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Tuesday game niblets (microwave edition)

Enjoying the April roller-coaster? Already, five streaks of 7+ wins by five different teams, while 10 teams have lost 5 in a row. The Brewers are dead! No, they’ve won 8 straight! (Is it 9?) The Braves can’t be stopped! Wait, they lost 4 in a row? But now they’re flying again! The Rox streaked for 8, they’re perfect at home! Whoops, is that 3 home losses in 2 days?

Braves 4, @Rockies 3 (game 1): You can’t contain him. El Oso Blanco expanded his range to the mountains. He’ll soon be in your back yard, turning over your trash cans….

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Monday game notes & random stuff

@Reds 5, Cubs 4: Two 13th-inning walk-offs in 3 days? Three walk-offs in a week’s time, and 4 on the year already?

Attention, critics! Dusty Baker just did us a big favor. This game proves he means never to use Aroldis Chapman for more than one inning. Now we can shelve the topic until the stretch run, at least.

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When the game’s on the line, who do you call on?

When you absolutely must prevent a run from scoring, what pitchers are major league managers calling on this year?

To find out, I selected a subset of games, namely 9th inning walk-off wins after one out. Why those ones? A couple of reasons: first, most of these games will have been tied going to the home 9th, meaning the visitors cannot allow a run; and second, these games can easily be found using the Play Index in Baseball-Reference (whereas 9th inning walk-off wins with no outs are indistinguishable in Play Index from home 9th innings that are not played).

Anyway, this early in the season, it is a small enough set of games to look at each one and play manager (with the obvious benefit of hindsight) . After the jump, we’ll find out who the managers did call on.

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Quiz – Scott Rolen (solved)

Scott Rolen completed a distinguished career last season, joining an exclusive group of only 30 players with 300 home runs and 500 doubles. But, he also joined the even more exclusive group below of retired players since 1901 with a particular career accomplishment.

What is the accomplishment that distinguishes the players in this group?

Hint: the answer uses only basic statistics found on the back of many baseball cards

Congratulations to Josh and GrandyMan who teamed up to identify these 12 players as the infielders with 1500 games since 1901 (including 150 after their age 35 season) who played only one defensive position for their entire careers. There are another 12 players (see comment #8) who have the same feat except for the playing time after their age 35 seasons.

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Sunday game notes

@Reds 10, Marlins 6: Those 8-run innings will get you every time. With the Fish at 4-15, the drumbeat of ’62 Mets comparisons has begun. I suppose anything’s possible, but keep three things in mind:

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Saturday game notes & musings

@Red Sox 4, Royals 3: A late comeback made 7 straight wins for Boston, their best since 2011. KC stopped the Clay Buchholz scoreless streak at 22 innings, but he went 8 IP on just 104 pitches to win his 4th straight start. The last BoSox to win his first 4 games with 7+ IP was Pedro, 2000 (5 straight). Sawx have allowed 3 runs or less in 8 straight, their longest since 2007. As a team, they have 156 Ks in 143 IP. Is this sustainable? Foes have hit .266/.782 with bases empty, but .142/.468 with anyone on.

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A story told by way of recent game notes….


@Angels 10, Tigers 0: Rick Porcello retired 1 of 11 batters, and even that GDP couldn’t save him. The 9 runs he allowed — and they were all directly off him, capped by a first-time serving of salami a la Trout — is the most since 2007 for a starter knocked out in the 1st.

Porcello threw first-pitch strikes to 9 guys, and 8 of them reached safely. With a chance to choke it off at 4 runs, he got a 1-2 count on Brendan Harris, but the light-hitting SS fouled off 3 in a row, worked the count full, and singled to restart the carousel. After a couple of infield hits filled ‘em up again, Trout fouled off an 0-2 pitch and then slammed the door on the young Tiger’s workday.

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Frequency of shutouts as a function of run-scoring environment

We’ve been discussing just how commons shutouts have been in recent years, particularly in 2013 so far. Here’s a little bit of a look at the numbers.

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Circle of Greats 1955 Balloting – Part 2

This post is for voting and discussion in the sixteenth round of balloting for the Circle of Greats. This round adds those players born in 1955 who were not added in the previous round. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats Round 15 Results: Tom Is Of The Essence

With no one new on the ballot capturing the fancy of the voters, Tom Glavine emerged as a strong winner among the holdovers. Glavine becomes the 15th inductee into the Circle of Greats. Get more on Tom and the voting merely by clicking on that magic “Read the rest…” button. Read the rest of this entry

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