2012 Streaker Awards for Pitchers
Following up from my piece a few weeks ago on 2012 batting streaks, here is a review of the longest game streaks in 2012 for pitchers.
After the jump, check out long streaks for both effective and ineffective pitching performances in 2012. Which ones are most surprising or noteworthy for you?
|Rk||WINS||Strk Start||End||Games||Tm||Rk||LOSSES||Strk Start||End||Games||Tm|
|1||R.A. Dickey||2012-04-25||2012-07-19||11||NYM||1||Ricky Romero||2012-06-27||2012-09-12||13||TOR|
|2||Jered Weaver||2012-05-18||2012-08-06||10||LAA||2||Bud Norris||2012-05-31||2012-09-20||12||HOU|
|3||Kris Medlen||2012-07-31||2012-09-30||9||ATL||3||Hector Noesi||2012-05-12||2012-09-17||9||SEA|
|3||Felix Hernandez||2012-06-23||2012-08-27||9||SEA||3||Chris Volstad||2012-04-14||2012-08-14||9||CHC|
|3||A.J. Burnett||2012-05-19||2012-07-08||9||PIT||3||Jonathan Sanchez||2012-04-24||2012-08-03||9||KCR-COL|
|1||Wade Miley||2012-05-09||2012-08-28||20||ARI||Alex White||2012-08-02||2012-08-25||6||COL|
|2||Johnny Cueto||2012-05-15||2012-08-18||18||CIN||Shaun Marcum||2012-08-30||2012-09-21||5||MIL|
|2||Gio Gonzalez||2012-04-17||2012-07-24||18||WSN||Ross Detwiler||2012-05-25||2012-07-17||5||WSN|
|6+ IP, <= 3 ER||< 6 IP, 4+ ER|
|1||Ryan Vogelsong||2012-05-03||2012-07-29||16||SFG||1||Jonathan Sanchez||2012-06-24||2012-07-29||6||KCR-COL|
|2||David Price||2012-06-19||2012-08-21||12||TBR||1||Francisco Liriano||2012-04-07||2012-05-07||6||MIN|
|3||Jordan Zimmermann||2012-06-05||2012-07-28||11||WSN||3||Daisuke Matsuzaka||2012-09-02||2012-10-03||5||BOS|
|3||R.A. Dickey||2012-04-25||2012-06-18||11||NYM||3||P.J. Walters||2012-06-02||2012-09-12||5||MIN|
|1||Joe Nathan||2012-04-15||2012-09-12||31||TEX||1||Matt Albers||2012-05-08||2012-09-30||6||BOS-ARI|
|2||Aroldis Chapman||2012-06-26||2012-09-04||27||CIN||1||Francisco Cordero||2012-04-27||2012-07-30||6||TOR-HOU|
|3||Chris Perez||2012-04-08||2012-07-05||24||CLE||3||8 Pitchers||5|
|APPEAR IN WINS||APPEAR IN LOSSES|
|1||Aroldis Chapman||2012-06-26||2012-09-04||31||CIN||Matt Reynolds||2012-06-02||2012-08-05||30||COL|
|2||Jim Johnson||2012-07-30||2012-10-02||26||BAL||Rhiner Cruz||2012-05-18||2102-08-13||28||HOU|
|3||Rafael Soriano||2012-05-22||2012-07-17||25||NYY||Louis Coleman||2012-05-01||2012-08-12||23||KCR|
|8+ Ks as Starter||<=3 Ks as Starter|
|1||Max Scherzer||2012-07-19||2012-09-07||10||DET||1||Henderson Alvarez||2012-04-24||2012-06-30||13||TOR|
|2||R.A. Dickey||2012-05-17||2012-06-18||7||NYM||2||Nick Blackburn||2012-05-11||2012-07-31||11||MIN|
|3||Clayton Kershaw||2012-08-15||2012-09-04||5||LAD||3||Aaron Cook||2012-05-05||2012-08-15||10||BOS|
|<=2 BBs as Starter||3+ BBs as Starter|
|1||Wade Miley||2012-04-23||2012-09-02||24||ARI||1||Edinson Volquez||2012-05-17||2012-08-10||16||SDP|
|2||Bronson Arroyo||2012-04-08||2012-08-11||23||CIN||2||Sam Deduno||2012-07-07||2012-08-19||8||MIN|
|3||Jeff Francis||2012-06-21||2012-10-03||22||COL||3||Yu Darvish||2012-07-01||2012-08-12||7||TEX|
|3||Scott Diamond||2012-05-08||2012-09-04||22||MIN||3||Kyle Drabek||2012-05-05||2012-06-08||7||TOR|
|<= 1 IP, 2+ Ks in Relief||<= 1 IP, 0 Ks in Relief|
|1||Aroldis Chapman||2012-06-24||2012-07-15||8||CIN||1||Randy Choate||2012-09-11||2012-09-22||10||LAD|
|2||Craig Kimbrel||2012-07-28||2012-08-22||7||ATL||1||James Russell||2012-08-04||2012-08-24||10||CHC|
|3||Craig Kimbrel||2012-06-30||2012-07-14||6||ATL||1||Jon Rauch||2012-07-22||2012-08-10||10||NYM|
|>1 IP in Relief||<=2 BFs in Relief|
|1||Adam Ottavino||2012-07-27||2012-09-12||15||COL||1||Joe Thatcher||2012-07-25||2012-09-25||13||SDP|
|2||Alfredo Simon||2012-06-27||2012-08-18||9||CIN||1||Clay Rapada||2012-06-28||2012-07-30||13||NYY|
|3||Carlos Torres||2012-08-05||2012-08-28||8||COL||1||Tim Byrdak||2012-05-04||2012-05-22||13||NYM|
A.J. Burnett’s 9-game win streak is his career long. His longest previous streak was 7 games in 2005 when he was still a Marlin. As a Yankee, Burnett had just 3 streaks of 3 games or longer, a 3 game streak in 2011, 4 games in 2010 and 5 games in 2009. Like Burnett, A.J. Dickey’s leading win streak in 2012 is also his career long, and his third straight season with a streak (in starts) of at least 3 games. Prior to 2010, Dickey’s last 3+ game win streak in starts was with Texas in 2004.
In a stunning reversal of form, Ricky Romero cratered in 2012 after becoming one of just 42 starting pitchers since 1901 to start his career with 3 straight 100 ERA+ seasons (min. 162 IP). Of those 42 pitchers, Romero’s 74 ERA+ in his fourth season (min. 162 IP) is the lowest ever (the median is 116, similar to Romero’s career 119 ERA+ at the start of 2012). Of the 138 pitchers since 1901 with a 140+ ERA+ season as a starter (min. 162 IP) in the first 3 seasons of a career, Romero and Tim Lincecum became just the 6th and 7th with a subsequent starting season (min. 162 IP) of 75 ERA+ or lower. Of those 7, only Romero and Dave Roberts in 1971-72 had the 140 and 75 seasons back to back.
Despite all of Cliff Lee‘s no-decisions in 2012, he had just one 3-game streak of NDs to go with six such 2-game streaks. This compares with decision streaks of 4, 3 and 2 games, the latter two streaks coming in Lee’s final eight starts. Lee’s 13 no-decisions in his first 22 starts came during the Phillies’ first 128 games, matching Annibal Sanchez in 2011 and exceeded in the searchable era by only 8 pitchers, led by Bert Blyleven with 15 such games to start 1979. Only one of these eight pitched before 1978 - Lee Meadows, way back in 1917. The lowest season ratio of decisions to starts (min. 25 starts) is Mike Krukow in 1987, with a 5-6 record in 28 starts.
Despite Ryan Vogelsong’s leading streak of 16 quality starts, he ranked only 11th in total quality starts with 22 for the season. Leading with 27 was R.A. Dickey. He and David Price had quality start ratios above 80% (min. 25 starts), the 6th straight year that at least one pitcher has reached that level. The only other such streaks of 6 or more seasons are 1988-1994 (7 years) and 1962-1969 (8 years). Prior to 1962, only 5 pitchers had achieved this distinction – Robin Roberts in 1952, Bill Bevens, Spud Chandler and Bob Feller in 1946, and Hal Newhouser in 1945.
Dice-K’s streak of 5 starts of less than 6 IP with 4 or more ER are part of a season of only 45.2 IP in 11 starts, only 2 of them of the quality variety. Matsuzaka and Jonathan Sanchez in 2012 joined Brian Matusz from 2011 to became just the 12th, 13th and 14th starting pitchers since 1901 to average fewer than 13 outs per start in a season of 10 or more starts. Of those 14, the most inept starter was John D’Acquisto in 1977 with 44.2 IP in 14 starts, an average of less than 10 outs per start.
Matt Albers’ streak of 6 consecutive blown saves was a continuation of a streak begun in 2008 that has now run to 17 straight save opportunities not converted (in fact, Albers has yet to record a single save in his career). The streak, though, is more of a statistical curiosity than anything else as Albers did not enter any of those 17 games in the 9th inning or later, and only two of them in the 8th inning. How bad was Francisco Cordero’s streak of 6 blown saves (5 of which were true 9th inning save chances)? How about allowing 17 hits, 7 walks and 3 HR in just 4.2 IP in that stretch, good for an ERA of 28.93, an unfortunate way to close out a very good career, should Cordero not find any suitors for 2013 or beyond.
Henderson Alvarez’s 13 straight starts without striking out more than 3 batters was part of a season SO/9 ratio of only 3.8, only the second starter this century (Chien-Ming Wang was the other) with a rate below 4.0 (min. 162 IP) in his first or second season (in comparison, 14 pitchers had this distinction in the 1980s, including 5 in just the 1988 season). Aaron Cook’s 1.9 SO/9 is the first starter’s mark below 2.0 in a season with 15+ starts since Glenn Abbott in 1979 and, before him, Bob Trice in 1954.
Jeff Francis had just one start out of 24 allowing 3 walks. However, only two of those starts lasted 6 innings and none were longer. In fact, his mark of 1.8 BB/9 is the lowest for any starter since 1901 in a season of 20+ starts averaging fewer than 5 IP per start (only Kirk Reuter in 1994 also has a BB/9 under 3.0 in such a season). Despite Francis’s very modest 113 IP for the season, that was the top figure for Rockies’ starters who, excluding Francis, posted a collective 4.0 BB/9.
Edinson Volquez ran away from the field with a streak of 16 straight starts allowing 3 or more walks. However, Volquez had company in 2012 with Jonathan Sanchez and Oliver Perez, all three finishing the year as starters allowing more walks than runs for their careers (min. 500 IP). Should any of them finish their careers with that distinction and with a career BB/9 over 5.0, they would join just 8 other pitchers to do so since 1901, and only the second (Kaz Ishii is the other) since Dave Morehead (1963-1970). Curiously, the two pitchers among these eight “wild men” having the most career IP toiled most famously in pinstripes during the Yankees’ 1950s dynasty – Tommy Byrne (of course) and Bob Turley.
Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel were easily the most dominant 2012 closers of the flame-throwing class. In fact, they and Kenley Jansen are the only relievers to post a career SO/9 mark above 14.0 over the first 3 seasons of a career (min. 100 IP), and all three did so in the three seasons just ended. The previous record-holder was Billy Wagner with a 13.2 SO/9 to start his career in 1995-97. Of the top 25 SO/9 leaders among relievers in the first 3 seasons of a career, only Rob Dibble (1988-90) and Dick Radatz (1962-64) pitched before Wagner. The highest mark prior to Radatz’s 10.6 was 9.4 by Ryne Duren up to 1958, a mark that now is outside the top 50 scores.
It’s no surprise that Rockies’ pitchers occupy 3 of the top spots on the list of longest streaks of multi-inning relief appearances. All Colorado starters amassed just 765 IP for the season, only 53.8% of the team’s total innings. Thus, there were lots of opportunities for inning-eating appearances by the bullpen, as evidenced by the Rockies’ having 7 pitchers with 50+ IP amassed exclusively in relief, tied for the most ever with the 2011 Indians and three other clubs. Fully 78 of the 112 teams with 5 or more such pitchers played since 2000, and only two (the 1962 Angels and 1970 Dodgers) played before 1985.
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