Almost Perfect: John Means no-hits the Mariners UPDATED AGAIN

Oriole left-hander John Means no-hit the Mariners, facing the minimum 27 batters, with the only baserunner reaching on a strikeout on a wild pitch (he was erased attempting to steal). An “imperfect” complete game, with 9 IP, exactly 27 batters faced, and no hits, walks or hit batsmen, had been achieved only once previously, by Terry Mulholland for the Phillies against the Giants on August 15th, 1990, with the only batter reaching on an error and erased by a double play. More after the jump.

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200 Game Batteries UPDATED

With Baseball-Reference.com gamelogs now mostly complete back to 1901, I’ve gone back to look at posts published previously, when there were no game level data prior to 1914. This post was originally published in 2016, but in its reprised version, nine new batteries with 200 starts together are identified (there was a lot more matching of catchers to elite pitchers in the early years of the modern era). More on long-term batteries is after the jump.

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The One Start, One Shutout Wonders

How many pitchers in MLB history have thrown a shutout in the only game they ever started? I might have guessed that the answer was none. If a pitcher threw a shutout on his debut start, why would you not give that player a second opportunity?

I was wrong. The answer is four. Four players have started one MLB game, and thrown one MLB shutout. Here are their stories:

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“There’s a Long Drive…”: the Biggest Regular Season Play for Every Franchise

Last September, Baseball Reference added the Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA) statistic to their website. The stat, developed by Dan Hirsch, assesses the impact of each play in improving a team’s chances of winning a championship. It’s an intuitive concept: a go-ahead home run in a World Series is more impactful than one in mid-August. Consequently almost all of the biggest single plays by cWPA have come in October.

But what of the humble regular season? Less consequential than the playoffs, for sure, but still full of dramatic moments that can pave the way for postseason success. Here, then, are the plays that have had the biggest positive effect on each team’s chances of winning the World Series, going in order from the least to the most pivotal.

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Everything is overrated

Everything in baseball is rated. Players are rated according to their abilities, but also by their contract value. Managers are rated by their tactical nous, and also by their handsomeness. Ballparks are rated by their beauty, but also by the level of traffic encountered when leaving them.

Of course, no one agrees on these ratings. Thus almost everything is ripe for being under-, over-, or massively overrated. Fans, players, coaches, writers; everyone has an opinion, and we have over a century’s worth of evidence documenting that fact.

Here, then, is an examination of the many things that have been overrated in the world of baseball. I looked through the pages of The Sporting News from 1920 to 2000, and found approximately 150 instances of something or someone being overrated. Let’s get to the highlights: long preambles are overrated.

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Positional Mount Rushmore – Introduction & Sorting Players

So that not all of my posts are “A Look Back,” this is a new feature I thought of. I thought it might be fun to relive one of our most popular features (from a long time ago) – but with a twist. We’ve done Mount Rushmore posts for individual teams. But, in order to give us something else to do (especially in light of no Circle of Greats election, due to a Hall of Fame shutout by the BBWAA), I thought we could vote on a Mount Rushmore for each position.

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Circle of Greats 1976 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 135th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  The Baseball Writers of America threw us a curve this year, with no players elected to the Hall of Fame. So we will do likewise, and not elect anyone to the Circle of Greats. But, we will still have an election to fill the ballot for next year’s Circle of Greats election. Rules and lists are after the jump.

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Remembering Hank Aaron (1934-2021)

The baseball world was saddened by the news of Hank Aaron‘s passing, two weeks shy of his 87th birthday. Regarded with Willie Mays as one of the two greatest right-handed hitters in major league history, Aaron will forever be remembered for being the first to surpass Babe Ruth‘s career home run total, long thought to be an unbreakable record. After the jump, more on the career of Hank Aaron.

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