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Archive for February, 2011

Most Opening Day Starts, last 8 years (2011 Phillies are loaded)

12th February 2011

Check out which pitchers have made the most Opening Day starts in the last 8 seasons:

Rk Player #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1 Roy Oswalt 8 Ind. Games 2 4 .333 3.48 8 0 0 0 54.1 55 21 6 10 29 1.20
2 Roy Halladay 8 Ind. Games 4 3 .571 4.00 8 0 0 0 54.0 56 24 10 12 40 1.26
3 CC Sabathia 7 Ind. Games 1 1 .500 5.79 7 0 0 0 37.1 41 24 4 17 28 1.55
4 Kevin Millwood 7 Ind. Games 2 4 .333 3.38 7 0 0 0 40.0 41 15 5 9 30 1.25
5 Mark Buehrle 7 Ind. Games 2 1 .667 3.66 7 0 0 0 39.1 36 16 5 11 15 1.19
6 Carlos Zambrano 6 Ind. Games 1 2 .333 6.99 6 0 0 0 28.1 34 22 7 20 27 1.91
7 Ben Sheets 6 Ind. Games 2 0 1.000 2.52 6 1 0 0 35.2 26 10 3 12 24 1.07
8 Johan Santana 5 Ind. Games 4 1 .800 3.56 5 0 0 0 30.1 27 12 3 11 29 1.25
9 Derek Lowe 5 Ind. Games 2 3 .400 6.00 5 0 0 0 30.0 32 20 5 11 18 1.43
10 Aaron Harang 5 Ind. Games 1 4 .200 3.86 5 0 0 0 28.0 30 12 6 12 18 1.50
11 Josh Beckett 5 Ind. Games 2 1 .667 2.96 5 0 0 0 27.1 21 9 2 16 27 1.35
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/11/2011.

The Phillies are simply crushing it here, having the only two pitchers to start each of his team's Opening Day games in the last 8 seasons. Obviously one or both of those guys is going to have his streak broken this year since they can't hand the ball to both guys. Conceivably, they might hand it to Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.

Incidentally, among Phillies' 2011 starters, Joe Blanton has started 1 Opening Day game, as has Lee. That's 18 among their stating staff. Amazingly, Cole Hamels (good enough to be an ace on a number of teams) has never done it, having been superseded by Brett Myers or Halladay each year.

Hat tip to Jayson Stark, who pointed out the 18 Opening Day starts by the Phillies' staff.

Posted in Game Finders | 13 Comments »

Bloops: CAIRO Early Projected 2011 Standings

11th February 2011

In an annual tradition for the Replacement-Level Yankees Weblog, they plugged their CAIRO projections into depth charts from the terrific MLBDepthCharts.com, and came up with some early expectations for the upcoming season:

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog - CAIRO v0.6 and Still Too Early 2011 MLB Projected Standings

Posted in Bloops, Sabermetrics, Season Preview | 8 Comments »

Home team winning percentage

11th February 2011

We know that every year, just about every team plays better at home than on the road, or at least has a better home record. I decided to look into that a little bit more.

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Posted in Game Finders | 31 Comments »

Obscure Baseball Figure Project

10th February 2011

Years ago, I read a fun book called Cult Baseball Players.  If you've ever read it, this next bit of news may interest you.  Heck, it may interest you even if you never read that book.

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Posted in Bloops | 162 Comments »

Card of the Week: 1974 Topps Traded Fernando Gonzalez

10th February 2011

Night Owl, our blog contributor to Card of the Week posts, recently posted a 1974 Topps Traded card featuring Fernando Gonzalez.

Here, I'm even going to steal his card image:

This set was a really weird set of cards. These days, a traded or update set is quite typical. It's been happening pretty much every year since 1981, when Topps issued a traded set that included traded players as well as rookies such as Tim Raines and Fernando Valenzuela. The weird thing is that they issued this special set following the 1974 set but then stopped until 1981. This 1974 set also features a lot of strange photos, I think in part because Topps tried to get shots of players without helmets or caps to hide their old team logos.

Anyway, I had never heard of Fernando Gonzalez until I saw Night Owl's post. Apparently he was a bit of a utility player, seeing 249 games at second base but also 64 at third base, 16 in the outfield, and even 5 at shortstop. That's good stuff.

I got curious about his 17 career homers and clicked on his HR Log. Check it out:

1973 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
1 1 1 1 1973-05-27 PIT HOU Dave Roberts behind 0-5 b 6 0 --- 1 1 5 0.036 8% Home Run
1974 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
2 2 1 1 1974-07-02 NYY @ DET Luke Walker tied 0-0 t 2 2 --- 1 8 4 0.115 58% Home Run
1977 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
3 3 1 1 1977-05-02 PIT @ ATL Bob Johnson ahead 9-1 t 9 1 1-- 2 7 5 0.001 100% Home Run; Stennett Scores
4 4 2 1 1977-07-06 PIT STL Al Hrabosky behind 6-8 b 7 2 12- 3 9 PH 0.551 76% Home Run; Fregosi Scores; Ott Scores
5 5 3 1 1977-08-08 PIT CHC Rick Reuschel ahead 3-2 b 6 2 --- 1 7 4 0.120 83% Home Run (Line Drive)
6 6 4 1 1977-08-28 PIT @ SDP Bob Shirley ahead 2-0 t 3 2 1-3 3 6 7 0.181 91% Home Run; Macha Scores; Oliver Scores
1978 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
7 7 1 1 1978-07-14 SDP @ CHC Dave Roberts ahead 1-0 t 1 2 12- 3 6 4 0.221 81% Home Run; Perkins Scores; Gamble Scores
8 8 2 2 1978-07-14 SDP @ CHC Dave Roberts ahead 5-2 t 6 0 1-- 2 6 4 0.072 95% Home Run; Gamble Scores
1979 HRs #car #yr #gm Date @Bat Pitcher Score Inn Out RoB RBI BOP Pos WPA bWE Play Description
9 9 1 1 1979-04-05 SDP @ LAD Burt Hooton ahead 1-0 t 7 1 --- 1 8 4 0.133 81% Home Run
10 10 2 1 1979-04-19 SDP SFG Vida Blue behind 1-7 b 4 2 1-3 3 8 4 0.107 15% Home Run; Winfield Scores; Hargrove Scores
11 11 3 1 1979-04-30 SDP @ NYM Craig Swan behind 2-3 t 7 0 --- 1 8 4 0.208 50% Home Run
12 12 4 1 1979-05-21 SDP LAD Andy Messersmith tied 0-0 b 4 2 1-- 2 7 4 0.253 78% Home Run; Tenace Scores
13 13 5 1 1979-05-25 SDP HOU Rick Williams tied 0-0 b 2 1 --- 1 7 4 0.121 65% Home Run
14 14 6 1 1979-06-07 SDP @ CHC Ken Holtzman tied 0-0 t 2 1 --- 1 6 4 0.106 58% Home Run
15 15 7 1 1979-06-13 SDP PIT Bruce Kison tied 1-1 b 4 1 -2- 2 6 4 0.207 79% Home Run; Turner Scores
16 16 8 1 1979-06-26 SDP @ LAD Don Sutton tied 1-1 t 4 1 12- 3 7 4 0.269 82% Home Run; Tenace Scores; Johnstone Scores
17 17 9 1 1979-07-13 (2) SDP @ MON David Palmer behind 3-4 t 6 2 --- 1 7 4 0.176 44% Home Run (LF-CF)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/9/2011.

I noticed a few interesting things here:

  • Overall, it's a fairly impressive list of pitchers he homered off of.
  • He owned Dave Roberts. Overall Gonzalez had 5 hits (3 homers) with 7 RBI in 16 at-bats against Roberts.
  • He had one whopping pinch-hit homer off Hrabosky. Looking at the box score, it came in the bottom of the 7th, shortly after Ted Simmons had hit a homer off Goose Gossage in the top the 7th to put the Cardinals ahead.
  • The thing I found most interesting, though, were the names of the teammates who scored on his homers. They are visible in the far right column. There are 12 different teammates who scored on his various homers. They include a bunch of future managers (Fregosi, Macha, Hargrove, Tenace) and some other really good players (Winfield, Oliver, Gamble).

Posted in Card of the Week | 18 Comments »

Pitchers Fielding Last Out In Post-Season Series Winner

9th February 2011

How many times has a pitcher been involved in fielding the last out of a series-winning post-season game?

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Posted in Event Finders | 27 Comments »

Getting a Grip

9th February 2011

This is a few months after the fact, but, I just found a photo essay that the New York Daily News did on pitching grips. There's some classic photos in there. Click here to see the feature.

Makes me think of that Jim Bouton quote: “You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”

Posted in Bloops | 13 Comments »

Fewest singles in a career

9th February 2011

Here are the 20 players since 1901 who hit the fewest singles per plate appearance (minimum 3000 PAs) over their careers:

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Posted in Season Finders | 43 Comments »

Bloops: Which Cubs Game Did Ferris Bueller Attend?

8th February 2011

After poring over details from the film and our team schedules, Wezen-Ball's Larry Granillo has the answer:

Baseball Prospectus | Wezen-Ball: Ferris Bueller's Day Off at Wrigley Field

(Hat tip to David Brown & Big-League Stew.)

Posted in Bloops | 21 Comments »

SABR’s Baseball Biography Project

7th February 2011

Sean Forman invited me to blog here about SABR's Baseball Biography Project. With the help of many people, I created this project back in 2002 and, with the help of even more people, have been its director ever since. I welcome the opportunity to promote all of the great research the project has produced over the past nine years, and to keep readers up-to-date as the project evolves.
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Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »