Saturday game notes: Which wild card are they chasing?

Athletics 1, @Rangers 0 — Brandon Moss doubled home Josh Donaldson with 2 outs in the 1st, and Bartolo Colon nursed it for 8 innings, handing both Texas and Yu Darvish their third 1-0 loss at home this year — their only such games since 2004. Oakland’s division lead reached 5 in the loss column, and Sunday they’ll try to win the season series and stick Texas with their second 6-game skid at home this year.

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Alfonso Soriano: enigmatized

Alfonso SorianoSome of our regular readers were commenting recently on the uniqueness of Alphonso Soriano. Their view was that it is difficult to really describe the type of player that he is since there are so few similar players to compare him to.

That got me thinking about how that uniqueness might best be described. As our commenters knew so well, it’s not easy. Soriano’s like a lot of players, in certain ways, but quite unlike them in others.

After the jump, some thoughts on the enigma that is Alfonso.

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Who Would Hit the Most Home Runs in 2013?

Dalton joined me for lunch a few weeks ago in the land of lobster and oversized novelty boots.  We got to talking about Barry Bonds, offensive environments, and asterisks.  Both of us are irked by fans willing to completely ignore individual accomplishments based on single factors like PEDs or Coors Field.

Rather than removing these numbers from history with asterisks, official or personal, the thinking fan, we agreed, has an obligation to adjust certain individual accomplishments for context.  Roger Maris had eight more games in which to hit his 61 homers than Babe Ruth got to hit his 60.  Mark McGwire took 3,500 CCs more androstenedione than Maris in hitting his 70.  Barry Bonds got to play six more games in Coors Field than McGwire when he hit his 70 (but also played 78 more in San Francisco).  While some of these factors are more difficult to control for, we should be able to determine who hit the most home runs relative to his peers.

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Ichiro 4K?

A debate has been underway in the comments here at HHS today — would Ichiro Suzuki have made it to 4,000 major league hits had he played a full career in MLB?  Keeping in mind that Ichiro’s first season in MLB was his age 27 season and he is currently in his age 39 season, let’s look at some numbers, after the jump. Continue reading

When Chris Became Crush

After popping his 49th homer of the season against the Yankees on Tuesday night, slugger Chris Davis now stands just 1 blast shy of the Baltimore Orioles single-season record, set by Brady Anderson back in 1997. Davis still has an outside shot at making a run at Roger Maris‘ AL record of 61 homers as well, but that’s looking a little bit more like wishful thinking as we wind toward October.

But even without the AL home run record, what Chris Davis has done this season has been nothing short of phenomenal. He’s entirely remade his swing, showed remarkable plate discipline, and perhaps most importantly, Davis has finally figured out how to hit an off-speed pitch.

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Quiz – Speed and Power (solved)

These are all speedy players (at least 130 career stolen bases, and 25 or more at least twice), And, they have a bit of pop in their bats (at least 90 career HR, and double digits at least twice). But, these are the only players since 1901 with a particular season batting feat.

What is this unusual batting accomplishment?

Congratulations to bells! He identified that these are the only players with a season of more than 60 extra-base hits, but at least 10 fewer RBI (alternatively, a season of 50+ RBI and at least 10 more XBH produces the same result).

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The High Heat Stats @ootpbaseball League: 2013

Dan McCloskey, footballer

Here’s the news story from Dan’s announcement that he was leaving the game… for FOOTBALL.

It’s the moment all the High Heat Stats OOTP League prospects have been waiting for—you’ve been drafted (well, almost all of you) and you’ve played some games! I simmed through the end of the 2013 season, so you’ve got a half season of games under your belt.

The biggest news:

  • We had a player quit and leave baseball… for football. Seriously, Mr. McCloskey? What the hell are you thinking? And that came after you won the Outstanding Hitter Award in your league? Sheesh.
  • Five players failed to sign with their clubs and will be in next year’s draft. This includes Rich Warren (3rd overall by the Rockies) and Bill Brockman (6th overall by the Red Sox).
  • One player (Luis Gomez) wasn’t even drafted for some reason (I’m guessing it was an error on my part when entering his eligibility). No worries. He signed on with the Rockies (who were shunned by Mr. Warren) and played at four levels, becoming the first of our merry group to reach AA.
  • Dalton, despite his weak intelligence, was the first of the group to be drafted. The Cubs took him second overall, giving him almost $7 million. Who was #1 overall? It was a fictional guy I made by mistake and couldn’t remember his name (so I couldn’t delete him). Oops. I probably cost Dalton even more money.
  • Three players were actually put on waivers and signed on with new clubs. Baltimore gave up on Bryan O’Connor, but Houston nabbed him. The Yankees waived Darien Sumner, but the Marlins came calling. The Marlins also picked up CJ Miller, who the Cardinals allowed to get away. I don’t understand why these players were waived.
  • Ryan Hennesy was the only one to suffer a serious injury. He missed about six weeks.
  • Of the 29 of us who were drafted, 28 were taken within the first 49 picks. Andrew Tarwerdi had to wait until the fifth round. He’s taking it out on all his opponents to the tune of a 155 OPS+.

Here’s how we all did:

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Braves Postseason Rotation

Coming into this season the NL East was not supposed to be particularly close. There was projected to be 1 terrible team, 2 mediocre teams, 1 team contending for one of the wild card spots, and 1 team competing  for the leagues best record. That is exactly how it has turned out, just not with the teams we had in mind. The Nationals, at least in my opinion, were supposed to be chasing 100 victories, and instead have struggled with injuries and poor hitting. They are currently one spot out of the 2nd wildcard, but are 7 games behind Cincinnati. The Braves, who I assumed would be an above average team, have been flat out great. Atlanta has the best winning percentage in the league, and only second to St. Louis for the NL lead in run differential.   They lead the Majors in ERA at 3.20. That isn’t an AL/NL DH fluke either, they also lead in ERA+ at 122. A lot of that is propelled by a dominant bullpen, but still their starters rank 6th in ERA at 3.61. That is not just because they have some great defensive players in Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward. They also rank 6th in starters FIP. The problem, if you can call it a problem, is they have too many quality starting pitchers. They have 6 pitchers currently pitching regularly in the rotation. They do not have a 6 man staff in the traditional sense, a lot of it is necessitated by injuries, but Fredi Gonzalez has sneaked in starts by other guys to get pitchers rest. It is fun to give Gonzalez crap for his many boneheaded decisions, but I think he has handled the staff very well this year. However come playoff time he will only need 4 of these pitchers in the starting rotation and they have all pitched well. It won’t be easy to choose who to go with. Continue reading