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...

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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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Winning One Run Games and Winning Pennants

The Texas Rangers, leaders in the AL West, have posted a sparkling 19-7 (.731) record in one-run games this season, reminiscent of the Orioles’ record-breaking 29-9 (.763) mark in that situation in 2012. Barely missing the ALCS last season, could the Rangers be poised to take that next step this year? I’ll take a look at that question 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...

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Forty is the New Thirty

Or so it seems with the performances to start this season of two grizzled veterans and presumptive HOFers. I’m speaking, of course, of David Ortiz and Ichiro Suzuki who are reminding us why we won’t soon see their likes again.

More 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...

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Pinch Slugging Teams

This year’s Cardinals have already hit 10 pinch home runs, putting them on pace to smash the team record of 14 for a full season. In anticipation of this result, this post takes a look at the teams that St. Louis may pass on that team pinch-home run list.

More on pinch home runs after the jump. (more…)

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