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Thursday Game Notes: Greinke Wins, Nation Yawns

Dodgers 3, @Rockies 2 – Zack Greinke gave up the tying run in the 8th, on Justin Morneau’s long triple. But he buckled down and held the tie, popping up Tulo, then pumping eye-high 94 past Nolan Arenado. Juan Uribe helped get the run back with his third hit, and Kenley Jansen put Zack’s 11th win in the books.

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Circle of Greats: 1920 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 63rd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1920.  Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

After a number of closely contested voting rounds, this week voters strongly embraced Warren Spahn from the outset and put him on 54 ballots, the most for any candidate in a single round since Mantle and Mays in the 1931 voting. Spahn becomes the 62nd inductee in the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Warren and the voting, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Game Notes from Wednesday, etc.

@Blue Jays 7, Brewers 4 — Just like old times in Toronto … like, May 1 through June 6, when they averaged 1.6 HRs and 5.5 runs, going 26-9 with three walk-off wins. But something new, too: The long-ball leaders owned none of this year’s 39 walk-off blasts — until Edwin Encarnacion worked a 3-and-1 count against Brad Kintzler, and then lifted off.

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Quiz – Expansion Era Catchers (solved)

The players in this quiz are the only catchers with a particular season accomplishment since 1961. What is it?

  1. Brian McCann
  2. Jason Kendall
  3. Einar Diaz
  4. Mike Piazza
  5. Terry Kennedy
  6. Rich Gedman
  7. Ted Simmons
  8. Bill Freehan
  9. Randy Hundley
  10. Clay Dalrymple
  11. John Romano

Hint #1: McCann and Kendall accomplished this feat in the same season, the first time since 1955 that two catchers had done so in the same year.

Hint #2: A player is currently on pace to join this group in 2014.

Congratulations to Gary Bateman! He correctly identified the quiz players as the only catchers since 1961 to lead their league in the same season in most successful steal attempts against and also most unsuccessful steal attempts against, the latter being an artifact of the former. More after the jump.

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Monday Game Quickies: Everything’s Jake … Almost

Cubs 2, @Red Sox 0 – Not Stephen Drew … Really? Stephen, eight-for-sixty-two, Drew, who’d fanned in both at-bats?? … Well, he had seen 19 pitches from Jake Arrieta by that point.

So, what would you have done, if Arrieta had gotten Drew out with pitch #120, to complete eight no-hit innings?

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Sunday Game Notes: Homer Bids, but Buster Trumps

Reds 4, @Giants 0 – It had to be “Buster,” right? With two out in the 8th seventh, Buster Posey’s clean line-drive to right broke up Homer Bailey’s bid for a third no-hitter, and second against the Giants. Now, Homer had to focus on his 1-0 lead.

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Saturday Game Notes: Going the Distance

A lotta stuff happened in a long day of baseball. Let’s dig in!

Red Sox 2, @Yankees 1 – An epic duel between Jon Lester and Masahiro Tanaka, with a big twist at the finish. Tanaka was one strike away from nursing a 1-1 tie through the top of the 9th. But he was also living on borrowed time; he wasn’t finishing all his pitches. The first two batters hit liners, but the one by Big Papi turned into a double play. Tanaka then hung one to Mike Napoli, but the slugger swung through it. On one-and-two, everyone looked for the knockout splitter.

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Game Notes from Friday, 6/27 … and earlier

Athletics 9, @Marlins 5 – Oakland blew a big lead in the 6th, but pulled even in the 8th on Josh Reddick’s two-out triple, then scored four in the 9th on five singles off Steve Cishek. A clean closeout by Sean Doolittle — 12 strikes, one ball — ran his season line to 55 Ks and one walk in 38 IP. Oakland’s won NINE games that they trailed after seven innings

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Thus far in 2014, the recent  trend towards lower scoring continues. That trend is now more than 15 years in the making and has resulted in another, that of a higher incidence of shutouts (at least those of the team variety). So far in 2014, more than 15% of games have resulted in a goose egg for the losers, a proportion not seen since 1981, and not seen in a full-length season since 1976.

After the jump, more on declining offense and why it’s been happening.

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