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Archive for September, 2009

Mauer’s Historical Run in Jeopardy

Posted by Raphy on September 30, 2009

With his 1-4 tonight, Joe Mauer's batting average dropped to .366, an excellent average, but no longer the all-time best for a catcher (who qualified for the batting title).  With 4 games left to the season, Mauer has fallen behind Babe Phelps, who hit .367 for the Dodgers in 1936. Of course, the batting title qualifications were different then and Phelps only had 349 PA in his signature season. If we raise the bar a bit, Mauer only needs to stay above the .362 that was recorded by Bill Dickey in 1936 and matched by Mike Piazza in 1997. Here are the all time BA leaders among players who qualified for the batting title and played at least 50% of their games at catcher (does not include tonight's game, but I'm leaving Mauer 2009 in for comparative purposes):

8 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Bloops: Mike Blowers’ Epic Prediction

Posted by Neil Paine on September 30, 2009

"He's like Nate Silver!"

(Actually, PECOTA had a really down year in 2009. So he's really more like SG?)

3 Comments | Posted in Bloops

Bloops: Pitch Selection & Game Theory

Posted by Neil Paine on September 30, 2009

From Beyond the Box Score's Tommy Bennett, a look at why someone like Zack Greinke doesn't throw more sliders, even though his slider is a ridiculous number of runs above average per 100 pitches.

Comments Off | Posted in Bloops

Postseason Batter vs. Pitcher

Posted by Sean Forman on September 30, 2009

Barry Bonds Batting Against Greg Maddux - Baseball-Reference PI

I'm getting ready for the postseason and I've cleaned up the presentation of the batter vs. pitcher numbers to include a line for the playoffs along with a total line for the regular season and also for regular and postseason.

1 Comment | Posted in Announcements, Pitcher vs. Batter

Bloops: Shooting Fish in a Barrel

Posted by Sean Forman on September 30, 2009

THE BOOK Blog: Shooting Fish in a Barrel

MGL over at The Book flags a comment by Michael Kay about splits being more likely in double-headers than in back-to-back games as being idiot speak. MGL doesn't back up his comments with numbers, but we'll do the heavy lifting for him here.

All Data is from 1979-2008:

For double-headers

+------+------------+--------+-----------+
| DHs  | home_sweep | split  | vis_sweep |
+------+------------+--------+-----------+
| 1286 |     0.3095 | 0.4883 |    0.2022 |
+------+------------+--------+-----------+

Now I look at all cases where two teams played on date N and date N+1. This will include a four-game series on consecutive days 3 separate times. b2b = Back-to-back

+--------------+----------+--------+---------+
| consec_dates | home_b2b | split  | vis_b2b |
+--------------+----------+--------+---------+
|        41046 |   0.2955 | 0.4885 |  0.2160 |
+--------------+----------+--------+---------+

I'm not sure why the home team picks up the advantage in the doubleheader (about 1%), perhaps it is because they get to dictate the pitching matchups, or maybe fatiguing situations increases the advantage of playing at home, noise?

3 Comments | Posted in Bloops, Uncategorized

Leading off a post-season game with a homer

Posted by Andy on September 30, 2009

With the playoffs quickly approaching, I got curious to see the list of players to lead off a post-season game with a home run. This was done using the Post-season Batting Event Finder.

  Car#  G# Date          Series G Batter            Tm   Opp Pitcher           Score       Inn RoB Out Cnt Pit RBI Play Desc.
+-----+---+-------------+------+-+-----------------+---+----+-----------------+-----------+---+---+---+---+---+---+-------------------------+
     1   1 1909-10-13    WS     5 Davy Jones        DET @PIT Babe Adams        tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0  -        1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Deep CF)
     2   1 1953-10-04    WS     5 Gene Woodling     NYY @BRO Johnny Podres     tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0  -        1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Deep LF)
     3   1 1954-09-30    WS     2 Al Smith          CLE @NYG Johnny Antonelli  tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0  -        1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Deep LF)
     4   1 1968-10-06    WS     4 Lou Brock         STL @DET Denny McLain      tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0  -        1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Deep CF-RF)
     5   1 1972-10-20    WS     5 Pete Rose         CIN @OAK Catfish Hunter    tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0  -        1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Deep CF-RF)
     6   1 1973-10-07    ALCS   2 Bert Campaneris   OAK @BAL Dave McNally      tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0  -        1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (LF-CF)
     7   1 1978-10-06    ALCS   3 George Brett      KCR @NYY Catfish Hunter    tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 1-1   3   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
     8   1 1986-10-21    WS     3 Lenny Dykstra     NYM @BOS Oil Can Boyd      tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 1-1   3   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF Line)
     9   1 1989-10-28    WS     4 Rickey Henderson  OAK @SFG Don Robinson      tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 2-0   3   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep LF)
    10   1 1991-10-12    NLCS   3 Orlando Merced    PIT @ATL John Smoltz       tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 0-0   1   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep CF)
    11   1 1995-10-04    NLDS   2 Marquis Grissom   ATL @COL Lance Painter     tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 0-0   1   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep CF-RF)
    12   1 2000-10-07    NLDS   3 Fernando Vina     STL @ATL Kevin Millwood    tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 0-1   2   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    13   1 2000-10-25    WS     4 Derek Jeter       NYY @NYM Bobby Jones       tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 0-0   1   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    14   1 2001-10-17    NLCS   2 Marcus Giles      ATL @ARI Miguel Batista    tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 0-0   1   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    15   1 2002-10-04    ALDS   3 Ray Durham        OAK @MIN Rick Reed         tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 1-1   3   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
    16   1 2004-10-21    NLCS   7 Craig Biggio      HOU @STL Jeff Suppan       tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 1-2   4   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    17   1 2004-10-27    WS     4 Johnny Damon      BOS @STL Jason Marquis     tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 2-1   4   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    18   1 2007-10-04    ALDS   1 Johnny Damon      NYY @CLE C.C. Sabathia     tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 3-1   5   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    19   1 2007-10-06    NLDS   3 Chris Young       ARI @CHC Rich Hill         tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 0-0   1   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    20   1 2007-10-08    ALDS   4 Grady Sizemore    CLE @NYY Chien-Ming Wang   tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 1-1   3   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run
    21   1 2008-10-05    NLDS   4 Jimmy Rollins     PHI @MIL Jeff Suppan       tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 3-2   6   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Line Drive to Deep RF)
    22   1 2008-10-15    NLCS   5 Jimmy Rollins     PHI @LAD Chad Billingsley  tied   0-0  t 1 ---   0 3-2   8   1 *LEADOFF GM*:Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep CF-RF)

Lots and lots of good players populate this list, both the batters and pitchers.

I checked the record of the teams in these games. Here are the outcomes of the 22 games (from the point of view of the team hitting the leadoff HR) as you read down the column above.

LWLWWWLWWLWWWWWLWLWWWW

So that's a record of 16-6 (.727) in those 22 games. Not too surprising--with run-scoring at a premium in the playoffs, single runs have a bigger impact on the outcome.

A few other tidbits:

  • There is one series--the 2007 ALDS--that appears twice here, with the Yankees' Johnny Damon and the Indians' Grady Sizemore both leading off different games in that series with homers. The Indians won both games, as well as the series.
  • Just 1 out of these 22 games was Game 1 of its series. That's a little surprising, although so many Game 1's are pitched by aces that it's not too surprising.
  • Finally, I would remiss if I didn't mention how much more common the leadoff HR has become, with more than half of these games coming since the 1990s. While there are more playoff games now thanks to the extra layers of playoffs (meaning more total playoff games per year and hence more chances for leadoff HR) the more recent era is over-represented, thanks to the increased overall prevelance of home runs in the game.

2 Comments | Posted in Event Finders, Postseason

Bloops: Name the Winningest Pitchers of the 1990s

Posted by Neil Paine on September 29, 2009

Comments Off | Posted in Bloops

Allow 1 hit, lose the game

Posted by Andy on September 29, 2009

Following the jump is the list of 38 games since 1954 where a pitching staff has allowed at most 1 hit in a game and still lost. The most recent occasion was last year when the Angels allowed zero hits to the Dodgers and still lost, thanks to a runner that reached on error, advanced on error, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

This list includes 5 games with zero hits allowed. Most of these are pretty famous "near no-hitters" as games where the losing team allowed no hits but pitched only 8 innings. However, included is Ken Johnson's 1964 no-hitter (and loss) with the Colt .45's and the bizarre 1967 Orioles-Tigers game that resulted in a combined no-hitter (and loss) for the Orioles.

8 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Keystones That Reach

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 28, 2009

Some fun via Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season finder...

This season, Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter have become the first keystone combo (teammates) in baseball history to have 200+ hits in the same season

Ah, but, how many keystone combos have reached base 275+ times, each, in the same season?  Here's that answer:

 Year Lg Team                              Number Players Matching
+----+--+---------------------------------+------+-----------------------------------------+
 1999 AL New York Yankees                       2 Derek Jeter / Chuck Knoblauch
 1949 NL Brooklyn Dodgers                       2 Jackie Robinson / Pee Wee Reese

Yup, that's it - just two.

Pretty nice company...just twice in history...once in each league...both times in New York...each team being a pennant winner.

Comments Off | Posted in Season Finders

Feature Watch: Player Batting Gamelogs

Posted by Neil Paine on September 28, 2009

Today we're going to talk a little about the individual batting gamelogs, which are by no means new here at Baseball Reference, but at the same time are tools that I think we can continually stand to learn new things about. To access a batter's gamelogs, go to his main page, point to "Game Logs [+]" under the "Standard Batting" table, and select the logs you want to look at.

Comments Off | Posted in Gamelogs, Site Features, Tutorials

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