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Circle of Greats (COG) Round 32 Results: Guten Morgan!

Joe Morgan was not the favorite baseball broadcaster of the High Heat Stats community.  But as most of us recognize, the same sabermetric analysis that Morgan denigrated when speaking into a microphone shows that he was likely the greatest modern second baseman of all.  Though some COG voters declined to look past Joe’s television shtick, a large majority were able to use their evaluative mute buttons and view Morgan’s playing career in its own right, voting Little Joe in as the 32nd inductee into the HHS Circle of Greats.  More on Morgan and the balloting results, if you click on this RTROTE underline thing: Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Rare Breed (solved)

Quite a mixture of players on this list. But there is a common thread connecting this group. In the post-war period (seasons since 1946), what is the unusual career accomplishment achieved only by these players?

Hint: there is one active player who is likely to join this group next season.

Congratulations to Richard Chester who correctly identified that these are the only post-war players with 200+ GIDP, more GIDP than home runs, and more triples than stolen bases. Despite being obviously speed-challenged, this group fared pretty well – all were All-Stars, all had at least one qualifying .300 batting season, all but Groat were better than 100 career OPS+, and all but Piniella compiled at least 35 WAR.

Sudden-death Starters

Tonight in Oakland, Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray will square off in the last game of the Division Series round, as the A’s host a deciding game 5 against Detroit for the second year in a row. Instead of pointlessly rehashing Oakland’s four straight losses in LDS game 5′s from 2000-03 — no more germane to this contest than their three straight championships from 1972-74 — let’s take a very quick look at sudden-death starting pitchers.

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Andy Pafko 1921-2013

Andy PakfoAndy Pafko, NL outfielder for 3 teams in 1940s and 1950s, passed away this week. A four-time All-Star, Pafko compiled over 36 WAR in a 17-year career of over 7000 PAs. Pafko’s career was also notable for the galaxy of star teammates he played with and some of the memorable teams and games he was a part of.

More on Andy Pafko after the jump.

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The High Heat Stats @ootpbaseball League: 2015

Apologies for the long wait between updates! Been a bit busy. Let’s just get into it—

First, in addition to Andy HHS and RJ Jackson (who both made their debuts for the Mariners in 2014), I missed a few other big league debuts. I apologize for that. They were:

  • Dalton Mack (6 games and 7.2 innings for the Cubs with an 8.22 ERA)
  • David Horwich (1 game, 3.2 scoreless innings for Kansas City)
  • Hal Ensrud (2 games and 2.2 scoreless frames as a Brewer)
  • Duke Sims (0.1 inning and 2 earned runs as a Phillie)

New Major League debuts:

  • Whitey Chevrolet
  • Nick Pain
  • Brandon Robitaille
  • Ryan Hennesy


  • Dan Smith (from the White Sox to the Marlins)
  • Charles Simone (from the Indians to the Rockies)


  • Bryan O’Connor: That’s right, our very own Bryan decided to hang them up before the 2015 season started. As we’re still really early in this thing, I replaced him with a pitcher named Brian O’Connor (aren’t I clever?). Hysterically, this O’Connor opted not to sign when drafted by the Mets. This guy is never going to get his career off the ground. I’ll allow retired players to re-enter for one more season. Then, if you retire, you’re out of luck!

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Post-Season On-Base and Hit Streaks

Most Consecutive Post-Season Games With At Least One Time On Base:
1. Miguel Cabrera 28 games (current streak)
2. Chase Utley 27 games
3. Boog Powell 25 games
T4. Carlos Beltran and Carlos Ruiz 24 games
T6. Lou Gehrig and Lance Berkman 23 games
T8. Joe Morgan and Rickey Henderson 22 games
T10. Derek Jeter and Barry Bonds 21 games

With respect to post-season hit streaks (consecutive post-season games with at least one hit), the record is 17 games, jointly held by Hank Bauer, Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez.

Yoenis Cespedes has a current post-season hit streak going of 9 games.  If Yoenis gets a hit in tonight’s game, he will match Babe Ruth’s current post-season hit streak of ten games.

Yes, the Babe has hits in each of his ten most recent post-season games, and should he mount an unlikely post-retirement, post-death comeback Ruth could challenge the 17-game record.  The longest currently active post-season hit streak is 12, held by Al Dark, who is still alive, though at age 91 his opportunities to break the 17-game record are probably limited.  After Dark (so to speak), the holder of the next-longest current streak is Billy Martin, with hits in his last 11 post-season games.  As with the Babe, death will probably interfere with Billy’s extending that streak, though with PEDs these days, who knows?  Three actually living, albeit long-retired, guys have, like the Babe, ten-game current streaks: Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg, plus Roy White, the fine Yankee outfielder of the 1960s and 70s.  And there is one guy with a ten-game active post-game hit streak who does have a real chance to extend it someday, Pablo Sandoval.

Quiz – Baker’s Half-Dozen, minus one-half (Solved)

It’s time for another thrilling installment of “John Isn’t Doug,” in which I attempt to stump you readers long enough for Billy Hamilton to circle the bases!

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Quiz – Triple Something Seasons (solved)

A few days ago, an HHS reader noticed that Eddie Collins had a season in 1910 with 81 runs, RBI and steals, and suggested this would be a good idea for one of my quizzes. So, as we wait for the deciding NLDS game tonight, why not?

None of these players had a triple crown season. But, they all had a season with a matched set of counting stats. What were those seasons? For bonus marks, what rookie had a matched set of 3 counting stats this season (min. 20 of each) that has never before been accomplished?

Hint: the matched counting stats are not the same for all these players. But, there is a common link connecting all of them.

Congratulations to aweb and Andrew (and others) who quickly identified that these players all had a season with their extra-base hit total matching two other counting stats. And congrats to Richard Chester for identifying Evan Gattis as the answer to the bonus question with his 21 HR, 2B and BB this season. The seasons are after the jump.

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Playing for the Tie

Last night in St. Pete, the Red Sox trailed the Rays, 4-3 in the top of the ninth.  Fernando Rodney opened the frame with six balls in seven pitches, walking Will Middlebrooks (who gave way to pinch runner Xander Bogaerts), and falling behind Jacoby Ellsbury, who then blooped a single into shallow left.

Read on for more and to weigh in on John Farrell’s strategy.

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Mattingly goes for the kill, with Kershaw on short rest

With his Dodgers on the brink of advancing to the NLCS, manager Don Mattingly named Clayton Kershaw to start game 4. It will be his first-ever start with less than four days’ rest. Kershaw had one relief outing on three days’ rest back in 2008, at the end of his rookie year, allowing three baserunners in one inning, but no runs.

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