How many pitchers in MLB history have thrown a shutout in the only game they ever started? I might have guessed that the answer was none. If a pitcher threw a shutout on his debut start, why would you not give that player a second opportunity?
I was wrong. The answer is four. Four players have started one MLB game, and thrown one MLB shutout. Here are their stories:
Last September, Baseball Reference added the Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA) statistic to their website. The stat, developed by Dan Hirsch, assesses the impact of each play in improving a team’s chances of winning a championship. It’s an intuitive concept: a go-ahead home run in a World Series is more impactful than one in mid-August. Consequently almost all of the biggest single plays by cWPA have come in October.
But what of the humble regular season? Less consequential than the playoffs, for sure, but still full of dramatic moments that can pave the way for postseason success. Here, then, are the plays that have had the biggest positive effect on each team’s chances of winning the World Series, going in order from the least to the most pivotal.
Everything in baseball is rated. Players are rated according to their abilities, but also by their contract value. Managers are rated by their tactical nous, and also by their handsomeness. Ballparks are rated by their beauty, but also by the level of traffic encountered when leaving them.
Of course, no one agrees on these ratings. Thus almost everything is ripe for being under-, over-, or massively overrated. Fans, players, coaches, writers; everyone has an opinion, and we have over a century’s worth of evidence documenting that fact.
Here, then, is an examination of the many things that have been overrated in the world of baseball. I looked through the pages of The Sporting News from 1920 to 2000, and found approximately 150 instances of something or someone being overrated. Let’s get to the highlights: long preambles are overrated.
So that not all of my posts are “A Look Back,” this is a new feature I thought of. I thought it might be fun to relive one of our most popular features (from a long time ago) – but with a twist. We’ve done Mount Rushmore posts for individual teams. But, in order to give us something else to do (especially in light of no Circle of Greats election, due to a Hall of Fame shutout by the BBWAA), I thought we could vote on a Mount Rushmore for each position.
Hello, everyone! Long time, no write. Sorry about that; I’d like to make a complaint about being busy, but, A.) aren’t we all? and B.) so’s everyone else, so I’m sure there’s little sympathy for that. So let’s get to it.
This is a post about baseball. But it’s not a post about games or players. It is a post about teams, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. I want to talk about how many teams there are, and how many teams there should be in Major League baseball.
With this bizarre season wrapped up, I figure it’s probably a pretty good time to talk about all of this, while there’s nothing else going on. So here we go!
Welcome to our post of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. We’ll start with a preview of the series, and then we can continue the conversation in the comments throughout the week.
As per most of my previews, unlike Doug’s which are interesting and relevant, this is just a pile of random information on baseball history. So I hope you enjoy.
I posted this in the comments of the last thread, but this year was the fifth time in history the two LCS series have both gone the distance, joining 2004, 2003, 1973, and 1972. The latter two were best-of-5 series, so this is just the third time with two best-of-7 series both going the distance. In both ’72 (A’s over Reds) and ’73 (A’s over Mets), the World Series also went the limit. That did not happen in either ’03 (Marlins over Yankees in 6) or ’04 (Red Sox sweep Cardinals). So if this goes 7 games, we’ll have our first ever 21-game postseason wrap-up. 2003 was 20 (a 6-game World Series). So were the first two years of the best-of-7 LCS format: 1985 and 1986 featured a 6-game NLCS, a 7-game ALCS, and a 7-game World Series.
Feel free to comment throughout these series below!
American League: Tampa Bay vs. Houston
The Rays enter the series having been outscored in the Division Series by the Yankees, 24-21. But that doesn’t matter when you win the most games. Particularly impressive was the Rays’ ability to silence the New York bats in the decisive Game 5. The Rays allowed only three hits and four walks against one of the most potent lineups in the game. The question becomes, can their pitchers continue to silence the defending AL Champion Astros?
Hey everyone! Here’s the briefest of playoff previews, with one fun fact from each team. Check them out after the jump:
Thought I’d get up a thread to talk about the nitty-gritty over the next week. I’ll post a few top-line thoughts, and then feel free to comment below as the week goes on!
If you’ve been a regular reader since I started writing for the site, you’re familiar with this feature, in which I wax on (and on, and on) about a fun season in Major League history.
I want to turn back to 1967. I feel like 1968 gets all the love when we talk about the late 1960s. People want to talk about Denny McLain winning 30 or Bob Gibson posting the microscopic ERA, and then the resultant rule changes – the lowering of the mound, the eventual introduction of the DH, etc. But the previous, lesser-known season featured one of the greatest pennant races in history. For that reason alone, it’s worth a look. But there’s plenty more than that going on in 1967, as you’ll see below. Check out the rest of the post for more.