Results tagged ‘ Christina Kahrl ’
Christina Kahrl, who writes for ESPN’s SweetSpot Blog and is a founding partner of Baseball Prospectus, contributed this overview of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the Vine Line Game Day Edition program, available at Wrigley Field. Grab your official Wrigley Field scorecard for just $2 and catch Christina’s full look at the Cubs’ matchups every month.
Their consecutive losing seasons might be at a major-sports-record 18 and counting, but there are signs of progress. Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen and third baseman Pedro Alvarez are former first-rounders, and players the Pirates can build around. But with a roster almost entirely made up of other team’s prospects, they’re something like a full-season spring-training team, using the year to evaluate what they have, how much of it they should keep, and for how long.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty)
Christina Kahrl, who writes for ESPN’s SweetSpot Blog and is a founding partner of Baseball Prospectus, contributed this preview of the Cubs’ visit to Boston for the Vine Line Game Day Edition program, available at Wrigley Field. Grab your official Wrigley Field scorecard for just $2 and catch Christina’s full look at the Cubs’ matchups every month.
If the American League had a preseason favorite for the pennant, it was the Red Sox. After adding former Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez and free-agent leftﬁelder Carl Crawford to an already star-laden lineup, nothing less would be seen as success.
That was before the Sox got off to a slow start, inducing instant panic in Red Sox Nation. Boston’s extraordinary roster depth is the product of extraordinary expense beyond just the $160 million-plus big-league payroll: The farm system has cranked out MVP candidates Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia in the lineup, power lefty Jon Lester in the rotation, and ﬂame-throwing Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard in the ’pen. This series won’t just be historical—it’s as tough a matchup as you can draw, presenting the Cubs with a major challenge during their one away series in May.
A season shy of its centennial as a big-league venue, Fenway Park is the East Coast’s answer to Wrigley Field and the site of the 1918 World Series between the Red Sox and the Cubs. Fourteen years before Babe Ruth’s infamous “Called Shot” that helped cost the Cubs the Series, he was helping the Red Sox beat the Cubs as a pitcher in ’18, getting the win in the ﬁrst and fourth games. (more…)
The Braves roll into town for a three-game set this weekend. The Cubs will thankfully miss ace Tim Hudson’s spot in Atlanta’s rotation, so let’s focus on their offense.
Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus broke down the effectiveness of the Braves lineup in the August Scorecard EXTRA (below).
Be sure to factor in the recently added Derrek Lee’s presence.
PITCHING: 3.44 Fair RA (first in MLB)
Because the Padres arguably have no single pitcher racking up big numbers, it’s easy to lose sight of their team-wide strengths. They’re the toughest team to hit against: They lead the NL in strikeout percentage, punching out 21 percent of opposing batters, and also profit from a league-best defense. Their 2.89 bullpen FRA reflects a seven-deep spread of effective ‘pen men, headlined by closer Heath Bell. Setup man Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams provide a reminder of how top relievers can be near-everyday impact players in their own right.
The Cubs got a taste of Padres closer Heath Bell in the non-save situation of last night’s ninth inning. He retired Starlin Castro, Kosuke Fukudome and Darwin Barney in order–the first two striking out.
Bell didn’t pitch in the Aug. 14 and Aug. 15 Padres-Giants games, so expect to see him back on the mound during the last three games of this series.
If it’s in a save situation, as Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus explains in August’s Scorecard EXTRA (right), beware. His 35 saves (in 38 opportunities) lead the NL.
Though San Diego’s pitching staff, with its NL-leading 3.23 ERA, has stood out this season and helped the Padres to their unexpected contender role in the West, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has once again been the rock of the team’s lineup.
And while the Cubs need to focus on getting to Jon Garland, Mat Latos, and other quality Padres throwers that will appear throughout the week, they can’t sleep on the big guy that’ll stand in every day.
Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus explains why (right) in the August edition of Scorecard EXTRA.
While Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and the injured Chase Utley are the Philadelphia offensive regulars that grab most of the headlines, it is centerfielder Shane Victorino who often fuels the Phillies’ run production.
Despite a .250 average, the 5-9 Hawaiian knocked 14 balls out of the park, accrued 48 RBIs and stole a team-high 17 bases in the season’s first half. Baseball Prospectus’ Christina Kahrl highlighted Victorino’s versatility in July’s Scorecard EXTRA (above).
Chicago fans, though, should take note of Cincinnati’s 16 hits in the 10-inning game. As Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus points out in July’s Scorecard EXTRA (above), the hot-hitting Reds will look to do more of the same, putting runs on the board and pressure on the Cubs hitters.