For the full High Heat Stats experience:

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.

Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO IP BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
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 Baseball-Reference.com: 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 Baseball-Reference.com.

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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 Baseball-Reference.com: 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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Quiz – Paying Off (solved)

These are the only pitchers since 1920 with an unusual season pitching accomplishment. What is it?

Congratulations to donburgh and BryanM! They teamed up to identify the quiz players as the only pitchers since 1920 with a 20 win season aged 35 or older in the first year with a new team (or teams). Thus, they paid off on the gamble that was made in acquiring a proven but aging veteran. More after the jump.

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Circle of Greats: Redemption Round #6

This Circle of Greats (COG) vote is not to induct anyone into the Circle, but only to select three players who will be restored back on to the main ballot after having been previously been dropped from eligibility.  This sixth “redemption round” (we’ve been holding such redemption votes interspersed among the regular voting rounds every tenth voting round or so) gives voters a chance to reconsider past candidates who have previously fallen off the regular weekly ballot. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats: 1914 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 71st round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1914. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

COG 1915 Results: O’er The Fields We Go/Lofton All the Way

Roy Campanella led in the early voting, and Harmon Killebrew mid-week, but Kenny Lofton, who narrowly missed induction last round, was the leader at the end of this round, and it’s the end that counts. Lofton becomes the 70th inductee in the High Heats Stats Circle of Greats. More on Kenny and the voting after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Random Game Notes, through Thursday 9/11

Hey, gang — I’ve been tied up for a bit, getting my house ready to sell … Here’s some scattered game notes from recent weeks:

Thursday, Sept. 11 — After falling to Chris Sale by 1-0, Oakland’s latest 2-7 stretch includes seven one-run defeats … I don’t know if I can add anything to the “what happened?” analysis, better known as “how much do they miss Cespedes?” But I looked into their batting splits before and after the trade, with a focus on high-leverage situations — searching for signs of pressing.

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Jeter, Ortiz, and the Value of Youth

Would the Yankees have made the playoffs this season without Derek Jeter?

Let’s start with a disclaimer.  The following words are by no means a judgment of the Yankees’ decision to keep Jeter on the roster in 2014.  That wasn’t really a decision, and even if it were, there’s a justification for letting a legend have one last lap around the league.  If you would rather not read about how bad Jeter has been this season, don’t click below to read more. Read the rest of this entry

Quiz – Coming Up Roses (solved)

What is the career accomplishment that is shared only by these players since 1901?

Hint: Jackie Robinson is the one HOFer who almost made this list

Congratulations to Artie Z.! He knew that these players always came up roses because they never came up short. Or, rather, as shortstop. The quiz players are part of a larger group of 63 players who all played 250+ games at both 2nd base and 3rd base since 1901, but only these seven never played a game at shortstop. Included in the larger group are 3 HOFers – Jackie Robinson who played shortstop once, and Paul Molitor and Frankie Frisch who both did so 50+ times. More after the jump.

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