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Recap Lite: Monday 8/29/2011

Posted by John Autin on August 30, 2011

-- Tim Lincecum's streak of 9 straight starts with at least 6 IP and no more than 2 runs allowed dissolved in an unprecedented fashion. In his 150th career start, Lincecum allowed the Cubs 5 runs on 3 HRs in 6+ IP -- the first time he's ever yielded more than 2 dingers.

  • The Giants lost, 7-0, collecting 2 hits, just 1 from the starting lineup. They've lost 3 of 5 at home to the worst teams in the league, and are 5 games behind the streaking D-backs, who won their 6th straight behind Daniel Hudson.

-- Clayton Kershaw went the distance for his 17th win; he's the first Dodger to reach that mark since Chan Ho Park in 2000. Kershaw also leapfrogged Lincecum for #2 in the NL ERA chase at 2.45. (Seems about time for a dedicated blog post....)

-- Alex Gordon led KC's 9-5 win over Detroit with 4 hits and his 19th HR. Gordon is batting .305 and slugging .506. No qualifying Royals OF since Carlos Beltran (2003) has had the .300/.500 combo, and only 3 other OFs have ever done that for KC -- Jermaine Dye, Danny Tartabull and Al Cowens.

-- Jose Bautista hit his 38th HR to regain a share of the MLB lead and move closer to joining Carlos Delgado as the only Blue Jays ever with consecutive 40-HR seasons. Toronto beat the Rays, 7-3, a loss that put them 7.5 games behind in the wild-card race.

-- Freddy Garcia pitched well in his return from the DL, holding the O's to 1 run in 6 IP (Mark Reynolds's 31st HR) to earn his 11th win and trim his ERA to 3.09.

  • The Yanks take a lot of heat for their lavish spending, but Garcia and Bartolo Colon have a combined salary of $2.4 million this year, and about 5.5 combined Wins Above Replacement.

-- With 2 doubles, Ichiro Suzuki notched his 2nd multi-XBH game this season. He began the day tied with Juan Pierre for the worst isolaTed Power (SLG minus BA) of any qualifying OF this year, at .053; only Willy Taveras and Pierre himself have posted lower ISO marks this century.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 at 12:48 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

42 Responses to “Recap Lite: Monday 8/29/2011”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    isolaTed Power

    I feel like this auto-link accident needs to be turned into an Internet meme (at least on this blog), but I'm not shrewd enough to know how to do it.

  2. the giants are unbelievable. there has got to be some kind of record for opposing pitchers era vs the giants where an opposing pitcher comes into the game with an era over 4.00.

    here are 6 of the last 7 games (there was one game that henry sosa pitched where his era rose) the giants played where the opposing pitchers came in with an era over 4.00:

    before after ip er
    randy wells 5.53 5.06 9 0
    brett myers 4.95 4.81 7 1
    j. a. happ 6.26 6.03 6 1
    henry sosa 6.35 5.09 6 1
    jordan lyles 5.31 5.02 5 0
    mike minor 4.84 4.26 6 0

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Re #2: Hmm. My initial reaction was that it's not that surprising all these high ERAs went down, since if those pitchers are good enough to be in the majors, they're almost certainly not as bad as their 2011 ERAs indicate. But looking at the actual lines they put up in those Giants games.....I can certainly understand why any Giants fan would be frustrated, to say the least.

    But hey, Beltran's back, and hopefully his wrist is OK. Belt is back, and perhaps he'll start figuring things out.

    The team just doesn't have anything resembling a leadoff hitter. (OK, Andres Torres "resembles" a leadoff hitter physically, and in the type of skills he has. But I'm talking about a legitimately good offensive player whose abilities lay more on the OBP than the SLG side of the spectrum.) I see SF has a .290 OBP from its #1 hitters this season, 2nd worst in the NL (Nats are at .278, thanks mostly to Roger Bernadina (.312, minors) and recently Ian Desmond (.289, and a brilliant .262 when leading off an inning).

  4. After turning down a $140M contract in 2000, Juan Gonzalez went on to make a measly $38.6M the remainder of his career. Almost half of his career total of $87M.

  5. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    isolaTed Power

    I agree, Johnny — it's an emblem of something (and something rather poetic); but what? Maybe we could call it an isolink: iso- implying both an isolated block of text and text that is the same as something else. (Then again, there are lots of potential infringement issues, as several companies and some products use the name Isolink.)

    Okay. So much for that. I browsed Ted's ISO, and learned that in the game in which he hit his only career homer (7/11/87), Power also yielded an inside-the-park home run. That would be a fun topic to research: games in which the same pitcher gave up an IPHR and also homered himself.

  6. Thomas Court Says:

    In his last five appearances, Mariano Rivera has pitched 5 perfect innings with 8 strikeouts and has lowered his career WHIP to below 1.00. His ERA+ this year is still below 200, which is appalling for Mo River ("This sarcasm detector is right off the charts! mm-haiai.").

    Johnny Damon did indeed crack two home runs. This gives him 845 career extra base hits. He has a chance at 1000. He will soon steal his 400th base. That being said, the air is still being let out of his balloon (batting average the past four seasons: .303/.282/.271/.263). His OBP has also suffered in a similar manner. He may not have enough gas in the tank to get the 299 hits he needs.

  7. I was all set to thank you for mentioning Al Cowens, who is mostly forgotten now but had an excellent season in '77 as KC went on to win the division and then subsequently lose the pennant to the Yankees, seemingly an annual occurrence back in the 70's.

    But then I looked at Cowens page and I see that he's been dead nearly a decade. Yikes! I had no idea.

  8. @6

    Getting to 1000 XBH would mean Johnny D would also probably get to 3000 hits (about 150 XBH and 150 singles). He'll probably either get to both milestones or to neither, IMO. At his career average that would take 3 more seasons (age 40 in the final year). I don't think it's gonna happen.

  9. In fact the Giants have a 301 team on base average. I remember looking last year when the Astros flirted with the 300 line and not finding many teams since 69. They have a lot of guys who were good once.

  10. @1, JT -- I'm not even shrewd enough to know what it means to turn something into an Internet meme.... :)

    But I shall henceforth refer to this phenomenon as "Error Code .127"; see if you can tell why. The period is a hint.

  11. @5, KT -- "That would be a fun topic to research...."

    Agreed! Yet, here we sit, without your report on our desk! :)

  12. Just wait 'til I write about Oakland's closer and mention "the homer Bailey gave up."

  13. @7, AlbaNate -- No offense intended, but ... We Tigers fans are pretty sure that Cowens died in 1980.

  14. @6, Thomas Court -- It's kind of fun to look at the progress of Mo's career WHIP on his Cumulative Pitching line. Ever since his rookie year as a SP, he's lowered his career WHIP in 14 of 16 seasons.

    And in one of the two years when he didn't lower his WHIP, he had a career-high 53 saves.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/riverma01-pitch.shtml

  15. @3, JT -- "[SF] just doesn't have anything resembling a leadoff hitter."

    That sentence has great potential; I suggest two minor edits:
    (a) Delete "just"; and
    (b) Delete "leadoff."

    OK, that's going too far; the Panda can hit, and it's at least conceivable that Beltran might one day impact a game positively.

    But here are their ranks in NL OPS+, by batting order spot:
    1 -- 15th
    2 -- 8th
    3 -- 16th
    4 -- 12th
    5 -- 12th
    6 -- 11th
    7 -- 16th
    8 -- 14th
    9 -- 9th

    Yoiks!

  16. Danny Tartabull, that's a blast from the past.

    Turns out that he bookended his five-year stay in Kansas City with the .300/.500 combo:

    1987 - 309/390/541, 142 ops+ in 667 pa; 34 hr, 101 rbi. This was his only year over 150 games.
    1991 - 316/397/*593*, 171 ops+ in 557 pa; 53 db, 31 hr, 100 rbi.

    He had a rough 1995, a comeback 1996, and was signed by the Phillies, with this bizarre slash in 1997: 000/364/000. That's four walks (and four whiffs) in 11 plate appearances. His final game was April 7. He was 34 at the time. The only information I can find says that he retired, not why. Was it wear and tear, or an injury, or did he just decide he didn't want to be a part-time, declining player?

  17. @10 shouldn't that be Error Code .038?

  18. @17 -- You're warm, but you need to change your perspective.

  19. @JA - ahhhh. Got it. I like.

  20. David Robertson, right before giving up his very first homerun of the year, had once again crept his ERA lower than his WHIP

  21. I assume you were referring to Ted Power's "Power", or his .217 career slugging %. I was referring to Ted Power's career isolaTed Power, which is .038.

  22. @21 -- No, you still need to change your perspective. I'm not interested in Ted Power's batting performance.

  23. Wow, so your number is coincidentally exactly the same as Ted Power's career slugging %???

    OK Ill keep looking

  24. O nevermind, dyslexia has taken over, your original post was .127 not .217. I see that is his Iso against.

  25. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    games in which the same pitcher gave up an IPHR and also homered himself.

    Here we sit, without your report on our desk! . . . I'm not interested in Ted Power's batting performance.

    Make up your mind, John. (-;þ Unfortunately, my PI subscription expired last week, so I'll have to let someone else research that topic.

    I shall henceforth refer to this phenomenon as "Error Code .127"

    Ooooh, catchy. There's a meme in the making. (-;þ

  26. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Just wait 'til I write about Oakland's closer and mention "the homer Bailey gave up."

    Or about a pinch hitter so good he's got the pH average of an alkaline lake. (Sorry to give such a lame example; that's what I get for trying to avoid the obvious.)

  27. @25 -- I can only be consistent within a span of 10 comments. :)

  28. J.A.@27 We know your mind is not little or hobgoblined.

  29. John Autin Says:

    @28, Kds -- That just leaves "foolish", I guess. :)

  30. As a lifelong Giants fan I'm totally disgusted right now. Tim lincecum is having another great year marred by his MLB leading lack in run support(2.98 per 27 outs). His ERA stands at 2.58 and he's #2 in H/9 and #3 at K/9. He's 12-11 and has had 11 starts where he has left the game with ZERO runs of support. Adding to this is Matt Cain(10-9, 2.87) and Madison Bumgarner(8-12, 3.59) find themselves with poor W/L records like Lincecum.

    It's hard to win games when your pitchers barely give up 3 runs a game yet your lineup only manages to score 2 or less every night out. The Giants lineup is making average at best pitchers look like Roy Halladay every night.

  31. Johnny Twisto Says:

    In his last five appearances, Mariano Rivera has pitched 5 perfect innings with 8 strikeouts and has lowered his career WHIP to below 1.00.

    I recall he actually got it under 1.0 early in the season, but then it slipped back over.

    I've also been monitoring his efforts for another sub-2.00 ERA, for the 4th season in a row, 8th of 9, and 11th of his career. (Only three other relievers have at least three seasons of at least 50 IP and an ERA below 2: Hoyt Wilhelm (6), Joe Nathan (4), Billy Wagner (4).) Since the latest WWWMW**, he's whittled his ERA back down to 2.16. If he allows just 1 more ER this season, he should make it (he would need to pitch at least 8.2 IP over the last 30 games). However, if he allows 2 ER, he needs to pitch 13.1 IP. Not a difficult assignment, but a bit ahead of his season-long pace.

    **What's-Wrong-With-Mariano Week.

  32. John Autin Says:

    News reports mentioned that J.J. Hardy's HR off David Robertson snapped a 68-inning homerless streak. It was 1 year and 1 day since the last HR off Robertson, which was also hit by a RHB shortstop, Alexei Ramirez.

  33. jeff, wells, myers, happ, sosa, lyles...they are not average pitchers, they are bad pitchers. 3 earned runs against that lot in 39 innings is inexcusable.

    tim is having a great year and it is not getting marred. he will be recognized for it as was the case with felix last year. probably not with a cy young but he should be getting a few first place votes and finish near the top.

  34. @6

    Damon isn't really slowing down. It's just the league that has a lower offense now.

    Damon's last 4 years have featured OPS+ of 118, 118, 107, and 109. His career OPS+ is only 105. So there isn't any true evidence that Damon has declined. It would seem the pitching and/or the ballparks has just gotten tougher.

    I wonder how many players have been affected in the past by offensive league-wide changes in a specific way. The league offense drops, and so does theirs, and thus they are deemed to be declining and decide it is time to retire. I know Mantle had injuries and was 36, but in 1968 when he batted .237 and had 18 homers and surely looked like an old and depleted player in people's eyes, his OPS+ was still 142. Meaning he was still a great hitter despite how it appeared he had rapidly declined.

    Willie Mays also was in his late 30's in the late 60's. His numbers rapidly declined. But all across the league, numbers were way down, and Mays was in fact a VERY productive player right up to and including his age 41 season, when he posted an OPS+ of 131.

    My point is that players who were in their late 30's during transition periods from hitters era to pitchers era will have numbers that fall off much more rapidly than what is really representative of their decline. This may cause them to doubt themselves, press to hard, or retire early.

    I'm sure there are some pitcher's who appeared to decline rapidly during the steroid era, when in fact they had barely declined and were really just facing much tougher hitters (roiders in small ballparks). Not sure who would be the best example.

  35. Unfortunately, all of the Giants issues now are mental.

    Watching last nights game Lincecum looked solid. He was back to his windup, but then he gave up a homerun to soriano and you can tell he increasingly got frustrated after that (although losing 2 1-0 games in about a week would probably do that to you).

    Add to that that the last homerun (a 3 run shot) barely made it over the 309ft wall in right (to be fair it is 25+ feet tall) right after Cabrera booted a sure double-play and you can see it must not be fun being a giants pitcher right now. Cain, Lincecum and Bumgarner all in top-5 NL in lowest run support.

    And lastly, it is never good when the announcers are saying, 'And that is the best pitching performance (result) of Wells' career, ever! ( Including college and I think high school, but that may have been hyperbole...I mean it was Jon Miller :) )

  36. The Giants have gone in a month from struggling to score runs to struggling just to get a hit. Bochy pressed all the right buttons last year and a bunch of old guys- Huff, Burrell, Uribe, Renteria came through. The button broke down this year. Still, I think if Bochy didn't put players in the batting order where it seems like they should be, I think they might have more success, something like: 1) Beltran 2) Sandoval 3) Belt 4)Torres 5)Keppinger 6) Huff 7) Whiteside 8) Anyone but O-Cab or Tejada at SS. (Just arranged in order of OBP) And once you get past the first three guys, you bunt immediately any time someone gets on base. Rallys just won't happen with this team, and it's a shame that Lincy, Cain and Bumgarner keep wasting their precious arms for nothing.

  37. When the Giants signed Tejada I knew instantly it was a terrible signing. It should've been clear watching Tejada that he was done. He's getting older, his age was a lie and he was a steroid user. Put him in an extreme pitchers park and what do you expect? 26 RBI's and a .270 OBP is about right.

  38. DoubleDiamond Says:

    @16 - Tartabull fouled a ball off his foot in the first series of the season. He went on the DL with what was thought to be a minor injury. But his injury was apparently worse than originally thought, and his DL stint got longer and longer until the season was over. I guess no one wanted him any more after that season.

    @7 - I remember that the Boston Celtics, with a comparatively small active roster of 12 players, and the Kansas City Royals had three common last names at one point in the 1970s. Cowens (Dave and Al) was one of these names, and White (JoJo and Frank) was another. I believe the third may have been Nelson (Roger on KC?).

    Around the same time, in 1974, the short-lived Maryland Arrows of a short-lived indoor box lacrosse league had three players who shared names with guys then wearing the uniform of the Chicago White Sox - Pat Kelly, Wayne Granger, and Chuck Tanner. The White Sox's Chuck Tanner was their manager at the time.

  39. Just saw Yuniesky Betancourt bunt a ball off his fingers - ouch! But what is the correct ruling on a play like this? Cardinals got the lead runner out a third, but shouldn't this have been ruled a strike or foul ball? If a hit batter is swinging, it's a strike. If a pitch hits the batter and then the bat, it's a foul ball as long as he is still in the batter's box.

    Also, wondering about Ryan Adam's walk-off ground-rule single. If he ran all the way to second base, would he have gotten credit for a double? The rule book says the batter is permitted take as many bases on a game winning hit as the winning runner takes to score, but in this case the winning run was on 3rd. Homeruns are a known exception to this rule, but what about ground-rule doubles?

  40. Brett -- You'll find all the answers (ha-ha!) in the MLB rules, available online.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2010/official_rules/2010_OfficialBaseballRules.pdf

    Rule 6.08(b) makes clear (sort of) that a ball that hits a batter's hand while he is trying to bunt is a strike, and a dead ball.

    The second situation is covered clearly by the Rule 10.06(f) Comment. Ground-rule doubles are not an exception to the rule that credits the batter with only as many bases as the winning runner needs to score.

  41. Thanks John for finding the rules specific to my questions.
    Here is the 2011 version, also on mlb.com.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2011/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf

    The 2011 document includes changes made to the rules in December of 2010 and February of 2011. I have not clue what they were!
    From the bottom of page 2: "Lake Buena Vista, Fla., December 8, 2010; Teleconference, February 16, 2011."

    I wonder if the Brewers can protest the game. Betancourt was up with men on 1st and 2nd, nobody out, trailing 2-1 in the 9th.

    Had Betancourt's bunt attempt been correctly ruled a strike, the count would have been 0-2. A third attempt to bunt the runners over may have been successful although more likely not attempted with 2 strikes. Also, perhaps a weak ground ball would have yielded no play except at 1st. A base hit with no runners thrown out would have, at the minimum, loaded the bases with no outs.

    Instead, the game ended when the next batter, Mark kotsay, grounded into a double play.

  42. @38 - thanks for the update on Tartabull. I can return the favor and confirm your excellent memory. The third pair of identical surnames was indeed Nelson: Dave Nelson finishing the string for the Royals, and the one and only Don Nelson doing the same for the Celtics. (Don is much better known now for his lengthy coaching and GM career.)

    As a bonus - in 76-77, after Don Nelson left Boston, there was, briefly, a different third pair of matching last names: a part-timer named Bobby Wilson for the Celtics, and a speedy rookie named Willie Wilson for KC.