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Archive for April, 2008

Holy cow

Posted by Andy on April 30, 2008

Micah Owings (a pitcher) hit a pinch-homer for Arizona today. I can't figure out a way to use the PI to search for this type of event, but it's got to be pretty damn rare. Owings is incredible.

23 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Struggling to Arrive

Posted by Raphy on April 30, 2008

Phil Hughes has created quite a stir here in New York, by pitching miserably in his first 6 starts. Andrew Miller has been just as bad, if not worse, for the Marlins.

I thought that it might be interesting to look at the players who have had a similar experience to these prospects.

Here are my criteria:

1) Young: 23 or younger

2) Inexperienced: Less that 32 games (a current season's worth of starts) pitched in their career.

3) Starting a season: The team's first 30 games (6 games in a 5 man rotation)

4) Struggling: A game score of 35 of lower.

Hughes and Miller join 6 other pitchers with 4 games that match these criteria.

 Pete Redfern      1977     4 Ind. Games

 Jaime Navarro     1990     4 Ind. Games

 Rafael Medina     1998     4 Ind. Games

 Phil Huffman      1979     4 Ind. Games

 Jose Guzman       1986     4 Ind. Games

 Alex Fernandez    1991     4 Ind. Games

Not very encouraging if you're a Yankees or Marlins fan.

Here are the season and career totals for each of the pitchers:

Player Season W Season L Season ERA+ Career W Career L Career ERA+
Pete Redfern 6 9 78 42 48 90
Jamie Navarro 8 7 87 116 126 90
Rafael Medina 2 6 67 3 7 69
Phil Huffman 6 18 75 6 18 71
Jose Guzman 9 15 95 80 74 102
Alex Fernandez 9 13 88 107 87 115

Comments Off | Posted in Game Finders

Consecutive complete game losses

Posted by Andy on April 30, 2008

Thanks to my buddy Eric for this idea. (Not you, Eric H, this time it's Eric P.)

Last night, Roy Halladay lost his third straight complete game. I am willing to bet than in the early 1900s, such a streak was very common since most starts were CGs. But, it's rare these days. Here are the longest such streaks since 1956:

                   StreakStart  Streak End Games   W   L   GS  CG SHO  GF  SV   IP     H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR   ERA  HBP  WP  BK Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 Mickey Lolich      1975-07-17  1975-08-15     7    0   7   7   7   0   0   0   59     59   30   26   15   31   6   3.97   0   1   0 DET                                  

 Rick Langford      1980-06-03  1980-06-30     6    0   6   6   6   0   0   0   52.2   51   25   23   13   22   8   3.93   0   2   1 OAK                                  

 Jack Harshman      1958-05-17  1958-06-07     5    0   5   5   5   0   0   0   43     42   20   19   10   40   6   3.98   1   2   0 BAL                                  

 Curt Schilling     1998-05-17  1998-06-07     4    0   4   4   4   0   0   0   33.2   31   13   11    7   36   1   2.94   1   2   0 PHI                                  
 Phil Niekro        1978-09-21  1979-04-06     4    0   4   4   4   0   0   0   33     28   10    9   12   21   1   2.45   1   1   0 ATL                                  
 Ken Brett          1976-06-20  1976-07-06     4    0   4   4   4   0   0   0   35.1   29   13   12   15   17   0   3.06   1   1   0 CHW                                  
 Clyde Wright       1974-07-20  1974-08-02     4    0   4   4   4   0   0   0   33     37   14   13    7    9   1   3.55   0   1   0 MIL                                  
 Bob Gibson         1965-05-25  1965-06-08     4    0   4   4   4   0   0   0   35.2   26   15   13   15   21   5   3.28   1   1   1 STL                                  

Halladay is tied with roughly 60 other streaks at 3 games, although the last one was by Randy Johnson in 1999. See here for the full list.

6 Comments | Posted in Game Finders, Streak Finders

Making a Habit of Losing

Posted by Raphy on April 29, 2008

Yesterday I wrote about the players who won their first 6 starts. Then I heard the news that Barry Zito had been sent to the bullpen after losing his first 6 starts. So without further ado, here are the players (since 1956) who have 6 or more losses in consecutive appearances, all starts, to begin a season.

11 Comments | Posted in Streak Finders

Most Consecutive Starts Won to Start the Season

Posted by Raphy on April 28, 2008

Last night Brandon Webb won his sixth consecutive start to begin the season. This makes him the 37th pitcher since 1956 to accomplish this. This list, which consists of a lot of great starters mixed in with a few surprises, includes 17 pitchers who won their first 7 or 8 starts. Amazingly however, no one approaches the start that Andy Hawkins had to the 1985 season. Hawkins won his first 10 starts, and he is still the only player since 1956 to even win 9. What's more amazing is that Hawkins, who only won 84 games in his career, never won more than 4 consecutive games during any other stretch during his career.

I was curious to see how these pitchers fared during the rest of the season. Here are the 36 seasons sorted by wins:

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Going Out With A Strange Bang

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 27, 2008

Here's a fun little list via Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season Finder...

From 1901 to 2008, non-pitchers, batting seasons with at least 20 games played and a Batting Average<=.199 with an OPS>=.800:

                   From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
+-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
 Jason Giambi      2008 2008 37-37       1 Ind. Seasons                   
 Greg Vaughn       2003 2003 37-37       1 Ind. Seasons                   
 Mark McGwire      2001 2001 37-37       1 Ind. Seasons                   
 Rob Deer          1996 1996 35-35       1 Ind. Seasons                   
 Kevin Roberson    1995 1995 27-27       1 Ind. Seasons                   
 George Canale     1991 1991 25-25       1 Ind. Seasons                

Of course, Giambi's numbers are as of today's game.  Note that Vaughn, McGwire, Deer and Canale all did this trick in the last year of their big league career.  An interesting way to go out, huh?

3 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Most losses in games allowing 0 ER

Posted by Andy on April 26, 2008

Here are the leaders:

                   Games Link to Individual Games
+-----------------+-----+-------------------------+
 Kent Tekulve         12 Ind. Games
 Hoyt Wilhelm         11 Ind. Games
 Charlie Hough        11 Ind. Games
 Wilbur Wood          10 Ind. Games
 Mike Marshall        10 Ind. Games
 Rick Honeycutt       10 Ind. Games
 John Hiller          10 Ind. Games
 Clay Carroll         10 Ind. Games
 Al Worthington        9 Ind. Games
 Dick Tidrow           9 Ind. Games
 Bob Stanley           9 Ind. Games
 Phil Niekro           9 Ind. Games
 Roger McDowell        9 Ind. Games
 Darold Knowles        9 Ind. Games
 Rich Gossage          9 Ind. Games
 Elias Sosa            8 Ind. Games
 Barney Schultz        8 Ind. Games
 Greg Minton           8 Ind. Games
 Tug McGraw            8 Ind. Games
 Sparky Lyle           8 Ind. Games
 Joe Horlen            8 Ind. Games
 Greg Harris           8 Ind. Games
 Gene Garber           8 Ind. Games
 John Franco           8 Ind. Games
 Mark Clear            8 Ind. Games
+-----------------+-----+-------------------------+
                   Games Link to Individual Games
+-----------------+-----+-------------------------+
 Jim Brewer            8 Ind. Games
 Ted Abernathy         8 Ind. Games

As you can imagine, these are all games where the pitcher allowed an unearned run to score by any of various means. Let's take a look at Tekulve's 12 such games:

  Cnt Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt App,Dec    IP   H  R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GmSc IR IS BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS Pk BK WP   ERA
+----+-------------+---+----+-------+---------+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+--+--+------+
    1 1978-05-09    PIT @SFG L  2-3   9-9f ,L   0.1  2  1  0  0  0  0               0  0  3  3  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  0   0.00
    2 1978-05-25    PIT  NYM L  2-3  10-11f,L   2    1  1  0  2  1  0               0  0 10  8  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  1   0.00
    3 1978-07-22    PIT @SFG L  2-3   9-10 ,L   0.1  1  1  0  2  0  0               1  0  4  2  0  0   1   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  1   0.00 

    4 1979-04-06    PIT  MON L  2-3   9-10f,L   2    0  1  0  0  3  0               0  0  9  8  0  0   0   1  0  0   0  1  0  0  0  0   0.00
    5 1979-04-21    PIT @HOU L  4-5   8-10f,L   1.2  2  1  0  1  0  0               1  0 10  8  0  0   1   0  1  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

    6 1980-06-18(1) PIT @ATL L  2-3   9-9f ,BL  0.1  1  1  0  0  0  0               2  2  3  3  1  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

    7 1982-06-09    PIT @NYM L  2-3   9-9f ,BL  0.1  1  1  0  1  0  0               1  1  5  4  0  0   1   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

    8 1983-06-28    PIT @CHC L  7-8   9-11f,L   2    3  1  0  2  3  0               0  0 12 10  1  0   2   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

    9 1984-05-29    PIT @CIN L  4-5  10-10f,L   0.1  1  1  0  2  1  0               0  0  5  3  1  0   1   0  0  0   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00
   10 1984-07-27    PIT  STL L  2-3  10-10f,L   1    1  1  0  2  0  0               0  0  6  3  0  0   1   0  0  1   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

   11 1987-06-20    PHI @NYM L  2-3   9-9f ,L   0.1  1  1  0  0  0  0               0  0  3  2  0  0   0   0  0  1   0  0  0  0  0  0   0.00 

   12 1989-07-13    CIN  MON L  3-6   7-7  ,BL  1    2  1  0  0  1  0  22  15       2  1  6  6  0  0   0   0  0  0   0  0  1  0  0  0   0.00

Here is what happened in those 12 games:

1. Tekulve allowed a one-out single to Jack Clark, who advanced to 3rd after an error on the catcher attempting to throw him out stealing. Larry Herndon then singled in Clark.

2. With two outs in the 11th, pitcher Dale Murray reached on an E5, then moved to second on a wild pitch by Tekulve. Then Len Randle singled him in.

3. Terry Whitfield led off the 10th with a single against Tekulve, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tekulve then walked Jack Clark, and was relieved by Dave Hamilton. Willie McCovey then singled off Hamilton to end the game.

4. Here's a weird one. Andre Dawson led off getting hit by Tekulve. Then, Dawson was picked off by Tekulve but moved to 2B on an error by Tekulve himself. Warren Cromartie grounded out, sending Dawson to third. Then Ellis Valentine reached on E5, scoring Dawson. That's some seriously tough luck for Tekulve.

5. The Astros loaded the bases on a single, E5, and sac bunt on which Craig Reynolds successfully reached. The next play was a FC groundout by Cesar Cedeno, forcing Denny Walling at home. Next, Jose Cruz singled, scoring Terry Puhl, who had reached on error.

6. Here's a painful one. Down 2-0, Dale Murphy singled. Then Chris Chambliss reached on an error on the first baseman. Then Tekulve came into the game. Gary Matthews reached on an error on the shortstop. A guy named Brian Asselstine flew out. (I have never heard of that guy--what a name!) Then Bill Nahorodny doubled in all three runs, winning the game. So, Tekulve came in with 2 on and nobody out, the defense allowed the next guy to reach, Tekulve got an out, then gave up a bases-loaded double. That is a tough loss, folks.

7. This one is too long to give in detail, but suffice it to say that the Mets got two guys on by a single and an error. Then, Tekulve picked the guy off 2B, but he was safe on an error by the second baseman and he went to third. Then after a groundout and an intentional walk, Hubie Brooks drove in the winning run on a fielder's choice.

8. Cubs won when Larry Bowa reached on an error on the second baseman with two guys on base, scoring Leon Durham.

9. Tekulve loaded the bases on a double, intentional walk, and another walk, and then Brad Gulden reached on an error on the second baseman, scoring Dave Concepcion to end the game.

10. Chris Speier led off the inning with a fly ball and got to 3rd base on an error by the right fielder. Oops. Tekulve got Darrel Porter on a lineout. After a walk, he gave up a sac fly to Willie McGee. He then intentionally walked Andy Van Slyke. Then Terry Pendleton singled and the runner was out at home (b ut the go-ahead run had previously scored.)

11. Gary Carter singled and was lifted for pinch-runner Lenny Dykstra. Darryl Strawberry reached on an error by the shortstop and Dykstra got all the way to third. Then Kevin RcReynolds hit a game-ending sac fly.

12. This is the only time that Tekulve got the loss when the run didn't score in the last inning of the game. What happened is kind of crazy, so here's the entire inning.

Top of the 7th, Expos Batting, Behind 1-3, Norm Charlton facing 2-3-4
          ---  4  D Garcia        Walk
   R      1--  2  A Galarraga     Double to LF (Ground Ball thru 3B); Garcia Scores
          -2-  2  T Raines        Single to RF (Line Drive to Deep 2B-1B); Galarraga to 3B
                  Kent Tekulve replaces Todd Benzinger pitching and batting 6th; Ken Griffey replaces Norm Charlton playing 1B batting 9th
   R      1-3  3  H Brooks        Reached on E6 (Ground Ball to SS); Galarraga Scores; Raines to 2B
                  Dave Martinez pinch runs for Hubie Brooks batting 5th
   O      12-     T Wallach       Raines Caught Stealing 3B (C-3B); Martinez to 2B
          -2-  5  " "             Single to RF (Line Drive to Deep 2B-1B); Martinez to 3B
   O      1-3  4  M Fitzgerald    Strikeout Swinging
   R      1-3  4  S Owen          Single to RF (Line Drive to Deep 2B); Martinez Scores/unER; Wallach to 3B
                  Wallace Johnson pinch hits for Dennis Martinez batting 9th
   O      1-3  3  W Johnson       Groundout: 2B-1B (2B)
                  3 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB. Expos 4, Reds 3.

So Norm Charlton made a nice mess of things, and it all blew up on Tekulve.

By the way, this was Tekulve's second-to-last major-league appearance. His last game came 3 days later, also against the Expos. He came into a tie game in the top of the 12th, gave up 3 runs, got the loss, and retired. He had a couple of rough outings at the end there, but he had a great career, finishing with an ERA+ of 132 while pitching in more than 1000 games.

5 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Streaking Cubs

Posted by Chris J. on April 22, 2008

Today the Cubs won again.  It was their fourth straight game they won by at least 6 runs.  I had to check to see when that last happened.

B-ref is great for checking things like that.  Each team's main page links to their schedule, and the right hand margin is a hash marker telling you how long their current win/loss streak is. 

Upon checking, the last time they did this was . . . well, I got sick of checking after 1906.  They hadn't done it in all that time, unless I missed something.  This week the Cubs did something they haven't done in over a century.  Wow.

 Still, the first week of June 1930 might've been a more impressive stretch, though.   

2 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Jason Giambi: On the Verge of History

Posted by Chris J. on April 22, 2008

Turns out, Giambi is not having a very good year in the Bronx. 

One-eigthth the way through, he's barely hitting .100, with only 5 hits.  Even more impressive, only one of those hits is a single. 

He's got 59 PA.  Has anyone ever had that many PA in a season with only one single?  Let's leave pitchers out of this one.

Turns out, Jason Giambi is on the verge of history.  The record is 61 PA with only 1 single in a season, held by former shortstop Lyn Lary. 

Best part of that list?  Giambi used to be teammates with John Jaha, #4.

 'course there's a problem with the above logic.  Giambi could go 60, 70, 100, 500  PA without another single, but the moment he does, he's off the list.

My advice: take 3 more PA, Jason, and then go wash Jeff Kent's truck.  My settle for futility when history is right around the corner?  

4 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Phillies consecutive homers

Posted by Andy on April 21, 2008

Last night, Chase Utley homered in his 4th straight game.

The AP story on the game notes that the Phillies' team record for homers in consecutive games is 5, done most recently by Bobby Abreu in 2005.

Indeed, here are the 3 who have done it:

                  StreakStart  Streak End Games    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SO   BB   SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Bobby Abreu        2005-05-08  2005-05-12     5     16    6   10   1   0   5    7    3    6    1   0  .625  .727 1.625 2.352 PHI                                        
Mike Schmidt       1979-07-06  1979-07-10     5     17    8    9   0   0   7   14    1    2    0   0  .529  .550 1.765 2.315 PHI                                        
Dick Allen         1969-05-27  1969-06-01     5     21    7   10   1   0   5   10    6    3    0   0  .476  .542 1.238 1.780 PHI

The AP article also noticed that before Utley, Josh Willingham was the last player to hit homers in 3 straight games against the Mets. Here are the longest such streaks since 1993:

                   StreakStart  Streak End Games    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SO   BB   SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 Ryan Howard        2006-08-17  2007-04-09     5     18    6    7   0   0   5   13    3    2    0   0  .389  .429 1.222 1.651 PHI                                         

 Chipper Jones      1999-07-04  1999-09-23     4     13    7    6   0   0   5    8    2    4    1   0  .462  .588 1.615 2.203 ATL                                         
 Andruw Jones       1998-09-05  1998-09-25     4     16    5    7   0   0   4    5    5    0    1   1  .438  .438 1.188 1.626 ATL                                         
 Larry Walker       1996-04-11  1996-04-19     4     15    6    6   0   0   4    7    2    1    0   0  .400  .471 1.200 1.671 COL                                         

 Chase Utley        2008-04-18  2008-04-20     3     11    4    6   0   0   4    6    2    2    0   0  .545  .615 1.636 2.251 PHI                                         
 Josh Willingham    2006-09-11  2006-09-13     3     13    5    8   1   0   3    6    3    1    0   0  .615  .643 1.385 2.028 FLA                                         
 Andruw Jones       2006-04-17  2006-04-19     3     12    4    5   0   0   4    7    2    0    0   0  .417  .385 1.417 1.802 ATL                                         
 Adam Dunn          2004-06-30  2005-04-04     3     10    5    7   2   0   4    8    3    3    0   0  .700  .769 2.100 2.869 CIN                                         
 Bobby Abreu        2004-07-08  2004-07-16     3     14    4    7   2   0   3    7    2    1    2   0  .500  .533 1.286 1.819 PHI                                         
 Hideki Matsui      2003-06-29  2004-06-27     3     11    3    3   0   0   3    6    4    1    0   0  .273  .333 1.091 1.424 NYY                                         
 Eric Young         2003-05-02  2003-06-05     3     11    4    5   2   0   3    3    1    0    0   0  .455  .455 1.455 1.910 MIL                                         
 Pat Burrell        2002-09-08  2003-05-20     3     10    4    5   1   0   4    7    4    3    0   0  .500  .615 1.800 2.415 PHI                                         
 Albert Pujols      2001-08-12  2002-04-24     3     10    4    3   0   0   3    4    2    2    0   0  .300  .417 1.200 1.617 STL                                         
 Scott Rolen        2001-07-29  2001-08-29     3     13    4    6   2   0   3    6    2    1    0   0  .462  .500 1.308 1.808 PHI                                         
 Rich Aurilia       2001-05-12  2001-08-24     3     13    6    8   1   0   3    7    0    0    0   0  .615  .615 1.385 2.000 SFG                                         
 Gary Sheffield     2001-08-17  2001-08-19     3     12    3    7   1   0   3    9    0    0    1   0  .583  .583 1.417 2.000 LAD                                         
 Jose Cruz          1999-06-08  2000-07-16     3     10    4    4   0   0   3    3    3    4    0   0  .400  .571 1.300 1.871 TOR                                         
 Vladimir Guerrero  1999-07-08  1999-07-22     3     11    3    5   0   0   3    4    1    1    0   0  .455  .500 1.273 1.773 MON                                         
 Vladimir Guerrero  1998-06-18  1998-07-10     3     14    6    5   1   0   3    5    0    1    0   0  .357  .400 1.071 1.471 MON                                         
 Damion Easley      1997-06-30  1997-07-02     3     12    4    4   0   0   3    3    1    0    1   0  .333  .333 1.083 1.416 DET                                         
 Sammy Sosa         1996-05-11  1996-08-05     3     13    4    5   0   0   3    4    3    0    0   0  .385  .385 1.077 1.462 CHC                                         
 Jerome Walton      1994-06-05  1995-05-07     3      8    4    4   0   0   3    6    1    1    1   1  .500  .556 1.625 2.181 CIN                                         
 Matt Williams      1994-04-23  1994-05-02     3     12    3    3   0   0   3    6    1    1    0   0  .250  .308 1.000 1.308 SFG                                         
 Glenallen Hill     1993-09-03  1993-09-05     3      9    3    3   0   0   3    6    2    0    0   0  .333  .333 1.333 1.666 CHC                                         
 Rick Wilkins       1993-06-07  1993-06-09     3     12    4    5   0   0   4    6    1    1    0   0  .417  .462 1.417 1.879 CHC                                         

You can see Willingham and Utley both there at 3-game streaks.

Other long streaks against the Mets can be seen here and here. Bad Henry has a streak of 5 that matches Ryan Howard's.

1 Comment | Posted in Streak Finders

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