Pinch Slugging Teams

This year’s Cardinals have already hit 10 pinch home runs, putting them on pace to smash the team record of 14 for a full season. In anticipation of this result, this post takes a look at the teams that St. Louis may pass on that team pinch-home run list.

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Quiz – Starting Fast (stumped)

Royals speedster Paulo Orlando has most recently joined this group of mainly obscure players. But, only these live ball era players started their careers in an unusual way. What distinguishes the starts of these players’ careers among those of all other live ball era players? (Click on MORE to see the full list of quiz players)

1. Hal Rice 7. Jack Merson
2. Paulo Orlando 8. Spike Owen
3. Dave Silvestri 9. Keith Miller
4. Aaron Hill 10. Ivy Griffin
5. Bobby Clark 11. Keith Moreland
6. Danny Gardella 12. Bobby Del Greco

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Extra innings a whole new game

On behalf of High Heat Stats, I contributed a piece to the May 11-17 issue of USA Today Sports Weekly. This one is all about extra innings: why they have become more common in recent years and how managerial decisions play such a major role in determining extra-inning winners.

Here is the link to the column. And remember that HHS appears in the magazine every week this season! Stay tuned for future links or consider picking up a print copy.

Game Notes: Cubs Sweep Nats

These Cubs and Nats squared off over the weekend, starting this series as division leaders who had both won five of their past six games. At 20-6 (Cubs) and 19-8 (Nats) both teams were off to franchise-best starts in the live ball era. After four games, the Cub juggernaut rolls on, leaving the Nationals to lick their wounds.

More on this series after the jump.

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Game Notes: Orioles and White Sox

Two division leaders in the early going squared off over the weekend, and halved a four game set in Baltimore. Chicago has undergone a wholesale makeover from the squad that placed fourth in the AL Central in 2015 with a 76-86 record. Baltimore has made fewer changes, hoping another year of experience for its younger players will result in an improvement on last year’s 81-81 record, good for third place in the AL East.

After the jump, a look at these teams and the series that was.

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Plate discipline, some have it, some don’t

There’s more High Heat Stats analysis in the April 27-May 3 issue of USA Today Sports Weekly, this time from Aidan Jackson-Evans. He uses Baseball Info Solutions data to explain how a batter’s plate discipline can affect his overall production by complementing/conflicting with his skill set, selecting real-life examples from the Minnesota Twins lineup.

Here is the link to the column. High Heat Stats is contributing to the magazine every week this season, so stay tuned for future links or consider picking up a print copy.

Quiz: some of these guys are not like the others (solved)

Here’s a list of some of the all-time great sluggers, plus a few others in a different class. Your task is to identify the career accomplishment shared only by these retired players.

  1. Babe Ruth
  2. Mark McGwire
  3. Barry Bonds
  4. Jim Thome
  5. Adam Dunn
  6. Russell Branyan
  7. Dave Kingman
  8. Rob Deer

Congratulations to Elkboy! (and welcome to HHS). He knew that only these retired players recorded Isolated Power higher than Batting Average in a 3000 PA career. More after the jump.
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Jacques arrêté les Rouges

Arrêté is French for stop, and that’s what Jake Arrieta did to the Reds on Thursday, holding Cincinnati hitless as the Cubs pounded their opponent by a 16-0 count. It’s the first no-hitter of the new season, the second of Arietta’s career, and his second in eleven regular season starts. The win pushes Arrieta’s record to a perfect 4-0 in four starts this season, with a microscopic 0.87 ERA.

More on Arrieta’s gem after the break.

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