On Complete Games, Milestones and Other Oddities

Interesting notes and tidbits while you wait to see if you’ve won the ($13,500 and counting) Ortiz home run ball and the team plays out the string in this Lost Season:

  • Julian Tavarez’s complete game was just the second this season by a Sox starter — the other being Tim Wakefield’s complete game loss April 15. Raise your hand if you’d have guessed at any point since his acquisition that Julian Tavarez would be the only Sox pitcher with a complete game win in 2006.
  • If the Sox finish with just two complete games, it will set the franchise record for fewest complete games in a season, breaking the record of three set in 2001, when Hideo Nomo had two and Pedro Martinez one. (I should note I checked only as far back as 1960, but complete games were quite common then and only get more common the further back you go).
  • David Ortiz set the Sox record of course with his 51st home run this week. He has no chance of surpassing Jimmie Foxx’s club RBI record of 175, set the same year (1938) Foxx hit 50. With 132 RBI, Papi is currently in 15th place, five behind Ted Williams’ 1942 season and Vern Stephens’ 1948 season. His 111 walks rank him 16th, behind four Hall of Famers and Dwight Evans (Williams holds the top seven single-season walk totals in Red Sox history, including 162 in 1947 and 1949). Ortiz’s .635 slugging percentage ties him for 10th all time with Williams’ 1954 season.
  • Jonathan Papelbon seems done for the season at 35 saves, which is fourth all time in Sox history, behind Tom Gordon (46, 1998), Derek Lowe (42, 2000) and Ugueth Urbina (40, 2002).
  • Mike Lowell is also a double shy of setting a career high and one home run short of hitting 20 for the fourth time in five years.
  • And finally, this interesting note: Chien-Ming Wang is 20th in the AL in Average Game Score (a Bill James metric in which a Game Score is found by starting at 50 points and adding a set number for strikeouts, innings pitched, etc, and subtracting a set number for hits, runs, etc.) with a 50.4. Right behind? Randy Johnson and Josh Beckett (50.3).
5 comments… add one
  • That tidbit about Chien-Ming Wang, if I may say, is unsurprising. He gets quite a bit of luck on the mound. More power to him, unless he’s pitching against the Sox. A starter that depends more on good fielding than Derek Lowe? Wasn’t sure it was possible. And honestly, with the Yanks’ infield D, which ranges from 1B (Giambi and Wilson. Yawn at BEST), 2B (Cano is getting better, I’ll definitely grant that.), SS (Wow. Probably best not to re-start this argument for now) and the new ‘yips’ at 3B, it makes it all the more amazing. Personally, I feel anyone like him who basically gets by on wit and guile is fun to watch (would be even more fun to watch on another team!). Think Jamie Moyer. No above-average pitches to speak of, but man he succeeds on the mound.
    That being said, looking at his rating on the newer statistics like this, he’s clearly going to get more Cy consideration than he probably deserves. Not that it matters, since Johan should win with all the first place votes in hand.
    Some…interesting company on the saves list for Paps. An alleged murderer, a philanderer, and honestly, well. Other than going to the Yankees, it’s hard to think of a strong negative for Flash.

    Quo September 23, 2006, 4:58 am
  • A guy who can’t strike anyone out when he really needs to is living on borrowed time while on the mound. Not because it’s Wang, or anyone else for that matter (I’ve said the same about Lowe and others), but sooner or later, those balls that are being hit right at the infield will start to find the holes between them.

    Brad September 23, 2006, 12:40 pm
  • the lack of strike outs worry me, but he has been developing a much better slider for his put-away pitch. hopefully it well get even better. i’ve read before that in the minors he threw too many pitches. so they focused on developing one. the sinker. i’ve also read that he likes throwing that sinker, because he likes playing with the batter. frustrating them. which is pretty funny.

    m.g. yanks fan September 23, 2006, 1:39 pm
  • Wang’s certainly having a nice season, but I wouldn’t want to bet on his repeating it year after year. There are way too many variations that can occur when the ball is put in play that often off a pitcher, and that Yankee infield defense isn’t going to get much better as the players age.
    I have to add that I’ve really enjoyed watching Mike Lowell’s resurgance. After hearing so many people (not me) declare him dead weight and a “thow-in” last November, it’s nice to see the heaping plates of crow pile up. There’s some talk that the FO may deal Lowell during the offseason, but I hope they don’t. Good defensive 3B with above-average sticks don’t grow on trees, and he’s a class act besides. One of my favorite players on the whole 2006 squad.

    mouse September 23, 2006, 2:28 pm
  • Yeah, there’s a good chance that the gold-glove will reside in Boston for third and SS this year. That aside, both those players have been more than advertised offensively this year. I’ll be surprised if Boston lets either of these two players go this offseason.

    Brad September 23, 2006, 4:53 pm

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