Following up from the AL version, here’s a collection of statistical tidbits for last year’s NL teams that you probably won’t find anywhere else.
Braves – Atlanta became the 9th franchise in the expansion era (but all have come since 1996) to have consecutive seasons with only one pitcher (Craig Kimbrel) recording multiple saves. San Francisco is the only franchise to do this with two different pitchers (Rod Beck 1995-96, Robb Nen 2001-02). Roberto Hernandez is the only pitcher to do this with two different franchises (Devil Rays 1998-99, Royals 2001-02).
Brewers – Milwaukee had its first pitcher (Brandon Kintzler) since 1980 to record HR/9 under 0.3 in 75 or more IP. 2013 was the twenty-first consecutive season with fewer than 5 such pitchers in the majors. Previously, the longest such streak of seasons was 9 years, from 1955 to 1963.
Cardinals – For the first time since World War II, St. Louis had 7 players (Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, David Freese, Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Yadier Molina) qualify for the batting title in consecutive seasons. Of the original 16 teams, the Cubs, Pirates and Tigers still have not had back-to-back post-war seasons with 7 players qualifying for the batting title. The Rockies, Rays and Diamondbacks still have not had even one such season.
Cubs – For the second time in franchise history, Chicago had two players (Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo) with 125 strikeouts who slugged under .425. The first time was in 2002 when the Cubs became only the fourth such team ever. This year’s Cubs brought that total up to 16 teams, including two clubs with 3 such players.
Diamondbacks – For the first time in its history, Arizona had 4 relievers (Heath Bell, Will Harris, J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler) with a .700 winning percentage in 4 or more decisions. The D-Backs were just the eighth such team since 1901, but the 6th since 2004, including three in 2013 (this one’s got me stumped – can anyone think of an explanation?).
Dodgers – For only the second time in its history, Los Angeles posted a .750 winning percentage in two different months (min. 25 games in month), joining the Cardinals (5), Yankees (4) and Athletics (3) as the only franchises with at least two such teams. The Dodgers were the 17th team since 1916 with such a season, but only the fourth to also have a month with a winning percentage below .400.
Giants – San Francisco was the first team ever with two pitchers (Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong) having an ERA+ below 60 in 15+ starts. For only the second time in franchise history, the Giants had 3 pitchers (add Tim Lincecum) with ERA+ below 77, and 4 pitchers (add Matt Cain) below 84, both also in 15+ starts.
Marlins – Miami became the first NL team since 1942 with only two players (Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich) having an OPS+ over 95 in 100 PA. In contrast, there have been 7 such AL teams over the same period, including the 1943 Athletics and 1948 Senators who each had only one such player.
Mets – New York was the first NL team since 1980 to get 10 saves and 70 IP from a 40+ year-old reliever (LaTroy Hawkins). Hawkins matched the profile of 16 of the 17 such earlier seasons (all since 1944, and none by Mariano) by posting an ERA+ of 119 or better.
Nationals – For the first time in franchise history, Washington had 5 players (Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman) with 20 home runs, and also marked a franchise first by having 4 players with 20 home runs in consecutive seasons. Since the Expos/Nats franchise began in 1969, 5 franchises (Pirates, Mets, Royals, Padres, Rays) still have not had a season with 5 players having 20 homers.
Padres – San Diego became the 10th team of the expansion era (including 3 teams in the 1971 season) to have an outfielder (Chris Denorfia) record 502 PA while playing at least 40 games at each of the outfield positions (only four pre-expansion teams had such a player with 477 PA). Detroit is the only one of the expansion era teams to do this more than once, both times with Jim Northrup (1967 and 1971).
Phillies – For the first time since 1925-27, Philadelphia had 3 consecutive seasons with 3 or more players aged 33 or older having 300 PAs (enough 3’s for you?). The Phillies also had 5 such players (Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz, Chase Utley, Michael Young) in back-to-back seasons, only the 17th such team (5th in the NL) since 1901, but all of them since 1983.
Pirates – Pittsburgh was the first team since 1992 to have 5 pitchers (A.J. Burnett, Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton) with HR/9 under 0.667 in 100 or more IP. It was the first time for a Pirate team since 1976.
Reds – Cincinnati became just the fourth team ever with two players (Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Votto) having 110 walks, a .420 OBP and an OPS+ higher than walks. The only one of those teams to win a pennant was the 1993 Phillies, the only team ever with 3 players (Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk) having 110 walks and a higher OPS+.
Rockies – For the first time in its history, the Rockies had 3 starting pitchers (Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood, Jorge De La Rosa) with a 125 ERA+ in 100+ IP. Over the 21 seasons of the Rockies’ existence, there have been 23 other such teams, including 8 Braves’ teams (the Athletics and Expos/Nats, each with two teams, are the only other franchises to do this more than once in the period).