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Five homers and five stolen bases in the same game

Posted by Andy on June 16, 2011

The Yankees did it last night, becoming just the 8th team since 1919:

1 2011-06-15 NYY TEX W 12-4 43 34 12 12 1 0 5 12 8 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 5 0 0.557 7.884 .723 7 11
2 2009-06-30 TEX LAA W 9-5 40 34 9 11 1 0 5 9 5 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 5 1 0.456 4.480 .557 7 9
3 1999-06-21 TOR KCR W 11-4 42 35 11 13 2 0 5 10 7 0 6 0 0 0 0 1 5 1 0.481 6.234 .743 7 10
4 1995-05-28 DET CHW L 12-14 54 44 12 17 3 0 7 12 8 1 11 2 0 0 2 1 5 1 0.454 6.877 1.142 15 13
5 1982-07-11 SFG MON W 8-7 44 39 8 10 1 0 5 7 5 1 6 0 0 0 1 1 5 0 0.718 3.381 .629 6 15
6 1978-09-19 PIT CHC W 12-11 51 43 12 16 1 0 5 12 5 0 11 0 2 1 0 1 5 2 0.659 6.500 .674 6 16
7 1977-07-28 CIN CHC L 15-16 69 58 15 19 5 0 5 14 10 4 12 0 1 0 2 2 6 0 0.716 7.948 1.543 15 16
8 1921-06-25 (2) NYG PHI W 17-4 48 42 17 16 2 0 5 15 6 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 6 1 0.000 0.000 4 16
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/16/2011.

On the one hand it's amazing that some of the teams lost, but I guess most teams would not steal 5 bases in a game if they already had a comfortable lead from 5 homers.

33 Responses to “Five homers and five stolen bases in the same game”

  1. Jeff Says:

    It only happened once in the first 58 years of the timeframe, and 7 times in the last 34 years.

  2. Chuck Says:

    Two of them were on the backend of a double steal, and three of them came in the seventh inning with the Yanks up by five runs.

    Not an impressive accomplishment.

  3. howard rosen Says:

    Sounds impressive to me.

  4. wlcmlc Says:

    How do you hit 7 homeruns and only score 12 runs when you have 17 total hits, 8 walks and 2 hit batters?

  5. Jacob Says:

    Chuck = Buzz Killingsworth

  6. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    The Tigers-Whitesox in '95 was pretty impressive. The Whitesox also had 5 HR. Amazingly, with a 14-12 score, 26 total runs came on just 31 combined hits, granted 12 of them went yard.
    Of equal amazement were the line-ups for both teams. A ton of stars, almost-beens, a few future HOFers, some current managers, and eventually lots of WS rings...
    Trammell (WS 84) (manager)
    Whitaker (WS 84)
    Fielder (WS 96)
    Gibson (WS 84 & 88) (manager)
    Curtis (WS 99)
    Wells (WS 92 & 98)
    Danny Bautista (WS 01)
    Franklin Stubbs (WS 88)

    Dibble (WS 90)
    Raines (WS 91)
    Guillen WS 05) (manager)

  7. Larry R. Says:


    The Bengals left 15 runners on base and went 3 for 14 with RISP. That's how.

  8. Chuck Says:

    This question is for anyone who knows more about WAR than I do, which is pretty much anyone older than three.

    This came up in a conversation during the Yankee game last night.

    46 of Robinson Cano's 130 career homers (35%) have come with the Yankees either ahead or behind by three runs or more.

    Is there, can there, or will there be an adjustment to WAR to identify those players who seemingly perform better and pad their stats during garbage time?

  9. Chuck Says:



    Buzz Killingsworth.

  10. Andy Says:


    Something like 'garbage time homers' would better be reflected in WPA, i.e. win probability added. I was actually just researching this very issue this morning--which players have the most homers this year that did very little to help their team win, and WPA is a good measure of that.

    Here's an off-the-cuff example I chose at random. Ron Gant and Vinny Castilla have nearly identical career HR totals. 321 for Gant, 320 for Castilla.

    Gant's career WPA is 16.4. His WPA+ (events with positive WPA) was 147.8 (meaning his WPA- was -131.4, hence the 16.4 difference.)

    Castilla's career WPA is -1.3 (yes, negative). His WPA+ was 138.0.

    This tells you that Gant's career was more valuable in terms of helping his team win. Castilla had a little lower WPA+, and also a lower (more negative) WPA-, and a lower overall total of the two.

    This doesn't directly mean that Gant's homers were more valuable, but that is probably the case. As we know, Castilla played a lot of games at Crazy Coors, when homers weren't worth as much because the ball as flying out. He probably hit quite a few that came with the Rockies either ahead or behind by 5+ runs.

  11. Andy Says:

    Chuck, also, you poo-pooed OPS+ on my other post, but the Gant vs Castilla example is another good one. Gant is 112 for his career and Castilla is 95. I'm sure most objective observers would agree that Gant was a far better player.

  12. GTB Says:

    Chuck, can you give us a sample of other players? It's hard to put Cano's 35% in perspective without knowing where it stands.

    And it's hard to say any HR while trailing is garbage time.

  13. Johnny Twisto Says:

    46 of Robinson Cano's 130 career homers (35%) have come with the Yankees either ahead or behind by three runs or more.

    This is not that useful without context. For reference, from 2005-2011, 34.5% of all MLB homers have come when up or down by 3 or more runs.

    Also, 36.0% of Cano's career PA have come with the Yankees either ahead or behind by three runs or more.

    That said....

    Is there, can there, or will there be an adjustment to WAR to identify those players who seemingly perform better and pad their stats during garbage time?

    ...This is still a good question. The version of WAR on B-R does not adjust for this.** Certainly one could devise an adjusted or different model which does. As is, it's sort of like looking at HR. We can be pretty sure someone who hit 40 HR or had 6.0 WAR had a good season. But in both cases, you may want to dig deeper to see whether they performed in the clutch or not.

    ** My understanding, which may be wrong, is that each player's batting runs are adjusted so that they fit the team's actual runs scored. So the players on a team that outscored its component stats by hitting well in the clutch would have their batting runs adjusted up. But that team adjustment would be done, I assume, on a pro-rated basis for each player, not specifically based on how that individual performed in the clutch.

  14. Andy Says:

    GTB, I think WPA really accounts for that. If a guy hits a solo homer with his team down by 5 runs in the 9th, the truth is that it doesn't do much to help his team. Yes, the player did all that he could in that scenario, but one could argue that perhaps he was more relaxed because he knew he team was going to lose, or perhaps he wasn't facing the opposing closer because of the margin...should he get as much credit for team contribution as a guy who hits a 3-run bomb off a closer in game where his team is down by 1? Yeah, he should get the same +1 homer added to his total, but there being a difference in the assigned WPA makes a lot of sense to me.

  15. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ Andy,

    How about "bunching" - for lack of a better word. Like how you pointed out last year Jeter had low % totals but scored in the most games or something like that.
    Or guys like Fernando Tatis or Mark Whiten who had 100 RBI seasons, but bunched them together over 40 or so games, where Lou Gehrig had 100+ games with an RBI.
    I also noticed John Olerud had a season for the Mets, that went over looked, but he was on base in 158 games.
    Do things like that, a more consistent output, change WPA or WAR?

  16. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The average WPA of Cano's homers has been .109.

    The average WPA of all MLB homers 2005-11 has been .129.

    By that measure, Cano's HR do come in slightly less important situations.

    Of course, the Yankees have a lot of big leads, so Cano may not get to hit in as many important situations as others.

    All Yankee HR since 2005 average .124 WPA.

  17. Chuck Says:


    #10. Thanks, makes sense.

    #11. I completely agree, although most observers would be able to make that distinction without relying on OPS+.

    Johnny @ #13,

    That's the answer I was looking for. Cano is pretty much league average in this regard.

    I guess my question is, or was...Cano performed at a 6.0 WAR last year.

    What if he was 10.0 when ahead or behind by three runs, and -3.0 when ahead or behind by one, or tied?

    He obviously would not be a clutch player, or someone who could be counted on with the game on the line.

    That's what I meant by "padding".

  18. Andy Says:

    JT, can we compare Cano's aLI vs the league?

  19. kingcrab Says:

    andy, i kind of disagree that Castilla's homers being worth less if they are coming when his team is up or down 5 at coors, i would argue that it should be worth more since more often than at other parks, a homer when down by 5 at coors can start a comeback and a homer when up by 5 can thwart the impending comeback. as we all know, back then, it wasn't over until it was over...

  20. Andy Says:

    Kingcrab, sorry, I oversimplified my example. Yeah, Gant homering with his team down 5 is worth less than Castilla doing the same at Coors since there's a better chance they can rally. But Castilla's teams probably found themselves on one side or the other of a blowout more often, while Gant's homers probably came with a closer average relative score.

  21. LJF Says:

    Reds/Cubs game of 1977 on this list - observations and quirks.

    When I think if basestealers for those Reds teams, I think of Morgan, Griffey, Geronimo. They only had 1 of the 6 SB's this game (Morgan). Concepcion had 3, Rose 1 and Mike Lum(!) had 2.

    The Reds hit three of the HR's in the 1st inning (Rose, Bench and that guy Lum again).

    Buckner had a weird day. In the bottom of the first the Cubs were already behind 6-0. The first two batters reached and Buckner hit a 3 run HR, which improved the Cubs chances by 10%. In the 8th, the Cubs were down 14-10 and he hit another HR, cutting the lead in half for a +14 wWPA. 2HR's, 5 RBI, but his they were his only hits and he was 2 for 8, with a WPA of -.169.

    The Reds were the two time defending WS champs, but after this game they were 49-49, although their expected win % from the Pythagorean method was .543. They played better than .600 ball for the rest of the season, but still finished 10 games out.

    The Cubs, on the other hand, had gotten out of the gate fast and by June 29th (a month before this game) they were 46-22 and up by 8.5. They had been a little under .500 in the month leading up to this game and their lead had dwindled to 2.5. Even though they were playing at better than .600, the Pythagorean method projected them at a .530 team. After this game, they really went into a tail spin, going 21-42 the last two months, losing 20 games in the standings to the Phillies over the last 63 games. A cautionary tale for teams playing better than expected (see the 2011 SF Giants).

  22. LJF Says:

    Andy, thanks for bringing up Ron Gant so I would go back to look at his career. I remember him being a terrible defender - and he was in the early days when the Braves had him in the infield, but he played pretty good in LF. I always liked watching him and he had a better career than I remember. Anybody with Jim Wynn and Bobby Bonds on their top 10 similarity scores is worth a second look.

  23. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I guess my question is, or was...Cano performed at a 6.0 WAR last year. What if he was 10.0 when ahead or behind by three runs, and -3.0 when ahead or behind by one, or tied?

    WAR doesn't really work like that, in that you could calculate a player to be worth X WAR in these situations, and Y WAR in those situations. I suppose you could describe Cano as a 10-WAR type player in garbage time, and a negative-WAR type player in clutch situations. But WAR also tries to measure baserunning and defense, and if you start splitting those results into different situations, the samples are so small they have little meaning. (And that data isn't available to us mortals anyway.)

    Rather than trying to fudge the WAR number, it's probably better to just look at the guy's batting splits, seeing how he performs in tie games vs. blowouts (or whatever split you are interested in), and making a mental adjustment on his overall value. (Or use WPA.) WAR is pretty much context-neutral, and certainly some players in some seasons will hit so well or so poorly in the clutch that it does affect their value to a degree that isn't captured by WAR.

    FWIW, I know Cano had the rep earlier in his career for failing in the clutch, but last year he was quite solid.

  24. Johnny Twisto Says:

    can we compare Cano's aLI vs the league?

    For his career it's 0.97. By definition, the league should be 1.00. So, not a big difference.

  25. Whiz Says:

    @14, 19 and 20

    If WPA is calculated using a fixed run environment in a given season, it will not take into account the differences between Coors Field and Petco Park (to give an extreme example). To do that you would need to calculate the WPA on a park-by-park basis using the run environment in that park. I don't know if anybody has ever done this, but in principle it's not that much harder to do.

  26. TheGoof Says:

    Perhaps more impressive than 5&5: Every member of the Yanks' starting infield homered. Much more impressive when you consider that means Perez and Pena for Rodriguez and Jeter.

  27. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Whiz, WPA here does account for the park.

  28. Richard Chester Says:


    The last time that happened was in 1939 when Dahlgren, Gordon, Crosetti and Rolfe homered.

  29. Doug Says:


    "It only happened once in the first 58 years of the timeframe, and 7 times in the last 34 years."

    Most likely, this is symptomatic of the prevalence of home runs. Compared to recent times, any sort of 5-homer game prior to the 1970s would have been relatively rare. Add in the 5 SB requirement and it becomes extremely rare (as evidenced here).

  30. Rich Says:

    I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of a guy "padding" his stats when his team is behind by 3 or more runs by hitting a HR?
    Getting the team back in the game is padding your stats in garbage time? Also, baseball HAS no garbage time. There is no clock; there is always a chance to win until the final out.

  31. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Last season, Cano batted .333/.389/.535 when the game was tied or within 1 run. He batted .272/.338/.470 when the margin was 3 or more.

  32. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ Andy - regarding post 15

    Any feedback about 'spreading' & bunching, and their respective values to a team.
    Like a guy hitting .280, but rarely going 0-for, getting on base 140-150 times a year, or a guy who clusters his hits but is streaky and finishes his season hitting .320?

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I know we've had discussions about spreading and bunching before. I can't remember if we reached any conclusions about whether one was preferable. I'm not even sure how to approach the question.