Author Archives: Raphy

Visual Trivia

I don’t know if this will work, but lets try.
The following graph represents a unique career statistic.

Which player? Which Stat? and What makes it  unique?

Visual Quiz



Congrats to Josh who identified the stat and Ed who identified the player as Hal Lee.  Lee is the only player since 1916 with at least 2500 PA with at least 50% coming from the 6th slot in the batting order.

Quick Hits from The Baseball-Reference Play Index

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with the new PI tools.  Here are some of the things I have found.

An Opening Day PI Tip

Here is quick PI tip to help you enjoy opening day.  (It doesn’t require a subscription, although if you want one, the PI is currently available for free.)

To find the results of every team’s opening game since 1871:

  • Use the  “Team Winning and Losing Streaks Analyzer
  • Change “Games in Streak” to 1.
  • Set “Year” to “All Years”.
  • Set  “Team” to “All Teams”.
  • Select  “From beginning of season only ” or  Set  “Starting with game” 1.

The results are easily copyable into a spreadsheet.

A few of the many interesting things that you can find with this information:

  • Since 1903, the  team that would ultimately win the World Series won on opening day 65% of the time. Those same teams fared better in the second game of the season winning 73% of those games.
  • Since 1903, teams that won their first game of the season, posted a .508 winning percentage in subsequent games. Teams that lost had a .492 winning percentage in their remaining games.
  • Since 1901, the team with the biggest win in their first game was the 1955 Yankees who beat the Senators (in their second game) 19-1.
  • Since 1901, the team with the worst loss in their first game was the 1912 Dodgers who lost to the Giants 18-3.
  • There have been 10 opening day ties involving 19 teams (The 1933 Giant’s opener was the Dodger’s third game) since 1871.  However, only 2 of those games took place after 1933. In 1965, the Cubs and Cardinals opened with an 11 inning 10-10 tie35 years later, the Brewers and Reds were tied at 3 through six when their game was called.

The PI Game-Finders may be a easier tools for many opening day searches (most wins in the last 10 years etc.), but the Winning and Losing Streaks Analyzer can be a valuable alternative with the added benefits of runs scored and allowed, final season record, postseason finishes and a  greater range of years.






Odd Fact of the Day: When a Snopek is Just That

Here’s a bit of an oddity that I stumbled across tonight.  Although it has a very limited coverage,  the Baseball-Reference PI game finder does have the option of limiting searches by weather condition. Out of curiosity I used the tool to find the players who hit the most home runs in the snow. Strangely enough, one of the guys at the top of the list is none other than Chris Snopek himself.

Rk Player #Matching PA AB H 2B 3B HR ▾ RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Chris Snopek 2 Ind. Games 10 7 3 0 0 2 2 3 0 .429 .600 1.286 1.886
2 Andres Galarraga 2 Ind. Games 9 9 5 0 0 2 4 0 2 .556 .556 1.222 1.778
3 Carlos Baerga 2 Ind. Games 6 6 4 0 0 2 2 0 0 .667 .667 1.667 2.333
4 Dave Winfield 1 Ind. Games 5 5 3 0 0 2 5 0 0 .600 .600 1.800 2.400
5 Albert Belle 1 Ind. Games 4 4 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 .500 .500 2.000 2.500
6 Doug Ault 1 Ind. Games 5 4 3 0 0 2 4 1 0 .750 .800 2.250 3.050
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/26/2012.

Snopek, indeed!

Career High Wins vs. Total Career Wins

When Tim Wakefield decided to call it a career, he retired as 1 of only 8 pitchers to win at least 200 games in the majors without racking up a 20 win season. In fact Wakefield won his 200 games without ever winning more than 17 games in a season. The other pitchers in this small club are:

In honor of this stat, I thought it might be interesting to examine the career records for all pitchers at each career high win number. Who had the most wins winning only 1 game a season? Which 20 game winner had the fewest career wins (a question that came from Tmckelv on another thread) How many pitchers have won 19 games in a season, but not 20? If a pitcher wins 15 games in a season, how many career wins can we expect him to have? etc. Continue reading

The Complete List of Normalized Strikeouts (min. 1000 IP)

On Thursday I posted the leaders for normalized strikeouts along with their adjusted career strikeouts. At the time I wanted to make the  entire list available to everyone, but due to technical issues, this was not possible. Today it is.

Thanks to a new plug-in added by Andy the entire list of pitchers is now available, sortable and searchable on this page.

You can also find it listed under “Stats” in the bar on top of the page.

Living in the Postseason – Pitchers with the Highest Percentage of Career IP Coming in the Postseason

The 2011 postseason was quite a ride for Rays pitcher Matt Moore. Not only did Moore pitch 7 dominant innings in game 1 of the ALDS vs. Texas, his 3 relief innings in game 4 gave him 10 postseason IP, more than he had thrown in his regular season career. Moore is the extreme, but there are plenty of active players who have pitched a significant part of their careers in the postseason.  This is particularly true for young pitchers of the Texas Rangers. Here are the pitchers who have the highest percentage of their career innings (regular + postseason) coming in the postseason. All stats were derived from information in the Lahaman Database. Continue reading

Crowning New Strikeout Kings – Fully Normalized Strikeout Leaders

Cy Seymour was arguably one of the best pitchers turned hitters that baseball has seen, yet he remains almost forgotten. Before he was a centerfielder, the 1905 NL batting champ started his career as pitcher in 1896. Seymour pitched 3 full seasons and had the league leading strikeout rate in all three. Even though Seymour’s career strikeout rate does not look impressive, when strikeouts are normalized, his rate is the best baseball has ever seen (1871-2011 min. 1000 IP). (For a biography and analysis of Seymour’s career, see this wonderful piece by Bill Kirwin.)

Andy’s recent posts on normalizing strikeouts piqued my interest and I thought that it might be interesting to normalize the strikeouts for every pitcher in major league history. This was done by using the Lahman Database and applying the following method:

  • For each league in each season I calculated the league rate of SO/IP.
  • Each player in that league was assigned an expected number of strikeouts based on his IP  that season.
  • Each player’s season-by-season expected strikeouts were added up for his career and compared it to his actual career totals.

Using this method provides us with the following leaders in ratio of SO:Expected SO (min. 1000 IP)  since 1871. Continue reading

Fewest Wins by Pitchers with a Shutout Debut

Andy’s and John’s posts from earlier today made me curious about the career stats of pitchers who debuted with a shutout.  Since 1919, 44 pitchers have thrown a shutout in their pitching debut  (1 was a five inning game another a seven inning game, the rest were 9 innings). 1/4 of those pitchers never won 5 games in the majors, including 4 who never won another game. Here are the career stats for the 44:

Continue reading