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Jose, can you get any hotter?

Posted by John Autin on June 29, 2011

[Sure, Cliff Lee's shutout streak is *the* story tonight, and Andy's got that discussion going. And for real drama, the Mets broke their nearly two-year grand slam drought, and liked it so much that they did it again the next inning. But still -- this is my story, and I'm stickin' to it.]

Playing in his 1,000th career game Tuesday night, it took just 5 innings for Jose Reyes to go 4 for 4 with 3 runs, a double, and his 15th triple, in the Mets' 79th game. He remains on pace for several Mets season records as well as some numbers that haven't been seen in 80 years or more.

For starters, Reyes has hit more triples in the first 79 games than any other player since 1919 (which is the limit of B-R's game-search database). Here are the guys who had 14 triples in the first 79 games:

Paul Waner 1927 Ind. Games 69 60 34 4 14 0 25 7 0 .567 .612 1.100 1.712
Lou Gehrig 1926 Ind. Games 68 55 29 2 14 2 22 10 7 .527 .600 1.182 1.782
Curtis Granderson 2007 Ind. Games 60 53 22 0 14 2 16 6 11 .415 .475 1.057 1.531
Kiki Cuyler 1925 Ind. Games 66 59 31 2 14 4 19 5 5 .525 .576 1.237 1.813
Goose Goslin 1925 Ind. Games 54 47 22 2 14 0 15 4 4 .468 .528 1.106 1.635
Rod Carew 1977 Ind. Games 55 53 28 3 14 1 16 2 3 .528 .545 1.170 1.715
Johnny Barrett 1944 Ind. Games 54 48 21 1 14 0 14 6 3 .438 .500 1.042 1.542
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/29/2011.

Four of those seven players wound up with at least 20 triples, led by Cuyler's 26. Rod Carew finished with just 16, though he didn't really slump in the 2nd half, hitting .381 and slugging .549; only the triples dried up.

With 177 Total Bases, Reyes has passed Prince Fielder (21 HRs, with a .305 BA) for 2nd place in the NL, just a few bags behind Matt Kemp (22 HRs, .336 BA). No Met has ever led the league in Total Bases.

When I last ran his projections two weeks ago, Jose was on pace for 235 hits, 27 triples and 356 Total Bases, despite having just 3 HRs. He still has 3 HRs, but has picked up the pace elsewhere; here are his projected season totals, most of them Mets season records:

  • 363 Total Bases (Mets record = 334)
  • 240 Hits (Mets record = 227)
  • 80 Extra-Base Hits (Mets record = 80)
  • 131 Runs (Mets record = 127)
  • 30 Triples (Mets record = 21)
  • 43 doubles (Mets record = 44)
  • 59 Stolen Bases (Mets record = 78)

OK, he's not going to set the Mets' SB record; but then, he already has that one.

A few of those marks would have historic significance beyond the Mets:

  • 30 Triples would be the 2nd most in modern MLB history; Chief Wilson hit 36 in 1912. No one has had as many as 24 triples since 1925 (Kiki Cuyler had 26), and that's the only season of 24+ triples in the live-ball era.
  • 240 Hits would be the highest NL figure since 1930, when Bill Terry set the NL record of 254 hits. No NL player has reached 230 hits since MVP Pete Rose nailed it on the nose in 1973. Since 1998, only one NL player has had even 220 hits (Juan Pierre, 2004, 221 hits).
  • 363 Total Bases would be the 2nd highest total by a player with less than 10 HRs. In 1911, Ty Cobb had 367 Total Bases with 8 HRs, batting .420 with 248 hits, 47 doubles and 24 triples. Note that, while 1911 was the dead-ball era, the 1911 AL was actually a much higher scoring league than the 2011 NL: 1911 AL - .273 BA, 4.60 runs per game; 2011 NL - .251 BA, 4.10 R/G.

Here are the 8 players in MLB history with at least 330 Total Bases and less than 10 HRs:

1 Ty Cobb 367 8 1911 24 DET AL 146 654 591 147 248 47 24 127 44 0 0 8 11 83 0 .420 .467 .621 1.088 *8
2 George Sisler 348 8 1922 29 SLB AL 142 654 586 134 246 42 18 105 49 0 14 3 16 51 19 .420 .467 .594 1.061 *3
3 Paul Waner 342 9 1927 24 PIT NL 155 709 623 114 237 42 18 131 60 0 14 3 23 5 0 .380 .437 .549 .986 *93
4 Ed Delahanty 338 9 1899 31 PHI NL 146 645 581 135 238 55 9 137 55 0 22 4 5 30 0 .410 .464 .582 1.046 *7
5 Shoeless Joe Jackson 337 7 1911 23 CLE AL 147 641 571 126 233 45 19 83 56 0 0 8 6 41 0 .408 .468 .590 1.058 *98
6 Ty Cobb 335 6 1917 30 DET AL 152 669 588 107 225 44 24 102 61 0 34 4 16 55 0 .383 .444 .570 1.014 *89
7 Earle Combs 331 6 1927 28 NYY AL 152 724 648 137 231 36 23 64 62 0 31 2 12 15 6 .356 .414 .511 .925 *8
8 Shoeless Joe Jackson 331 3 1912 24 CLE AL 154 653 572 121 226 44 26 90 54 0 0 12 15 35 20 .395 .458 .579 1.036 *98
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/28/2011.

Of the six 240-hit seasons in NL history, three came in 1930, when the league as a whole batted .303. The 2011 NL average was .251 through Monday.

1 Babe Herman 1930 241 27 BRO NL 153 699 614 143 48 11 35 130 66 0 56 4 15 0 0 18 0 .393 .455 .678 1.132 *9
2 Chuck Klein 1930 250 25 PHI NL 156 719 648 158 59 8 40 170 54 0 50 4 13 0 0 4 0 .386 .436 .687 1.123 *9
3 Bill Terry 1930 254 31 NYG NL 154 710 633 139 39 15 23 129 57 0 33 1 19 0 0 8 0 .401 .452 .619 1.071 *3
4 Lefty O'Doul 1929 254 32 PHI NL 154 731 638 152 35 6 32 122 76 0 19 4 13 0 0 2 0 .398 .465 .622 1.087 *79
5 Rogers Hornsby 1922 250 26 STL NL 154 704 623 141 46 14 42 152 65 0 50 1 15 0 0 17 12 .401 .459 .722 1.181 *4
6 Jesse Burkett 1896 240 27 CLV NL 133 647 586 160 27 16 6 72 49 0 19 7 5 0 0 34 0 .410 .461 .541 1.002 *7
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/28/2011.

For what it's worth, Jose's 117 hits through the first 79 games are 7 more than Ichiro Suzuki had at the same point in his record 262-hit season. But Ichiro got really hot after that, batting .423 the rest of the year.

Reyes walked in his 5th trip tonight and was relieved of further duty with the score 13-2, so no chance for the cycle or for his first 5-hit game of the year (and 2nd of his career). But he deserves a little rest; Jose has missed just 3 games this year (on bereavement leave) and had missed just one inning in the rest of the schedule. And he's hit for the cycle before.

Reyes also had 4 hits and 3 runs in the Mets' previous game, on Sunday. He's the first Met with back-to-back 4-hit games since he did it himself in 2006; the club record 4-hit streak is 3 by Brett Butler in 1995.

And in a sign of the lower-scoring times, Reyes is just the 4th player this year to score 3+ runs in back-to-back games.

So, what might Jose Reyes do in the 2nd half? Historically, he's had almost the same batting and slugging average before and after the All-Star break, though distributed differently. He has hit more triples in the first half, averaging 1 triple every 10 games before the break (not counting this year), and 1 every 13 games in the 2nd half. But his HR rate has been higher after the break, averaging a HR each 11 games in the 2nd half, as opposed to 1 HR per 14 games in the 1st half. Is it only natural that his triples would decline in the 2nd half a long season? Perhaps, but that theory is not confirmed by his rate of steal attempts, which is higher in the 2nd half.

The deeper question about Jose's 2nd half is, how much of it will he spend with the Mets? But the trade that seemed a foregone conclusion a month ago seems almost inconceivable now. Consider:

With Tuesday's win, the Mets moved over .500 for the first time since the opening week. And with the prospect of David Wright coming back in a month or so, and Johan Santana possibly returning in August -- and the outside chance that Jason Bay's grand slam tonight wakes him from his 15-month malaise -- the Mets have a good shot to remain competitive all season. I'm realistic enough to acknowledge that the club as currently constituted is playing over its head, and even the return of those two stars is not likely to drive them into playoff contention. But for a franchise with such a fragile relationship to its fan base, I think they need a full, competitive season even more than they need the rebuilding pieces that a Reyes trade would bring.

And who knows? The Mets are only 5 games back in the wild-card race (assuming Atlanta holds onto its late lead in Seattle). If the club is still that close to the playoff chase a month from now as the trade deadline approaches, Sandy Alderson would be nuts to trade Reyes, because there will be a fan exodus. Yes, the fans want to win, and perhaps trading Reyes would be the wisest way to pursue that long-term goal. But the fans also want to see an exciting team on the field right now. The Mets have been a second-half disappointment over the past 4 season. Last year, they were 44-34 through June, but finished 4 games under .500. In 2010, they were near .500 through June and 3 games out of 1st place, but wound up with 92 losses. And in 2008 and '07, they blew substantial division leads in September. It may be true that Jose's big year will price him right out of Flushing this fall. But the fans would better tolerate letting him get his insane contract somewhere else than they would exiling him away in the midst of such brilliance.

A general manager doesn't always have the luxury of taking the long view. Sandy Alderson is in a bind; whatever decision he makes is fraught with risk, and every Reyes triple, every Mets win turns the knot tighter. In the end, I think he'll find that the only thing he can do is lie back and enjoy it.

93 Responses to “Jose, can you get any hotter?”

  1. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    John, I think we talked about Brett leading the american league TBs in 1976, the only time he would, with 7 HRs, albeit with just 298.

    And why oh why bring up Juan Pierre. (TPARC?)

  2. John Autin Says:

    Duke -- You may think I'm crazy, but I enjoy throwing Timmy a J.P. bone now and then, so when the name comes up in a search, I don't censor it. I enjoy seeing how many different ways he can express his fondness for the Spanish Frenchman, El Gran (Gato) Z and the like. 🙂

  3. Doug Says:

    That table of guys with 330 TBs and less than 10 HRs is quite something.
    Really puts Reyes in grand historical company.

    If he can pull it off, will be first guy since Paul Waner and Earle Combs, 84 years ago. Wow.

  4. Timmy p Says:

    I caught the Juan Pierre stat right away thank you!

  5. Timmy p Says:

    And thanks JA for the Jose Reyes masterpiece! Good on you, and like you said the Mets are only 5 games out so let them keep at it. Reyes is unbelievable and it seems lately that even on nights that he doesn't have an XBH, he raps out a couple of singles.

  6. Shping Says:

    The triple: One of the most exciting plays in the game. Go Jose!!

  7. John Autin Says:

    The scary thing -- and I don't say this to praise him -- is that Reyes puts the lie to the old saw that "triples are made coming out of the batter's box." I don't mean that he ever dogs it, but on several of his triples this year, he has not put it into 5th gear until he's halfway to 2nd base and decides to go for it. Sometimes it seems that this happens when he thinks he might have hit a HR, and he's watching it.

    Tonight's triple wasn't like that; he was flying from the get-go. Just beautiful.

  8. John Autin Says:

    BTW, Reyes should have 16 triples. On April 27, he hit a gapper with 1 out in the 8th with the Mets down a run; he tried for the triple but was called out at 3rd. The call was blown.

  9. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Well, in that case, I remember a play (perhaps a month ago) when Reyes was out at 3rd, but called safe. I have no recollection of who this game was against, but I do think it was referenced here.

  10. John Autin Says:

    OK, Mr. M.R., we'll call it even. 🙂

  11. John Autin Says:

    M.R., thanks for calling me on my comment @8. I got transported with enthusiasm. No fair counting a bad call against him unless I've monitored all the calls and totaled up the net.

  12. Shping Says:

    Good stuff guys.

    Now a gold star for anyone who can name the Mets 2nd place all-time leader in triples with 62? (no cheating)

    Sixty-two gold stars for anyone who can tell me which ballpark yields the most triples per game (current park)?

  13. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Ed Kranepool!

    (Isn't he at the top of every Mets list?)

  14. John Autin Says:

    @12, for part 2, I'll say Comerica Park.

  15. Nash Bruce Says:

    @6,7: Eh, these old bones, remember oh-so-many years ago, when every radio call, of a Christian Guzman line drive, made me stand up, in
    the good ole' days!! 😉

  16. Ken Dick Says:

    @12 I think the 62 triples belongs to Mookie Wilson. Geez, I'm a huge Mets fan, I had better get that right (easily checkable).

    Thanks, JA, for a great article. And yes, I would rather Reyes leave as a FA with a huge contract (I would hope the Mets would at least try to match it) then to see him traded mid-season.

    On a personal note, it has gotten to the point where my dad wants to see every Reyes plate appearance. It has also gotten to the point where he has been a little late getting to the channel and/or television, like tonight, and I've had to tell him "Too late, it's a triple."

  17. Ken Dick Says:

    Oops. I wrote "then" instead of "than."

  18. John Q Says:

    John A,

    Jose also has a shot at some other single season Met Records:

    Times On Base:
    Jose (138)
    Record, (309) John Olerud 1999.

    Runs Created:
    Jose (69)
    Record, (146) D. Wright 2007

    Batting Average:
    Jose (.341)
    Record, (.354) John Olerud 1998

    Runs Produced (Runs + RBI - HR)
    Jose (90)
    Record (206) D. Wright 2008

    He also has a decent chance at being the second player since 1901 to have 30+ triples in a season.

    He also could be the first player in BB history to have 30+ triples and 40 or let alone 30 doubles in a season.

  19. Devon Young Says:

    The triple is the most exciting hit in baseball. I don't care what all these homer happy fans think.

    At the pace Reyes is going, if he does reach 5 HR's, I almost think it'll include two of inside-the-park variety.

  20. birtelcom Says:

    "At this pace" stories are fun but are vulnerable to the observation that the chances are low that a player will continue for an extended period to produce at an historic pace. So let's glance just at what Jose has already accomplished in the hits category.

    The National League went to a 162 game season 50 seasons ago, in 1962. Half a 162 game season is 81 games. With two games still to play before the Mets reach that half-way point, Jose Reyes now has 117 hits in 2011.

    Most hits by an NL player through 81 games played by his team, 1962-2011:
    Matty Alou (1969) 123
    Tony Gwynn (19997) 120
    Ralph Garr (1974) 119
    Jose Vidro (2000) and Larry Walker (1997) 118

  21. John Bowen Says:

    "At the pace Reyes is going, if he does reach 5 HR's, I almost think it'll include two of inside-the-park variety."

    There aren't that many players who hit two of those in their careers.

    I can think of one player with two inside-the-park HR.

    Let's just say it's the last guy you'd expect.

  22. Neil L. Says:

    Shping, and the answers are ..........? Who wins the grand prize?

  23. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ Devon Young,

    According to your avatar and periphery reports from the sanctum of 1978 clubhouses, you have found Slamming Slimeball Sosa's face whitening cream.
    And, I agree with you 100%. As a life long Met fan I suffered through one of the worst stadiums in baseball - Shea.
    I loved Citi at first, but was scared big time free agent bats would get scared off by the dimensions. (Just look at David Wrights #s since Citi and JaY RaY BaY's 16million flop), but when I realized what it could do for players like Reyes and Pagan, and that it was turning the Mets as a whole into a 2010's version of the running 85 Cards, I got real excited.
    I've seen about 20 of Reyes SBs and about 8 of his triples and it never gets old. A triple is one thing. A triple live is another.
    A live Reyes' triple is yet a whole other beast.
    Please keep him Alderson.

  24. John Autin Says:

    @20, Birtelcom -- I agree, of course. Projecting is just for fun.

    FWIW, though, in the 3 weeks since my first post on this subject, Jose has increased his pace in triples, hits, total bases and SB: in his last 20 games, he's batted .380 with 5 triples, 23 runs, 10 steals.

  25. birtelcom Says:

    Yep, JA, I too posted (over on the Mets forum, The Happy Recap, where I post regularly) recently about Jose's seemingly ridiculous hits pace, while recognizing the unlikelihood of his keeping up such a pace -- only to now find him exceeding that pace!

  26. Whiz Says:

    Reyes also has three multiple-triple games already this season; the record (since 1919) is 4, held by Bill Terry (1931), Barney McCosky (1940) and Carl Crawford (2007).

  27. jiffy Says:

    @21, I'm not sure if Prince Fielder has 2 ITP home runs, but I do remember him hitting one. And it was awesome.

  28. Mathewson Says:

    AT&T park would be triples paradise for mr Reyes

  29. Chuck Says:

    "Let's just say it's the last guy you'd expect."

    Derek Jeter.

    Yesterday was also Reyes' 1000th career game. The only player in ML history with more career triples after 1000 games since 1898 was Ty Cobb.

  30. Neil L. Says:

    Nice research, JA, thanks!

    It must be an art form to be able to check your stats in another window, craft your blog at the same time. and have it come out so well-written.

    Additional tidbit on Reyes. He is virtually certain to overtake Johnny Damon and Jimmy Rollins this year for second place in career triples among active players, leaving only Carl Crawford in his sights.

    Mentioning Jose Reyes in the same sentance as Fielder and Matt Kemp with respect to total bases makes me wonder if the triple is an under-appreciated, under-valued statistic? It is only one base less than a home run in its effect on slugging, yet no one is awarded a big contract or wins an arbitration case on the basis of triples, are they?

    Why is number of triples not more of a glamour stat? Why do the local fans not ask their GM to go "out and sign a big triples hitter"? Why does someone who hits a lot of triples not referred to as "having a big bat"?

    I think the answer to my question is that hitting triples is not as easily reproducible at the plate as hitting a home run. (Jose Reyes is putting the boots to that theory.) Or maybe that it is a baseball skill that does not "age" well. (Yet look at Stan Musial.)

    The value of triples versus home runs, both in terms of offense and effect on the opposing pitcher, was discussed at some length in a previous thread. I was taken to task (rightly) by Johnny Twisto for over-stating the value of a triple.

    Anyone else to champion the cause of the poor 'lil ol' neglected triple?

  31. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Here are the guys who had 14 triples in the first 79 games

    Here are the 8 players in MLB history with at least 330 Total Bases and less than 10 HRs

    Sweet sassy molassey, how I love this site.

  32. Tim Says:

    I also think Prince has 2 ITPHRs. You have to love watching those big guys motor.

    Which is what makes the triple the most exciting play in baseball. I was lucky enough to be in attendance when Big Sam Horn (a bit trimmer than Fielder, but also a bit slower), rumbled for his only career triple.

  33. DavidJ Says:

    Home runs in fewer than 1% of his at-bats, and he's slugging .528. That's just unreal.

  34. Paul E Says:

    That looming free agency will sure get a guy's career on track. Between the injuries and the thyroid condition, it's one of the greatest things in the known universe to see an athlete of that talent level live up to the greatest of expectations. I hope the Mets can afford him and I hope him does give them a hometown discount...

    Beltran, too, looks like he has recovered more than 65%-70% of what Wilpon described as his fading skills

  35. Steve Says:

    He might have 75 runs by now if the rest of the lineup was healthy and Bay was the pre Met Bay.

  36. Steve Says:

    Oh,and Jose will wind up with more than 10 homeruns,I'm fairly certain.

  37. Adam Says:

    Neil L.- the reason that the triple doesn't carry anywhere near as much weight when it comes to contract negotiations is that while a player may score most of the time when he triples, he definitely scores on a home run. A 2 out triple and he scores maybe half the time at best. A 2-out homerun, that's on the board all the time.

  38. Timmy p Says:

    About Reyes getting out of the box: I think it's the same principle as the first base coach watching the fielder to make sure he makes a clean play before sending the runner to second for a double. Reyes rounds first and since it's his decision since there is no coach at second, he watches and pounces! Any hesitation or bobble and he's gone. The rule that triples are made out of the box may not apply to Jose, he's in a league of his own.

  39. Neil L. Says:

    Adam, I get that a triple drives in one less run and scores (potentially) one less run per at bat compared to the home run.

    But why does a triple get so mcuh less "press" then a double? Lyle Overbay was reputed to be a "doubles hitter" when he came to Toronto. Why are there so few batters pegged as triples hitters?

    My point is that the triple is a forgotten weapon compared to a double. After all a triple is guaranteed to clear the bases whereas Aa double is not.

  40. Timmy p Says:

    I still don't think Reyes can break the career triples record set by Wahoo Sam Crawford, a native of Wahoo, Nebraska.

  41. Neil L. Says:

    No, Timmy P., Jose Reyes in not going to hit 309 triples in his career. But it is difficult to compare counting stats across such a wide time span of baseball.

  42. John Autin Says:

    BTW, one factor in Jose's great first half is that his strikeout rate is the lowest it's ever been, about 35% below his prior career average. He's fanned in just 7.1% of his PAs, the 3rd-lowest K rate among qualifying MLB hitters.

    Qualifying batters who've struck out in less than 9% of PAs:
    (Note their OPS+; putting the ball in play isn't everything.)

    Reyes has not struck out in his past 11 games, his second such streak this year; it's the longest active streak, and the 4th-longest no-K streak so far.

    No-strikeout streaks of at least 10 games this year (min. 3 PA per game):

  43. Timmy p Says:

    @42 great points!!!!

  44. Chuck Says:

    Reyes' year can be described in two words.



  45. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Yeah Chuck,
    He could of been a 5 time batting champ with 150 triples but he just loafed about for 8 years. What a bum.
    I remember in '78, when we used 14 lbs slabs of slate and half inch nubs of chalk to keep score (no namby pamby calculators [but i did, admittedly use an abacus once {to do my 1977 taxes | i earned so damn much sniffing elbows the IRS was auditing me ! |}]) and I saw willie wilson hit an inside the infield homer. He was so fast, second base burst into flames as he scorched past. It wasn't his walk year. It was a leap year. In '78 leap years meant something. Today, nobody hardly ever leaves their feet.

  46. Ed Says:

    I don't think it is the walk year. He's been hurting his last 2, when he should have been hitting his peak years. It's maturity. If it was all contract, he'd have signed on when Boras came recruiting. Reyes sent him away

  47. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Neil L,

    Me and Johnny Twisto discussed if there would be any situations where the triple would be more beneficial than a HR.
    I know the HR is a run and a triple is a 'maybe run' but...
    1. A pitcher can settle down after a homer. While having a guy on third may put him off, knowing any contact from the next hitter could be a run.
    2. He no longer can pitch from the wind-up. Sometimes that changes a pitcher's effect.
    3. Certain pitchers throw balls in the dirt as part as their repertoire. AJ Burnette comes to mind. He may feel less inclined to throw his curve (out pitch) with two strikes for fear of passed balls. While Burnette has an awful lot of passed balls (12, leading the league), you have to imagine all the past balls that are not counted because with no one on base they not only don't count as passed balls but he is probably more incvlined to throw them. I should check to see how many of AJ's SO come with no one on.
    4. A pitcher might "over pitch" - trying for a SO, for fear of a SAC FLY.

  48. Chuck Says:

    Fascinating story, Duke.

    Brad Pitt playing you in the movie?

  49. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    I wouldn't have it Chuck.
    they approached me about the idea, but I scoffed. i scoffed so loud, Jim Rice's beard fell off.
    It was a damn good beard. Not like today's beards. It was a '78 beard. This was made of tough and heck and grit and John Wayne's spit. It could of buffed hubcaps. It was the beard's walk year and it played its butt off. I loved that damned beard.
    You talk of brad pit.
    pst pst pst

  50. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Jose Reyes has two more hits.
    It must be his RUN year.

  51. John Autin Says:

    I've gotta admit ... @46/@48 was a good exchange.

    But I like to think that Dukeofflatbush would be played by a tag team of Henry Winkler & Sylvester Stallone -- "The Lords of Flatbush."

    P.S. Is there systematic support for the ol' "walk year" theory? I've seen one small study that failed to find such evidence, but I confess I haven't really gone looking for the affirmative proof.

    I've often thought that we kind of mix up the cause and the effect. When a guy goes bonkers in his walk year, he usually winds up with a huge contract from a new team -- possibly because his old team has a better sense of his true ability -- and in our group consciousness, the walk-year performance and the big contract to change teams become indelibly linked.

    It's also kind of like the old saw that the guy who makes a great defensive play to end the inning, winds up leading off the next frame. It's the kind of thing that we only think of when it does happen; nobody ever says, "as usual, the guy with the great fielding play to end the inning does not come to bat in the next inning."

  52. Chuck Says:

    "You talk of brad pit."

    I can spell it, too.

  53. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Walk. Year.

    By coincidence, those are the same words I used to describe Derek Jeter's 2010.

  54. John Autin Says:

    Duke, maybe we'd better see if Eric Bogosian is interested in the role. Your riffs are on fire, but ... don't forget to breathe.

  55. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Is there systematic support for the ol' "walk year" theory?

    A few years ago Baseball Prospectus (I think) found a slight increase in games played (guys trying to play through injuries?) but no change in performance.

    But who needs systematic studies when you can pick and choose seasons that fit the theory.

  56. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Certain pitchers throw balls in the dirt as part as their repertoire. AJ Burnette comes to mind. He may feel less inclined to throw his curve (out pitch) with two strikes for fear of passed balls.

    I think that Twisto guy looked this up when you were discussing it and found Burnett struck out a higher percentage of batters when a runner was on 3rd than usual.

  57. John Autin Says:

    Given the particular character of Jose's performance, I'm kind of liking that "run year" concept. Especially if he keeps scoring first-inning runs.

    BTW, tonight's Mets game started off eerily like last night's: Reyes singled through the box, later induced a pickoff throw, which Miguel Cabrera simply missed, allowing Reyes to take 2nd. They gave Porcello the error last night, but Miggy took the rap tonight. Man, is he bad defensively.

    'Course, he's slugged a couple of bombs good for 4 runs tonight, leading the Tigers' comeback.

    But now I must go to the TV, because Alburquerque is in the game at last!

  58. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 56 - Yeah, but who listens to Twisto.

    As far as the 'walk year', the one that really makes me think, is Adrian Beltre. He hit so high over his career averages in his two walk years.
    and really got paid both times. He was average for LA but just horrendous for Seattle, and then, boom, Boston's MVP.

    @ 52
    We didn't need two T's or spelling in '78, it wasn't Gary TTempletton, was itt?

  59. John Autin Says:

    Now I know the fates are smiling on the Metsies -- they plated a pair with 2 out off Alburquerque, who doesn't have his control and has walked 3 of 5 batters. The hit that brought in the 2 runs was a seeing-eye roller that the 2B probably should have had, but ... just making contact with 2 strikes off Al-Al is a victory.

    Alburquerque allowed just his 2nd inherited runner to score, out of 23 IR's. He got Reyes to line to CF with the bases loaded to end the inning, but no Ks out of 6 batters faced.

  60. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ JA,
    Is there any evidence that guys like Reyes 'create' more errors, or have more throwing errors when they are on base.
    Or is there a way to check his average TOBwe to the league avg?
    Jim Rice, '78 MVP, had 77 career triples.

  61. John Autin Says:

    Duke, I'm gonna protest that description of Beltre's time in Seattle. Obviously, he didn't hit there like in his 2 big years, but that's a brutal park for hitters. He averaged 24 HRs, 88 RBI his first 4 years there, with a 104 OPS+. Again, not great, but when you factor in his plus defense, he wasn't a dog there.

    And by the way, Beltre's last year with Seattle -- .265 with 8 HRs, 83 OPS+, only 111 games played -- was also a walk year. He signed a 1-year contract with Boston. So if Beltre is Exhibit A in the walk-year theory, let's be sure to count 2 for the theory and 1 against.

  62. John Autin Says:

    @60, Duke -- I've had a debate with that Twisto feller who used to hang out here, on whether there is a repeatable ability to induce errors that result in times on base. Mister twisteR demonstrated that there was some repeatability, but I don't think the numbers are anything to get excited about -- the best guys in terms of Reached On Error (ROE) seem to get 5 to 10 more ROE per season than average.

    My numbers may not be exact, but that's the gist of how I see it at the moment. With the caveat that I haven't studied it deeply.

  63. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    that's a brutal park for hitters

    Particularly for righty power hitters.

  64. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ JA,

    ROE, which I'm assuming is a NEWSTAT - does that take into account all bases? And is throwing for a guy at home that is clearly gonna be safe, hitting the catcher (so no throwing error), but letting a runner move up, is that ever counted as an error.
    OHHH! Charlie Rangel is on NY1 talking ethics (no i'm not kidding) gotta go.

  65. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Mustachioed Repetition,

    Come on.
    Jay Buhner
    Edgar Martinez
    Alex Rodriguez
    Brett Boone
    Mike Cameron
    David Bell

  66. Chuck Says:

    "We didn't need two T's or spelling in '78,"

    That's a better explanation for your tax audit.

    Oh, will you look at that, just when we were making progress, the hour is up.

    Good, productive session, though, don't you agree?

    Same time next week?

  67. John Autin Says:

    @64, Duke -- I don't think there's anything "new" in ROE -- just a raw count of how many times a batter reached base on an error.

    And no, ROE doesn't count any of those other things. I wouldn't be surprised if someone, somewhere has those counts, but I don't know who it might be.

    I have my hands full keeping track of Jose's traditional stats! 🙂

    P.S. After seeing his professional pitchers yield 16 runs to the Mets, on 20 hits and 7 walks, Jim Leyland summoned utility man Don Kelly to get the last out of the 9th. Kelly, who never pitched before in the majors or minors, got Scott Hairston to fly out on a 2-2 pitch. No word on his radar reading.

  68. Neil L. Says:

    A bit off-topic, JA, Duke, and Mustachioed Repetition, (must I call you that?)
    but have you noticed that since JA began blogging in BBRef the Mets have been on a bit of a tear? 🙂

    They have had a sustained run of good karma, causing wild card dreams to dance in Mets' fans heads!

  69. John Autin Says:

    Neil, do we have split data on that? 🙂

  70. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Neil L.
    Over the last 4 games, 5 different Mets have had a 4 RBI game.
    And I have no doubt JA is responsible.

  71. John Autin Says:

    I'll add that those wild-card dreams so far are merely eyeing the dance floor warily, hoping for a good '80s song to come on....

  72. John Autin Says:

    This will cause convulsions of laughter among my fantasy baseball friends, who long ago dubbed me the Kibosh Kid -- any kind of hot streak that I dared to mention would instantly go sour.

    (I lobbied for "the Heisenberg Uncertainty Avatar" instead, but that one never caught on.)

  73. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Gestalt and Heisenberg in a span of three blogs.
    What next?
    Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung = speed limit

    Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung = speeding (noun)

    Hoechsgeschwindigkeitsbegrenzung = maximum speed limit

    (all relating to Reyes and all actual words)

    Hubschrauberlandeplatz = helicopter landing pad

  74. John Autin Says:

    Duke, I see you're enjoying a sense of gemütlichkeit with these terms....

  75. Neil L. Says:

    @73 @74

    Guys, I'm out of my league. But we digress .....


    Duke, I noticed that you had mentioned the 5-Mets', 4-RBI run. I hadn't caught it. Their line up has been unconscious in interleague play the last few days. The Tigers are not exactly chopped liver.

    JA, let's see now ...... The early '80's were a reaction to the disco age. So let's press a button on the juke box (remember them?) and come up with a New Wavish kind of song with a good, dancable beat ..... how about "My Best Friend's Girl Friend" bt The Cars? 🙂

  76. John Autin Says:

    Neil, the Cars will do in a pinch, but if you have anything by the B-52s, queue it up!

  77. Neil L. Says:

    I understand the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle from quantum mechanics but what does "the Heisenberg Uncertainty Avatar" look like, JA?
    "After seeing his professional pitchers yield 16 runs to the Mets, on 20 hits and 7 walks, ......."
    I guess the Tigers' pitchers blew up tonight. I've lost track of Detroit's pitching rotation. Will the Mets have to face Bustin' Justin Verlander?

  78. John Autin Says:

    @77, Neil -- Yeah, Verlander goes Thursday in the finale. Somehow, I'm not expecting a lot of crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

  79. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Re causing errors....we do have records of guys reaching base when batting. I think the Duke was also asking about guys causing throwing errors when already on base. I don't know of any count of that, though I guess one could do it. I expect the differences between players are minute.


    Duke/65: A-Rod barely played in Safeco. Buhner was on his last legs. David Bell??? Edgar did hit well there.

    I think Mike Cameron is a perfect example of the park's effects, as a RHB with decent but not A-Rod power. Look at his home/road splits when he was a Mariner. I've always felt he might have built a borderline HOF case if he had been with another team during his prime. If he could have batted 25 points higher while hitting 30+ HR a year and playing a super centerfield, he's considered a star.


    the Heisenberg Uncertainty Avatar

    Hmm, I was just watching Breaking Bad....which is, btw, set in Al Albuquerque, NM....

  80. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 79
    I just imagine if Rickey Henderson stole 1400 bases, there must of been near 1000-1400 pickoff attempts (not to mention snap throws from home). I'd say that if those imaginary numbers are near close, we'd have to see 1 in 25 sail into the seats. So Rickey takes second near 50 times because of throwing errors that can be directly attributed to his speed. Plus, how many throws to second on steals went into center, allowing Rickey to take third? at least enough bases to offset much of his caught stealing.
    Rickey started in '79.
    Chuck just missed him.
    His elbow smelled like chocolate diamonds and puppy's breath.
    All (except the elbow) just hypothetical.
    Any thoughts MR NL or JA.
    The axiom, 'make your own luck' - could it be reciprocated to - 'make the other teams bad luck?

  81. Chuck Says:


    Your snide and unsuccessful attempts at humor would be better appreciated and respected if you'd actually be right once in awhile.

    Seems to me at this point you prefer the smell of my butt to that of my elbow.

  82. John Autin Says:

    Chuck and Duke -- I ask you both to refrain from personal attacks. It gets in the way of the humor.

  83. Chuck Says:

    It is what it is John.

    If he wants to humor himself at my expense, let him, and if YOU think it's getting out of hand, stop him.

    I have no power or authority to do anything here, you do.

    Push your little magic button and block him from posting for a few days, that should cool him off.

    He can go troll somewhere else for awhile.

  84. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Chuck & JA,
    i was just messing fellows, I assure you it was meant in good humor, I'm sorry if anything was misinterpreted, and I apologize. I guess i did get carried away, but in a non-fighting way.
    I will stop if anyone thinks i was out of hand. Or, you know - i'll just keep it baseball from now on and that's all. I meant no harm. Truly.
    Chuck you just seem the type to have thick skin, the kind of guy who can dish it out as well as he takes it (which is my kind of guy), and that is what you pretty much said - in so many words (that you can take a jab). I thought my jabs at you were over the top and satirical enough to not be taken literally or seriously, and I obviously don't know you, so I was only using info that you unnecessarily gave to me and used to put down the rest of us. THAT offended a lot of us. I admittedly am slightly jealous that you have access to players and clubhouses, I just didn't needed it lorded over me to illustrate how much more capable you are than me. And I'm not sure you really are. you remind me of a guy who didn't like the Beatles cause Elvis was 'really' ROCK N ROLL!
    Honestly, there was nothing personal Chuck (and if you find something personal in my comments on Henderson's elbow smell, well then I take back my THICK SKIN comment), but I did think your post that read something like, 'none of us had any business talking baseball because we had no experience and our stats were nonsense and your hands on experience put you in a far better position to value players', was one, very presumptuous and condescending and arrogant. How do you know what any of us do? I wouldn't guess anyone's pedigree on anything with that type of certainty, then chastise them without evidence, that's just arrogant, then to prop myself up and use phrases like "load of crap" - when referring to some one else's opinion, is not constructive to a discussion. Yes, baseball did change a bit since 1978, sorry we weren't there to see it, so forgive us, I was 3 years old in 1978. And if you think Saber stats are silly, you are in the wrong place friendo.
    Second, my silliness towards you pales in comparison to some of the meaner things you have said on this thread and others to some pretty nice guys.
    I'm not sure what you have to prove to John Autin, or why you feel the need to discredit what he is saying, or do so with such rancor, it is beyond me. In case you haven't noticed, he's a pretty smart guy that many of us enjoy quite a bit.
    True, I was not in many clubhouses getting paid - ever. Though I did keep score once. But I am not sure if you were either. But I wouldn't use something I was proud of as a way to propel my status above the 'rest' of us.
    Its cool to have a guy like yourself, who had a unique view of baseball (from the other side, our side being fandom) - but why hang it over our heads. Why not justify your stance and use your experience as a positive.
    We all came to baseball by different means and we all obviously love it.
    I don't doubt your love of the sport, I just don't like your tone. Will it kill me? no. But I don't like it.
    True I can tune you out, but I felt there was nothing wrong and/or personal about my posts about you. just looking for a laugh that I thought you wouldn't mind. I'll stop.

    JA - sorry if you felt I was out of hand, but everything was meant comedically and I may have been swept up in Timmy P's infectious tomfoolery.
    I'll keep the talk to baseball, and will hunt down "fast" players'' error causing hijynx, and have a full report for you after the holiday.
    Didn't mean to disrespect anyone or this site. Sorry.

  85. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ Chuck,
    Funny, Henderson ended it all in Newark, with the Bears. Full circle.

  86. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    A bit over looked, but Jose Reyes has 41 multi-hit games. Tonight will be his teams' 81st game, putting him on pace for 80+ multi-hit games.
    I think, using play index (so only 1919 and above), but only Buckfoot Al Simmons has at least 80 (85) in a season. Maybe another record?

  87. Chuck Says:

    It's all good, Duke.

    No harm, no foul, I appreciated the humor and no offense was taken.

    It did start to get old, so good thing John jumped in to turn the faucet off when he did.

    The offer or point I made to John was to prove a point, and was made to him only. If you or anyone didn't like the tone, tough, if John felt disrespected by it he has my personal email and I would have gone out of my way to make it right by him.

    It was late when I posted the comment and I regretted it pretty much right away, but what's done is done.

    And it still doesn't change the point I was attempting to make, either.

    I understand I'm in the minority here and sometimes lose track of that fact.

    And, really, Duke, 1978 was a good year...

    Bucky Bleepin' Dent!!!!!!!!

  88. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    Looks like Chuck Klein had 83 multi-hit games, in '30, Bill Terry 80 in '30, Joe Medwick 80 in '37, Suzuki 80 in '04.

  89. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    cheers chuck!
    i owe you a beer, or 2

  90. John Autin Says:

    @86, Duke -- To my surprise, Reyes does not lead the majors in 3-hit games -- Adrian Gonzalez has the edge, 14-13.

    I knew A-Gon was hitting .350+, but I just didn't think he'd have enough ABs to rack up that many hits. Turns out, his walk rate is way down from the last 2 years; he's on pace for about 59 walks this year. Part of it is a decline in IBBs, of course; he had 35 of those last year, 8 so far this year.

    But compare his 2011 season to 2009, when he had 22 IBBs (only 5 above this year's pace):
    -- 2011: .356 BA, .410 OBP
    -- 2009: .277 BA, .407 OBP

    I guess it's just an indication of how much more carefully pitchers handled him when he was just about the only threat in the SD lineup.

  91. Neil L. Says:

    Duke, don't they have to be Rolling Rocks?

  92. John Autin Says:

    1978 was an outstanding year:

    -- My Tigers got over .500 for the first time in 5 years, starting a run off 11 years in contention (or at least close enough for me to fake it).

    -- Ron LeFlore became the first Tiger to lead the league in SB in almost 50 years (and led the league in runs, too).

    -- Ron Guidry, a Cajun from "Lewz-yanna" bayou country (just like my daddy), was the hottest thing since cayenne pepper.

    -- Jim Rice had the first year of 400 Total Bases in almost 2 decades, and his 2nd year of 30+ HRs / 15+ triples; he's the only one to do that twice, and it's only been done once since.

    -- Pete Rose went over 3,000 hits, then had a 44-game hitting streak.

    -- Phil Niekro had perhaps the greatest unnoticed season ever -- MLB-best 9.1 pitching WAR, 334 IP, 2.88 ERA in a tough park, 19 wins for a last-place team.

    -- J.R. Richard had 303 strikeouts.

    It was a good year to be introduced to Strat-O-Matic.

  93. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    Jimmy Rollins the other 30/15 guy?