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Thursday game notes

Just a few seed shells tossed off as I head to the big right-handers’ rodeo in Flushing….

11 games on the schedule Thursday, 32 HRs. Teams that won the derby went 5-1. There have been 449 HRs hit so far through 450 team-games, about 6% more than the comparable point last year, with an equal rise in the HR% (per PA). Last year’s season HR% was higher than that of 1994, ’95 and ’97.

  • Miami has 4 HRs through 16 games. The last team with such a slow power start was the ’96 Royals. The last team with a slower start was the ’85 Pirates, 2 HRs in their first 16 games; they finished with 80 HRs and 104 losses, then hired Jim Leyland to help turn them around.

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Late Wednesday game notes update!

These would have reached you sooner, but I missed the cutoff man.

Tigers 2, @Mariners 1 (14): In case you didn’t stay up for the slam-bang finish (and didn’t pay your cable bill)….

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Read Adam in USA Today

This week’s Sports Weekly piece by High Heat Stats was written by our own Adam Darowski. You can read it online here:

As you can see from the URL, it’s about the role that team defense plays in a pitcher’s ERA.


Wednesday game notes, and a few oldies


Royals 1, @Braves 0: It had to be Frenchy, right? The ex-local hero had hacked at Mike Minor‘s first 2 offerings with 2 on and 2 out in the 4th, then got an inexplicable 0-2 fastball down the pipe — nearly the target set by Evan Gattis — and lashed it into left for the game’s only run.

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Untouchable (at least, so far)

Paul MaholmLeft-hander Paul Maholm is one of the reasons Atlanta has but a single loss this season, and is currently riding a 10-game win streak. In 3 starts, Maholm has allowed nary a run, and hardly a baserunner (0.787 WHIP).

So, which other starting pitchers are off to hot starts in 2013? Quite a few, actually. In fact, if you’re a starting pitcher with at least 12 IP so far, your ERA needs to be under 2.00 to crack the top 25.

After the jump, more on pitchers who are strong out of the gate – this year and in the recent past.

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The power of ten

Atlanta goes for its tenth straight win tonight, at home against Kansas City. They join Oakland as the second team this season to win nine in a row. The Athletics’ bid for ten straight came a cropper last week when they ran into Justin Verlander and the Tigers.

What is the significance of winning ten straight? More after the jump.

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Glavine vs. Smoltz

Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were born a year apart and made their Major League debuts for the Braves a year apart.  They were teammates in Atlanta from 1988 through 2002, went their separate ways, and then retired a year apart.  They’ll hit the Hall of Fame ballot a year apart, and should both sail into the Hall, possibly in the same year, though it seems both more likely and more fitting that they’ll be inducted a year apart.

With the exception of the rotations Bobby Cox set every April and most Octobers for the fifteen years they spent together, Glavine and Smoltz have rarely been pitted against each other.  It looks like Glavine’s about to be inducted into the Circle of Greats this week.  Could Smoltz be right behind?  Should Smoltz make the Circle before Glavine does?  Let’s take a look at their respective accomplishments after the jump.

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April 15 – Be Like Jackie

Jackie RobinsonQuick quiz about players who were like Jackie Robinson.

So, here goes. What do the players below have in common with each other? This shouldn’t take long to solve.

Nippy Jones
Jackie Robinson
Willie Mays
Jim Gilliam
Juan Pizarro
Ken Hunt
John Wathan

Hint: this may not be an exhaustive list

Congratulations to John Autin, who identified that all of these players played in the post-season in their debut season, and also in their final campaign. The first 6 names all link up nicely with one or more of the others, as either teammates or opponents. For John Wathan? Well, he and Jim Gilliam were both teammates of Tommy Davis, whom Ken Hunt owned, retiring Tommy all four times he faced him, including two strikeouts.

2013: The Year of the Shutout

Through last night, just about every team has played 12 games so far this season, and we’ve already had 36 shutouts in 2013. With 358 total games having been played so far, that’s 10% of games ending in a shutout.

By comparison, in all of 2012, there were 310 shutouts in 4860 games, just 6.4%. And in the first 12 games of the season for each team, there were 24 shutouts out of 36o games (6.7%).

Going back as far as we’ve had 30 teams, here are the number of shutouts within the first 12 games for each team:

2013: 36
2012: 24
2011: 20
2010: 17
2009: 22
2008: 23
2007: 18
2006: 15
2005: 20
2004: 17
2003: 26
2002: 23
2001: 16
2000: 16
1999: 15
1998: 20
1997: 15

So, the most shutouts in the first 12 games of any season from 1997 to 2012 was 26, and this year we have 36. Over those previous 16 years, there were 19.2 shutouts on average, and this year we have close to double that…

Sunday game notes: Doc gets it

Phillis 2, @Marlins 1: The Phils had left 9 men on base and were about to squander Roy Halladay’s first good shot at win #200.

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