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Daily Notes: Are You Familiar with Baseball?

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Regarding How Baseball Returns Today
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Regarding How Baseball Returns Today
The Purpose of This Post
The purpose of this post is to alert the reader to how baseball — a game beloved by such notable personages as Walt Whitman and one of the Wright brothers, most likely — to how baseball returns today from its frightening and strange midsummer hiatus.

What One Can Expect Today
What one can expect today is to be assaulted by the thousand miniature anxieties of which a life is composed.

What One Can Expect Today from Baseball, Specifically
Confining our scope merely to baseball, it appears as though what one can expect is:

• To see, if he or she so chooses, three of baseball’s most compelling pitchers (Francisco Liriano, Anibal Sanchez, and Stephen Strasburg) make starts for their respective teams.

• To speculate idly — today and for the duration of the month — on which players will move to which teams before the July 31st trade deadline.

• To be assaulted by the thousand miniature anxieties of which baseball fandom is also composed.

On a Barely Related Note
On a barely related note, the author — because he will perhaps have no better opportunity to do it — the author would like to announce that, despite having been organized by the abominable Eno Sarris, that the FanGraphs-cum-BeerGraphs event in Chicago last (Thursday) night was a decided success and attended both by the very sweetest people and also, eventually, Dayn Perry.

On a More Related Note
On a more related note, what follows is footage of right-handed Cleveland prospect Danny Salazar‘s first appearance back at Triple-A Columbus following his very excellent major-league debut.

First, of Salazar throwing what is likely his excellent split-changeup to Philadelphia minor-leaguer Steve Susdorf for a strikeout:

Sal Sus Split

And then, two batters later, of Salazar throwing a fastball recorded at (it appeared) 98 mph on the stadium gun — in this case, to strike out Leandro Castro.

Sal Castro FA

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati | 19:10 ET
Francisco Liriano (76.2 IP, 78 xFIP-, 1.8 WAR) faces Mike Leake (117.0 IP, 104 xFIP-, 1.4 WAR). Of note regarding the former is this table, which includes the league’s top starters by swinging-strike rate (min. 50 IP):

Rank Name Team IP K% BB% SwStr%
1 Francisco Liriano Pirates 76.2 25.3% 8.9% 14.6%
2 Yu Darvish Rangers 119.1 32.5% 8.5% 13.3%
3 Matt Harvey Mets 130.0 29.3% 5.6% 12.7%
4 Anibal Sanchez Tigers 92.0 29.4% 7.1% 12.3%
5 Max Scherzer Tigers 129.2 30.1% 6.1% 12.3%

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Pittsburgh Radio or Television, Maybe.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.3.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Ricky Nolasco LAN 6 2 7 2 10 WAS St. Strasburg 19:05
David Price TB 8 10 7 6 5 TOR Esmil Rogers 19:07
Andy Pettitte NYA 5 3 5 8 4 BOS Felix Doubront 19:10
Kyle Kendrick PHI 3 1 4 6 5 NYN Jeremy Hefner 19:10
Francisco Liriano PIT 10 6 7 3 5 CIN Mike Leake 19:10
Wei-Yin Chen BAL 2 8 6 3 9 TEX Derek Holland 20:05
Tim Hudson ATL 6 7 6 2 7 CHA John Danks 20:10
Scott Kazmir CLE 6 7 4 3 1 MIN Mike Pelfrey 20:10
Anibal Sanchez DET 10 7 8 6 7 KC Ervin Santana 20:10
Jacob Turner MIA 7 2 5 4 5 MIL Kyle Lohse 20:10
Joe Saunders SEA 3 6 3 2 3 HOU Bud Norris 20:10
Jason Marquis SD 0 6 2 4 1 STL Jake Westbrook 20:15
Jeff Samardzija CHN 9 4 6 8 3 COL Jorge de la Rosa 20:40
A.J. Griffin OAK 5 6 5 6 3 LAA Jered Weaver 22:05
Ian Kennedy AZ 3 2 4 6 4 SF Chad Gaudin 22:15

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.