The VORG 2013 World Series Preview

Other sites can give you all the match-ups and tactical forecasts for the showdown between the Red Sox and Cardinals.  At the VORG, we’re going to give you the fact(oids) about each of the main contributors for each team:

Cardinals:

Yadier Molina, in his age-30 season, lashed a career-high 44 doubles in 2013. That is the most doubles EVER hit in a season by a catcher age 30 or older.

Matt Adams is just the third player from Slippery Rock University to make the Majors and the first since Bob Shawkey in 1913.

Matt Carpenter led the Majors with 55 doubles.  Amongst batting title qualifiers, Carpenter achieved the third-most extra-base hits (73) all-time in a season in which at least 75% of those hits were doubles.

Pete Kozma put up a line of .217/.275/.273 in 448 plate appearances in 2013.  You have to go back 23 years to find a slash line that bad in each category in that many plate appearances.

David Freese posted the ninth-lowest home slugging percentage (.335) of any batter with at least 250 plate appearances at home in 2013.  This is after Freese slugged no worse than .439 at home in any year prior.

Matt Holliday has been hit-by-pitch between eight and ten times in each of the last seven seasons.  He is one behind Frank Robinson for most seasons with exactly 8, 9 or 10 plunks.

Jon Jay hit .393/.424/.541 in the fifth inning of games this season (68 PAs).  That batting average led the Majors for batters in the fifth inning of games (min. 68 PAs).  Of all player names in ML history with three letters in both the first and last, only Gus Gil and Jon Jay are alliterative.

Carlos Beltran only stole two bases in 2013 (and got caught once), but with a career success rate of 86.5% (308 out of 356), he has the best SB% of anyone with 350 or more steal attempts.

Allen Craig hit an incredible .454/.500/.638 in 152 PAs with runners in scoring position in 2013.  The .454 mark led the Majors for anyone with at least 100 PAs in such situations, and was the third-highest all-time (since 1945).

Adam Parrish Wainwright” anagrams to “I am a withdrawn, rash prig.”   He is only the second player in MLB history with the middle name of “Parrish” (ironically, the other has the first name of “Adam” and his last name also starts with “W”).

With 34 wins through 2013, Lance Lynn is already sixth all-time in pitcher wins for anyone born on May 12.  However, he has the second-worst ERA+ of any pitcher with a .650+ winning percentage in at least 50 decisions through their first three seasons.

Starting pitcher Joe Kelly makes the third-such named player in MLB history.  Joseph Henry Kelly was an outfielder who played from 1914-1919, hitting a middling .224 in 376 games (he at least died in Missouri, home of the Cardinals).  Joseph James Kelly was a pinch-hitter, outfielder and first baseman for the Cubs in 1926 and 1928.  He was born on April 23, 1900, the exact same day as Cardinals legend Jim Bottomley.

Michael Wacha is the first “Wacha” in MLB history.  With the possibility of two starts in the Series, he COULD amass more wins this post-season (possible 5) than he had in the regular season (4).

Shelby Miller is the first player with the first name of  “Shelby” to make the Majors.  Miller is the third pitcher taken by the Cardinals with the 19th pick of the first round of the draft in the last five seasons (his teammate Wacha is another).

We all know Trevor Rosenthal possesses a lethal fastball that amassed 12.9K per nine this season, but his stats would have been even gaudier if he was luckier on balls in play. Rosenthal’s .347 BABIP in 2013 was the 20th-highest average all-time amongst relievers with 70 or more appearances in a season.

Seth Maness is the 14th player to make the Majors from East Carolina University.  Chad Tracy was the only other alum active in 2013.  None of the 14 have ever made an All-Star team.

Edward Mujica may have lost his closer’s role at the end of the year, but it wasn’t because of his control.  He compiled the 2nd-lowest walk rate of any pure reliever with at last 65 appearances in a season.

Red Sox:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s last name is the longest in MLB history (14 letters).  When he faces off against Al Alburquerque, their combined 26 letters tie for the most in a batter/pitcher matchup in history (with VanLandingham and Hollandsworth).  When he hit back-to-back homers with teammate Will Middlebrooks in 2012, their last names (again, combined 26 letters) set a record for back-to-back homers.

Mike Napoli had a very impressive first season exclusively at first base.  He led all 1Bs in UZR in 2013.

Dustin Pedroia‘s name anagrams to the word “superaddition”, which means “the act of adding something in excess or something extraneous; also, something which is added in excess or extraneously.”  He had the second-best average in the Majors after an 0-2 count in 2013 (.293).

Stephen Drew‘s career totals in each of his extra-base categories are multiples of 30: 210 doubles, 60 triples, 90 homers (and he turned 30 prior to this season).   He is the only player in MLB history with the middle name of “Oris”.

Will Middlebrooks has career totals of 32 homers and 33 walks. If he can amass two more homers than walks in the next few years, he could possibly set the all-time record for most career homers while exceeding career walks.

Jonny Gomes hit .091/.286/.121 in the 8th inning of games this season, the worst batting average and second-worst slugging for anyone with at least 40 plate appearances in that situation.  Interestingly, he hit .316/.435/.658 in the ninth inning of games.  The resulting 1.093 OPS was the ninth-highest in that inning.

Jacoby Ellsbury‘s homers in seasons where he had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title: 9, 8, 32, 9.  He’s hit 65 homers in his career, and nearly half of them came in 2011.  He already leads all Oregon State alum (25 others to make the Majors), in 2B, 3B, HR, RBI and SB and trails only Ed Coleman in OPS.

Shane Victorino went 21-24 in stolen base attempts this season.  He is 211-252 (83.7%) since 2007, which places him third (behind Coco Crisp and teammate Jacoby Ellsbury) for best success rate (min. 200 attempts) in that period.

David Ortiz hit a gaudy .522/.569/.913 in 51 plate appearances during the second inning of games in 2013 (most likely leading off the second with the bases empty, but STILL).  Not only was that .120 better than anyone else with at least 50 second inning PAs, it was the highest mark for ANY batter in ANY inning with at least 50 PAs.

Daniel Nava batted .318/.404/.448 as a left fielder but only .262/.342/.383 as a right fielder in 2013.

Xander Bogaerts is the first “Xander” in MLB history as well as the first “Bogaerts”.   His middle name (Jan) is found in only one other MLBer, Noble Jan Dukes.

Jon Lester has started 194 games (11th-most), worked 1,232 innings (12th-most) and thrown 20,238 pitches (6th-most) since 2008.

John Lackey finished with the lowest WHIP (1.157) of his career, yet ended up 10-13.  Since the advent of the DH, Lackey is one of only 37 pitchers to qualify for the ERA title, finish under .500, and have a WHIP that low.

Ryan Dempster led the NL in games finished (64) in 2006 and games started (34) in 2011.   Swing at his first pitch of an at-bat and you’ll do well, as opponents batted .449 (fifth-worst of anyone with at least 20 starts in 2013) when they put the first offering in play.

After allowing five homers to 197 left-handed batters in 2012, Felix Doubront yielded just one to 192 lefties in 2013.  He’s consistent in terms of hits per inning pitched.  He pitched 161 innings and yielded 162 hits in 2012.  This season: 162.1 innings pitched, 161 hits allowed.

Clay Buchholz yielded only four homers in 108.1 innings this year.  He is the 39th starting pitcher in the DH era to throw at least 100 innings and have a HR/9 rate as low as 0.33.

Junichi Tazawa‘s .143 opponents’ batting average with RISP was the second-lowest in the Majors for any pitcher facing at least 75 at-bats in those situations.

A “peavy” is “a wooden lever with a metal pointed end and a hinged hook, used for handling logs”.  Jake Peavy is one of only two guys from St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama to make the Majors.

Craig Breslow fashioned a 1.81 ERA in the bullpen in 2013, despite seeing his K/9 drop from 8.7 to 5.0 and his ball in play percentage rise from 64% to 76%.  Credit the defense behind him, as they turned double plays in a career-high 16% of his opportunities.

Koji Uehara has compiled a 0.702 WHIP in 219.1 career relief innings since 2010.  That is 0.200 BETTER than ANY other reliever has compiled over at least that many innings.

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