Random notes for an off day

(Wait … you mean there’s pro baseball going on right now?)

Since I’ve been getting most of my baseball news from box scores lately, I didn’t realize that the brothers Jhonatan Solano (Nationals) and Donovan Solano (Marlins) had debuted 8 days apart in May. Donovan, the younger one, arrived first, on May 21, and started his first game on May 26. Big brother Jhonatan broke in with a pinch-double on May 29 and made his first start the next day, against his brother’s team. Little bro’ didn’t start, but walked as a pinch-hitter in the 8th; big bro would have batted in the next half-inning, but he was pulled for Rick Ankiel (who whiffed to end the game). Anyway, both brothers are hitting over .300 in limited play; their combined stats are 26 for 80 (.325) with 2 HRs (both by Jhonatan) and 8 doubles (.500 SLG). Each one has a stolen base. (BTW, they are not yet listed as relations on B-R.)

And since I can’t pore over every box score as closely as I’d like, some West Coast nuggets elude me. (Sorry, RJ, Luis and others.) So imagine my shock when I clicked on rookie Yasmani Grandal for the first time, and learned that he has 4 HRs in just 10 games, including 2 in his first start — one from each side of the plate! Grandal followed with a HR in his 4th game and another in his 6th, a pinch-hit go-ahead 2-run shot in the 8th on July 4. That made him the fastest to 4 HRs since Mike Jacobs did it in 4 games in 2005, the fastest Padre ever to that mark, and in just 20 PAs. He hasn’t homered in 4 games since then, but went 4 for 15 with a double, giving him 10 hits in 35 ABs (no walks yet). Grandal, born in Cuba, was the 12th pick of the 2010 draft, and came over from Cincy in the Mat Latos deal. Now 23, he hit just 6 HRs in 56 games at AAA this year, but he’s a hitter — .314/.415/.498 in 596 minor-league ABs, with 50 doubles and 20 HRs (and .335/.443/.521 at AAA, with more walks than whiffs). He’s also a catcher.

That’s a first: On Sunday, Washington’s Mike Gonzalez entered in the 8th with the tying run on 3rd and no outs. While pitching to his first batter, he unloosed a wild pitch, tying the score and moving the go-ahead run to 2nd. Then he struck out the side — CarGo, Tyler Colvin (both hitting over .300/.960) and Todd Helton. It’s the only searchable blown save of at least 1 inning while striking out all batters faced.

In the 1978 “Boston Massacre,” the Yankees went up to Boston and swept 4 games, scoring 42 runs — with just 2 HRs. They had 67 hits, but just 11 went for extra bases (16%). This past weekend, New York took 3 of 4 in Fenway, scoring 28 runs — with 8 HRs and 19 XBH among their 45 hits (42%). The Yanks have at least 4 XBH in all 6 games with Boston this year, their longest such streak ever against the BoSox (tying a mark set in ’61).

Exiled with just 2 innings on his card, Mark Melancon has yielded 1 run in 13.1 IP since returning — and his ERA is still 7.04.

His record is just 9-5, his ERA is only 9th in the majors, and he just got torched in the All-Star Game — but Justin Verlander leads both loops in IP, IP/G and SO, and is 3rd in WHIP and OPS+.

Edwin Encarnacion‘s 150 OPS+ would be higher than any of the prior 28 seasons by a Toronto DH with 300+ PAs; the club record is 143 by Paul Molitor and Rance Mulliniks.

From May 2005 through May of this year, Baltimore was never shut out in back-to-back games. Then it happened twice in their last 20 games.

Washington ranks 7th in MLB in extra-base hits — but they’re they only team that’s had one in every game so far. Their 87-game streak (starting last year) is the longest of the past 3 seasons.

Best Quality Start Percentage (min. 12 GS): NL – Ryan Vogelsong 15/16; Jordan Zimmermann 15/17. AL – Jake Peavy 14/17; Jered Weaver 12/15.

Worst Quality Start Percentage: NL – Tim Lincecum 4/18; AL – Jeanmar Gomez 4/13.

If Brandon Moss should miss the 2nd half, he would join Shane Spencer as the only players ever with at least 10 HRs in less than 100 PAs.

John Jaso had the 109th game by a DH of at least 6 ABs and no times on base (including errors), no Runs, no RBI. Five of the 15 such games since 2008 were by five different Mariners.

Leave a Reply

77 Comments on "Random notes for an off day"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Jason Z
Guest

Who is the only player in MLB history to homer from both sides of the plate
in his first two plate appearances?…

Yasmani Grandal. Over 18,000 players have played MLB and he is on a list
by himself after his first 2 times up. Remarkable.

Richard Chester
Guest

Jason Z: Sorry to spoil the party but those HRs came in his 3rd and 4th at bats. Check the box scores and play-by-play.

Jason Z
Guest

Thanks Richard. That’s what I get for listening to the
four-letter-word network.

Richard Chester
Guest

There have been two players who homered on their first two at bats, Bob Nieman of the Browns in 1951 and Keith McDonald of the Cards in 2000. If you’re interested in trivia John Miller of the Yankees in 1966 and of the Dodgers in 1969 is the only player to homer in his fist and last ML at bats.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Hoyt Wilhelm homered in his first MLB AB (April 23rd, 1952 vs. the Braves at the Polo Grounds),and never hit a HR the rest of his career (493 PA).

birtelcom
Editor

Yasmani does momentarily have the all-time lead in homers per games played, at .4 HR/G. Keith McDonald is second at .375 HR/G (3 homers in 8 career games over the 2000-2001 seasons). Among those with at least 3 career homers, the next highest career homers per game numbers are:
McGwire .311
Ruth .285
Ryan Howard .278
Sosa .259
A-Rod .258
Juan Gonzalez .257
Pujols .256
Bonds .255
Kiner .251

Hartvig
Guest

And those were Miller’s only 2 major league home runs in 63 plate appearances

Mark in Sydney
Guest

Can I start the complaints now?

All-Star game, done and dusted. Choose one of the following:

(a) Buster Posey is a completely clueless catcher;
(b) Buster Posey has severe ego problems;
(c) The Old School really don’t like RA Dickey.

I’d pick (c). Such a shame…

Max
Guest

I’m going with: d) TLR is a glory-hogging tool.

RJ
Guest

e) Where was Ryan Vogelsong?!

Paul E
Guest

Max:
I believe your understating the obvious

brp
Guest

Agreed… let’s hope we never have to see him mucking up a perfectly good baseball field ever again. Hate that guy so much.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vogelsong pitched 7 innings on Saturday.
No need to bring him in on 2 days rest in an 8-0 game.

Did LaRussa drown some puppies recently?
Can somebody explain what the hatin’ is about?

RJ
Guest

He wasn’t even picked for the squad, that’s my beef.

Paul E
Guest

Good to see the Phillies will have home field advantage in the World Series, again, this year….

PP
Guest

and I suppose they’ll be playing the red sox?

Ed
Guest

Got a boxscore for you John A! Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of an 18-17, 18 inning game between the A’s and the Indians. The A’s only used 2 pitchers in the game cause that’s all they had with them! And Connie Mack pulled his starter after the first inning so…

Anyway here’s a link to the boxscore and to a write up on the game by Chris Jaffe. And make sure to check out that line for Jimmie Foxx!

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE193207100.shtml

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/80th-anniversary-baseballs-wildest-game-18-17-18/

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

– Athletics manager Connie Mack, with the team coming off three straight home doubleheaders and playing a single game series in Cleveland (necessitated by Pennsylvania’s blue laws prohibiting Sunday baseball) before returning home for another doubleheader, wished to save both trainfare and the arms of his pitchers, and brought only two pitchers with him—Krausse and veteran Eddie Rommel–both pitchers little used by the Athletics.

More:

http://articles.mcall.com/1995-04-09/news/3041365_1_semi-pro-teams-two-philadelphia-teams-eddie-rommel
http://research.sabr.org/journals/clevelands-contrasting-games-in-1932

Ed
Guest
Rommel gave up the most runs ever (both earned and overall) while getting credited with a victory. He also didn’t pitch again till August 20th, over a month later. I guess when you pitch 17 innings in a game you’re entitled to a little time off! BTW, at the end of the article there’s a list other July 10th baseball related anniversaries. Here’s my favorite: 1935 One of the best pitching duels in minor league history: Galveston 1, Tulsa 0. Galveston pitches a perfect game and scores the only run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on… Read more »
Tmckelv
Guest

Eddie Rommel also pulled off the rare feat of leading his league in Wins twice AND Losses twice. He was the first to do it.

Eventually Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton and Phil Niekro joined him.

Tim
Guest

Interesting that Foxx won the MVP each of the three years he led the league in WAR maybe the voters knew what they were doing back then.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

That, plus the fact that Foxx was first in all the Triple Crown categories all three years, except for being a close 2nd in (a diputed) BA in 1932, and HR in 1938. And he was also 1st/2nd in a whole bunch of other categories all three years (OBP, TB, runs,…).

The MVP voting all three years wasn’t wasn’t really close, nor should it have been. I suppose you could make a decent case for Cronin in 1933, and a weak case for Grove in 1932 and Greenberg in 1938.

bstar
Guest

LA, I’ve looked at the game logs for the end of the ’32 season before and the battle between Dale Alexander and Foxx for the batting title was very tight. What was the controversy about, if you don’t mind?

Hartvig
Guest
Alexander had only 392 at bats and played only 103 games in the field- although to be fair he did have 454 plate appearances because he walked a lot and pinch hit only in another 21 games. Still, Foxx did have almost 250 more plate appearances than Alexander and it did cost him the Triple Crown and a lot of people thought Foxx was far more deserving of the title. But the real controversy came in 1938, Taffy Wright outhit Foxx .350 to .349. Wright did appear in 100 games but 40 of them were as a pinch hitter only… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Post 48:
In 1914, even though Ty Cobb appeared in just 97 games with 414 PA and 345 AB, he was given the batting title with the blessing of AL President Ban Johnson, who was a big fan of Cobb.

bstar
Guest

Thanks for the response, guys.

Luis Gomez
Guest

Is it just me or the day after the All Star Game is the longest day of the year?

Abbott
Guest

And tomorrow will be even longer!

Tmckelv
Guest

Ron Washington either did a really bad job picking his team or managing his team last night.

Somehow he was left with having to play an Infield that included Joe Mauer @ 1B and Elvis Andrus @ 3B.

The only reasonable explanation is Konerko had to leave the game due to injury after the HBP (enter Mauer) and then Washington told Andrus to “go in for Cabrera” and Elvis mistakenly filled in for Miguel at third instead of Asdubal at short. 🙂

Timmy Pea
Guest

Great story about Lou Gehrig’s 1931 RBI totals from John Rosengren an author and member of SABR. I view this kind of work in the field of baseball stats to be positive. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/07/03/lou-gehrig-john-rosengren/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_t12_a0

Jim Bouldin
Guest

“Wait … you mean there’s pro baseball going on right now?”

Sugar Land Skeeters baby, really all you need. You can have your MLB All Star game, I’ll take a guy running the bases while on fire any day.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

#48/Hartvig –

The AL qualifications for the Batting Title:
– 1920-1935: 100 games played
– 1936-1949: 400 At Bats

So Foxx both lost (’32) and won (’38) by the standards of the time.

It was changed to 3.1 PA/scheduled game in 1957. The impetus was Ted Williams’ 1954 season when he batted .345, but lost to Bobby Avila’s .341 BA, because Williams only had 386 AB’s (but 136 walks). By today’s standards, Ted’s 526 PA would easily surpass the minimum 477 PA needed.

bstar
Guest
You CAN, however, win the batting title with less than the required 3.1PA/game, which is now 502 at-bats. Let’s suppose you are leading the league by 10 points in batting average at a .350 clip at the end of the season but have only 495 at-bats. Let’s say your profile is 154 hits in 440 at-bats plus 55 walks, so 495 PA. MLB will apply 7 more “ghost at-bats” to get your total plate appearances to 502 and will assume an 0-fer in those 7 AB. In this case, those seven hitless A-B’s only brought your average down to .345,… Read more »
bstar
Guest

Edit: first sentence of the second paragraph should read 495 “plate appearances”, not 495 “at-bats”.

Richard Chester
Guest

In 1954 Ted Williams won the OBP, SLG, OPS and OPS+ titles with ghost AB. His ghost .333 BA fell short of Bobby Avila’s .341.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

bstar,

You are correct sir! Very perceptive of you to bring up the “ghost at-bats” for rate stats, where the player falls just short of the minimum PA requirement.

Tmckelv
Guest

In the BB-Ref “Yearly League” leader pages – the players with ghost AB’s are marked with an “**” (only the league leaders, not the top 10 leaders by years pages)

It looks like only Tony Gwynn in 1996 utilized ghost AB’s en route to a BA Title.

For OBP – Barry Bonds in 2006 & 2007, Ted Williams in 1954, and Gene Woodling in 1953.

For SLG – Ryan Braun in 2007 and Ted Williams in 1954.

For OPS – only Ted Williams in 1954 (as mentioned by Richard Chester above)

Larry
Guest
In honor of the Astros two worst seasons, I was thinking back on which player might have been the all time worst player in their 50’year history. Although it is hard to come up with the best metric to award this distinction, I nominate Jim Fuller. He was a poor man’s Dave Kingman – a very poor man’s Dave Kingman. He had about a 6 year career – his last was in 1977. I believe for his career he holds the all time record worst ratio of Ks to getting on base – in the range of 1.57 IIRC. I… Read more »
Lawrence Azrin
Guest
I hate to disagree with my namesake of sorts here, but if you’re going to objectively measure who the “worst” player is on the Astros, I think you could define it as the player who cost the Astros the most wins over his Astros career. WAR is ideal to answer these sort of questions. Now Jim Fuller may have _looked_ like the worst Astro ever to you, but just on the 1977 team I also found Wilbur Howard, who had a -0.4 WAR (same as Fuller that year), but also had a -3.6 WAR over his Astros career of 450G/… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Career-wise Luis Pujols (311 games) has the worst WAR for the Astros, -5.6. Howard’s career mark is -0.4.
Single season worst is Carlos Lee with -2.4 in 2010.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

I see Howard’s 1977 WAR as -0.4 on B-R, but his career WAR as -3.6.

Now I know that I’m mixing apples and oranges here, but… If I’m comparing two players, a catcher and corner OFer, and they have similar WAR, I’m calling the corner OFer “worse”, because a catcher is considerably more valuable defensively, and I don’t think WAR accounts for all of that difference.

Richard Chester
Guest

Lawrence: You are looking at WAA and I am looking at WAR.

Larry
Guest

In a similar vein, has a player ever “won” an inverse Triple Crown? That means, with the appropriate number of plate appearances to qualify, the player had the lowest batting average, the fewest HRs and the fewest RBIs in the league compared to all other qualifiers.

I’m thinking one of those light hitting/slick fielding shortstops of the 70s might have come pretty close.

Richard Chester
Guest

Here’s a list of inverse TC “winners”. (Good thru 2006)
George McBride…..1914….WAS
Herbie Moran…….1915….BOS
Jack Smith………1919….STL
Ivy Griffin……..1920….PHA
Freddie McGuire….1929….BOS
Freddie McGuire….1931….BOS
Woody Williams…..1945….CIN
Willy Miranda……1956….BAL
Mark Belanger……1970….BAL
Enzo Hernandez…..1971….SD
OzzieSmith………1979….SD
IvanDeJesus……..1981….CHI
RamonSantiago……2003….DET

Tmckelv
Guest

I always knew that one of my personal favorites, Enzo Henandez, was the same level player as Ozzie Smith. Here is the proof I have been looking for!!!

Hartvig
Guest

Just wanted to point out that it’s Freddie MAGuire not MCGuire.

I was all excited to look him up but I’m afraid he barely meets the Enzo Hernandez criteria for offensive futility but still falls far short of the immortal Bill Bergen and even my old favorite, Ray Oyler.

I just love stuff like this.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

#58/ Richard –

My aplogies, you are correct. Luis Pujols tentatively goes to the front as “worst Astro ever”.

Richard Chester
Guest

Lawrence: You’re not a PI subscriber but here is what you can do.
Go to the PI.
Click on combined seasons.
Select National League.
Select Astros.
Sort by WAR.
Select Choose a Stat WAR =< -1.6.
Select Get Report.
Up comes a result spreadsheet with 18 rows, the lower 9 of which have complete data for the 9 lowest players on the list.
Go back to the Search Page and click on ascending order and select Get Report. Up comes a results spreadsheet with the next 9 players on the list.

By a method that's too cumbersome to explain you can get the entire list of Astro players.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Richard,

Thanks very much, I actually did get all of the Astros, only problem is, it’s just for OFFENSIVE WAR, even for the pitchers. I get no listing for pitching WAR.

Richard Chester
Guest

For pitchers select Player Pitching instead of Player Batting. Set WAR =< 1.3.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Thanks,I get Wade Blasingame (-4.6) and Jim Clancy (-3.9) as the worst Astros pitchers.

Richard Chester
Guest

That should be WAR =< -1.3.

Larry
Guest

http://1977baseball.blogspot.com/2012/01/1977-topps-baseball-80-andy-messersmith.html?m=1

Gee, thanks guys. Memories of lousy Astros come back so thick you have to wipe them away from your face. Indeed, 7-3-77 was the game that Jim Fuller had his perfect Golden Sombrero. The newspaper article says that Andy Messersmith fell on his right elbow fielding a grounder from the first batter Gonzales. He never threw another pitch for the Braves – he was trade that December to the Yankees. That game was chock full o’ goodies. Thanks to all of y’all for pointing them out!

Larry
Guest
@ LWrence A. I agree with the negative WAR being a good metric of “the worst”. I looked upon Jim Fuller as “the worst” – as a player who brought the least to the table. For his career, he struck out something like 1.57 times for every time he got on base. Luis Pujols at least kept the ball from rolling to the backstop for 300 or so games. I wonder what the best way would be to define a team’s All-Worst Team. 1) for each position, who had the worst career WAR while playing for said team for a… Read more »
wpDiscuz