Sunday, September 30, 2007

Daily Tracker, 9/30

Apologies for not updating these yesterday - the numbers today reflect both days.

These posts are a collection of things I'm interested in (feel free to make suggestions) from day-to-day during the season.

  • Ryan Braun Update:
    • Tonight in the box score: 3-8, 2 2B, 2 BB, 3 K, 4 R, RBI
    • Current line on season: .324/.370/.634 (492 PA)
    • Line adjusted for leaderboards: .317/.363/.620 (502 PA)
    • Leaderboard ranks: 12 (--)/ 29 (+4)/ 1 (+1)

  • Johnny Estrada Swing Index: Done for the year.
    • See here for his final data.

  • See the entry behind the tracking of Langerhans and Borchard.
    • Ryan Langerhans was 1-1 as a defensive replacement over the weekend.
      • MLB numbers: 64 TB, 81 SO, 210 AB
      • AAA numbers: 19 TB, 15 SO, 51 AB
      • Total numbers: 78 TB, 96 SO, 259 AB
      • As of now, he joins the list in the linked entry.
    • Joe Borchard is done for the year.
      • MLB numbers: 56 TB, 60 SO, 179 AB
      • AAA numbers: 53 TB, 11 SO, 72 AB
      • Total numbers: 109 TB, 71 SO, 251 AB

  • Jimmy Rollins was 3-7 this weekend. He finished the season with 212 hits in 716 at bats. He officially makes the list of players amassing 200 hits in season while batting below .300, though he places above Juan Pierre's record for the lowest batting average. He also set the record for most plate appearances in a single season with 778 (passing Lenny Dykstra's 773 in 1993).

  • Rickie Weeks was 2-9 with a walk. His batting average stayed at .235 and his on base percentage slid to .374. A while ago I put up an entry dealing with similar players. I also posted one about the highest slugging percentages among players with low batting averages.

  • Cubs catchers (with/without Barrett):
    • Tonight in the box score: 4-7, 2 2B, BB, K, 2 R, RBI
    • Through June 19: 290 PA, 264 AB, 62 H, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 20 BB, 46 K, 98 TB, .235/.287/.371, .658 OPS
    • Since June 19: 373 PA, 327 AB, 79 H, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 32 BB, 53 K, 120 TB, .242/.316/.367, .683 OPS
    • Season Line: 663 PA, 591 AB, 141 H, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 52 BB, 99 K, 218 TB, .239/.303/.369, .672 OPS

  • Brewers catchers (splits for continuity with Cubs):
    • Tonight in the box score: 1-6, 2B, 2 BB, K, 2 R
    • Through June 19: 298 PA, 283 AB, 77 H, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 9 BB, 32 K, 113 TB, .272/.300/.399, .699 OPS
    • Since June 19: 368 PA, 342 AB, 88 H, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 17 BB, 51 K, 131 TB, .257/.288/.383, .671 OPS
    • Season Line: 666 PA, 625 AB, 165 H, 15 HR, 78 RBI, 26 BB, 83 K, 244 TB, .264/.293/.390, .684 OPS

  • 2007 MLB Average Catcher's Line: .254/.317/.392, .709 OPS

  • Players making their MLB debut today (links go to The Baseball Cube):
On to the playoffs!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Not too long ago I pointed out the top pitchers in MLB at allowing baserunners to steal. Three Padres pitchers appeared in the top ten, and today's starter Chris Young was second. Prince Fielder stole seven bases in 2006 but had none in 2007 coming into today. By the time the fourth inning was complete, he'd have two.

That makes him the heaviest listed player in baseball history to have multiple stolen bases in one game. He's also the heaviest listed player to have more than one stolen base in his career, edging out Frank Thomas by three pounds. Unless, that is, you think Baseball Reference is accurate with Walt Goldsby's vitals.

Friday, September 28, 2007

100+ RBI, OBP under .300

This was inspired by Khalil Greene's season line: .252/.290/.462 with 93 RBI. There's only been nine players ever to collect 100 or more RBI with an on base percentage under .300. Greene likely won't do it, but he's the closest to the feat this season.
  1. Joe Carter, 1990, 115 RBI, .290 OBP
  2. George Bell, 1992, 112, .294
  3. Tony Batista, 2004, 110, .272
  4. Tony Armas, 1983, 107, .254!!!
  5. Joe Carter, 1989, 105, .292
  6. Jeff Francoeur, 2006, 103, .293
  7. Joe Carter, 1997, 102, .284
  8. Ruben Sierra, 1993, 101, .288
  9. Joe Pepitone, 1964, 100, .281
Pepitone was pretty lonely there on the list for a while. It's pretty interesting how Carter placed on the list three times (Tony Batista missed a second appearance by one RBI in 2003). I think it underscores this Beyond the Box Score article about 100 RBI not always being a benchmark for greatness.

Highest Slugging Percentage, AVG under .240

In the Daily Tracker posts, I keep pointing out Rickie Weeks's uncommon season in relation to batting average and on base percentage. In honor of his two home runs last night giving him fifteen for the year, I decided to look up players with the highest slugging percentage with a batting average under .240. Why .240 and not something more round like .250? Simply because I wanted to keep it close to what Weeks will end up with. I made the report only return qualifiers for the batting title (usually 502 PA, though strike years are different) since it's almost the end of the season. Weeks likely will end up qualifying as he needs 11 plate appearances in three games and he bats leadoff. His current batting line is .235/.375/.432.

Here's the top 20 slugging percentages by players with batting averages below .240:

Jose Canseco1998.237.518
Mickey Tettleton1995.238.510
Phil Plantier1993.240.509
Dave Kingman1976.238.506
Rob Deer1986.232.494
Dave Kingman1975.231.494
Adam Dunn2006.234.490
Mark McGwire1990.235.489
Carlton Fisk1985.238.488
Jeromy Burnitz2003.239.487
Mike Cameron2004.231.479
Mike Pagliarulo1987.234.479
Jose Valentin2004.216.473
Gorman Thomas1980.239.471
Gus Zernial1957.236.471
Pat Seerey1946.225.470
Mickey Tettleton1992.238.469
Mark McGwire1989.231.467
Darryl Strawberry1989.225.466
Mike Pagliarulo1986.238.464

Rickie Weeks' .432 slugging average this year would place him into an exact tie with Rob Deer's 1990 for 63rd place (both would have .431818181818 and so on).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

One At Bat, One Base, Please.

Mike Rivera of the Milwaukee Brewers has an outside chance of setting an odd major league "record" and slightly more of a chance placing on the list for his exploits this September. I am referring, of course, to the list of players with the most plate appearances and a slugging percentage of 1.000 or more. Only 583 seasons of one or more plate appearances exist, and only seven players managed to do it over 10 or more plate appearances.

Here's the list, sorted by PA:
  1. Greg Walker, 1982, 1.000 SLG, 19 PA
  2. George Puccinelli, 1930, 1.188, 16
  3. Rick Wrona, 1994, 1.200, 12
  4. Damon Minor, 2000, 1.444, 11
  5. Mark Carreon, 1988, 1.111, 11
  6. Armando Rios, 1998, 1.429, 10
  7. Jack Roche, 1914, 1.111, 10
Rivera currently has a 1.000 SLG in 10 plate appearances. If he makes the list, he would become the second Brewers player, joining Rick Wrona. The Giants are currently the only team with two players on the list (Minor and Rios).

For the curious, the top pitchers in terms of PA were Lance Clemons (1971), Fred Green (1960) and Belve Bean (1930), with nine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bonds vs. Aaron (vs. Ruth)

A simple, non-controversial title for this post. has a pretty neat thing on all their player pages that allows you to "neutralize" a player's statistics or drop them onto any team since 1901. It then adjusts their number through a process described here and spits out what the player would have done had he been on that team in that league during that year for his entire career.

I think it's pretty cool and want to take a lighthearted look at the Bonds vs. Aaron (vs. Ruth) debate using that tool. I know it's not scientific and I don't mean it to be, but the way I went about "transporting" the players was in the following manner: To replace Hank Aaron with Barry Bonds, I first took Aaron's plate appearances for each season and determined what percentage of his career was made up by that season; then I took Bonds' adjusted career home runs if he could have played his whole life in that season and multiplied it by the percentage to determine the home runs for that season. Summing up each of Bonds as Aaron's season totals gives his career number. I should note that the Baseball Reference tool doesn't have 2007 data, so to give a career home run number I averaged those of the previous five seasons. Crude but whatever.

An example:

In 1962, Hank Aaron had 667 PA, or 4.8% of his career total. When Bonds' career is placed into 1962 for the Braves, he ends up with 781 home runs. 781 x .048 = 37. Thus he is said to have hit 37 home runs in 1962.

Here's the results:

Babe Ruth replacing Hank Aaron (1954-1976): 658 career HR
Babe Ruth replacing Barry Bonds (1986-2007): 696 career HR
Hank Aaron replacing Babe Ruth (1914-1935): 788 career HR
Hank Aaron replacing Barry Bonds (1986-2007): 779 career HR
Barry Bonds replacing Babe Ruth (1914-1935): 779 career HR
Barry Bonds replacing Hank Aaron (1954-1976): 739 career HR

Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron both tied for the highest single season, each hitting 55 in 1921 as they replaced Babe Ruth. The highest total Ruth had in a single year was 40 in 1997 and 1998 as Bonds.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Milwaukee Home Runs

Much ado has been made about the 2007 Brewers setting a franchise record for the most home runs in a season (the record was 216; the team has 219 coming into today) but I want to look at former Milwaukee teams and see what they did. With heavy hitters like Aaron, Mathews and Adcock, I bet the Braves put up some good years. I'll list the team, the number of games in their season, their total home runs, and what they would have done in 162 games at the same rate.

TeamGamesHome RunsHR per 162
1878 Milwaukee Grays
(National League)
1884 Milwaukee Brewers
(Union Association)
1891 Milwaukee Brewers
(American Association)
1901 Milwaukee Brewers
(American League)
1953 Milwaukee Braves154156164
1954 Milwaukee Braves154139146
1955 Milwaukee Braves154182191
1956 Milwaukee Braves154177186
1957 Milwaukee Braves154199209
1958 Milwaukee Braves154167176
1959 Milwaukee Braves154177186
1960 Milwaukee Braves154170179
1961 Milwaukee Braves154188198
1962 Milwaukee Braves162181181
1963 Milwaukee Braves162139139
1964 Milwaukee Braves162159159
1965 Milwaukee Braves162196196

Monday, September 24, 2007

Loser Teenagers

People always like celebrating winners, so I figured I'd turn the tables and look at the guys who lost the most games as teenagers. There's a mix of being good enough to stay in the league and debuting while relatively young in placing on the list. Also, baseball-reference says a player's age during a season is their age as of June 30th of that season, so even though the top man on the list, Pete Schneider, turned 20 on August 2, his whole season applies. It's a little erroneous, but what can you do?

Without further ado, these are baseball's top loser teens:
  1. Pete Schneider, 32 losses, 1914-15
  2. Bob Feller, 21, 1936-38
  3. David Clyde, 17, 1973-74
  4. Larry Dierker, 17, 1964-66
  5. Ray Keating, 15, 1912-13
  6. Chief Bender, 14, 1903
  7. Mike Morgan, 13, 1978-79
  8. Curt Simmons, 13, 1947-48
  9. Frank Shellenback, 12, 1918
  10. Earl Hamilton, 12, 1911
  11. Jim Waugh, 11, 1952-53
  12. Mike McCormick, 10, 1956-58
  13. Milt Pappas, 10, 1957-1958
  14. Cal McLish, 10, 1944
  15. Hal Newhouser, 10, 1939-40
Hey, three of those guys went on to be Hall of Famers! Interestingly, only 152 pitchers have ever lost even one game in their teenage years. Only 329 pitchers made an appearance before their age 20 season.

Here's a trivia question for you: Who are the only two pitchers since 2000 to lose one or more games before their age 20 season, as defined by Baseball-Reference?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Run, Run, Rudolph...

There are four pitchers in the major leagues this year who have thrown over 100 innings while allowing 10+ steals and not having a single attempt thrown out (excluding pickoffs). Some of this is their catchers' fault, but as manager Ned Yost noted recently about one of the four: "Benny's [Sheets] a little slow to the plate." Perhaps that has something to do with the other guys as well.

Here's the list:
  • Dustin McGowan, Toronto, 159.1 IP, 28 SB
  • Chris Young, San Diego, 156.0, 36
  • A.J. Burnett, Toronto, 153.1, 29
  • Ben Sheets, Milwaukee, 141.1, 21
I wonder if Johnny Estrada, Gregg Zaun and Josh Bard get together in the offseason and compete to see who can throw an egg against a wall the most without it breaking.

So what pitchers have allowed the most steals? Here's the guys with 100+ IP and 20+ steals against:
  1. Tim Wakefield, Boston, 39 (Surprised?)
  2. Chris Young, San Diego, 36
  3. Greg Maddux, San Diego, 33
  4. A.J. Burnett, Toronto, 29
  5. Dustin McGowan, Toronto, 28
  6. Brandon Webb, Arizona, 26
  7. Daniel Cabrera, Baltimore, 24
  8. Jose Contreras, Chicago (AL), 23
  9. Rich Hill, Chicago (NL), 22
  10. Jake Peavy, San Diego, 21
  11. Mike Mussina, New York (AL), 21
  12. Ben Sheets, Milwaukee, 21
  13. Byung-Hyun Kim, National League, 21
  14. Roy Halladay, Toronto, 20
Note Rich Hill is the only left-hander on the list. What's going on there?

Five players have at least five pickoffs in 100+ innings this year:
  1. Doug Davis, Arizona, 6
  2. Wandy Rodriguez, Houston, 6
  3. Mike Maroth, Detroit/St. Louis, 6
  4. Andy Pettitte, New York (AL), 5
  5. Mark Buehrle, Chicago (AL), 5

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Expanded Rosters are a Boon

The Daily Tracker for today will post tomorrow morning sometime, but I wanted to point this out. The Philadelphia-St. Louis game tonight went fourteen innings with the Phillies winning 7-4. That's not the interesting part, per se. What is astounding is the sheer number of players in the game: 53!

The box score is here. The Phillies used 25 players, including eight pitchers and, according to MLB Gameday, all their position players. The Cardinals used 28 players, including 11 pitchers and left Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds and Gary Bennett on the bench. No pitcher threw more than 3.0 innings in the contest. There were 481 pitches thrown - 209 by the Phillies and 272 by the Cardinals.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

RBI - HR >= 100

Since 1901, a player has finished a season with one hundred or more runs batted in than home runs 230 times. Rather than subject you to the complete list (though you can certainly have the file if you send me an e-mail), I figure I'll share some of the highlights.

Only four players in six seasons have had 130+ more RBI than HR:

Hank Greenberg193740183
Lou Gehrig193146184
Hack Wilson193056191
Hank Greenberg193536170
Lou Gehrig193041174
Chuck Klein193040170

Note they all occurred during the 1930's. In fact, if you break the list down by decade, you get an interesting table:


I think it's interesting that people got/get so up in arms over the excess of home runs in the past decade ruining the game and whatnot, yet the incredible RBI totals of the 1920's and 1930's aren't criticized. Either way, who were the lucky nine from 1960-1989?

Tommy Davis196227153
Johnny Bench197045148
Wes Parker197010111
Joe Torre197124137
Don Baylor197936139
Hal McRae198227133
Don Mattingly198535145
Tom Herr19858110
Pedro Guerrero198917117

I also want to mention one of the most interesting (to me) of the list: Lave Cross in 1902 drove in 108 runs without the benefit of a single home run.

Here's the longest time in years between such seasons:
  1. 8 years, 1962-1970
  2. 8 years, 1971-1979
  3. 7 years, 1989-1996
  4. 6 years, 1956-1962
  5. 5 years, 1915-1920
The majors haven't seen a 100+ more RBI than HR season since David Ortiz and Mark Teixeira both accomplished the feat in 2005. That's likely to change in a few weeks since Magglio Ordonez came into today with 27 HR and 132 RBI.

If there's any other breakdowns or questions you want answered, just let me know in the comments.

Jack Cust Has a Neat Story

But, man, imagine how many strikeouts he'd have right now if he started the year with Oakland instead of spending April at AAA? He could have at least 175. As it is, he's leading the AL in strikeouts with 148.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

If not for bad luck, they'd have no luck at all

I want to look at games where a pitcher for a team gave up zero earned runs but a bunch (sorry to get all scientific there) of unearned runs. Specifically, the games with the most unearned runs with no earned runs. Conveniently, there's only been nine games (since 1957) where the starter had eight or more unearned runs without any earned runs. Let's look at those nine.

First up, the eight unearned runs appearances
  • August 3, 1991 - Bill Wegman for Milwaukee pitching against Texas. Three errors within the first four batters of the game followed by a rocky first inning gave him a final line of 0.2 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR.
  • October 7, 2001 - Eric Knott for Arizona pitching at Milwaukee. Everything was going fine until the fourth inning when two ill-timed errors coupled with a run of hits and a home run off a reliever, ensuring Knott's final line read 3.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR.
  • June 1, 2002 - Todd Ritchie pitching for Chicago (AL) against Cleveland. The fifth inning went as follows: F8, ROE5, 2B, K, BB, 1B, BB, 1B, FC/E4 (no out), HR, F9. Ritchie wound up with a cool 5.0 IP, 4 H, 8 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
  • May 2, 2004 - Horacio Ramirez pitching for Atlanta at Colorado. Ramirez managed to be given unearned runs in three different innings as his defense melted down behind him. The lowlights: an E6 on a caught stealing in the first, setting up a throwing error by the second baseman leading to the first three unearned runs. An E5 allowing the batter to reach and a runner to reach second, followed by a walk, a balk, a sac fly, and a single, for three more unearned runs. Finally in the fourth two errors by the third baseman after Ramirez had been pulled allowed the two runners belonging to the unfortunate pitcher to score. 3.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.
Next up, the nine unearned run games:
  • July 14, 1957 (game 2) - Dean Stone in relief for Boston at Cleveland. Four hits and five walks artfully arranged around three errors in the eighth sank Stone. 2.0 IP, 4 H, 9 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 0 HR.
  • May 8, 1976 (game 2) - Luis Tiant for Boston against Texas. An error on a grounder to short in between a strikeout and a pop fly meant the second inning should have ended, but the Rangers didn't let their second chance go, socking two singles, two doubles, a triple and a home run off El Tiante before an insult-to-injury error by the third baseman allowed the final unearned run of the inning to score. 1.2 IP, 6 H, 9 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.
  • May 2, 1994 - Bobby Jones for New York (NL) against San Francisco. Here's the third inning: G63, 1B, G13, ROE6, HR, 1B, SB/BB, ROE4, WP, IBB, 3B, 1B, F8. Blech. 2.2 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR.
  • July 3, 2002 - Chris Reitsma for Cincinnati against Houston. An error by Reitsma himself allowing a run should have been the second out, voiding the sacrifice fly immediately following and surely preventing the three-run home run after the sac fly. Of course, five runs wasn't enough, so in the fourth an error by the shortstop and an error on a relay for a double play meant four more unearned runs would eventually score. 4.0 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.
And the outing that takes the cake:
  • June 6, 1989 - Andy Hawkins on the mound for the home Yankees against the Orioles. In the top of the first, two quick outs were followed up by a ground-rule double and two walks, loading the bases for Jim Traber. Jesse Barfield misplayed a fly ball to deep center, allowing the first three unearned runs off Hawkins to score. Larry Sheets grounded out to second to end the inning. The second inning went quickly, but the third probably gives Hawkins nightmares to this day. Steve Finley led off with a bunt pop-up that was dropped by first baseman Don Mattingly. Cal Ripken Jr. then hit a grounder to Hawkins who promptly threw wildly to second, allowing Finley to reach third. Mickey Tettleton then reached on an E4, putting runners on the corners again and allowing Finley to score. Joe Orsulak then singled to right, plating Ripken; Tettleton was out at third but Orsulak took second on the throw. Jim Traber drove the next pitch into the gap in right-center, scoring Orsulak and placing himself at second. Larry Sheets was intentionally walked. Craig Worthington singled up the middle, scoring Traber and moving Sheets to second. Billy Ripken singled to center, loading the bases. Hawkins was then relieved by Chuck Cary who induced a ground ball to Mattingly, getting the lead runner at home for the second out of the inning. Before anyone could get optimistic, Steve Finley closed the book on Hawkins by hitting Cary's next pitch for a grand slam. The total damage: 2.1 IP, 5 H, 10 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.
Andy Hawkins certainly had a bad day on June 5, 1989. I would guess that he may remember July 1, 1990 a little bit more. That was the day he lost a game 4-0 while holding the Chicago White Sox hitless for eight innings. His given name is Melton, but it may as well be Meltdown for what his defense did behind him.

Prince Fielder, meet Eddie Mathews

With his forty-sixth home run last night, Prince Fielder set a new Milwaukee Brewers franchise record for home runs in a single season. He needs one more to tie Eddie Mathews' Milwaukee major league record for most home runs in a season. The Braves Hall of Famer smashed 47 homers as a 21-year-old in 1953, the first season the Braves played in Milwaukee.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I wonder if he gets a bonus for a decision?

I got curious tonight (upon hearing Mike Stanton is 1-3 in 65 appearances) and decided to look up who holds the major league record for most appearances in a season without recording a win or loss. The record coming into the year was lefty Scott Aldred's 48 for the Devil Rays in 1998. With a couple weeks to go, however, Trever Miller has appeared in 74 games for the Astros and still carries a 0-0 record on the year. Something else to keep an eye on as the season winds down.

Daily Tracker, 9/14

Whoops. I forgot to post this last night - how grossly negligent.

These posts are a collection of things I'm interested in (feel free to make suggestions) from day-to-day during the season.

  • Ryan Braun Update:
    • Today in the box score: 0-4, 2 K
      • I guess he must have forgotten his HGH dose, huh? :)
    • Current line on season: .325/.369/.635 (428 PA)
    • Line adjusted for leaderboards: .305/.349/.597 (453 PA)
    • Leaderboard ranks: 15 (--)/ 44 (-4)/ 3 (-1)
    • MIL Average PA/G for #3/#4 spot in lineup: 4.50/4.35
    • Projected PA at end of season if in #3/#4 spot for MIL: 500/498

  • Johnny Estrada Swing Index:
    • Plate Appearances: 442
    • Times Swung at First Pitch: 222
      • Swung at First Pitch Percentage: 50.2%
    • Times Made Contact with First Pitch: 195
      • Contact Percentage for First Pitch Swings: 87.8%
    • First Pitch Put Into Play: 108
      • First Pitch Contact Put Into Play: 55.4%
      • First Pitch Swings Put Into Play: 48.7%
      • First Pitch Overall Put Into Play: 24.4%
    • Double Play Opportunities: 77
      • Double Plays Resulting: 15
        • DP Rate: 19.5%

  • See the entry behind the tracking of Langerhans and Borchard.
    • Ryan Langerhans was a defensive replacement and was pulled for a pinch-hitter before he could bat.
      • MLB numbers: 59 TB, 77 SO, 203 AB
      • AAA numbers: 19 TB, 15 SO, 51 AB
      • Total numbers: 78 TB, 92 SO, 252 AB
      • As of now, he joins the list in the linked entry.
    • Joe Borchard is done for the year.
      • MLB numbers: 56 TB, 60 SO, 179 AB
      • AAA numbers: 53 TB, 11 SO, 72 AB
      • Total numbers: 109 TB, 71 SO, 251 AB

  • Jimmy Rollins was 1-5 with a stolen base. His season pace is now 210 hits and 712 at bats. He is threatening to join this dubious list. He also is on pace to set the single season at bats record.

  • Rickie Weeks was 1-4 with a strikeout. His batting average stayed at .236 but his on base percentage dipped to .374. A week or so ago I put up an entry dealing with similar players.

  • Cubs catchers (with/without Barrett):
    • Tonight in the box score: 1-3, BB, SO, R
    • Through June 19: 290 PA, 264 AB, 62 H, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 20 BB, 46 K, 98 TB, .235/.287/.371, .658 OPS
    • Since June 19: 312 PA, 271 AB, 61 H, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 28 BB, 45 K, 91 TB, .225/.307/.336, .643 OPS
    • Season Line: 602 PA, 535 AB, 123 H, 12 HR, 65 RBI, 48 BB, 91 K, 189 TB, .230/.298/.353, .651 OPS

  • Brewers catchers (splits for continuity with Cubs):
    • Tonight in the box score: 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI
    • Through June 19: 298 PA, 283 AB, 77 H, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 9 BB, 32 K, 113 TB, .272/.300/.399, .699 OPS
    • Since June 19: 307 PA, 286 AB, 78 H, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 15 BB, 37 K, 116 TB, .273/.303/.406, .709 OPS
    • Season Line: 605 PA, 569 AB, 155 H, 14 HR, 69 RBI, 24 BB, 69 K, 229 TB, .272/.301/.402, .704 OPS

  • 2007 MLB Average Catcher's Line: .254/.317/.394, .711 OPS

  • Players making their MLB debut today (links go to The Baseball Cube):
    • None, but how come I've never heard of Jamie Burke before?

Friday, September 14, 2007

100 RBI, <10 HR since 1950

I'm almost positive this has been brought up somewhere before, but it's worth another look. For a number of reasons, 100 RBI is one of those statistics that generally signifies a player had a good season to a baseball fan. Maybe he's a phenomenal hitter with runners on base or perhaps he's simply healthy enough to stay in the middle of the lineup every day. Either way, generally the players reaching 100 RBI in a season are sluggers. It didn't always used to be this way, however. From 1920 to 1950, there were sixty-six player seasons featuring over 100 RBI with less than ten home runs. Since 1950, however, it's happened exactly twice. The first occurred in 1985 when Tom Herr of the St. Louis Cardinals had 8 HR and 110 RBI (and 31 SB to boot!). The second came just over a decade later, when Paul Molitor drove in 113 runs with only nine homers for the Minnesota Twins in 1996.

It's pretty unlikely anyone will add their name to the list this year. The current leader in RBI for guys with less than ten home runs is Orlando Cabrera with 81 (on 8 HR).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

20+ HR, 3B, 2B, SB

If you're curious about how many people are in the 20-20-20-20 club now that Curtis Granderson joined, check out this short article at Beyond the Box Score. I think it's pretty neat.

Losing with a Walk Differential of >= 9

The Chicago Cubs lost 5-4 in extra innings to the Houston Astros last night. I was reading a Cubs blog this morning and came across an interesting question: "What about having a walk differential of +9 and losing a game? How often does that occur?"

The inspiration for that query, of course, was the fact the Cubs had ten walks in the game and the Astros had one (given up to the batter who eventually scored the winning run). Given my compulsion to look up answers to strange questions like that, I tracked down what I think is the most recent such game.

On April 26, 2006, the New York Yankees were defeated by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 10 innings, amassing six hits and fourteen walks while only giving up seven hits and five walks of their own. I find it interesting that with twenty baserunners throughout the game and only two double plays recorded by Tampa Bay, the Yankees only managed to plate two runners (on a home run, no less). They left sixteen baserunners stranded.

Also notable: since 1957, it has only happened fifty-four times that a team has had at least twenty baserunners and two or fewer runs scored in the same game. It was only the fourth time since 2000 it happened.

NOTE: That's what I found looking through the B-R PI's Team Batting and Team Pitching Game Finders with walks set to different numbers. If you find a more recent example, let me know!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Left-handed Firemen

Relievers have traditionally been called firemen throughout baseball history (or at least the part featuring relief pitching), but the image that generally comes to mind is of a righty bearing down and blowing 100mph fastballs by hitters. What about lefty relievers that struck out a ton of guys?

The search parameters are from 1957-2007 so we can use retrosheet data (unavailable prior to 1957) to filter out the guys like Mike Remlinger in 1997, who struck out 145 batters but had 12 starts inflating his numbers. And, yes, I suppose I should use strikeouts per innings pitched to be technical, but you'll just have to live with that. Without further ado, here's the list of the top ten lefty relief strikeout producers:
  1. John Hiller, 1974, 134 K
  2. Mark Davis, 1985, 128
  3. Billy Wagner, 1999, 124
  4. John Hiller, 1973, 124
  5. Mitch Williams, 1987, 123
  6. B.J. Ryan, 2004, 122
  7. Paul Assenmacher, 1991, 117
  8. Bill Henry, 1959, 115
  9. Billy McCool, 1965, 113
  10. Willie Hernandez, 1984, 112

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Triples after 40

Generally as ballplayers age, they start losing speed on the basepaths. Today, lets look at guys who could still run out three-base hits, even after they passed forty years old.

Only ten players have hit ten or more triples after turning forty:
  1. Honus Wagner, 36
  2. Sam Rice, 32
  3. Cap Anson, 26
  4. Pete Rose, 18
  5. Jim O'Rourke, 17
  6. Joe Start, 17
  7. Steve Finley, 15
  8. Luke Appling, 11
  9. Ty Cobb, 11
  10. Deacon White, 10
Here's the players with plate appearances in 2007 that have at least one triple since their fortieth birthday:
  1. Steve Finley, 15
  2. Julio Franco, 7
  3. Jeff Conine, 5
  4. Kenny Lofton, 4
  5. Craig Biggio, 3
  6. Omar Vizquel, 2
  7. Orlando Hernandez, 1
  8. Kenny Rogers, 1

Saturday, September 8, 2007

MLB Tiebreaker Procedures

While hunting for the rules governing three-way tiebreakers in baseball, I came across a press release from 2003 outlining the procedures for dealing with ties. Given baseball's traditionally glacial speed when it comes to rule changes, I'm sure it still applies. You can find it here or under "MLB Tiebreaker Procedures" on the links list on the sidebar.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Highest Season ERA, 10+ Wins

Here's a list of the only twenty-three players ever to win ten or more games in a season with an ERA 6.00 or higher. These guys may have won 10+ games, but no one really won when they were on the mound.

  1. Colby Lewis, 2003, 10 wins, 7.30 ERA
  2. Harry Staley, 1894, 12, 6.81
  3. LaTroy Hawkins, 1999, 10, 6.62
  4. Ryan Drese, 2002, 10, 6.55
  5. Ray Benge, 1929, 11, 6.29
  6. Wes Ferrell, 1938, 15, 6.28
  7. Chris Carpenter, 2000, 10, 6.26
  8. Mike Morgan, 1999, 13, 6.24
  9. Pedro Astacio, 1998, 13, 6.23
  10. Pat Caraway, 1931, 10, 6.22
  11. Dave Burba, 2001, 10, 6.21
  12. Brian Bohanon, 1999, 12, 6.20
  13. Guy Bush, 1930, 15, 6.20
  14. Dave Mlicki, 2001, 11, 6.17
  15. Ramon Martinez, 2000, 10, 6.13
  16. Red Donahue, 1897, 10, 6.13
  17. Dan Daub, 1894, 10, 6.11
  18. Bill Hutchison, 1894, 14, 6.06
  19. Jason Dickson, 1998, 10, 6.05
  20. Jason Marquis, 2006, 14, 6.02
  21. Darren Oliver, 2001, 11, 6.02
  22. Ad Gumbert, 1894, 15, 6.02
  23. John Harkins, 1887, 10, 6.02
I find it interesting that 1894 had so many guys (4) on the list. The NL averaged a jaw-dropping 7.36 R/G (the highest since 1900 was 5.68 in 1930) - from 1893-1897 the league spiked in runs before dropping down to normal pre-1900 levels again.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Daily Tracker, 9/6

Only two National League games and five overall makes for an abbreviated update list:

  • Ryan Braun Update:
    • Today in the box score: No game
    • Current line on season: .334/.379/.649 (398 PA)
    • Line adjusted for leaderboards: .307/.350/.595 (431 PA)
    • Leaderboard ranks: 15 (--)/ 42 (--)/ 2 (--)
    • PA/G needed to qualify for leaderboards (502) without adjustment at end of season: 4.52
    • Current PA/G since call-up: 4.37
    • MIL Average PA/G for #3/#4 spot in lineup: 4.50/4.36
    • PA's projected lost if in #4 instead of #3 for rest of season: 3.14
    • Projected PA at end of season if in #3/#4 spot for MIL: 501.4/498.3

  • Johnny Estrada Swing Index: No game
    • Plate Appearances: 425
    • Times Swung at First Pitch: 214
      • Swung at First Pitch Percentage: 50.4%
    • Times Made Contact with First Pitch: 187
      • Contact Percentage for First Pitch Swings: 87.4%
    • First Pitch Put Into Play: 105
      • First Pitch Contact Put Into Play Percentage: 56.1%
      • First Pitch Overall Put Into Play Percentage: 24.7%
    • Double Play Opportunities: 75
      • Double Plays Resulting: 15
        • DP Rate: 20.0%

  • Ryan Langerhans did not have a game today.
    • MLB numbers: 54 TB, 74 SO, 196 AB
    • AAA numbers: 19 TB, 15 SO, 51 AB
    • Total numbers: 73 TB, 89 SO, 247 AB

  • Joe Borchard has not been recalled.
    • MLB numbers: 56 TB, 60 SO, 179 AB
    • AAA numbers: 53 TB, 11 SO, 72 AB
    • Total numbers: 109 TB, 71 SO, 251 AB

  • Jimmy Rollins was off today as well. His season pace is 210 hits and 709 at bats.

  • Rickie Weeks was off today. His batting average is .228 but his on base percentage is a nifty .365.

  • Cubs catchers (with/without Barrett):
    • Tonight in the box score: 0-3, BB
    • Through June 19: 290 PA, 264 AB, 62 H, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 20 BB, 46 K, 98 TB, .235/.287/.371, .658 OPS
    • Since June 19: 276 PA, 241 AB, 51 H, 3 HR, 30 RBI, 26 BB, 43 K, 74 TB, .212/.298/.307, .605 OPS
    • Season Line: 566 PA, 505 AB, 113 H, 11 HR, 60 RBI, 46 BB, 89 K, 172 TB, .224/.293/.341, .633 OPS

  • Brewers catchers (splits for continuity with Cubs):
    • Tonight in the box score: No game
    • Through June 19: 298 PA, 283 AB, 77 H, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 9 BB, 32 K, 113 TB, .272/.300/.399, .699 OPS
    • Since June 19: 281 PA, 263 AB, 69 H, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 14 BB, 36 K, 94 TB, .262/.295/.357, .653 OPS
    • Season Line: 579 PA, 546 AB, 146 H, 10 HR, 61 RBI, 23 BB, 68 K, 207 TB, .267/.298/.379, .677 OPS

  • 2007 MLB Average Catcher's Line: .255/.317/.393, .710 OPS

  • Players making their MLB debut today (links go to The Baseball Cube for minor league career numbers):

Apropos of nothing...

Did you know the Dutch National Baseball team is 27-0 all-time against Spain? At least, I believe that's what the game notes at the bottom of this box score are trying to convey. Goooooooooooooooo Nederland!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Who needs Hits?

Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers has 74 hits in 323 at bats this season, "good" for a .229 batting average. He has shown good plate discipline and a proclivity to be hit with pitches, taking 56 walks and being hit 12 times. Altogether, he's reached base 142 times in 395 plate appearances. Taking out his three sacrifice hits, he's got a .362 on base percentage. Not bad for a guy who can't put the bat on the ball very well. Here's a list of the players since 1901 that have had a lower batting average and a higher on base percentage in at least 395 plate appearances (I used 392 when I posted this on Brew Crew Ball because it was in my mind after taking out his sacrifice hits).

Roy Cullenbine1947607.224.401
Wes Westrum1951474.219.400
Gene Tenace1980416.222.399
Gene Tenace1978515.224.392
Jimmy Wynn1976584.207.377
Mickey Tettleton1990559.223.376
Wes Westrum1952403.220.374
Gene Tenace1974612.211.367
Rickey Henderson2001465.227.366
Bud Harrelson1974412.227.366
Tim Salmon2001581.227.365
Donie Bush1915703.228.364
Charlie Gehringer1941537.220.363

By making the criterion 395 PA rather than 392 PA, it cuts out Roy Cullenbine's 1940 when he put up a .220/.369 line in 394 PA. Either way, Weeks is having an uncommon year.

More Rebellious Souls

Yesterday I looked at lefthanded catchers and infielders. Today I want to look at another sort of player that doesn't come up often and doesn't stay long: guys that throw left-handed and bat right-handed. There's only three position players like that who have batted in 2007 - bonus points if you can name them (and, no, Noah Lowry's inning in right field doesn't count).

Anyway, here's the Hall of Famers to throw left, bat right.
  1. Eppa Rixey
  2. Carl Hubbell
  3. Rube Waddell
  4. Rickey Henderson (okay, he's not in yet, but c'mon)
Randy Johnson also will make the list if/when he's inducted.

Here's the only eight B-R/T-L players to play in over 1000 games:
  1. Rickey Henderson, 3081
  2. Jimmy Ryan, 2012
  3. Hal Chase, 1919
  4. Rube Bressler, 1305
  5. Jesse Orosco, 1252
  6. Cleon Jones, 1213 (if he was "normal," maybe he doesn't get hit in the foot?)
  7. Johnny Cooney, 1172
  8. Hick Carpenter, 1118
Eddie Guardado (789), Randy Johnson (567) and Jason Lane (489) top the active list.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Lefties

In honor of Labor Day, let's look at guys who spent most of their life laboring against baseball's norms in order to ply their trade. I'm talking about left-handed throwers at positions that don't really fit them: catcher, third base, shortstop, and second base.

First, the guys who appeared primarily as a catcher:
  1. Jack Clements, 1884-1900 (1073)
  2. Sam Trott, 1880-1888 (272)
  3. Pop Tate, 1885-1890 (202)
  4. Sy Sutcliffe, 1884-1892 (186)
  5. Fergy Malone, 1871-1884 (178)
  6. Bill Harbridge, 1875-1884 (159)
  7. Mike Hines, 1883-1888 (99)
  8. John Humphries, 1883-1884 (75)
  9. Art Twineham, 1893-1894 (52)
  10. Dave Oldfield, 1883-1886 (35)
  11. Joe Wall, 1901-1902 (7)
  12. John Mullen, 1876 (1)
Okay, so maybe it was more accepted in the 1880's for lefties to catch. Whatever. The most recent left-handed to don the gear was Benny Distefano, an outfielder/first baseman, for three games in 1989.

Here's our lefties that primarily appeared as third basemen:
  1. Hick Carpenter, 1879-1892 (1059)
  2. Ed Pinkham, 1871 (18)
  3. Marty Swandell, 1872-1873 (8)
  4. Milo Netzel, 1909 (6)
  5. John Newell, 1891 (5)
The most recent was Mario Valdez, appearing in one game at third for the White Sox in 1997.

The shortstops:
  1. Jimmy Macullar, 1879-1886 (325)
  2. Jimmy Hallinan, 1871-1878 (111)
  3. Billy Hulen, 1896-1899 (92)
  4. Russ Hall, 1898-1901 (36)
  5. John Shoupe, 1879-1884 (10)
  6. John Corcoran, 1895 (4)
The most recent appearance by a left-handed shortstop was Tom Chism in 1979, though he was only listed at short to get an at-bat and was promptly replaced in the lineup in the bottom of the first. Ditto for Royle Stillman in 1975. That means Russ Hall in 1901 was the last guy to appear in a game as a left-handed shortstop.

Finally, the left-handed second basemen:
  1. Bill Greenwood, 1882-1890 (538)
  2. Bill McClellan, 1878-1888 (436)
  3. Tom Evers, 1882-1884 (110)
  4. Kid Mohler, 1894 (3)
  5. John Hiland, 1885 (3)
The most recent player was Gonzalo Marquez, appearing in two games for Oakland in 1973.

EDIT: My father wrote me to say that Marquez batted in the top of the first as a second baseman and then was replaced both times he "appeared" there. Thus, the last lefty out there actually was Hal Chase in 1916.

EDIT #2: Sam McDowell, left-handed pitcher of the Cleveland Indians, spent one-third of an inning at second base on July 6, 1970. He recorded a putout on a 5-4 putout to end the top of the eighth inning before returning to the mound to pitch the ninth.

EDIT #3: Don Mattingly spent one-third of an inning at second base at the conclusion of the Pine Tar game. Thanks to Robert for pointing that out!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hey, I guess I'm not alone...

I was looking around the Internet(s) today and found this intriguing li'l blog post. It's even less likely he will set the record as it's been a week and Zimmerman has failed to record one GIDP since the post (and it's hard to ground into those often), but I thought it was interesting nevertheless.

If that wasn't interesting enough, lo and behold, that blog has a link to this supremely esoteric site. I wonder if they called Rick Vanden Hurk's debut this year?