Comments on: Opening Day 4-hit games This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: 2003:Inexperienced Opening Day Starters » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive Thu, 10 Mar 2011 11:41:26 +0000 [...] Andy's post on Tuesday and the ensuing discussion in the comments, made me wonder about recent inexperienced Opening Day starters.  Here are the Opening Day starters with the least prior major league experience from 2001-2010: [...]

By: DaveKingman Thu, 10 Mar 2011 02:11:41 +0000 I think Corey Patterson peaked in that particular game.

By: Andrew Thu, 10 Mar 2011 01:14:02 +0000 Dave, thanks for the further info. I had no idea that Gaetti nearly had three home runs that day. And I had also forgotten (if I ever actually knew) that it was the first game at the Metrodome. And as you indicate, they had quite an influx of power hitters with the likes of Gaetti, Hrbek, Brunansky, Puckett, etc. (enough offensive talent, coupled with some fine pitching, to win a couple of championships within a decade of moving to the Metrodome).

By: BobBobson Wed, 09 Mar 2011 21:33:40 +0000 There's no Mike Rutherfords or Steve Hacketts, but there were two minor leaguers named Tony Banks.

By: Dr. Doom Wed, 09 Mar 2011 19:51:26 +0000 Carlos Gomez, one-day wonder.

First game as a Met: 2/4 with a 2B.
First game as a Twin: 2/3 with a 2B, a BB, and 2 SB.
First game as a Brewer: Mentioned above, 4/5 with a 2B, HR, SB, and a GDP (unfortunately).

My new idea is for the Brewers to cut him every single day, re-sign him the next day, and to watch him become the first player in history to bat .700 with 200 SB and 160 2B. I don't see any reason this *wouldn't* work.

By: DavidRF Wed, 09 Mar 2011 19:43:17 +0000 @21
I remember that game! Gaetti got thrown out at the plate going for an IPHR, too... so close to having three HRs.

That was the first game in the Metrodome. The Twins had any power hitters in a few seasons (team lead in HR: 1981:7, 1980:13) so the influx of young 20-HR players was welcome.

By: Andrew Wed, 09 Mar 2011 19:30:14 +0000 A very interesting list as it evoked a memory from 1982. I remember looking at an opening day boxscore that year from a Twins' game and seeing that a player I had never heard of had gone 4 for 4 with a pair of home runs. The player was Gary Gaetti, and his whose 350+ home runs thereafter proved it was not a fluke.

By: DavidRF Wed, 09 Mar 2011 19:00:34 +0000 @17
They will average out in the long run, but there will always be quirky cases where a string of "unclutchiness" might linger for extended periods of time. Fans have always claimed that's the case for some players. A few years ago when A-Rod was winning MVP's but the Yankees weren't winning pennants, it was quite common for Yankees fans to complain that A-Rod only got big hits when it didn't matter. Well, those arguments can turn to the clutch tables here and see if A-Rod did have a "clutch-slump" or if it was just selective memories.

As far as single games go. Weird blips always happen with those. A "4-0-4-0" line in an old fashioned box score (no runs or rbi) is not that uncommon. In that same game, the winning run might be a guy who reached on a fielders choice and was driven in by a groundout to second. (I realize WPA does better with those, just using an old-fashioned example)

By: Lawrence Azrin Wed, 09 Mar 2011 18:41:30 +0000 #15/... John Autin Says: "Re: the negative WPA for Carlos Gonzalez in the first game on the list: To deny that Gonzalez had a good game strikes me as a gross misuse of WPA..."

John, I bow to your superior research. I admit, I phrased that wrong: instead of saying:
"...on Carlos Gonzalez ... Practically everyone who saw a 4-for-5 day would think that has to be a good game, no matter what else the batter did."

I _should_ have said:
"...on Carlos Gonzalez ... Practically everyone who saw a 4-for-5 day would think that has to be a {REALLY} good game, BUT IT WASN'T QUITE as GOOD AS YOU MIGHT THINK, DUE to the TWO OUTS MADE ON the BASEPATHS."

WPA exaggerates greatly the cost of those outs. As you say, WPA is a fun little tool, but not meant to be taken as a literal judgement on a player's performance.

Hope this calms everyone down...

By: John Autin Wed, 09 Mar 2011 17:52:55 +0000 @16, DavidRF -- You must have overlooked post #12, which read (in part):

"...on Carlos Gonzalez ... Practically everyone who saw a 4-for-5 day would think that has to be a good game, no matter what else the batter did." (emphasis added)