Factoids about the 2011 Season

Now that the regular season is over, let’s mine some of its data for fun nuggets (dipping sauce optional):

  • NL batting champ Jose Reyes appeared in only 126 games, but tied for the league lead with 16 triples.  The entire Orioles squad had 13 three-baggers.
  • Can you name the only player to appear in all 162 games this season?  Would you believe it was Prince Fielder?  He’s missed a total of 13 games over the last six years.
  • Curtis Granderson led the majors with 136 runs scored, 15 more than runner-up Ian Kinsler.  That margin is the largest for a runs leader since 1991, when Paul Molitor’s 133 were 18 more than anyone else.
  • Melky Cabrera, a career .267 hitter coming into 2011, hit .305 with 201 hits.  This is only the 27th time in baseball history that a 200+ hit player batted .305 or lower.
  • Jeff Francoeur had 47 doubles and 20 homers in a solid season for the Royals.  However, he scored a mere 77 runs despite his extra-base prowess.  That’s the fewest runs ever scored while having those minimum number of doubles and homers.
  • Victor Martinez (12 homers) and Michael Young (11 homers) each managed to drive in over 100 runs.  The last time we had at least two players with 100+ RBIs and 12 or fewer homers was 1975.
  • 78 players struck out 100 or more times in 2011, the fifth-highest total ever (each of the last five seasons are in there). A record nine players had 162 or more strikeouts.
  • There has been only 54 player-seasons of 10 or more homers but an OPS of .625 or less.  The 2011 White Sox had two of them (Alex Rios and Adam Dunn).
  • Speaking of Dunn, he had 66 total hits all year.  Prior to 2011, he had seven seasons (out of his first ten) of 63 or more extra-base hits.  Only 12 players in history had more 63+ XBH years in their first 10 seasons.
  • The Cubs’ Starlin Castro joined the 20-20 club . . . 20 stolen bases and 20 GIDPs.  He was the only one in the club in 2011.  Alex Rios had made it in each of the prior three seasons.
  • Reed Johnson had his second straight season of five or fewer walks in over 200 plate appearances.  Only one player in history has had three such seasons.  Johnson is the first player to end a season with ten or more HBPs and five or fewer walks.

  • Justin Verlander’s 24 wins were three more than anyone else, the largest margin in that category since 1996, when John Smoltz also won 24, also three more than Andy Pettitte.
  • Hiroki Kuroda averaged a very respectable 6.3 innings per start for the Dodgers, and ended up with 29 decisions in his 32 starts, totaling 202 innings.  He is only the eighth pitcher in history to amass that many decisions in 202 or fewer innings.  He is also the first pitcher in 20 years to lose 16 games despite a WHIP of 1.213 or lower.
  • John Lackey (and his 6.41 ERA) missed qualifying for the ERA title by two innings.  His ERA would have been the highest for a qualifier since Jose Lima’s 6.99 in 2005.  As it is, its the 11th-highest for a season of at least 160 innings pitched.
  • Brian Matusz’s 10.69 ERA is the highest-ever for someone with more than 40 innings pitched in a year, just edging out one Roy Halladay.  His 3.26 HR/9 is also the highest-ever for a 40+ inning pitcher.
  • Jonny Venters appeared in a majors-leading 85 games in 2011.  With 164 appearances in his first two seasons, he ended only one behind Mitch Williams for most games in years one and two of their career.
  • This was the first season since 1995 that no one started at least 35 games.
  • James Shields threw 11 complete games, the most in the AL since 1998.  Those 11 are two more than Boston, San Diego, Cleveland, Kansas City, Houston and Milwaukee combined.
  • San Francisco used only 17 pitchers the entire season, four fewer than the next-lowest team.  On the other side, Toronto went through 30 hurlers.
  • Why did the Twins collapse?  Well, besides the injuries, Minnesota’s pitchers struck out only 940 batters, 84 fewer than any other team and 108 fewer than they did in 2010.  They walked 97 more than they did in 2010.  The Twins also committed 119 errors in the field, 41 more than in 2010.
  • Mark Buehrle completed his 11th straight 200+ inning campaign, the most 200+ inning seasons among active pitchers.
  • Bronson Arroyo allowed only 45 walks all year, but yielded 46 homers.  That’s the most homers ever allowed in a season in a season in which a pitcher yielded fewer walks than homers.  He and HOFer Robin Roberts are the only pitchers to yield fewer walks than homers in a season in which they gave up 40+ taters.
  • Matt Kemp led the majors with 10.0 WAR (wins above replacement).  The next-highest WAR amongst hitters on his own team?  Jamey Carroll’s 1.8.

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