One Night Only: Previews for the Weekend of April 8th

Friday, April 8th
WAS (Jordan Zimmermann) at NYN (R.A. Dickey) | 4:10pm ET
• Jordan Zimmermann’s season debut wasn’t the rousing success this author suspected it would be;
• Regard: 6.0 IP, 25 TBF, 2 K, 3 BB, 7 GB on 20 batted balls (35.0 GB%);
• Still, he’s a young pitcher with a 3.64 xFIP in his 128.1 major-league innings.
• And, regardless, R.A. Dickey’s pitching;
• Which, that allows us to revisit this image (again, courtesy of reader Trambone at Amazin’ Avenue):

TEX (Colby Lewis) at BAL (Zach Britton) | 7:05pm ET
• Through the first week of games (i.e. through Wednesday), these teams featured a combined record of 10-1;
• The difference? Texas was 5-1 using Base Runs with Pythagorean W-L; Baltimore, just 2-3;
• If you’re curious about that, you should be able to see those Base Runs standings here (Based on spreadsheet by John Wright. Let me know if it doesn’t work.);
• In any case, the recently promoted Zach Britton (ranked 28th on BA’s preseason prospect list) is pitching tonight;
• He did this in his debut last Sunday: 6.0 IP, 23 TBF, 6 K, 3 BB, 4 GB on 13 batted balls (30.8 GB%).

Saturday, April 9th
PHI (Roy Oswalt) at ATL (Brandon Beachy) | 1:10pm ET
• Dave Cameron has suggested — and I’m entirely willing to agree, zombie-like — that Brandon Beachy is a very real thing;
• That is, the Brandon Beachy who did this in his first start of the season: 6.0 IP, 24 TBF, 7 K, 1 BB, 4 GB on 14 batted balls (28.6 GB%);
• That’s also, of course, the Brandon Beachy who recorded 228 Ks in 208 IP in the minors;
• Turns out, ZiPS won’t be real surprised if Beachy’s good this season. Voila: 99.0 IP, 7.82 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 3.39 FIP, 83 FIP-;
• That does include a number of relief innings, which would naturally improve Beachy’s overall line, but the point still remains.

TB (Wade Davis) at CHA (Philip Humber) | 4:10pm ET
• You’re probably not right now, but should consider being, interested in Philip Humber’s first start of the season;
• Because 95% of his pitches are a complete mystery, is why (click image to embiggenate):

• Actually, cut fastballs is maybe what those XX pitches are;
• That is, the pitch that White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper taught to Humber this offseason;
• And which he (i.e. Cooper) taught to pitchers like John Danks and Esteban Loaiza, thereby greatly aiding their respective careers.

Sunday, April 10th
COL (Jhlouys Chacin) at PIT (James McDonald) | 1:35pm ET
• Discovery: over his 145.1 innings as a major-league pitcher, all three of James McDonald’s pitches — fastball, curveball, change — grade out above average per our pitch-type values;
• That’s the case neither for Matt Cain (curve) nor Cliff Lee (also curve) nor Roy Oswalt (change) for their careers;
• Am I totally cherrypicking names and distorting reality by doing so?
• Yes.
• Sill, the point remains: the Pirates received McDonald (and not-hopeless outfield prospect Andrew Lambo, it should be noted) for Octavio Dotel.

NYA (CC Sabathia) at BOS (Josh Beckett) | 8:05pm ET
• Regard this photo:

• What’s Terry Francona thinking, you think?
• “What a world, what a world,” like that witch from the Wizard of Oz when she’s melting?
• “Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!” like that guy from the Herman Melville novella?
• Something else entirely?

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

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What about nerd scores for the pitchers?