Thursday, October 5, 2023

Newsletter Excerpt, October 5, 2023 -- "Sweeps Week"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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"Even that understates the power the Twins put on display. Pablo Lopez and Sonny Gray were excellent in their starts, giving up just one run in 10 2/3 innings. When they left, the show started. Five Twins relievers threw 7 1/3 shutout innings, striking out ten of the 27 batters they faced. Those five relievers threw 53 fastballs -- four-seamers and two-seamers -- at an average of 98.1 mph. Average. In two games, Jhoan Duran threw 16 four-seam fastballs, and not a single one came in at less than 100 mph. Oh, Duran also dotted some curves and threw splitters that dived like Kevin McCarthy’s career prospects.

"None of this means the Twins will win the World Series or even beat the Astros next week. It’s illustrative, though, of what hitters are dealing with in 2023. Not so long ago -- I mean, within the lifespan of the Newsletter -- we’d have lost our minds over a reliever topping out at 98. This bullpen averaged 98 against the Blue Jays. This bullpen is peak Aroldis Chapman."