You probably spent your holiday weekend sucking down Coronas and margaritas, and not thinking about the Battle of Puebla. You were celebrating the wrong holiday, and you didn't even make a phone call to your dad because you are awful. For shame. And you can't even use the excuse that you were watching too much baseball. No one watches that much baseball. There's just too much of it. That's why we're here again to catch up together.
Doing a weekend baseball recap is tricky because I have to avoid Twitter all Sunday to avoid Mad Men spoilers. I enjoy a very specific Mad Men routine: 10-minute increments over several days, often at 4:00 a.m. while covered in regurgitated breast milk. It's pretty much the only way to watch the show. So I'll be caught up soon enough, but let me help you catch up with what happened in baseball over the weekend.
Alex Cobb suffered a horrific injury on a line drive up the middle
I'm one of those weenies. You know that kid in the NCAA tournament whose leg exploded on a routine jump shot? Never seen it. If it's up to me, I will never see it. The same goes with the injuries suffered by J.A. Happ and Brandon McCarthy on line drives up the middle. Don't need it, don't want it, don't seek it out. That doesn't make me better than you. It just means I don't like seem people get hit in the head with baseballs. Which probably makes me better than you, but I'm not here to get into the semantics of it all.
But I was in a restaurant with my 4-year-old daughter, absent-mindedly watching SportsCenter highlights on a TV above the bar. A Rays game led off the coverage, and before I could think about how odd that was, Alex Cobb was contorting in a pile of godless geometry and holding his skull. My daughter said, "Oh, he broke his ankle," because she thinks every baseball player breaks his ankle when he gets hurt. Her frame of reference is Buster Posey in most things, but only because I'm raising her right.
Cobb could have broken his ankle, his skull, his everything. But he didn't, and he was placed on the 7-day DL. He was even visited in the hospital by the guy who done put him there:
"It was just cool to go and physically talk to him and see how he was doing. He was talking and there were a bunch of other guys from his team in there and he was laughing and joking, so it was good to see that," (Eric) Hosmer said. "I was just glad to see he was good, and it just made me feel a lot better to actually see it rather than just hearing about it."
All's well that ends well. Yep.
Except I can't stop thinking about it. I vacillate between the ideas that a) there have been hundreds of thousands of innings played in major-league history, and there still hasn't been a fatality on a pitcher taking a line drive to the head, so maybe it's easy to overreact when it happens, and b) we need to do something, dammit. Steel hats. Goalie-style face masks. Something.
But we were all able to put that conversation on layaway until something happens that can't be fixed. Hooray for passing the buck to a future version of you! Phew. For now, it's a topic of conversation for a day or two, and then Cobb will come back like nothing happened. And the clock is reset. Tick tock.
The Padres are a couple games out of first
The Padres have legitimate major leaguers at every position. Take a look. They aren't messing around with ex-prospects like Chad Hermansen, hoping to spin straw into gold. They have a young lineup with some measure of promise, and for the first half of 2013, it's working. The Padres are scoring runs. They swept the Diamondbacks over the weekend, and now they're a game over .500 and two-and-a-half back in the NL West.
The Padres are also pitching below their established standards. It's like the old saying, "Stults and Marquis and pray for oh god Marquis is one of the examples of the good ones?" Jason Marquis is, in fact, 9-2 on the season with a 3.83 ERA. Forget that he's walking five hitters for every nine innings he's pitched and striking hitters out at roughly the same rate. That'll surely keep up.
It was the same dichotomy that made it hard to pick the Padres as anything but also-rans before the season. They had an underrated collection of position players, but several of the best pitchers and pitching prospects in the organization were hurt (and would be for a while). It's not like they're over .500 because of freakishly good pitching; Edinson Volquez has been awful, and Clayton Richard has been even worse. But Marquis, Andrew Cashner, and Eric Stults have been different shades of okay. No more, no less. Sometimes less.
But the hitting has been good enough at the start of the season, even though Chase Headley hasn't been doing much of anything. And during their six-game winning streak, they've allowed under three runs per game, so perhaps the pitching is rounding into form, too. They weren't supposed to have the great pitching needed to contend, and they don't have it. But maybe it just needed to be okay.
shhhh the blue jays are winning
Look, I don't want to jinx it, so keep your voices down. But the Blue Jays swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the first time they've ever swept a four-game series in Arlington. They did it with hitting (combining for 21 runs over the last three games) and pitching (allowing four runs to the Rangers all series). The Dickey/Johnson/Wang combination has been doing well, and I'm not just pointing it out because I wanted to type "the Dickey/Johnson/Wang combination."
No one look at the Blue Jays right now. Just pretend like we don't notice. There are four other teams in the AL East we can pay attention to. Just be quiet.
Oh, man, is Adam Lind actually hitting this year? How did I miss that?
SHHHHHHHH, come on, man. Keep it down.
A steamer trunk made his major-league debut
Caleb Gindl is a 24-year-old outfielder who was drafted by the Brewers in 2007. He made his debut on Saturday. Let's take a gander at his stats, shall we?
Let's see, he's a left-handed hitter, he's only pinch-hit so far, and he's a cooler filled with ice and refreshing beverages.
And he's one of the only 5'7", tenth-of-a-ton major leaguers in history:
That's all we knew about him before his debut. Unfortunately, he looks kind of normal.
Sure, that's shorter than the typical baseball player and stockier than the typical baseball player. But I wanted a guy shaped like a bread box. Instead, he's just a guy with a really, really, really impressive start to his Baseball-Reference.com page.
Though he did make me realize that we all have an unspoken desire to see Jose Altuve completely let himself go.
The Cubs out-Met the Mets
There are times when a GIF captures an error perfectly. This is not one of those times. So, please watch the video. The words "calliope" and "calamity" were used within two seconds of each other, which is just perfect. Alfonso Soriano hit a sharp grounder to third, and it turned into a two-run Little League triple. It was almost a three-run Little League homer.
But just when you think the Mets will have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, Carlos Marmol came into the game. Then this happened:
And just like that, the Cubs lost. It's like a game of rock, paper, scissors. The Mets outmarlin the Marlins who outcub the Cubs who outmet the Mets. An awful, awful game of rock, paper, scissors.