Author Archive

Hot Times at the Hot Corner

To tell you something you already know, the youngster in Baltimore, that kid named Machado, is a pretty fine ballplayer. Had a very creditable run at the all-time doubles mark before slowing down in the dog days. And, a very steady job at 3rd base – silky smooth hands and footwork, an effortless gun for an arm, and a particular highlight reel play that I, for one, will not soon forget. Mind-boggling to think that he just turned 21.

But, there’s another young 3rd baseman who has received very little ink indeed. Name of Nolan Arenado, a 22 year-old rookie in Colorado. Hasn’t yet shown much of a bat, but take a look at his defensive totals, currently showing 3.4 dWAR in just 109 games (Nolan didn’t get called up until the end of April).

Here’s the kicker: barring injury, Machado and Arenado will post the two best defensive third base seasons ever, as measured by WAR Fielding Runs.

More after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Mystery Game Feat (solved)

The players in this quiz share a single game accomplishment since 1961 that no other player has matched. What is this feat?

Player Notes
Jose Lopez Ichiro was the only player to appear in this game and the Edgar Martinez game
Edgar Martinez A player who appeared in the George Bell game had 5 RBI in this game
Juan Gonzalez Gonzalez’s team had 15 hits and lost, despite 4 runs by the starting 3rd baseman in the Edgar Martinez game
Chad Kreuter Krueter was one of 7 starters with a hit, a run and an RBI, roughing up the starting pitcher in the Don Mattingly game
George Bell Toronto had a grand slam in this game. But, not by Bell. Two players on the losing side would later manage that team.
Candy Maldonado Three Mets grounded into double plays in this game. One Met who didn’t go GIDP played in the Vince Coleman game.
Don Mattingly This game was two days after the Coleman game. Yankees roughed up a rookie starter with a higher BB/9 than H/9.
Vince Coleman A teammate had 3 steals and 3 runs, but Coleman still lost to a club with two former Yankee WS champions
Russ Nixon The starting catcher opposing Nixon was a future manager of Nixon’s team
Ernie Banks An All-Star infielder had 3 hits for the winners, a team that player would later manage
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 8/26/2013.
  • Hint #1: the players are listed in chronological order of the games in which this feat was achieved, starting with the most recent
  • Hint #2: no players accomplished this feat in the twenty seasons from 1966 to 1985
  • Hint #3: except as noted above, all these players were on the winning team

Congratulations to William J. He correctly identified that the quiz players each had 3 sacrifice flies in a game, the only players to do so since sacrifice flies were first counted officially in 1954. Those games and the clue explanations are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Tempered ambition: masters of the sacrifice

Zack CozartHHS reader Jacob identified that Zack Cozart is currently leading the NL in both sacrifice hits (i.e. sacrifice bunts) and sacrifice flies. Should Cozart still have the same standing at the end of the season, he would become the first player since the sac fly was first officially recorded in 1954 to lead his league in both categories in the same season. Not only that, he would become just the fifth player to lead in both categories at any point in a career.

More on sacrifice hitting after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Buc-ing a trend – the end of the streak

They teased us last year, but this time it’s finally going to happen. Yes, barring an almost complete collapse, the Pittsburgh Pirates will indeed break the longest streak of futility in the history of the majors. Twenty seasons of losing baseball are coming to an end in the Steel City, and it could be official as early as Labor Day.

The last Pirates team to win more than it lost was back in 1992. How long ago was that? Consider:

  • Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke were manning the Pirate outfield
  • Miguel Batista debuted for Pittsburgh (he is the only player to appear that season who is still “active”)
  • there were only two divisions in each league (and nary a wildcard to be found)
  • the World Series had never been played outside the USA (although that was about to change)
  • ballparks weren’t named after corporations
  • Nationals, Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Rays (deviled or plain)? Never heard of ‘em.
  • 11 players would strike out at least 125 times (more have already done so in 2013)

More on the end of an era after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Expansion Era Outfielders (solved)

The players in this quiz are the only outfielders with a particular season accomplishment since 1961. What is this unusual feat?

Hint #1: none of these players accomplished this feat more than once.

Congratulations to bstar! He correctly identified these players as the only outfielders since 1961 with both 25 WAR Batting Runs and 25 WAR Fielding Runs (using B-R WAR). In fact, these are the only outfielders since 1901 to meet both criteria.

The Brewers’ Carlos Gomez has a chance to join this group. He’s already at 27 WAR Fielding Runs and is sitting on 17 WAR Batting Runs, so he’ll need to get healthy and get really hot with the bat the rest of the way. Even if he doesn’t make this group, he stands an even better chance at joining even more exclusive company – becoming just the 8th player at any position with a season since 1901 of 8 WAR from fewer than 25 WAR batting runs (maybe I should have made that the quiz). The 25/25 seasons for our quiz players, and the exclusive group Gomez seems destined to join are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Thursday game notes: ersatz edition

A quickie version of Thursday’s action from your substitute reporter. The real thing will return soon.

The 3-way NL Central race heated up with the Cardinals and Reds both gaining ground on the front-running Pirates, who saw their lead shrink to just two games. The AL East and AL West races also tightened with the closest pursuers in each division both gaining ground on the front-runners. In the AL Central, Detroit hosted Kansas City to begin a 5-game set that could be a make-or-break series for the upstart Royals and tell us if they really are for real.

Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Modern Sluggers (solved)

Alfonso Soriano has been in the news this week with his stellar play in his return to pinstripes. Appropriate then that he is included in this list of recent power hitters.

Really simple quiz. What is the career accomplishment shared by only these players over the past 25 seasons (since 1989)? Note for players active before 1989 that, to be included in this list, they must have achieved this career accomplishment only within the the 1989 to 2013 period.

 Player
Jeff Bagwell
Barry Bonds
Carlos Delgado
Chipper Jones
David Ortiz
Rafael Palmeiro
Albert Pujols
Manny Ramirez
Alex Rodriguez
Alfonso Soriano
Sammy Sosa
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/13/2013.
Congratulations to Chris C! He (or she) correctly identified these sluggers as the only players since 1989 with 12 or more consecutive seasons of 20+ home runs, a club joined last year by Albert Pujols, and this season by David Ortiz and Alfonso Soriano. More after the jump.

Quiz – 1982 (solved)

Since I hit you with such a nasty quiz yesterday, here’s one I think will be easier.

Below are the 1982 season lines for 3 players. They are the only players from that season with a particular season batting accomplishment that can be described by (some of) the common batting totals shown. What is this seasonal batting feat?

Player Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS SH SF BA OBP SLG
Tony Bernazard 1982 CHW 137 630 540 90 138 25 9 11 56 67 88 11 0 16 5 .256 .337 .396
Rafael Ramirez 1982 ATL 157 669 609 74 169 24 4 10 52 36 49 27 14 16 5 .278 .319 .379
Bob Boone 1982 CAL 143 539 472 42 121 17 0 7 58 39 34 0 2 23 5 .256 .310 .337
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/13/2013.

Hint: among expansion-era players (seasons since 1961), the same feat was accomplished only 3 times before 1982, and also only 3 times after 1982, all by different players.

Congratulations to Bix! He identified the players in the quiz as those with a lot of sacrifice bunts, despite having a bit of pop in their bats – a rare combination indeed in the modern game. It wasn’t always thus – more after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Post-war Infielders (STUMPED)

The players in this quiz all played their entire careers since 1946, including seasons in which they played primarily in the infield. They are also the only players from this era with a particular season accomplishment.

What is this unusual seasonal feat? The HHS panel was stumped on this one. The solution is after the jump.

Hint: it is not a mistake that one of these players is included in a list of infielders.
Read the rest of this entry

If you go deep only once, make it count

Caleb Gindl‘s heroics for Milwaukee in Sunday’s 13-inning 1-0 win over Miami inspired this post. For those who may not be aware, Gindl’s homer was the deciding run in the hometown Brewers walk-off win. It was also the first home run of Gindl’s career.

Gindl is a rookie this season and I have no idea how many home runs he may hit in his career. But, if he never hits another one he will join the group of players featured in this post. They are all retired players with two things in common: they hit exactly one home run in their careers; and it was a walk-off shot.

After the jump, a look at those players who had just one long fly, but made it count big time.

Read the rest of this entry

 Page 6 of 25  « First  ... « 4  5  6  7  8 » ...  Last »