Delayed recap of Monday games (4/30)
– The Pirates scored more than 5 runs for the first time this year. Their streak of 21 straight games of 5 runs or less is the longest to start a season since 1972, when the Brewers went 31 games. (That club ended up scoring 6+ 26 times and finished 9th out of 12 teams in both R/G and OPS+.) Pittsburgh’s streak was the longest in the NL since the 1919 Braves went 23 games.
– Is Clay Buchholz this year’s John Lackey? He’s allowed 5+ earned runs in all five starts, for an 8.69 ERA and .964 OPS allowed — but his record is 3-1, thanks to run support averaging 9.0 R/G. All other MLB pitchers combined have just 4 wins when allowing 5+ ER.
- Big Papi hit 2 HRs, the second quite entertaining, as he completed his best April ever with his first multi-HR game since July 2010, giving him a 214 OPS+. There have been 73 qualifying seasons by DHs age 36 and up, but Edgar Martinez is the only one to post an OPS+ over 150. Edgar (a.k.a. the original Papi) had 3 such years.
– Ryan Braun went one better, swatting three homers – the first ever to do that at Petco Park — plus a triple. It’s the sixth known instance of that combination, and Braun (3 runs, 6 RBI) tied the lowest run production in such a game; the five prior games averaged 12 (R+RBI).
- SD rookie Joe Wieland has lost all 4 starts this year. That ties the Padres record for consecutive losing starts from the start of a season and from the start of a career.
- The Pads are 7-17 and have yet to win a series; they split one 4-game set. In the six prior seasons when they started 8-16 or worse, the Padres averaged 98 losses (pro rating the two strike years).
– Yu Darvish improved to 4-0, 2.18 with his second straight 70+ Game Score. The last Rangers pitcher with a longer streak was Roger Pavlik, who had 4 straight in September ’95. Since a 4-run 1st inning in his debut, Darvish has allowed just 5 runs (4 ER) in his last 32 IP, a Gibsonian 1.12 ERA.
- Kyle Drabek (6 IP, 2 R) has not allowed more than 2 runs in any of his 5 starts this year. He also started last year well, with a 3.30 ERA through 5 starts — then had a 7.38 ERA over his next 9 starts before being demoted.
- Toronto’s next pitcher, the rookie Evan Crawford, served up HRs to Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry and then was lifted, thus tying the known record for most HRs with [batters faced = HRs]. That’s been done 43 times previously, all by different pitchers. The last three to do it were all Pirates – Joe Beimel and Tony Watson last year, and Brian Rogers in 2007. In 227 minor-league innings, Crawford allowed just 6 HRs.
- Texas (17-6) is the only team that has not yet had a losing streak.
– The Yankees eked out a 2-1 win that knocked the first-place Orioles off their perch. It was NYY’s first win this year while scoring 2 runs or less. They had just one such win last year (this memorable duel); every other club had three or more.
- Eric Chavez‘s 3rd HR of the year provided all of New York’s scoring. He already has as many HRs as in his previous 3 seasons combined.
- O’s relievers Matt Lindstrom and Jim Johnson have not allowed an ER in a total of 18.1 IP. Lindstrom has also stranded 5 of 6 inherited runners. The scoreless leaders through April are: 12.1 IP–Aroldis Chapman, CIN; 12.0 IP–Duane Below, DET (also no walks); 11.0 IP–David Robertson, NYY and Logan Ondrusek, CIN. The strand king is still Toronto’s Luis Perez, 11 for 11.
– King Felix (8 IP, 1 R) logged his 5th high-quality start in 6 outings, but his record remains 2-1. Since his 2005 debut, Hernandez has 27 no-decisions in HQS, 4 more than any other pitcher. It’s also his 9th no-decision in a top-quality start (8+ IP, 1 R or less), tied with Cliff Lee for the most in MLB since 2005; no one else has more than 6.
– The Rays came home victorious from a 3-game set in Texas that drew 140,000 fans and left them in a first-place tie — and played before 9,458 customers.
– The Rockies beat LA, 6-2, scoring half a run below their home average this year. On the road, they’ve averaged 3.2 R/G. For Rockies and opponents combined: 12.2 R/G at Coors, 7.3 R/G in other parks.
- With his 12th HR, Matt Kemp reached 11 games with at least one HR, tying the known mark for most such games within a team’s first 23 games. Here are the players since 1918 who equaled or surpassed Kemp in one or the other respect (stats shown are for games with a HR only):
|Matt Kemp||2012||11||Ind. Games||50||41||19||0||0||12||20||9||9||.463||.560||1.341||1.901|
|Alex Rodriguez||2007||11||Ind. Games||54||48||20||2||0||14||30||6||11||.417||.481||1.333||1.815|
|Albert Pujols||2006||10||Ind. Games||45||36||18||4||0||13||24||8||4||.500||.578||1.694||2.272|
|Luis Gonzalez||2001||10||Ind. Games||45||43||18||0||0||13||24||2||7||.419||.444||1.326||1.770|
|Ken Griffey||1997||10||Ind. Games||50||40||19||1||0||13||23||9||5||.475||.580||1.475||2.055|
|Mike Schmidt||1976||9||Ind. Games||43||40||16||1||0||13||22||2||9||.400||.442||1.400||1.842|
|Willie Mays||1964||11||Ind. Games||48||44||24||0||0||13||26||3||0||.545||.563||1.432||1.994|
|Ken Keltner||1948||9||Ind. Games||43||41||16||1||0||12||21||2||6||.390||.419||1.293||1.711|
|Cy Williams||1923||10||Ind. Games||50||49||24||3||1||13||30||1||2||.490||.500||1.388||1.888|
|Babe Ruth||1921||11||Ind. Games||49||44||19||2||1||11||23||5||5||.432||.490||1.273||1.763|
- While looking that up, I found a hot start in 1971 by Willie Stargell — he missed the list above, but he had 11 HRs in Pittsburgh’s first 19 games, including two 3-HR games not two weeks apart, both against Atlanta.
– Don’t you wonder what chain of events led to Austin Kearns starting in the cleanup slot for Miami? For 2008-11 combined, Kearns batted .229 and slugged .340, with an 83 OPS+. And if you say it’s because Arizona started a lefty, I’ll counter that Kearns has no significant lefty/righty split for his career, and in recent years has actually hit worse against southpaws. But darned if he didn’t bang a homer … which I suppose is why Ozzie’s there and I’m here. (Now if he could turn his genius towards getting some production out of the other three corner positions, the Marlins might actually win a game or two.)
- Miami is the first team this year to lose despite getting two pinch-hits from the #9 spot. (Yeah, I know — I’m stretching.)
– The AL East has four teams above .500; the rest of the AL has two. The AL East is 40-23 against the other divisions; the Central is 29-46, the West 39-39.
– Half of all NL teams have a sub-.300 OBP from the leadoff spot. As if Dee Gordon‘s .253 OBP weren’t bad enough, but the Reds’ three-headed monster — Zabrandrew Cozilliubbs — has a .186 OBP, 8 runs scored and zero RBI.
– We still haven’t had a HR or a SB by a pitcher (though Randy Wolf and Kevin Correia attempted steals). These are the game highs by a pitcher through April: 2 hits, 2 RBI, 1 Run, 3 total bases, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 walks (J.A. Happ), 4 strikeouts (Matt Garza), 2 sac bunts (including last night’s debut winner Patrick Corbin), 1 sac fly, 1 GIDP, 1 reached on error, 0.136 WPA.
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