Friday roundup

Giants 5, Pirates 0: Now, that’s more like a $100-million man. Matt Cain retired the first 17 batters, gave up a clean single to opposing pitcher James McDonald (an .079 career hitter), then put away the last 10 Pirates, for his third career 1-hitter. He finished with 11 Ks, 1 off his career high, and a personal-best 96 Game Score. Pittsburgh, now hitting .178 with 7 walks, suffered their second shutout this year; they’ve scored 11 runs in 7 games.

White Sox 5, Tigers 2: Just the second known regulation game in which Detroit pitchers got 15+ strikeouts in a loss. The other was a 15-K CG by Paul Foytack in 1956, which was the game record for a Tigers pitcher until Mickey Lolich had a pair of 16-K games in 1969.

Nationals 2, Reds 1: Washington has allowed 18 runs in 8 games. In 75 IP, they’ve yielded 49 hits and 28 walks (1.03 WHIP), with 79 Ks. Their starters have led the way with a 1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 3.83 SO/BB ratio.

Orioles 7, Blue Jays 5: Toronto became the first team this year to lose while hitting 4 home runs. All 7 HRs in the game were lonesome travelers.

Mets 5, Phillies 2: After getting just 3 runs (1 ER) in 3 prior games against Cliff Lee, New York nicked him 4 times Friday. No blow was bigger or longer in coming than the 2-run HR to right-center field by Jason Bay in the 1st inning.

  • Bay’s only RBI in the first 6 games this year came on a sac-fly/DP; his 18 HRs in 224 Mets games was fewer than he’d hit in the first 69 games of his last pre-Mets season.
  • Philly out-hit the Mets, 11-6, but went 0-8 with RISP.
  • The Phils trail Washington by 2.5 games, their biggest deficit since Sept. 1, 2010.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 5: Two swings ended a pair of year-long schneids: Bryan LaHair hit Chicago’s first grand slam since Sept. 2010, and Ian Stewart hit his first HR since August 2010. Those droughts had reached 148 and 168 PAs, respectively.

Red Sox 12, Rays 2: Uhoh….

Yankees 5, Angels 0: In a crisp home opener, Nick Swisher capped 2-out rally in the 1st with a 3-run double, and Hiroki Kuroda pitched 8 scoreless for his first Yankee win. The Bombers turned 3 DPs, and the Halos never got a man past 2nd base. Alex Rodriguez hit his 4th HR in his last 48 games, dating to June 2010.

Dodgers 9, Padres 8: Take your pick:

The past three days have brought the year’s first game-ending walk, HBP and wild pitch. What’s next?

66 thoughts on “Friday roundup

  1. 1
    Ed says:

    Hmmm….wonder how often someone’s thrown a one-hitter in which the only hit was by the opposing pitcher? Probably not searchable in the play index.

    • 2
      John Autin says:

      Good question, Ed. The Play Index is a little sluggish on game searches right now, so all I can say for sure is, there were no games last year in which a pitcher had a team’s only hit(s).

      • 3
        Ed says:

        Thanks John! I can just imagine that Cain was getting ribbed quite a bit by his teammates….

        • 9
          DaveR says:

          Jimmy Jones in his debut pitched a shutout, in which Rob Knepper slugged a triple for his team’s only hit.
          I remember watching that game on TV, back in ’86.

          • 38
            John Autin says:

            Thanks, Dave — gotta love the pitcher’s-triple angle. Also in that debut:
            – Knepper’s hit was the only baserunner.
            – Jimmy Jones got a hit his first time up.
            – He retired the first 3 batters on 4-3 groundouts, and finished with 14 groundouts (8 went 4-3).

            In case anyone doesn’t know, the Padres (like the Mets) have never had a no-hitter, either individually or as a team.

          • 41
            Neil L. says:

            Very nice memory, Dave. A one-hit shutout with the opposing pitcher’s triple being the only hit.

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/shareit/Cz2GW

            And it was the only low-hit game of his career, occurring in his September debut.

    • 4
      Doug says:

      Not sure how you would find that with P-I. Seems like you’d have to run two searches, copy the results to Excel, and see which games match up. One search, Teams with 1 hit in a game, would be manageable. But, the second search, Pitchers with 1 hit in a game, would be huge.

      Something of an enterprise to find those games, I think.

      • 5
        Ed says:

        According to ESPN, the last Giant’s pitcher to have that happen was Hal Schumacher in 1935.

        • 36
          Doug says:

          Yes, that was on 4/28/35 against the Phillies. Orville Jorgens got the hit. Jorgens relieved the Phillies starter Euel Moore after only 1/3 inning and 3 batters faced (either injured or ejected, I’m presuming).

      • 11
        John Autin says:

        Doug, I approached it as:
        – Game Finder/Player Batting;
        – Find Number of Players Matching Criteria in a Team Game;
        – Started; Non-Pitcher; Non-DH;
        – Hits=0.

        When there were 8, I looked at the actual box score. If my reasoning is true, the results will contain two sets of games in addition to those we want: (a) no-hitters, and (b) games where a DH or a non-starter got the only hit(s) (like Johan’s 17-K game)

        There are 29 such 8’s since 2007. Checking….

        • 12
          John Autin says:

          And here’s our most recent finding — I shoulda remembered this one, Cole Hamels getting the only hit off R.A. Dickey in 2010.

        • 13
          John Autin says:

          This is not one of the games we want, but kinda cool anyway: Substitute catcher Paul Hoover enters in a double-switch in the 5th, and spoils John Maine’s no-no in the 8th.

          (In the season finale the next day, Glavine gave up 7 runs in the 1st inning and the Mets completed their historic choke.)

        • 14
          John Autin says:

          Another interesting non-match, in a synchronicity sort of way: Aaron Harang’s previous 13-K game also featured substitute CF Buck Coates (who pinch-hit for starter Norris Hopper in the 1st inning) getting the game’s only hit off Rich Hill in the 6th.

        • 15
          John Autin says:

          Here’s a non-match for Timmy: White Sox at Cubs, 6/13/2010, Ted Lilly took a no-no into the 9th, broken up by Juan Pierre PHing for the pitcher.

          It was a 1-0 game. After the hit, Lilly was replaced by Marmol, who walked the next batter, then balked them up with no outs — and then escaped.

        • 16
          John Autin says:

          The Lee Hamels game noted in #12 above is the only other game since 2007 in which a pitcher got the only hit. (Unless my logic has holes in it.)

        • 29
          Doug says:

          Very clever, John.

          Thanks for explaining.

        • 34
          Doug says:

          The first time since 1918 that the home team pitcher got the only hit was not until 9/13/51, with Al Brazle off Warren Spahn. The visiting team pitcher got the only hit numerous prior times.

          • 50
            Richard Chester says:

            I don’t know if you stumbled across this one but on 6/28/35 Roy Henshaw of the Cubs gave up a hit to P Mace Brown of the Pirates in his one-hitter.

            I ued JA’s method in post #11 and did my search in 10-year segments. I checked the 1920s and 1930s but I am stopping there. It’s taking forever to go through all the games.

        • 35
          Doug says:

          George Earnshaw 2-hit the Red Sox on 9/16/34, allowing both hits to opposing pitcher Johnny Welch.

        • 42
          Neil L. says:

          JA, I really like it when a maestro explains the details of one of their searches.

          It would be really nice to have a Player-Index tutorial 101 in this site, although I realize that HHS doesn’t have any formal connection with B-Ref any more.

          I sometimes try to duplicate the searches done by you, Doug and others and cannot do so because I have not set the filters creatively or started from the right Player-Index Screen.

    • 24
      Richard Chester says:

      Here’s a game in which an opposing pitcher broke up a perfect game. On 7/4/08 Hook Wiltse of the Giants retired the first 26 batters and then hit opposing P George McQuillan with a pitch. The next batter was retired. The score at the end of 9 innings was 0-0. Wiltse retired the side in order in the top of the 10th. The Giants won the game in the bottom of the 10th. I have alresdy cited this game on the old B-R blog, that’s how I remembered it.

      • 43
        Neil L. says:

        Richard, I can’t find the game because there are no game logs available on B-Ref for that era. How did you find this game?

        • 45
          Richard Chester says:

          I have a copy of The Baseball Maniac’s Almanac which has a list of all games in which the first 26 batters were retired in order and the 27th batter spoiled the game. As of the publication date of the book (2010) there were 9 such games. First on the list was Wiltse’s game and McQuillan was listed as the spoiler. I knew McQuillan was a pitcher. I then went to Charlton’s Chronology for more details and read that McQuillen was the only base-runner.

  2. 6
    Doug says:

    In other action:

    In the Red Sox game, Josh Beckett extended his streak of starts with a strikeout to 281 games – his entire career. Only Dwight Gooden (349) has a longer streak to start a career (preceding, as reported by ESPN).

    Beckett, though, had just 1 K in 8 innings of work, his longest outing with only one punchout. Prior to 2007, Beckett had had at least 2 K in every outing longer than 3 innings and, prior to 2011, in every outing longer than 5 innings.

    In Colorado’s come-from-behind win over Arizona, Todd Helton drove in the eventual winning run in the 8th inning, and had a 5-0-3-3 line for the game. For Helton, this was only his 4th career game with 3 or more of both hits and RBI, but no runs. His first such game, in 1998, featured 4 hits and 4 RBI, but, ironically, was the only one of the four games that the Rockies lost.

    In the Marlins first game at home since opening day, they recorded their first victory in their new ballpark, on a walk-off double by Gaby Sanchez in the 11th inning. Heath Bell retired the first two Astros batters in the 9th, but then barely hung on, walking the bases loaded on 12 pitches before getting out of the jam.

    Cleveland’s offense came alive in an 8-3 win over Kansas City that featured a 7-run 1st inning off Royals starter Luke Hochevar, who stayed around for 4 innings, retiring 9 of the last 10 batters he faced after the first inning debacle. This was the first time the Indians had scored 7 or more in the first inning since an 11-run 1st inning barrage, also against the Royals, on Aug 13, 2006. Ten days later, on Aug 23, the Royals would return the favor, scoring 10 in the 1st inning against Cleveland, but losing the game 15-13 in 10 innings.

    • 7
      Ed says:

      Doug – Cleveland’s outburst was obviously a direct result of signing Johnny “Winner” Damon. Damon doesn’t even have to be in the clubhouse for good things to start happening. (sorry…couldn’t resist a little sarcasm)

      • 47
        bstar says:

        Ed, I’d say it was merely the thought of Damon doing naked pull-ups in the clubhouse ten minutes before the game that spurred the Indians to victory. I’m rooting for Damon to have a good year, but I pretty much pull for all the good players in baseball.

        • 63
          Ed says:

          I had to google that one Bstar! Anyway, Terry Pluto, columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, is projecting that Damon will join the team around May 1st. He’ll go to extended spring training first, then spend some time at AA or AAA. Initial reports were that the contract included an opt out clause for when Grady Sizemore comes back but apparently it’s more of a gentleman’s agreement. Anyway, given the injury history of Sizemore, Hafner, Choo and Brantley, I’d be surprised if Damon doesn’t spend the whole year with the team.

          • 64
            bstar says:

            haha, yeah google probably gave you the grisly details. Kevin Millar was on the Dan Patrick show the other day and revealed that Damon could be found on the chin-up bar literally minutes from game time, dress as quickly as possible, then end up on second base with a leadoff double ten minutes later. Good to see capable vets getting signed out there. Sure, they have no future but Damon is still better than the average 4th outfielder out there.

  3. 8
    Ed says:

    One more note on Harang…he was the first pitcher to strike out 13 batters on Friday the 13th since Dwight Gooden on June 13, 1986.

  4. 17
    John Autin says:

    I see that reliever Rex Brothers got the win for Colorado last night. How is it that Brothers got into 48 games last year, averaged 13.1 SO/9 over 40.1 IP … and I never heard of him?

    (That’s a rhetorical question, of course. I know the answer is “senility”….)

    • 44
      RJ says:

      I’m guessing it’s because you were blinded by your love for Al “13.9 SO/9” Alburquerque 🙂

      • 56
        John Autin says:

        Good memory, RJ. But since it’s my crush, let’s use the nickname I gave him: Al “No Left Turns At” Alburquerque.

        (Based on his having the lowest rate of extra-base hits and lowest slugging percentage with at least 150 batters faced.)

        • 65
          RJ says:

          I think that was one of the first posts I read on the old baseball-reference blog, I guess that’s why it stuck!

          • 66
            Neil L. says:

            JA, you never know what impressions your words make.

            Actually, RJ, John Autin is a ghost writer for Chris Berman. Where do you think all those Bermanisms come from? 🙂

  5. 18
    John Autin says:

    Both Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel have struck out 42% of all batters faced during their careers. The career record is 33.2%, by Billy Wagner.

    • 19
      Ed says:

      Wow, those rates are mind-blowing John. How’s this for a post idea…highest single season % of batters struck out and highest career percentages. And perhaps lowest as well.

      • 21
        John Autin says:

        For a 50-IP minimum, Gagne’s 2003 CYA season is the record, striking out 44.7% of BF. Jansen last year had the 2nd-best mark, 44.0%.

  6. 20
    John Autin says:

    Since 1918, Cain’s 1-hitter was:

    – The 44th CG of 1 or 0 hits within a team’s first 7 games of the year.

    – The 78th CG 1-hitter with no other baserunners. (Is the achievement devalued by the fact that Billy Traber had one vs. the 2003 Yanks?)
    (Pitchers with 2 such games: John Smiley, Mike Mussina, Red Barrett)

  7. 22
    bluejaysstatsgeek says:

    And the improved Blue Jays bullpen is on pace for 69 blown saves!

  8. 23
    AlbaNate says:

    R. A. Dickey pitched his 14th straight quality start last night, currently the long streak of QSs in the majors.

    Mets pitchers have struck out ten or more batters in five straight games–last time they did that was six straight games in 1990. Current Mets announcer Ron Darling pitched in the first and sixth games of that streak.

    Mets catcher Josh Thole was involved in a very strange play last night. According to the box score, RA Dickey bunted into a double play, but that’s not really what happened. Dickey actually successfully bunted Thole over, but then Thole decided to steal first base or something.

    • 26
      John Autin says:

      I chat-commented on the Thole play last night. He got to 2nd easily on the sac bunt, but apparently he misinterpreted a “stand up” hand signal from Jimmy Rollins as meaning “foul ball,” and so he turned around and jogged back towards first … without even checking his base coaches.

      BTW, the announcers noted that the official scoring (GIDP) was wrong. Thole reached 2nd, so it has to be a sacrifice, and then a … fielder’s choice or something.

    • 27
      John Autin says:

      Dickey’s streak of 14 QS is tied for the 12th-longest of this century; the longest is 22 by Chris Carpenter in 2005, then 21 by Johan in 2004. Both won the CYA.

    • 28
      John Autin says:

      The Mets record QS streak is 21 by Gooden in 1984-85. (First game in that streak was the first game I ever saw at Shea — Gooden’s 1-hitter.)

      Seaver had a pair of 19-QS streaks, in 1971-72 and ’73.

      Dickey’s streak is tied for #7 in Mets history. Johan had 14 straight in 2008.

      • 30
        AlbaNate says:

        Dickey is remendously unappreciated by non-Met fans. His K/BB ratio must the best ever for a knuckleballer. Also, thanks to Dickey, my brother-in-law now takes WAR seriously.

        I was trying to prove to him that Dickey was a good pitcher despite his poor W-L record. I pointed out that Dickey had the sixth best pitcher’s war in the NL last year. At first he just laughed…but the he saw that his Phils filled three of the five slots ahead of Dickey, and he wa convinced that maybe there was something to WAR after all.

        • 33
          Ed says:

          Plus he climbed Kilimanjaro this year!

        • 39
          John Autin says:

          Dickey is good. It was nice to get him a win.

          Re: knuckleballers’ SO/BB ratios, I checked a few names. Wilbur Wood had a career mark of 1.95, and 2.51 during his run of 4 straight 20-win seasons.

          Dickey’s career mark is 1.87, and 2.46 in 2+ years with the Mets.

  9. 25
    vivaeljason says:

    I expect a walk-off balk at some point this week.

  10. 31
    John Autin says:

    The Padres struck out 18 times in 9 innings. Their 8 runs were 2 more than had ever been scored in an 18-K regulation game.

    The average in such games is 2.33 runs, which is a bit higher than I’d have guessed.

  11. 40
    Neil L. says:

    Just out of interest, prompted by John’s feature of Matt Cain, I decided to compare his accomplishment last night to Nolan Ryan’s low hit games by age 27.

    Matt Cain already has three one-hitters and no no-hitters, although the season is young. By age 27, his 1974 season, Nolan Ryan had pitched seven low-hit games, including three no-hitters.

    Admittedly an other-worldly standard to hold Matt Cain to, but interesting nevertheless.

    • 46
      bstar says:

      Neil, I saw on ESPN late last night that Cain’s three low-hit CG tie him with Roy Halladay and a couple other pitchers(Verlander?) for 2nd place on the active list. The suprising active leader is Anibal Sanchez with 4 low-hitters.

      • 49
        Neil L. says:

        I never would have guessed that, bstar,about Anibal Sanchez, and he was taken out of another one-hitter in 2006, after 7 innings.

        Hmmm …. there will never be another Nolan Ryan!

      • 58
        John Autin says:

        If you count his NLDS no-hitter, Halladay has 4 low-hit games, tied with Sanchez.

        The actives with 3 are Tim Hudson & Mark Buehrle. Verlander has 2 (both no-hitters).

  12. 51
    Neil L. says:

    “Just the second known regulation game in which Detroit pitchers got 15+ strikeouts in a loss.”

    Hey the Tigers may be on a pace to have the most strikeouts combined between their pitchers and batters in a season. 🙂

    44 + 57 = 101 after seven games. Actually I’m surprised their batters have struck out so few times to start the season, considering the power potential.

  13. 52
    Timmy Pea says:

    Zambrano pitched a great game down in Miami tonight.

    • 54
      Neil L. says:

      Just had a look at his pitching line, Timmy. Only one earned run 6 IP. But his six walks and four hits means it wasn’t the tidiest performance. His WHIP was 1.67.

      Houston couldn’t take advantage though.

    • 61
      Neil L. says:

      What a crazy ninth inning for Houston. Heath Bell a huge blown save and Zambrano loses his win. Talk about a tough-luck loss!

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