2006-04-21T01:12:11.826-04:00Sorry I haven't been posting...just got a new job.
2006-04-03T23:08:52.126-04:00Happy Opening Day, aka, Christmas!
2006-04-02T15:34:27.710-04:00A few Random lists and stuff:
X Player Team HR(Rank) RBI(Rank)
40 Gary Sheffield NYY 34(T15) 123(6)
30 Joege Cantu TB 28(T31) 117(T8)
25 Hideki Matsui NYY 23(T53) 116(T11)
20 Garret Anderson LAA 17(T98) 96(32)
15 Garrett Atkins COL 13(T140) 89(T39)
10 Edgar Renteria BOS 8(T220) 70(T89)
5 Jason Kendall OAK 0(T492) 53(T172)
Name Year HBP EBH DIFF
Ron Hunt 1971 50 28 -22
Ron Hunt 1973 24 14 -10
Ron Hunt 1972 26 20 -6
Ron Hunt 1968 25 21 -4
Ron Hunt 1974 14 15 1
Ron Hunt 1969 25 29 4
Wally Gerber 1926 3 8 5
Alex Cora 2004 18 23 5
Dave Chalk 1976 10 15 5
Ivy Griffin 1920 11 16 5
2006-03-30T13:48:26.270-05:00Just a quick follow-up to my previous post on Doubles and Homers, in which I listed the players who hit at least 40 more two-baggers than round-trippers. So, as a proper Esotericist, you must have been asking yourself, "Well, what about the opposite situation?" Well, funny you should ask. Here are those with 35 or more homers than doubles.Name Year 2B HR DiffMark McGwire 1998 21 70 49Sammy Sosa 1998 20 66 46Roger Maris 1961 16 61 45Mark McGwire 1999 21 65 44Barry Bonds 2001 32 73 41Sammy Sosa 1999 24 63 39Harmon Killebrew 1964 11 49 38Mickey Mantle 1961 16 54 38It's interesting, if unsurprising, that Maris and Mantle from the '61 home run chase as well as McGwire and Sosa from the '98 and '99 editions all make the list. McGwire is the king, though. He hit 20 more homers than doubles eight times in his career. Killebrew tops the under-50HR group with crazy-low total of 11 doubles. Interestingly, Maris actually hit more doubles (34) than home runs (33) in '62.A couple of Honorable Mention seasons:Name Year 2B HR DiffDave Kingman 1982 9 37 28Mark McGwire 2001 4 29 25Kingman actually led the league in homers in '82, while compiling an astonishingly miniscule nine two-baggers...in 607 trips to the plate! McGwire? Well, 2001, his last season, was just a bizarre (and shortened) year for him.Robles and RunnelsNo, that's not the newest online fantasy game, it brings us to today's topic. 2005 saw some historic stolen base futility. Imagine attempting to steal for the first time and getting caught. And then the second time, too. And then the third and fourth time. I'd think you would get discouraged, or (at least, if I were the manager) that you would get a big fat don't-even-run-on-a-hit-and-run red light! But apparently Jim Tracy had unbelievable faith in rookie Oscar Robles and let him run into a ball-filled glove eight times! Robles' 0-for-8 was the second worst o-fer of all time, next to his friend in futility (and alliteration) Pete Runnels' 0-for-10 fiasco in 1952 (he definitely did not put the "Run" in Runnels :). This followed an 0-for-3 rookie campaign for Runnels, meaning he began his career by being thrown out each of the first 13 times he tried to steal (and maybe worse)! Hopefully, Robles won't follow in his, ahem, footsteps and better Runnels' career 42% (37-for-88) stolen base percentage. For the record, the only other SB shutout of that magnitude was turned in by Jose Offerman in 2000, who was also 0-for-8.Just a hair behind Robles was Angel Juan Rivera, whose pathetic 1-for-10 effort was also historic. Check out the 10% club:Name Year SB CS SB PctZeb Terry 1921 1 13 7.1%Eddie Yost 1957 1 11 8.3%Jose Vizcaino 1994 1 11 8.3%Bobby Doerr 1939 1 10 9.1%Juan Rivera 2005 1 9 10.0%Soup Campbell 1941 1 9 10.0%Hod Ford 1924 1 9 10.0%Eddie Mayo 1948 1 9 10.0%Elliott Maddox 1980 1 9 10.0%I love these kinds of lists: some notable names mixed in with Hod Ford, Soup Campbell, and Eddie Mayo. Man, what was Vizcaino thinking in '94?The Good GuysThere was also some historic and near historic base-stealing in 2005, including a much-larger-than-usual number of near-perfect seasons. Check it out.Player SB CS SB PctJason Bay 21 1 95.5%Johnny Damon 18 1 94.7%Reggie Sanders 14 1 93.3%Willie Bloomquist 14 1 93.3%Mike Cameron 13 1 92.9%Vladimir Guerrero 13 1 92.9%Joe Mauer 13 1 92.9%Craig Biggio 11 1 91.7%Emil Brown 10 1 90.0%There were a total of nine 10+ SB near perfect seasons, the most ever. The previous high was eight in 1995. As many of you know, Kevin McReynolds set the record for a perfect season in 1988, going 21-for-21. But did you know that Paul Molitor nearly matched him in 1994 with a 20-for-20 mark (and the[...]
2006-03-28T14:54:54.956-05:00I've started a Yahoo! Group to provide a forum for "special" people like us to discuss the Esoterica that only we can appreciate. Go to the following link and click the "Join This Group!" button on the upper right.
Hey all! Sorry for my extended hiatus. I got busy with other things, but I’m back, ready, and psyched for a fresh season of Esoterica. What wild, unbelievable “achievements” do we have waiting for us in the next six months? Well, we all know that with 2,430 games to be played; 22,365 innings to pitch*; 188,568 batters to come to the plate**; and more than 650,000 pitches to be thrown…yeah, you know tons of crazy stuff is gonna happen. Keep it here to keep up with all the Esoterica 2006 gives us!
*based on the average game length since 1960: 9.204 innings
**based on the average PA/game since 1994 (the power/steroids era): 77.6
2006-03-27T11:18:07.576-05:00What better way to start off 2006 than with…one last look at last season. Yes, this is the stuff I was promising at the end of last season, but, well, better late than never.
Player Year 2B HR DiffGrudzielanek takes this one hands down. You know, it’s tough to hit 54 two-baggers and not even slug .400, but Grudzie did it, slugging only .384 that historic year. But that’s not all. He also tallied more doubles than RBIs, an even rarer feat. Since 1950, this has only been done 10 times (min. 400 AB).
Mark Grudzielanek 1997 54 4 50
Wade Boggs 1989 51 3 48
George Kell 1950 56 8 48
Brian Roberts 2004 50 4 46
Jeff Cirillo 2000 53 11 42
Dave Cash 1977 42 0 42
Ferris Fain 1952 43 2 41
Pete Rose 1980 42 1 41
Lou Brock 1968 46 6 40
Jody Reed 1990 45 5 40
Ozzie Smith 1987 40 0 40
Craig Biggio 1999 56 16 40
Chuck Knoblauch 1994 45 5 40
Wade Boggs 1988 45 5 40
Matty Alou 1969 41 1 40
Pete Rose 1975 47 7 40
Player Year 2B RBI DiffGrudzie almost takes this one, too. But a dude named Frank Baumholtz destroys the comeptition in this bizarre category. Just how is it possible to bat .306 with 159 hits--including 36 doubles and a league-average .778 OPS--and only drive in 25 runs all year? His few stolen bases and unimpressive runs scored totals tell me that he probably wasn’t a leadoff hitter. Too bad we don’t have the batting-with-men-on-base splits for the Fifties! And by the way, in true Esoteric style, he never came close to duplicating that “magical” season (his second best was 19 doubles and 30 RBIs in 1948).
Frank Baumholtz 1953 36 25 11
Mark Grudzielanek 1997 54 51 3
Billy Hatcher 1990 28 25 3
Ron Hunt 1972 20 18 2
Jody Reed 1989 42 40 2
Frank Taveras 1980 27 25 2
Don Blasingame 1959 26 24 2
Mickey Morandini 1997 40 39 1
Eric Young 2002 29 28 1
Eric Young 2001 43 42 1
2005-11-21T14:40:11.556-05:00So what's the most alternating wins and losses?
2005-11-19T10:13:41.230-05:00Hey all. Sorry for not posting. I am currently upgrading my systems so I don't have to say "I wonder if that's a record" quite as much. For example, I now have the ability to find the longest "schizo" streak, that is, the most alternating wins and losses. How many do you think? Leave a comment. Answer Monday...
2005-11-11T13:22:21.096-05:00Now let's look at the runs these guys surrendered this year. First here's where their ERA's wandered in 2005. SeasonERA Range Post-AprilERA Range Lima 6.08 - 15.00 6.40 - 8.39 Milton 4.86 - 7.97 5.79 - 7.97 Clemens 0.32 - 1.89 1.10 - 1.89 Carpenter 1.29 - 7.84 2.21 - 4.24 Here's a timeline of their season's progress. (Click to enlarge) Yes, Clemens' ERA really never rose above 1.89 all season. It's unbelievable that he never even challenged that "2.00" line until very late in the season. Wonder if that's a record.And, yes, Lima's ERA really never fell below 6.08 all season. It's unbelievable that he never really challenged that "6.00" line. That is definitely a record. It was as high as 8.39 twelve starts into the season on June 4.Milton at least had a decent start. Between April 10 and 21, he actually had a better ERA than Carpenter!Carpenter's ERA didn't stay below four until May 23, largely because of a disasterous three-inning eight-run start in April 10. If it weren't for that, he'd have been dipping below three at that point.Oddly, all four pitchers displayed very similar patterns after the Break, steadily improving, and then fininshing poorly. Here's the earned runs (bottom axis) given up per start.Here's another way to look at it: 0-1 2-4 5+ Lima 4 14 14 Milton 7 14 13 Clemens 20 10 2 Carpenter 14 15 4 Some "wows" here.Lima allowed five of more runs 14 times, and Milton 13 times! Considering their average start was just over five innings, that is truly tragic. And, unsurprisingly, there was no shortage of "disaster starts"--those in which the pitcher allows more runs than innings pitched. Milton had 13 of them, an astonishing 38% of his starts. Lima wasn't far behind with 11 (34%). Both pitchers started seven games in which the opposing team finished with at least ten runs. I suppose there were money and reputation considerations, but it's hard to figure how you could keep sending these guys out there.Milton was the most Jeckyll and Hyde of the four, surrendering at least six runs ten times, but only allowing zero or one run seven times. Clemens was the most consistant. He didn't allow six runs in a start all season, and gave up only zero or one an amazing 63% of the time (20 of 32). In fact, he only gave up more than two runs five times all season! Now that's damn good.Next up, the rest.Extra EsotericaI meant to mention this in my last post when I discussed innings pitched. As you may know, Mark Buerhle ended a streak of 49 consecutive games of pitching at least six innings this past year. Well, Lima had the longest "non-Buerhle" streak of the four, and probably MLB when he went eight straight starts pitchingfewer than six between May 1 and June 9. All told, he went fewer than six in 21 of his 32 starts, as opposed to three of 33 for Carpenter.[...]
2005-11-08T14:12:11.350-05:00I'm sure many of you have tracked the seasons of two of 2005's best pitchers--Roger Clemens and Chris Carpenter--and two of the worst--Jose Lima and Eric Milton. I've tallied some interesting numbers from their performances this past season. First up, "Going Deep".
2005-11-08T14:15:39.783-05:00Pitching deep into games is a good indicator of effectiveness. Check out how they match up. Inning Reached Starts 5 6 7 8 9 Comp IP Lima 32 23 16 6 3 1 1 168.2 Milton 34 29 20 10 2 0 0 186.1 Clemens 32 31 28 23 4 0 1 211.1 Carpenter 33 31 31 26 17 8 7 241.2 Lima Time didn't last very long in 2005. He made it past the fifth inning in only half of his starts, averaging a mere 5.27 per outing. He compiled only 168.2 innings despite 32 starts. That's the second-lowest total ever for a 32-start season with no relief appearances. Who beat him out? Steve Cooke made it through only 167.1 innings in 32 starts for the 1997 Pirates. Who did Lima bump out of second place in that category? Why, Eric Milton! In 1998, the rookie Milton pitched only 172.1 innings in 32 starts for the Twins. And the most innings in a 32-start season (since WWII)? Why, it's Roger Clemens! In the same number of games as Lima, he threw 246.2 innings for Boston in 1992. To add insult to injury, in the only start in which Lima made it to the ninth, a complete game 5-hitter on August 14, he still lost 1-0.Milton, on the other hand, did make a little history here, becoming the reigning king in the 34-plus start category of Not-Even-Coming-Close-To-Finishing-What-You-Started. Since 1900 there have been 743 seasons in which a pitcher has started at least 34 games without a relief appearance. Of those, only 11 have failed to log at least 200 innings in the process. And only one didn't make it to 195 . And then along came Milton, who, in blowing past the immortal Chuck Rainey, denies him his only claim-to-fame: an anemic 191 IP over 34 starts for the 1983 Cubs. Milton stomped all over Rainey with an even more unimpressive 186.1 IP. Who could have seen that coming? Well, actually, Milton narrowly escaped joining this club just last year, compiling only 201 innings in his 34 starts, good for 50th place in innings per start amongst 2004's 57 30-plus-game starters. But that didn't stop Cincinnati from giving him more than $25 million!Clemens was an interesting case. He had pretty good staying power, averaging 6.60 innings each time on the mound. But what makes that impressive--unbelievable, actually--is that he only got to the eighth four times! That's only one more time than Lima. He apparently had a predictable tiring point: he pitched exactly 7 innings in 19 of his 32 starts. Verrry interesting...Carpenter was the workhorse. He pitched 73 more innings than Lima despite making only one more start than him, and 55.1 innings more than Milton despite making one fewer start. He reached the eighth an amazing 25 times as opposed to Milton's...um...two. His 241.2 innings is the most in a 33-start, no relief season since Charles Nagy logged 252 IP in 1992. And Carpenter's 7.47 innings per start is the most since Randy Johnson's amazing 7.76 mark in his memorable 364-strikeout 1999 campaign.Tune in next time for some ERA fun.Extra EsotericaHow about this for a contrast: In 1982, Bob Stanley averaged 3.51 innings per appearance in 48 games without a start. Yes, that's a record by far. He threw an amazing, only-topped-by-inhuman-Mike-Marshall 168.1 innings in relief, just about the same number as starter Lima. And each time out there, Lima, on average, got only 5 more outs than Stanley![...]
2005-11-01T12:58:08.706-05:00Just because the season's over, doesn't mean that there's no more esoterica to discover! In the coming chilly months, I will wade through this year's stats and find many more inna-resting things that you never knew you never knew! Stay tuned.
2005-10-27T15:04:54.256-04:00Some game and series esoterica:
|9.0||2||1 ||1 ||11 ||10 ||2||0 ||1.00|
2005-10-24T14:44:02.603-04:00A few extra bits about yesterday's game:
2005-10-20T18:44:16.660-04:00It's been pointed out that in the NLCS, neither team scored more than five runs for the first time in a while. But I've noticed that this is not an isolated phenomenon. If we make the standard 10 runs for two teams rather than five runs for one team, the trend persists throughout the almost all playoff series. In fact, 20 of this year's 26 playoff games have featured 10 or fewer runs, including all 11 LCS games! I don't have data for 2005, yet, but in 2004, the average game featured 9.6 runs, so this is like two regular season days of games being way below average.
2005-10-20T23:41:07.166-04:00OK, here's a little quiz. Look at the following table. Which team is the Angels in the entire five-game 2005 ALCS and which is the Yankees in Game 3 of last year's ALCS? No cheating! Team A Team B Runs 19 11 Hits 22 27 Players with 3+ hits 4 4 Players with 5+ hits 1 0 Players with 2+ RBIs 5 2 Players scoring 2+ runs 4 2 Walks 5 4 Doubles+Triples 9 6 Home Runs 4 3 Total Bases 44 41 Stolen Bases 0 2 AB 47 154 Well, that last line kinda gave it away, but I'm sure you'd already figured it out. Unbelievable.Extra Esoterica During the season, the Angels averaged a paltry 2.8 walks a game, good for 24th in the majors. But over both of their playoff series, the entire team averaged…I still don’t believe this…0.9 walks per game (nine walks in 10 games). Hideki Matsui’s five Game 3 hits in 2004 is more than any Angel over the entirety of this year's series! Late Breaking News: The Yankees achieved a rare (I think) esoteric feat in that game: six consecutive batters in their order drove in a different number of runs. Slot Player RBIs 3 Sheffield 4 4 Matsui 5 5 Williams 3 6 Posada 1 7 Sierra 2 8 Olerud 0 If you're a fan, you'll remember that this also happened this year, just three weeks ago, as described in the post Craps, Anyone?. And if you remember, it was done...against the Yankees! [...]
2005-10-13T00:58:51.923-04:00For the fourth game in a row, the Cardinals have scored the first four-plus runs of the game, got outscored afterwards, and had the tying run unsuccessfully come up to bat!
2005-10-11T22:21:53.340-04:00No Horde of the Rings
2005-10-11T09:47:51.223-04:00Glad I'm not a Braves fan. In their unprecedented 14-season playoff run, 13 times they have fallen short, and 12 different team have done the trick. Check it out: Yr Res Opp Rnd 1991 Lost Minnesota WS 1992 Lost Toronto WS 1993 Lost Philadelphia NLCS 1995 Won Cleveland WS 1996 Lost NY Yankees WS 1997 Lost Florida NLCS 1998 Lost San Diego NLCS 1999 Lost NY Yankees WS 2000 Lost St Louis NLDS 2001 Lost Arizona NLCS 2002 Lost San Francisco NLDS 2003 Lost Chicago NLDS 2004 Lost Houston NLDS 2005 Lost Houston NLDS The Astros just joined the Yankees as the only teams to do it twice.Here's their series results. There was no NLDS before 1995. Yr NLDS NLCS WS 1991 Won Lost 1992 Won Lost 1993 Lost 1995 Won Won Won 1996 Won Won Lost 1997 Won Lost 1998 Won Lost 1999 Won Won Lost 2000 Lost 2001 Won Lost 2002 Lost 2003 Lost 2004 Lost 2005 Lost Record 6-5 5-4 1-4 After earning a spot in the World Series in four of five years, they've been in only one of the past nine. Atlanta has now participated in ten consecutive post-seasons without winning it all. And to top it off, after losing six of seven series in the '00's, they now have a losing record in post-season series at 12-13. And poor Smoltzie has been there for every one. Sigh.[...]
2005-10-09T12:12:33.010-04:00While reading today's Elias Says... on ESPN, two items caught my interest: Craig Biggio hit three doubles Saturday, two of them going to left field and one to center. Biggio had 67 extra-base hits during the regular season, 64 of which were hit to left field (he had two to center, one to right). Biggio had the highest percentage of pulled extra-base hits among players with at least 50 extra-base hits this season. This made me think of the other night when Chone Figgins legged out a triple hit to left, and I thought "Wow, you don't see that often". And then a light bulb. In one of my Triples and Stolen Bases posts, I wondered how a player could hit so many doubles but so few triples--especially those with a bunch of stolen bases--and postulated that they were "anti-hustlers". But maybe they were just right-handed extreme pull hitters? Here are the single-season leaders, again. Anybody know about these guys? Name Year SB 3B 2B Miguel Dilone 1978 50 0 8 Mariano Duncan 1986 48 0 7 Davey Lopes 1985 47 0 11 Jose Canseco 1988 40 0 34 Rickey Henderson 1999 37 0 30 Bob Dernier 1983 35 0 10 Eric Davis 1993 33 0 17 Frank Taveras 1980 32 0 27 Derek Jeter 2002 32 0 26 Larry Lintz 1976 31 0 0 Lenny Dykstra 1992 30 0 18 Jeff Bagwell 1999 30 0 35 And this one: Aaron Small, 10-0 during the regular season, was the first pitcher ever to lose a postseason game following a season in which he was 5-0 or better. Two pitchers suffered postseason losses after seasons in which they were 4-0: Larry Gura of the 1976 Royals and Chad Qualls of the 2004 Astros. Gee, if you read this blog, you would have (pretty much) known this already....Hmm, maybe they're readers??[...]
2005-10-09T11:47:48.876-04:00It was a weird series for San Diego. They managed to average a respectable 3.7 runs/game, but talk about late starters--they never scored until St. Louis scored at least four runs! In the series' three games, they started down 8-0, 4-0, and 7-0. But, despite that, San Diego amazingly got the tying run to the plate in all three games before losing 8-5, 6-2, and 7-4! Check out the composite boxscore:STL 2 4 5 2 6 0 1 1 0SD 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 3 3First six innings: Cards 19-2Final three innings: Padres 9-2So there must be a crazy starter/bullpen split, right? Yeah, you can say that. IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA STL Starters 18.2 16 3 3 7 9 0 1.45 Bullpen 8.1 16 8 8 3 8 3 8.64 SD Starters 10.0 17 17 15 8 9 3 13.50 Bullpen 15.0 12 4 4 5 8 0 2.40 The Cards' bullpen better revert back its regular season 3.22 selves, or else it may be trouble next time!Extra Esoterica: I wonder if this is the first series in which every run total was unique. Easier to show than to describe: the Pads scored 2, 4, and 5 runs, and the Cards 6, 7, and 8 runs...no repeats![...]
2005-10-09T11:42:36.146-04:00Well, yes, we all know that this series is following the same pattern as the 2002 Division Series (An aside: if it's called the Division Series, why can't teams from the same division play each other?? But I digress). No, I, of course, am referring to something a little more esoteric.
2005-10-08T10:32:15.700-04:00I thought I'd do a special weekend post on a bit of the boxscore from last night's Sox-Sox game.
|D Marte (H, 1)||0.0||1||0||0||2||0||0||16-7||###|
Garcia pitching for Chicago
2005-10-07T00:49:58.950-04:00In August, I mentioned that Texas went 3-9 in a string of games in which they scored at least 5 runs in each. Well, in September, the Mets did the opposite. In their first 13 games of the month, they never allowed their opponent to score more than 5 runs...and went 2-11. Through the first 17 games of the month, they allowed only 61 runs, or only 3.6/game while going 4-13. I guess that could be because they only scored 49 (2.9/game) themselves. (For those of you counting, that an average of only 6.5 runs combined per game!)