We're Getting Mutants in the MCU - The Loop



Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about Christian Yelich vs. Eugenio Suarez and Yelich vs. regression, an inscrutable ad, Jose Alvarado and the apparent increase in aesthetically pleasing pitches, visual differences between 1998 and now, and the significance of the latest contract extensions, then answer listener emails about the Twins and what makes a team fun, the Indians' slow start, an intentional walk to Chris Davis, batting practice and bunting against the shift, Justin Verlander’s shot at 300 wins, and more, plus Stat Blasts about "True Wins" and Trevor Rosenthal and consecutive out-less outings to start a season.


  • Worst player to get an intentional walk
  • The record for most runs allowed before an out in a season
  • AL Central
  • Fun teams and players
  • “True” wins
  • Batting practice bunting


  • NL MVP odds
  • Christian Yelich regression
  • Advertising in baseball
  • Jose Alvarado
  • Explaining modern baseball to a fan in 1998
  • Contract extensions

Email Questions

  • Ezra: "Chris Davis was just intentionally walked by the Blue Jays in the top of the 8th of a 2-0 ball game. There was a runner on second and one out. I am flabbergasted. Set up the double play, sure - but come ON. Is 2019 Chris Davis the worst hitter to ever be intentionally walked? If not, who is?"
  • Justin: "Trevor Rosenthal has allowed seven earned runs without recording an out, over the course of three appearances. This makes his ERA impossible to calculate for lack of a denominator. What’s the record for most runs allowed to start a season before an out? How about appearances? It can’t be that high because you would think a guy would run out of slack or get an out sooner than not."
  • Russell: "My friends and I created a term a long time ago called a True Win for a pitcher. A pitcher gets a True Win when he pitches a complete game, and hits more homeruns than runs he allows. We were curious if you could find how many times this has been done in history? Which pitcher has done this the most times? And if it's possible, a breakdown of the number of different permutations of these (hit 2 homeruns, allow 0 or 1 runs, hit 1 homerun, allow 0 runs, etc). Thanks, and keep up the great work!"
  • Brad: "I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on the rather poor start the Indians have gotten off to. Is this the Kluber we should be getting used to that has carried over from October? I am anticipating a far more competitive race than initially projected. I suppose it could be fun given how bad the division has been in recent years, but having Tyler Naquin in your starting lineup is not."
  • Dylan: "So are the Twins fun now? As a lifelong fan, I can tell you that while they have been good at times, the Twins have rarely been a "fun team" (the 2nd half of 2006 being the most notable recent exception). Now, they have maybe the most exciting player to watch in the field in Byron Buxton, a versatile infielder in Marwin Gonzalez, a pitcher in Jose Berrios that is as exciting to watch as any when his stuff is going, Eddie Rosario who is maybe the most underrated fun guy in the league, a new manager in Rocco Baldelli that is willing to try new things, and of course Willians Astudillo. Thoughts?"
  • Michael: "Set-up: So I just watched Travis Shaw try, and fail, to bunt against the shift. The Brewers broadcast team — BA and Rock — mentioned that the Brewers practice bunting every day, but it's just different against live arms. And then if you fail once, a hitter gets frustrated and is unlikely to attempt again. Hmmm. So my question: If a team is serious about combatting the shift with bunts, why don't they try more earnestly to create a game-like scenario? For example, hire a handful of pitchers who wash out of the minor leagues but can touch 90ish on the gun. Have them throw live pitches a couple of times a week for purposeful bunting practice. The only downside I can think of is possibly increasing injury rates and just plain looking weird. Is this a feasible idea, or is there something I'm missing?"

Stat Blast

  • Rich Hill was the first player to have an infinite ERA through three outings.
  • There have been 207 true wins, four that were 2-1, four that were 2-0, 199 others were all 1-0, Stephen Strasburg has the most recent in 2016.
  • Bob Gibson has the most with six true wins.


  • Chris Davis has started the season 0-14
  • Jim Cott was the last pitcher to be intentionally walked.
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