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Wins Without Homers 2010

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 30, 2010

Which teams, to date, have won the most games this season where they didn't hit a homerun?

Here's the answer:

Rk Tm Year #Matching W L  
1 SDP 2010 34 34 0 Ind. Games
2 OAK 2010 34 34 0 Ind. Games
3 MIN 2010 34 34 0 Ind. Games
4 NYM 2010 31 31 0 Ind. Games
5 PHI 2010 28 28 0 Ind. Games
6 SEA 2010 26 26 0 Ind. Games
7 TBR 2010 25 25 0 Ind. Games
8 SFG 2010 25 25 0 Ind. Games
9 ATL 2010 25 25 0 Ind. Games
10 DET 2010 24 24 0 Ind. Games
11 CHW 2010 24 24 0 Ind. Games
12 TEX 2010 23 23 0 Ind. Games
13 LAD 2010 23 23 0 Ind. Games
14 CLE 2010 22 22 0 Ind. Games
15 KCR 2010 21 21 0 Ind. Games
16 HOU 2010 21 21 0 Ind. Games
17 FLA 2010 21 21 0 Ind. Games
18 CHC 2010 21 21 0 Ind. Games
19 BOS 2010 21 21 0 Ind. Games
20 PIT 2010 19 19 0 Ind. Games
21 COL 2010 18 18 0 Ind. Games
22 BAL 2010 18 18 0 Ind. Games
23 STL 2010 17 17 0 Ind. Games
24 LAA 2010 17 17 0 Ind. Games
25 MIL 2010 16 16 0 Ind. Games
26 CIN 2010 16 16 0 Ind. Games
27 NYY 2010 15 15 0 Ind. Games
28 WSN 2010 13 13 0 Ind. Games
29 TOR 2010 12 12 0 Ind. Games
30 ARI 2010 10 10 0 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/30/2010.

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Of course, this is a take-it-for-what-it's-worth stat. Teams like the Yankees have a lot of guys who hit homeruns and play home games in a homer-friendly park. So, it's rare for them not to homer in a game. And, teams like the Padres and A's play in home parks that are not friendly, in general, to hitters.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 7:54 am and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

24 Responses to “Wins Without Homers 2010”

  1. Interesting post I'm surprised to see the phillies up that hugh.

    When will we see a post related to the rangers walk off strikeout

  2. I thought Toronto would be last but it doesn't surprise me to see Arizona at the bottom. They've had an uber bad year!

  3. Normally I would agree with you that it's odd to see the Phils up that high, but this year has been an odd year. First off, they simply aren't hitting as many homers as in recent years. Additionally, as is well documented, everyone has been hurt. With guys like Ross Gload in the line up rather than Ryan Howard, naturally less homers will be hit. Yet due to the incredible pitching this year, they've continued to win, even without the homers. Certainly an odd year for my Phils.

  4. On a related note, here's an interesting trivia question: What was the only team 1920-2010 to win a game with only one man on base for the entire game. The answer is here. Although it wouldn't had to have been that way, the one man on base hit a home run.

  5. Gotta love the 4 inning complete game.

  6. The record for the fewest wins without homers over the course of a full season is 5, by the 1999 Tigers. That team went 69-92 and hit 212 homers.

  7. My guess would have been Toronto. Not only would I have not guessed they'd won 12 games without a homer, I'm surprised they've even played 12 games without a homer.

  8. What was the only team 1920-2010 to win a game with only one man on base for the entire game?

    I learned about this game from a slightly different angle.

    "The absolute, theoretical minimum number of batters that a pitcher can face and be credited with pitching a complete game is thirteen. That can happen if a pitcher pitches four innings, gets twelve guys out, but surrenders a home run to the other hitter, while his team is being shut out, in a game that is stopped by rain at that exact point. And it has happened. In Baltimore on July 30, 1971, Dick Drago of the Royals faced thirteen batters, and got them all out except Frank Robinson, who homered. Jim Palmer stopped the Royals on two hits through five innings, the game was stopped by rain, and the Orioles won, 1-0."

    New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, p. 277.

  9. Footnote: Only other game since 1920 where the winning team's home runs equaled its Times on Base. Yes, the Blue Jays were involved.

  10. Speaking of home runs, there was a big home run milestone that was tied yesterday.

    Alex Rodriquez hit his 30th HR of the season, marking the 13th consecutive season he's hit 30 or more homers and tieing the longest such streak in baseball history. Jimmy Foxx held the record for a long time, hitting 30+ homers in 12 consecutive seasons from 1929-40, and Barry Bonds set the new record with 30+ homers for 13 consecutive seasons from 1992-2004.

    I didn't think A-Rod was going to do it, given that he only had 8 homers through late June and then went on the disabled list at the end of August.

    Reggie Jackson, by the way, never had consecutive seasons of 30+ homers.

  11. @10
    Michael, A-Rod is a HR stud! Too bad he hadn't been clean all his career. I missed his HR milestone. So has he got one more 30+ season in him? Without the 'roids to help his body bounce back from nagging injuries, those "old" joints at his age may cut into his AB next year.

    Ah, yes, Toronto. What do we make of their 240+ home runs, probably sure to reach 250 against the Twins this weekend? Does Steve's list prove that Rogers Centre in the new homerdome? Any of their homerless wins come at home?

    (Sorry, lazy post.... gotta go out to my second job. Be back later.)

  12. I think that these numbers, divided into team salaries, would show the value of doubles hitters. I've always said doubles hitters were a better bargain than home run hitters.

  13. @12
    Sorry, Barkfart, "these numbers", meaning homerless wins or total team home runs or .....?

    Playing devil's advocate here... doubles are devalued for Fenway Park as a home park. Wade Boggs comes to mind. Aren't some parks conducive to doubles?

    That being said, your suggestion that a doubles hitter is a better dollar value than a home-run hitter is intriguing but I'm not sure how you arrive at that conclusion from Steve's study.

  14. @11.

    I wouldn't bet it's all Rogers Centre, given that they just hit six out in Target Field today.

  15. I think to make this stat a little more meaningful would be to look at a team's record in HR-free games. This would give us data on the frequency of HR-free games for a given team, while also a potential look at how effective their offense is without HRs (there are obviously better ways to get at that and reasons why a team would lose a HR-free game for reasons outside of the offense).

    Intuitively, it would seem that every team would have a worse record in HR-free games. I'd be curious to see if A) that is backed up statistically, B) if so, if anyone bucks that trend and, C) if anyone did, is there anything to make of that.

  16. @ 13 Neil

    What I meant was, since these teams won without home runs, they must've won with doubles (or singles, etc).

    Doubles are a funny thing. They defy, in many respects, statistical analysis. If a team hits a single and then a homer, that's a second or two of misery. But a team that hits two singles, a double and maybe another single to get the run really grinds on the defensive team. A double takes longer to unfold, maybe there's an unsuccessful throw to second. The inning takes forever, and it really can suck the life out of the defensive team.

    Same way for triples. I think a triple is far more humiliating to the defense than a homer.

    Then, putting that into numbers, a doubles hitter draws a much lower salary than a home run hitter.

  17. [...] Wins Without Homers 2010 (Baseball-Reference). Hey, look, there at the top… it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the Padres. [...]

  18. To Kahuna Tuna, On the BlueJays/WhiteSox game, I remember reading boxscore and asking if John McDonald was only player on winning team to ever have only 2 plate appearances despite playing 9 innings in field. Incidentally, they were shut out next game. He was ph for in bottom of 8th and again only 2 plate appearances.

  19. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    As of today, the Twins are 34-34 in games in which they don't hit any home runs. If they finish .500 or better in such games, they'll be the first team to do so since the 2004 Cardinals (24-21).

    For end-of-season high drama, this is every bit the equal of the race between the Red Sox and Blue Jays to determine which team will finish with more (homers + doubles).

  20. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I remember . . . asking if John McDonald was only player on winning team to ever have only 2 plate appearances despite playing 9 innings in field.

    Maybe not quite what you meant, but Sandy Koufax pitched all nine innings on September 9, 1965 and batted only twice.

  21. @12 @16
    Barkfart, I get what you meant by your original post. Thank you for clarifying.

    Your hypothesis about the demoralizing effect of doubles on the defense is really interesting. I wonder how one would about investigating your idea sabermetrically?

    Still is a little hard for me to believe that an upper-deck shot like Bautista crushed last night at the Target Centre isn't more demoralizing to the opposition than a double!

  22. DoubleDiamond Says:

    @4 - I read the question and before looking up the answer thought it was a game I recall reading abour in 1994 before the strike ended the season. I thought that Bret Saberhagen pitched a game for the Mets against the Giants in which the only player who reached base safely was someone who hit a home run. Thus, Saberhagen or whoever the pitcher was never had to pitch from the stretch because there was never anyone on base.

    I found the game at http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SFN/SFN199407050.shtml - My memory was slightly off. Two Giants, neither of whom was named Barry Bonds, hit solo home runs. Darren Lewis broke up the perfect game bid with a lead-off homer in the 7th. Dave Martinez added one in the 8th. This game was in San Francisco. With only a 3-2 lead, the Mets pinch hit for Saberhagen in the top of the 9th. This led to one more run for New York. John Franco pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth for the save.

    @9 - So that is one more game in which the winning team's home runs equaled its Times on Base.

    @9 - I see that the two pitchers who started and got the decisions in that game whose link you posted were both guys who had perfect games in their future (Buehrle and Halladay).

  23. # 21 Neil.

    No, you're right. There can't be an algorithm for humiliation. And that shows the limit of sabremetrics- at its extreme, some people believe that you don't have to have seen a player play to analyze his worth. That can't be true.

    You can't measure the way that Ichiro makes everybody stand on their toes a little higher for every second he is at bat or on base, but if you watch the game it is an unmistakeably large impact on the game.

  24. I wonder, who has the best record while hitting no home runs in a game? Is any team even at .500 when hitting no home runs?