Crazy stats from last night’s NL Wild Card game

That NL wild card game was a doozy.

There are just SO many stats from unusual things that happened. See below for a long list.

Eight runs usually wins it

The loss by the Rockies was just the 20th in MLB post-season history when a team scores 8 or more runs. Compare that with 332 times the winning team scored 8 or more—that’s just an .057 W-L %.

Hits by a reliever

Archie Bradley’s performance with the bat is among the most noteworthy.

Rk              Player       Date Series Gm#  Tm Opp    Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
1       Archie Bradley 2017-10-04   NLWC   1 ARI COL  W 11-8  1  1 0 1  0  1  0   2
2      Mike Montgomery 2016-10-19   NLCS   4 CHC LAD  W 10-2  1  1 1 1  0  0  0   0
3          Travis Wood 2016-10-08   NLDS   2 CHC SFG   W 5-2  1  1 1 1  0  0  1   1
4       Yusmeiro Petit 2014-10-25     WS   4 SFG KCR  W 11-4  1  1 0 1  0  0  0   0
5    Carlos Villanueva 2008-10-04   NLDS   3 MIL PHI   W 4-1  1  1 0 1  0  0  0   0
6            Paul Byrd 2004-10-09   NLDS   3 ATL HOU   L 5-8  2  2 0 1  0  0  0   1
7          John Smoltz 2004-10-07   NLDS   2 ATL HOU   W 4-2  1  1 0 1  0  0  0   0
8      Michael Jackson 1995-10-06   NLDS   3 CIN LAD  W 10-1  1  1 0 1  1  0  0   3
9            Al Leiter 1993-10-20     WS   4 TOR PHI W 15-14  1  1 0 1  1  0  0   0
10        Mike Stanton 1992-10-07   NLCS   2 ATL PIT  W 13-5  1  1 1 1  1  0  0   1

Bradley’s just the 10th reliever in the last 25 years to get a hit in a post-season game. Overall, there have been 62 games where a relief pitcher got a hit, and unsurprisingly he’s the first ever to get a triple.

Speaking of triples

Rk             Player       Date Series Gm#  Tm Opp   Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
1         Ketel Marte 2017-10-04   NLWC   1 ARI COL W 11-8  5  5 1 3  0  2  0   1
2      Mariano Duncan 1993-10-09   NLCS   3 PHI ATL  L 4-9  5  5 2 2  0  2  0   0
3          Mark Lemke 1991-10-24     WS   5 ATL MIN W 14-5  5  4 2 2  0  2  0   3
4         Tommy Davis 1963-10-03     WS   2 LAD NYY  W 4-1  4  4 0 2  0  2  0   1
5    Bobby Richardson 1960-10-12     WS   6 NYY PIT W 12-0  5  5 1 2  0  2  0   3
6       Dutch Ruether 1919-10-01     WS   1 CIN CHW  W 9-1  4  3 1 3  0  2  0   3
7     Patsy Dougherty 1903-10-07     WS   5 BOS PIT W 11-2  6  6 0 3  0  2  0   3
8         Tommy Leach 1903-10-01     WS   1 PIT BOS  W 7-3  5  5 1 4  0  2  0   1

Ketel Marte is just the 8th player ever to post 2 triples in a playoff game. It’s been 24 years since the previous occasion–and it’s always amazed me that the Phillies managed to lose the game where Mariano Duncan tripled twice.

The Diamondbacks hit 3 triples overall, and that’s happened only 12 times in the playoffs.

Rk         Date Series Gm#  Tm Opp   Rslt PA AB  R  H 2B 3B HR
1    2017-10-04   NLWC   1 ARI COL W 11-8 45 41 11 17  1  4  2
2    1993-10-19     WS   3 TOR PHI W 10-3 44 36 10 13  1  3  1
3    1993-10-09   NLCS   3 PHI ATL  L 4-9 38 37  4 10  3  3  1
4    1991-10-24     WS   5 ATL MIN W 14-5 43 39 14 17  2  3  3
5    1973-10-14     WS   2 OAK NYM L 7-10 55 47  7 13  4  3  0
6    1960-10-12     WS   6 NYY PIT W 12-0 47 41 12 17  4  3  0
7    1947-10-01     WS   2 NYY BRO W 10-3 43 38 10 15  2  3  1
8    1919-10-01     WS   1 CIN CHW  W 9-1 40 31  9 14  1  3  0
9    1912-10-09     WS   2 NYG BOS  T 6-6 48 40  6 11  3  3  0
10   1903-10-10     WS   7 BOS PIT  W 7-3 38 36  7 11  0  5  0
11   1903-10-07     WS   5 BOS PIT W 11-2 47 43 11 13  0  5  0
12   1903-10-01     WS   1 PIT BOS  W 7-3 43 40  7 12  0  3  1

And hey, check it out–there’s a DIFFERENT playoff game the Phillies lost with an usual number of triples.

So, the pitching was bad…

All those big hits indicate poor pitching. Not only did both the Rockies and Diamondbacks starting pitchers fail to complete 4 innings, the same thing happened to both starters in the AL Wild Card game the previous night.

In more than 100 years of playoff baseball, only 47 times have BOTH starters failed to complete 4 innings but a whopping 15 of those occasions have come in just the last 10 years. Makes sense–not only has scoring been up, but teams carry more pitchers and probably feel more willing to go to the bullpen early.

Four hit games

Jake Lamb joined Reggie Sanders as the only Diamondbacks with a 4-hit post-season game.

Rk           Player       Date Series Gm#  Tm Opp   Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
1         Jake Lamb 2017-10-04   NLWC   1 ARI COL W 11-8  5  5 3 4  0  0  0   0
2    Reggie Sanders 2001-11-03     WS   6 ARI NYY W 15-2  5  5 2 4  1  0  0   1

That was a big game for the Diamondbacks. The World Series had been delayed by the terrorist attacks on September 11th and the Yankees were leading 3 games to 2. Arizona crushed the Yankees in Game 6 and went on to win a nail-biter in Game 7 for their only championship to date.

Lamb is the latest 3rd baseman to put up a 4-hit playoff game. It happened 3 times just last season–Kris Bryant in Game 6 of the World Series, Conor Gillaspie in Game 4 of the NLSD, and Josh Donaldson in Game 1 of the ALDS.

From hitting champ to hitting chump

DJ LeMahieu won the NL batting title last year, putting up 192 hits and a .348 batting average. This year looked similar on the surface, with 189 more hits, but he did it in 57 more AB, resulting in a fairly pedestrian .310 batting average for a Coors Field player. Couple that with a 40+ point drop in OBP and 80+ point drop in SLG, and his OPS+ for 2017 fell to 94, from 128 in 2016.

Obviously one game is just one game, but LeMahieu’s 0-for-5 yesterday reflects the drop off he experienced this year.

Solo RBI

Last year, the Cubs set an MLB playoff record by scoring 8 runs with each run driven in by a different guy. I wouldn’t have expected this to happen again any time soon–so logically the Rockies did exactly that yesterday. Their 8 runs were driven in one apiece by Blackmon, Gonzalez, Arenado, Story, Parra, Reynolds, Lucroy, and Amarista.

Pinch-hitting

The Rockies were 3-for-3 as pinch-hitter yesterday. Overall, the franchise is 14-40 (.350 BA) as pinch hitters in playoff history. That’s awesome, especially considering that in regular season history, Rockies pinch hitters are 1431-for-5843 (.245 BA).

Holds are the dumbest stat

Holds are probably the worst stat in baseball. Archie Bradley was great with the bat but not so hot with the ball. He’s just the second reliever in MLB playoff history to “earn” a hold while allowing 2 or more homers in the game. The other was Hunter Strickland in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS. He allowed 2 solo jobs that nearly spoiled a good start by Jake Peavy, but the Giants hung on (little thanks to Strickland) to win the game 3-2.

 

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126 Comments on "Crazy stats from last night’s NL Wild Card game"

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Doug
Guest
Bradley’s 0.161 batting WPA is also the highest ever in a post-season game by a relief pitcher, as is his 2.918 weighted RE24 (RE24 * aLI). The Snakes actually had four triples in the game, by three players. Both are the most in a post-season game, excepting the 1903 WS (when the Americans twice had 5 triples, from four players in game 5, and five players in game 7). That 1993 post-season was triples-crazy. The two league champions combined for 14 triples (8 by Toronto and 6 for the Phillies) with Lance Johnson adding a 15th for the White Sox,… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Jose Altuve’s performance in game 1 is the first in the post-season with 3 HR and a GIDP. More relevantly, he is the 10th player with a 3 HR game in the post-season; the first 6 were all American-born, the last four (Beltre, Pujols, Sandoval, Altuve) were not. Other oddities from the Sox/Astros game. – Houston is first post-season team to have two players (Evan Gattis, Josh Reddick) with a 3-2-2-0 box score line – Derek Fisher is the 28th pinch-runner to be caught stealing in the post-season, but the first to do so with a lead of 5 runs… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

A neat and timely post . . . the very welcome to see Andy posting again! I am in full agreement about Holds. May the H go the way of the GWRBI.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Well, last night we had the 21st game in MLB post-season history when a losing team scored 8 or more runs and the 333rd (& 334th and 335th) time the winning team scored 8 or more. (The W-L%, as Andy computed it, has now leapt to .059.)

I guess the Cubs and Nats didn’t get the memo . . .

Doug
Guest

Yankees became the fifth team to lose a post-season game when 3 players homered and had multiple RBI.

Diamondbacks became fourth team to lose in the post-season with four players homering, and Kershaw is first pitcher to win a game allowing those four home runs.

Astros are sixth team to win the first two games of a series by the same score. Four of the previous five won the series. Which team didn’t?

Richard Chester
Guest

The 1921 Yankees won the first 2 games by the same score, 3-0, and lost the series to the Giants 5 games to 3 (it was a best of 9 series).

Doug
Guest

I was surprised to learn that that is the only post-season series with one team shut out in both of the first two games.

Each team recorded a shutout in the first two games of the 1905 and 1949 World Series.

oneblankspace
Guest

The 2003 Yankees won games 2 and 3 of the World Series by the same score, and ended up outscoring the Marlins in their 4-2 series loss.

Doug
Guest

So the Astros have now become the first team to open two series in the same post-season with consecutive wins by identical scores.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Almost tangential, but still in the “cray stat” category: I just noticed and replied to a late post by Kahuna Tuna at the tail end of an earlier string, one I thought was played out. I think Tuna spotted an interesting phenomenon.

Kahuna Tuna
Guest
Thanks for referencing my comment, epm. I had quoted a trivia note from a Yankees blog informing the public that, late in the 2017 season, Jacoby Ellsbury had passed Pete Rose to become the all-time career leader in times reaching base on catcher’s interference (now 31). At the time I had no particular interest in the subject—I was simply passing along a shiny nugget. But then I looked a bit more closely at catcher’s-interference events, and I discovered a couple of interesting things. As you observed, there are no CI leaderboards or league totals. Many star players never reached base… Read more »
Kahuna Tuna
Guest

Small correction to my last post: Rob Refsnyder was traded midseason from the Yankees to the Blue Jays. Dunno where I got Arizona.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Wade Davis and Andrew Miller have a chance to take over the b-r recognized record for postseason ERA.

0.70 … Mariano (141 IP)
0.81 … Davis (33 IP)
0.90 … Miller (30 IP) in 7th place
_________________________

Miller also has a good shot to become tops in WHIP.

.702 … Jeremy Affeldt
.729 … Monte Pearson
.733 … Andrew Miller
.737 … Roy Halladay
.759 … Mariano

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Miller is now 1.17 and .750.
I’d like to think I put the hex on him.

Doug
Guest

Twelve games into the post-season and home teams are 11-1. That and the struggles of starting pitchers are the early story this year.

no statistician but
Guest

The Tribe has now lost two straight for the first time since August 23-24. Despite all the media palaver about Girardi’s blunder in the second game, that’s just the kind of event that can be a turning point early in a series, depending on how the impacted team responds. Now the heat is on the Indians not to lose game five. The Yankees, being presumed roadkill for the Cleveland juggernaut, have saved their honor by coming back to tie the series and can go into the finale under far less pressure.

e pluribus munu
Guest
This is an interesting post, nsb, but I want to push back a little on it. First, in a five-game format, a crucial 6th-inning mistake by a team down 1-0 seems to me to be “early in the series” only in retrospect. Second, the clearer turning points to assess would have concerned whether, having seen their lead cut from five runs to one, the Yankees had responded subsequently in Game 2 by holding strong or, after allowing a tie in the following inning, pulling the game out. They didn’t do that. I don’t think you can identify the subsequent turnaround… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
Inning 15 of a (potential) 45 inning series seems early to me. Regardless, the pressure is on Cleveland. Being a Yankee fan, I’d like to see a win for my team. Trouble with that is, I’d prefer Cleveland to Houston in the WS, and the Indians have the better chance there. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch in the Series. Last one occurred in 1978, Yankees-Dodgers. The Yankees, in fact, have played in all but two of the nine Series rematches, including the three-match of 1921-23 with the Giants. Here’s a memory quiz for anyone willing not to look it… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

There have been rematches since ’78.

Boston vs St. Louis happened this century (and ’67…and i think ’46).

There is also The Athletes vs the Superb Bridegrooms (’74 and ’88)

And there were certainly Athletics and Giants WS in the early 20th century, to set up the ’89 rematch.
Or is your question city-specific?

…………..and wait a minute, I’m thinking ’71 and ’79 were both Orange Birds vs Scurvy Dogs, yes?

Oh, wait, I get it. You’re saying back-to-back rematch. Ah. Well, I’m posting everything I wrote anyway.
But now I’ve got to remember the two back to backs, too…..

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

The answer has to include the Athletics.
I’ll guess Philly vs St Louis for one of them, and leave the 2nd to someone else.

Doug
Guest

Not involving the Yankees. Hmm.

Tigers/Cubs in 1907-08 would be the other one.

no statistician but
Guest

Not much of a quiz. The Cubs-Tigers in 1907-08 and the Athletics-Cardinals in 1930-31. The others: Giants-Yankees in the 1920s three-match and again in 1936-37. Yankees-Cardinals in 1942-43. Yankees-Dodgers in 1952-53, 1955-56, Yankees-Braves in 1957-58, and the most recent Yankees-Dodgers in 1977-78. Five splits and four sweeps, three by the Yankees and one by the Cubs. In all the Yankee splits they won the final series.

Doug
Editor

Here’s a harder one.

Rafael Devers became the second youngest player to homer in consecutive post-season games, Who’s the youngest?

Devers’ IPHR was the fourth in the post-season in Boston but the first at Fenway Park. Yankee Stadium has the most with three, followed by Huntington Ave (Boston), the Polo Grounds, Kauffman Stadium and the HHH Metrodome, each with a pair.

Richard Chester
Guest

Miggy Cabrera hit HR in consecutive games in the 2003 NLCS, games 1 and 2, age 20.172 and 20.173. But also Andruw Jones did it in the in 1996 NLCS, game 7 and the WS game 1, age 19.177 and 19.180.

Doug
Guest

Right you are Richard. I missed that Jones’s HR were in consecutive games.

Kahuna Tuna
Guest

Just for giggles, I’ll add that there was a Boston-Philadelphia rematch in 1914-15. Boston won both years.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Cool!

e pluribus munu
Guest
Actually, going back to the main point, nsb (with thanks, too, for your adding the quiz), what I was concerned about was the way “character stories” grow out of sports events. I think the Yankees deserve credit for bouncing back (even though I’d rather give credit to a fast-talking hobo than to the Yankees), but I do take exception to the notion that any grit they demonstrated in Games 3 and 4 was a response to Girardi’s mistake, or, for that matter, that the Press blew the mistake up out of proportion (I think it was, indeed, a big deal)… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Personally, I’m not seeing strong evidence for “clutch” performances by the Yankees, with the possible exception of Chapman’s 5-out save. In a tight pitcher’s duel in the first game, Yankees made the Indians pay for a poorly located pitch and the bullpen (especially Chapman) made it stand up.

In the second game, Cleveland self-destructed with shoddy defense and the Yankees took advantage. Give the Bombers credit for extending innings to capitalize on those opportunities. But, if it was only about earned runs, then Cleveland would have won the game, so don’t see a lot of “rising to the occasion” in that.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Jeez, and I thought I was being a Scrooge!

Doug
Guest

Six unearned runs allowed by the Indians in game 4 are one less than the post-season record of 7 that’s happened four times.
– A’s 2002 ALDS game 4
– Angels 1986 ALCS game 7
– Dodgers 1985 NLCS game 4
– Yankees 1956 WS game 2

Only the Yankees were winners in those series.

Doug
Guest

Carlos Beltran’s pinch-hit RBI double in game 4 that provided what turned out to be the Astros’ margin of victory yielded .102 WPA for Beltran’s 19th post-season game of .100 or more, the 6th highest total. Here’s the top 10, showing their stats for those games. Beltran is notable as the only player shown who hasn’t (yet) played on a world championship team.

Beltran becomes the second oldest player to post .100 WPA as a post-season pinch-hitter, behind Matt Stairs whose home run provided the winning RBI (and .401 WPA) for the Phillies in game 4 of the 2008 NLCS.

Mike L
Guest

Look at those names…and the table says….that very often the narrative is basically right. It’s an inverse The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance effect.

e pluribus munu
Guest

The man who shot Liberty Valence effect or the man who didn’t shoot Liberty Valence effect? You’ve shot over my head, Mike (and not, I think, for the first time).

Mike L
Guest

LOL, that’s because I specialize in obscure and absurd. Most of those players have reps as great in the clutch…and it turns out they were–the legend become fact.. As for Liberty Valance, I was thinking of the ending of the John Ford Western. Here’s the youtube link. pick it up around 330 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B-SuV5-f7o&t=391s

e pluribus munu
Guest

Ah. So these guys were all John Waynes who proved to be John Waynes. I thought by inverse you might mean they were all actually Jimmy Stewarts. (And some might think first of Lee Marvin when looking at Manny and Reggie. . . .)

Mike L
Guest

Yes. Great movie, by the way, and a really interesting core concept–an super-achieving life built on fallacy, I’d put it close to My Darling Clementine, The Searchers, and Fort Apache. Ford was a genius–great eye and terrific with actors.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Rainout in Chicago, which gives D.C. the option of throwing Strasburg for Game 4 instead of Roark.
It is being reported, however, that they are staying with Roark.

Dunno about that move.
Shut down for the postseason in 2012, and now this.

This is Strasburg in the 2nd half this year: 0.86 ERA
And in his last 7 starts: 0.57 ERA
And he was brilliant in Game 1.

Doug
Guest

I’m with you, Voomo. Got to go with Strasburg.

Never been a big Dusty fan. He’ll have a lot of explaining to do if Cubs win with Strasburg in the bench.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Glad to see someone else thinks that way about Baker. He’s been Managing almost continuously for almost 25 years, seems to always be handed a good team, and they choke. First season, his team wins 103 and can’t even make the playoffs (okay I’m being funny on that one). But the rest of those Giants teams… they were usually outclassed when it came to starting pitching, which isn’t entirely Dusty’s fault. But his use of the bullpen has always struck me as old-school uninspired ’97, swept in the DS by the Marlins. ’00, lose 3-1 in the DS to the… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

No, I take back that comment about going too far.
Scherzer has a no-hitter going through 6 in Game 3, and Baker takes him out after giving up his first hit on pitch 98.
But he thinks it is a good idea put Max in a game on 2 days rest.
Amazing.

Mike L
Guest

Some bad luck and very sloppy play turned a questionable managerial call into a catastrophe

Doug
Guest

It really baffles me why managers think it makes sense to turn starters into relievers come playoff time. Why not stick with the formula that got you into the post-season?

But, if they insist on doing that, what about one of the starters who doesn’t get to start with the truncated playoff rotation? Presumably, they will be fresh. But, Tanner Roark didn’t appear in the post-season at all this year, and made just a single appearance last year. Not much respect for someone who contributed almost 400 innings over the past two division winning seasons.

Richard Chester
Guest
On 10-7-1977, game 5 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Royals, the Royals carried a 3-2 lead into the top of the 9th. Called in to relieve was Dennis Leonard who had pitched the Royals to a victory in game 3, 2 days earlier as he pitched a CG 4-hitter. He faced 2 batters, walked 1 and gave up a single to the other. Then in comes Larry Gura to relieve, who was the starting pitcher in game 4 and faced only 13 batters in that game. Gura gave up a single that tied the game. Then in comes… Read more »
Doug
Guest

More understandable in the past when pitchers’ roles were less rigidly defined. Making it more surprising that managers today would depart from those roles and put their players in unfamiliar situations. A manager’s job is to put his players in situations where they can succeed, that success often following from familiarity and confidence in an established role.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I’ve wanted to see Managers use starters as relievers on their ‘throw day’ during the regular season. You could grab another roster spot for a position player if you did that. At the least, prospective playoff teams could put the practice into place in September, to get the guys accustomed to it.

Doug
Guest

Even more brilliant in game 4.

Maybe the Nats are already off to the NLCS if Dusty doesn’t hook Scherzer in game 3 after allowing his first hit of the game. Instead, I hear that Dusty wants to bring him back tomorrow to pitch on two days rest? Sorry, but that’s just plain stupid – Gio (who shut down the Cubbies in game 2) on normal rest MUST be a better option.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Here’s a list that shows how absurdly strikeouts spiked this year.
I arrived at this inquiry from looking at Miguel Sano’s page.

Most strikeouts with fewer than 502 PA:

178 … Miguel Sano (2016)
177 … Adam Dunn (’11)
175 … Keon Broxton (2017)
173 … Miguel Sano (2017)
165 … Matt Davidson (2017)
163 … Mike Napoli (2017)
160 … Mike Zunino (2017)

159 … Tyler Flowers (’14)
159 … Steven Souza (’16)
158 … Bo Jackson (’87)
158 … Melvin Nieves (’96)
158 … Mike Zunino (’14)
157 … Melvin Nieves (’97) … (in only 405 PA !)
__________________________

Mike L
Guest

And, to remind people of Adam Dunn’s line that year. 36 R, 11HR, 42 RBI and .159/.292/.277 slash line. Amazing thing was he walked 75 times. More amazing is that he got 496 PA.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Seasons with Total Bases less than .66 of SO, sorted by PA:

496 … Adam Dunn (2011, and 56 million left on contract)

237 … Darrel Chaney (21 year-old rookie SS in 1969)
216 … Frank O’Rourke (18 year-old rookie SS in 1912)
182 … David Ross (38 year-old backup Catcher)
180 … Doc Lavan (22 year-old rookie SS in 1913)
179 … Michael Saunders (2011)

157 … Dan Uggla (2014, and 26 million left on contract)
155 … Leury Garcia (2014)
154 … JaCoby Jones (2017)

Mike L
Guest

Give Dunn’s manager some credit. Sat him down for the last weekend series, so his season wasn’t a qualifying one (and would be less apparent to those searching for record awful)

Doug
Editor

Looking a bit deeper at those rookie SS, seems to be a case, perhaps, of being brought up too soon. Here’s the list for rookie SS with the ratio bumped up to TB of .75 * SO or less. Twelve of the 25 are aged 21 or younger.

Doug
Guest

Great game tonight in Cleveland. Yankees were just too tough, grinding out one pressure AB after another until the pitcher made a mistake. Impressive stuff.

no statistician but
Guest

RIP Cleveland. A strictly anecdotal observation, possible unverifiable, but—so often in sports, not just baseball—a long streak of unnatural success toward the end of a regular season culminates in a playoff loss. Back in the Cro-Magnon era of my life I played on two such teams and my older brother played on one. It’s good to go into the playoffs on the upswing, but not one that started too far back. The psychology of the thing is all wrong.

Doug
Guest

I think you’ve got it, nsb. Every team on a hot streak eventually cools off. Just unfortunate timing for the Tribe.

The Yankees themselves have been on an extended run; will have to see how long they can keep it up.

Richard Chester
Guest

It’s not necessarily unverifiable, one could use the BR Team Pitching Split Finder and identify which teams had the highest W-L % in August or September and then see how they fared in the playoffs.

Mike L
Guest

And, this veteran Yankee fan adds another exhale to the pile of exhales. Two close friends are Nats and Red Sox fans, and both clocked in with texts this AM. From the Red Sox fan “Grudging Congrats” with a frown face. Made me laugh,

Doug
Editor

Saw on MLB.com that the Yankees should be favored to beat the Astros. Why? Because they’ve never failed to take the AL pennant in the year following an Indians World Series appearance, turning that trick in 1921, 1949, 1955, 1996 and 1998.

Richard Chester
Guest

So why even bother playing the series, just declare the Yankees as the winners. 🙂

Mike L
Guest

I hate stuff like that. Messing with the cosmic karma is unhealthy. Junk statistics. Fake news. Reverse English. An obvious plot by MLB.com to interfere with the outcome.

CursedClevelander
Guest
That technically makes 6 postseason appearances where the Indians had a series lead at some point in their final postseason series and still went on to lose – obviously we never had a series lead in the one game 2013 wild card. 2017 ALDS: Lost after 2-0 lead. 2016 WS: Lost after 3-1 lead. 2007 ALCS: Lost after 3-1 lead. 2001 ALDS: Lost after 2-1 lead (Game 3 was a 17-2 drubbing of the 116 win Mariners – so much for momentum) 1999 ALDS – Lost after 2-0 lead 1998 ALCS: Lost after 2-0 lead (to maybe the best team… Read more »
CursedClevelander
Guest

Meant to say “technically makes 6 in a row.” The WC game sort of breaks the streak but it’s not really a series.

CursedClevelander
Guest

Whoops, another mistake – 1998 ALCS was a 2-1 lead, not 2-0, as they lost Game 1.

CursedClevelander
Guest

And of course we never led in the 1997 WS – as in 1995, the closest we got was tied.

Paul E
Guest
CC, i do recall a slight collapse about 10 years ago….. Checking 2005, they won 17 of 19 and then lost 6 of their last 7 to blow a 2-game lead in the WC standings and miss out on the playoffs entirely. But, nobody was going to stop the CWS and their starting staff that year anyway Honestly, this year, I thought they were primed to beat everybody – Astros, Dodgers, whomever. But, ESPN put the mal occhia on them when they failed to include Kluber on a recent magazine cover with Lindor, Carlos Santana, and Carrasco. I guess they… Read more »
Doug
Guest

At 4 hours 37 minutes, game 5 of the Nats/Cubs NLDS was the longest 9-inning post-season game, 5 minutes longer than game 5 of the 2016 Nats/Dodgers NLDS.

There have been 32 nine inning post-season games of 4 hours or more, all of them since 1993 (the first was Toronto’s 15-14 comeback win in the WS*), including four last year and three already this season with three series still to go.

* Though technically a regular season game, the Dodgers walked off the Giants 8-7 in 4 hours 18 minutes to even the 1962 NL pennant playoff at a win apiece.

Doug
Guest

Seven Cub pitchers allowing a walk in game 5 is a new post-season record for a 9-inning game, and ties the mark for any post-season game.

Max Scherzer facing 10 batters ties Brandon Finnegan (2014) for the most in a post-season relief appearance of one inning or less.

The two 9-8 wins in the LDS round by the Cubs and Indians were both achieved on the strength of just 9 hits, the fewest in the post-season by a winning team when allowing 8 or more runs.

Doug
Editor

Verlander’s CG was the twelfth start in post-season history with a game score of 92 or more. Somewhat surprisingly, only three of the previous eleven are HOFers, though at least two others (and maybe Verlander himself) should get there.

JWLewis
Guest

I hate to be “that guy”, but I found a little glitch here. Verlander’s 92 is by the Tango method; his Game Score by the James method is 85. All the other 11 on the chart use the James method.

In general, the Tango method seems to give higher scores to outstanding games and lower ones to poor games. Average games come out about the same.

Daniel Longmire
Guest

JW, I was going to post the same thing about the Game Score seeming rather high. A similar occurrence took place with Rich Hill’s hard-luck gem earlier this season…not sure why MLB is using the system favoured by Fangraphs in their box scores.

The Tango method is new to me; I’ll have to research it in more depth. Regardless, it was an amazing performance by Verlander.

JWLewis
Guest

I almost definitely saw that Rich Hill game too, Dan. I do know one of my neighbors made her first trip ever to PNC Park for that game! Lucky me, made mine a few weeks later for a nondescrepit win by the Cubs.

You can get a basic understanding of how the two Game Score methods work at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_score.

Doug
Guest

Good point JWL (and welcome to HHS).

I posted this using the game score from mlb.com and before the B-R database was updated with Verlander’s game. So, not quite the caliber of the other games, but an outstanding performance nonetheless.

JWLewis
Guest

Thanks Doug. Yes if I were a manager, or pitching coach, I’d take an 85 any day!

You hit the different uses of the methods I discovered earlier this season. MLB.com uses Tango, B-R uses James. I discovered this earlier this season, and had to Google search why they listed different game scores. That’s when I discovered the Tango method and noticed its subtle differences along the way.

Since I discovered Tango just earlier this season, and James back in a late 80s Abstract, and I do James by memory, I kind of stick with that one!

Kahuna Tuna
Guest

Game Scores for Koufax’s World Series starts: 1959—68; 1963—79, 79; 1965—62, 88, 88; 1966—50.

no statistician but
Guest
Just a brief comment on Jim Landis, who died earlier this month. Landis was a perfect fit for the Al Lopez White Sox of the late 1950s and early 1960s, a gold-glove centerfielder who complemented Luis Aparicio as a stealer of bases. His career peak was short, and with Mantle and Piersall in the league he only made one All-Star team. In Chicago the fan base and media announcers thought he was better than either, which he wasn’t, but if he had played elsewhere than Old Comiskey Park and for a different manager, he might actually have done better, since… Read more »
Daniel Longmire
Guest
Clayton Kershaw was once again victimized by the long ball in the post-season, giving up a two-run homer to Albert Almora in Saturday night’s game. Kershaw has now surrendered 15 round-trippers in 100.1 innings, for a 1.3 HR/9 rate. If that doesn’t sound unusually high, consider this: only 21 starters (80% or more of their total appearances) have pitched at least 500 innings in the regular season with a HR/9 rate of 1.3 or higher. Seven of those are currently active, and five others finished their careers within the past five years. ALL of them pitched at some point in… Read more »
Daniel Longmire
Guest

Footnote: this year, Kershaw had by far the most innings pitched (175) of any single season where home runs made up at least half of earned runs surrendered.

Mike L
Guest

Daniel, you reminded me to check Bert Blyleven–to my surprise his lifetime HR/9 rate was .8. But in 1986 and 1987, he gave up 96 HR in 538IP. Those two seasons rank 1st and tied for third all time for most allowed in a season. But in six other seasons he was in the top ten for least allowed.

Daniel Longmire
Guest

Indeed, Mike; HR/9 seems to have some of the greatest volatility from year to year of any stat for a pitcher. Kershaw’s career regular-season rate of 0.6 includes this year’s 1.2, which is a stunning jump for an elite pitcher. The closest that he has previously come to approaching that mark was 0.9 in his rookie year.

Doug
Editor

The long ball notwithstanding, Kershaw’s series clinching performance against the Cubs was his 10th post-season start of 5+ innings allowing 5 hits or less, with a 2.14 ERA and 0.810 WHIP in those games; only 6 pitchers have more such games in their careers, and NONE have as many before age 30.

Daniel Longmire
Guest
Indeed, Doug; it seems to be feast or famine for Kershaw come October. His career playoff H/9 rate is 7.4, but his HR/9 rate is 1.4, meaning that he has given up one homer for every 5.28 hits. That seems like an awfully low ratio, but I don’t know how to compare him to other post-season starters using the Play Index. Justin Verlander now has eight starts meeting the criteria you stated above, the 20th pitcher to do so. Meanwhile, David Robertson becomes just the 16th pitcher (starter or reliever) to allow at least four runs without recording an out… Read more »
Doug
Editor

Kershaw’s rate of 18.2% of hits going for homers is the 8th highest of 97 pitchers with 50 post-season hits allowed. Eddie Lopat (0%) has the lowest rate of any post-war pitcher, and Cliff Lee (3.0%) the lowest of any expansion era starter (Mariano Rivera at 2.3% is only expansion era reliever lower than Lee). The full list is here.

Daniel Longmire
Guest

Wow, thanks Doug! That’s an interesting list, with some big names in unfamiliar places. I have teenage memories of Charlie Leibrandt getting lit up constantly in the post-season, but his home run rate is actually one of the lowest.

Doug
Guest

The other thing that jumps out at you is how far ahead Andy Pettitte’s leading totals are.
Hits Allowed
285 – Pettitte
195 – Maddux
191 – Glavine
173 – Clemens
172 – Smoltz

HR Allowed
31 – Pettitte
21 – Glavine, Catfish
19 – Mussina
17 – Clemens, Smoltz

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Until last night I would have rated Joe Maddon as perhaps the best manager in the game.
Now I don’t know what to think anymore. It is madness.

He actually said the words “I really just needed him for the save tonight.”

Justifying not using his best reliever in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th inning of a playoff game, instead using a 38 year-old Starter who threw 27 pitches the night before!

Mike L
Guest

Up until a very few years ago, Managers always had the advantage of conventional wisdom. If they made the predictable choice, there were pretty much beyond criticism. Now, they have the burden akin to counting cards in a casino–they always have to be using the correct pitcher for every high-leverage situation. This isn’t to say he didn’t screw up…

Doug
Guest
Maddon really had a choice of Davis or Rondon to face right-handed batters in that spot. Rondon hasn’t gotten anyone out in his last five appearances (24.00 ERA), and Davis was used heavily in the last two games of the NLDS. So, I can kind of see Maddon wanting to find another option, especially needing just one out. But, in that situation, the key is getting to the next inning rather than worrying about what you’ll do if you take the lead. So, Davis, with two days rest to recover, is probably the guy to go to there, even if… Read more »
Doug
Guest

NLCS game 4 was the first in post-season history with multiple runs by both teams and all runs scoring on solo HR. Only other all solo-HR game, incl. runs by both teams, was Phillies beating the Orioles 2-1 in game 1 of the 1983 WS.

Doug
Guest
Enrique Hernandez’s 3-HR game is the 11th in post-season history and second of 2017, after Jose Altuve in the division series (there were also two 3-HR games in the 2011 post-season, by Adrian Beltre and Albert Pujols). Hernandez has a lot of parallels with Adam Kennedy (2002) as the most unlikely of post-season 3-HR players. – both were 26 years old when cranking their three HR in a series clinching 5th game of an LCS – previous regular season career HR: Kennedy 23, Hernandez 28 – neither had a previous 3-HR game in the regular season – both had two… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Charlie Culberson had 15 PA in the regular season.
He now has 20 in the playoffs (and caught the pennant-winner).

Doug
Guest

At least Culberson comes cheap.

Andre Ethier has appeared in all four of LA’s post-season series the past two years, despite only 64 regular season PA (owing to injuries) for those campaigns. At $35.5M in salary, that’s a bit more than $550,000 per regular season PA, or $2.7M per regular season hit.

Daniel Longmire
Guest

Josh Reddick is currently hitless in all 23 of his ALCS plate appearances (with one walk and one reached-on-catcher’s-interference). If he plays in today’s game and prolongs that slump, it appears that he would be the first player to appear (at least one PA) in all seven games of a post-season series without collecting a base hit.

Doug
Guest

Not quite the first.

Gil Hodges (1952) and Dal Maxvill (1968) also accomplished the 7 game oh-fer.

Daniel Longmire
Guest

Sorry; that should read “all seven games of a League Championship Series”. Two players have gone hitless in a World Series that went the distance…can you name them?

Daniel Longmire
Guest

And Doug was so quick on the reply, he beat my follow-up comment (which was mysteriously hidden for half an hour).

Doug
Guest

Strange move by Hinch tonight to have Giles pitch the 9th, and deliver 23 pitches with a 6-run lead. Don’t like his chances of shutting down the Yankees again tomorrow.

Doug
Editor

Did Hinch share my view about Giles’s chances tonight? More likely, he trusted his eyes in what McCullers was doing.

Not often a team gets shut down over multiple innings by a pitcher essentially throwing just one pitch, but that’s what happened tonight with McCullers – the Yankees knew what was coming but still couldn’t hit it.

Doug
Guest

Fifth 7-game series with home team winning every game. Others were
WS – 1987, 1991, 2001
NLCS – 2004

Astros join Cardinals as franchises on the winning and losing end of one of these series. Yankees are first franchise to lose two of them, while Twins are only franchise to win two.

McCullers joins Madison Bumgarner (2014 WS) as only pitchers with a 3+ IP game 7 save.

e pluribus munu
Guest
While as a Brooklyn fan I can’t feel bad that the results of last night’s game turned out as they did, I’ve always felt very ambivalent about an all-home series outcome. Now that home-field advantage reflects season record throughout the post-season the issue is less arbitrary, but in ’87, ’91, and ’01 I felt that there was a degree of taint on the Series winners, because their victories may have been attributable, in significant part, to arbitrary luck: outcomes that were beyond the control of the teams. Prior to the Twins’ win in ’87, there was a certain poetic valor… Read more »
Doug
Editor

Well-written and thoughtful comments.

I can personally attest to the physical pain in your ears when the decibel count rises under those “inflatable” domes. That pain has to be as much a distraction as the difficulties that arise trying to communicate on defense under those conditions.

Doug
Guest

Fewest runs scored in a series in 4+ away games.
2 – Robins 1920 WS
3 – Yankees 2017 ALCS
5 – Yankees 2001 WS
6 – Dodgers* 1965 WS
7 – Braves* 1991 NLCS, Braves 1991 WS, Red Sox 1946 WS
* won series

42 combined runs in the series (by the AL’s top two offensive teams) is the lowest total in a 7 game LCS, and 6th lowest total in any 7 game series.

no statistician but
Guest

Dodgers 1965, followed by Dodgers 1966, scored 2 in the first game but lost, then were shut out three in a row. Amazing, thinking back on that time, how the Dodgers won both pennants, even with Koufax as their ace.

e pluribus munu
Guest

I think there has rarely been a pennant winner more reliant on pitching: The Hitless Wonders had nothing on the ’66 Dodgers. Even though they were swept in the Series, the Dodger staff ERA was still an excellent 2.65: the Orioles polished off their upset with a pair of 1-0 victories.

In the regular season, the Dodgers’ OPS+ was 94, and their slugging was 9th in a ten-team league. But the pitchers allowed only 3.02 RPG, more than half a run under the runner-up, and over a run below league average, and it was enough.

no statistician but
Guest

And now for the first World Series since the 1890s with two National League teams.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Time to dust off the Temple Cup.

Kahuna Tuna
Guest

Average score of the deciding game of the NLCS, 2011-17: 9-2.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Ichiro had the 2nd fewest PA for a player with at least 135 Games Played:

180 … Mike Squires
215 … Ichiro

240 … Sean Rodriguez
252 … Nate Schierholtz
267 … Mark Sweeney
270 … Wes Helms
284 … Greg Gross
286 … Daryl Boston
287 … Abraham Nunez

Doug
Editor
Well he had 112 PA in 109 games in which he pinch-hit, and 103 PA in the other 27. So, playing the whole game (or most of it) when taking a “day off” from his regular PH duties. His 215 PA are the most in a live ball era season playing no more than 16 games at any one fielding position. 239 – Jimmy Callahan (1902) 226 – Johnny Lush (1906) 215 – Ichiro (2017), Lenny Harris (2002) 208 – Randy Moore (1930) 207 – Jack Taylor (1902) 206 – Otto Williams (1904), Snake Wiltse (1902) 205 – Ricky Ledee… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
The Dodgers are making their nineteenth Series appearance, tying the Cards and Giants for the National League honors, although, the Giants deserve a kind of negative footnote in this regard, since they could have played the Red Sox in 1904, but John McGraw declined the honor. The Dodgers came within one game of facing the Yankees for the twelfth time, but eleven is still far and away the most WS match-ups, followed by Yanks-Giants at seven, and Yanks-Cards at five. Yankees lead by an 8-3 margin. The most 2-team WS match-ups not involving the Yankees, who have played all the… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest

A second old fogey concurs.

Paul E
Guest
make it three……they play 162 games to establish who is best. They cheapen it with these post-seasons into November (at least, this year, it won’t snow in LA or Houston). Supposedly they’re talking of expanding to 32 teams – four 8-team divisions and possibly shortening the schedule. But, how about each of the teams playing the 7 in their division 14 times (98 games) and the other eight in their league’s other division eight times (64 games) and saying to hell with inter-league play? Four division champions in the playoffs is certainly enough for me and with the schedule being… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Amen!

Doug
Editor
I like it Paul. If there must be inter-league, could make it: – 6 games against other division in your league (48 games) – 16 games against a matched division in the other league (either 8 mini two game sets, or 4 x 4 with half of each division playing half of the other matched division) But, let’s not kid ourselves. MLB is *not* going to give up on the rivalry series in New York, LA, Chicago, SF/Oakland, KC/St Louis, Washington/Baltimore, etc. (I was going to say Miami/Tampa, but that might be stretch). Which is too bad, because those rivalries… Read more »
Paul E
Guest

…..unless, of course, they create four divisions based on geographic locations so that the Mets and Yankees are in the same division (Eastern) like the Cubs/White Sox could be in an 8-team division (Mid-West), Angels/Dodgers and A’s/Giants (West) as well as Rangers/Astros (South?). This might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater, but it would eliminate ‘inter-league” play.
It wouldn’t be that difficult to mix in 3-4 teams from each league into the new division alignment of four 8-team divisions….Woo Hoo:
Giamatti Division (East)
Boston
NYY
NYM
Phila
DC
Baltimore
Toronto
Pittsburgh
Chandler Division (South)
CHARLOTTE
Atlanta
Miami
Tampa
Astros
Rangers
KC
St. Louis
Selig Division (Midwest)
CWS
Cubs
Brewers
Twins
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Detroit
Colrado
Ueberroth Division (West)
PORTLAND
Seattle
Oakland
Giants
Dodgers
Angels
Padres
Arizona

…from my lips, to God’s ears

Daniel Longmire
Guest
Paul, I think that you might have a hard time convincing Royals or Cardinals fans that they don’t live in the Midwest. Otherwise, it’s an interesting spin on the NFL’s geographical divisions (which they have finally gotten correct). If inter-league play has to continue, there should be a rule banning any games after the end of August. The whole point of the stretch drive is to lay claim to your division, which was the rationale for adding the wild-card game in the first place. Allowing competitive teams to be at the mercy of a random schedule, and forcing them to… Read more »
Daniel Longmire
Guest

Part Two: A four-division setup with only two playoff series (LCS, WS) would be ideal in my books, but not as financially lucrative for MLB, as epm and Doug both mentioned. My radical idea is to CONTRACT one team per league, instead of expanding. Would anyone truly miss the Rays or Padres?

Paul E
Guest
Re the LCS and WS and revenue, make those series 9 games each if they want more $$. Expanding with two more teams will also bring more revenue. FWIW, I believe the 4 division set-up with 6 teams in each division with weighted schedules (90 in -division games, 72 out-of-division games) made a lot of sense. That, plus the fact they played within their own division down the stretch makes even more sense. It seemed to me, perhaps I’m biased (of course, I am), that baseball in the 70’s and 80’s was really interesting/exciting. Even the jive astro-turf enabled the… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I would expand the active roster to 27, and rule that any player who strikes out three times in a game is ejected.

Doug
Editor

Love the three strikeouts idea 🙂 . Probably be a lot more bunting and opposite field approaches, more hit-and-run, etc. Could be fun.

Doug
Guest

Minor quibble about NFL “getting it right” on geographical divisions.

Somehow I don’t see Indianapolis as belonging in the AFC South, or Dallas in the NFC East.

Paul E
Guest

Paul, I think that you might have a hard time convincing Royals or Cardinals fans that they don’t live in the Midwest.
Daniel,
They do live in the midwest…..but they play in the NL South 🙁 Yeah, it was kind of a matter of not splitting up KC and St Louis and there are 7 definite teams in the proposed “Midwest” that are absolutely not in the crowded East nor could they be construed as being in the South

e pluribus munu
Guest
I hadn’t heard the expansion talk, Paul, but on a walk yesterday I was thinking about almost exactly this scheme. My train of thought began with a reflection on the background of the original 1961/62 expansion, which I disliked at the time (except for the fact that it brought the NL back to my hometown). Originally, the idea of expansion was pursued by Branch Rickey at the behest of William Shea Stadium (I thinkhe added a new surname in 1964), and I’m sure my fellow fogeys will recall their proposed Continental League, which would have been a third eight-team league,… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I agree with a lot of this, but I also remember the ‘good old days’ of some years there being very few meaningful games in August and September. There are so many options for entertainment nowadays. No way is MLB going to go back to a system without wild cards.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Voomo, I was writing as an Old Fogey. I gather you are not yet one of us. When you are, you may see the simple horse sense of my entire position. Regrettably, you are at present condemned to the awareness that much of it is horse manure.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Nope, not quite grizzled into fogey territory. Nor am I a 33 percenter. Tweener. I became aware of the awesomeness of baseball at the age of 7, surreptitiously watching Game 3 of the 1980 ALCS under the covers with a pilfered, snowy, black and white 8 inch television. The Goose. Monster reliever with a monster moustache. The wild focused eyes of George Brett. Three run homer into the upper deck. My home team loses. It was sad. And also the most exciting thing I’d ever seen on TV. And I’ve not missed a detail for 37 years (other than when… Read more »
Kahuna Tuna
Guest

I fear that MLB is determined to make its division, league/conference, and playoff structures resemble today’s NFL as much as possible. The baseball owners appear convinced that the NFL’s arrangements maximize revenue. As a sop to traditionalists (yeah, I guess I’m one), the changes won’t be implemented all at once, but they will be put in place.

We old fogeys will represent a charming, articulate, but inconsequential (because loyal) opposition.

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