Travis Wood pitches for Cincinnati while Ivan Nova looks to make it three straight wins as the Bombers visit the Great American Ballpark. Comment away.
Monday, June 20th, 2011
It is extremely rare to have two hitters post a 1.000 OPS in the same season. It hasn't happened since 2006, when the Red Sox (Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz) and the White Sox (Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome) did it.
|1||2004||St. Louis Cardinals||NL||3||Jim Edmonds / Albert Pujols / Scott Rolen|
|2||2000||Houston Astros||NL||3||Moises Alou / Jeff Bagwell / Richard Hidalgo|
|3||1996||Seattle Mariners||AL||3||Ken Griffey / Edgar Martinez / Alex Rodriguez|
|4||1929||Chicago Cubs||NL||3||Rogers Hornsby / Riggs Stephenson / Hack Wilson|
|5||2011||Boston Red Sox||AL||2||Adrian Gonzalez / David Ortiz|
|6||2006||Boston Red Sox||AL||2||David Ortiz / Manny Ramirez|
|7||2006||Chicago White Sox||AL||2||Jermaine Dye / Jim Thome|
|8||2003||St. Louis Cardinals||NL||2||Jim Edmonds / Albert Pujols|
|9||2002||Colorado Rockies||NL||2||Todd Helton / Larry Walker|
|10||2001||Colorado Rockies||NL||2||Todd Helton / Larry Walker|
|11||2000||Seattle Mariners||AL||2||Edgar Martinez / Alex Rodriguez|
|12||2000||San Francisco Giants||NL||2||Barry Bonds / Jeff Kent|
|13||1997||Cleveland Indians||AL||2||David Justice / Jim Thome|
|14||1997||Seattle Mariners||AL||2||Ken Griffey / Edgar Martinez|
|15||1996||Cleveland Indians||AL||2||Albert Belle / Jim Thome|
|16||1953||Brooklyn Dodgers||NL||2||Roy Campanella / Duke Snider|
|17||1939||Boston Red Sox||AL||2||Jimmie Foxx / Ted Williams|
|18||1937||Detroit Tigers||AL||2||Hank Greenberg / Rudy York|
|19||1937||New York Yankees||AL||2||Joe DiMaggio / Lou Gehrig|
|20||1937||St. Louis Cardinals||NL||2||Joe Medwick / Johnny Mize|
|21||1936||Cleveland Indians||AL||2||Earl Averill / Hal Trosky|
|22||1936||New York Yankees||AL||2||Bill Dickey / Lou Gehrig|
|23||1933||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|24||1932||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|25||1931||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|26||1930||Chicago Cubs||NL||2||Gabby Hartnett / Hack Wilson|
|27||1930||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|28||1930||Philadelphia Athletics||AL||2||Jimmie Foxx / Al Simmons|
|29||1930||Philadelphia Phillies||NL||2||Chuck Klein / Lefty O'Doul|
|30||1930||New York Giants||NL||2||Mel Ott / Bill Terry|
|31||1930||St. Louis Cardinals||NL||2||Chick Hafey / George Watkins|
It goes on a while longer, about 40 of them in all.
But many of those occurred during eras of major offensive explosions — the 1930s and late 1990s/early 2000s — when getting to 1.000 was much easier. So how about those who posted a 165 OPS+ or better?
|1||2011||Boston Red Sox||AL||2||Adrian Gonzalez / David Ortiz|
|2||2004||St. Louis Cardinals||NL||2||Jim Edmonds / Albert Pujols|
|3||1997||Seattle Mariners||AL||2||Ken Griffey / Edgar Martinez|
|4||1992||San Diego Padres||NL||2||Fred McGriff / Gary Sheffield|
|5||1989||San Francisco Giants||NL||2||Will Clark / Kevin Mitchell|
|6||1963||San Francisco Giants||NL||2||Orlando Cepeda / Willie Mays|
|7||1961||New York Yankees||AL||2||Mickey Mantle / Roger Maris|
|8||1959||Milwaukee Braves||NL||2||Hank Aaron / Eddie Mathews|
|9||1937||New York Yankees||AL||2||Joe DiMaggio / Lou Gehrig|
|10||1937||St. Louis Cardinals||NL||2||Joe Medwick / Johnny Mize|
|11||1933||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|12||1932||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|13||1931||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|14||1930||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|15||1929||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|16||1928||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|17||1927||New York Yankees||AL||2||Lou Gehrig / Babe Ruth|
|18||1922||Detroit Tigers||AL||2||Ty Cobb / Harry Heilmann|
|19||1921||Detroit Tigers||AL||2||Ty Cobb / Harry Heilmann|
|20||1902||Cleveland Bronchos||AL||2||Charlie Hickman / Nap Lajoie|
Nineteen pairs until this year and just four in the past 45. Let's look at those four and compare them to the fifth pair aspiring to join them:
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
Here’s to all the fathers out there. Enjoy your day.
Boston looks to bounce back from yesterday’s anemic performance where the bats couldn’t overcome three long balls given up by Jon Lester. Yovani Gallardo goes for Milwaukee, while Tim Wakefield gets the ball the home team. Comment away.
Let’s put the Cubber-Rubber here too.
Saturday, June 18th, 2011
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs on Josh Beckett's amazing resurgence:
Last year, Beckett had an xFIP of 3.86, 8% below league average. This year, Beckett is posting a 3.69 xFIP, 8% below the league average. In fact, his K/BB ratio is almost exactly identical (2.58 last year, 2.63 this year) to what it was a year ago. His ERA has been slashed by over four runs thanks to huge reductions in two factors that are counted in xFIP – BABIP and HR/FB. …
This year, Beckett has the lowest BABIP (.217) of any starter in baseball, and his 3.9% HR/FB rate is the fifth lowest of any qualified starter. He’s regressed right past the mean, and now his performance in 2011 is as unsustainble as his 2010 performance was, just in the other direction this time. Just like Beckett was a great pick to improve upon his struggles last year, he’s a good bet to regress in the second half of this year. …
Josh Beckett was never terrible, and he’s not amazing now. More than anything else, he’s an example of why ERA isn’t a good tool for projecting future pitching performances.
This is true to an extent, but as Marc Normandin points out in the comments, Beckett was so hittable in part because his back prevented him from properly throwing his curveball, not only because he was unlucky with balls in play and home runs.
Aside from that point, there's a conflation in the final paragraph of "projectability" with "amazingness/terribleness."
In the end, pitching is about results, and while I agree ERA is not useful in isolation to predict future performance, it is a decent measure of how well a pitcher handled his primary job of preventing runs. In the end, a 5.78 ERA is terrible and a 1.86 ERA is amazing.
This is probably my No. 1 beef with Fangraphs — perhaps the only one beyond their hideous green-themed website, truth be told. Their WAR figures for pitchers are based on FIP, rendering useless a statistic purporting to assess a player's value because it ignores how valuable a pitcher actually has been.
It's not that I disagree with discrediting or devaluing a lot of the traditional statistics, like batting average, wins and RBI. But that's because those categories incorrectly or incompletely assess current performances, regardless of projectability. But this is a whole new level: The dismissal of actual results in assessing a player's value. Josh Beckett was terrible in 2010. He is amazing now. Those are completely different assessments from whether he will be either of those things in the future.
Road wins are great, mostly because they're historically harder to come by for the Red Sox, who tend to be a .500 team away from Fenway Park (as we've discussed before). Road wins against tough AL East opponents are even better. Going 8-1 in New York, Toronto and Tampa? That's inconceivable.
The Sox are now 22-14 on the road, a .611 winning percentage, higher than the .594 they've posted at home. Using the same, totally unscientific method we used back in April, we should expect a Sox team playing 36 road games and 32 home games to go 18-18 away from Fenway and 22-10 in the home confines for a total record of 40-28, a 95-win pace. The Sox are three games off the mark at home but four games ahead of it on the road, and so are 41-27, one game better than the goal.
Though they've been in first place for a week, this really marks the point at which the Sox have dug out of their season-opening hole. The Red Sox are no longer taking advantage of what appears to be an unusually weak division to stay in the race; they are legitimately on pace for a season on par with the playoff-contending teams they have fielded for the better part of a decade.
The best part, however, is that they have done this while playing more games on the road than at home. For the rest of the season, they have more home games than road games to play overall, as well as against all of their AL East rivals, including two-thirds of their remaining nine games against the Yankees. They also have the vast majority of their interleague schedule left to play, something the Sox have dominated with at least a .611 winning percentage in each of the past six seasons.
If the Sox simply play to their recent norms at home and on the road, they would go 23-22 on the road and 33-16 at home, finishing the season with 97 wins.
Of course, that's no guarantee. Jed Lowrie, a big part of the team's early success in climbing back from the 2-10 start, is likely headed to the DL. Clay Buchholz, a huge part of providing stability to the starting rotation, has had back problems linger through four starts. John Lackey remains a huge question mark, and relying on the likes of Alfredo Aceves, Tim Wakefield and Andrew Miller for anything more than the occasional start is a scary prospect. The bullpen, despite Theo Epstein's best efforts, remains a big question mark. And the team could simply slump again and fall off the 95-97-win pace again.
But right now, with eight road wins against division opponents in the bag and 15 games against National League opponents coming up, the Red Sox have put themselves in the ideal position moving toward the season's halfway mark.
Thursday, June 16th, 2011
The Yankees have signed 32-year-old Brian Gordon who opted out of his minor league contract with the Phillies. He starts against the only team with whom he’s had big-league action — he had three relief appearances in 2007 for Texas — while his former club sends C.J. Wilson. The action has already commenced. Comment away.
No long missives here about last night’s beautiful victory. Just a smile, a picture, and a quick thought. The Bruins, a long love of ours that faded when Joe Thornton was traded and came back to life in time to see the team squander an historic 3-0 series and game lead against Philly, won the Stanley Cup. We truly, sincerely, never thought we’d utter that phrase, “the Bruins won the Stanley Cup”. For us it was a video game fantasy, a lifelong jealousy of other teams.
No more. Congrats to the Bs.
It's not every day it's your birthday. It's not every day you hit a homer in a major league baseball game. So it's more than a little special when you combine the two.
Congratulations to Eduardo Nunez on a once-in-a-lifetime moment! Happy 24th!
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Should we see the Yanks that score a bushel and a peck of runs or the Yanks that strand everyone? Ivan Nova has the ball for the Bombers while Derek Holland gets to unwrap the puzzling prize that is the Yankee lineup. Comment away.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Tyler Kepner tweeted that this game should get started around 7:40pm. When it does, we will see C.C. on the mound for New York against Texas, who send undefeated Alexi Ogando. The lanky right-hander has some scary numbers in his young career. Comment away.