For the full High Heat Stats experience:

Game notes from Saturday, April 5

Mariners 3, @A’s 1 / @Marlins 5, Padres 0 — Right now, for this one season, would you take Felix Hernandez, or Jose Fernandez? The choice might turn on quality of bullpen backing; Felix can go a little deeper into games. Miami’s 5-1 start ties the franchise record; 4 runs or more each game already matches last year’s best such streak. Seattle’s 4-1, their best git-go since 2001.

  • Jose has yielded 16 runs in 110.2 IP at home, a 1.14 ERA.
  • Felix has won his first two starts for just the 2nd time in 10 seasons.

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Decade Standings

With a strong start out of the gate from their pitching staff, overcoming a series of major injuries from expected contributors, the Atlanta Braves have tied the Yankees at the top of the regular season standings for the period 2010-2014. Through the first five games of the season, Braves starters have a 1.42 ERA, showing up the team’s relievers, who are all the way back at a 1.46 ERA.

Top 5 Cumulative Regular Season Win-Loss Records, 2010 Through April 4, 2014:

TeamWinsLossesWinning PercentageGames Behind
Braves374279.573--
Yankees374279.573--
Rays373282.5692
Rangers372282.5692.5
Cardinals364289.55710

Game Notes from Friday, April 4 (and earlier)

For the second straight year, no team has started 0-4. Each of the prior 12 seasons had at least one such stumble from the gate. Friday’s three 10-run margins were the first of the young campaign.

@Marlins 8, Padres 2 — One of Giancarlo’s trademark rockets gave Miami an early 2-0 lead, and they never looked back. Salty shook things loose with a 2-out, 2-run double in the 3rd for his first Marlins RBI, after pouncing on this high-hop bunt and turning two in the top half.

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Into the deep end: debuting as an opening day starter

Gcar Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BOP Pos
1 Jose Abreu 2014-03-31 CHW MIN W 5-3 4 4 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 4 1B
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/2/2014.

With the above game log, Jose Abreu became the 552nd player since 1914 to make his major-league debut as a starter on opening day, and the only one to do so in 2014. That’s 552 out of more than 14,000 major-leaguers who have debuted in the past 101 seasons (and only the eighth of those 552 with a 4-1-2-1 box score line).

The great majority of major-leaguers debut less auspiciously, perhaps called up mid-season to replace an injured or faltering vet, or as one of a number of hopefuls trying to impress in September. Even those who make the big club coming out of spring training will often see their first action a few games into the season, perhaps as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner, or possibly in a pinch-hitting role in a blow-out game. Only a very few debut in the starting lineup on opening day, baseball’s equivalent of being thrown in the deep end to see if you can swim.

After the jump, more on players who begin their careers as opening day starters.

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Game Notes from Tuesday, April 1

Games Notes just wants to stay within itself this year. It’s a long season, and we do this every day….

Mariners 8, @Angels 3 — Seattle’s Joe Beimel earned the year’s first no-pitch Hold. Summoned for Raul Ibanez, Beimel instead picked off David Freese to end the 8th with a 3-run lead. (If only Freese had ever been eyewitness to such basepath blundering….)

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Hey, look — it’s Opening Day Game Notes!

Right on time, late as always…

Phillies 14, @Rangers 10 – Tanner Scheppers (7 runs in 4 IP) didn’t take the loss in his starting debut, but he did match the Texas Opening Day low with a 17 Game Score. At least he’s in good company: Fergie Jenkins and Charlie Hough beat him to that mark. And Scheppers scored better than winning pitcher Cliff Lee (8 R, 5 IP, 13 GSc). Lee’s ERA is 13.50 in two openers, both at Texas, and 8.35 in eight visiting starts there.

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Quiz – Baseball Alchemy (solved)

These nine players are the only major leaguers to have a game since 1914 with one of two unusual offensive accomplishments (as indicated by the two columns). Those two accomplishments are quite similar. What are they?

Congratulations to Relief Man and Richard Chester! They quickly (and correctly) deduced that this quiz was likely related to opening day exploits. Like the alchemist turning dross into gold, the first group of 6 players had an opening day game scoring 3 runs without a hit, while the second group scored twice without an official AB. Those games are after the jump.
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Three Days of Bunts

We’ve seen three baseball games so far this year, and if that’s a meaningful sample, I think Hyun-Jin Ryu has all the major awards locked up.

We’ve also seen eight plate appearances this season that ended with bunts.  After the jump, a few facts about those bunts, which will accomplish nothing except establishing a baseline for a feature I hope to bring back to these pages with some regularity throughout the summer.

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The 20-21 Club

Here’s how one small group of hitters progressed through their 20s:

Trout Big 6 comps

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Circle of Greats 1928 Part 2 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 53rd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round complete the addition of those players born in 1928.  Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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