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Random Recap for Saturday, June 4: Albert Phattens Up; Padres Streaking at Home?

Posted by John Autin on June 5, 2011

Cardinals 5, Cubs 4 (12 innings): The 2nd HR of the game by Albert Pujols won it in bottom of the 12th -- his first walk-off hit since August 28, 2009. Something tells me Albert doesn't often get much to hit in potential game-winning moments: In high-leverage situations, his career BA is .347, with .654 slugging, and he has a .451 OBP in late-and-close situations. Tonight was also his first 4-RBI game of the season, and his first game with 3 extra-base hits in almost a year.

  • Of the 6 pitchers who appeared for the Cards, the highest ERA after the game was 2.41, by SP Kyle Lohse.

Rays 3, Mariners 2: Kyle Farnsworth picked up his 11th save in 12 tries. Five of his 11 saves have come protecting a 1-run lead; his only blown save came when he entered with a 1-run lead, no outs and a man on 2nd base. Farnsworth's biggest weaknesses over the years have been mediocre control (3.8 BB/9) and gopheritis (1.3 HR/9), but this year he's allowed just 1 walk and no HRs in 20 IP.

Dodgers 11, Reds 8 (11 innings): Dusty Baker used 5 different relievers for less than an inning. The last manager to do that was Dusty himself, on Oct. 1 last year, also an 11-inning loss.

Mets 5, Braves 0: Jose Reyes hit his 10th triple, a 3-run drive in the Mets' 5-run 7th.

  • Dillon Gee (7 IP, 0 R) is 6-0 this year, and 8-2, 2.61 in 12 career starts. The only other Met ever to win 8 of his first 12 career starts is his current teammate, Jason Isringhausen, back in 1995; Izzy went 8-2, 3.19 in his first 12 starts, but won just 10 of his last 40 starts before shifting to relief. (Gee is also the only MLB player ever with the first name Dillon.)

Rockies 2, Giants 1: Colorado (9 singles) won without an extra-base hit for the first time in almost a year, and just the 19th time in club history.

  • Madison Bumgarner (7 IP, 2 R, 1 ER) had his 8th straight quality start. He has a 2.01 ERA in that span, but his record is 2-4. The Giants have scored 1 run or less in half of his 12 starts this year.

Texas 4, Cleveland 1: Derek Holland became the 29th different pitcher to throw a shutout this year. Holland has 2 shutouts in 43 career starts; only 2 active pitchers have at least 2 shutouts in fewer starts: Jaime Garcia (3 in 41 starts) and Holland's teammate, Matt Harrison (2 in 42).

  • The Rangers have 3 CG shutouts this year, their highest total since 1998; they had none last year.

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3: Mark Reynolds can still propel the pill a long way when he connects. He did tonight -- the first grand slam of his career, off Ricky Romero in the 6th.

  • Reynolds came into the game with a career .115 BA with the bases loaded -- 6 for 52, with 26 Ks -- but also 11 sacks-loaded walks.

Pirates 6, Phillies 3: Kyle Kendrick allowed 8 hits in 5 IP, including 6 extra-base hits, matching the NL season high.

  • The Pirates moved within 1 game of .500; they haven't been .500 or above this late in the season since 1999.

Tigers 4, White Sox 2: Justin Verlander's 89th career win made him the 21st pitcher to reach that mark with the Tigers, and the first since Frank Tanana in 1992. Verlander's .615 W% ranks 3rd in that group, behind Denny McLain (.654) and Schoolboy Rowe.

  • Verlander has won exactly half of his games pitched; Jon Lester (68 wins in 135 games) is the only other active pitcher with even 20+ wins who can say that.

Diamondbacks 2, Nationals 0: Arizona moved back into 1st place. Washington failed to score for the 9th time this year, the 5th time with Livan Hernandez on the hill, and the 4th time in his last 6 starts. Livan has allowed 2 runs or less in 4 of those 5 losses, including back-to-back 1-0 defeats last month.

  • Since 1993, only 6 pitchers have suffered as many as three 1-0 defeats in a season, led by Matt Cain's 4 in 2007.

Brewers 3, Marlins 2: Yovani Gallardo won his 8th, tying Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia for the MLB lead, though he needed 100 pitches to get through 6 innings.

Yankees 3, Angels 2: C.C. Sabathia gave way to Mariano Rivera with 2 out and a man on in the 9th, and Mo converted his 574th career save. It was just his 23rd 1-out save. Of the top 6 in career saves, all but one have more 1-out saves than Rivera: Trevor Hoffman 30, Lee Smith 26, John Franco 24, Dennis Eckersley 25. Billy Wagner had just 8.

  • Alex Rodriguez hit career HR number 623, his 277th with the Yankees in his 8th season; he needs just 9 more to catch Bernie Williams for #6 on the franchise list. A-Rod is 10th on the Yankees' Offensive WAR list, just behind Jorge Posada. He's also #4 in HRs and oWAR for Seattle, and is assured of holding those spots for several years to come.

Padres 6, Astros 3: San Diego has won consecutive home games for the first time this year. They won their 6th in their last 8 games; exceeded 5 runs for the first time in 17 games; and got their first win by a margin of 3 runs or more since May 15. The Padres are 11-21 at home, but 15-12 on the road. A win Sunday would give them just their 2nd home series win this year.

What else happened Saturday? What would you like to see more of, or less of, in these recaps? What teams or stories aren't getting enough play? Your suggestions are welcome.

24 Responses to “Random Recap for Saturday, June 4: Albert Phattens Up; Padres Streaking at Home?”

  1. David G. Says:

    These recaps are great. Most games happen while I'm sleeping and I've been looking for something like this for a few years. I guess I'd just like if you could put every game in there even if you have nothing to say about it.

  2. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Since his last 45 games for the D-Backs in '09, when he entered the game batting .290, Mark Reynolds has hit .193 over that span (including last night's homer). That's 245 Gs, 1003 PAs and 848 ABs.

  3. Frank C. Says:

    Unique recaps... love them. Better than the same old recaps you get from newspapers or mainstream websites. More interesting stats. I agree with David G., mention all scores even if no comments.

  4. Fred Says:

    Enjoy the recaps too. Dillon Gee also tied the Mets record by starting the season 6-0, a record held previously by tonight's starter R.A Dickey. Apropos of nothing just random thoughts...It was done on the day we learned that Marshall Dillon had died too

  5. Neil L. Says:

    @1 @3
    David & Frank, wish I could make it a consensus, but I don't think every game has to be mentioned in JA's recaps.

    To me, the appeal of the recaps is the arbitrariness and "quirkiness" of the comments. It's like a glimpse into the associations one person's "baseball mind" makes.

    So, JA, make the recaps selective not exhaustive, IMO. And keep the good stuff comin'.

    By inviting readers to fill in the recap gaps, based on their local teams, JA is acheiving complete coverage.

  6. Whiz Says:

    Regarding the Cubs-Cardinals game, it was two out, nobody on, and Cubs manager Mike Quade chose not to just have pitcher Jeff Samardzija intentionally walk Pujols, but rather pitch him very carefully. The home run was hit off a slider that was well below the strike zone. Pujols had to reach down to get it, and watching it on TV, I thought at first that for sure it would be a routine fly ball. But Pujols muscled it out of the park. Amazing stuff.

    Pujols's slash stats are .275/.348/.459. His BAbip is .257. Not coincidentally, his BAbip is 55 points below his career mark, and his BA is 54 points below his career BA. So has his "slump" been all bad luck? Well, his HR rate is also down a but (4.6% vs. career 6.0%), so luck is not all of it. His walk rate is also down (9.5% vs. career 13.3%), although after yesterday that might change.

  7. John Autin Says:

    @6, Whiz -- Thanks for the visual report on Albert's game-winner.

    The biggest factor I can see (stats-wise) in Albert's slow start is that he's hitting more ground balls. His GB/FB ratio is 0.93 this year, up from a previous career mark of 0.69.

  8. Neil L. Says:

    Picking up on Albert Pujols......... Perhaps his big night at the plate will launch him on a more ..... well Pujols-like rest of the season.

    Not many players with a line of .275/.348/.459 (incl. last night) would be asked "what's wrong". His current OPS+ of 127, if it holds, would be by far the lowest of his career.

    His batting splits show a slight warming up in the second half but nothing extreme.

    So is it just a case of being pitched around, a nagging injury, unhappiness about financial future?

    After reading your recap, JA, I looked up the Cardinal's Bref box (A luxury I realize you don't have when you post!) and observed with interest that Albert almost single handedly won the game with a WPA of 0.852. By himself, he covered all of the offensive deficiencies of the rest of the team.

    But, as you point out, JA, the St. Louis pitching staff was excellent, accounting for 71% (0.357 WPA/0.500 WPA) of the reason the Cardinals won the game.

  9. Neil L. Says:

    Whiz, I wasn't even communicating with you by mental telepathy. 🙂

    Got interrupted in the middle of my post!

  10. John Autin Says:

    Two angles that I missed in that Cards-Cubs game:

    (1) Pujols was intentionally walked in the 10th with 1 out and runners at the corners. Carlos Marmol then came into the game and struck out Lance Berkman and retired PH Tony Cruz to escape the jam, before pitching a scoreless 11th. Marmol earned 0.450 WPA in the game, the 3rd-highest mark of the year for an appearance of 2 IP or less.

    (2) Colby Rasmus left the game as part of a double-switch in the top of the 7th with the game tied at 4. I can't find any report of an injury. It was his spot in the order that Tony Cruz occupied when he made the last out of the 10th with the bases loaded. But before I jump all over LaRussa, I should note that the man who replaced him in the OF, Allen Craig, has been hitting a ton this year, and Rasmus did make the last out of the 6th. So I guess that, depending on their defensive abilities, I might actually praise this move -- begrudgingly!

  11. Enkidu Says:

    Nice recaps.

    Anyone else find Jose Reyes' splits this year extremely bizarre?

    Home: 132 PA .397/.442/.642 10 3B
    Away: 128 PA .277/.315/.361 0 3B

    I know Citi Field is a big park, but wow.

  12. Neil L. Says:

    Enkidu, welcome to BRef.

    John Autin, in previous threads, has characterized Citi Field as a "triples park", not just an XBH park.

    Presumably, this has played out to Jose Reyes' (and the Mets') advantage this year. Hence, his home/road triples split.

    How can the configuration and height of the outfield wall in a stadium facilitate triples over doubles and home runs?

  13. John Autin Says:

    Regarding Jose Reyes's home/road splits:

    (1) Even when the Mets played at Shea (not a good hitter's park), he generally hit a little better at home. In his 4 good years there (2005-08), Jose's home/road OPS differentials were:
    - .029
    In 2010, the first year of the new park wherein Jose played significant games, his OPS differential was +.085.

    (2) However, in those 4 prime Shea seasons, he hit 50% more triples on the road -- 26 at home, 39 away -- with only about 30 extra PAs on the road. He hit 27 HRs in each split, but far more doubles at Shea (75 to 52).

    What does it all mean? Alas, I have no unified theory. I do think that Reyes often feeds off the positive energy of the home crowd. As to the triples, I think Shea was a very poor triples park; its triples park factors in 2005-08 ranked 29th, 29th, 24th, and 13th (not in chron. order). Why? I haven't studied the science of triples, but it seems to me that one reason was an almost symmetrical outfield shape with a smooth curve to the wall -- there were no nooks or crannies, no weird angles, and no part of the park that was especially deep. (Despite its reputation, Shea generally played as only a mild pitcher's park from the '80s onward, and that because of low batting averages; it was a fine place to hit HRs.)

    The new park is deeeep in RF and right-center, and there are some angles out there. Jose has always gotten most of his triples on line drives either right down the line or that split the right-center gap, so the new configuration is perfect for him in that regard.

    That he has hit more triples at home than away this year is no surprise. However, given that he averaged 10 road triples a year from 2005-08, the fact that he has none yet this year seems a mere fluke.

  14. Adam Says:

    Great job again John.
    But being a Brewers fan, I can tell you that Gallardo going six innings or less and throwing at least 100 pitches is not unusual for him. In fact, he has had 9 games this year where he has pitched six innings or less and has at least 100 pitches in everyone of those starts but one.
    Again keep up the great work.

  15. Johnny Twisto Says:

    JA, I don't think there's any need to list all the games. All the scores are easily available on B-R's front page, or at or wherever.

  16. Game 59 « The Writer's Journey Says:

    [...] game against the Dodgers. Five different relievers were used for less than an inning each. The B-R blog notes that the last manager to so ineffectively use his bullpen was Dusty Baker himself last year. [...]

  17. Zim Says:

    In the Twins win over the Royals, Twins journeyman rookie Brian Dinkelman was hit by a pitch in his first PA and was later intentionally walked. He also registered his first big league hit. I thought it very odd that the Royals would walk a career minor leaguer in his first big league game, but they were clearly scared of the power of the Dinkelman!

    I found one other player to have a HBP and IBB in his debut, but couldn't tell who without a subscription.

  18. John Autin Says:

    @17, Zim -- Fabulous catch on Dinkelman. As a reward, I will not chastise you for failing to subscribe to the Play Index (this time), but instead will tell you that the other player known to have both a HBP and an IBB in his MLB debut was Eric Soderholm in 1971, also with the Twins. Also:

    -- Like Dinkelman, Soderholm also collected a hit in his debut -- in fact, a HR.

    -- Soderholm's IBB came in the 6th inning of a tie game, with men on 2nd & 3rd, 1 out, and the #8 hitter due up, catcher Phil Roof. The A's sent in Mudcat Grant to relieve, the Twins sent up Harmon Killebrew to pinch-hit, and Harmon smacked the only pinch-grand slam of his career.

    -- Soderholm was the #1 overall pick in the 1968 draft.

  19. Zim Says:

    Thanks John! I'll take the information on Soderholm and the Killebrew pinch slam as an even better reward.

    It was classic as they flashed to Dinkelman's family booing along with many other Twins fans as he was given the free pass.

  20. JW Lewis Says:

    Awful late with this (summer weekends and all) but Pirates were 30-30 after game of June 11, 2005. They proceeded to lose to the then-Devil Rays the next day to start a streak of losing 17 of their next 23 and wound up with their standard 97 Losses on the season.

    Otherwise fine stuff JA.

  21. JW Lewis Says:

    Correcting myself..."only" 95 Losses.

  22. John Autin Says:

    @20, JW Lewis -- Thanks for the reality check. I appreciate all corrections, but this one especially so, because it made me aware of a fundamental methodical error.

    I had searched the Play Index for Pittsburgh's most wins in their first 57 games over the past 15 years or so. Upon seeing that they had not won more than 28 of their first 57 games since 1999, I failed to consider the possibility that they had a hot streak after the 1/3 point in some subsequent season that lifted them to .500.


    The only acceptable defense would be that I was in a coma at the time. (My attorneys are considering it....)

  23. Neil L. Says:

    JW Lewis, are you a long-suffering Pirates fan?

    You corrected the BRef Zen-master, JA, so gently! 🙂

  24. JW Lewis Says:

    Heck even The Babe fouled on off, once in awhile.

    My average is closer to that of one Mario Mendoza so you may figure out, I am indeed a long suffering Bucs fan. Although I am old enough to remember 2 Series Titles and a few more Divisionals.

    The Sunday Pittsburgh Post-Gazette even had a Sports Section headline the day after they reached 30-30 in '05... ".500 At Last" I believe, in "Germany Surrenders" font size. Should have saved that edition!