One Night Only: Previews for the Weekend of April 8th by Carson Cistulli April 8, 2011 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?