Thursday early games / Late Wednesday notes

@Reds 12, Indians 7Joey Votto reversed a 2-0 deficit with a 3-run bomb, Brandon Phillips had a second straight big game, and Cincinnati went on to complete just the 2nd sweep in 26 series against their upstate rivals.

  • Shin-Soo Choo located his missing power stroke, joining Nieuwenhuis in hitting 2 HRs from the leadoff spot, including a gargantuan clout to start the game. But he whiffed in his other 3 trips, twice in RBI spots, as the Tribe went 0-for-10 with RISP.
  • Streaking, but slowly: After grounding out to 2B in his first 3 trips, Michael Brantley doubled to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. It was his 4th straight 1-hit game and 14th during the streak, which has no games of 3+ hits. It’s the longest streak of that peculiar nature since 2009, when Victor Martinez had a 25-game hitting streak all with 1 or 2 hits. Brantley’s next-longest hitting streak, 19 games, also had no more than 2 hits in a game.

Mets 9, @Rays 6: In consecutive games, the Mets faced the junior loop’s nos. 3 and 5 in ERA — David Price (2.40) and Jeremy Hellickson (2.65) — and gave each the worst beating of his career, at least by earned runs. Hellickson had never yielded more than 5 runs in his 45 career starts, but New York tallied 8 earnies on 9 hits and 3 HRs in 3.2 IP, scoring in each of his 4 innings and bumping his ERA all the way to 3.45.

  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit the Mets’ first leadoff HR in almost 2 calendar years, then drilled a 2-run shot in the 4th — oppo, on a 1-2 pitch — when the Mets erupted for 4 runs starting with 2 out and none on. The Mets have scored 48.5% of their runs with 2 outs.
  • The Mets’ last 3-game streak scoring 9+ runs ending exactly 6 years ago. The Rays last allowed 9+ in 3 straight games a year before that, June 2005. The Amazin’s swung so well in this series, they even nicked Fernando Rodney for just his 4th earned run this year, pushing his ERA over 1.
  • And there was even a redemptive moment for Jon Rauch, who cleaned up Johan’s bases-loaded, no-out mess in the 6th with 3 straight outs, starting with 2 Ks — just his second appearance this year with that many whiffs.
  • Break out the cheap-win champagne, Johan! A 41 Game Score was his 2nd-lowest ever in a winning effort.

Tigers 5, @Cubs 3: Justin Verlander gave back a 2-0 lead in the 2nd, but gave the Cubs just 3 singles over his last 6 frames, and after wasting many chances to retake the lead (3 DPs), the bats finally broke through in the 7th on a 2-out hit by Austin Jackson following Verlander’s sacrifice.

  • Jackson (4-2-3-3, HR, double, walk) went 2-for-2 with RISP, the rest of the Tigers 1-for-9; they began the day with the AL’s best RISP average. Jackson’s 2-run shot in the 9th gave a welcome cushion for Jose Valverde, who allowed a run while converting his 13th save in 16 tries. Besides cutting his over-all K rate, Jackson has made his best contact in RBI chances, just 5 whiffs in 36 PAs with RISP (14%) — less than half his prior career rate. He’s jacked his OPS to .957, which ranks 14th at this writing among players with 150 PAs.
  • Through 14 starts, the reigning MVP is 6-4, 2.66, with an 0.97 WHIP and 103 Ks in 102 IP. Last year at this point he was 7-3, 2.89, with an 0.94 WHIP and 93 Ks in 103 IP.

@Royals 4, Brewers 3: More misery for Milwaukee. John Axford blew a save for the 2nd night in a row, and once again wildness of all stripes was the culprit. Leading off the 9th, Mitch Maier struck out on 3 pitches, but the last one got away and Maier got on. He moved up on a groundout, and stayed there as Alcides Escobar, Wednesday’s 9th-inning hero, went down swinging for what should have been the final out. Up stepped CF Jarrod Dyson, batting .233 for his career, .250 this year with 4 RBI in 141 ABs — the worst ribby rate in the majors, other than opposing CF Nyjer Morgan. Axford threw him a strike, and then 4 straight balls, putting the winning run on base.

  • And then, this happened (try to count the mental and physical errors on the play), giving KC their first 3-game home winning streak — all by 1 run, all won in the 8th or later. These last two walk-off wins are their only ones this year.
  • It’s the 2nd time this year that multiple runs scored off Axford as a direct consequence of a batter reaching on a SO/WP.

Astros 6, Giants 3: It took just 2 pitches to assure no repeat of Wednesday’s historics, and J.D. Martinez hit his first-ever grand slam, leading Houston to just their 5th win in 18 games and 9th in 31 road tries.

  • Martinez was hitting .226 and slugging .357, both last among 16 qualified LFs. But he’s hitting .295 with RISP (18 for 61), and .167 with the bases empty (18 for 108).
  • Just 4 Ks by the Astros, ending an 8-game streak with 9 or more, the longest such streak this year by a margin of 3 games. (H/T to Evan for this observation.)
  • Anyone looking for another SF no-hitter was barking up the wrong Z. Barry Zito has never had a 9-inning CG with less than 4 hits, nor an 8-inning CG with less than 3.

Athletics 8, @Rockies 2: Bouncing back from a bad beat, Jarrod Parker stoned the Rox for 7 IP (3 singles 1 walk), Brandon Moss homered for the 3rd straight day, and Oakland finished off the sweep.

  • It’s the 3rd time in his last 4 starts that Parker went 6+ scoreless stanzas. He’s allowed 2 runs or less in 8 of his 10 starts this year, and 9 of 11 in his career, with at least 5 IP in all 9. That 9-of-11 matches the best career-opening run since at least 1918, shared by 4 others.
  • On arrival in Denver, Moss was 2 for 13 in 5 games this year, with a HR and 1 RBI. He went 6 for 13 in the series — 4 HRs, 2 doubles — with 8 RBI, 5 runs … and 6 strikeouts.
  • The A’s have been shut out 11 times, more than any other team, and 2 or less in 26 games (tied with 2 NL teams) — but they scored 8+ in all 3 games in Coors, their first such streak since 2009.

Diamondbacks 11, @Rangers 3: Eighth win in 11 games for the Snakes. Texas scored first, but by the time they scratched again it was 9-1 in the 7th.

  • Scott Feldman has lost 6 consecutive starts, tying Ervin Santana for the longest streak this year. He’s 1-11 in his last 16 starts dating to 2010, with just 2 QS. Three pitchers are winless through at least 7 starts this year: Feldman, 6.50 ERA; Chris Volstad, 7.46 ERA; and (of course) Cliff Lee, 3.18 ERA.
  • He hasn’t been able to play often, but Lyle Overbay (5-2-3-3) has a 1.010 OPS in 80 PAs.
  • Texas has scored 9+ runs 11 times (tied for the most in MLB), winning them all by a combined score of 131-40. But they haven’t matched any of those outbursts to the 7 games in which they’ve allowed 8+ runs, all losses, by a combined score of 81-31.

@Cardinals 5, White Sox: Beltran on the bench and Holliday hitless? No problem: Allen Craig (.354/1.085) doubled twice and David Freese drove him in twice with a double and HR, leading the Redbirds to victory and ending a 5-game span of 2 runs or less.

  • For the first time in ages, Josh Hamilton has company atop the home run chart. Adam Dunn‘s 3-run HR was his 4th in 5 games, tying him with Hamilton at 22 for the year.
  • Be True to your school: Dunn also collected his 49th walk and his 99th strikeout, reaching that SO mark in game #63 — the fastest pace ever, in case that wasn’t self-evident. At his present pace, Dunn would finish with 56 HRs, 126 walks, and a record 254 strikeouts in 699 PAs — with just 263 balls in the field of play. If you can find a qualified hitter with more strikeouts than balls in play, you win my Buck O’Neill Kansas City Monarchs tee-shirt. (Yeah, I already checked Mark Reynolds — not even close.) By the way, he’s also on track for 128 RBI, a mark reached by just 5 White Sox a total of 7 times (none since 2002), and 100 Runs. Whatever the cost of those strikeouts, there aren’t many others this year on pace for those production levels.



@Cardinals 1, White Sox 0 / Padres 1, @Mariners 0: The first two games this year in which a solo HR was the only run, hit by Carlos Beltran and Yonder Alonso, respectively. That’s 2 HRs in sixteen 1-0 games this year. From 1993-2008, HRs accounted for 31% of all 1-0 games (164/529).


No matter whom you like in the NL Cy Young race, he’s going to face some tough competition. There are currently eleven qualified NL pitchers with an ERA+ of 150 or better (see table below). The most in a full season, since 1901: 7 in 1969, 5 in 2003 and 1919.

1 Brandon Beachy 202 12 12 1 1 5 4 .556 77.1 49 23 17 28 63 1.98 6 307 4 .178 .524 46
2 Wade Miley 175 13 10 0 0 7 3 .700 75.1 61 23 20 17 49 2.39 3 303 6 .216 .594 61
3 Ryan Dempster 173 11 11 0 0 2 3 .400 74.0 56 21 19 20 63 2.31 6 296 2 .206 .578 61
4 R.A. Dickey 171 13 13 2 1 10 1 .909 90.0 66 24 22 19 90 2.20 8 344 10 .208 .601 70
5 Gio Gonzalez 168 12 12 0 0 8 2 .800 72.2 43 19 19 30 89 2.35 1 293 1 .168 .502 41
6 Johnny Cueto 167 13 13 2 0 7 3 .700 87.2 83 26 24 19 59 2.46 5 358 6 .252 .662 82
7 Matt Cain 163 13 13 2 2 8 2 .800 95.0 65 27 23 16 96 2.18 7 364 3 .192 .555 61
8 Stephen Strasburg 161 13 13 0 0 8 1 .889 77.0 60 24 21 20 100 2.45 5 304 9 .216 .585 63
9 James McDonald 159 12 12 0 0 5 2 .714 75.1 53 22 20 22 73 2.39 4 291 6 .200 .580 65
10 Lance Lynn 158 13 13 0 0 10 2 .833 81.2 62 23 22 27 86 2.42 5 329 5 .209 .605 71
11 Ryan Vogelsong 158 11 11 0 0 5 2 .714 75.2 60 20 19 29 52 2.26 5 312 5 .219 .606 77
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used /Generated 6/14/2012.

And lurking in the shadows, a few more former CYA winners and strong contenders: Zack Greinke, 7-2, 10.1 SO/9; Cole Hamels, 9-3, 4.8 SO/BB; Clayton Kershaw, 5-3, 2.65 ERA.


Team Scoring, by Number of Outs

The following table breaks down team scoring by the percentage of their total runs that have scored with 0, 1 or 2 outs, along with some other basic offensive stats:

[table id=55 /]

Leave a Reply

46 Comments on "Thursday early games / Late Wednesday notes"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Voomo Zanzibar

I count one mental error and one physical error at the end of the Brewer game, both by that cutoff man. And the mental error is arguable. If he makes a good throw to second, the runner on 3rd isn’t going home. And if the batter continued to 2nd and got thrown out, the inning and the threat are over.

The bad throw by Weeks? Probably doesn’t get the runner with a good throw.

Voomo — i agree and disagree. Not really a bad effort by the cutoff man to try and get the runner, and a good throw by Weeks wouldve nailed the runner at home (watch it in slow-mo, and its surprisingly clear). But a bad throw to Weeks is what really doomed them. The Brewers might be in trouble, heading to Minnesota now, where they tend to struggle. A continued Cy Young effort by Greinke would help a lot. It will be a true shame (tho doubtful) if the Brewers deal him before deadline. I think we all know he’s not… Read more »

JA, I’m trying to work out the NL average for scoring with 2 outs, I think it’s 39.5%. I had a feeling the Giants would rank particularly poorly in this stat, and yes, they come in at 30.6%. Is there an easy way of seeing the leaders/stragglers in this category?


Verlander’s victory is his first Win since the near no-hitter v the Pirates on 5/18 – which also happened to be a Fri Night. 2 Weeks prior to Santana’s gem. With Millwood & Co last week that would have been 3 out of 4 Fridays with No-Hitters had Verlander completed his.

Who you got for Best chance for Friday Night No-Hitter this week?

Jim Bouldin
Well, inter-league play is now half over so it might be a good time to compute the likelihood that the two leagues are equivalent in overall quality of teams. Yes I know that can be a tricky thing to define; for the sake of argument here let’s define it as: if the entire season were IL games only, each league would end the season with same record. IL games played: 126 IL Records: AL: 68-58 NL: 58-68 Two tailed binomial probability of one league having 68 or more wins after 126 games played: 0.164 Thus, not significant at the traditional… Read more »
Jim Bouldin

By the way, what a great site this seems to be on first glance!

Jim Bouldin

Maybe wasn’t as clear as I should have been in #8 there. Should be:
“Two tailed binomial probability of one league having 68 or more wins after 126 games played **assuming equivalence of the two leagues and a non-biased set of series matchups to date**

And of course, it’s not even possible for the two leagues to have identical overall records if all games were IL games (until next year). I meant, each league ended at exactly .500 win percentage.

Jim Bouldin

Just a note that the AL went 10-4 yesterday, so updating the probabilities of equality of leagues:

AL: 85-69
NL: 69-85

two tailed p now down to .085, i.e. only an 8.5% chance the two leagues are equal.


“There are currently eleven qualified NL pitchers with an ERA+ of 150 or better (see table below). The most in a full season, since 1901: 7 in 1969, 5 in 2003 and 1919.”

Does this mean the reverse is true…i.e. there are a lot (record number) of pitchers with really bad ERA+ (less than some value)? Or is it a function of something else?

Voomo Zanzibar

Looking at those numbers for Dunn I’m torn between rooting for him to keep doing it and on the other hand being horrified and disgusted by it.

It feels better to root, so I’ll go with that.

But the WSox could consider giving the Donk a rest vs Lefties:

.183 .298 .465 .762

…he says, before noting an utter lack of good righthanded hitters on the Chicago bench or at their AAA affiliate.

But check out these Dunn splits:

vs Power
.163 .368 .395 .764

vs Finesse
.255 .355 .706 1.061

Throw that man a fastball and make it stiff!

Voomo Zanzibar

One oddity – on B-R, Dunn’s Age 31 comp (last year) is Reggie Jackson.

Is there a statistical reason for that, or is someone @B-R flipping Reggie the bird? Because Mr. O’s line that year was:

.286 .375 .550 .925 150
which is a long way from
.159 .292 .277 .569 54

Strikeouts? Reggie had very many for 1977, but 129 is not 177.

And it’s not even positional, as Reggie was a full time Rightfielder.
Well, many other mysteries to solve today, best let this one go…


BR’s “age comps” are through that age, not just a one year look.

from the looks of it, dunn will be moving from reggie to killebrew after age 32. a great year so far.

13 more HR to 400, and 28 more RBI to 1,000.


Jim Thome on a heck of a hot streak all of a sudden for a guy who looked like he might be completely done.

Richard Chester

John: Concerning Adam Dunn’s SO and BIP stats:
I ran PI for all players with 149 or more SO and calculated the differences between BIP and SO. NO one had more SO than BIP. The closest qualifying player was Jack Cust in 2007 (507 PA) whose number of SO was 73 fewer than his BIP. The cloest non-qualifier was Mel Nieves in 1997 (405 PA) with 47 fewer SO than BIP. Next closest non-qualifier was Dunn in 2011 (496 PA) with 63 fewer.


And Adam Dunn leading in the triple crown. BB, SO, and HR. How often has that been done?

Richard Chester

I made a quick check. Babe Ruth did it 4 times, Mickey Mantle, Hack Wilson, Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy did it once each.

Wasn’t there a sort of similar search on this blog recently?


Top 3 home run clubs all from the AL East.

Bishop Rienholdt

Thanks for the list. Yes, top 3 home run clubs all from the AL East.