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SF/PGH: Linked By the Bonds of History

The Giants and Pirates franchises are among the oldest in the majors. One link they have is Barry Bonds, who accumulated 50.1 Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, baseball-reference version) for the Bucs and 112.3 WAR for San Francisco. That 50.1 WAR is not the highest career WAR total accumulated for a team that was not the player’s highest-WAR team. Some bigger numbers are after the jump Read the rest of this entry

Kansas City A’s

With Kansas City playing the A’s in a wild card showdown, it’s worth remembering that for thirteen seasons “Kansas City” and “the A’s” referred to the same team. The years 1955 to 1967 did not comprise the most distinguished era of Athletics franchise history, but:

Joe Gordon and Lou Boudreau are not only both Hall of Famers who have been battling for position in recent Circle of Greats voting here at High Heat Stats, they were also both managers of the Kansas City A’s.
–Three of the more productive players for the Kansas City A’s (and the word “productive” in this context is a highly relative term) were Dick Williams, who managed the A’s to two World Series championships, Dick Howser, who managed Kansas City to a World Championship, and Whitey Herzog, who managed Kansas City and managed the cross-state Cardinals to a World Series championship.

Wins Above Replacement (baseball-reference version) might suggest something like the following for an All-Kansas City A’s team, such as it is: Read the rest of this entry

Best Plays to Clinch No-Hit Games

Jordan Zimmerman notched his first career no-hitter on Sunday thanks to a great catch (5:00 mark) by left-fielder Steven Souza to end the game.

With boxscores courtesy of and video from, here’s a sampling of other stellar plays on the final out of a no-hitter.

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Game Notes Sees the Days Dwindle to a Precious Four

The playoff spots are almost locked up, if not the slots, but we’ll let that play out. Meanwhile … Monday’s six shutouts made 340 this year — one more than 1968, and second-most in the live-ball era (1972, 357). But there are many more teams now. This year’s shutout rate as a percentage of all games is 7.3%, ranking 22nd out of 95 live-ball seasons; 1968 and ’72 rank one-two at 10.4% and 9.6%. There really is no basis for likening this season (4.08 runs per team-game) to 1968 (3.42) or even ’72 (3.69). Just don’t try telling that to those who’ve watched the Pirates and Padres of late….

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Circle of Greats: 1913 Part 1 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 72nd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round begins to add to the ballot those players born in 1913. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Joe DiMaggio did not appear on 56 consecutive ballots cast, but did enjoy overwhelming support, becoming the 71st inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on the Yankee Clipper, and the voting, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Game Notes from the Next-to-Last Weekend

(Answers to the “betcha” challenges are at the bottom.)

Games of Sunday, 9/21

@PIT 1, MIL 0 — Crucial gaffes in the late innings put Milwaukee’s postseason hopes on life support. A passed ball and a wild pitch in the 7th set up Russell Martin’s RBI hit, scoring Andrew McCutchen with the only run. Carlos Gomez singled to start the 9th, but he was caught straying from second with no outs after an infield hit. Vance Worley blanked the Brewers on four singles over eight stanzas, leaving for a pinch-hitter after just 82 pitches.

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Jake Arrieta: when it all starts to click

Last Tuesday at Wrigley, Jake Arrieta fanned 13 Reds and faced only one batter over the minimum in a masterful one-hit shutout. That game crowns an impressive campaign in which Arrieta has posted this line, with every one of his rate stats a career best.

2014 28 CHC 9 5 .643 2.65 24 24 1 1 149.2 40 157 145 2.30 1.016 6.7 0.3 2.4 9.4 3.93
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 9/17/2014.

More on Arrieta’s breakout year after the jump.

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Game Notes: Coming Down to the Final Ten

A point of interest for some AL contenders: The last ALCS team that ranked below 5th in on-base percentage was the 2006 Tigers. Seattle (15th), Kansas City (11th) and Baltimore (10th) are swimming against that tide. For the World Series, just one of the last 14 participants ranked below league average in OBP.

  • By the way, and stating the obvious — Virtually all my data comes from the essential

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Surge or swoon: September suspense and October glory

A new tool in the Baseball-Reference Play Index allows analysis of player and team performance over any contiguous portion of a season, bounded by team game numbers. Thus, with every team having played at least 149 games as of Sep 15th, here is how this year’s playoff contenders have fared over the twenty games from 130 to 149.

Rk Tm Record
1 LAA 16-4
2 BAL 15-5
3 SFG 13-7
4 LAD 13-7
5 DET 13-7
6 STL 12-8
7 PIT 12-8
8 WSN 11-9
9 TOR 11-9
10 CLE 10-10
11 SEA 9-11
12 KCR 9-11
13 NYY 8-12
14 OAK 7-13
15 ATL 7-13
16 MIL 6-14
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/16/2014.

How have past playoff teams fared going down the stretch? Do hot teams stay hot, or does just making the playoffs render a team vulnerable to an October letdown? Are teams which clinch early better advised to coast down the stretch, or keep the pedal to the metal? More after the jump.

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