The Major League Baseball season is winding down and as I was thinking about what to write I was drawing a bit of a blank. So, as I often do when I am bored, I started looking through baseball statistics. Yeah, I’m a baseball nerd and I wholeheartedly admit and accept this. One of the things I love about baseball is that there are just so many stats. So many in fact that some of them are not really even that meaningful. So many that you can even bend stats to your will and make a player seem better or worse than another player by the way you use the stats. Or make him just seem worse than he is. For instance: Player A’s ERA has gone up almost 18% over last season and his WHIP is a little over 14% higher than last season. Yeah, well that seems bad as his number are worsening at a hihgish rate. Well, that player is Justin Verlander and the ERA has risen to 2.82 and the WHIP is up to 1.05. Still impressive numbers, wouldn’t ya say? That was rhetorical. So, hopefully you get the point here. Now I’m gonna save the blind player comparisons I know you all enjoy and love for another day. Instead, this article will feature some random stats and information that I found possibly intriguing. Oh yeah, and they may be mostly useless. Yeah, it was not just a clever title folks! So on with the show!
Pittsburgh Pirate Jose Tabata has the honor of being one of only two players this season that has been caught stealing ten or more times, but has also managed to be successful less often than not. As in he has has been caught stealing more than he has been successful at swiping bases. The other person to accomplish this at this point in the season, since I know you are wondering, is the Diamondbacks Willie Bloomquist. Another note here, the Pirates are the only team in baseball that have more than one player who has been caught stealing more than 10 times. The other player is some no-name fella by the name of McCutchen. In fact the Pirates have the worst stolen base success rate in the majors at 56.8%. Kind of strange that Pirates would be so bad at stealing, am I right? Jack Sparrow would be ashamed!
While we’re on the topic of stolen bases, Howie Kendrick has the pleasure of being the only player in the bigs thus far this season with double digit stolen bases that has also grounded into over 20 double plays. in fact only Miguel Cabrera has grounded into more double plays than Howie. Generally you would think a guy getting a fair amount of steals would be able to avoid double plays. Granted he does not have 20 or 30 steals or anything, he is at 12, but still. It looks like he has an outside shot at this elusive 20-20 mark, but don’t hold your breath. Maybe he needs to do a better job when he puts the ball on the ground, sort of like Austin Jackson.
A-Jax is hitting .380, best in the majors, when he puts the ball on the ground. This is almost 20 points higher than number two on that list. Maybe Jim Leyland should go all Lou Brown on Jackson and make him do pushups every time he puts the ball in the air, since keeping it on the ground is clearly getting the job done like nobody’s business! Of course this will not quite work for everyone.
Take Pirate Pedro Alvarez, for instance. He is hitting .381 when he gets the ball in the air, as opposed to a meager .208 when he puts it on the ground. When he hits line drives, he is hitting .741, for those of you scoring at home. Of course many power hitters are going to have similar numbers, I just guess none of those hitters are in the current Giants lineup.
Over the last 30 days the Giants have 13 home runs, one less than Adrian Beltre in that same time span. Now Beltre is having a great last 30 days, but the fact that nine hitters are within five home runs of the Giants in that time span, is not so spectacular from San Fran’s perspective. I mean it’s as if they’re facing Kris Medlen, superstar, every time out!
Medlen has been absolutely brilliant as a starter! Brilliant! In his eight starts he has only allowed more than one earned run on one occasion. In that start he allowed an eye-popping two earned runs. He also had a streak of 39 consecutive innings where he did not allow an earned run. Not quite in Hershiser range, but impressive nevertheless! Also impressive? The Reds rotation.
Something you don’t see much these days; the Reds rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake have started all but one game for the Reds this season. That’s right, ONE! Now that’s reliability folks! The Mets, on the other hand, have used 12 different starting pitchers this season. Not sure that Reds-like reliability would have helped Houston, however.
The Astros, aptly nicknamed the Disastros this season, are actually picking up the pace with an 8-7 start to September. Those 8 wins in the first two weeks of September, ties their win total for July and August….combined. For July and August they were 8-46, a paltry .148 winning percentage. If they played that pace over an entire 162 game season they would have won 24 games. Yikes! Expansion teams can do better than that! Maybe the ‘Stros need a guy like Tim Collins in their bullpen?
Little Timmy Collins has the honor of being the only relief pitchers in the majors this season with 90 or more strikeouts, and no saves. Only three other relievers who have not been their team’s regular closer for any sort of extended period of time this year have more than 80 strikeouts- David Hernandez (90), Steve Delabar (85) and Jason Grilli (84). All four pitchers have been very effective posting solid K/BB ratios. The same cannot be said for Ricky Romero however.
Romero has a league low K/BB rate, amongst qualifying starting pitchers, of 1.20 which is probably a major reason for his big fall off this season. Second worst K/BB rate in the majors? That would be his rotation mate Henderson Alvarez with a 1.22 rate. Which would probably help explain why the Jays starters have the worst K/BB ratio in the majors at 1.74. Of course Gavin Floyd sure made a valiant effort to catch these two in that category.
A bit in the past, but in July Gavin Floyd posted a K/BB rate of .44 for the month. Now this was over 25.2 innings, but that is still impressively awful. His K/9 that month was 2.81 and his BB/9 was 6.31. What is even more weird, or impressive depending on how you look at, is Floyd still managed a 2.45 ERA for that month. Go figure, right?
Alright, so I ran out of cheesy, barely good, segues, so this one is just out of left field I guess. The Bronx Bombers are, naturally, looking to head to the playoffs, but they haven’t come this far by tripling. See, no segue whatsoever! I have no shame. Anyways, Angel Pagan of the Giants has 13 triples on the season, one more than the entire Yankees team! All of them! Every single Yankee combined! Good work Angel!
Well, there you have it, some random, possibly intriguing, but useless information for you. I hope you enjoyed this little slice of baseball nerdery and don’t you worry, I will certainly find more, and better, obscure, quite random, possibly intriguing, mostly useless information for you for next time. Until then, good day and godspeed.