First-half games: Feats and oddities

Still 26 hours before Counting down to the next pitch that really matters (Friday 1:20pm CDT). Some empty calories will help pass the time….

2012-04-18 — Only game this year where both starters went 9+ scoreless innings. Also the only game in 7 years where one starter went 10+ scoreless frames. Here’s the last time both starters went 10+ scoreless.


Twice this year, both starters had 10 or more strikeouts. In two other games, both starters had Game Scores of 80+. Chris Sale started one of each kind. (Oddly, none of those four dueling 80+ Game Scores had more than 7 Ks, and they averaged 5.5.)


2012-05-11 — Only game with 4 blown saves this year. If you want to see 5, you have to drift back 12 years, and (of course) head for the mountains. (The other 5-BS game since 1918 was also in the land of high anxiety. There was scoring in 14 of the 18 half-innings, with the Rox tallying in their last 8 tries.)


2012-05-15 — First K-free shutout in 10 years, and one of four since 1958 that also had 4+ walks. Here’s the last time both starters got a decision without a strikeout. (Josh Johnson, really? That’s his only starting win with no Ks.)


Here’s the first time in 4 years that a pitcher allowed 13+ hits in consecutive starts. But if you want to see a guy get really hammered, set your watch to Lima Time. Jose was dealt away the following June, made expendable in part by the emergence of … young Roy Oswalt.

By the way, if the late, lamented Lima isn’t the worst modern pitcher to have a 20-win season — and let’s face it, he’s a candidate for worst performance in a long career, period — it’s a pretty good bet that he got the most mileage out of his one big year. He’s the only 20-game winner who wound up with at least 1,000 IP and an ERA+ less than 88, finishing with 1,568 and 85, respectively. After going 21-10 in 1999, he logged another 860 IP with a 6.00 ERA and 75 ERA+, easily the least effective of any pitcher with a steady job in 2000-06. But give Jose his due — he brought a lot of smiles to a lot of faces.


Rockies 18, Mets 9 (2012-04-27)

  • The biggest inning by one team this year: Rockies scored 11 runs in the home 5th. (Mets had scored 4 in the top half.)
  • Both teams had 17+ hits, the highest mutual total since 2008-09-19. One of 3 such games this year.
  • 3 players with 4+ hits, a total not surpassed since 2008-07-30. One of 3 such games this year.
  • 2 Mets had 4+ hits, 4th time since 2000; 2 of those 4 in Coors field. Their last 6 such games were on the road. (Not a big surprise if you think about it; 2/3 of all such team games in the past 5 years came on the road.)
  • Scott Hairston completed his cycle in the top of the 6th (after Colorado’s eruption). One of 3 cycles this year.
  • No other Met had an extra-base hit; they combined for 13 singles.


Four no-hitters in 7 weeks, with perfect bookends: 2012-04-212012-05-022012-06-012012-06-13.


First-Half Streaks, etc.:

Longest hitting streak: 22, Michael Brantley.

Consecutive games reaching base safely: 32, Elvis Andrus.

Consecutive games with both a hit and a walk: 7, Chase Headley. David Ortiz has an active 6-gamer, and Kevin Youkilis an active 5-gamer.

Consecutive games with a Run: 9, Austin Jackson (active) and 9, Dexter Fowler.

… with an RBI: 9, Robinson Cano and 9, Carlos Beltran.

… with a Run and an RBI: 5, by 5 players; the over-all best 5 was by Mike Napoli. (We’ll see why in a moment.)

… with a HR: 5, Mike Napoli.

… with a Triple: 2, by 16 players (including Napoli!); the latest 2 was by Austin Jackson.

… with a Double: 5, Joey Votto. (You weren’t expecting Napoli again!)

… with any extra-base hit: 7, Paul Goldschmidt.

… with a SB: 4, by 6 players; Alejandro De Aza had the best composite, 5 SB with no CS.

… with a SO: 32 (one guess). Next longest is 21 (who’s your other guess?).

Most ABs in a hitless-game streak: 36, Luke Scott.

Game-ending HRs: 34 different players have 1 each.

Team game-ending HRs hit: 4, Oakland.

Team game-ending HRs allowed: 3 each by Oakland, Washington and Houston.

Consecutive CG shutouts: 2, Johan Santana.

Consecutive scoreless starts: 4, Ryan Dempster.

Consecutive team shutouts: 4, Giants. (Longest streak of shutouts against is in there, too.)

Consecutive games allowing 2 runs or less: 6, Seattle. (They split.)

… allowing 3 or less: 9, St. Louis.

… scoring 5 or more: 9 … Washington? (Put a silver bullet next to that one.)

Consecutive wins: 10, Yankees.

Consecutive losses: 12, Cubs, and 12, Royals.



60 thoughts on “First-half games: Feats and oddities

  1. 1
    MikeD says:

    Wait, there’s a pitch that’s going to matter in 26 hours? MLB teams will be playing sometime around 2am ET Friday? This is not going to help my sleeping schedule!

    • 2
      bstar says:

      Perhaps there’s another riveting A’s-Mariners series due to break out in Japan early tomorrow morning. Sure was can’t-watch TV the last time.

      • 3
        MikeD says:

        Believe it or not, there was a brief moment where I did consider the thought that MLB decided to kick off the second-half of the year by having a series open in Japan, and I somehow missed the story. I dismissed the thought immediately and thankfully it’s not true. Plus, let’s not give MLB any bright ideas. The start of this season was the weirdest one ever. It’s like everyone just decided to ignore the first games of the season and that real MLB teams were playing games that counted in Japan.

        • 4
          MikeD says:

          I did check the schedule for the first game. No, I wasn’t checking to see if there was a 2:20 am ET start time, although that would be interesting. The first game on Friday is 2:20 pm ET, so twas a simple type. JA meant 36 hours, not 26.

    • 12
      John Autin says:

      Obviously, I’ve lost the ability to do arithmetic unrelated to baseball. 🙂

  2. 6
    MikeD says:

    So under the category of feats and oddities, is Tony LaRussa the only manager in MLB history whose last two wins, and consecutive wins at that, were the clinching game of the World Series and winning the All-Star game?

    I didn’t see the game, so perhaps this was mentioned throughout the game by the broadcasters.

  3. 7
    Mark in Sydney says:

    Any idea on how many inside-the-park HRs have been hit this year so far? I imagine that stat is an inverse of Adam Dunn’s srikeouts 😉

    • 14
      John Autin says:

      Mark — Play Index finds 7 IPHRs, hit by 7 different batters, for 7 different teams and against 7 different teams. (“How many were going to St. Ives?”)

  4. 8
    RJ says:

    My other guess on the strikeouts streak was Adam Dunn again.

    • 9
      Ed says:

      Wait, there are games Adam Dunn didn’t strike out in???? 🙂

      • 10

        Adam Dunn is 0-1 with zero strikeouts in games I have attended this year. True fact!

        • 20
          RJ says:

          I distincty remember seeing Dunn hit a homer at Pac-Bell/SBC/AT&T Park a few years back but sadly can’t remember the number of whiffs. Of the games I’ve narrowed it down to I rather hope it’s this two home run, two strike out affair (sadly no walks):

          • 43
            Ed says:

            BTW, we’ve talked before about Adam Dunn and the Three True Outcomes (SO, BB, HRs). He’s hsd at least one three true outcome in every game this year except for one….June 13th. He pinch hit in the 8th inning and grounded into a double play on a 1-1 count. Which begs the question….what the heck was Adam Dunn doing swinging at a 1-1 pitch????

          • 58

            That was the game I saw!

            He took the same pitcher deep the night before, so I guess he got a little antsy there. And he wanted to make sure my fantasy pitcher Jake Peavy lost 1-0….

    • 16
      John Autin says:

      We mustn’t forget our record-holders, RJ! Even if Dunn’s record-to-be already seems like a fait accompli.

    • 36
      John Autin says:

      To my surprise, Dunn’s 32-game whiff streak this year is exactly twice as long as his previous mark.

      BTW, the longest one-season SO streak of the previous 20 years was 26 games, done in 2007 by Brad Hawpe and in 2001 by Geoff Jenkins and Mike Cameron. The longest last year was 25 by Ryan Howard.

      • 42
        Ed says:

        Dunn’s streak was actually 36 games if you add in his last four games of 2011. I realize that you were looking at single season streaks but thought I’d point that out.

    • 40
      GrandyMan says:

      Same here. For some reason, I thought Reynolds was benched for like, half the season; otherwise he would have been my second guess.

  5. 11
    • 13
      John Autin says:

      Thanks, Aaron. I searched individual performances, of course — should have been more precise in my wording.

  6. 15
    John Autin says:

    Norichika Aoki could become just the 3rd player born in Japan to have a qualifying BA of .300 or better. There have been 11 such seasons, 10 by Ichiro and 1 by Hideki Matsui.

    Aoki is 3 PAs shy of qualifying right now, but he’s starting almost every day now, and has a 15-game hitting streak.

    Five other Japan-born players have had a qualifying season with OPS+ of at least 100: Akinori Iwamura, Kosuke Fukudome, Tadahito Iguchi, Kenji Johjima, and … care to guess the fifth?

    • 19
      RJ says:

      Wow, just looked it up. Did not know that…

    • 24
      brp says:

      I really hope it’s So Taguchi but I’ll guess Kaz Matsui…

      • 25

        Without cheating, my guess would be Dave Roberts.

        • 26
          John Autin says:

          And Evil triumphs again!!!

          “Maury Wills once told me that there will come a point in my career when everyone in the ballpark will know that I have to steal a base, and I will steal that base. When I got out there, I knew that was what Maury Wills was talking about.” -Dave Roberts, on Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS

  7. 18
    Big Daddy V says:

    The pre-eminent slugger in the game today, Delmon Young, has an active 4-game streak with a HR in each game. It’s going to be really cool when the streak finally ends at 12 games, 12 HR, 35 K and 0 BB.

    • 21
      John Autin says:

      I wouldn’t say that your sarcasm is unwarranted, nor do I enjoy sticking up for Delmon. But the fact is, he already has 1 walk in the streak, and only 1 strikeout.

  8. 22
    John Autin says:

    David Wright is on pace for about 20 HRs to go with his 177 OPS+.

    From 1947-2011, only Rod Carew ’77 had a full-season 170 OPS+ or better with fewer than 22 HRs. (Paul O’Neill reached that level with 21 HRs in ’94, but that was almost a 30-HR pace for a full season.)

    Wright is also in range of the Mets records for BA, OBP and OPS.
    BA — Olerud .354, Wright .351
    OBP — Olerud .447, Wright .441
    OPS — Piazza 1.012, Wright 1.004

    • 31
      kzuke says:

      JA, i recall you making a series of similar posts last season re: reyes’ record-breaking pace. you may want to follow up with some sort of bizarro jinx. maybe something about the futility of the bullpen? jbay’s anemic season?

      • 32
        John Autin says:

        kzuke, I’ve considered the very real possibility that I was directly responsible for Jose not reaching those projections.

        But since he ultimately wound up with the Mets’ first batting title, I concluded that, for once, my anticipation did not amount to a full-blown kibosh. And so I remain at large, free to prevent other happy events by the force of my observation.

      • 38
        John Autin says:

        By the way, who’s Jason Bay?

        (Was any $60 million man so utterly forgotten? I mean, Barry Zito’s been irrelevant for years, but he still shows up and pitches. With Bay, it’s hard to even remember that he once played for the Mets.)

        • 44
          Mike L says:

          Bay, even at this sad point of his career, still has a lifetime OPS+ of 125, which is tied for 27th among active players, which, by the way, happens to be higher than Beltran, Cano, Bautista, and Konerko. Kind of hard to wrap your head around that.

          • 45
            John Autin says:

            True enough. On the other hand, if you compare Bay and Beltran starting from the age that Bay became a MLB regular (age 25), Beltran comes out ahead. Beltran’s career OPS+ is dragged down a little by his early years, when he was good enough to play regularly (esp. on defense) even though his offense hadn’t fully matured yet.

        • 47
          RJ says:

          I wish Barry Zito was irrelevant.

  9. 23
    Mo says:

    I was certain during the dog days of a 4 game all-star break we’d see a bunch of Mount Rushmore posts. Whatever happened to Andy? (I know he retired but he did commit to finishing the series.)

  10. 27
    Richard Chester says:

    I don’t know where to post this, this might be the most appropriate spot. A rather odd event occurred on this date in 1931. The Cards hosted the Cubs for a double-header at Sportsman’s Park on a Sunday. A record crowd for the park was set on that date. There were in excess of 45,000 fans at the game in a ball park with a seating capacity of 35,000. After they shoe-horned as many fans as possible into the stands the remainder were sent onto the field at the edges of the outfield along the fence. There were even fans surrounding the infield along the foul lines. According to the Charlton Chronology there were close to 8,000 (as in eight thousand) people on the field. Any ball hit into the crowd was a ground-rule double. The first game had a modest 9 doubles but the second game had a record 23.

    • 28
      John Autin says:

      It’s a classic for the names alone — Footsie Blair?

    • 29
      John Autin says:

      Richard got me thinking about games in which a team hit 10 doubles but lost. There are just 3 such games in the database. Here’s one:

      Senators 12, Tigers 11.

      Detroit out-hit Washington 18-14 and had 11 extra-base hits (1 HR) to their 3 (all doubles). Former longtime Tiger Earl Whitehill got the win, allowing 16 hits and 10 runs in 8 IP.

    • 30
      MikeD says:

      I wonder if the players got more skilled at taking advantage of where the crowds were standing by the second game, or if far more fans showed up by the time the second game started?

      • 33
        John Autin says:

        Haven’t the social historians determined that the 2nd-game crowd was the first-ever flash mob?

    • 46
      Lawrence Azrin says:

      Does anyone know the most recent time paying customers were allowed to stand in the deep outfield of a MLB game? It sounds like such a leftover from the deadball era.

      • 48
        Richard Chester says:

        According to the Charlton Chronology there was an overflow crowd during a double-header between the Dodgers and Pirates on 5-5-46 at Forbes Field. I don’t know if that was the last overflow crowd. Seating capacity was about 35,000 and the attendance for those games was just under 38,000. There were 9 “crowd” doubles, one of which drove in the winning run for the Pirates in the second game. Preacher Roe, in relief for the Pirates, got credit for a one pitch win.

        A couple of days ago there was a discussion on IBB with the bases loaded. I have uncovered another one. On 5-2-28 Del Bissonette of the Dodgers–er, make that Robins–was issued such a pass.

        There is a lot to learn from the Chronology once you get past all of their errors.

  11. 39
    GrandyMan says:

    In that 6-game stretch of Seattle allowing 2 or fewer runs, there was a 3-game series with Oakland. They allowed 5 runs and lost 2 of the 3 games. When was the last time a team allowed 5 or fewer runs over a 3-game series and won 1 or 0 games? (Actually, is that searchable? Or can one only search for any 3-game period?)

    • 41
      Richard Chester says:

      I would say it is not PI searchable. By doing a quick excel spreadsheet check of the Seattle Mariners game log summary on baseball-reference for 2011 they lost 2 of 3 to the Angels on Aug. 5, 6, and 7. They lost 2 games by scores of 1-0 and 2-1 and won one game by 5-1. (I randomly selected the Mariners.)

    • 54

      I recall a series between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks a few years ago where there was very little scoring, and found it by looking back to which season the Dodgers essentially sucked on offense, which was the Year of Gagne…

      Over the weekend of July 4-6, 2003, the Dodgers allowed only 5 runs to the D’backs, and still lost 2 games. There were 9 runs total scored in that entire series… pretty bad, huh?

      Oh wait! That wasn’t even the biggest offensive snoozefest these two teams put up that month! Let’s see what happened the next time the Dodgers and Snakes met up, which was 3 weeks later!

      7/24/03 – LA 1, AZ 2
      7/25/03 – LA 0, AZ 1
      7/26/03 – LA 1, AZ 0

      Pretty much speaks for itself. The Dodgers allowed 3 runs in 3 games, and still lost 2. Now I wonder if that’s the last time there has ever been a three game series with 5 or fewer total runs, and how far you’d have to go back to find another one…

  12. 49
    Nick Pain says:

    I enjoyed the free PI time, though it’s likely caused me to subscribe (not that that’s a bad thing, and BR’s plan I suppose). Does anyone know how to do a report comparing a career stat to a single season stat? For example, Jose Lima has a career bWar of 4.1, though he had a season of 4.2, and I was wondering what the highest WAR is for a player with a season WAR higher than their career WAR.

    • 51
      Richard Chester says:

      Nick: I fooled around with PI and I found that first-baseman Kevin Young had a seasonal War of 5.3 in 1999 vs. a career WAR of 4.2. I can’t be sure if that’s the highest WAR, I found it via a messy search.

      The highest seasonal WAR (offensive) is 13.7 so the search is restricted to players with a career WAR of 13.7 or lower. I am trying to determine if there is an easier way to search (and explain).

      • 57
        Nick Pain says:

        Thanks Richard. It seems that the only way to do it is the way you’re doing it. Kevin Young made $24 million after that 5.3 WAR season, with a cumulative WAR of -2.7. And we wonder why the Pirates haven’t been good in so long.

        • 59
          Richard Chester says:

          Roberto Hernandez who pitched for the Indians from 2006-2011 had a career WAR of 4.7 and a seasonal high of 5.9. I don’t know if that would be the highest seasonal WAR because there is something I am not sure about for saved reports for the PI.

          • 60
            Ed says:

            I still find it odd to hear him referred to as Roberto Hernandez even if that really is his name. He’ll always be Fausto Carmona to me!

  13. 50
    John Autin says:

    I say, if MLB has to foist upon us the extra ASG off-day, they should at least have the decency to schedule the first game of the second half in a weatherproof spot!

    (Translation: It’s raining in Chicago.)

  14. 52
    Larry says:

    I am going to go on record here that I predict a brewing situation will lead to The Curse of Strasburg for the Nats. As was stated in Bull Durham, hot streaks don’t come along that often in baseball and you have to respect them. The Nats may be the best team in th NL. Strasburg is their best pitcher. This may be the best chance for the Nats to win a championship in Strasburg’s career. And he will be shut down when they try to do it. If I were a Nats fan, I’d be ticked. If I were Steasburg, I’d be ticked. Anyway, I predict the Nats will regret their decision on Strasburg. In 2112, when they still won’t have a championship, they will lament the Curse of Strasburg where they fell like a lead balloon after they shut him down in 2012, drawing the wrath and ire of the BBGs

    • 53
      bstar says:

      I don’t know about the Curse actually happening, but I do agree with most of this that shutting down your best pitcher in the heat of the pennant race is a very anti-win-now approach and runs counter to the whole point of sports in general.

      There’s going to be a phenomenal amount of criticism levied at the Nats for doing it the way they did if they shut him down, and rightfully so. Why not shut him down now for a month and rev him up again for the playoffs/playoff race? It just makes so much more sense to me. Why haven’t they done more to limit his pitch/inning count up to this point(they could have had him work 5-6 innings instead of 6-7 all year). Why the heck hasn’t Strasburg been informed that he’s going to be shut down?

  15. 56
    Larry says:

    @Richard Chester-

    You mean mistakes like this?


    Anaheim OF Garret Anderson defeats St. Louis’ Luis Pujols in the finals of the All-Star Home Run Derby.

    The Mets send OF Jeromy Burnitz to the Dodgers in exchange for minor leaguers Victor Diaz‚ Joselo Diaz‚ and Kole Strayhorn.

    The Dodgers sign OF Rickey Henderson to a contract.

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