A variously detailed look at a selection of non-no-hitters….
@White Sox 7, Mariners 4: You win this kind of game when you’re on a streak. Jake Peavy cruised into the 7th with a 4-0 lead (1 hit, 2 walks), but it slipped away over the next 2 innings, mainly on big hits by Kyle Seager (who’s hitting lefties as well as righties). Chi fans needn’t have fretted: M’s CF Michael Saunders (who made a great catch in the 7th to start a DP) took an embarrassing facial to start the 8th, and Chicago scored 3 unearned runs after 2 were out.
- Nine straight wins is Chicago’s 2nd-longest streak in one season since 1976 — the year they diversified the pants rack, and 3 years before they hired a 34-year-old unknown named Tony something to manage the club.
- Gordon Beckham‘s first 2-HR game was also the first by a White Sox #2 hitter since 2008.
@Giants 4, Cubs 3: Another one that almost got away. SF led 4-0 since the 3rd, and Madison Bumgarner struck out 11 in 8 scoreless IP, just like the last time he faced the Cubs. But he couldn’t finish the shutout, handing off 2 runners to closer Santiago Casilla, who had been perfect in 14 save tries. Then Alfonso Soriano hit his 8th HR — all in the last 16 games, and his first 3-run shot this year — and a double and infield single put the go-ahead run on with 1 out. Exit closer, enter situational lefty Javier Lopez: four pitches, two outs, ballgame.
- Lopez hasn’t allowed a HR in his last 122 games, the longest active streak and 5 shy of the longest since Greg Minton‘s 1979-82 record of 178.
- Bumgarner won for the first time since his 5-start win streak ended on May 5.
- Melky (he gets one-name status as long as he’s hitting .370) notched his MLB-best 7th triple. He hit .429 in May, with 5 triples among his 51 hits.
- Three doubles in Daniel Nava‘s first 4-hit game. He’s hitting .314/.444 OBP, with 16 Runs & 16 RBI in 22 games, and 10 doubles in 21 hits.
- Who is Scott Atchison, and why can’t anyone score off him? That’s 14 games and 18.2 IP since the a tally was charged to Boston’s 36-year-old middle reliever, while stranding 8 of 9 inherited runners. His 0.89 season ERA (3 R in 30.1 IP) is 4th best among those with 20+ IP.
- It’s a long season, and Boston’s has had 5 movements: the 4-10 start with the bullpen in flames; 6 straight wins to get even; a 2-9 stretch that frayed nerves all around; another 5-game streak to restore relevance and cohesion; and now the slow, steady climb that has lifted them from cellar to sunlight.
- After sweeping the division leaders, Toronto lost to the last-place team — not that there’s any real difference.
@Indians 7, Twins 1: Jason Kipnis had 4 RBI and his 9th HR. That gives him 16 in 87 career games, all at 2B — the best power start by any middle infielder in Cleveland history. (If you’re thinking of Cory Snyder, no — he was primarily an outfielder, even in his rookie year. But big bonus points if you know whose record Kipnis beat: Jim Baxes.)
@Royals 2, Athletics 0: What’s gotten into Felipe Paulino? The journeyman righty has started 6 games this year, tossing 6+ scoreless innings four times. He had 4 such games in his prior 54 starts. Paulino is 3-1, 1.70 over all, with 9.5 SO/9 — after starting the year with a career record of 10-31, 5.28.
- Meanwhile, Oakland’s skid reached 9 losses. They had just 3 hits (2 by Jemile Weeks) in their 10th shutout this year, joining the 2003 Tigers (43-119) as the only teams in the last 28 years with that many shutouts by this point in the season. They are last in the AL in batting average (.208) and the rest of the slash stats, as well as OPS+ (71, 20 points below the next-worst) and, of course, scoring (3.15 R/G).
- It’s the 9th time the A’s were held to 3 hits or less; no other team has more than 5.
@Rays 5, Orioles 0: Tampa booted the O’s out of first place for the first time in almost a month, as David Price (7.1 IP) and 3 relievers held them to 7 singles and Hideki Matsui homered for the 2nd time in as many starts.
- Price tied Pittsburgh’s James McDonald with his 10th start allowing 3 runs or less. He’s also tied for 3rd in the AL with 8 Quality Starts (raise your hand if you had Derek Lowe and Jake Peavy leading in that department).
- In their 6-game slide, Balto’s SPs have allowed 28 runs in 31.2 IP, their bullpen just 3 runs in 17.1 IP (plus 2 of 3 inherited runners).
- As in KC’s shutout win, Tampa scored all their runs in the 1st inning, capped by Matsui’s long drive that followed a safety squeeze.
- B.J. Upton’s MLB-high 6th baserunner kill took advantage of a foolish gamble by rookie Steve Tolleson. Upton led all CFs with 16 assists in 2008, his first year playing the pasture, but averaged 6 over the next 3 years.
Pirates 8, @Brewers 2: Pittsburgh matched a season high with 13 hits, and ascended past the .500 mark for the first time since the opening weekend. Their 6-run 3rd started with back-to-back triples and insured another loss for Randy Wolf, winless since April.
- Jose Tabata‘s bases-loaded double produced the first 3-RBI game of his 239-game career. It’s mainly a matter of opportunity; he’s a .300 career hitter with RISP and with the sacks full (.267 with bases empty).
- Milwaukee came home from a 5-2 Western junket and laid an egg. Nyjer Morgan hit his first HR for an early lead, and later doubled; 27 of his first 28 hits this year were singles.
- Wolf leads the NL with 78 hits allowed (in 61 IP), and his 1.71 WHIP is the worst of any NL qualifier but Jamie Moyer. Only the Rockies have a higher team WHIP than the Crew’s 1.43.
- Kevin Correia continued to defy the odds, winning despite yielding 2 HRs in 5.2 IP and walking as many as he whiffed (2). His 4.19 ERA/91 ERA+ isn’t great — but with the lowest K rate by far among NL qualifiers (3.1 SO/9, next-lowest is 4.4), you might say he’s lucky to be in the majors. Only one NL qualifier since 1986 has had a K rate that low. Correia’s BAbip is .226, 76 points below his career mark. Two other things going for him: His 9 HRs allowed have produced just 11 runs, and he’s held inning-leadoff men to a .230 OBP.
@Rockies 13, Dodgers 3: I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but the Rox are 5-0 since Moyer’s last start, scoring over 10 runs per game with at least 13 hits in each. The club’s longest streak of 13-hit games was 6 in 1998 — all losses, by a combined score of 70-41.
- It’s not all CarGo: The streak coincides with Dexter Fowler‘s move to the leadoff spot; he’s 13 for 22 with 11 Runs, 8 RBI and a 1.640 OPS, lifting his season OPS+ to 142. Michael Cuddyer has 25 R+RBI in his last 11 games, going 15 for 35 with 9 XBH to reverse a month-long swoon (.185 BA from April 21-May 19).
- Speaking of Fowler … What’s the deal with center fielders throughout Rockies history? They often don’t settle on one guy. Just 10 of their 19 prior seasons saw one guy reach 100 games in CF (3 by Fowler, 2 by Juan Pierre, and 5 others once each), and just 2 of those had OPS+ of 100 or better. The other teams averaged 14 such seasons, with more than half posting OPS+ of at least 100 (and that’s without adjusting for the late entries of TBR and ARI). Colorado’s best OPS+ with 100+ games in CF was 113 by Preston Wilson in 2003 (Ellis Burks played mostly LF in his big ’96 season and never played 100 CF games with the Rockies). The other teams have averaged 4 CF seasons higher than a 113 OPS+.
- Todd Helton‘s double was his 4th XBH in his last 23 games (.287 SLG in that span). His .240 BA and .331 OBP would be career lows, and the rest of his rate stats would be his worst for a qualifying season; in 12 such years, he’s never hit under .302.
- Dodgers have lost 5 straight but still lead the division by 4 games.
- LA scored 3 runs with 10 hits, 4 walks, 4 doubles, 1 triple, no HRs. Sounds inefficient, but with the Play Index, we can find out precisely what other teams have done with those totals. There have been 38 such regulation games since 1918. The median was 5 runs, the average 5.37, the spread from 1 to 9. Just 8 of 38 scored 3 runs or less (five 3’s, two 2’s and a 1). The last win with those exact totals (including runs) was over 20 years ago.
- LA grounded into 2 DPs, the Rockies 1. Team W% by GIDP, since 2011: 0 – .513 (1541-1462); 1 – .504 (1188-1168); 2 – .460 (381-447); 3 – .474 (83-92); 4 or more – .308 (12-27). I’m sure we’d need a bigger sample and some other data to understand why 3 GIDPs seems better than 2.