Weekend roundup

One late note from Saturday before we move on:

@Giants 4, Athletics 0: A combined one-hitter by Ryan Vogelsong (7), Javier Lopez and Clay Hensley.

  • Since 2010, the Giants had lost two of their four one-hitters. Among the 40 other one-hitters in that span, there was just one loss.
  • Vogelsong’s 2011 doesn’t look so flukey now, right?



@Nationals 9, Orioles 3: The Phenoms slowed the O’s, hung the first loss on Wei-Yin Chen and salvaged the finale of this Beltway Battle. Atoning for a 2-base error that contributed to 2 unearned runs, Bryce Harper drove in 2 with his 2nd triple and scored all 3 times he reached base. Strasburg fanned 8 in 5 IP while allowing 1 ER (3 total).

  • Battery pack: After catcher Jesus Flores hit a go-ahead HR, Strasburg followed with one of his own, the first of his career (and on an 0-2 pitch). Strasburg also singled and scored on Harper’s triple.
  • After going 1 for 26 in 2010-11, Strasburg is 6 for 16 with a HR and 3 doubles this year. He’s only attempted 1 sacrifice (fielder’s choice).
  • Harper has started all 21 games since his promotion, and still his only SB is his payback to Cole Hamels. Has he been given the red light? After stealing 26 in 33 tries last year in the minors, he attempted just 2 in 20 games at AAA before his call-up.
  • Baltimore’s hitting star was speedy freshman Xavier Avery, who had his fourth 2-hit game out of 8 since being called up, and bagged the first steal of his career.

Red Sox 5, @Phillies 1: Mike Aviles led off the game with his 8th HR, Josh Beckett kept Philly off the board until the 8th and Boston won for the 8th time in 10 games. (Hey, where’s Octavio Dotel?)

  • Cliff Lee had not allowed a leadoff HR in 150 starts since the last day of 2006.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia effectively sealed the outcome with a 3-run blast off Lee in the 3rd, his 7th of the year putting Boston up by 5-0. The Phils have not won a game in which they trailed by 3 runs or more.

Marlins 5, @Indians 3:

  • Inheriting runners for the first time this year, Heath Bell allowed them both to score, but got the last 2 outs to earn (cough, cough) his 5th save. During his previous 3 years as a closer, Bell let in just 2 of 31 inherited runners.
  • Emilio Bonifacio was placed on the DL after playing in each of the first 39 games, and stat freaks sighed wistfully at what might have been. Before injuring his thumb, he was on pace for 83 steals (nobody has swiped 80 since RickeyVince in 1988); 79 Runs (Vince ’88 is the only season ever with 80+ SB and less than 80 Runs); 166 hits with 4 doubles (no one with 150+ hits has ever had less than 6 doubles), 12 triples (Marlins record is 13 by the Small-Head Kid) and no HRs in 706 PAs (only 20 live-ball players have ever had a homerless season with 700+ PAs, and only 1 since 1988).

@Tigers 4, Pirates 3: Max Scherzer earned the pitching silver medal for this series, with a career-best and MLB season-high 15 Ks in 7 IP. The record is 16 for an appearance of 7 IP or less, done 6 times by 3 pitchers (Randy Johnson 3, all in 2001; Jake Peavy 2; Cliff Lee).

  • Austin Jackson missed his 4th straight game. He’s hitting .331/.414 (162 OPS+) with 29 Runs in 36 games.
  • Tigers and Indians will meet for the first time this year in Cleveland starting Tuesday. Detroit has won 10 straight over the Tribe.

White Sox 6, @Cubs 0: Six straight losses for the Northsiders, five of them at home.

  • The visitors came into the series with no HRs from their #2 men, then saw Gordon Beckham hit 2 in 3 games.
  • Quality start in 8 of 9 games for Jake Peavy (6.1 IP, 7 K).
  • ChiSox now lead the all-time series in Wrigley, 23-22 (48-39 over all). They’ve won 4 straight series in the Friendly Confines, going 9-3 since 2009.
  • That was fast: Bryan Lahair‘s BA fell from .388 on May 7 to .315, going 8 for 45. He still has a 1.037 OPS.

@Brewers 16, Twins 4: Jonathan Lucroy (5-3-3-7, 2 HRs) is the 2nd catcher this year with a 7-RBI game, . There have been just 52 such games since 1918, 20 of them from 1993-2007. The record for a catcher is 10 RBI, by Walker Cooper in this 1949 treble-3-run-HR game.

  • The number counted shall be three: Twins’ winning streak snapped.

Reds 5, @Yankees 2: Johnny Cueto now 7-3, 3.09 in 14 interleague starts, and 2-1, 1.89 in 3 starts against the Yanks (allowed 1 run in the loss).

  • CC Sabathia walked 5 in 7 IP, including 3 straight with 2 out in the 7th, forcing in the go-ahead run (first sacks-full walk since 2010). He’s walked 9 in his last 2 starts, both losses; he walked 10 total in his first 7 starts (5-0).
  • First save of the year for Aroldis Chapman, who has allowed neither hit nor walk in half his 18 games (0.63 WHIP).
  • In his last 12 games, Alex Rodriguez has 1 RBI in 44 ABs. He’s 6-38 this year with RISP.

Mets 6, @Blue Jays 5: I couldn’t watch the last of the 9th, with Frankie Francisco returning to the scene of his many crimes last year (6 HRs in 32 IP @ Rogers), after the Mets had frittered away 3/4 of their lead in the prior 2 innings. Francisco walked the first batter, Yunel Escobar (1 HR, .320 SLG) — the one man he would face who doesn’t have big-time power — then allowed a 1-2 single to Jose Bautista (officially out of his funk, hitting .333 with 6 HRs in 10 games). But with the tying run in scoring position, Francisco found the extra gear and fanned the next 3 men, who all went down swinging.

  • David Wright (4-1-2-2, double, walk) now batting .412. In his last 22 games, he has just 1 HR but a .447 BA/.551 OBP and 21 Runs.
  • New York’s Mike Baxter is 16 for 41 (.390) with 7 doubles, a triple and no HRs. Only one player has ever had a homerless season with 20+ hits and at least half the hits for extra bases: Lou Guisto, 1922. In the rest of his brief career, Guisto had just 11 XBH out of 67 hits.

Mariners 6, @Rockies 4: Seattle completes the sweep by a combined score of 20-7 and finishes a 10-game trip on an up note, while Colorado’s skid grew to 3-13, knocking the Rox into last place for the first time this year.

  • Jeremy Guthrie has started 3 times in Denver this year and allowed 6 runs each time (16.1 IP, 18 ER). I like Guthrie, but a low-K, HR-prone pitcher in Coors Field just doesn’t work.
  • M’s have played 28 road games, just 15 at home.
  • Don’t read too much into this little hot streak from Justin Smoak (13-36, 2 HRs). During those 9 games, he has no walks, 11 Ks, and 2 Runs; for the season, 8 walks and 39 whiffs.
  • Tulo: 1 HR, 6 RBI in last 20 games.
  • Todd Helton went 0-5 with 3 Ks — the first time he’s ever done that and failed to reach base at all.

@Dodgers 6, Cardinals 5: LA rallied from a 5-2 hole and went ahead in the 7th on a pinch-hit 3-run HR by Scott Van Slyke, his first round-tripper, on a 3-0 pitch from Mark Rzepczynski.

  • Dad never did that: Andy Van Slyke was a notoriously bad pinch-hitter, going 13-98 (.133) with just 1 HR, a 2-run shot.
  • It was the first time in 23 chances that anyone ever put in play a Rzepczynski 3-0 pitch.
  • The last 3-0 pinch-HR was a 2006 slam by Jason Lane; the previous two were in 2001 by David Dellucci, 6 weeks apart.
  • If you haven’t seen Kenley Jansen pitch, do yourself a favor. Imagine Mariano’s cutter with an extra 5-10 MPH.

@Padres 3, Angels 2: Worst day of Howie Kendrick‘s career? He was 2-6 at the plate, but struck out in all 3 chances with RISP (stranding 6 runners) and got picked off or caught stealing after each of his singles. In the field, he shifted from 2B to LF in the 11th, his first OF game this year, and in the 13th, with a man on 1st and 2 out, he booted a simple single — there was no play for Kendrick to make — then heaved a throw well wide of home, as PH Clayton Richard came all the way around with the winning run.

  • Mike Trout: 4-2-3-1, HR, 2 walks, 2 steals. Rest of the Angels: 1 for 14 with RISP.
  • Richard was 0-16 this year and 3-44 in the past 2 seasons before his pinch-single that sparked the win.
  • Six Padres relievers held down the Halos over the last 7 innings, including Dale Thayer, still unscored-upon with 10 Ks and no walks in 10 IP. Thayer has walked just 1 in 35 career IP.

Braves 2, @Rays 0: The 50th scoreless start of 7+ IP by Tim Hudson, who earned his 184th win.

  • Huddy needs 36 more wins to pass The Gambler as the all-time wins leader from the state of Georgia.
  • Atlanta had no shutouts through 38 games; now 2 in their last 4.

Rangers 6, @Astros 1: In 60 IP, Colby Lewis has 53 Ks and just 9 walks. He’s also served up 13 HRs in 9 starts, putting him on pace for 49 HRs in 34 starts. Only two Rangers have ever allowed 40+ HRs.

Diamondbacks 2, @Royals 0: It must be in their heads by now: KC is 11-7 on the road but just 5-17 at home. Their worst home record ever was 29-51 in 1998; right now they’re on pace for 18-63.

  • On the other hand, home hasn’t been as sweet as usual for MLB teams in general; the combined home record is 313-307 (.505), equivalent to a season mark of 41-40. The home W% was .526, .559 and .549 in the past 3 years.


Round 1 of interleague play went to the AL by 24-18 (.571 W% equivalent to 92.5 wins in 162 games). The junior circuit won 8 of 14 series, with 2 sweeps. The NL had no sweeps.


Weekend roundup — 16 Comments

  1. Thanks John for the usual stellar recap…now I can go to bed happy with my “Fill of Autin”…………

  2. I calculate Washington’s pitchers with an OPS+ of about 42. The average for pitchers is usually right around 0. Both Strasburg and Harper were over 100 before their good day’s work.

    Slick Van Slyke was traded from the Cards to the Pirates for Tony Pena. Tony Pena father was a catcher, his son couldn’t hit much at all and wasn’t good enough as a fielder to last as a shortstop. He is now in AAA, as a pitcher. Younger Van Slyke is much bigger than his father, so is unlikely to be a center fielder. Have 2 sons ever been traded for each other, after there fathers were?

  3. Melky Cabrera’s 4-0-4-0 yesterday was the first 4-hit, no-run, no-RBI game by a #3 hitter in almost a year.

    Melky is now leading the majors with 59 hits, putting him on pace for 233 hits. The only Giant ever to reach that level was Bill Terry, whose 254 hits in 1930 remains the NL record. No Giant has reached 220 hits since Terry in 1932.

    Melky had 201 hits with KC last year, against better competition.

    • I’ve got to admit that even with the move to the National League I expected his performance to drop off this year.

      Of course at first glance I also thought that your mention of Cueto’s 7-3 record was his record for this year. I did quite a double take.

      Great stuff as always.

    • I’ve been looking for an excuse to talk about Melky :) He’s been brilliant, goodness knows where we’d be without him, especially with Panda out. I have to admit, I was as underwhelmed as Andy when he was “all we got” in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez, but that trade is sure looking like a good deal now. All the more so considering Sanchez has seemingly taken only the two most frustrating parts of his game to KC, namely blow up starts and injury.

      • Easy for me to say now, but Jonathan Sanchez struggling in the AL was one of the most predictable developments of this season. Most AL lineups just don’t have enough weak spots for him to pitch to. His career OBP against nonpitchers is .347, and you just can’t win with that. All 7 AL pitchers with an OBP of .340+ and 400+ IP over the past 5 years have ERA+ of 94 or less.

        And J-San wasn’t any great shakes in the NL, either (career 97 ERA+). So, yeah, getting something of value for him was a big coup for Sabean.

        • The thing with Sanchez was that he would always show flashes of promise, lots of Ks for example. He would occasionally look absolutely class, but then he’d struggle through 3 innings next time out.

          In fact (and I don’t know how remarkable this is but I personally find it staggering) in every season bar 2010, whenever he reached 6 innings it was a quality start. My reading of this is that it shows just how on he’d have to be to get that deep into games.

          I just checked Tim Lincecum for comparison, and I find a ton of 6+ inning starts with more than 3 runs allowed.

          • Interesting, RJ, but I’d suggest there’s a huge self-selection bias in the Sanchez data. Given his high average of pitches per inning, he couldn’t get through 6 IP unless he was getting good results.

            I noticed something about him last year, and it started with anecdotal box score observations: If you graph his games by (a) number of walks and (b) runs per 9 IP, there is no consistent improvement as the walks decline. For instance, in the 7 starts without a walk, his R/9 was 4.63. Two walks, 5.33 — but three walks, 5.01.

            I formed a hunch that Sanchez tended to pitch around more hitters (or just tried to be more fine) than the typical pitcher, and therefore would be more vulnerable to a rise in the caliber of his opponents. This is somewhat supported by his career splits based on opponents’ record: Against teams under .500, he walked 11.4% of batters, but against teams .500+, he walked 13.5%.

          • @JA Yeah, your first paragraph is what I was trying to get at.

            Very interesting regarding his walks,. Ultimately I feel Sanchez was a very frustrating pitcher who never developed as we hoped, and I’m glad Melky is turning out so well.

            I’ll always have fond memories of his 2010 contributions though, where it finally looked as if he’d come good. Not forgetting of course his no-hitter. Father in the stands for the first time, only an error away from a perfect game, Rowand’s catch in the ninth… magic.

  4. Yanks now 21-20, and the New York media is starting to articulate worry. Over the past seven years before this one, the Yanks have averaged 22 wins in their first 41 games (.537 winning percentage) and a .609 winning percentage in their last 121 games. 2010 is the only season of the past seven in which the Yankees had a lower winning percentage from game 41 on than through game 41. In every one of the last seven seasons their winning percentage in the last 121 games has been .570 or higher.

    • That’s a good point, birtelcom. Here’s a full NYY quarterly breakdown for 2005-11:

      1st Qtr — 154-133, an 87-win pace for a full season.
      2nd Qtr — 166-114, a 96-win pace.
      3rd Qtr — 176-104, a 102-win pace.
      4th Qtr — 174-113, a 98-win pace.

      And yet … I think this year has some significant differences:

      1. They’re an older team than at any point in that span. Lately their best hitter has been 40-year-old Raul Ibanez, and I just don’t think he can maintain his 140 OPS+ (career high is 132).

      2. The level of competition in the division is higher than at any point in that span.

      3. No Mo = potential for an erosion of confidence in the bullpen.

      I don’t think they win the division. 50-50 on making the playoffs, but I don’t see them going to the World Series.

      Of course, my predictions are usually wrong. :)

  5. Oakland’s Josh Reddick is on pace for 42 HRs and 108 Runs.

    The last A’s hitter with 40 HRs was Jason Giambi in 2000; none has hit 35 HRs since 2006 (Frank Thomas & Nick Swisher).

    The A’s haven’t had a 100-Run season since Swisher in ’06.

  6. Word of caution: Carney Lansford, 1988 A’s third baseman

    first two months: .400 BA (54 G, .402) – could he do what no one had done since 1941?
    rest of the year: .196 BA – Well I guess not… Gee, he didn’t even hit his career average (.279 in 1988 vs .290 career)

    Ironic that the Red Sox traded Reddick away after last year, and now they are desparate for any sort of outfield help.

  7. Something pretty amazing happened earlier this year that seems to have fallen through the cracks. I searched the site and don’t see it mentioned anywhere.

    So here it is…the Angels failed to score a run in five straight Ervin Santana starts. The Baseball Reference P-I doesn’t seem to have a function for searching run support but I’m guessing that has to be a record. The odds of something like that happening would have to be astronomical.

      • Thanks John! I did a search but I’m not sure if the search function searches comments. Anyway, as I said, I don’t think there’s anyway to see if it’s a record though I assume it has to be. (btw, I have no scruples…if I find something interesting I want to share it!!!)

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