Things Happening in Baseball: Goldy Owns Lincecum

Paul Goldschmidt now has seven career home runs against Tim Lincecum.

As I said last week, every once in a while (the hope is at least once a week) I’ll be updating numberFire readers with the happenings of Major League Baseball, in a super creative series named Things Happening in Baseball. Today is one of those once in a whiles.

We’re not even two weeks into the baseball season, so before you read my commentary, know that I’m not fully, 100 percent committed to some of the things I say. And what I mean by that is simple: our sample size is small, so my opinions are too.

With that being said, let’s take a look at a few things that are happening in baseball.

Goldy Owns Lincecum

There was a big debate in daily fantasy circles yesterday about the obvious, ridiculous batter vs. pitcher data between Paul Goldschmidt and Tim Lincecum. Entering the game, Goldy had faced Timmy 23 times over his career, homering six times.

Make that seven bombs on 24 at-bats.

Goldschmidt beat Lincecum again last night, and is now 13 for 24 against the righty with seven freaking home runs. I’m usually hesitant with batter vs. pitcher data, but this is one matchup that’s pretty hard to ignore.

Why You Don’t Slide Into First

On Tuesday, Josh Hamilton made a headfirst slide…into first base. It’s not natural, and unfortunately for Angels fans, Hamilton ended up tearing the ligament in his left thumb. He’s probably going to miss the next six to eight weeks.

It’s a big blow to the lineup, especially considering Hamilton’s hot start. After finishing with a .250/.307/.432 slash in 2013 – essentially the worst numbers he’s seen in his career – Hamilton had a .444 average on 33 plate appearances (sample size alert!), hitting two home runs and driving in six. His BABIP is sitting at a gnarly .556, though part of that reason is because he was limiting fly balls – actually, Hamilton’s only hit four fly balls this season, and two of them ended up being home runs.

I’m not sure why I just analyzed 33 plate appearance statistics, but all I’m trying to say is that the loss of Hamilton is a big deal for the Halos. They’ll lose balance in their offense, and now they’ll have offseason acquisition David Freese hitting in the four spot in the lineup. Freese is a career .284 bat with a .344 wOBA, a downgrade from Hamilton’s .296 average and .376 wOBA. Hamilton has significantly more power, too.

Tim Hudson, Rejuvenated

A broken leg and torn ankle ligament ended Tim Hudson’s 2013 campaign prematurely, but now the 38-year-old righty is back at it, playing for the Giants. So far so good, as Hudson’s pitched two games against the Diamondbacks, allowing just 10 hits and two runs in 15-plus innings of work.

While he’s lost a little velocity over the years, he’s not throwing any softer than he did in 2012 or 2013, which is a good sign. The biggest issue you’ll have with Hudson isn’t related to what he can do on the field for his new Giants club, but what he’ll do for your fantasy squad. He’s not a huge strikeout guy, as his K/9 throughout his career rests at just 6.07. If he keeps doing what he’s doing though, a solid ERA and the potential for double-digit wins should make him a worthwhile add if he’s still available, just in case.

Fun Early-Season Numbers

Like I said in the intro, the season is young, so the numbers we have on players are hilarious. Well, hilarious for nerds. Here are a few statistics that made me giggle.

- Jhonny Peralta has a .000 BABIP on 34 plate appearances. He’s batting .069 because he’s hit two home runs.
- With his 33 plate appearances, Dioner Navarro has yet to strikeout or walk.
- Wei-Yin Chen has a .476 BABIP against.
- Brett Lawrie and Mike Moustakas have combined for 64 plate appearances, and have yet to hit a line drive.
- The Mets and Astros are both batting under .200 as a team.
- 84.6% of Allen Craig’s batted balls have been grounders. He also has the worst wOBA among qualified hitters.
- B.J. Upton has a 44.8% strikeout rate. And it’s not even surprising.
- The Royals have an ISO of .069.
- Homer Bailey has allowed two fly balls and two home runs.
- The Rockies have scored more than triple the number of runs as the Braves.

nERD Update

If you’re new to, you may be unaware of our nERD statistics. For batters in baseball, nERD represents the number of runs contributed over a league-average guy per game. When it comes to pitchers, nERD tells us the number of runs prevented by comparison to a league-average pitcher per game.

Things will clearly look a little less goofy when players begin to regress to their mean, but below are the current top five batters according to nERD. I'll add on pitchers once we get a little more pitching data.

#1Carlos Gonzalez (LF, COL)
#2Michael Cuddyer (RF, COL)
#3Emilio Bonifacio (2B/CF, CHC)
#4Angel Pagan (CF, SF)
#5Chase Utley (2B, PHI)