In yesterday’s post, I shared stories of baseball woe accompanied by custom cards. Today, we’re going to look into some of the happier stories of the past week.
First off, I’ve got an update to a card in an earlier series of my 2014 TSR set. Yangervis Solarte was one of the “Feel Good” stories of April, playing well beyond the expectations of any journeyman minor league free agent.
His bat cooled off, he lost starting time to Zelous Wheeler and on July 22nd he was shipped off to the Padres as part of a trade for Chase Headley.
In Solarte’s 11 games with the Padres he’s been hitting .318 with 8 runs and 9 RBI. Because of his renewed success, he gets a 4th Series card in my custom set.
Here’s hoping that he’ll maintain his success with the Padres.
By the way, the next batch of customs that I post (probably next weekend) will focus on guys who moved at or near the trade deadline, so we can all get that “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa??” moment out of the way when we see Yoenis Cespedes in a Boston uniform.
Speaking of Boston, the Red Sox took a look at this year’s team, said “We suck with you, we can suck without you” and traded off a good chunk of their World Championship team over the past couple of weeks.
So, with Lester and Lackey out of the rotation —
— I just stumbled upon the fact that in Covington, GA there’s a funeral home called “Lester Lackey And Sons”. That was just too odd not to share.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled post.
…With Lester and Lackey out of the rotation, the Sox dipped into their farm system to give prospect Anthony Ranaudo his Major League debut against the Yankees.
Going into the 2011 season, Ranaudo was the Red Sox #2 prospect and the overall #67 prospect (according to Baseball America). He’s fallen a bit on the Red Sox list over the past couple of years, but he’s still a valued arm.
Of more importance to some of you, he’s from Freehold, New Jersey… home of Bruce Springsteen.
So, how did he do?
Ranaudo got the win as he held the Yankees to 4 hits and 2 runs in a 4-3 Boston victory. Ranaudo’s first strikeout victim was Derek Jeter. Yeah, Jeets! I’m sure that moment was as appreciated by the Fenway faithful as it was by me.
Our final pair of cards feature Mets pitcher (and Shlabotnik favorite) Jacob deGrom and Marlins pitcher Steve Cisek. These two shared the N.L. Player Of The Week honor for the week ending July 27th.
Jacob – who gets a new custom because I’m not happy with the original, and because I mistakenly called him “Jake” on it – went 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA as he beat the Marlins and Brewers. I developed a bit of an emotional attachment to Jacob earlier in the season, because he was often pitching well but a lack of run support left him with more losses and no-decisions than he deserved. Here’s a perfect example: In his Major League debut against the Yankees, he pitched 7 innings, gave up just 4 hits, allowed the Yanks a single run after holding them scoreless for 6 innings… and he lost 1-0. Where is the justice in that, I ask you?
He’s continued to pitch well, the bats have picked up, and deGrom has cemented his place as one of my favorite Mets of 2014.
Cishek got five saves during the week, and during those five appearances he struck out 8 and allowed just two hits. Cishek doesn’t rank highly enough in the TSR standings to get me to re-do his Series 1 card, which is what you see here (and which many of you had seen in March).
If there are any players who make you feel good these days and you’d like to see commemorated on a TSR card, just leave me a comment… I’m always happy to fulfill requests!
Update: Since I wrote this post during the day on Saturday, it neglected to mention that last night Mr. deGrom and Jake Peavy had a big ol’ pitcher’s duel last night, with neither team getting a hit until the 7th inning. The Giants may have spoiled deGrom’s no-hitter, but the Mets countered with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning to move towards a 4-2 victory. deGrom has now won 5 straight starts and has gone 66.1 innings without allowing a home run… Any Mets fan has got to love what this guy is bringing to the team.