“Young Guns” and the 2013 Postseason

The following might be stating the obvious, but I had to do something with my pregame nervous energy….

Recent days have sparked much talk about the success of young starting pitchers in this postseason. Indeed, several young starters have made impressive showings. But for every Michael Wacha, there’s a Matt Moore or a Julio Teheran — young starters with strong regular seasons, who bombed in their postseason starts. For every Sonny Gray gem of 8 shutout innings, there’s a Sonny Gray “meh” of 3 runs in 5 innings.

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Circle of Greats (COG) Round 32 Results: Guten Morgan!

Joe Morgan was not the favorite baseball broadcaster of the High Heat Stats community.  But as most of us recognize, the same sabermetric analysis that Morgan denigrated when speaking into a microphone shows that he was likely the greatest modern second baseman of all.  Though some COG voters declined to look past Joe’s television shtick, a large majority were able to use their evaluative mute buttons and view Morgan’s playing career in its own right, voting Little Joe in as the 32nd inductee into the HHS Circle of Greats.  More on Morgan and the balloting results, if you click on this RTROTE underline thing: Continue reading

Quiz – Rare Breed (solved)

Quite a mixture of players on this list. But there is a common thread connecting this group. In the post-war period (seasons since 1946), what is the unusual career accomplishment achieved only by these players?

Hint: there is one active player who is likely to join this group next season.

Congratulations to Richard Chester who correctly identified that these are the only post-war players with 200+ GIDP, more GIDP than home runs, and more triples than stolen bases. Despite being obviously speed-challenged, this group fared pretty well – all were All-Stars, all had at least one qualifying .300 batting season, all but Groat were better than 100 career OPS+, and all but Piniella compiled at least 35 WAR.

Sudden-death Starters

Tonight in Oakland, Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray will square off in the last game of the Division Series round, as the A’s host a deciding game 5 against Detroit for the second year in a row. Instead of pointlessly rehashing Oakland’s four straight losses in LDS game 5’s from 2000-03 — no more germane to this contest than their three straight championships from 1972-74 — let’s take a very quick look at sudden-death starting pitchers.

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Andy Pafko 1921-2013

Andy PakfoAndy Pafko, NL outfielder for 3 teams in 1940s and 1950s, passed away this week. A four-time All-Star, Pafko compiled over 36 WAR in a 17-year career of over 7000 PAs. Pafko’s career was also notable for the galaxy of star teammates he played with and some of the memorable teams and games he was a part of.

More on Andy Pafko after the jump.

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The High Heat Stats @ootpbaseball League: 2015

Apologies for the long wait between updates! Been a bit busy. Let’s just get into it—

First, in addition to Andy HHS and RJ Jackson (who both made their debuts for the Mariners in 2014), I missed a few other big league debuts. I apologize for that. They were:

  • Dalton Mack (6 games and 7.2 innings for the Cubs with an 8.22 ERA)
  • David Horwich (1 game, 3.2 scoreless innings for Kansas City)
  • Hal Ensrud (2 games and 2.2 scoreless frames as a Brewer)
  • Duke Sims (0.1 inning and 2 earned runs as a Phillie)

New Major League debuts:

  • Whitey Chevrolet
  • Nick Pain
  • Brandon Robitaille
  • Ryan Hennesy

Traded:

  • Dan Smith (from the White Sox to the Marlins)
  • Charles Simone (from the Indians to the Rockies)

Retirements:

  • Bryan O’Connor: That’s right, our very own Bryan decided to hang them up before the 2015 season started. As we’re still really early in this thing, I replaced him with a pitcher named Brian O’Connor (aren’t I clever?). Hysterically, this O’Connor opted not to sign when drafted by the Mets. This guy is never going to get his career off the ground. I’ll allow retired players to re-enter for one more season. Then, if you retire, you’re out of luck!

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Post-Season On-Base and Hit Streaks

Most Consecutive Post-Season Games With At Least One Time On Base:
1. Miguel Cabrera 28 games (current streak)
2. Chase Utley 27 games
3. Boog Powell 25 games
T4. Carlos Beltran and Carlos Ruiz 24 games
T6. Lou Gehrig and Lance Berkman 23 games
T8. Joe Morgan and Rickey Henderson 22 games
T10. Derek Jeter and Barry Bonds 21 games

With respect to post-season hit streaks (consecutive post-season games with at least one hit), the record is 17 games, jointly held by Hank Bauer, Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez.

Yoenis Cespedes has a current post-season hit streak going of 9 games.  If Yoenis gets a hit in tonight’s game, he will match Babe Ruth’s current post-season hit streak of ten games.

Yes, the Babe has hits in each of his ten most recent post-season games, and should he mount an unlikely post-retirement, post-death comeback Ruth could challenge the 17-game record.  The longest currently active post-season hit streak is 12, held by Al Dark, who is still alive, though at age 91 his opportunities to break the 17-game record are probably limited.  After Dark (so to speak), the holder of the next-longest current streak is Billy Martin, with hits in his last 11 post-season games.  As with the Babe, death will probably interfere with Billy’s extending that streak, though with PEDs these days, who knows?  Three actually living, albeit long-retired, guys have, like the Babe, ten-game current streaks: Hall of Famers Barry Larkin and Ryne Sandberg, plus Roy White, the fine Yankee outfielder of the 1960s and 70s.  And there is one guy with a ten-game active post-game hit streak who does have a real chance to extend it someday, Pablo Sandoval.