Stupid stuff from Monday’s games

Orioles 10, @Mariners 4: It’s the first time any team has scored 10+ runs at Safeco Field since 2011-08-30. The total of 14 runs is the 2nd-highest in Seattle this year, and is more than twice the season average of 6.32 R/G. That would be the lowest combined home scoring average for any MLB team that employed the designated hitter. In the live-ball era, just 23 teams have had lower averages at home, 6 of those in 1968.

  • Pop quiz: Since 1901, what team had the lowest average Runs Allowed at home in a season? (Hint and answer at bottom of post.)
  • Also the first game in Safeco this year with 5+ HRs.
  • Bucking the trend, John Jaso has hit .284/.900 in Seattle, .271/.804 away. Among the team’s 10 regulars (250+ PAs), the next-best home BA is .232 by Dustin Ackley; the next-best home OPS is .668 by Michael Saunders.
  • Chris Tillman has 8 wins in 12 games. If he were to pitch no more this year, he would be the 3rd since 1901 with 8+ wins in 12 games or less, joining Ken Holtzman (1967) and Tiny Bonham (1940), who each won 9. If Tillman were to win 2 of his presumed 3 remaining starts, he would be the 3rd starter since 1901 with 10+ wins in 15 games or less, joining Cal Eldred (1992, 11 wins) and Jim Kaat (1972, 10 wins). Bonham and Eldred were rookies, while Holtzman and Kaat got injured in the midst of outstanding years, each posting a career-best ERA+. (P.S. Aaron Small in 2005 had 10 wins in 15 games, but 2 wins came in relief.)
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Hector Noesi is now 2-12 in 18 starts (plus 2 relief games with no decision). That’s not quite as unusual as Tillman’s record, but there have been just 20 seasons from 1901-2011 with 12+ losses in 20 games or less. (Nate Eovaldi also has 12 losses this year, in just 19 games, all starts.) And there have been 41 prior seasons with 2 wins or less in 18+ starts. (Two others this year meet that standard, but they’re Rockies, pitching in with restrictions that almost preclude them from getting a win even if they did pitch well … which they generally don’t.)
  • Adam Jones tied a career high with 4 Runs. Both times he’s done that, he went 3 for 4 with a double, a walk and a groundout, in a road victory — once for Baltimore at Seattle, the other for Seattle at Baltimore.
  • Jones is the first Oriole this year to score 4 times in a game … since 2009-06-14. Every other team in baseball had at least one such game in between. Baltimore’s last 5-run game — the only one since the franchise moved from St. Louis — was by Cal Ripken on 1999-06-13.
  • Taylor Teagarden finished up behind the plate, but didn’t get to bat, alas. Teagarden has 3 doubles, 2 HRs and 1 single. The record for extra-base hits with 1 single or less is 7 (and counting), by Leonys Martin this very year.
  • Baltimore is 5-3 since they lost Nick Markakis.

Pirates 3, @Cubs 0: Darwin Barney had Chicago’s only 2 hits, a pair of singles. It’s the _ game this year in which one player had 2+ hits and the rests of his teammates had none. Barney joins A.J. Pierzynski (2012-06-06), Billy Butler (2012-07-26), Adrian Gonzalez (2012-08-02), Paul Goldschmidt (2012-08-06) and Asdrubal Cabrera (2012-08-10).

  • It’s the 2nd time this year that only one Cub got a hit against Pittsburgh.
  • Travis Wood struck out 5 straight Pirates from the 3rd through 5th innings and finished with a career-best 9 Ks. Cubs pitchers set a season high with 15 Ks. Rafael Dolis (remember when he was anointed the closer for about 15 seconds?) struck out the side for the first time in his young career.
  • It’s been a long fall, but Pittsburgh is still only 2 games behind St. Louis in the you-know-what column, as is Milwaukee. Alas for us drama-seekers, the ‘burghers and the brats square off for 3 games starting Tuesday.

@White Sox 5, Tigers 4Doug Fister couldn’t hold a 3-0 lead in the 4th, plunking the .239-hitting #9 man Gordon Beckham to bring in one run before Dewayne Wise‘s tracer on a 3-and-1 hanger tied the game. Detroit went back ahead the next inning, but further damage was squelched by Jhonny Peralta‘s 2nd GDP of the game (18th of the year) and Brennan Boesch‘s 3rd straight inning-ending out stranding a man on 3rd base. But Fister found instant trouble, driven out by a single and double that put men on 3rd and 2nd with no outs. Enter the recently-returned Al Alburquerque, who fanned 27 in 14 IP during his minor-league rehab. He didn’t get any Ks here, but he almost escaped the jam — a split second was the difference in the biggest play of the game, one that likely pricked Detroit’s gonfalon bubble while propelling Chicago towards the tourney for the first time since they won this 2008 play-in.

  • Watch the clip all the way to catch Prince‘s two mistakes in trying to “come up” with the bouncing throw: First, the game situation called for caution, not derring-do, since only the tying run would have scored if he had just knocked it down. Two, it doesn’t look as though Prince ever got his glove all the way to the ground before starting upward. Yes, it seems that he comes by his dWAR honestly….
  • Had Detroit rallied, this would have gone down as the biggest dual baserunning boner of the year, if not the century — Wise makes the 3rd out at 3rd base before the run can score, and (according to the announcers) Beckham wasn’t busting towards home. And Country Joe was dead-on this time.
  • There’s a lot of luck built into Nate Jones‘s 8-0 record, but still — he hasn’t been charged with a run in his last 14.2 IP.
  • The longest searchable streak of relief wins to start a career is 12 by Butch Metzger; his 10 in 1976 is also the longest in one season, besting the 9 by Whitey Ford and Joe Pate (who?).


Pop quiz hint: They went 31-20 at home in the regular season, 2-1 in the postseason.

Pop quiz answer.

28 thoughts on “Stupid stuff from Monday’s games

  1. 1
    Richard Chester says:

    John: Concerning the last sentence before the quiz: From his BR record I do not see that Whitey Ford had 9 straight relief wins in one season. Ford did start his career with 9 straight wins but they were all as a starter.

  2. 2
    Doug says:

    It would appear the quiz answer is from the 1981 season, and by the LDS or (possibly) LCS loser. I’ll go with the Phillies who lost game 5 of the LDS at home in what (if memory serves) had been a homer series to that point.

    • 8
      John Autin says:

      Good guess, Doug — but wrong ’81 NLDS. ‘Twas the 1981 Astros, with a 1.74 ERA at home.

      • 9
        Ed says:

        In their 20 home losses that year, the Astros scored a grand total of 33 runs. Only twice did they top 3 runs, a 4-5 loss and a 6-7 loss.

        • 11
          John Autin says:

          A tangent that caught my eye: The 1980 Astros — first division title, Nolan Ryan’s first year in Houston, J.R. Richard’s last — went 55-26 at home (top 5% of all home winning pcts.), 38-44 on the road.

          Noticing the extra road game, I remembered that they had a one-game playoff @ LA — but not that it came right on the heels of being swept in 3 @ LA to end the regular schedule, nor that Joe Niekro tossed a 6-hit, no-ER CG for win #20.

          What a great year that was for MLB!

          • 24
            Hartvig says:

            1980 was the year that rekindled my love for baseball. By 1970 I had discovered girls and football and in 1975 I was in college so I kind of lost that entire decade.

            Still, my guess for the question was the 1972 Orioles or the 1909 Pirates. I should have paid more attention to the “at home” part of the question.

  3. 3
    Doug says:

    Seattle needs to average 2.8 runs per game the rest of the way to reach 600 runs. If they don’t they will be the first team since the 1970s Padres with 3 straight seasons under 600 runs. The schedule is not favorable – all in their division against teams with post-season aspirations.

    • 20
      Doug says:

      Actually, San Diego was under 600 runs for 6 straight seasons, 1971-76. The first two years were under 500 runs. Ouch.

      One monkey the Mariners will get off their back is having their first players since 2009 with a qualifying season slugging over .400. In 2010 and 2011, Seattle was the first team with no .400 sluggers in consecutive seasons since the White Sox and Dodgers in 1967-68. No team has done that three seasons in a row since the Braves had 6 years in a row in 1915-20.

  4. 5
    Jim Bouldin says:

    According to the ESPN box tonight:


    Possible nail in the coffin right there John & Hartvig.

    • 6
      John Autin says:

      Can’t put a nail in a coffin after it’s buried, Jim.

      • 10
        Bells says:

        well, looks like they’re using the claw end of the hammer to try to get that nail outta there. Now they just have to figure out how to dig upwards.

        god, sometimes I’m terrible at metaphors.

        • 12
          John Autin says:

          Woo-hoo, we’ll always have Miggy’s first 40-HR year to remember 2012….

          Well, I guess the Triple Crown is in play again.

        • 13
          Jim Bouldin says:

          That “digging upwards” part is particularly problematic for the dead, typically.

          • 15
            Ed says:

            Interesting Fangraphs article basically blaming the Tigers’ problems on their outfield defense. UZR shows the Tigers having the worst outfield defense in the AL and giving up the highest BABIP on line drives.


          • 16
            Jim Bouldin says:

            Way too complex there Ed. I highly doubt that Brennan Boesch’s defense is the reason for the Tigers failures. Young and Raburn can sure mess it up fast but Boesch is OK, and Jackson is excellent.

            I think I’d look at their awful record in one-run games (17-26) if it were me. The offense has been more or less comatose the entire season, and when they need to score to win, they’ve consistently failed to do it.

            The loss of Victor Martinez was very big, I’m convinced of it. Fielder did not make up for the loss–I’m not sure he was even close.

            As for the bullpen, he’s making a major mistake there. The bullpen is nowhere near what it was last year when it was lights out, particularly Valverde.

            And then of course there’s the guy who likes to smoke….

          • 18
            Ed says:

            Jim – I’m proud to say my Indians have done their part, going 10-8 against the Tigers including 5-0 in one run games.

          • 19
            John Autin says:

            Jim, I’ll buy some of those Tigers points. But their .288 BA in high-leverage spots is #1 in MLB, and their .262 BA in late-and-close is #2 in the AL, well above the league average of .240. So I’m not buying into the “can’t score when they need to.”

    • 25
      Hartvig says:

      Ah, don’t bother me now. I too busy trying to find an open rafter in my house to throw the rope over.

      Does anyone know how to tie a noose?

  5. 14
    Jimbo says:

    There’s no way Beckham could’ve scored, even if he had hustled 100%. It was absurd watching the clip that clearly showed that (he barely slowed at all) while the commentators ragged on him for not hustling.

    Dwayne Wise, another story to tell. What an unlike guy to batting 1st or 3rd on a playoff contending team.

    • 17
      John Autin says:

      He did slow up, Jimbo. And I think he would have scored if he’d run through. Still, the fault is 99% on Wise — 100% brain cramp. It was such a dumb play that, if there was some reason to suspect that the game was being thrown, that play would be Exhibit #1. (Obviously I am just using that notion for illustrative purposes.)

      • 22
        Jimbo says:

        okay I watched it again, and yeah, I see he was half a step from scoring, so yes, an all out sprint the whole way would’ve done it. But what player really hustles any harder than Beckham did on that play? He really barely slowed down at all. Probably 1/2 step at most is what he lost. Remember all those Usain Bolt sprints where he let up at the end, but his time was still only like .07 slower than the times when he did go all out? The point is that going from 100% sprint effort to 90% sprint effort only costs you a tiny amount of speed, not 10% but in fact more like 1 or 2%

        But you agreed that the fault was 99% Wise. I’d say 99.9.

  6. 21
    Doug says:

    Who was Joe Pate? Pretty fair career minor leaguer. In 20 seasons, went 257-134 with a 2.61 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 1.28 WHIP in over 3300 innings. In a 7-year stretch (1919-25) in the Tigers’ organization, he pitched over 2000 innings (the last 6 seasons all over 300 IP), going 168-67, including two 30 win seasons and four others over 20. That run earned him his (belated) big league chance in 1926 at age 34, and that 9-0 start John identified.

    Curious thing is, after that run in the Tiger organization, he played in the majors for the Athletics and when he was sent down midway in the 1927 season, it was back to the Tigers affiliate. Guess you had to be there.

    • 23
      Jimbo says:

      Yeah, hard to figure out why Pate wasn’t a career big leaguer based on those minors stats.

    • 26
      Hartvig says:

      I love players like that. It obvious that he had the talent to have at least some success at the major league level not to mention he was left handed so you really have to wonder why he didn’t get a chance until he was 34 years old. My guess would be that he was a soft-tossing junkballer and was written off accordingly. I assume that Mack was looking for cheap, left handed pitching to use against the Yankees and that’s why he got his chance.

    • 27
      John Autin says:

      Too bad we don’t have the standings and team records for those Texas League years. In 1921, Pate went 30-9 with Fort Worth, leading the league by 7 wins — and the two guys tied for 2nd were his teammates Paul Wachtel (23-12) and Bill Whittaker (23-16). All 3 tossed over 300 IP. The 4th man in the rotation, southpaw Augie Johns, went 20-9 with 242 IP. That’s a 96-46 rotation.

      The 3 others guys with decisions listed on the team page went a combined 11-5, so if the list is complete, the team went 107-51.

      They also had the league’s best all-around hitter, Clarence Kraft. He had a demitasse with the 1914 Miracle Braves at age 27, going 1 for 3. Kraft really hit his stride in the Texas League in his 30s, when the live ball came in, finishing off his career with 4 straight years over 30 HRs and .320 BA, including a grand finale of 55 HRs and .349 at age 37; the number 2 guy in HRs hit 28.

  7. 28
    RJ says:

    Apropos of nothing, Brandon’s Belt and Crawford are nearing the end of their first full season in the majors. The pair of lefty infielders were born and signed a year apart and both came up with the Giants last year, playing 63 and 66 games respectively, registering 0.8/0/5 WAR. This season they have played 132/131 games, clocking up 2.4/2.7 WAR. In their one and a half seasons they have played a total of 195/197 games and have each accumulated 3.2 WAR.

    So they’re both called Brandon and have similar worth, that’s basically all I’m saying here.

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