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Quick recap – Early games of 9/7/11, etc.

Posted by John Autin on September 7, 2011

Games of Wednesday, 9/7/11:

-- Oakland's Guillermo Moscoso no-hit the Royals for 7.2 innings before a single by rookie catcher Salvador Perez. Moscoso retired the first 17 batters before walking Alcides Escobar (I kid you not), the only other baserunner in 8 innings. Will he get to try for the shutout? Moscoso is at 106 pitches; he's never pitched beyond 8 IP or 110 pitches in the majors.

-- Name that hurler: 6+ IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 3 wild pitches, 3 SB in 3 tries, 1 HR, 108 pitches, leadoff man reached safely in 6 of 7 innings. (The answer is here.)

12 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

A.J. Burnett Sets A Wild Pitch Record

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 7, 2011

A.J. Burnett had three wild pitches in today's Yankees game

Before today, no pitcher since 1919 had 8+ games in their career with 3+ WP.  Here is the list of those with 4+ such games in their career:

Rk Player #Matching   W L ERA GS CG IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
1 Nolan Ryan 7 Ind. Games 0 6 5.25 7 1 48.0 42 28 2 35 50 1.60
2 Phil Niekro 7 Ind. Games 1 4 4.29 7 3 50.1 56 24 3 27 42 1.65
3 Tommy John 7 Ind. Games 1 3 5.57 7 2 42.0 58 26 2 16 18 1.76
4 A.J. Burnett 7 Ind. Games 2 2 5.48 7 0 42.2 45 26 7 26 37 1.66
5 Jim Maloney 6 Ind. Games 0 5 3.99 6 0 38.1 32 17 0 33 38 1.70
6 J.R. Richard 5 Ind. Games 3 1 2.16 5 3 41.2 18 10 1 21 41 0.94
7 Juan Guzman 5 Ind. Games 3 1 5.17 5 0 31.1 38 18 1 18 29 1.79
8 Tom Candiotti 5 Ind. Games 0 3 6.12 5 1 32.1 33 22 4 19 25 1.61
9 John Smoltz 4 Ind. Games 2 2 1.74 4 1 31.0 21 6 1 16 29 1.19
10 Joe Niekro 4 Ind. Games 3 1 5.97 4 1 28.2 31 19 2 10 15 1.43
11 Mike Moore 4 Ind. Games 1 3 8.72 4 0 21.2 31 21 5 15 12 2.12
12 John Lackey 4 Ind. Games 0 0 3.47 4 0 23.1 21 9 0 11 20 1.37
13 Orel Hershiser 4 Ind. Games 0 4 5.84 4 0 24.2 27 16 2 12 15 1.58
14 Ron Darling 4 Ind. Games 0 2 8.05 4 0 19.0 30 17 3 5 8 1.84
15 Tony Cloninger 4 Ind. Games 1 1 3.73 4 1 31.1 34 13 1 10 26 1.40
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/7/2011.

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With today, Burnett now has 8 games with 3+ WP and stands alone at the top of this list.

23 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Rule book help – ball lodged in Josh Bard’s mask

Posted by Andy on September 7, 2011

Reader fajita writes in with the following question--anybody know the answer?

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=18771085

so you probably have seen the video of this...

first pitch of the at bat, pennington (A's) foul tips a ball straight back, and the ball lodges into the catcher's (josh bard) facemask.

my question is what would have happened if it was a 2-strike count on pennington?  would that have counted as a foul-tip catch and been a strike out?

(Andy here again. If you want a good reason not to like Jorge Posada, look at this bonehead play. The argument afterwards makes it twice as bad. The rules on this one are very clear.)

62 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

David Ortiz is having the best season in history by a 35+ year old DH

Posted by Andy on September 6, 2011

David Ortiz has been one of my favorite targets in the past, so it's only fair to say it now: he's having the best season ever by a designated hitter at least 35 years old. Aside from being quite consistent this year, his OPS+ ranks tops among DH's who qualified for the batting title in their Age 35 season or later:

Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 David Ortiz 162 2011 35 BOS 125 515 447 73 140 35 1 28 89 66 69 .313 .402 .584 .986 *D/3
2 Edgar Martinez 160 2001 38 SEA 132 581 470 80 144 40 1 23 116 93 90 .306 .423 .543 .966 *D/3
3 Edgar Martinez 158 1998 35 SEA 154 672 556 86 179 46 1 29 102 106 96 .322 .429 .565 .993 *D/3
4 Edgar Martinez 157 2000 37 SEA 153 665 556 100 180 31 0 37 145 96 95 .324 .423 .579 1.002 *D/3
5 Jim Thome 155 2006 35 CHW 143 610 490 108 141 26 0 42 109 107 147 .288 .416 .598 1.014 *D/3
6 Edgar Martinez 152 1999 36 SEA 142 608 502 86 169 35 1 24 86 97 99 .337 .447 .554 1.001 *D/3
7 Jim Thome 150 2007 36 CHW 130 536 432 79 119 19 0 35 96 95 134 .275 .410 .563 .973 *D/3
8 Frank Robinson 150 1973 37 CAL 147 630 534 85 142 29 0 30 97 82 93 .266 .372 .489 .861 *D7
9 Jason Giambi 148 2006 35 NYY 139 579 446 92 113 25 0 37 113 110 106 .253 .413 .558 .971 *D3
10 Hal McRae 147 1982 36 KCR 159 676 613 91 189 46 8 27 133 55 61 .308 .369 .542 .910 *D/7
11 Frank Thomas 146 2003 35 CHW 153 662 546 87 146 35 0 42 105 100 115 .267 .390 .562 .952 *D3
12 Chili Davis 146 1995 35 CAL 119 522 424 81 135 23 0 20 86 89 79 .318 .429 .514 .943 *D
13 Paul Molitor 143 1993 36 TOR 160 725 636 121 211 37 5 22 111 77 71 .332 .402 .509 .911 *D3
14 Rico Carty 143 1976 36 CLE 152 628 552 67 171 34 0 13 83 67 45 .310 .379 .442 .821 *D3/7
15 Harold Baines 142 1995 36 BAL 127 459 385 60 115 19 1 24 63 70 45 .299 .403 .540 .943 *D
16 Edgar Martinez 141 2003 40 SEA 145 603 497 72 146 25 0 24 98 92 95 .294 .406 .489 .895 *D
17 Frank Robinson 141 1974 38 TOT 144 579 477 81 117 27 3 22 68 85 95 .245 .367 .453 .820 *D/37
18 Frank Thomas 140 2006 38 OAK 137 559 466 77 126 11 0 39 114 81 81 .270 .381 .545 .926 *D
19 Ellis Burks 139 2002 37 CLE 138 570 518 92 156 28 0 32 91 44 108 .301 .362 .541 .903 *D/7
20 Paul Molitor 139 1992 35 MIL 158 700 609 89 195 36 7 12 89 73 66 .320 .389 .461 .851 *D3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/6/2011.

47 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Should Defense be More Consistent than Offense?

Posted by Sean Forman on September 6, 2011

Is WAR the new RBI? | Its About The Money

I'm not going to speak to the larger discussion around this article because the author loses a lot of credibility/weight (at least for me) when he admits in the comments, "I slightly misrepresent how the stat works here, in favor of making the statement more hyperbolic." That and the article is being discussed elsewhere, but one of the comments points out a particular issue that annoys me.

Here is the Comment by Hank

I'll post this again....

Carl Crawford career LF at the Trop 22.5 UZR/150
Carl Crawford career LF everywhere else: 7.5 UZR/150

This is over 8 years (so each sample size is the rough equivalent of 4 full years).

1 year OF UZR samples are bad, but even the general "3 years is what you need" can also have issue as UZR can have systematic biases.... input bias, park effects and subjective components (armR, errR for outfielders) which don't even out over a 3 year period.

I like the concept of WAR and the issue I have with it is bad input data (the defensive stats in both WAR models and the baserunning values now put into the fWAR). Until these variables can be measured better (FieldFX?), any difference in WAR between players based on these components should be taken with a huge boulder of salt.

OR ANOTHER OF A SIMILAR VEIN

THANK YOU for this post.

UZR may be good for multiple years, but it is a flawed single season stat. Saying Carl Crawford one year in TB went from being an elite LF to being a terrible one the next year makes no sense.

What is the issue here exactly? Why would a difference in home and road UZR be evidence of a flaw in UZR? Or why would the fact that Crawford's UZR is much worse this year mean there is a problem with uzr? Some players hit a lot better at home than on the road? Why wouldn't fielders see the same effect.

For some reason when defensive numbers are inconsistent across splits or years folks gnash their teeth and blame the faulty defensive metrics, but Carl Crawford can go from an OPS+ of 135 to 82 in a year and people won't question the offensive numbers.

Why do we expect greater consistency on defense than on offense? That doesn't seem to me to be a valid expectation.

55 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Nearly-perfect rookies

Posted by John Autin on September 6, 2011

Zach Stewart tossed a near-perfect game Monday in his 10th career game, allowing 1 hit and no other baserunners in 9 innings.

Since 1919, here are the 11 pitchers with a start of at least 9 innings allowing no more than 1 baserunner, within their first 20 games:

Rk Gcar 5 Player Age Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB BR SO HR Pit Str GSc BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS PO BK WP ERA WPA RE24 aLI
1 1 Jimmy Jones 22.154 1986-09-21 SDP HOU W 5-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 5 0     90 28 28 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.257 4.036 .414
2 3 Travis Wood 23.154 2010-07-10 CIN PHI L 0-1 GS-9 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 8 0 109 74 93 28 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.681 4.430 1.228
3 5 Charlie Robertson 26.089 1922-04-30 CHW DET W 2-0 SHO9 ,W  9.0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0     93 27 27 0 0   0 0             0 0 0.00      
4 9 Von McDaniel 18.101 1957-07-28 (1) STL PIT W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 4 0     89 28 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.468 4.440 .706
5 10 Zach Stewart 24.342 2011-09-05 (2) CHW MIN W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 9 0 114 75 94 28 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.440 4.389 .692
6 16 Hiroki Kuroda 33.148 2008-07-07 LAD ATL W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0 91 61 91 28 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.449 4.500 .733
7 16 Vida Blue 21.055 1970-09-21 OAK MIN W 6-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 1 1 9 0     95 28 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.563 4.046 .856
8 17 Woodie Fryman 26.077 1966-07-01 PIT NYM W 12-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 8 0     93 27 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0.00 0.285 3.976 .471
9 17 Mat Latos 22.155 2010-05-13 SDP SFG W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0 106 67 91 28 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.819 4.430 1.341
10 18 Jonathon Niese 23.226 2010-06-10 (2) NYM SDP W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0 108 76 91 28 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.399 4.258 .685
11 19 Hipolito Pichardo 22.334 1992-07-21 KCR BOS W 8-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 0 1 4 0 104 69 89 28 28 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.280 4.430 .400
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/6/2011.

33 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

MLB Network: The Stat Story, Sept. 18, 10pm ET

Posted by Neil Paine on September 6, 2011

A heads-up for anyone who didn't see this note at Stathead or BBTF... At 10 p.m. on 9/18, MLB Network is running a special Behind The Seams called "The Stat Story" -- a documentary (narrated by Bob Costas) about the history of sabermetrics, as well as its spread into front offices over the past few decades.

12 Comments | Posted in Announcements

Three 5-WAR pitchers on one team … but will they win it all?

Posted by John Autin on September 6, 2011

Barring a collapse by one of the Big Three, the Phillies will become the 17th team since 1893 to have 3 pitchers with at least 5 Wins Above Replacement (using B-R's WAR formula).

If you believe that pitching is the main key to championships, this list might give you pause; only 2 teams with this kind of "big three" have won the World Series, and none after 1912.

66 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Labor Day notes: Lee’s 6th shutout; rook’s near-perfect game

Posted by John Autin on September 5, 2011

-- Cliff Lee, who was lifted after 8.2 scoreless innings in last start, got his 6th shutout of the year Monday (as first noted by Andy), stopping Atlanta on 5 hits and no walks in exactly 100 pitches. That matches the most shutouts since 1989; Randy Johnson also had 6 in 1998.

  • Lee's surge since July 30 -- 7 straight wins, 0.96 ERA -- has pumped intrigue into the NL Cy Young race, with Lee and Halladay virtually tied in ERA, IP and Wins Above Replacement. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw leads the league in Strikeouts and IP, has a slight edge on Lee and Halladay in ERA, and is a solid 3rd in WAR; and rounding out the pack, Cole Hamels leads the league in WHIP, Ian Kennedy leads in Wins and W%, and Johnny Cueto remains the ERA leader. (Kennedy's advanced stats don't compare with this bunch, but he deserves to be in the mix for stepping up his game as the #1 starter on a division winner.) Things may shake out a bit over the final 4 weeks, but will a clear-cut winner emerge?

39 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Cliff Lee’s 6th shutout

Posted by Andy on September 5, 2011

Sorry for a third straight post involving the Phillies, but I see that Cliff Lee has thrown 7 shutouts innings so far tonight and might get his 6th shutout of the season.

If he does, he'll be the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to record 6 shutouts in a season:

Rk Player SHO Year Age
1 John Tudor 10 1985 31
2 Tim Belcher 8 1989 27
3 Orel Hershiser 8 1988 29
4 Roger Clemens 8 1988 25
5 Dwight Gooden 8 1985 20
6 Fernando Valenzuela 8 1981 20
7 Roger Clemens 7 1987 24
8 Randy Johnson 6 1998 34
9 Danny Jackson 6 1988 26
10 Tim Leary 6 1988 30
11 Jack Morris 6 1986 31
12 Steve Carlton 6 1982 37
13 Jerry Reuss 6 1980 31
14 Tommy John 6 1980 37
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/5/2011.

The above list is most shutouts in a season since 1980.

19 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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