Cokin’s Corner, Sunday 6/11/17
Well, that’s good news. I was watching last night’s Marlins-Pirates game when Giancarlo Stanton got drilled on the hand by a 95 MPH heater. I’m sure others viewing the game has the exact same reaction when the HBP took place. Oh no, not again.
Stanton has had some really tough injury luck since arriving in the majors. That includes a prior hit by pitch in 2014 that basically broke his face. Plus, another hit by pitch in 2015 that broke his left wrist.
This time, very fortunately, it’s just a contusion. Hopefully, we’ll be able to watch one of the most exciting players in baseball back on the field shortly.
And let’s also hope this is the last time Stanton gets nailed by an errant fastball. I’d say he’s already absorbed more than his fair share of the real version of a wild pitch.
This hasn’t been a good week for me. 0-2 Saturday plus a push on the Diamondbacks -1. It’s going to run this way sometimes, and the only thing to do is battle through it while also easing off the pedal as far as volume is concerned. As usual, the bullpens are causing me the biggest problems, either for or against.
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Today’s free play will be on the Twins-Giants game, and there’s a pretty interesting storyline involved in this one.
TWINS (Turley) at GIANTS (Cain)
Take: UNDER 8.5
Matt Cain takes the mound for San Francisco today as the Giants look to salvage the finale of their series with the surprising Twins. Minnesota will counter with debuting big leaguer Nik Turley.
Cain has been wildly erratic this season, but in a weirdly consistent fashion. The veteran righty can’t get anyone out on the road. But Cain has been a plus pitcher at home. I’m banking in that continuing today.
Turley is the really interesting storyline here. The lefty has been around for quite some time since being drafted in the 50th round of the 2008 draft. Turley was selection number 1502 in that draft. I think it’s fair to say almost no one ever expected Nik Turley to be making a big league start in June of 2016.
It actually gets even better. Turley has pretty much pitched himself out of professional baseball. He ended up pitching independent ball last year, and my guess is everyone except Nik Turley figured that was it as far his major league prospects were concerned.
So what happened? To be honest, I have no idea whatsoever, but it sure appears as though this lefty has figured something out, and in a remarkably spectacular way.
Turley has pitched at two levels this season, AA and AAA. In 52.2 innings of work, Turley has recorded a mind boggling 84 strikeouts. That borders on unbelievable. And it’s not like he’s getting crushed when contact gets made. The lefty has surrendered only 33 hits and a couple of homers along the way.
I don’t know how long this magic carpet ride lasts for Turley. But he’s facing a Giants team that isn’t very prolific against southpaws and I’ve always liked lefties the first time through the loop, as they tend to be a bit baffling to big leaguer hitters that haven’t seen them.
I can see this one being a pretty good duel. I like the Cinderella story rookie and Cain has been terrific at home. Plus, only nine runners have crossed home plate in the first two games of this series, so it’s not like either team is crushing the baseball right now. I’ll go with the Under in today’s Twins-Giants series windup.