Author Archives: Doug

Quiz – Baseball Match Game (solved)

This quiz is about players with a connection to another player. There are two lists of players with each player in the first list matching a player in the second. Your job is to figure out the connection.

Congratulations to No Statistician But! He knew that the matching players were teammates in a season when both (or all) hit their 300th home runs. Those details are after the jump.

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The Vicious Circle – Home Runs, Strikeouts and Disappearing Baserunners

The Astros and Blue Jays began this month with a four game series in Houston that produced a total of just 15 runs for the two teams, but a bumper crop of 105 strikeouts. The latter figure and Toronto’s share (61 whiffs) are both reported to be records for a four game series. Despite all the swings and misses, Toronto took the set 3 games to 1, outscoring Houston 10-5, with seven of those ten runs coming off solo home runs.

That series is an extreme example but an instructive one on the growing trend in baseball of games dominated by home runs and strikeouts, two of the “three true outcomes” or TTOs (the third is walks), so named because the defense can do nothing to affect the results of those events.

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Decade Dominance – 10 Year Batting Leaders Since 1901

On ESPN’s Sunday night game this week, I learned that Robinson Cano is the leader in games played over the past ten seasons (2007-16). Indeed, he was the leader as of that date (July 31), but just two games ahead of Adrian Gonzalez, the 10 year leader ending in 2015.

That, of course, made me wonder about other decades and other statistical leaders. If you were wondering too, wonder no more, as those leaders are after the jump.

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Should Pitchers Bat Eighth?

Baseball-Reference‘s Play Index shows games since 1930 with starting pitchers batting in most batting order positions but most commonly, of course, in the number 9 hole. Next most common, by far, is batting the pitcher eighth, a tactic which has become more popular in recent years, exceeding 10% of team games this season and last. That is a huge departure from past practice as, other than in the mid-1950s and in 1998, there were virtually no such games before 2007. The question then is why has batting your pitcher eighth now come somewhat into vogue?

You can weigh in on this question after the jump.

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Namesake Pitchers (newly updated)

HHS regular contributor Kahuna Tuna remarked that in the May 30th game between the Cubs and Dodgers, it was the first time that two pitchers of record both had the surname Wood*. Then it happened again Thursday when Miguel Gonzalez got the win for the White Sox over Gio Gonzalez and the Nationals.

Just for fun, I did a little sleuthing to see how many such games I could find. To simplify things a bit, I was looking only for games with starters having the same surname (and spelling) and who both had the decision. And, I looked only at pitchers who were primarily starters over their careers. Those games are after the jump.

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