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The Most Designated Fella

Did I miss the fanfare? I found no mention of it in the news accounts. But according to the B-R Split Finder, when he led off the 6th inning Friday, David Ortiz became the all-time leader in plate appearances as a designated hitter.* He passed Harold Baines in his 3rd trip to the plate that night, which also became his 3rd single of the game. He later walked to help produce the winning run.

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Saturday game notes (updated)

Game of the Day

@Indians 5, Mariners 4: What disaster? On a shirtsleeve day in Cleveland, the unflappable Tribe shook off the top-half’s shocks and went straight to their work in the last of the 9th, and the lunchpail gang wound up with on-field congrats for the 2nd time in 18 hours.

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The rise (and fall?) of the LOOGY @robneyer

LOOGY, referring to the lefty one-out guy, a term coined by Rob Neyer when they became quite popular in the early 1990s.

Here’s a chart looking at single-batter lefty-reliever appearances over the years. Read the rest of this entry

Fraction of starts by left-handed pitchers

This basic plot shows the fraction of game starts made by left-handed pitchers.

LHP starts

Before making the plot, I had expected this percentage to generally increase over time. That’s clearly not the case.

I’m particularly interested in the major dip starting in 1993. This seems to coincidence with the Steroids Era. Does this suggest that the increase in offense during this period is due, in part, to lack of availability of left-handed starters? Or were fewer left-handed starters used for some other reason?

Friday game notes, etc. (Metscentric edition)

Bunch of exciting games today. You know which one I watched, so the rest of you gotta help me out!

Mets 3, @Cubs 2: Thirty-four years ago Friday, visiting SP Randy Lerch homered to cap a 7-run Philly 1st. He was knocked out after 6 batters in the bottom half. This afternoon, Matt Harvey gave up some loud drives early and one infield hit that scored 2 runs in the 1st. But the wind was blowing in, and he retired 20 of the next 21.

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Relief pitching

relief pitching

Interesting trend reversal (at least so far) in 2013.

Angels Need to Run Before They Walk

When the Los Angeles Angels announce over the winter that they had agreed to a deal with former Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton, the first thought that ran through my head was “Good God, pitchers aren’t going to stand a chance against this modern day murderer’s row.” Those thoughts didn’t change much throughout the spring and by the time April rolled around I, like so many others, felt that a lineup including the legendary Albert Pujols, the powerful Josh Hamilton, and the electric Mike Trout would be piling up runs like they were going out of style. After all, if they could rank among the 3 or 4 best scoring lineups in 2012 without Hamilton, just imagine how scary they would be with him plopped in the #4 hole.

But as we sit here on May 16th, nearly 40 games deep into the regular season, the Angels enter play with the 11th ranked scoring attack in the American League and one of the worst records in baseball. So what’s been the deal in L.A.? The Angels have done a solid job making contact at the plate (their 103 OPS+ is 6th best in baseball) and they’re starting to work the long ball, averaging just over 1 home run a game, so why are they stuck with one of the most mediocre looking attacks in the league? The answer, I believe, lies somewhere as simple as the base paths.

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@Yankees 4, Mariners 3: How did Seattle lose this game? They topped New York 10-7 in his, 3-2 in doubles, 1-0 in HRs (a 2-run shot), 2-1 in DPs turned, and 2-1 in hits with RISP.

The M’s did lead after 6 innings, 3-1. King Felix was “ordinarily” sharp, while CC Sabathia‘s outing reflected both his declining fastball and his unstinting work ethic. But the game turned over completely from the top of the 7th through the top of the 8th.

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Here’s something I’ve never understood:


This is the average innings pitched by the starting pitcher, by year, broken down by leagues.

There are at least two things about this plot that make no sense to me. Click through for more.

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The Miami Marlins: History in the Making

Hi! My name is David Hruska and I’m a Springfield, MO resident who’s new around these parts. I’ve been a baseball fan for as long as I’ve been able to breathe and I’m very excited to be working with the great people at High Heat Stats. When I’m not watching baseball or at work I tend to spend my time with my college sweetheart grilling the most delicious BBQ that you can possibly imagine. You can catch more of my musings, thoughts, and ramblings at

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria talked a big game just one offseason ago, acquiring big-name free agents like Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle while making a run at the biggest fish in the sea, Albert Pujols. While Loria’s attempts to lure Pujols to South Beach would ultimately prove unsuccessful, the message was sent nonetheless: these new Miami Marlins were finally willing to open the pocketbooks to win. But the wins never materialized and dysfunction quickly set in. The Marlins slummed their way to a dismal 69-93 record which was good for a 2nd consecutive last place finish in the NL East.

The Marlins, as they are notorious for doing, decided that this current roster wouldn’t get the job done. They opted to leverage nearly all their usable roster pieces into future assets, making multiple trades that left the big league roster in tatters. Out the door went Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and their combined 13 All-Star appearances, only to be replaced by a handful of minor league prospects plus some veteran placeholders. If the Marlins could only muster 69 wins with that group of players, it was worth wondering how low they could go with an even less talented group. Well, if the early returns are worth anything, these 2013 Miami Marlins may make a run at some truly terrible history.

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