This post is for voting and discussion in the 60th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round begins to add those players born in 1922. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
After barely being nosed out by John Smoltz in the 1924 round voting, Duke Snider appeared on eight more ballots than last round, a level of support that proved more than enough to become the 59th inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on the Duke and the voting, after that ever-present jump. Read the rest of this entry
@Yankees 2, Athletics 1 — Victorious versatility by Masahiro Tanaka, who garnered his first win yet when backed by less than 3 runs. To say it wasn’t his most impressive effort — 4 Ks, a walk and 5 hits in six innings — discounts the level of the competition (MLB’s top offense, park-adjusted), and speaks to how quickly he’s become entrenched among the game’s elite, leading the AL in ERA and WHIP. But it was typical in other ways.
@Padres 3, Pirates 2 — Everth Cabrera’s perfect push bunt was the lone safety for the winners. But it sparked a 2-run opening frame, thanks to Francisco Liriano’s wildness and two defensive gaffes behind him (one mental, one physical). Three more free passes (one to Ian Kennedy) forced in the third run, and the San Diego bullpen locked down late as usual.
(I kept hoping to get to the late games, but life intervened. These are games of Tuesday, June 3.)
@Marlins 1, Rays 0 — Henderson Alvarez went all the way on just 88 pitches for his third shutout this year, his only wins. Eight hits, seven singles and a 2-out triple, and no walks; three DPs (one by bunt) and two caught stealing. He even helped produce the run, his 2-out single in the 5th filling the bags for Christian Yelich, who worked a walk from 0-and-2 start.
Mariners 10, @Yankees 2 — “Cycle-plus” alert! Kyle Seager tripled in his first two times up — one normal, one peculiar — then flied out, doubled, and capped the rout with a 3-run kaboom. We still haven’t seen a real cycle this year, but the cycle-plus is far more rare. A cycle-plus has no single, but at least four extra-base hits and one of each flavor. There have been 243 cycles since 1914 (four by Mariners), but this was just the 50th cycle-plus, and the 6th with two triples — the first of those since Montreal’s Hal Breeden in 1973.
Felix Hernandez is approaching the 2000 inning milestone. Barring injury, he should get there this season. If he does, he will be just the 21st pitcher of the live ball era to reach that milestone in his age 28 season or younger.
But, what does that portend for the remainder of his career? I’ll consider that question after the jump.
Six team shutouts Sunday, 129 for the season. On a per-team basis, it’s the most shutouts at this stage of a season since 1989. But this year’s scoring average of 4.17 runs per game is no cause for hysteria. The post-WWII median is 4.34 R/G; the expansion-era median is 4.32. The median for the first 20 years of the DH era was 4.26. This year’s average is just 2%-4% below those marks, and it’s the same as last year’s average. It’s just normal fluctuation. (Oh, and if you’re feeling more historical than current, there’s a random box-score nugget at the bottom of the post.)
@Cardinals 2, Giants 0 — Welcome to the Show, Oscar Taveras. The highly anticipated prospect broke a scoreless tie with a no-doubt home run in his second time at bat, the first Cardinal debut HR since 2010. (Steven Hill?) Michael Wacha tamed the Jints for six innings before a rain delay, and Trevor Rosenthal whiffed the heart of San Francisco’s order for the save.