 GB%, 14.3% HR/FB, 3.87 xFIP, 97 xFIP-

Royals: Kyle Davies (4)
40.2 IP, 6.42 K/9, 3.10 BB/9, .364 BABIP, 36.1 GB%, 10.0% HR/FB, 4.57 xFIP, 115 xFIP-

Four Reasons Why the Indians Continue to Rate Highly by NERD
• The average age of their batters this season is 26.4 — youngest in the majors.
• They have one of the better park-adjusted home-run per fly-ball rates (HR/FB) in the majors.
• They’re fourth in the league in park-adjusted batting runs above average, at +22.2.
• They’re doing all this with the fifth-lowest payroll.

Four Reasons Why the Royals Continue to Rate Highly by NERD
• They’ve featured the second-youngest batting lineup, at 26.7.
• They run a lot and run successfully, as their league-best 5.9 Speed Score demonstrates.
• They’re seventh in park-adjusted batting runs, with +14.3.
• They have the absolute lowest payroll in the majors.

One Last Measly Note
Minnesota (0) at Seattle (1) | 22:10 ET
Michael Pineda — who ranks among the leadingest of leaders in three important pitching categories — pitches today because of yesterday’s rainout.

Also Playing
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.

pNERD = Pitcher NERD
Game = Time and Average NERD for Game
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD of 5 (or 10 for debuts)

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

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Tim Lincecum is actually pitching for the Giants tonight.