Last Monday night, HighHeatStats tweeted the following:
High Heat Stats
Boxscore Trivia (difficulty 4 out of 5): what happened most recently in this 1995 game? http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU199507250.shtml …
In attempting to answer the question, I misread the boxscore and this conversation ensued:
intentionally walking the pitcher?
@dianagram wow did that happen? Not what I was looking for.
But it got me wondering if there had ever been an intentional walk of a pitcher. With the Baseball Reference Play Index Event Finder fired up, I found these nine occurrences since 1945 (as far back as the Event Finder goes, with the caveat that IBBs were not an officially-tracked statistic until 1955):
Schoolboy Rowe could really handle himself at the plate. As a 22-year-old in A-ball in 1932, he hit .295 and smacked ten homers in 112 at-bats, while also going 19-7 on the mound with a 1.094 WHIP. In 1943, at the age of 33, he hit .294/.390/.510 in 59 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, to go along with a .304/.385/.420 rate in games he actually started at pitcher.
The L.A. Dodgers have been having a hellacious time driving in baserunners this season. Going into Monday night’s action, they are tied for sixth in the Majors with a .335 team OBP. However, they are next to last in runs per game, at 3.47. So, it shouldn’t surprise you to read that they are 28th in the league in OPS with men on base (.656), and also 28th with men in scoring position (.618).
Add it all up and the Dodgers have driven in only 23% of their baserunners this season (RS%), far below the MLB average of 30%:
Note: RS% = (R-HR)/(H+HBP+BB-HR)
Here are the only teams to drive in no more than 25% of their baserunners over a full season:
|* Also had 39 HBP. HBP data unavailable for other teams
As you can see, only one team since 1972 has driven in 25% or less of their baserunners . . . the woeful 2010 Mariners who finished 61-101, and only the ’68 Braves finished at or above .500.
April has come and gone, so let us see which hurlers are leading their respective leagues in the race for the annual “Pi Young Award“.
First up . . . the American League/no innings requirement. Cleveland’s Justin Masterson is only .02 off the magic mark, with the Red Sox’ resurgent Jon Lester right behind him at 3.11 and A’s reliever Pat Neshek .04 away in third.
The race is almost exactly the same for the American League/ERA qualifiers group, as Masterson and Lester hold down the top two spots, and they are joined by the Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie at 3.06.
In the National League/no innings requirement race, despite (or maybe because of) getting roughed up by the Tigers in his last start, the Braves’ Mike Minor is at the top of the heap at 3.13. He’s in a statistical dead-heat with tough-luck Stephen Strasburg. Diamondbacks reliever Tony Sipp is right behind those two at 3.12.
In the National League/ERA qualifiers contest, Minor and Strasburg are still one and two respectively, while the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn slips into third.
Friend of the VORG Rob (aka @StumpTheRob) tweeted at me a couple of nights ago:
@StumpTheRob @dianagram Got a project for you, but it starts with this trivia ?: what do Kyle Seager and Tony Cingrani have in common?
I wondered if it had to do with the last names of the players (since I DO like to have fun with names and such). Eventually Rob mentioned that Damian Miller also met this criteria at one point in his career. I was still stumped, and then Rob told me it was related to the teams these guys played for . . . and THAT’S when I got it.
So, having solved the riddle, I’ve done the research for the project and present to you . . .
The players whose first three letters of their last name match the three-letter abbreviation of the city/team for which they at one time played:
Coming into the 2013 season, Reds outfield Shin-Soo Choo had 2,960 plate appearances, and had been hit by a pitch in 55 of them (one HBP every 54 PAs). This season, through Monday night’s action, for whatever reason, Choo has already been hit ten times in 95 plate appearances (you can figure out that ratio yourself). Combined with 13 walks and an NL-leading 26 hits, its helped vault him to a Majors-leading .521 OBP.
So what’s with the HBPs? How much of a statistical oddity are we looking at here?
- With ten HBPs on the 22nd of the month, Choo has already set the mark for most plunkings during March/April, and he has a distinct chance of breaking the record of 11 HBPs in any calendar month, held by Ron Hunt, Don Baylor and Minnie Minoso.
- The player with the fewest PAs in a season with at least ten HBPs is Fernando Vina, who got nailed 12 times in 150 PAs in 1994.
- Those ten HBPs already received would have led the Majors for the 1932, 1934, 1942, 1946, 1948 and 1949 seasons.
- Prior to this season, no player has maintained a rate of at least one HBP per 9.5 PAs for anything more than 23 PAs (Chad Meyers had 4 HBPs in his 23 PAs in 2001). Interestingly, Kyle Blanks has averaged one HBP per eight PAs so far this season (only 24 PAs).
- Choo only has three more walks than HBPs. The most plate appearances in a season in which a player had more HBPs than free passes is 599, done by Art Fletcher of the 1915 New York Giants.
- Choo has one more HBP than RBI right now (10 to 9). Ron Hunt had three straight seasons like this (1971-3).
- Choo has ten extra-base hits and ten HBPs. In Hunt’s 1971 season, he had only 28 XBHs compared to 50 HBPs.
- Choo has seen 401 pitches in his 95 plate appearances this season. He’s getting plunked once out of every 40 pitches seen.
- He’s been hit with the first pitch of an at-bat three times already, and three more with the count even at 1-1. Seven times with the bases empty and no out, Choo has been plunked.
Friend of the VORG Keith DeCandido alerted me to the following Wednesday afternoon:
Ben Francisco batting before Francisco Cervelli, and I’m wondering how often that’s happened. (Paging @dianagram….)
Well, after poring over the nearly 160,000 Retrosheet gamelogs of NL/AL games through 2012, it appears that there have been approximately 130 instances of one player’s last name being the same as the first name in the next batter in the lineup.
The first occurrence came on September 13, 1916 in the second game of a doubleheader between the Cardinals and Phillies. The Cardinals third hitter, SS Dot Miller, was immediately followed in the batting order by 2B Miller Huggins. The most recent occasion (prior to 2013) was April 12, 2011 when the Mariners SS Brendan Ryan was followed by CF Ryan Langerhans in their game against the Blue Jays. There has never been a “trio” in a single lineup, though on May 30, 1958 the Dodgers had C Sammy Taylor, 2B Tony Taylor and P Taylor Phillips as the bottom third of the order.
The most frequent “name duo” in history is Casey Blake and Blake DeWitt, who were in the same lineup in the same order 41 times for the Dodgers between 2008 and 2010. Here is the list of lineup pairings for all 130 occurrences through 2012:
|Casey Blake, Blake DeWitt
|Jake Early, Early Wynn
|Felix Jose, Jose Lind
|Greek George, George Kell
|Dan Wilson, Wilson Valdez
|Roberto Kelly, Kelly Dransfeldt
|Sammy Taylor, Taylor Phillips
|Brendan Ryan, Ryan Ludwick
|Vance Wilson, Wilson Delgado
|Chad Curtis, Curtis Pride
|Cliff Lee, Lee King
|Cody Ross, Ross Gload
|Brendan Ryan, Ryan Langerhans
|Tony Taylor, Taylor Phillips
|Desi Wilson, Wilson Delgado
|Donnie Scott, Scott Scudder
|Dots Miller, Miller Huggins
|Josh Paul, Paul Byrd
|Rodney Scott, Scott Sanderson
And here is the list of each occurrence by date:
Its Sunday . . . time for another baseball crossword puzzle!
Before we get to the standard VORG Crossword, here is the solution to puzzle #7:
And here is the solution to the “Opening Day” puzzle that appeared at ESPN.COM:
Here is puzzle #8. As always you can solve it online here, and print out a PDF version of it.
1. Turkish title
5. Ballpark worker
10. “Sac fly and an ____”
13. Senators catcher who scored winning run in 1924 World Series game 7
14. Bowler’s pickup
15. Starring role
16. Chin-hui ___, first Taiwanese player in the Majors (2003)
17. Golfer with an “army”
19. One of two pitchers Red Sox obtained in Beckett/Crawford/Gonzalez trade
22. Film special effects, briefly
24. “Is that ___?”
25. Like Mayberry
26. Current Giants batting coach
32. Ricelike pasta
33. Like a busybody
34. ____ Diaz, Indians catcher in early 2000s
36. Be slack-jawed
40. Starr or Simpson
41. Entertained, in a way
42. To breathe rapidly and deeply in a panic
47. 1988 AL Cy Young winner
48. Common deciduous tree
49. ___ Barker, pitched perfect game in 1981
50. The quality or state of being unbeatable
55. HOF pitcher Coveleski
57. Allergic reaction
60. Reds pitching prospect Cigrani
62. 1.60934 kilometers
63. Singer DiFranco
64. That is, in Latin
65. Wood sorrels
1. Tigers pitcher Houtteman, who won 19 in 1950 and lost 20 two years later
2. Early Wynn’s nickname
3. Part of salary arbitration processes
4. He piloted his team to 100 wins in 2003, yet finished 4th in NL Mgr. of Yr. vote
6. With agility
7. Full house, e.g.
8. Home of the SeaWolves (Tigers Double-A affiliate)
9. Film unit
10. Like many evangelicals
11. Trees with soft wood
15. Reds’ catcher during early 2000s
20. Christian of “The Dark Knight Rises”
21. Folkie Guthrie
22. “Rush Hour” star, 1998
23. ____ Petralli, Rangers backup catcher during late ’80s-early ’90s
27. Like a fox
28. HOFer Ward from the 1800s
29. Mariano Rivera’s 2.21 is the active leader
30. Fielding meas. based on range
34. Matt Holliday had a moth extracted from this during game on 8/23/2011
35. Hip-hop producer Gotti
36. Baseball’s Benji or Geronimo
37. Skilled in reasoning
38. ____ Gray, one-armed OFer from 1945
41. User-edited Web site
42. Chuck ____, OFer for Senators and Indians in the 1960s
43. Brewers ace Gallardo
44. “Elder” of ancient history
45. Boom, zoom and vroom
47. Far-reaching view
51. Cartel city
52. Bibliographical abbr.
53. 1974 NL Rookie of the Year McBride
54. ___ Perez, OFer for Mets in early 2000s
58. Former sidearming reliever Meredith