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Archive for June, 2011

Short Thursday Schedule Makes for a Quick Roundup

3rd June 2011

A selective sampling from the June 2 slate:

Giants 12, Cards 7: After snapping a 3-week HR drought last night, Aubrey Huff hit 3 HRs tonight.

  • It was the 1st 3-HR game of his career, the 6th in the majors this year, and the first by a Giant since 2004 (J.T. Snow). Before tonight, Huff had 5 HRs in 201 AB. The Giants had season highs of 4 HRs and 12 runs.
  • SP Lance Lynn made his MLB debut for St. Louis and got through 5.1 IP on just 62 IP, with 5 Ks, no walks and a HBP. But he allowed 5 runs on just 4 hits, including Huff's first HR.
  • Jonathan Sanchez was his usual wild self for SF. He matched Lynn with 5.1 IP but took 103 pitches to get there; he walked 6 and fanned but 1, yet earned the win by allowing just 3 runs (and getting lots of support). There's something about 6 walks and 1 strikeout: In the past 3 calendar years, there have been 8 starters who won while allowing at least 6 walks with no more than 1 K; each of them had exactly 6 walks with 1 K.
  • Colby Rasmus hit a grand slam for the Cardinals.

Twins 8, Royals 2: Fresh off the best game of his career (1 hit in 8 shutout IP), Anthony Swarzak earned his first win of the year by holding KC to 2 runs over 6 IP.

  • How unlikely is Swarzak's presence in a MLB rotation this year? In 22 starts at AAA last season, Swarzak had a 6.21 ERA -- the worst of any International League pitcher with at least 100 IP.
  • Meanwhile, Royals SP Sean O'Sullivan remains a complete mystery, as in: Why is he here? Tonight's whipping -- 7 runs on 8 hits in 2.2 IP, in his 33rd career start -- pushed O'Sullivan's career big-league ERA up to 6.01. Season by season: 5.92; 6.11; 6.92.
  • And how the mighty are fallen: Joakim Soria, recently removed from his longtime closer role, tossed 2 mop-up innings tonight with the Royals down by 6 runs. On the bright side, Soria retired 6 batters in a row, something he hadn't done in a while.

Nationals 6, D'backs 1: Jordan Zimmermann had his 6th straight quality start in the win; he has a 2.87 ERA in that span.

  • Is there no justice? Micah Owings has now made 3 straight appearances in relief without coming to bat even once! But at least he's pitched well.

Mariners 8, Rays 2: A funny thing happened on the way to the pitcher's duel between King Felix and Big-Game James: Someone snuck the baseball out of James Shields's glove and put a gopher there instead. Shields served up for 4 HRs and 8 runs in just 4 IP. Felix Hernandez fanned 11 in an efficient 7 IP.

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments »

Mystery Strikeout Theater

2nd June 2011

Only 6 starting pitchers (min. 60% of career games at SP) who have pitched this year have a career K rate of 9+ strikeouts per 9 IP and 40+ career starts.

Two are teammates; another is their rival; one digs the long ball; one's on the DL. But who's the other one with the conspicuous lack of success? His H/9 and ERA+ are both markedly worse than the rest of the group.

7.22 3.09 127
7.38 3.00 142
7.70 4.17 102
8.14 3.70 111
8.31 4.11 104
8.96 4.56 85
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2011.

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments »

Highest BA In 24+ Game Hitting Streaks Since 1996

2nd June 2011

Of all the batters to have a hitting streak of 24 games or more since 1996, who had the highest batting average during that streak?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Streak Finders | 17 Comments »

Mike Kania joins Sports Reference Team

2nd June 2011

I'm pleased to announce that Mike Kania has joined Sports Reference as a web developer. Mike previously worked as a developer for SixApart and AOL and also designed the very valuable reference site He dramatically increases the number of Cleveland fans on staff (bringing us to one) and works in our Philadelphia office. Mike will be focusing on football initially. He's been on the job a couple of weeks and is already close to rolling out a couple of new features on the football site.

Posted in Administration, Announcements | 7 Comments »

Site News: Dominican & Venezuelan Summer Leagues Now Updating for 2011

2nd June 2011

Quick announcement about the Minors section of the site: we ran the most recent SABR update yesterday, so stats from the Dominican Summer League and Venezuelan Summer League are now updating daily.

Posted in Administration, Announcements, Minor Leagues | 1 Comment »

Back-to-back-to-back triples

2nd June 2011

In last night's Indians-Blue Jays slugfest, Toronto hit three consecutive triples in the 5th inning. They were stroked by Eric Thames, Rajai Davis, and Jayson Nix.

This has got to be a very rare occurrence. After all, 3 triples in an entire game by 1 team isn't even that common:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt
1 2011-05-19 NYY BAL W 13-2
2 2010-09-25 COL SFG W 10-9
3 2010-08-29 COL LAD W 10-5
4 2010-08-18 PHI SFG W 8-2
5 2010-06-29 MIN DET W 11-4
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2011.

Those are all the previous such games with 3+ triples going back to last year.

One game, the 9/25/2010 one, comes tantalizingly close, with Jay Payton and Carlos Gonzalez hitting back-to-back triples ahead of a Troy Tulowitzki homer. Then, Melvin Mora tripled right after Tulo's hit. That's 3 triples and a homer over a span of 4 batters.

In the Yankees game from earlier this year, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter hit back-to-back triples. In all the other games on the list, the triples were all separated by other plate appearances.

The Associated Press account of last night's game says the last time a team hit 3 consecutive triples was in this May5th, 1981 Expos game, when Mike Gates, Tim Raines, and Tim Wallach did it in the bottom of the 9th. Sadly, like the Blue Jays last night, it came in a game in which their team was already getting blown out.

Now here's a neat bit of trivia for those of you who like round numbers. If we include last night's Jays' game (which does not yet appear in the database at the time I'm writing this post), then that 1981 Expos game is exactly the 200th most recent time 1 team hit 3 or more triples in a game and the last time 3 triples came consecutively.

Add in the symmetry that both times it was done by a Canadian team at home in a blowout loss, and we have something quite rare.

(Thanks to reader Corey W who emailed me about this!)

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments »

Box Score Notes from Wednesday, June 1

2nd June 2011

A very quick peek around the majors with a focus on stats:

Nationals 2, Phillies 1: Six relievers combined for 6.2 scoreless IP in this 9-inning game. Their ERAs afterward, from lowest to highest:

Cleveland 13, Toronto 9: Asdrubal Cabrera had 3 doubles and is now slugging .534. The highest slugging average by a qualifying Cleveland SS is .536 by Lou Boudreau in 1948, his MVP season. The only other mark over .500 was Jhonny Peralta's .520 in 2005. With 39 RBI in the club's 53 games, Cabrera is on pace for 119 RBI, which would eclipse Joe Sewell's franchise SS record of 109 from 1923. Sewell and Boudreau are the only Cleveland shortstops ever to reach 100 RBI (twice each).

  • Kyle Drabek, who has walked at least 3 in 11 of his 12 starts, reached that mark in less than an inning tonight, increasing his MLB-high total to 45 walks in 63.1 IP, with 43 Ks. Drabek is only 23 and has never pitched at AAA; I wouldn't be surprised if tonight punched his ticket to Las Vegas.
  • Jose Bautista grounded into a double play for just the 2nd time this year; he also hit a 2-run single and walked.

Orioles 2, Mariners 1: After 3 sharp tuneups in the minors, Brian Matusz made his season debut and fought Michael Pineda to a draw, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and no walks in 5.2 IP. Matusz finished last season strong, with a 2.18 ERA and 3.25 K/BB ratio over his last 11 starts.

  • Ichiro Suzuki had 2 singles in 4 trips, bidding goodbye to one of the worst hitting months of his career. Ichiro hit .210 in May with just 3 extra-base hits, all doubles. His numbers have been in steep decline since last June. In 625 AB from June 20, 2010 through May 2011, Ichiro hit .288 and slugged .342, with had 23 doubles, 1 triple and 3 HRs. He has 9 doubles and no triples or HRs this year.

Rangers 3, Rays 0: Colby Lewis threw 8 shutout innings and has a 2.04 ERA in 53 IP over his last 7 starts.

Reds 4, Brewers 3: Milwaukee led 3-0 after 6, but the NL leader in HRs and RBIs (Jay Bruce) hit a 2-run shot in the 7th and the reigning MVP (Joey Votto) followed suit in the 8th.

  • In his last 87 games dating to Aug. 13, 2011, Jay Bruce has 32 HRs, 73 RBI, a .319 BA and .659 SLG. On the other hand, just 8 doubles. Go figure.

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »

The 2011 Mets and the Longest Team Homerless Streaks

1st June 2011

The New York Mets are currently suffering through a power outage like they haven't seen in years. The last Mets homer was by Dan Murphy on May 20th against the Yankees, more than 10 games ago. WFAN in New York mentioned that this was the team's longest homer drought in over 30 years and this is easily verifiable with the PI team batting streak finder. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Streak Finders | 30 Comments »