At the quarter pole: an early season review

The schedule passed the first quarter point last week. So, seems like an appropriate time to compare this season to last, both what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. More after the jump.

In the analysis that follows, I’ll being comparing standings through last weekend’s series (May 21) to the same point in the schedule a year ago. Unless otherwise noted, statistical comparisons will be for the first 40 games of each season.

So, let’s get started in the AL.

AL East

2017 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L% 2016 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
NYY 25 16 .610 232 177 .621 BOS 27 17 .614 256 190 .633
BAL 25 17 .595 0.5 197 185 .529 BAL 26 16 .619 191 167 .561
BOS 22 21 .512 4.0 196 188 .519 TBR 20 21 .488 5.5 174 161 .535
TBR 23 23 .500 4.5 216 195 .547 NYY 21 22 .488 5.5 168 187 .451
TOR 19 26 .422 8.0 186 202 .462 TOR 22 24 .478 6.0 186 184 .505
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2017.

Main change from a year ago is the Red Sox and Yankees swapping positions in the standings, while the other teams are in about the same place in the standings and the W-L column. As they’ve done for several years now, the Orioles are again outperforming their Pythag winning percentage while the Jays and Rays are undershooting that projection.

The biggest reason for the Yankees’ move up is, of course, their league-leading offense. How much better are they from last year?  Over their first 40 games, they’ve scored more than 50% more runs, 229 to 150, a massive difference. New York has just one regular older than 33 (Matt Holliday, who started 32 of the Yankees’ first 40 games). Only one Yankee team in the last 40 years (the 1994 club) has begun a season with fewer non-pitcher games started by players that old.

For the Red Sox, the change has been almost as great, but in the other direction, with their run production declining from 235 to 159, a 24% drop. Biggest change is the obvious one of Mitch Moreland taking David Ortiz‘s spot in the lineup, and batting like Mitch Moreland instead of like David Ortiz. The other regulars are mostly performing about as well as last year with the notable exception of Jackie Bradley Jr. whose OPS is down some 300 points compared to his hot start of a year ago. Forgotten man Pablo Sandoval has played only 17 games and is again on the DL after missing almost all of last season; he still has 3 years (including this season) and $57 million to go on his contract.

AL Central

2017 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L% 2016 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
CLE 23 19 .548 184 168 .542 CHW 26 18 .591 183 150 .590
MIN 22 18 .550 177 183 .485 CLE 22 19 .537 2.5 193 167 .566
DET 21 21 .500 2.0 206 215 .480 KCR 22 21 .512 3.5 152 165 .463
CHW 20 22 .476 3.0 193 171 .555 DET 21 22 .488 4.5 198 203 .489
KCR 18 25 .419 5.5 145 190 .379 MIN 11 32 .256 14.5 152 226 .326
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2017.

In the Central, the Indians and Tigers are in about the same place for W-L record, but big changes for the other clubs, none more so than the Twins resurgence. Minnesota’s pitching has improved considerably, by almost three-quarters of a run, with a 4.21 ERA this year compared to 4.90 starting last season. Perhaps more important, though, is how they’ve fared in the clutch, with a team WPA over 5 for both pitching and hitting, compared to negative results a year ago. The total WPA change is +11.4, which is exactly how many more wins they have this year.

Chicago, which faded badly after a hot start a year ago, is understandably suffering a decline in their pitching results without Chris Sale anchoring the rotation. Overall ERA has ballooned by half a run (3.79, compared to 3.24) with a large chunk of that attributable to yielding over a third more home runs (48 to 35), many of those given up rookie Dylan Covey (7 starts, 7.64 ERA, 2.8 HR/9). Thrust to the top of the rotation, Jose Quintana has struggled, with a 2-5 record and 3.92 ERA, compared to 5-2, 1.54 a year ago.

Just two years removed from their world championship season (and with six starters from that club still in the fold), the Royals have struggled mightily to begin this season, scoring just 132 runs in their first 40 games, worst in the majors, and second worst in franchise history (ahead of only the 1981 club that was just one year removed from a World Series appearance).  That’s what happens when three of your regulars (Alcides EscobarAlex GordonEric Hosmer) have their OPS decline by almost 200 points from the year before.

AL West

2017 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L% 2016 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
HOU 29 15 .659 220 166 .626 SEA 26 17 .605 201 153 .622
TEX 24 21 .533 5.5 215 190 .556 TEX 25 19 .568 1.5 199 191 .519
LAA 23 23 .500 7.0 192 199 .484 LAA 20 24 .455 6.5 180 195 .463
OAK 20 24 .455 9.0 176 219 .401 OAK 19 26 .422 8.0 173 225 .382
SEA 20 25 .444 9.5 206 226 .458 HOU 17 28 .378 10.0 182 215 .424
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2017.

In the West, Houston and Seattle have swapped top and bottom spots with the Angels improving by a few games and the other clubs about where they were last year. Astro pitching has struck out almost one-third more batters (400 to 303) than a year ago while the offense is sporting a .275 team BA after 40 games, the former the top result in the majors this season and the latter second only to the Nats at .278. Among all seasons, 400 strikeouts are second only to the 2013 Tigers (403), while .275 is the fourth best result in franchise history and highest outside of the 1996-2005 decade of uber offense.

For Seattle, their decline is all about pitching, with a team ERA (4.75) a run-and-a-half worse than a year ago (3.27). Last year, Seattle had 5 pitchers each make 8 starts in the team’s first 40 games; this year, it’s 9 pitchers making those 40 starts, with only two making 8 starts, and only one making multiple starts with an ERA under 4.00 (James Paxton, 1.43).

NL East

2017 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L% 2016 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
WSN 26 17 .605 246 205 .583 WSN 27 17 .614 191 135 .654
ATL 18 23 .439 7.0 188 211 .447 NYM 25 18 .581 1.5 167 141 .577
NYM 18 24 .429 7.5 210 237 .445 PHI 25 19 .568 2.0 142 173 .411
PHI 15 26 .366 10.0 183 202 .455 MIA 22 21 .512 4.5 168 179 .471
MIA 15 28 .349 11.0 178 222 .400 ATL 12 31 .279 14.5 137 208 .318
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2017.

Over to the senior circuit, where a 3 or 4 horse race in the East a year ago is a runaway this season, and looking a lot like last year’s NL Central “race”. The leading Nationals have an almost identical W-L record as last year, but the surprise is how differently these two seasons have transpired, with their pitching declining by a run and a half (4.43 ERA compared to 2.90) while their high octane offense has scored over 40% more runs (237 compared to 168). Looking at the pitching decline, all of their starters are returned from a year ago and all but one are doing a bit worse than last year, but not a lot. The exception is third year man Joe Ross who had a rocky three starts to begin the season before getting his ticket punched to work out the kinks in the minors. Since then, Washington has struggled mightily to fill that rotation spot with only rookie A.J. Cole distinguishing himself (in his only start, before also being returned to the minors). On offense, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth were all hitting under .250 this time last year, but are raking at .300 or better this season, especially Harper and Zimmerman, whose averages are up by 120+ points, and whose OPS, in the Z-man’s case, is up by over 400 points. Oh, and there’s also Daniel Murphy, a .400 hitter this time a year ago and still a potent threat with .927 OPS this season.

The Mets’ misfortunes are well documented, but the other big surprise is probably the Marlins who are struggling despite having their young and talented outfield (Marcell OzunaChristian YelichGiancarlo Stanton) healthy again (unfortunately, an infrequent occurrence in recent seasons). Their team pitching and hitting are slightly off their results of a year ago, but both seem to have struggled in clutch situations, with a combined -6 WPA compared to +1 a year ago, that difference of 7 also being their difference in wins between the two seasons. The Phillies are well under their Pythag to start this season, part of their troubles owing to a tough schedule, with 12 games already against the Nats and 24 of their first forty away from home. Philadelphia hitters are almost 100 points higher in OPS from a year ago but the pitchers are a full run higher in ERA, resulting in a pitching WPA swing from +4.3 last year to -4.9 this year.

NL Central

2017 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L% 2016 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
MIL 25 19 .568 233 206 .556 CHC 29 13 .690 232 122 .764
STL 22 19 .537 1.5 186 169 .544 PIT 23 19 .548 6.0 203 198 .511
CHC 22 20 .524 2.0 213 197 .536 STL 23 21 .523 7.0 243 193 .604
CIN 20 23 .465 4.5 218 221 .494 MIL 18 26 .409 12.0 184 223 .413
PIT 20 24 .455 5.0 167 199 .420 CIN 15 29 .341 15.0 176 263 .324
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2017.

Lots of change in the Central with the biggest swings coming from the Brewers and Cubs, seven wins better and worse, respectively. Milwaukee’s hitters are 70 points better in OPS and their pitchers two-thirds of a run improved in ERA. All of that OPS improvement is in slugging with 156 extra-base hits this season compared to just 115 last year. To borrow an analogy from the financial world, the arrival of Eric Thames has been the “black sheep” event that has catalyzed the Brewer offense this year. Out of the majors for four seasons, Thames has been a huge surprise with All-Star totals so far this season, though he has started to cool with just a .493 OPS over his last 7 games; we’ll see how he and NL pitchers adjust to each other as the season progresses. Looking at Thames’s Korean League stats, he turned in a 40/40/40 season (2B/HR/SB) in 2015, something only Alfonso Soriano (2006) has done in the majors. I tried to find other examples of a 30 year-old bursting onto the scene like Thames, but there really aren’t very many; his 86 major league games aged 25-29 are easily the fewest of any age 30 player starting 30 of his team’s first 40 games and posting 1.000 OPS, with Ken Williams (1920, 148 games) and Stephen Vogt (2015, 149 games) next on the list (looking at all major league service before age 30, Thames’s 181 games are the fourth fewest, behind Williams, Vogt and Dale Long).

For the Cubs, their main problem has been on the mound with their team ERA at 3.91 compared to 2.64 last year, and allowing 50 home runs compared to just 29 a year ago. All four of their returning starters are off their form of a year ago, especially at the top of the rotation with Jake Arrieta (5.44 ERA, was 1.29) and Jon Lester (3.57, was 1.88). And, Brett Anderson (8.18 ERA) replacing Jason Hammel (2.31) just hasn’t worked out. The Cubs’ defense also hasn’t helped them, allowing an unearned run in 19 of their first 40 games, the most in the majors this year.

NL West

2017 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L% 2016 W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
COL 28 17 .622 225 208 .536 SFG 27 19 .587 198 192 .514
ARI 26 19 .578 2.0 226 179 .605 COL 21 21 .500 4.0 208 211 .493
LAD 26 19 .578 2.0 228 164 .646 LAD 22 23 .489 4.5 194 179 .537
SFG 19 26 .422 9.0 154 217 .348 ARI 21 25 .457 6.0 214 218 .492
SDP 16 30 .348 12.5 158 243 .313 SDP 19 26 .422 7.5 162 193 .421
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2017.

Lots of movement in the standings out west with the Rockies and D-Backs making big strides forward and the Giants on the slide. For Arizona, their team batting stats are almost identical to last year’s marks, so their rise seems mostly attributable to better work on the mound with Zack Greinke (2.79 ERA, was 5.26) pitching more like Zack Greinke, and Taijuan Walker (3-3, 3.91) replacing Shelby Miller (1-4, 6.94).

The Rockies’ changes have been more dramatic, especially among their pitchers with just one returning starter (Tyler Chatwood) and three rookies (German MarquezKyle FreelandAntonio Senzatela) and a second year man (Tyler Anderson) holding down the other rotation spots. Overall, the pitchers are about two-thirds of a run better than a year ago, with Freeland (4-2, 3.13) and Senzatela (6-1, 3.31) being particularly effective. On offense, starters have returned at every position (how unusual is that!)  and are producing very similar results to last year. Those changes don’t seem like they should have produced seven more wins than last year, an observation borne out by Colorado outperforming their Pythag by a very sizable margin.

For the Giants, the story is mainly the offense, with OPS down 100 points from a year ago, while the pitching has slid by half a run. San Francisco’s team OBP was only .289 to start the year, down 60 points from a year ago, and second worst in franchise history (since 1913), better than only the 100 loss 1985 club. The good news for the Giants so far is that they’ve significantly outperformed their Pythag; the bad news going forward is that they’ve significantly outperformed their Pythag.

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62 Comments on "At the quarter pole: an early season review"

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Mike L
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I’m looking for possible trades by non-contenders. Seems the economics of the game have changed over the last few years. You don’t hang in hoping for the last wild-card spot. You cash in on expiring or undervalued contracts. Even fan expectations are beginning to change. More are willing to watch their team tank if you can get a 3-1 or 4-1 return in prospects.

David P
Guest

An interesting article on Fangraphs shows that there’s very little relationship between how a team does in its first 50 games and how it does for the rest of the season.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-meaning-of-a-teams-50-game-record/

Doug
Guest

Still think teams would prefer to win those early games.

4 of the 6 division leaders at this juncture last year ended up making the post-season.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

The dig on Mitch Moreland is perhaps too harsh.
He’s on pace for 4 WAR and 60+ doubles.

Doug
Guest
Good point, Voomo. It wasn’t so much a dig as just pointing out that he’s unlikely to put up Ortiz-like numbers, at least based on his career to date. For his career, Moreland is much better in the first half than the second, with April and May his two best months. His current 118 OPS+ is about the same as his best full season, a 116 mark in 2015 with 23 HR and 85 RBI. With Fenway, those counting totals may inflate a bit, but seems pretty unlikely he’ll reach, say, 140 OPS+, which was Ortiz’s lowest result in his… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Hey, I posted a link-filled piece 6 hours ago about Christian Bergman’s 4 IP, 14 H outing. And the website said ‘comment awaiting moderation’. Who’s the gatekeeper?

Doug
Guest

Lots of links will pretty much guarantee your comment being treated as SPAM. I’ll see if I can override it, and get your comment posted.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Well, I guess my post is gone.
The gist:

Christian Bergman is the 12th player since 1913 to give up 14+ hits in no more than 4 IP.
4th since WWII.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Christian Berman has made history!
One of 12 pitchers since 1913 to give up 14+ hits in 4 innings or less.

Only the 4th since WWII.
Here are the other three:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI200704230.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KCA/KCA201309060.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX199804140.shtml

Scott Sanders is one of only two to give up 16 hits in four or less.
The other is Carl Doyle, who did it in relief:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN194006080.shtml

David P
Guest

Between the end of last year and the beginning of this year, Mookie Betts went 129 PAs without striking out, the longest streak since Juan Pierre in 2004 (147 PAs). Since the streak ended, he’s struck out 15 times in 141 PAs.

David P
Guest

Buster Posey is having a very weird year. Batting .353 with a .551 SLG, which includes 6 doubles and 7 homeruns. Yet he’s only managed to drive in 11 runs.

Of course a lot of that is on him, as he’s slugging .280 with RISP vs. .728 with the bases empty.

Richard Chester
Guest

He has come to bat with 80 ROB (33 of whom were RISP) and driven in 4 of them. He has gotten walks with 13 ROB, none with bases loaded, which leaves him with a net result of 4 runners driven in out of 67.

no statistician but
Guest

Some of the big stories from this time last year were the Trevor story, the Ichiro story, the White Sox pitching story, the Cubs story. Trevor is currently batting .186. Ichiro is at .153 with an OPS+ of 16. The White Sox pitching dwindled anyway, and this year it is mediocre at best, for the reasons Doug mentions. The Cubs? Not dominating like last year by any means, but with today’s win they are 25-21 and holding their own in the division.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Why was Tanaka charged with a run in the Yankees’ 4-1 loss last night?
He left with a guy on 1st.
That runner made it 3rd on Clippard’s error, and then was thrown out at home on a grounder.

The batter who reached on that FC came around to score as Clippard gave up a SB and a single.
Why isn’t that Clippard’s run?

David P
Guest
Voomo – The rules state: “When pitchers are changed during an inning, the official scorer shall not charge the relief pitcher with any run (earned or unearned) scored by a runner who was on base at the time such relief pitcher entered the game, nor for runs scored by any runner who reaches base on a fielder’s choice that puts out a runner left on base by any preceding pitcher.” This is found in 10.16 (g). And here’s an example from the comments on the rules: Peter is pitching. Abel reaches first base on a base on balls. Roger relieves… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Well, I suppose that makes a dollop of sense.

… In this case, however, the run should have at least been unEarned, as Tanaka’s runner reached third because of a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by Clippard. The ground ball that followed might have been an inning-ending DP.

A starting pitcher on the hook for a baserunner he never faced, following an error? That’s harsh.

David P
Guest

Except you can´t assume a double play. And the error wasn´t the reason the run scored.

That being said, I agree with run was mostly Clippard´s fault. I´ve always thought they´d be better off dividing these sorts of runs between both pitchers, but I guess that would be too messy

David P
Guest
Yanks are doing weird things in the 9th inning, so far putting up a triple slash line of .299/410/386. So they’re hitting for average and drawing walks, but showing no power. Which is really strange since overall they’ve been one of the best power hitting teams in baseball. Wonder if there was a collective team decision to approach PAs differently in the 9th inning? Anyway, I’m not a PI subscriber but it looks like that BA ranks about 25th all-time for the ninth inning, and the OBP may be the best ever. But that slugging percentage and ISO??? No idea… Read more »
Richard Chester
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Here’s the data on the 2017 Yankees. The searchable era is generally 1970 or later.
.299 BA is tied for 22nd with 4 other teams
.410 OBP is 2nd best
.386 SLG is tied for 573rd with 13 other teams
.087 SLG is tied for 1425th with 12 other teams.

They have hit 5 EXB in the 9th inning, 2 doubles and 3 HRs.

Richard Chester
Guest

That should be .087 ISO.

David P
Guest

Thanks Richard! I find the difference between where they rank in OBP and ISO to be fascinating. Seems to me that has to be the result of a deliberate change in approach. Particularly given that their overall OBP is only .344 and their overall ISO is .182.

e pluribus munu
Guest
On the last thread there was a discussion about the slowing pace of games, and the trend continues this year. I wrote there, in response to a link to a Fangraphs article, that it made no sense to me that fear of increased batting power was slowing down pitchers, who needed an “extra tick” of preparation to throw harder. Today, though, I spotted a FiveThirtyEight analysis that indicates that slowing the pace of pitchers correlates strongly with increases in pitch velocity. I’m not sure the correlation is an indication of causation, but I thought I’d flag the article here, since… Read more »
David P
Guest
EPM – I saw that article but didn’t think it necessarily contradicted the points you made in the other thread. Seems to me that’s there’s a clear breakdown somewhere in the theory. The theory being that pitchers need to throw extra hard so that these behemoth batters don’t put the ball in play and hit a homerun. On the one hand, it works in the sense that the Fangraphs article that I linked to in the other thread shows that balls in play have dropped significantly. On the other hand, it’s not working because batters keep hitting more and more… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Jim Bunning’s death on May 26th: my recollection of him as a player is unfortunately clouded by his senatorial career. No HOFer in Congress. Can’t find anything on line that suggests he was suffering from a dementia of some kind later in life—although his behavior made me think it—but he apparently had an incapacitating stroke several months ago and died in hospice care. Bill James described Bunning as a pitcher who had so much stuff that paradoxically it ended up losing his teams some games. When he was taken out in late innings, the relievers’ offerings were like batting practice… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

When I was a forlorn refugee Brooklyn fan in NYC, during the years before the coming of the Mets, my chief passion was to visit the Stadium to root for the team I felt most likely to beat the Yankees: Detroit. Lary, Bunning, Foytack, and Hartvig — er, Mossi — were my heroes. Nothing any of them did in the US Senate afterwards could tarnish their gleam in my memory. And I actually can’t recall Lary, Foytack and Mossi ever putting that to the test anyway.

no statistician but
Guest

Actually, Bunning had poor luck against the Yankees, especially in NY, where he was 2-5 with a 4.33 ERA. Frank Lary, of course, was far different, and Don Mossi, once he became a starter, at least won more than he lost against the Bombers. In 1959, the only season between 1946 and 1964 in which the Yankees won fewer than 92 games, the Tigers went 14-8 against them, Mossi going 6-2, Lary 5-1, Foytack 2-1.

Bunning, though, was 1-2 with an ERA of 7.31.

That was a really strange team, the ’59 Tigers. Worth some commentary.

e pluribus munu
Guest
I noticed that, nsb, and I think it let me pinpoint when I saw Bunning pitch. For years, I used to tell friends that I had a perfect record at the Stadium — meaning (if Voomo will forgive me) that the Yankees never won when I was there (I think until 1961) — and I fixed on the Tigers as the best bet to keep that streak going. I remember Bunning’s falling-off-the-mound delivery (viewed from the third-base side), so my guess is that I saw Bunning shut the Yankees out on Sunday, June 15, 1958, and didn’t catch him in… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

I think we may be in the dead horse section of this thread, so I’ll make my reply in Doug’s thread on Bunning. Maybe tonight or maybe not.

Ken
Guest

The Royals are hitting .199 with RISP thru May 28th (49 games). Next worst is .213 by the Indians. Lowest RISP for a full season since 1950 is .201 by the 1969 Padres, lowest in AL is .207 by the 1963 Senators.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

With the return of Adrian Beltre, Joey Gallo bumped Mile Napoli to the bench (at least for a night).
Gallo knocked one over the wall and whiffed twice.
He’s now on pace for:

50 HR
108 H
108 R
104 RBI
73 BB
225 SO
.205 BA
609 PA
57 percent TTO

As many runs as hits is a neat trick.
Only been done once in a qualifying season:

117/111 … Max Bishop (587 PA in 1930)

Thrice with 200+ PA:

43/43 … Willie Wilson (1978)
40/40 … Rickey (2002)
48/47 … Tillie Shafer (1912)

David P
Guest

Gallo also has the lowest batting average for a season with ISO of .300 or greater. The current lowest is a 227 BA by Carlos Pena in 2009, followed by Harmon Killebrew at .243 in 1962. (Khris Davis currently has a .227 BA and a .301 ISO so he’s trying to make the list as well).

yippeeyappee
Guest

Shouldn’t TTO be FTO? HBP is fielding-independent. Or do people just like 3 because it’s easier?

Doug
Guest

Seattle set a new franchise record last week with 5 consecutive games scoring just one run. That also ties the major league record long streak for scoring exactly one run. For the season, the Mariners have scored one run or less in 14 of 52 games, tied with the Giants and one game less than the Royals.

The longest streak scoring one run or less belongs to the 1963 Colt .45s with 9 games, two games longer than any other team.

David P
Guest

In tonight’s game against the A’s, the Indians pitchers became just the 3rd team to have 19+ Ks and 10+ hits allowed in a 9 inning game.

The other two instances both involved the Mariners. One was Randy Johnson’s 19 K game against the A’s in 1997:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SEA/SEA199706240.shtml

The other was Angels doing against the Mariners in 2012:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ANA/ANA201209250.shtml

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Devon Travis is on pace for 63 doubles with a .293 OBP !

Most 2-baggers with an OBP under.300:

44 … Khalil Greene
43 … Jimmy Rollins
42 … Bert Niehoff (led league in 1916)
42 … Alex Gonzalez
41 … Ken Reitz
40 … Cesar Cedeno (led league in 1971)
40 … Mariano Duncan

Doug
Guest

I’m pretty sure his OBP will crest .300 by year’s end. Travis was scuffling in the low .100’s in April. Started to come out of it a bit after Albert Pujols gave him a little pep talk (“don’t get down on yourself”) at first base, then really started to rake in May when he made a small adjustment in his stance to back off the plate slightly to avoid getting jambed on inside pitches.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Charlie Blackmon is on pace for 24 triples… all at home.

Most home 3-baggers:

19 … Curt Walker (19/1 split)
18 … Sam Crawford
18 … Paul Waner
16 … Edd Roush

Since 1969:
14 … Christian Guzman
14 … Willie Wilson
14 … George Brett
13 … Ryne Sandberg
13 … Carl Crawford

Richard Chester
Guest

24 of Chief Wilson’s seasonal record 36 triples in 1912 were at home.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Ah yes. Play index runs from 1913

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Paul Goldschmidt is on pace for 36 SB and a .994 OPS

35 SB and .995 OPS has been achieved 20 times, but most of the names are from the wayback… Cobb, Sisler, Shoeless, Speaker.

Since 1957:

1.080 … Bonds
1.076 … Bonds
1.033 … Mays (1957)
1.031 … Bonds
1.020 … Joe Morgan
1.016 … Rickey
1.010 … Vlad
1.003 … Molitor

Daniel Longmire
Guest
There was an interesting scenario yesterday afternoon: the Cardinals were batting against the Dodgers with runners at second and third and 1 out. Tommy Pham hits a sharp grounder to third, and the 3B (Hérnandez) begins chasing the runner (Piscotty) towards home. The catcher (Barnes) receives a toss from Hérnandez, and chases Piscotty back to third. He tags him after he slides back to the bag, but the other runner (Gyorko) is already standing on third. Barnes tags Gyorko, then Piscotty gets up and begins walking away, thinking that he is out because of Gyorko’s presence. Barnes tags him for… Read more »
David P
Guest
I wonder if any team has ever shot itself in the foot as much as this years A’s. Here are some rankings: *Their pitchers are tied for 4th in the majors in hit batters *Their pitchers are tied for first in wild pitches *Their fielders lead the majors in errors, 15 more than the second place Braves *Their catchers are tied for 4th in passed balls allowed *Their catchers have given up the most steals in the majors and are tied for the 9th worst caught stealing % Last night’s game with the Indians was a classic example. The Indians… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

If I ran the search correctly, Ty Blach just had the first game since 1959, and the 8th since 1913, with 6 PA and 3 BB by a pitcher.

And he did it in 9 innings.
The last one was Whitey Ford while throwing a 14-inning shutout:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS1/WS1195904220.shtml

Richard Chester
Guest

Voomo: You ran the search correctly. It is interesting to note the variation of the scores in those games. One game was a 0-0 17 inning tie. As mentioned the Ford game was a 1-0 14 inning game. The scores of the other games were 16-4, 29-4, 17-5, 17-3 and 16-4.

David P
Guest
The last pitcher to draw 3 walks in a game (regardless of # of plate appearances) was Aaron Cook on October 1, 2009. Cook’s game is even stranger in that two of the walks came with the bases loaded. No idea how many other pitchers have drawn two bases loaded walks in the same game but it can’t be very many. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/COL/COL200910010.shtml Before Cook, you have to go back to Joaquin Andujar on June 25th, 1984 to find a pitcher who drew three walks in a game. Andujar is also the last to draw 3 walks in only 3 PAs.… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Well, I ran a search for hitting Pitchers with at least
2 RBI
2 BB, and
0 Hits

This wouldn’t be an exhaustive search, because it could have happened in a game in which a pitcher also had a hit, but other than Cook, this reveals one definite instance:

Here, in 1951, Russ Meyer got two bases-loaded walks, in consecutive innings:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT195105201.shtml

In 1939, Tommy Bridges has one sacks-full-free-pass, and the other ribby on a groundout:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET193907230.shtml

And on August 24, 1925, Burleigh Grimes has the numbers, but we do not have the play-by-play.

Richard Chester
Guest

Voomo: That search can be done more easily by using the Batting Event Finder. I did it and came up with Cook and Meyer, as you did.

Doug
Guest
Couple of unusual game feats in Saturday’s Yankee game. New York had 8 hits, all for extra bases, including four home runs. Only the third time, all in this century, that a team has had 8 hits, including 4 home runs, but no singles (only the 4th time a team has had 8 XBH of any description but no singles; the fourth game was the Braves getting 9 doubles against the Giants on Aug 18, 1998). Those four home runs all came in the 8th inning off Toronto reliever Jason Grilli. Just the third time, again all in this century,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

The Judge is putting together an impressive TTO (three true outcome) season.

He is on pace for
58 HR
100 BB
197 SO

His .432 OBP is unprecedented for that level of striking out.
Highest OBP with 190+ SO:

.392 … Ryan Howard
.388 … Dunn
.375 … Cust
.370 … Crush Davis
.369 … Kris Bryant

Doug
Guest

A 100 walk, 200 strikeout season would be just the second ever, after Adam Dunn in 2012 (Dunn’s OBP that year was .333).

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Julio Teheran got a Win today, despite giving up 11 hits and 7 earned runs.
That’s the 18th time it’s been done in this century, 6th in the past 5 years.
The last to do it:

Jordan Zimmerman
Zach Greinke
Jon Neise
Kyle Kendrick
Cliff Lee

Teheran helped his own cause, with 2 successful sacrifices and a sac fly.

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