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Whiffing more and scoring less: how big is the impact?

On Wednesday’s NLCS game, Tom Verducci remarked on this factoid.

Rk Tm Year Games W L PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB CS
1 SFG 2014 5 4 1 Ind. Games 189 169 15 41 5 1 0 12 13 18 .243 .301 .284 .585 2 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/16/2014.

Above is a list by team of the number of 2014 post-season games with 4 or fewer batting strikeouts. So, where is the rest of the list, you ask? Actually, that is the whole list. The Giants have had no more than 4 batting strikeouts in 5 of their 10 post-season games. The other 9 playoff teams – nada.

Verducci has expressed how impressed he is by the Giants’ ability to score without the need of a base hit, a knack he attributes to their low strikeout total. The rationale is that fewer strikeouts mean more balls in play, more pressure on the defense and, therefore, more runs scored. Is he right? Let’s find out.

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Quiz – Have Glove, Will Travel (solved)

The players in this quiz were all well traveled. But, what career accomplishment distinguishes them from all other players since 1901?

Congratulations to Richard Chester! He knew right away that only these players were regulars for three different franchises, and had a season playing 100 games at a different position with each of those teams. For the players in this group, those positions were 2B, 3B and SS, with Denis Menke adding in a season at 1B for good measure. More on these in-demand and versatile players after the jump.

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NLCS Game 2: @Cardinals 5, Giants 4 — A thrilling, confounding ballgame, to remind us of all that we’ll miss in the dark months ahead.

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Circle of Greats 1912 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 74th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round adds players born in 1912 to the list of eligible candidates. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats Round 73 Results: COG is The Big Cat’s Cradle

Johnny Mize was not inducted into the Hall of Fame by the primary route of election by the Baseball Writers’ Association. Instead, he had to wait for induction into the Hall of Fame by the secondary method of a Veterans Committee. Mize’s case has long been recognized as one of the biggest oversights by the baseball writers’ Hall of Fame voting process. No oversight in our voting process however, as Mize easily becomes, in his first round of eligibility, the 73rd inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on The Big Cat, and the voting, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Game Notes from the ALCS Opener

ALCS Game 1: Royals 8, @Orioles 6 — That’s eight straight postseason wins for the Royals since 1985. A five-and-oh postseason start would have left a team two wins from the title in 1984; to put that another way, KC is still seven victories from shocking the world, which was a full champion’s portion that year. But don’t bet against them. The Royals don’t know it’s a damn show; they think it’s a damn fight.

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Short Rest in October: The Tipping Point

The Cardinals-Dodgers NLDS finale is feeding the talk of a Cards curse on Clayton Kershaw. But it shouldn’t. No matter what’s gone before in their meetings, this episode was just a pitcher tiring from short rest.

That’s just my opinion, but there’s evidence behind it. Start with the previous five short-rest postseason starts that went beyond 100 pitches:

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Joe Smith: no ordinary Joe

One of the nice things about playoff baseball is the opportunity to watch teams that you don’t see that often and, in so doing, see some players that may have flown under your radar. One such player is the Angels’ Joe Smith, a pitcher with a profile as anonymous as his name, but with a very different pedigree.

More after the jump on an anything but ordinary Joe.

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Royal Relief: the end of the drought

Kansas City’s 29-year absence from the post-season has ended with a bang. But, this is not your typical playoff team.

More after the jump.

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A Few First-Round Game Notes

NLDS Game 3: Nationals 4, Giants 1 — The Nats’ offense was in doubt, to put it mildly. But anyone who expected a pitching mismatch hasn’t watched the last few AL Octobers.

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