Found on reddit.
Found on reddit.
“I used to write for Baseball Magazine.”
“What’s one way that life is like baseball?”
“Just because you have the best team, doesn’t mean you’re gonna win.”
Probably one of my Top 10 favorite MLB photos of all-time.
August 22nd, 1965 - LA Dodgers Sandy Koufax winds up during a game vs. the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.
NEIL LEIFER, 1965
Every day is Sandy Koufax Appreciation Day blah blah blah
The day that Jeff Keppinger forced in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with his first walk of the year on May 16th.
The White Sox recently announced that long-beleaguered pitcher Gavin Floyd will be having elbow surgery, which means that, with a recovery time of 14-19 months, he’ll be out for the rest of this season and most of next. Since this is the last year of Floyd’s contract, we’ve probably seen the last of him in a Sox uniform.
Floyd’s tenure with the Sox was marked mostly by frustration, since we occasionally caught glimpses of brilliance, but were mostly stuck with the deer-in-the-headlights look that lead to a complete meltdown in the middle of a game. If Floyd indeed is not re-signed, he will have finished his career on the South Side with a 63-65 win-loss mark and a 4.22 ERA (interestingly enough, he also had a K/9 of 7.1, tops among White Sox pitchers. Every White Sox pitcher. Ever).
But remember when he was good? Sometimes he was just dominant. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Red Sox in 2012, and into the sixth inning against them in 2009. In 2008, he actually carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Twins, before it was broken up by (of course) Joe Mauer; he also took one into the eighth against the Tigers and, in 2010, into the seventh against the Cubs. When he was on, he was on.
I went through Floyd’s season-by-season splits on baseball-reference.com, and I found two dominant months that stood out. He seemed to heat up with the summer, with June and July usually being his peak. It may be a small sample size, but maybe it’s proof that sometimes, Gavin Floyd could overcome that deer-in-the-headlights look and be a pretty damn good baseball pitcher. So here we go.
June 2009: Floyd goes 3-0 with a 1.28 ERA in 42.1 IP. He gave up 6 earned runs all month and had a .945 WHIP. Opponents batted only .190 against him (which was, to be fair, a drop of .180 points from the month before). He did only go into the 8th inning once, but his OPS+ against was 37 (100 being league-average for batters). A fluke? Maybe. You could even say probably. But it made it less surprising when the next season’s summer came around…
July 2010: This was it. This was the month that Gavin Floyd was just about The Best Pitcher in Baseball. The White Sox had a stretch of 25-5 between June and July, including an 11-game and a 9-game winning streak (they would later undergo their customary September collapse, but that’s beside the point). They went from 9.5 games back on June 8th to a 1.5 game lead on July 18th. It was incredible. It was the most fun it was to be a White Sox fan in years. And a large part of it was thanks to Gavin Floyd— RHP. Gavin Floyd and his .80 ERA in 33.1 IP and his 3 earned runs that he gave up all month. Not a single home run allowed, and weirdly enough, his .228 BAA was higher by six points than the month before. He just wasn’t letting them get anywhere. He allowed 33 TB the entire month. (Of course, compare this to Sandy Koufax’s June 1964: 5-0, 0.71 ERA in 51 IP, 47 K, .136 BAA, .686 WHIP. SANDY KOUFAX IS ALWAYS RELEVANT).
Again, it’s a small sample size— but it happened, and the numbers are there, and I always hoped that maybe the numbers would be there again someday. Unfortunately, it looks like that’s not to be. It breaks your heart a little bit— he was so close to being good. So close. But then, of course, you remember that it’s baseball, and while it’s lovely, it’s still a cruel game, and if you can’t handle it then it chews you up and spits you out with a 14-19 month recovery time and if your heart broke for every pitcher that was almost great, you wouldn’t have anything left after about a week. At the same time, though, you can’t help it. I’ve ended a blog post with the A. Bartlet Giamatti quote before, but I feel like it’s fitting again here— “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.”
But you know what? That’s not the end. Jose Quintana pitches tonight, and that’s a kid who might have a future, and the Sox have been starting Hector Santiago to pretty good results. There’s always new guys to root for. Baseball and time. They keep moving, they never look back. Catch up if you can, Floyd, and good luck— but for now, I can’t wait to see how our tomorrow unfolds.
Now, I have seen some pretty bad puns in game recap headlines on mlb.com. But this one actually made me actually close my eyes in pain, so.
Listen. I know that everyone has been posting scouting reports of great players, due to the fantastic online resources over at the Hall of Fame scouting database. I know that. But this is Sandy Koufax’s scouting report, and anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that Every Day is Sandy Koufax Appreciation Day.
Actually, what mostly bewilders me about this report is the repeated assertion that Koufax was a good hitter. This is the same Koufax who hit .097 in the major leagues. How things change.
Wooo, it’s been a while. I’ve been pretty busy lately- it’s finals week- but I should be posting more regularly in the coming days! It doesn’t do a lot for motivation when your favorite team is in last place, but as I said to my dad, at least it’s been six years since there’s been a really bad White Sox team. We have it comparatively good.
Anyway, I’ll be writing soon!
No, my friend, what you are witnessing is not an optical illusion, nor is it the terrifying after effects of that LSD you took one time in college when your friend swore that “acid flashbacks” were just something “the man” said to keep you in line.
No, what you are witnessing is one at-bat worth of Yu Darvish pitches, each one breaking and spinning and heading for separate exotic locales. What’s even more frightening, this doesn’t even represent the full extent of Darvish’s abilities, his cutter and slider not being found necessary for the at-bat.
Boy, he sure is good at throwing the ole baseball, huh.
(gif via The Internet, Big League Stew. And despite non-stop gif-fiddling, just check out that link too if it still won’t load for you.)
This is so cool. Click through; it’s worth it!