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Archive for July, 2009

Worst, Save, Ever?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on July 31, 2009

I was just playing around with Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Pitching Game Finder and I came across this game:

June 6, 1973

Look at that line for Dave Goltz.  Gotta be the worst "save" ever credited in baseball history, right?  If not, for sure, it's in the team picture...

18 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Most 200+ IP Seasons in a Pitcher’s First 10 Years

Posted by Raphy on July 31, 2009

Bland3080 has been asking about the rarity Mark Buehrle's streak of 200+ IP (8 in a row) and, with apologies to him, I'd like to focus on a slightly different question. Buehrle is well on his way to throwing 200+ innings for the ninth time in 10 big league seasons. How rare of an accomplishment would this be?

3 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Win, Win and Win Some More

Posted by Raphy on July 29, 2009

Here are players with the most seasons in the first 9 years of their careers with at least 15 starts and a .600+ winning percentage.:

                   From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
+-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
 Roy Oswalt        2001 2009 23-31       9 Ind. Seasons
 Tim Hudson        1999 2007 23-31       8 Ind. Seasons
 Dwight Gooden     1984 1991 19-26       8 Ind. Seasons
 Roger Clemens     1984 1992 21-29       8 Ind. Seasons
 Mordecai Brown    1904 1911 27-34       8 Ind. Seasons
 Mike Mussina      1992 1999 23-30       7 Ind. Seasons
 Ron Guidry        1977 1983 26-32       7 Ind. Seasons
 Whitey Ford       1953 1959 24-30       7 Ind. Seasons
 Lefty Gomez       1931 1938 22-29       7 Ind. Seasons
 Lefty Grove       1927 1933 27-33       7 Ind. Seasons
 Ed Reulbach       1906 1912 23-29       7 Ind. Seasons

This includes Oswalt's 2009. He  is currently 6-4  (.600), so he has little room for error.  However, if he can keep it up  Oswalt could become the  first player ever to start his career with 9 such seasons.


2 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

The Nightmare Continues

Posted by Raphy on July 29, 2009

Chien-Ming Wang's nightmare season continues to get worse, but yesterday it ended for him on the field.

Wang finishes the season with 42 IP and an ERA of 9.64.  This leaves Wang with the 6th worst ERA in a season among pitchers with at least 40 IP. Here are the leaders:

  Cnt Player              **ERA**    IP  Year Age Tm  Lg  G   GS CG SHO GF  W  L  W-L% SV  H   R   ER  BB  SO ERA+ HR  BF   AB  2B 3B IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS Pk BK WP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+  Pit  Str
+----+-----------------+----------+-----+----+---+---+--+---+---+--+---+--+--+--+-----+--+---+---+---+---+---+----+--+----+----+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+
    1 Roy Halladay         10.64    67.2 2000  23 TOR AL  19  13  0   0  4  4  7  .364  0 107  87  80  42  44   48 14  349  300 21  3   0   2   2   3   6   3  3  0  1  6  .357  .435  .587 1.022  153 1358  803
    2 Micah Bowie          10.24    51   1999  24 TOT NL  14  11  0   0  2  2  7  .222  0  81  60  58  34  41   44  9  265  223 12  2   2   2   3   3   1  10  3  1  2  4  .363  .447  .556 1.003  162
    3 Aaron Myette         10.06    48.1 2002  24 TEX AL  15  12  0   0  2  2  5  .286  0  64  57  54  41  48   48 11  249  197 16  4   0   6   1   4   7   3  0  0  0  5  .325  .448  .614 1.062  173 1065  622
    4 Steve Blass           9.85    88.2 1973  31 PIT NL  23  18  1   0  1  3  9  .250  0 109  98  97  84  27   36 11  455  348 23  1   4  12   3   8   5   3  6  2  0  9  .313  .454  .480  .934  170
    5 Sean Bergman          9.66    68   2000  30 MIN AL  15  14  0   0  0  4  5  .444  0 111  76  73  33  35   53 18  337  297 18  2   1   2   2   3  11  12  0  0  0  2  .374  .436  .630 1.066  162 1170  697
    6 Chien-Ming Wang       9.64    42   2009  29 NYY AL  12   9  0   0  2  1  6  .143  0  66  46  45  19  29   46  7  206  181 19  1   1   2   3   1   5  10  3  0  0  3  .365  .429  .597 1.026    0  746  459
    7 Andy Larkin           9.64    74.2 1998  24 FLA NL  17  14  0   0  0  3  8  .273  0 101  87  80  55  43   42 12  373  307 20  3   3   4   5   2  10  13  2  0  0  3  .329  .435  .531  .966  166
    8 Glen Cook             9.45    40   1985  25 TEX AL   9   7  0   0  1  2  3  .400  0  53  42  42  18  19   45 12  187  162  7  1   1   3   0   4   4   1  2  0  0  1  .327  .396  .605 1.001  169
    9 Frank Gabler          9.43    69.2 1938  26 TOT ML  19   7  3   0  9  1  7  .125  0 104  77  73  35  17   52 12  335                  1                        0  2                            0
   10 Lloyd Allen           9.42    49.2 1973  23 TOT AL  28   5  0   0 14  0  6  .000  2  73  69  52  44  29   39  3  271  215  8  4   2   5   3   5   6   8  2  0  0  9  .340  .454  .456  .910  162


What happened to Wang is a real shame and as with anything else in life, one slight change in circumstance could have prevented it all.  Tyler Kepner does a nice job of illustrating this fact in his blog.

3 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Long Beginnings

Posted by Raphy on July 29, 2009

In addition to getting on base, one of the jobs of the lead-off hitter is to make the pitcher throw a lot of pitches. This allows the subsequent batters to get an idea of the opposing pitcher's stuff that game . Here are all the lead-off plate appearance since 1988 that were 13 pitches of longer:

3 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Consecutive 3 Hit Games

Posted by Raphy on July 28, 2009

Michael Young has  recorded at least 3 hits in each of his last 3 games.  In doing so,  he joins Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and David Wright as the only players who have  accomplish the feat this season.  The last player with at least 3 hits in 4 consecutive games was Maglio Ordonez last July (Cody Ross! did it last year, as well.).  Since 1954 only  3 players have had streaks of 5 games or longer:

                   StreakStart  Streak End Games    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SO   BB   SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Teams
+-----------------+-----------+-----------+-----+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
 George Brett       1976-05-08  1976-05-13     6     26    9   18   1   0   1    4    0    2    2   1  .692  .714  .846 1.560 KCR                                         

 Rod Carew          1975-05-31  1975-06-05     5     18   11   15   1   0   4    9    0    6    3   0  .833  .875 1.556 2.431 MIN                                         
 Ted Sizemore       1970-08-08  1970-08-12     5     24    5   16   1   0   0    9    1    1    2   0  .667  .680  .708 1.388 LAD                        

While Brett's streak was a bit longer, Carew's was certainly more intense. Not only did Carew hit 4 home runs as part of those five games, he also didn't have more than 4 official at bats in any of the games.

It is also interesting to note that Brett and Sizemore's teams each lost only 1 game during their respective streaks.  During Carew's streak the Twins were 0-5.

1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Worst OPS+ so far in 2009

Posted by Andy on July 28, 2009

Check out the worst OPS+ figures so far in 2009 for players qualified for the batting title:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+** Year Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+--------+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Willy Taveras         54   2009  27 CIN NL  82 360 329  46  82 10  2  1  14  17   0  49   2  10   2   2  21  6  .249  .289  .301  .590 *8        
    2 Jason Kendall         63   2009  35 MIL NL  87 338 292  27  70 10  1  0  25  31   5  32   8   2   5  10   2  1  .240  .324  .281  .605 *2        
    3 Emilio Bonifacio      63   2009  24 FLA NL  92 425 391  57  98 11  5  1  22  26   0  81   1   3   4   4  18  7  .251  .296  .312  .608 *56/478   
    4 Edgar Renteria        66   2009  33 SFG NL  83 351 314  36  80 14  0  2  39  26   2  50   1   5   5  12   5  2  .255  .309  .318  .627 *6        
    5 Chris Young           70   2009  25 ARI NL  90 324 284  33  58 22  4  6  26  34   1  82   2   2   2   1  11  2  .204  .292  .373  .665 *8        
    6 Mike Fontenot         74   2009  29 CHC NL  88 305 273  26  63 13  1  8  31  28   3  65   1   0   3   5   2  1  .231  .302  .374  .676 *54       
    7 Jeff Francoeur        74   2009  25 TOT NL  94 376 353  34  92 14  2  7  49  12   2  51   4   1   6  10   5  2  .261  .288  .371  .659 *9        
    8 Jimmy Rollins         75   2009  30 PHI NL  91 432 397  61  94 25  2 10  45  29   1  45   2   1   3   6  17  8  .237  .290  .385  .675 *6        
    9 Daniel Murphy         76   2009  24 NYM NL  92 315 280  33  68 15  1  5  32  28   1  41   0   3   4   5   2  1  .243  .308  .357  .665 37        
   10 Adrian Beltre         77   2009  30 SEA AL  73 313 297  36  77 19  0  5  31  11   1  48   3   0   2  12   9  2  .259  .291  .374  .665 *5/D      

With his second straight season having a qualifying OPS+ under 60, it's time for Willy Taveras' playing career to be over. It doesn't matter how fast the guy is--with an OBP of .289, he's not getting on base enough and no team should be wasting plate appearances on the guy. Defensively he's an average centerfielder (not above average with that speed) and there's no reason to use him in a game except as a pinch-runner.

Something similar could be said about Jason Kendall. He's working on his 3rd straight season under an OPS+ of 75.  He slugged over .400 a few times but not since 2003 and this year his SLG is an almost impossibly-low .281. That's 10 doubles, 1 triple, and no homers in 87 games. It doesn't matter how good he might be defensively or in handling the pitching staff--no amount of positive impact he's making there can compensate for just how bad he is offensively.

Every guy on this list has a story, but two names that stick out are Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Beltre. In Beltre's case, other than his contract year of 2004, he's always been a fairly average player. This year's performance represents his worst since his rookie year in 1998. Pretty soon he won't be qualified for the batting title (he's on the DL right now) and we'll see how he does when he gets back.

Jimmy Rollins is also having the worst year of his career although he has been much, much better of late. Rollins is an overrated player and was one of the weakest MVP winners in recent memory in 2007 (even though I voted for him...) I can tolerate his career OBP of .330 but not this year's figure of .290. My guess is he continues to hit very well for the rest of the year and ends the season right around his career numbers, meaning an OPS+ still a bit below average.

6 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Server mods

Posted by Sean Forman on July 27, 2009

I made a couple of server tweaks, mainly passing along ornery script calls (via mod_proxy) to our 16-core 16GB db server rather than the regular b-r web server. It appears to have dramatically improved performance (at least what top is showing me), but there may be some subtle bugs I didn't anticipate, so let me know if you find anything funky going on. Sorry for the poor server performance the last few months. Hopefully this will get us through the end of the year.

Comments Off | Posted in Administration, Announcements

Aaron Harang’s weird 2008

Posted by Andy on July 27, 2009

Last season, Aaron Harang went 6-17 despite a 94 ERA+, meaning an ERA that was just a little below average.

Here are the lowest win totals in a season in which a guy had 17 or more losses but also an ERA+ of 94 or better:

  Cnt Player             **W**  L ERA+ Year Age Tm  Lg  G   GS CG SHO GF  W-L% SV   IP   H   R   ER  BB  SO   ERA  HR  BF   AB  2B 3B IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS Pk BK WP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+  Pit  Str
+----+-----------------+------+--+----+----+---+---+--+---+---+--+---+--+-----+--+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+--+----+----+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+
    1 Dutch Henry          2   17   94 1930  28 CHW AL  35  16  4   0 12  .105  0 155   211 116  84  48  35   4.88 12  706                  4                        0  2                            0           
    2 Eddie Smith          4   17  120 1937  23 PHA AL  38  23 14   1 11  .190  5 196.2 178 100  86  90  79   3.94 18  847                  4                        0  2                            0           
    3 Scott Perry          4   17   95 1919  28 PHA AL  25  21 12   0  3  .190  1 183.2 193  92  73  72  38   3.58  4  758                  2                        1  4                            0           
    4 Frank Allen          4   18  116 1913  24 BRO NL  34  25 11   0  3  .182  2 174.2 144  75  55  81  82   2.83  6  736                 10                        0  4                            0           
    5 Jim Pastorius        4   20   95 1908  26 BRO NL  28  25 16   2  3  .167  0 213.2 171  88  58  74  54   2.44  5  814                  7                        0  6                            0           
    6 Virgil Trucks        5   19   95 1952  35 DET AL  35  29  8   3  5  .208  1 197   190  99  87  82 129   3.97 12  858                  7                        1  5                            0           
    7 Rollie Naylor        5   18  102 1919  27 PHA AL  31  23 17   0  5  .217  0 204.2 210 109  76  64  68   3.34  2  819                  4                        0  2                            0           
    8 Aaron Harang         6   17   94 2008  30 CIN NL  30  29  1   1  0  .261  0 184.1 205 104  98  50 153   4.78 35  793  723 52  3   5   2  11   7  12  17  4  0  0  2  .284  .329  .509  .838  118 3046 2001 
    9 Galen Cisco          6   19   98 1964  28 NYM NL  36  25  5   2  5  .240  0 191.2 182  85  77  54  78   3.62 17  787  712 35  6   4   6  10   5  21   8 11  1  0  5  .256  .311  .393  .704  107           
   10 Johnny Lindell       6   17   95 1953  36 TOT NL  32  26 15   1  4  .261  0 199   195 122 103 139 118   4.66 17  910                  6                        0 11                            0           
   11 Paul Minner          6   17  107 1951  27 CHC NL  33  28 14   3  3  .261  1 201.2 219  97  85  64  68   3.79 20  861                  0                        1  5                            0           
   12 Howie Fox            6   19  105 1949  28 CIN NL  38  30  9   0  6  .240  0 215   221 120  95  77  60   3.98 13  928                  4                        1  2                            0           
   13 Jack Russell         6   18  108 1929  23 BOS AL  35  32 13   0  3  .250  0 227.1 263 132  99  40  37   3.92 12  978                  3                        0  1                            0           
   14 Joe Oeschger         6   18   98 1918  26 PHI NL  30  23 13   2  7  .250  3 184   159  87  62  83  60   3.03  3  778                  7                        0  4                            0           
   15 Elmer Jacobs         6   19  101 1917  24 PIT NL  38  25 10   1 12  .240  2 227.1 214  87  71  76  58   2.81  3  941                  5                        2  1                            0           
   16 Walt Leverenz        6   17  114 1913  24 SLB AL  30  27 13   2  2  .261  1 202.2 159  81  58  89  87   2.58  3  806                 10                        0  4                            0           
   17 Cy Falkenberg        6   17  103 1907  26 WSH AL  32  24 17   1  4  .261  1 233.2 195 105  61  77 108   2.35  0  976                  8                        0 13                            0           

He's in some pretty rare company there and although many of these pitchers are not all that famous we do see Virgil Trucks on there. Trucks won 13 games in the previous season and 20 games in the following one.

If we restrict the above list to just the last 2o years, there are just 14 seasons that qualify:

  Cnt Player             **W**  L ERA+ Year Age Tm  Lg  G   GS CG SHO GF  W-L% SV   IP   H   R   ER  BB  SO   ERA  HR  BF   AB  2B 3B IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS Pk BK WP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+  Pit  Str
+----+-----------------+------+--+----+----+---+---+--+---+---+--+---+--+-----+--+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+--+----+----+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+
    1 Aaron Harang         6   17   94 2008  30 CIN NL  30  29  1   1  0  .261  0 184.1 205 104  98  50 153   4.78 35  793  723 52  3   5   2  11   7  12  17  4  0  0  2  .284  .329  .509  .838  118 3046 2001 
    2 Rich Robertson       7   17  100 1996  27 MIN AL  36  31  5   3  1  .292  0 186.1 197 113 106 116 114   5.12 22  853  722 32  5   2   9   2   4  23  15  8  1  0  7  .273  .378  .422  .800  102           
    3 Matt Young           8   18  113 1990  31 SEA AL  34  33  7   1  0  .308  0 225.1 198 106  88 107 176   3.51 15  963  836 25  3   7   6   7   7  27  20 14  3  0 16  .237  .325  .328  .653   82           
    4 Albie Lopez          9   19   95 2001  29 TOT ML  33  33  3   3  0  .321  0 205.2 226 123 110  75 136   4.81 26  896  804 48  2   3   4   8   5  20  20  9  3  1  2  .281  .343  .443  .786  105 3191 2019 
    5 Doug Drabek          9   18  103 1993  30 HOU NL  34  34  7   2  0  .333  0 237.2 242 108 100  60 157   3.79 18  991  906 41  4  12   3  14   8  18  28  7  0  0 12  .267  .312  .381  .693   93           
    6 Jack Armstrong       9   17   95 1993  28 FLA NL  36  33  0   0  2  .346  0 196.1 210 105  98  78 118   4.49 29  879  776 35  6   6   7   8  10   9  18  3  2  2  7  .271  .339  .443  .782  110           
    7 Tim Leary            9   19   97 1990  31 NYY AL  31  31  6   1  0  .321  0 208   202 105  95  78 138   4.11 18  881  785 39  1   1   7   7   4  20  18  9  6  0 23  .257  .328  .378  .706   97           
    8 Kirk McCaskill      10   19   96 1991  30 CAL AL  30  30  1   0  0  .345  0 177.2 193  93  84  66  71   4.26 19  762  681 36  5   1   3   6   6  22   8  6  1  0  6  .283  .347  .435  .782  116           
    9 Joe Magrane         10   17  106 1990  25 STL NL  31  31  3   2  0  .370  0 203.1 204  86  81  59 100   3.59 10  855  773 36  9   7   8   8   6  15  21 16  6  1 11  .264  .320  .373  .693   96           
   10 Greg Harris         11   17   94 1993  29 TOT NL  35  35  4   0  0  .393  0 225.1 239 127 115  69 123   4.59 33  975  881 45  9   9   7  14   4  10  22 10  2  6  6  .271  .328  .455  .783  107           
   11 Steve Parris        12   17   98 2000  32 CIN NL  33  33  0   0  0  .414  0 192.2 227 109 103  71 117   4.81 30  861  772 57  7   5   4  10   3  18  12  3  1  1  9  .294  .355  .503  .858  117 3308 2026 
   12 Darryl Kile         13   17   99 1998  29 COL NL  36  35  4   1  1  .433  0 230.1 257 141 133  96 158   5.20 28 1020  894 47  7   4   7  15   8  23  15  5  0  0 12  .287  .358  .450  .808  100           
   13 Todd Stottlemyre    13   17   95 1990  25 TOR AL  33  33  4   0  0  .433  0 203   214 101  98  69 115   4.34 18  866  781 36  8   4   8   3   5  13  23 13  1  1  6  .274  .337  .410  .747  103           
   14 Frank Viola         13   17  106 1989  29 TOT ML  36  36  9   2  0  .433  0 261   246 115 106  74 211   3.66 22 1082  986 43  6   4   4  12   6  16  16 11  5  1  8  .249  .303  .372  .675   89           

This is a pretty interesting group. For the most part, these guys all had decent-or-better major league careers. That's not too surprising as earning a 94 ERA+ while pitching enough games to lose 17 decisions means you must be at least pretty decent.

As of this writing, Harang isn't fairing much better in 2009. So far he has an ERA+ of 106 but a record of just 5-10. Weird.

8 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

“The” search feature

Posted by Andy on July 24, 2009

Several weeks back, Sean announced the addition of a new search feature where using "the" in the search box returns the page meeting the search criteria with the highest number of page views.

I absolutely love this new feature and it has saved me a lot of time. In case you don't quite get how it works, let me explain:

Let's say you want to see Willie Mays' page, so you enter "Willie Mays" into the search box.

Willie Mays

Click on that link and you'll see the result: Willie Mays, as well as Willie Mays Aikens.

Now trying putting "the Willie Mays" into to search box. It takes you direct to Willie Mays' page because he has more page views than Aikens.

Big deal? Well let's say you search for just "Mays".

Mays

That gives you 11 major-leaguers and 36 minor-leaguers. But "the Mays" takes you right to Willie's page again. So does "the Willie" and even "the Willy".

Now, here's some fun.

Can you guess who comes up when you put in "the Jim"?

It's not James Cool Papa Bell, Jim Bottomley, Jim Bouton, Jim Bunning, Jimmie Fox, Jim Thome, or any other All-Star or Hall of Famer. Nope, it's this guy, who has the most hits of any Jim.

I was recently wondering who'd come up the most for "the Charlie". I thought maybe Pete Rose, due to his nickname. But anybody with the first or middle name of Charles or Charlie is fair game, meaning even a guy like Whitey (Edward Charles) Ford is eligible. Turns out that the Charlie with the most page views is, ahem, Mickey Mantle.

This new search feature isn't perfect, but it makes finding many guys a lot quicker.

Which "the" searches can you find that turn back surprising results?

24 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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