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Archive for March, 2008

When Was The Last Time The Yanks Had 2 Effective Lefties In their Pen?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on March 21, 2008

To answer the above question, I used Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index and I set the controls for:

Yankees, LHP seasons, 1957 to 2007
where Inherited Runners % =<.5 and
WHIP<=1.3 and
at least 80% games came in relief, and
at least 45 Innings Pitched.

and, this is the result of that query:

1959 Bobby Shantz
1960 Bobby Shantz
1961 Luis Arroyo
1962 Bud Daley
1963 Steve Hamilton
1965 Steve Hamilton
1966 Steve Hamilton
1967 Steve Hamilton
1968 Steve Hamilton
1969 Steve Hamilton
1970 Steve Hamilton
1972 Sparky Lyle
1973 Sparky Lyle
1974 Sparky Lyle
1976 Sparky Lyle & Grant Jackson
1977 Sparky Lyle
1981 Dave LaRoche
1982 Rudy May & Dave LaRoche
1984 Dave Righetti
1985 Bob Shirley
1986 Dave Righetti
1989 Lee Guetterman
1990 Lee Guetterman
1991 Steve Howe
1997 Mike Stanton
1998 Mike Stanton
2001 Randy Choate
2002 Mike Stanton
2003 Chris Hammond

Based on this, it's not a reach to say that, since 1957, the Yankees have only had two seasons, 1976 and 1982, where they had two effective left-handed relief pitchers in their pen.

That's an amazing stat - just twice since 1957. Or, so I thought...

...until I looked at the same sort for all big league teams, and this is what I found, in terms of teams with two or more effective lefties in the same season:

2006	NL	N.Y. Mets	                  Wagner / Feliciano / Oliver	 
2003	AL	Tx. Rangers	         Shouse / Mahay / Erasmo Ramirez	 
1998	NL	Pittsburgh Pirates	         Christiansen / Rincon / Tabaka	 
1997	AL	Baltimore Orioles	         Orosco / Myers / Arthur Rhodes	 
1983	NL	New York Mets	         Orosco / C. Diaz / Tom Gorman	 
2007	AL	Seattle Mariners	         G. Sherrill / Eric O'Flaherty	 
2007	AL	Toronto Blue Jays	         Scott Downs / Brian Tallet	 
2005	NL	Philadelphia Phillies	Billy Wagner / Aaron Fultz	 
2004	NL	Philadelphia Phillies	Rheal Cormier / Billy Wagner	 
2004	NL	St. Louis Cardinals	Ray King / Steve Kline	         
2003	NL	Colorado Rockies	         Brian Fuentes / Javier Lopez	 
2002	NL	Atlanta Braves	         Mike Remlinger / Chris Hammond	 
2002	AL	Minnesota Twins	         J.C. Romero / Eddie Guardado	 
2002	NL	Montreal Expos	         Scott Stewart / Joey Eischen	 
2001	AL	Seattle Mariners	         Arthur Rhodes / Norm Charlton	 
2001	NL	St. Louis Cardinals	Steve Kline / Mike Matthews	 
2001	AL	Toronto Blue Jays	         Pedro Borbon / Dan Plesac	 
2000	NL	Colorado Rockies	         Mike Myers / Gabe White	         
1999	NL	Atlanta Braves	         John Rocker / Mike Remlinger	 
1998	NL	Houston Astros	         Billy Wagner / C.J. Nitkowski	 
1998	NL	New York Mets	         Dennis Cook / Brian Bohanon	 
1997	NL	Houston Astros	         Billy Wagner / Mike Magnante 
1993	AL	Milwaukee Brewers	         Jesse Orosco / Graeme Lloyd	 
1992	NL	Atlanta Braves	         Mike Stanton / Kent Mercker	 
1991	NL	Chicago Cubs	         Paul Assenmacher / C. McElroy	 
1991	AL	Chicago White Sox	         Scott Radinsky / Ken Patterson	 
1990	NL	Pittsburgh Pirates	         Bob Patterson / Bob Kipper	 
1989	AL	Milwaukee Brewers	         Dan Plesac / Tony Fossas	 
1989	NL	St. Louis Cardinals	Ken Dayley / Frank DiPino	 
1988	NL	Cincinnati Reds	         Rob Murphy / John Franco	 
1988	AL	Detroit Tigers	         Willie Hernandez / Paul Gibson	 
1988	AL	Milwaukee Brewers	         Dan Plesac / Paul Mirabella	 
1988	NL	San Diego Padres	         Mark Davis / Dave Leiper	 
1987	NL	Cincinnati Reds	         Rob Murphy / John Franco	 
1986	NL	Atlanta Braves	         Paul Assenmacher / Ed Olwine	 
1986	AL	Detroit Tigers	         W. Hernandez / Mark Thurmond	 
1986	NL	Montreal Expos	         Bob McClure / Dan Schatzeder	 
1984	NL	New York Mets	         Jesse Orosco / Tom Gorman	 
1983	NL	Philadelphia Phillies	Al Holland / Willie Hernandez	 
1982	NL	Los Angeles Dodgers	Steve Howe / Terry Forster	 
1982	AL	New York Yankees	         Rudy May / Dave LaRoche	         
1982	NL	San Francisco Giants	Gary Lavelle / Al Holland	 
1981	NL	San Francisco Giants	Al Holland / Gary Lavelle	 
1980	AL	California Angels	         Dave LaRoche / Andy Hassler	 
1978	AL	Kansas City Royals	         Al Hrabosky / Steve Mingori	 
1978	NL	Los Angeles Dodgers	Terry Forster / Lance Rautzhan	 
1977	AL	Kansas City Royals	         Larry Gura / Steve Mingori	 
1976	AL	Kansas City Royals	         Steve Mingori / Larry Gura	 
1976	AL	New York Yankees	         Sparky Lyle / Grant Jackson	 
1975	NL	Philadelphia Phillies	Tug McGraw / Tom Hilgendorf	 
1974	AL	Baltimore Orioles	         Grant Jackson / Don Hood	 
1973	NL	Los Angeles Dodgers	Jim Brewer / Pete Richert	 
1972	NL	Los Angeles Dodgers	Jim Brewer / Pete Richert	 
1971	AL	Oakland Athletics	         Darold Knowles / Jim Roland	 
1971	AL	Washington Senators	Joe Grzenda / Paul Lindblad	 
1970	AL	Detroit Tigers	         Fred Scherman / John Hiller	 
1968	AL	Boston Red Sox	         Sparky Lyle / Bill Landis	 
1967	AL	Washington Senators	Darold Knowles / Dick Lines	 
1966	NL	Cincinnati Reds	         Billy McCool / Ted Davidson	 
1966	NL	St. Louis Cardinals	Hal Woodeshick / Joe Hoerner	 
1965	NL	Milwaukee Braves	         Billy O'Dell / Dick Kelley	 
1965	NL	Los Angeles Dodgers	Ron Perranoski / Jim Brewer	 
1964	NL	Cincinnati Reds	         Billy McCool / Bill Henry

That's just 63 times since 1957 - in all of baseball. Just goes to show, it's hard enough to find one good lefty for your pen...and, if you have two, you've got something special.

3 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Inexperienced Opening Day Starters

Posted by Raphy on March 20, 2008

Since 1957 no pitcher has started on Opening Day with less than 5 games experience.  2 pitchers, Steve Busby in 1973 and Jose Guzman in 1986, each started on Opening Day in their 6th career starts.  Here is the list of pitchers who have started on Opening Day despite having less than 10 games of major league experience.

While no starter  since 1957 has made his debut on Opening Day, there have been 14 starters who have made their debut in the second game of the season.  Included in that list is Tom Seaver, who would then start the next 12 Opening Days and become the career(post 1957) leader in opening day starts.

Comments Off | Posted in Uncategorized

Highest salaries

Posted by Andy on March 20, 2008

Do you know which ML player had the highest salary in 2007? I was very surprised to see who it was.

Can you name to top 3 overall? Again, a bit surprising.

The answers are on this page (last category at the bottom of the page on the left.)

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

TK note #5: Trivia

Posted by Andy on March 19, 2008

Here's some nice trivia, courtesy of Tim Kurkjian. Rickey Henderson, Cleon Jones, Hal Chase, and Hick Carpenter are the only 4 players to play 1000 games and what?

(Bizarrely, Steve posted on this EXACT subject yesterday even though he and I didn't discuss it at all.)

5 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

If Only Rickey, Lesher, McCarty & Carreon Had Made The Same Team!

Posted by Steve Lombardi on March 18, 2008

Here's a fun fact:  Using Play Index, and setting it for "For single seasons, From 1901 to 2007, Bats RH, Throws LH, Played 50% of games at C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH, or OF, (requiring PA>=1), sorted by greatest number of players matching criteria " shows us that there's never been a big league team with three position players who Bat/Right and Throw/Left on their roster getting a PA in a the same season.    Here's the teams with two guys like this in a season:

 Year Lg Team                              Number Players Matching
+----+--+---------------------------------+------+-----------------------------------------+
 2000 AL Seattle Mariners                       2 Rickey Henderson / Brian Lesher           
 1998 AL Oakland Athletics                      2 Rickey Henderson / Brian Lesher           
 1996 NL San Francisco Giants                   2 David McCarty / Mark Carreon              
 1995 NL San Francisco Giants                   2 Mark Carreon / David McCarty              
 1983 AL Oakland Athletics                      2 Rickey Henderson / Kelvin Moore           
 1982 AL Oakland Athletics                      2 Rickey Henderson / Kelvin Moore           
 1981 AL Oakland Athletics                      2 Rickey Henderson / Kelvin Moore           
 1962 NL Houston Colt .45's                     2 Carl Warwick / Bobby Shantz               
 1911 AL St. Louis Browns                       2 Paul Meloan / Jim Murray                   

4 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Most Wins as a Red

Posted by Chris J. on March 17, 2008

Cincy's the game's most historic franchise, in the sense that they are home to the first openly pro squad.  Funny thing - they don't have a reputation for great players.  Before clicking, try to answer the following: 1) who are the 5 winningest pitchers in Reds history, 2) how many Reds pitchers have won 100 games for the club, and 3) who are the 5 winningest pitchers the squad actually developed? 

Here's their winningest guys

If you're curious, with regard to the last question, it's #s 7, 9, 10, 11, & 12 who the Reds developed. 

Kinda sad when Tom Browning is one of the 5 winnigest homegrown products of all-time, innit?  

5 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

TK note #4: Fewest walks to start a career

Posted by Andy on March 17, 2008

Kurkjian noted that Jeff Kunkel went a long time at the beginning of his career without drawing a walk. Check out his gamelogs. He didn't get a walk until his 43rd game.

Here are all the players (except pitchers) who went their first 43 games without a walk:

                   Games Link to Individual Games
+-----------------+-----+-------------------------+
 Herb Washington      43 Ind. Games
 Julio Valdez         43 Ind. Games
 Adam Stern           43 Ind. Games
 Wally Shannon        43 Ind. Games
 John Scott           43 Ind. Games
 Alejandro Sanchez    43 Ind. Games
 Chris Roberson       43 Ind. Games
 Pablo Ozuna          43 Ind. Games
 Ross Moschitto       43 Ind. Games
 Miguel Mejia         43 Ind. Games
 Don Mason            43 Ind. Games
 Jeff Kunkel          43 Ind. Games
 Darrin Jackson       43 Ind. Games
 Herman Hill          43 Ind. Games
 Edwards Guzman       43 Ind. Games
 Tom Goodwin          43 Ind. Games
 Cesar Geronimo       43 Ind. Games
 Craig Gerber         43 Ind. Games
 Marshall Edwards     43 Ind. Games
 Brian Doyle          43 Ind. Games
 Alex Diaz            43 Ind. Games
 John DeMerit         43 Ind. Games
 Javier Cardona       43 Ind. Games
 Joe Cannon           43 Ind. Games
 Rafael Belliard      43 Ind. Games
+-----------------+-----+-------------------------+
                   Games Link to Individual Games
+-----------------+-----+-------------------------+
 Juan Bell            43 Ind. Games
 German Barranca      43 Ind. Games
 Jeff Abbott          43 Ind. Games

We know Herb Washington's story. He didn't have any plate appearances so he couldn't have gotten any walks. Tom Goodwin getting no walks didn't help much. Tough to steal bases when you can't get on base. Adam Stern's got 48 games and still no walks.

1 Comment | Posted in Game Finders

BREAKING NEWS: Red Sox release Doug Mirabelli

Posted by Andy on March 13, 2008

...and order and sanity are restored in the world of baseball statistics.

7 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

TK note #3: 20 HR and 10 sac hits

Posted by Andy on March 13, 2008

Kurkjian noted how unusual it is for a player to have at least 20 homers and 10 sac hits in the same season.

Here are the 25 most-recent such seasons:

  Cnt Player            Year HR  SH Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R   H  2B 3B RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+----+--+---+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Randy Winn        2005 20  10  31 TOT ML 160 683 617  85 189 47  6  63  48   4  91   5   3  11  19 11  .306  .360  .499  .859 *78/D
    2 Juan Uribe        2004 23  11  24 CHW AL 134 553 502  82 142 31  6  74  32   1  96   3   5  10   9 11  .283  .327  .506  .833 *465/D
    3 Derek Jeter       2004 23  16  30 NYY AL 154 721 643 111 188 44  1  78  46   1  99  14   2  19  23  4  .292  .352  .471  .823 *6
    4 Marcus Giles      2003 21  10  25 ATL NL 145 635 551 101 174 49  2  69  59   2  80  11   4   7  14  4  .316  .390  .526  .916 *4
    5 Jose Valentin     2000 25  13  30 CHW AL 144 648 568 107 155 37  6  92  59   1 106   4   4  11  19  2  .273  .343  .491  .834 *6/9
    6 Roberto Alomar    1999 24  12  31 CLE AL 159 694 563 138 182 40  3 120  99   3  96   7  13  13  37  6  .323  .422  .533  .955 *4/D
    7 Kevin Elster      1996 24  16  31 TEX AL 157 596 515  79 130 32  2  99  52   1 138   2  11   8   4  1  .252  .317  .462  .779 *6
    8 Craig Biggio      1995 22  11  29 HOU NL 141 673 553 123 167 30  2  77  80   1  85  22   7   6  33  8  .302  .406  .483  .889 *4
    9 Ron Karkovice     1993 20  11  29 CHW AL 128 453 403  60  92 17  1  54  29   1 126   6   4  12   2  2  .228  .287  .424  .711 *2
   10 Brady Anderson    1992 21  10  28 BAL AL 159 749 623 100 169 28 10  80  98  14  98   9   9   2  53 16  .271  .373  .449  .822 *7/89
   11 Steve Buechele    1991 22  11  29 TOT ML 152 600 530  74 139 22  3  85  49   4  97   7   3  14   0  5  .262  .331  .440  .771 *54/6
   12 Devon White       1987 24  14  24 CAL AL 159 696 639 103 168 33  5  87  39   2 135   2   2   8  32 11  .263  .306  .443  .749 *98/7
   13 Alan Trammell     1986 21  11  28 DET AL 151 653 574 107 159 33  7  75  59   4  57   5   4   7  25 12  .277  .347  .469  .816 *6/D
   14 Wally Joyner      1986 22  10  24 CAL AL 154 674 593  82 172 27  3 100  57   8  58   2  12  11   5  2  .290  .348  .457  .805 *3
   15 Dwayne Murphy     1982 27  12  27 OAK AL 151 660 543  84 129 15  1  94  94   2 122   3   8   8  26  8  .238  .349  .418  .767 *8/6D
   16 Willie Upshaw     1982 21  10  25 TOR AL 160 646 580  77 155 25  7  75  52   8  91   1   3  11   8  8  .267  .327  .443  .770 *3/D
   17 Roy Smalley       1979 24  15  26 MIN AL 162 729 621  94 168 28  3  95  80   8  80   4   9   9   2  3  .271  .353  .441  .794 *6/3
   18 Bobby Grich       1979 30  12  30 CAL AL 153 609 534  78 157 30  5 101  59  10  84   2   2  14   1  0  .294  .365  .537  .902 *4
   19 Butch Hobson      1977 30  10  25 BOS AL 159 637 593  77 157 33  5 112  27   4 162   4   3  17   5  4  .265  .300  .489  .789 *5
   20 Rusty Staub       1970 30  11  26 MON NL 160 699 569  98 156 23  7  94 112  11  93   3   4   7  12 11  .274  .394  .497  .891 *9
   21 Bobby Tolan       1969 21  10  23 CIN NL 152 691 637 104 194 25 10  93  27   2  92  15   2   9  26 12  .305  .347  .474  .821 *89
   22 Paul Blair        1969 26  13  25 BAL AL 150 685 625 102 178 32  5  76  40   0  72   2   5  11  20  6  .285  .327  .477  .804 *8
   23 Max Alvis         1967 21  16  29 CLE AL 161 697 637  66 163 23  4  70  38   1 107   4   2  13   3 10  .256  .301  .403  .704 *5
   24 Jim Lefebvre      1966 24  10  24 LAD NL 152 610 544  69 149 23  3  74  48   6  72   3   5  10   1  1  .274  .333  .460  .793 *45
   25 Johnny Callison   1963 26  13  24 PHI NL 157 692 626  96 178 36 11  78  50   4 111   2   1   8   8  3  .284  .339  .502  .841 *9/78

Since the steroids era started in 1992 or so, a bunch of speed guys have done it. Before that, it was really quite rare.

And here are all the guys to do it at least twice:

                   From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
+-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
 Rogers Hornsby    1921 1929 25-33       7 Ind. Seasons
 Lou Gehrig        1925 1930 22-27       5 Ind. Seasons
 Mel Ott           1929 1939 20-30       4 Ind. Seasons
 Hack Wilson       1927 1930 27-30       4 Ind. Seasons
 Babe Ruth         1926 1930 31-35       4 Ind. Seasons
 Ken Williams      1921 1925 31-35       4 Ind. Seasons
 Jim Bottomley     1925 1929 25-29       3 Ind. Seasons
 Jack Fournier     1923 1925 33-35       3 Ind. Seasons
 George Kelly      1921 1925 25-29       3 Ind. Seasons
 Joe Adcock        1954 1956 26-28       2 Ind. Seasons
 Alvin Dark        1953 1954 31-32       2 Ind. Seasons
 Gil Hodges        1949 1950 25-26       2 Ind. Seasons
 Whitey Kurowski   1944 1945 26-27       2 Ind. Seasons
 Al Simmons        1929 1930 27-28       2 Ind. Seasons
 Lefty O'Doul      1929 1930 32-33       2 Ind. Seasons
 Don Hurst         1929 1932 23-26       2 Ind. Seasons
 Babe Herman       1929 1930 26-27       2 Ind. Seasons
 Jimmie Foxx       1929 1930 21-22       2 Ind. Seasons
 Dale Alexander    1929 1930 26-27       2 Ind. Seasons
 Chick Hafey       1928 1930 25-27       2 Ind. Seasons
 Bill Terry        1927 1930 28-31       2 Ind. Seasons
 Bob Meusel        1921 1925 24-28       2 Ind. Seasons

So it's really an unusual thing. Nobody has done it twice since the 1950s.

6 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

TK note #2: Fewest pitches to 1 ER

Posted by Andy on March 11, 2008

(Note: if you don't know what TK notes are, please refer back to this post.)

Note #2 is in regards to a 2005 start by John Halama, where he was yanked by Frank Robinson in the 1st inning after giving up just 1 ER. The Nationals went on to lose 12-1, and Halama got the loss, but perhaps undeservingly since he did give up just that one run.

I did a PI search for fewest pitches in a start when giving up just 1 run. Here are the results. Halama, with 24 pitches ties for "only" 57th on this list. Pedro Astacio wins, though, with a 1-pitch start giving up 1 ER. He must have gotten injured, of course, either by the batted ball or by pulling a muscle or some such.

By looking at the "batters faced" column, you can find games where the pitcher was likely pulled, as opposed to being removed due to injury. Here's one that was a doozie. Todd Stottlemyre gave up 1 first-inning run on 2 hits and a walk. In the bottom of the first, that man (Pedro Astacio again) started the game with 3 straight singles and a 3-run homer. So Stottlemyre was off the hook, but he didn't come back for the second inning, instead being replaced by the ageless Mike Morgan.

Anyway, check out that list. There are tons of neat games on there.

16 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

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