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Circle of Great 1950 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the twenty-second round of balloting for the Circle of Greats.  This round adds those players born in 1950.  Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats 1951 Ballot Results: Going Dutch

Bert Blyleven is the 21st inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats and, as a native of the Netherlands, our first inductee born in a nation with no major league team.

While it took 14 long years of voting with Blyleven on the ballot for the Baseball Writers Association of America to induct Bert into the Hall of Fame, COG voters have now inducted him at the first opportunity.  You picked Bert in preference to ten guys that the BBWAA elected while making Blyleven wait (Gwynn, Sandberg, Murray, Dawson, Winfield, Puckett, Rice, Sutter, Eckersley and Gossage).   More on Byleven and the 1951 round of voting is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Sunday game notes

Happy Father’s Day, all you dads, grand-dads, uncles & big brothers.

@Padres 4, D-backs 1: The Pads wanted the sweep, the 6-win streak and the good side of .500, but the last game of this series would be the hardest. The Snakes scratched in the 3rd on Ian Kennedy‘s hit, but Will Venable parked one in the home half, and there things stayed into the 8th. Clayton Richard had his game of the year, holding Goldschmidt and Parra hitless with a DP each, the latter ending the 8th and Richard’s day. Everth Cabrera singled with one out in the home half, his 3rd hit of the afternoon lifting his BA to .305. A steal seemed imminent, but David Hernandez is hard to run on; just 6 have tried in the last 3 years. And Miguel Montero had caught Cabrera in the 1st.

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Robby Cano’s RISPy Business

Robinson Cano is an outstanding hitter, but much less so when there are runners in scoring position (RISP). This fact is well known to those who follow the Yankees, but the extent of his struggles, compared to other good hitters, might surprise you.

To be clear, this is not an anti-Cano piece; I’d be thrilled to have him on either of the teams I root for. And I have no theory to explain his difficulty or prove its predictive value; although I know these numbers, I’m still terrified when he comes up in a big spot with men on against my Mets or Tigers.

I just think it’s fascinating.

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Quiz – Pitching Peculiarity (solved)

Since 1916, what game accomplishment is shared by only these pitchers?

Hint #1: none of these pitchers has done this more than once

Hint #2: no pitcher has accomplished this feat in the post-season

Congratulations to Richard Chester! He identified the players in the quiz as the only pitchers to hit a homerun on their birthday. Since Randy Wolf did this in 2002, pitchers have batted on their birthday in 93 games, but have all come up empty in the long ball department.

Our list includes none of the 13 pitchers who batted most often on their birthday, led by Sad Sam Jones with 9 birthday games and Bobo Newsom with 7. Tied for 14th spot are a large group of 44 pitchers who batted in 3 birthday games including Turk Lown, Bob Hooper, Freddie Fitzsimmons and Don Drysdale, as well as active pitchers Edwin Jackson of the Cubs and John Lannan of the Phillies. Bubba Church and Jack Harshman homered in their only birthday games, but both took the loss.

Friday game notes — updated

@Padres 2, D-backs 1: The Snakes reached Eric Stults for a double and a run in the opening minutes. And though they wouldn’t reach safely again until the 9th, for most of that time it seemed the early scratch would suffice. Escape artist Trevor Cahill — .274 BA/.795 OPS with the bases empty, but .193/.479 in RBI spots — had stranded 4 in the first 5 innings. Now, with one more strike, he’d have the ultimate escape: 3 straight whiffs and 3 ducks orphaned with a 1-0 lead.

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Quiz – Expansion Era Pitchers (solved)

What is the season statistical feat achieved by only these pitchers since 1961?

Hint: none of these pitchers achieved this feat more than once

Congrats to –Bill ! He identified the players in today’s quiz as the only pitchers since 1961 with a season win total matching or exceeding their age. No pitcher has managed this feat since Roger Clemens recorded 24 wins as a 23 year-old in 1986, a year after 20 year-old Dwight Gooden also won 24 games.

Wally Bunker, at age 19, is the youngest to do this since the 19th century, while Steve Carlton is the oldest in our list with 27 wins at age 27 in 1972. The last pitcher to do this more than once – Hal Newhouser in 1944-46 with 29, 25 and 26 wins, aged 23-25. Bob Feller is the only other three-peater in the live ball era with 24, 27 and 25 wins aged 20-22 in 1939-41. The last pitcher to do this aged 30 or older – Lefty Grove with 31 wins at age 31 in 1931.

On our recent podcast (now available on iTunes–just search for High Heat Stats), Adam raised the question of variability in hit-by-pitch totals over the years, and none of us had an exact answer right away.

I’ve delved into it a bit, and was quite surprised by the results.

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A few Thursday game notes (updated)

Royals 10, @Rays 1: Ervin Santana has given his team a chance in every one of his 13 starts this year, and he faced one over the minimum through 5 innings. But so did Jeremy Hellickson, giving him 11 straight zeroes over 2 starts. And then, the deluge: 8 hits and 8 runs in the 6th, the blitz begun by ex-Ray Elliot Johnson and emphatically capped by him on Hellickson’s 37th pitch of the frame.

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Catching up with Game Notes

Wednesday

Angels 9, @Orioles 5: Since sliding into the rotation on May 5, Jerome Williams is 4-2, 3.48 in 7 starts. All other Angels starters are 16-27 this year.

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