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Best season by a 29-year-old catcher (Hello, Mike Napoli!)

Posted by Andy on October 26, 2011

Mike Napoli has just posted the best season by a 29-year-old catcher, as ranked by OPS+. CLick through for the details.

91 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Beltre’s drop-and-drive

Posted by John Autin on October 25, 2011

When Adrian Beltre's game-5-tying HR moonbeamed into the LF stands while his back knee collapsed to the ground, my first thought was: "Reggie '77."

45 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Caught stealing twice in a World Series game

Posted by John Autin on October 25, 2011

In game 5, Allen Craig became the 10th man ever to be caught stealing twice in one World Series game. He has at least one edge on the rest of them, though: the breath of life.

20 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

See you in 2013: John Lackey to have Tommy John surgery

Posted by Andy on October 25, 2011

A little news from Ben Cherington's introductory press conference as Red Sox GM: John Lackey is getting Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2012 season.

I've also heard that the Red Sox have insurance on Lackey's contract for this possibility, meaning a lot of sting is removed, at least for that massive 2012 salary. Not too bad, considering the guy just posted the worst season in history for a regular Red Sox starting pitcher.

26 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Post-Season Games With 10+ Players With Leverage Index >= 2

Posted by Steve Lombardi on October 25, 2011

The title of this one explains the query.  Here is the result:

Rk Tm Opp Date Series Gm# #Matching  
1 ATL NYM 1999-10-17     17  
2 LAA NYY 2009-10-17     15  
3 ATL MIN 1991-10-22     15  
4 HOU PHI 1980-10-12     14  
5 NYM SFG 2000-10-07     13  
6 ATL HOU 1999-10-08     13  
7 NYM NYY 2000-10-21     12  
8 CHW HOU 2005-10-25     11  
9 CHC FLA 2003-10-10     11  
10 FLA SFG 2003-10-03     11  
11 BOS OAK 2003-10-01     11  
12 ATL NYM 1999-10-19     11  
13 ATL COL 1995-10-03     11  
14 ATL TOR 1992-10-24     11  
15 LAD NYM 1988-10-09     11  
16 ATL HOU 2005-10-09     10  
17 FLA CLE 1997-10-26     10  
18 BAL CLE 1997-10-11     10  
19 NYY SEA 1995-10-04     10  
20 CIN NYM 1973-10-09     10  
21 BAL MIN 1969-10-04     10  
22 CLE NYG 1954-09-29     10  
23 NYG WSH 1924-10-10     10  
24 BOS NYG 1912-10-16     10  
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/25/2011.

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That's two dozen pretty exciting post-season games, no?

9 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Lance Lynn and intentionally walking the only batter you face

Posted by Andy on October 25, 2011

Last night, Lance Lynn intentionally walked the only batter he faced in the game. It seems that the wrong reliever was warming up, which is why LaRussa replaced Lynn after the free pass.

There have been just a few other instances in the playoffs of a pitcher intentionally walking the only batter faced:

Rk Player Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec R ER BB SO HR IR IS BF IBB ERA WPA RE24 aLI
1 Lance Lynn 2011-10-24 WS 5 STL TEX L 2-4 8-8 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 undef -0.003 -0.172 .600
2 Allen Watson 1999-10-14 ALCS 2 NYY BOS W 3-2 8-8 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 undef -0.014 -0.170 3.370
3 Mike Stanton 1992-10-20 WS 3 ATL TOR L 2-3 9-9 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 undef 0.011 -0.169 4.090
4 Marty Pattin 1976-10-12 ALCS 3 KCR NYY L 3-5 6-6 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 inf -0.033 -0.352 2.660
5 Billy Pierce 1959-10-06 WS 5 CHW LAD W 1-0 8-8 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 undef -0.005 -0.170 4.090
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/25/2011.

Notice that every one of these cases ended up loading the bases (since 2 runners were inherited in each instance.) Probably, a double play was being set up. Also note that the WPA is not very high for any of these walks--a bit negative, but adding the extra force and possibility of a double play prevented the extra base runner from being too much of an added negative.

In the last instance before last night, Allen Watson ended up intentionally walking Lou Merloni, after Merloni pinch-hit in the middle of a plate-appearance that had been begun with Jeff Nelson throwing ball one.

There are a few reasons I can think of why a relief pitcher might face just one batter and intentionally walk them:

  • As above, the batter is pinch-hit for (either during or before the plate appearance but after the pitching change) and the manager decides that the matchup is unfavorable and opts to put the guy on.
  • A pitcher issues a ball and then has to leave the game either due to injury or ejection. The manager brings in an emergency reliever and simply has him issue three intentional balls while the real reliever who will take over warms.
  • There is a miscommunication between the manager and bullpen coach during the most important game of the year, resulting in the wrong pitcher warming up. No wait...that could never happen--it's ludicrous.
Thanks to reader fajita for emailing in about this.

33 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

3+ Games In One World Series With Multiple RBI

Posted by Steve Lombardi on October 25, 2011

These are the players with 3+ games in a single World Series where they had 2+ RBI -

Rk Player Year #Matching   PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Mike Napoli 2011 4 Ind. Games 15 10 4 1 0 2 9 3 1 .400 .467 1.100 1.567 0 2 0 0 1
2 Mickey Mantle 1960 4 Ind. Games 21 18 10 1 0 3 11 3 4 .556 .619 1.111 1.730 0 0 0 0 0
3 Honus Wagner 1909 3 Ind. Games 14 12 5 1 1 0 6 2 0 .417 .500 .667 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
4 Chase Utley 2009 3 Ind. Games 13 11 6 1 0 5 8 2 1 .545 .615 2.000 2.615 0 0 0 0 0
5 Tom Tresh 1964 3 Ind. Games 14 10 4 1 0 2 7 3 2 .400 .500 1.100 1.600 0 1 2 0 1
6 Bobby Tolan 1972 3 Ind. Games 12 12 5 1 0 0 6 0 1 .417 .417 .500 .917 0 0 0 0 0
7 Gene Tenace 1972 3 Ind. Games 10 8 5 1 0 3 8 2 1 .625 .700 1.875 2.575 0 0 1 0 0
8 Scott Spiezio 2002 3 Ind. Games 14 11 4 0 1 1 8 2 0 .364 .429 .818 1.247 0 1 1 0 1
9 Duke Snider 1952 3 Ind. Games 14 12 7 2 0 4 8 1 1 .583 .643 1.750 2.393 0 0 0 1 1
10 Al Simmons 1931 3 Ind. Games 14 12 3 0 0 2 7 2 2 .250 .357 .750 1.107 0 0 0 0 0
11 Bobby Richardson 1960 3 Ind. Games 15 14 7 1 2 1 11 1 1 .500 .533 1.071 1.605 0 0 0 0 0
12 Dusty Rhodes 1954 3 Ind. Games 7 6 4 0 0 2 7 1 2 .667 .714 1.667 2.381 0 0 1 0 0
13 Danny Murphy 1910 3 Ind. Games 15 13 5 2 0 1 7 1 0 .385 .429 .769 1.198 1 0 0 0 0
14 Paul Molitor 1993 3 Ind. Games 16 13 8 1 2 2 7 2 0 .615 .688 1.462 2.149 0 0 0 1 0
15 Bob Meusel 1923 3 Ind. Games 14 14 5 0 2 0 7 0 2 .357 .357 .643 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
16 Lee May 1970 3 Ind. Games 12 11 5 1 0 2 8 1 0 .455 .500 1.091 1.591 0 0 0 0 1
17 Billy Martin 1953 3 Ind. Games 14 14 7 1 1 1 7 0 1 .500 .500 .929 1.429 0 0 0 0 1
18 Al Kaline 1968 3 Ind. Games 13 12 6 0 0 2 8 0 2 .500 .538 1.000 1.538 0 0 0 1 0
19 Reggie Jackson 1973 3 Ind. Games 14 14 8 3 1 1 6 0 2 .571 .571 1.143 1.714 0 0 0 0 0
20 Keith Hernandez 1982 3 Ind. Games 15 12 7 2 0 1 8 3 1 .583 .667 1.000 1.667 0 0 1 0 0
21 Troy Glaus 2002 3 Ind. Games 12 11 5 1 0 3 6 1 1 .455 .500 1.364 1.864 0 0 0 0 1
22 Lou Gehrig 1932 3 Ind. Games 16 13 6 1 0 3 7 2 1 .462 .563 1.231 1.793 0 0 0 1 0
23 Lou Gehrig 1928 3 Ind. Games 12 9 5 1 0 3 8 3 0 .556 .667 1.667 2.333 0 0 0 0 0
24 Dwight Evans 1986 3 Ind. Games 14 12 5 2 0 2 7 2 2 .417 .500 1.083 1.583 0 0 0 0 1
25 Yogi Berra 1960 3 Ind. Games 14 12 5 0 0 1 8 2 0 .417 .500 .667 1.167 0 0 0 0 0
26 Home Run Baker 1913 3 Ind. Games 12 11 7 0 0 1 7 0 0 .636 .583 .909 1.492 0 1 0 0 0
27 Moises Alou 1997 3 Ind. Games 13 11 5 0 0 3 9 2 2 .455 .538 1.273 1.811 0 0 0 0 0
28 Sandy Alomar 1997 3 Ind. Games 14 14 7 1 0 2 9 0 0 .500 .500 1.000 1.500 0 0 0 0 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/25/2011.

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Mike Napoli has at least one more shot to set the record.

9 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

Shutouts in the World Series

Posted by Andy on October 25, 2011

Since there are only a handful of World Series games each year, the same size is never very large for any particular set. Nevertheless, it's sometimes fun to see if there are any patterns.

Here are the last 20 times that a team was shut out in a World Series game:

Rk Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt
1 2011-10-23 WS 4 STL TEX L 0-4
2 2010-10-31 WS 4 TEX SFG L 0-4
3 2010-10-28 WS 2 TEX SFG L 0-9
4 2006-10-24 WS 3 DET STL L 0-5
5 2005-10-26 WS 4 HOU CHW L 0-1
6 2004-10-27 WS 4 STL BOS L 0-3
7 2003-10-25 WS 6 NYY FLA L 0-2
8 2001-10-28 WS 2 NYY ARI L 0-4
9 1998-10-21 WS 4 SDP NYY L 0-3
10 1996-10-24 WS 5 ATL NYY L 0-1
11 1996-10-21 WS 2 NYY ATL L 0-4
12 1995-10-28 WS 6 CLE ATL L 0-1
13 1993-10-21 WS 5 TOR PHI L 0-2
14 1991-10-27 WS 7 ATL MIN L 0-1
15 1990-10-16 WS 1 OAK CIN L 0-7
16 1989-10-14 WS 1 SFG OAK L 0-5
17 1988-10-16 WS 2 OAK LAD L 0-6
18 1986-10-18 WS 1 NYM BOS L 0-1
19 1985-10-27 WS 7 STL KCR L 0-11
20 1985-10-23 WS 4 KCR STL L 0-3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/24/2011.

We don't yet know about the 2011 series, but before that you have to go all the way back to the Yankees' loss in Game 2 of the 1996 series to find a team that got shut out but eventually won the championship.

The only other teams among these 20 to win the World Series were the 1993 Blue Jays, 1986 Mets, and 1985 Royals.

In all, there have been 112 shutouts in the World Series since 1919, and that's in 535 total World Series games (which includes through Game 4 of the 2011 series, again through 1919.) On a percentage basis, that's 20.9% of World Series games that resulted in shutouts.

By taking a quick peek at the MLB Pitching Encyclopedia, it looks like about 4.3% of games have historically ended up with either team being shut out. Although I calculated that using a weighted average, it's still an average over a lot of different eras, but nevertheless it does suggest that it's good pitching more than good hitting that gets teams to the World Series.

16 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

‘Stall a little longer next time, Skip’

Posted by John Autin on October 24, 2011

Since 1974*, B-R's Event Index finds four World Series relievers who allowed a multi-run HR on their first pitch of the game:

10 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Shutouts and near-shutouts in the World Series

Posted by John Autin on October 24, 2011

Derek Holland was removed from Game 4 after getting an out in the 9th, and wound up with no runs charged to him. How rare is that?

17 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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