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Archive for December, 2007

Tough trivia

Posted by Andy on December 31, 2007

Here is a very tough trivia question.

In 2007, eight pitchers achieved a particular feat. Those eight were Jay Bergman, Dave Borkowski, Matt Chico, Tom Gorzelanny, Bobby Howry, Colby Lewis, Russ Ortiz, and Johan Santana.

Your job is to figure out what it is that these eight did.

That's all you get--no hints, other than the fact that you probably need to use the PI to figure this out (but not necessarily.) You post your ideas or questions, and I'll think about giving some hints.

The first person to post the correct answer wins...well...a hearty congratulations from me.

10 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Happy New Year

Posted by Andy on December 31, 2007

On this last day of 2007, I thought I'd share with you some of the stats about this blog. Since it was started in June of this year, there have been 471 posts and 2,091 comments. One of the ways that I know the blog is pretty successful is by watching the Recently Most Popular Pages page on the main site. Invariably, whenever a post is written about a particular player, that player shows up on the recent list. (For example, Mattingly ranks higher than usual now because of my recent post about him, although all the players currently on the HOF ballot have been popular recently.)

Anyway, I personally want to say thanks to Sean for the opportunity to write here, the other authors of this blog for providing great content, and of course to all the readers out there, without whom this blog would be pointless!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Near Year's Eve, and see you with more posts in 2008 (which is tomorrow, thankfully!)

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Most runs scored in a game without officially reaching base

Posted by Andy on December 31, 2007

This is a Game Finder search setting "times on base" to zero and sorting by most runs scored.

Turns out that two different players have scored 3 runs in a game without officially reaching base:

  Cnt Player            Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt PA AB  **R**  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB TOB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS BOr Positions
+----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+--+--+------+--+--+--+--+---+--+---+---+--+---+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+---------+
    1 Sandy Alomar      1975-07-20(1) NYY @MIN W 14-2   4  4    3    0  0  0  0   1  0   2   0  0   0  0  0   2   0  0  0 9th 2B
    2 Whitey Ford       1958-07-20(2) NYY  KCA W  8-0   4  3    3    0  0  0  0   0  0   2   0  0   0  1  0   2   0  0  0 9th P

It was achieved by a Yankee each time.

Most recently it was done by Sandy Alomar Sr in 1975. If you check out the box score above, you'll see that he twice reached on error and came around to score, and also reached on a fielder's choice and came around to score. Interestingly, in his other at-bat, he also reached on a fielder's choice with none out and could possibly have scored again without officially reaching base.

The first time, it was achieved by pitcher Whitey Ford. Just like Alomar, Ford did it by reaching on error twice and reaching on a fielder's choice once, although Ford's FC came on a bunt.

Notice something else interesting? Both games were played on July 20th, though17 years apart!

2 Comments | Posted in Box Scores, Game Finders

A bit more on Blyleven

Posted by Andy on December 30, 2007

I know I have written a ton about Blyleven already, but I find it very compelling to see how much support he has gotten all over the place (Sean McAdam, one of the most overrated baseball journalists on the face of the Earth, notwithstanding.) Today I noticed this post over at Cardboard Junkie, which contains a lot of good data.

There are so many searches you can do like this for Blyleven. They are all staggering. Here's one for you:

I went to Blyleven's Pitching Game Finder page and found all the games he started that were team losses where he pitched at least 7 innings and gave up 2 ER or fewer. The full list of such games is here. Bert had 60 such games in his career, with a record of 0-40 in those 60 games.

I calculated his cumulative stats over those 60 starts. He had 478 IP, allowing 389 hits, 114 runs, 90 earned runs, with 127 BB and 373 K.

Think about those numbers:

  • That's an average of just a hair under 8 innings per start
  • He allowed only 90 earned runs, but the team allowed another 24 (!!) unearned runs to score, which has a lot to do with why Blyleven lost these games. That's a totally ridiculous ratio of unearned runs (but of course the selection criteria is for losses and therefore favors games in which extra runs were allowed.)
  • It's a cumulative ERA of just 1.69...and he got 40 losses for such pitching.
  • His WHIP over these games was 1.08.

Anyway, I don't know what else can be said about Blyleven. This year's votes are already in, and based on info I have seen online about actual ballots placed by eligible writers, he's not going to get enough votes this year. If that turns out to be the case, you can expect a lot more Blyleven posts from me over the next year.

5 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

2007 plate appearances, count 3-0

Posted by Andy on December 29, 2007

Following on a bit from yesterday's Mattingly post, here is some info on all plate appearances in 2007 that ended on a pitch thrown with a 3-0 count. So keep in mind as you read below, this doesn't include any PAs that went to 3-1 or 3-2, but rather those that ended on the pitch coming with a 3-0 count. In most cases, this means a 4th ball, leading to a walk. But there are the occasional HBP, fly-outs, HR, etc. (Just to hammer the point home, there could be no strikeouts in this stat since there are no strikes when the count is 3-0. Similarly, a PA that goes from 3-0 to 3-1 on a strike doesn't count here. It's only those PAs that end on a pitch thrown with a 3-0 count.)

So it turns out that there were 4380 such PAs in 2007:

   G     PA     AB     H    2B   3B   HR   RBI    BB   IBB   SO   HBP  SH   SF   ROE  GDP   BA     OBP    SLG    OPS
+-----+------+------+-----+----+----+----+-----+-----+----+-----+----+----+----+----+----+------+------+------+------+
  1968   4380    245    97   30    2   23   159  4118 1249     0   11    0    6    2    5   .396   .965   .816  1.781

So that's a little more than 2 such PAs per game. As you can see, 4118 of those became walks (94.0%), including 1249 that were intentional walks. Incidentally, this doesn't differentiate between PAs that started off as intentional walks (4 intentional balls) and those where the last ball or two were given intentionally after the pitcher fell behind.

You can see the full results of this search here.

Barry Bonds (surprise, surprise) had the most PAs ending on the pitch thrown with a 3-0 count.

In his 64 such PAs, here was his batting line:

   G    PA    AB    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF ROE GDP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS
+----+-----+-----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+
   53    64     1    0   0   0   0    0   63  43    0   0   0   0   0   0  .000  .984  .000  .984

Incidentally, you can't get this line from the above search. Rather, you need to go to Bonds' Batting Event Finder page.

So in 63 out of 64 PAs, Bonds ended up walking (including 43 times intentionally.) But he did swing and put the ball into play once on a 3-0 count. It was in this game, where he grounded out to second on a 3-0 pitch.

Now from above, we see that 23 times a guy homered on a 3-0 pitch. To get that list, we need to go to the Batting Event Finder and look it up through home runs.

So here is the full list of 3-0 homers in 2007:

   Yr#    G# Date          Batter            Tm   Opp Pitcher           Score       Inn RoB Out Cnt Pit RBI Play Desc.
+-------+---+-------------+-----------------+---+----+-----------------+-----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+-------------------------+
       1   1 2007-04-09    Jim Thome         CHW @OAK Rich Harden       down   0-1  t 4 ---   0 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF)
       2   1 2007-04-27    Casey Kotchman    LAA @CHW Jose Contreras    down   1-3  t 6 1--   2 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF-RF); Anderson Scores
       3   1 2007-04-28    Josh Willingham   FLA @PHI Francisco Rosari  ahead  7-4  t 6 12-   2 3-0   4   3 Home Run (Fly Ball to LF); Cabrera Scores; Jacobs Scores
       4   1 2007-04-29    Adam Dunn         CIN @PIT Shawn Chacon      ahead  6-4  t 5 1--   1 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF); Gonzalez Scores
       5   1 2007-05-23    Alex Gordon       KCR  CLE Cliff Lee         ahead  7-4  b 5 ---   1 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF)
       6   1 2007-06-01    Jason Michaels    CLE  DET Mike Maroth       down   3-5  b 6 1--   2 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to LF); Garko Scores
       7   1 2007-06-04    Casey Kotchman    LAA  MIN Boof Bonser       ahead  3-1  b 6 ---   1 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF)
       8   1 2007-06-05    B.J. Upton        TBD @TOR Roy Halladay      ahead  4-1  t 4 -2-   1 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF); Harris Scores
       9   1 2007-06-24    Jason Varitek     BOS @SDP Scott Linebrink   ahead  3-2  t 8 ---   0 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF)
      10   1 2007-06-28    Chase Utley       PHI  CIN Matt Belisle      tied   0-0  b 1 -2-   1 3-0   2   2 Home Run (Line Drive to CF); Rollins Scores
      11   2               Chase Utley       PHI  CIN Matt Belisle      down   2-4  b 3 -2-   1 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF); Rollins Scores
      12   1 2007-07-04    Adam LaRoche      PIT  MIL Claudio Vargas    tied   3-3  b 6 1--   0 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF-RF); Sanchez Scores
      13   1 2007-07-14    David Ortiz       BOS  TOR Dustin McGowan    tied   0-0  b 1 ---   2 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Line Drive to RF)
      14   1 2007-07-14    Josh Willingham   FLA  WSN Matt Chico        ahead  3-0  b 6 1--   0 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to LF); Jacobs Scores
      15   1 2007-07-21    Pedro Feliz       SFG @MIL David Bush        ahead  1-0  t 4 -2-   2 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to CF-RF); Klesko Scores
      16   1 2007-07-24    Jeff Kent         LAD @HOU Jason Jennings    down   0-1  t 2 ---   0 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to LF)
      17   1 2007-07-24(2) Jim Thome         CHW  DET Chad Durbin       down   3-7  b 7 12-   2 3-0   4   3 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF); Pierzynski Scores; Owens Scores
      18   1 2007-08-07    Aaron Rowand      PHI  FLA Carlos Martinez   ahead  7-1  b 4 ---   1 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to LF)
      19   1 2007-08-25    Victor Martinez   CLE @KCR Kyle Davies       ahead  6-0  t 2 ---   2 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF)
      20   1 2007-08-25    Milton Bradley    SDP @PHI Tom Gordon        down   1-2  t 8 ---   1 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF)
      21   1 2007-08-26    Carlos Pena       TBD  OAK Danny Haren       ahead  4-2  b 6 ---   1 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Line Drive to RF)
      22   1 2007-09-11    Brian Giles       SDP @LAD Esteban Loaiza    ahead  2-0  t 2 -2-   2 3-0   4   2 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF); Bard Scores
      23   1 2007-09-26    Lance Berkman     HOU @CIN Tom Shearn        tied   0-0  t 1 1-3   0 3-0   4   3 Home Run (Fly Ball to LF-CF); Burke Scores; Everett Scores

Holy smokes! Chase Utley did it twice, in the same game, off the same pitcher! MVP Rollins scored on both. Casey Kotchman, Jim Thome, and Josh Willimgham also did it twice this year, but Belisle is the only pitcher to give up two. There were no slams, but a few three-run jobs.

Now, if you check out the data above, you can see that there were 150 outs recorded on a 3-0 pitch. Again using the Batting Event Finder, we can find all such outs on 3-0 pitches.

Here are the batters to do it the most:

Victor Martinez 6, Chase Utley 4, Frank Thomas 4, and Matt Holliday 4. All good hitters. Utley must swing a lot on 3-0.

Here (from his personal Batting Event Finder) are the 6 times Martinez did it:

  Car#  Yr#  G# Date          Tm   Opp Pitcher           Score       Inn RoB Out Cnt Pit RBI Play Desc.
+-----+----+---+-------------+---+----+-----------------+-----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+-------------------------+
     1    1   1 2007-05-18    CLE  CIN Victor Santos     ahead  9-4  b 3 1--   2 3-0   4   0 Popfly: 3B
     2    2   1 2007-06-09    CLE @CIN Dave Weathers     tied   6-6  t 9 ---   2 3-0   4   0 Flyball: LF
     3    3   1 2007-06-17    CLE  ATL Kyle Davies       tied   0-0  b 4 ---   1 3-0   4   0 Groundout: 1B-P
     4    4   1 2007-07-05    CLE @DET Justin Verlander  ahead  2-1  t 3 1--   1 3-0   4   0 Flyball: CF
     5    5   1 2007-07-17    CLE  CHW Dewon Day         tied   5-5  b10 ---   0 3-0   4   0 Groundout: 2B-1B
     6    6   1 2007-08-18    CLE @TBD Jason Hammel      ahead  3-0  t 3 ---   1 3-0   4   0 Flyball: RF

Ouch, he did it twice in the 9th inning or later or a tie game. That's not good.

He did also have these 4 hits on a 3-0 pitch:

  Car#  Yr#  G# Date          Tm   Opp Pitcher           Score       Result Inn RoB Out Cnt Pit RBI Play Desc.
+-----+----+---+-------------+---+----+-----------------+-----------+------+---+---+---+---+---+---+-------------------------+
     1    1   1 2007-06-17    CLE  ATL Kyle Davies       ahead  1-0  1B     b 6 ---   0 3-0   4   0 Single to RF (Ground Ball)
     2    2   1 2007-07-07    CLE @TOR Shaun Marcum      tied   0-0  2B     t 1 ---   2 3-0   4   0 Double to RF (Line Drive)
     3    3   1 2007-07-22    CLE @TEX Robinson Tejeda   ahead  2-0  1B     t 5 --3   0 3-0   2   1 Single to CF (Ground Ball); Blake Scores
     4    4   1 2007-08-25    CLE @KCR Kyle Davies       ahead  6-0  HR     t 2 ---   2 3-0   4   1 Home Run (Fly Ball to RF)

But these games were all either early or tied...much better times to take such a chance.

Anyway, there are so many cool things like this you can find on the PI. Get cracking!

Comments Off | Posted in Box Scores, Event Finders

Don Mattingly swinging at the first pitch

Posted by Andy on December 28, 2007

I thought I'd show you some of the cool data you can get with the PI Batting Splits.

As any huge Mattingly fan would know, he was well known for rarely swinging at the first pitch of an at-bat.
From his splits page, we can see the breakdown of data for career plate appearances by pitch count:

I Split          G   GS    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF ROE GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  BAbip tOPS+ Split
+-+------------+----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------------+
   First Pitch   385        465   444       161  26   0  10   88    0   0    0   7   0  14   3  18           .363  .361  .489  .850  .337   105 First Pitch
   1-0 Count     467        564   560       167  31   4  13   89    0   0    0   0   0   4   5  26           .298  .296  .438  .734  .279    76 1-0 Count
   2-0 Count     227        262   257        87  22   1  12   55    0   0    0   0   0   5   3   7           .339  .332  .572  .904  .300   114 2-0 Count
   3-0 Count     175        187     5         1   0   0   0    7  181  86    0   0   0   1   0   0           .200  .973  .200 1.173  .167   214 3-0 Count
   0-1 Count     444        548   543       157  27   0  15   69    0   0    0   1   0   4   8  18           .289  .288  .422  .710  .267    70 0-1 Count
   1-1 Count     479        598   588       192  41   1  15   89    0   0    0   0   0  10   7  14           .327  .321  .476  .797  .304    91 1-1 Count
   2-1 Count     294        346   342       115  19   0   8   48    0   0    0   3   0   1   4   8           .336  .341  .462  .803  .319    93 2-1 Count
   3-1 Count     198        211   115        33   5   1   4   20   94   2    0   0   0   2   2   3           .287  .602  .452 1.054  .257   164 3-1 Count
   0-2 Count     202        218   215        45   5   0   2   10    0   0   40   1   0   2   3   7           .209  .211  .260  .471  .246    14 0-2 Count
   1-2 Count     413        500   496       114  27   0   7   45    0   0  121   2   0   2   4   8           .230  .232  .327  .559  .289    34 1-2 Count
   2-2 Count     338        384   381        86  27   0   4   27    0   0   69   0   0   3   5   2           .226  .224  .328  .552  .264    32 2-2 Count

Note that this data is for only 1988 to 1995, as the data is not available from before that. So, as you can see, of Mattingly's 4643 career PAs from 1988 to 1995, 465 of them (10.0%) ended on the first pitch. Since he had only 444 first-pitch at-bats, we see that 21 were something else, and it turns out they were 7 hit-by-pitches and 14 sacrifice flies.

Firstly, I wanted to see whether Mattingly really did swing at the first pitch rarely. The batter he is most similar to is Cecil Cooper, but unfortunately almost all of Cooper's career came before B-R's detailed pitch data. However, we can take a look at the second most-similar batter, Wally Joyner.

From Joyner's splits, you can see that he had 6788 PAs from 1988-2001 and of those, he had 1015 that ended after the first pitch. That's 15.0%, as compared to 10.0% for Mattingly.

One more quickie: similar batter #5 is Garrett Anderson, whose entire career has pitch-by-pitch data. Anderson has 7887 career PAs, and 1191 ended after the first pitch. That's 15.1%, very close to Joyner.

Obviously this is by no means a detailed study, but initial data does back up the idea that Mattingly did indeed look at a lot of first pitches.

Take a look above at Mattingly's 3-0 count PAs. Of 187 such PAs, only 5 ever became official at-bats, and one became a hit. So he had a .200 BA with 3 balls an no strikes, but a .973 OBP thanks to 181 walks. (Again, this is 1988 to 1995, and keep in mind that this is for PAs that ended on a 3-0 count. It doesn't include PAs where the next pitch was a strike.)

To see everything that happened once the count got to 3-0 on Mattingly, you need to look a little further down.

I Split          G   GS    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF ROE GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  BAbip tOPS+ Split
+-+------------+----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------------+
   After 1-0     987       2337  1990       606 131   6  50  301  321  86   96   2   0  24  23  52           .305  .398  .452  .850  .298   107 After 1-0
   After 2-0     600        866   585       191  43   2  20  108  269  86   31   2   0  10   8   9           .326  .533  .509 1.042  .314   157 After 2-0
   After 3-0     282        321    86        31   5   0   3   21  232  86    9   0   0   3   2   1           .360  .819  .523 1.342  .364   240 After 3-0
   After 0-1     932       1798  1740       456  86   1  38  189   41   2  165   5   0  12  21  45           .262  .279  .378  .657  .270    58 After 0-1
   After 1-1     899       1634  1530       437  96   1  34  193   86   2  120   3   0  15  18  34           .286  .322  .416  .738  .290    78 After 1-1
   After 2-1     571        802   695       201  42   1  17   90   99   2   48   3   0   5   7  12           .289  .378  .426  .804  .290    96 After 2-1
   After 3-1     287        326   196        59  11   1   7   30  127   2   13   0   0   3   4   4           .301  .571  .474 1.045  .291   160 After 3-1
   After 0-2     430        523   512       110  20   0   6   31    7   0  110   1   0   3   5  10           .215  .226  .289  .515  .261    24 After 0-2
   After 1-2     607        822   786       182  44   0  11   67   31   0  164   2   0   3   9  12           .232  .262  .330  .592  .279    43 After 1-2
   After 2-2     468        586   528       125  34   0   9   48   54   0   87   0   0   4   6   5           .237  .305  .352  .657  .266    60 After 2-2
   Three Balls   523        715   348        99  18   1  12   58  362  88   31   0   0   5   5   7           .284  .645  .445 1.090  .281   175 Three Balls
   Two Strikes   837       1419  1320       310  72   0  21  113   87   0  261   3   0   9  15  21           .235  .282  .337  .619  .276    50 Two Strikes

So after the 321 PAs that went 3-0, Mattingly ended up with an official at-bat 86 times (26.8%). All the rest of the time he walked. That's a .320 batting average with an .819 OBP.

Compare that to Joyner who had 452 PAs with the count 3-0, and then went on to have 152 ABs (33.6%) So Joyner took fewer walks, and also managed a lower BA (.309) and OBP (.761.) Anderson, to date, has had 330 PAs with a 3-0 count, and 117 ABs (35.4%), with a .291 BA and .745 OBP.

These arguments seem to be in favor of Mattingly, although some argue that for years he was the Yankees' best hitter and maybe would have been better off swinging more with 3-0 counts rather than walking and leaving it up to a lesser hitter, such as an over-the-hill Jack Clark. (I have heard a similar criticism made of Wade Boggs.)

2 Comments | Posted in Splits

Bill Conlin & Jim Rice

Posted by Chris J. on December 27, 2007

In his column on his HoF picks, Bill Conlin says he's voting for Jim Rice because: "Rice is the only player ever to collect 30-plus homers and 200-plus hits three times."

Nope.

Easy to check with PI.  It's been done 83 times.   The following guys have done it at least 3 times: Billy Williams, Al Simmons, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriquez, Jim Rice, Stan Musial (4 times),  Chuck Klein (4 times), Rogers Hornsby, Vlad Guerrero (4 times), and Lou Gehrig (SEVEN times!).

To be fair, Jim Rice is the only eligible player not inducted to have done this.  (Though I still think he's a lousy pick).

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Trivia on the 3000-hit club

Posted by Andy on December 27, 2007

As of now, there are 24 members of the 3000-hit club. Barry Bonds is 65 short, but I don't think hits in the prison sandlot softball games count. After him, nobody else is close enough to get it in 2 seasons (unless those are 2 stellar seasons.) Vizquel is 402 short. Julio Franco is 414 short. Griffey is 442 short. Steve Finley, Gary Sheffield, and Luis Gonzalez are just behind them, all needing fewer than 500 as well. My money is that we won't see another guy get into this club until the 2010 season at the earliest.

But anyway, this is some trivia about the 24 guys who are already in.

1. Who has the lowest and who has the highest career batting average?

2. Who has the fewest and who has the most career at-bats?

3. Who has the lowest and who has the highest career OBP?

4. Who has the lowest and who has the highest career OPS+?

If you'd like the list of the 24 players to help you out, here it is:

Aaron, Biggio, Boggs, Brett, Brock, Carew, Clemente, Cobb, Collins, Gwynn, Henderson, Kaline, Mays, Molitor, Murray, Musial, Palmeiro, Ripken, Rose, Speaker, Waner, Winfield, Yastrzemski, and Yount.

The full list and answers are after the jump.

4 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

1,000+ Whiffs w/Less Than 300 BB Club

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 27, 2007

Mariano Rivera has 857 career strikeouts and has allowed 238 walks in his career, to date.  He also has a contract to pitch three more seasons (through 2010) with the Yankees.  Recently, Rivera is good for at least 60 K's a year with less than 20 BB allowed.  Assuming Mariano pitches to his usual level over the remainder of his contract with New York, he should finish his career with more than 1,000 strikeouts and less than 300 walks allowed.  Thinking about this made me wonder how many pitchers have reached these levels in their career - so, I turned to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Pitching Season Finder and set the controls for "Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2007, (requiring SO>=1000 and BB<=299), sorted by name" and this is what I found:

  Cnt                          SO   BB  From  To   Ages   G   GS  CG SHO  GF  W   L   W-L%  SV   IP     H    R   ER    ERA  ERA+  HR   BF  IBB HBP  BK  WP Teams   

+----+-----------------+-----+----+----+----+----+-----+----+---+---+---+---+---+---+-----+---+------+----+----+----+------+----+---+-----+---+---+---+---+-----------+   

    1 Billy Wagner            1014  260 1995 2007 23-35  720   0   0   0 603  39  36  .520 358  771    523  226  206   2.40  180  72  3085  23  29   1  38 HOU-PHI-NYM   

    2 Ben Sheets              1048  266 2001 2007 22-28  190 190  13   1   0  73  74  .497   0 1229.2 1221  576  523   3.83  113 143  5110  23  30   1  41 MIL   

    3 Trevor Hoffman          1009  265 1993 2007 25-39  882   0   0   0 732  53  60  .469 524  942.2  724  317  286   2.73  147  82  3793  51   8   0  45 TOT-SDP

That's it - just three pitchers in the history of baseball, to date, have 1,000+ career K's with less than 300 career BB allowed.

If Ben Sheets pitches another season, he should work his way off this list - as his career BB allowed total would then pass 300.  Billy Wagner is good for 20 BB allowed per season, so, in 2 more years, Wagner should be off the list too.  Trevor Hoffman is another story.  He'll be 40-years old next season and allows about a dozen walks, or less, per season - on average (lately).  If Hoffman pitches until he's 42, he might work (or walk) himself off this list - but, it will be close.

Therefore, if Rivera reaches this "club," I don't think he'll be alone here.  But, it does seem right that the guy who is perhaps the best closer in A.L. history and the guy who is perhaps the best closer in N.L. history are the only two guys to make this cut.

1 Comment | Posted in Season Finders

St Louis Browns

Posted by Chris J. on December 26, 2007

Happy holidays, everyone!  Like many of you, I'm spending the holidays thinking about the St Louis Browns.  What's that you say?  Only me?  Huh.

 Well, be that as it may, here's one nice thing about the PI feature.  B-ref has long had team leaderboards, allowing you to see who, for example, is third all-time in doubles for the Phillies (Bobby Abreau).  But it's annoying because HR leaders are always from modern times, ERA leaders from the deadball era, and so forth.  What if you want to look up a particular period?  For example, what if you want to construct the all-time Browns roster? 

PI makes that possible.  Go to Pitching Season Index (or batter), click off on the career total part in the yellow horizontal bat.  Then - HERE's THE TRICKY PART - if you click on the league chooser bar, a team chooser bar appears.  I know a lotta people who use this site regularly who didn't know about this.  (Hell, I didn't know about it until sports-ref full-timer Justin Kubatko showed it to me).  But it's there for both pitchers and hitters.  Oh, and of course don't forget to pick the appropriate years on the left side.

With it, you can find the best starting pitchers in all St Louis Brown-dom.  It's Urban Shocker and the sucks, innit?  Only three guys have ever thrown 1000+ IP for the franchise and had a winning record.  One of them went 91-88 with a 100 ERA+.  C'mon.  I guess, if I had to, I'd say their all-time starting rotation was Urban Shocker, Harry Howell, Jack Powell, Ned Garver, and Carl Weilman.  Allan S. Southron can go pitch his initials off for someone else. 

Best hitters?  These guys.  Let's see how that breaks out by position . . .

1B - George Sisler

2B - Del Pratt

SS - Vern Stephens

3B - Harlond Clift

OF - Ken Williams

OF - George Stone

OF - Baby Doll Jacobson

C - um. . . Hank Severeid, I guess

Not surprisingly, almost none of these guys would crack the all-time Orioles team.  Shocker would, but none of the others could hang with Palmer, Mussina, McNally, Cuellar, or Bedard.  Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken, Bobby Grich, and Eddie Murray win out in infield.  Frank Robinson, and Ken Singleton would start in the outfield, but I guess Ken Williams could win out for the last slot.  And I'll take Rick Dempsey over Severeid. 

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

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