Sunday leftovers — Reheated again!

@Rangers 4, Twins 3 (13): Ian Kinsler‘s game-winning gapper was his 2nd career walk-off, both against Minnesota. The other one was a home run off R.A. Dickey.

  • Michael Young started the winning rally with a leadoff double in the 13th, completing his 23rd 4-hit game (but his first without scoring a run). He also tied it in the 9th with a 2-out, 2-run single on an 0-and-2 pitch from Glen Perkins (who allowed 4 hits and 3 runs in an inning for the 2nd straight Sunday). Young has had the tying or go-ahead RBI in the 9th or extras 21 times since 2004, tied for 5th in that span. (Albert Pujols is 1st with 24; Miguel CabreraAlex Rodriguez and Orlando Cabrera are 2nd with 22.)
  • The Rangers’ 3 runs in the 9th were all unearned after a leadoff error by rookie SS Brian Dozier, his 13th — 3 more than any other AL shortstop, and in just 54 games. Coincidentally, it was his sac bunt in the top half that Joe Nathan threw away, scoring 1 run and setting up another.
  • Minnesota had 44 ABs, 9 singles, no extra-base hits. That’s the most ABs without an XBH this year.
  • Tanner Scheppers bailed out Roy Oswalt in the 6th by striking out Ryan Doumit on 3 pitches. It was just the 6th time in 13 games that the rookie Scheppers, a late-1st-round pick in the famous 2009 draft, has not been scored upon; opponents are 20 for 53 against him, with 4 HRs.
  • Robbie Ross bailed out Scheppers the next inning, extending his scoreless streak to 23 IP — tied for the 2nd-longest by a reliever this year. (Ernesto Frieri has a 27.1-IP streak going.) His streak of 30.1 IP without an earned run is the longest in relief. Ross’s 0.95 ERA would be the lowest in franchise history with 40+ IP; only Alexi Ogando (1.30 in 2010) has ever been under 1.50.
  • Young’s 0.579 WPA was the 2nd-highest by a Ranger this year; Craig Gentry owns the highest (0.629) and now the lowest as well, -0.463 in this very game. Gentry went 0 for 6 and twice made outs with the winning run on 3rd base.
  • Sunday was the 3rd day this year with 2 games of at least 13 innings; there were two 15-inning games on 2012-06-17, and the day before had a 15 & a 14. There was just one such day last year.


@Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 1: Arizona snapped out of a 6-game swoon over the weekend to take the last 3 of a 4-game set and reach the break just 4 games back in the suddenly egalitarian NL West — the only division in MLB whose leader would not qualify as a wild card. (LA trails Atlanta by a percentage point.)

  • Paul Goldschmidt broke it open with a 2-out, 3-run jack in the 5th; he was cause for concern in late May, but has an 1.146 OPS in his last 35 games to reach .920, and now ranks 2nd in that category among 14 NL first-sackers with 200+ PAs.
  • Trevor Bauer‘s 2nd game produced his first career win at age 21 years, 173 days. He’s the 2nd-youngest winning starter in MLB this year (Martin Perez, 21.087) and the 2nd-youngest in D-backs history (Edgar Gonzalez, 20.098, 2003). (Gonzalez finished his career 14-25 with a 5.90 ERA.) Only 2 other D-backs have ever won a start before turning 23; one of those, Patrick Corbin, pitched the last 3 innings in relief of Bauer for his first save.
  • Arizona home games have averaged 10.1 total R/G; their road games, 7.2. But the splits are about the same for hosts & guests.

@Athletics 2, Mariners 1 (13): Eighth walk-off win for the A’s, 2 more than any other team. Eight different players have the RBI. Oakland’s won 6 of 7 to reach .500 for the first time since May 22. They’ve allowed 2 runs or less in their last 12 wins (winning 5 in a row at that level tied Washington for the longest streak this year), and 2.85 R/G in their last 20 contests. Their 34 games allowing 2 runs or less are the most in the AL. Seattle has lost 8 games when allowing 2 or less, the most in MLB.

  • No walks issued by Oakland pitchers: Longest walk-free game this year, with just 1 longer since 1997. Oakland also gave Seattle no walks in their 11-inning opener on the other side of the world, losing 1-0.
  • Say, this Oliver Perez fellow has 9.2 IP and just 2 walks, throwing strikes at a 75% clip — far above the 63% AL average. I’m sure he can’t the chap I’m remembering.
  • Since 2005, most starts of 7+ IP and 1 run or less without a decision: (1) Felix Hernandez 19, (2) Cliff Lee 15.
  • King Felix recently crossed the 1,500 inning plateau, the 30th to get there by age 26 since 1920. He’ll likely finish this season right in the middle of that group in terms of IP. Of the previous 29 to do this, 6 logged at least 2,000 IP from 27 onward; 13 had 1,500+ IP, and 10 had less than 1,000. Only Robin Roberts added 3,000 IP from age 27. Four finished with over 4,000 career innings, and the median was just under 3,000.

Braves 4, @Phillies 3Craig Kimbrel‘s last 22 games: 22 IP, 1 run, 4 hits, 2 walks, 37 Ks. Opposing batters are hitting .116 off him this year — 13 for 112, 1 HR, 1 double.

  • Carlos Ruiz hits the break at .350/.995. Only 7 catchers have had a qualifying season with OPS that high, while 8 have reached that level in BA (none more than once).

Yankees 7, @Red Sox 3: As far as I’m concerned, the Bombers deliberately muted their attack in the opening stanza in order to complete the “5-4-3-2” cycle for the series. And nothing you say will convince me otherwise.


Behind the numbers: Ivan Nova‘s career record as a starter is 27-7, 3.90 ERA in 51 games, with a 2.71 ERA in his wins, suggesting that he has a lot cheap wins. But that’s not really true; he has just 2 wins allowing 5+ runs, and 4 wins allowing 4+ runs. The percentage of his wins in which he allowed 2 runs or less is close to the 2012 MLB average (Nova 70.4%, MLB 73.9%), and the same for 3 runs or less (Nova 85.2%, MLB 87.9%). And his average of 6.64 IP/Win is near the MLB average of 6.77.

The discrepancy between his high wins rate and high W% on the one hand, and his middling ERA on the other, is mainly due to consistent run support that helps turn more of his good starts into wins, and more of his not-so-good starts into no-decisions. The Yankees have scored 3 runs or more in all but 5 of his 51 starts, and 4+ runs in 39/51. Thus, in Quality Starts, his percentages of wins, losses and no-decisions are much better than average (MLB 55/19/26; Nova 74/7/19), as are his W/L/ND percentages when allowing 4 runs or more (MLB 11/65/23; Nova 24/35/41).

The bottom line: Nova is a good pitcher, and he’s improving. His K rate was 5.4 SO/9 in his first 2 years, but 8.2 this year. His walk rate is down from 3.2 BB/9 to 2.7. He’s not hit-lucky, with a career .299 BAbip. His career HR rate (1.0 HR/9) comes largely from his home park, where his HR frequency is 50% higher, and 80% of his HRs allowed are solo shots. He’s going deeper into games each year (5.2 IP/GS, then 6.1, now 6.5). He pitches well with runners on. I hate to say it, but … he’s good.


Derek Jeter is batting .308, so why do the Yanks have more runs scored by their nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 spots in the order than they have from the Captain’s leadoff post? (1) He’s walked in just 6.2% of his PAs, a career low (prior career average 8.9%). (2) Just 21% of his hits are for extra bases, far below the league average of 34%.  (3) As a baserunner, Jeter is now much less likely to take the extra base on others’ hits than he used to be (and than other leadoff men). His 33% rate of XBT is down from his prior career mark of 46%. These changes are perfectly natural for a 38-year-old; I’m just addressing the discrepancy between New York’s #4 rank in runs and their #9 rank in runs from the leadoff spot. At their present pace, the Yanks will get 89 Runs from the leadoff spot, compared to 109, 128, 121 and 110 for the past 4 years. Even in their low-scoring 2008 season (789 runs — about their current pace), their leadoff men scored 110.

One more note: Last year, Jeter split the leadoff duties with Brett Gardner. Even though Jetes had a better OBP in those games (.337-.322) and a little more power (SLG .380-.330), Gardner scored far more often — 0.74 R/G to Jeter’s 0.60 — at least partly from a big edge in steals and baserunning. Gardner’s career OBP when leading off is an ordinary .341, but he’s scored 80 runs in 105 starts (123 R/162 G) with a spectacular SB rate (49-5, avg. of 75 SB/162 G). But Jeter’s here, Gardner’s not, and the Yanks aren’t exactly hurting.


18 thoughts on “Sunday leftovers — Reheated again!

  1. 1
    MikeD says:

    Can you just keep reviewing Sunday’s games until Friday? The worst part of the All-Star break for me is games that have real meaning don’t get played for five days. Way too long in the middle of the season!

    I hope the A’s finally get a new ballpark. I don’t know how many more times I can watch Billy Beane trade away players, create an entirely new and effective pitching staff, only to be forced to trade them away again, too. I really do want see a different ending to his movie.

    Last, regaring Jeter, all those points make sense, but there might be one additional one. At the start of the year in April when he was blistering hot, the 3-5 hitters who would normally drive him in were pretty cold. Then when they heated up, Jeter cooled down. He seems to be heating up again, and the rest of the lineup is hitting, so perhaps we’ll see an uptick in his runs scored.

    • 2
      Richard Chester says:

      Jeter is also not doing well RBI-wise. If he maintains his pace of the first 85 games he will finish the season with 212 hits and 48 RBIs. He would then join a not-so-elite club of 28 players to complete a season with 200+ hits and fewer than 50 RBIs.

      • 16
        Paul E says:

        Re Jetes, it’s the wet newspapers. He swings awfully hard (still), but he doesn’t drive the ball far or hard. He doesn’t run well anymore…..he’s 38 and it happens to everyone who isn’t using PED’s. Soon, he can dedicate his life solely to supermodels and actresses. $ 300,000,000 in fun coupons can do a lotta damage. Good for him

    • 5
      John Autin says:

      “Can you just keep reviewing Sunday’s games until Friday?”

      We’re on the same wavelength, Mike!

  2. 3
    brp says:

    Since Andy’s not here: the Phillies are done.

    And contrary to the pathetical “analysts” all over the TV it shouldn’t be a surprise. Howard was going to miss 1/2 the year, Utley’s always hurt, J-Roll is average at best but Jolly Cholly insists on putting him at the top of the order, Polanco’s getting old, Oswalt’s gone, and it was really just a matter of time before one of the Lee/Halladay/Hamels triumvirate got hurt… Really, everyone should have seen this coming.

    • 4
      brp says:

      No, I don’t know what pathetical means either.

    • 6
      Hartvig says:

      I have to admit that I did not see this coming- at least, not to this extent.

      Yes, I thought the division was going to be more competitive and there was a real chance that they might not win the division or possibly even the wild card. Yes, they’re getting older and a couple of their players are overhyped. Yes, players and pitchers in particular get hurt.

      But why is their record the mirror image of the Yankees? The AL East is an even tougher division to play in. The Yankees are even older and some of their players are even more overhyped- J-Roll may be average but he’s still got a far better glove than Jeter and he’s better on the basepaths, all for $5 million a year less than Jeter. And they’ve got some guys banged up and their pitching was far, far more suspect coming into the season.

      If you had told me in March that one of these 2 teams would be in last place at the All-Star break my money would not have been on the Phillies.

      • 7
        Mike L says:

        I still think the Yankees could fall apart, but the Phillies seemed slightly older and slightly more dependent on things breaking right at the start of the season. What the Yankees have right now is no longer a team of superstars (they really only have one, Cano) but a team of mostly useful players (some of whom used to be superstars) who are a bit better than average. Only Martin has been noticeably sub-par among the regulars. Same thing with the pitchers-bullpen has been very good, but the starters have been more useful B/B+ than lights out. Plenty of time for the Yankees to dry up.

  3. 8
    bstar says:

    Great article by Russell Carleton aka Pizza Cutter at Baseball Prospectus if anyone’s bored.

    He composes an “apology letter” to Joe Morgan after working for a certain MLB team the last two years and coming to the conclusion that sabermetrics may have some deeply-held beliefs wrong. His non-disclosure agreement prevents him from being specific, but he suggests that it’s not so much that some sabermetric beliefs are wrong because of faulty conclusions or data but instead because of variables that have yet to be considered, or questions that have yet to be asked. He also suggests, in reference to Morgan, that playing 20 years in the league may in fact enable you to see things that aren’t apparent to saberists. Here’s the link:

    And here’s Tom Tango’s response from his Book blog.(The comments section on both of these articles are a great read also):

    • 9
      John Autin says:

      No matter what else is good in Carleton’s piece, this statement is objectionable:

      ” I can’t get into specifics (so please don’t ask) but I will say this: there are things that are generally publicly held as sabermetric doctrine—in some cases, crucial underlying assumptions—that are demonstrably false.”

      It’s ironic that he prefaced that with a history of his sabermetric writing, noting that “gradually the work became less about having fun by talking about the game of baseball and more about proving that I knew more than anyone else.”

      Ironic, I say, because without “specifics,” that’s exactly what his earth-shattering revelation amounts to: “I know something you don’t know … but I can’t tell you!”

    • 10
      John Autin says:

      And now I see that Tango and others had the same reaction to the same sentence. Publishing that sentence was really indefensible, but then, none of us gets as much editing as he really needs.

      • 14
        bstar says:

        John, you’re totally right, but I still think it’s a very important piece. He did give an example of the type of thing he may be talking about: how the narrative on BABIP for pitchers has changed from “pitchers have no control at all over their BABIP”(that one was obviously wrong) to “some pitchers do possess a skill to keep their BABIP down but we can’t quantify it yet”.

    • 12
      Jim Bouldin says:

      Really looking forward to reading through that article and comment thread; thanks for the head’s up bstar.

  4. 11
    Tmckelv says:

    Here is a completely independent comment. I have wanted to bring this up for a few months but haven’t had an opportunity.

    Has anyone seen the “Baseball’s Golden Age” television series (mini series – of about 13 or so episodes).

    It is a wonderful display of old color film footage of the Golden Age (1920’s thru 1960’s). It is narrated by Alec Baldwin and is shown on Fox Sports Net here and there. There are also DVDs if you can’t find it on TV. I believe it came out a few years ago (but I don’t recall anyone on these blogs discussing it before – if so I apologize for the repeat).

    Do yourself a favor and check it out if you have not already. Set it up on your DVR.

    Warning: because it is about the 1920’s thru 1960’s the Yankees and Dodgers are WELL represented. But most of the commentators talk about how much they hate the Yanks. Even though, if you are a any kind of baseball fan these shows are a must.

    • 15
      bstar says:

      Tmckelv, I did see one episode and was impressed. But the theme music they play on the series is so off-puttingly melancholy and sad that I will dive across the room for the mute button on the remote for fear that a couple seconds of hearing the wailing, who-just-died sounds will make me burst into tears.

      I call it ‘Little House on the Prairie’ music. “Tonight on Baseball’s Golden Age, Whitey Ford, Moose Skowron, and Michael Landon teaching a young Melissa Gilbert a life lesson about being bullied in school”.

  5. 13
    Ed says:

    Not sure where to put this but here’s a great story for you baseball card lovers. Time to start checking the grandparents’ attic!

    • 17
      John Autin says:

      It makes me kind of sad to think of baseball cards lasting that long in pristine condition. Give me a banana-seat Huffy and some clothespins, quick!

      (Guess who’s not a collector?)

  6. 18

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