Longest Home Run of 2015? Still Debatable.

Longest HR of 2015 - Kris Bryant? Could be.

Longest HR of 2015 – Kris Bryant? Could be.

One of the great things about baseball is that it has always been “highly debatable.” Within the game – safe or out on a close play; ball or strike on a close pitch; fair or foul (over the bag or by the fair pole); clean catch or trap. You get the idea. Our national pastime has also stirred conversation (and controversy) on a broader scale. Who hit the longest home run? Who had the best fastball? Best outfield arm? Widest range at shortstop? And, on and on.  Well now it seems that technology may be taking some of the oh-so-sweet uncertainty out of the game.  Or is it?

Or maybe it was Giancarlo Stanton.

Or maybe it was Giancarlo Stanton.

Consider the first question listed: Who hit the longest home run?  Not so many years ago, long ball distances were estimates that seemed to come down magically  from somewhere in the boxes on the second deck – stirring plenty of debate.  (My dad and I spent some time discussing whether Harmon Killebrew or Bobby Darwin hit the longest left-field, second-decker at the Twins’ old Metropolitan Stadium.) Now technology definitively tells us not only distance each home run would have traveled if unimpeded, but also pitch speed, bat speed, velocity off the bat and more.  Or does it?

I am happy to say, debate lives on.  In 2015, home run distance was “measured” (using high technology) by both MLB.com’s Statcast and ESPN’s Home Run Tracker.  According to Statcast, the regular season’s longest home run would have traveled 495 feet – and it was hit by Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryant off D-backs’ right-hander Rubby De La Rosa on September 6. Over at ESPN (Home Run Tracker), the longest of the long balls is credited to the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, who stroked home runs projected at 484 feet on June 6 and June 23.  Bryant’s smash comes in at 467 feet – and at number 20 –  on the ESPN list.  Stanton does a little better on the Statcast ranking.  His Home Run Tracker-leading blasts come in eighth on Statcast list. One area of agreement, Stanton is the only player to appear among the top ten of 2015’s longest home runs multiple times on both lists – 8,9,10 on the Statcast ranking and 1, 2, 9 and 10 (tie) on Home Run Tracker.

Here are the top ten long-distance blasts for each tracking system.

MLB.com Statcast

Kris Bryant, Cubs                    495.3 feet        September 6

Michael Taylor, Nationals         492.8               August 20

Jonathan Schoop, Orioles         484.5               August 26

Nelson Cruz, Mariners               482.7               April 29

Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays        481.2               April 23

Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox          480.5               June 21

Pedro Alvarez, Pirates               478.9               October 4

Giancarlo, Stanton, Marlins         478.8               June 23

Giancarlo, Stanton, Marlins         478.4               May 16

Giancarlo, Stanton, Marlins         478.4               June 5


ESPN Home Run Tracker

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins           484 feet            June 23

Giancarlo, Stanton, Marlins          484                   June 6

Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs          482                  August 26

Joc Pederson, Dodgers                480                  June 2

Michael Taylor, Nationals             479                  August 20

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees             477                  April 17

Jung Ho Kang, Pirates                476                  September 8

Brett Lawrie, A’s                         476                  August 28

Giancarlo, Stanton                      475                  May 16, 2015

Jarrett Parker, Giants                  474                  September 25

Giancarlo, Stanton, Marlins         474                  May 15

                                 Aroldis Chapman Brings the Heat.

Aroldis ChapmanDoes Aroldis Chapman bring more heat than Steve Dalkowski?  We’ll never know, but he’s clearly the fastest pitcher out there today. In 2015, according the MLB.com’s Statcast, there were 32 pitches of 103 mph or more thrown during the regular MLB season – and all 32 were thrown by Chapman. In fact, the Reds’ fireballer (who, in 2010, threw the fastest pitch ever recorded at 105.1 mph) threw the 62 fastest pitches of the 2015 regular season.  The first non-Chapman pitch on the velocity list (and the fastest pitch thrown in the AL) belonged to the Yankee’s Nathan Eovaldi (102.35 mph).  Ironically, both hurlers saved their best for Twins’ All Star second baseman Brian Dozier.  Dozier took that 102 mph fastball from Eovaldi for a ball (August 19 at Yankee Stadium), and he fouled off Chapman’s fastest offering of the season (103.92 MPH) on June 29 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.  What kind of results did Chapman’s heater produce? His 2015 stat line: 4-4, 1.63 ERA, 33 saves, 116 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings (15.7 whiffs per nine innings).  Chapman’s strikeouts per nine innings were down from 2014 – when he fanned 17.7 batters per nine.


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Baseball’s “Heavy Metal” Double Play – a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the Same Season

Baseball’s “heavy metal” double play – The 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove and Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards – honoring the best defensive and offensive  players in each league at each position are on the books – and a handful (four fingers and a thumb) of players were honored for their excellence both at the plate and in the field.  The five players who captured both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger for the 2015 season were: Astros’ second baseman Jose Altuve; Diamondbacks’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt; Marlins’ second baseman Dee Gordon; Giants’ shortstop Brandon Crawford; and Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado.  This year’s Sliver Slugger and Gold Glove winners’ lists each included nine first-time honorees. So, it’s no surprise that all five double-winners captured a Gold Glove and a Sliver Slugger in the same year for the first time.

Paul Goldschmidt – heavy metal hero – a 2015 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger; and he even threw in 21 stolen bases.



Since 1980, the combination of a Gold Glove/Silver Slugger has been achieved 174 times by 95 different players.  You’ll find a complete list of the players who have earned recognition as the offensive and defensive leader in their respective leagues at the end of this post. (I’m also including lists of 2015’s individual Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winners). Since the Silver Slugger is awarded to three outfielders annually regardless of their position (LF, CF, RF), the Sliver Slugger and GG/SS combo lists in this post do not break outfielders out by position.  Before, we take a look at the full lists, here are few bits of SS/GG combination trivia.

  • The fewest GG/SS combo winners in a single season is one – Dodgers’ 1B Adrian Gonzalez in 2014.
  • The most players to achieve the GG/SS combo in a season is nine – back in 1984: Lance Parrish, C, Tigers; Keith Hernandez, 1B, Mets; Eddie Murray, 1B, Orioles; Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs; Lou Whitaker, 2B, Tigers; Mike Schmidt, 3B, Phillies; Buddy Bell, 3B, Rangers; Dave Winfield, OF, Yankees; Dale Murphy, OF, Braves.
  • Ivan Rodriguez (C), Ken Griffey, Jr. (OF) and Barry Bonds (OF) have each won the double (Silver Slugger/Gold Glove) crown in a season an MLB-record seven times.
  • Ivan Rodriguez won the SS/GG combo for his position a record six consecutive seasons (1995-1999).
  • Roberto Alomar (2B) is the only player to win the single-season Gold Glove/Silver Slugger combo with three different teams (Blue Jays-1992; Orioles-1996; Indians-1999, 2000)
  • Ivan Rodriguez has the longest time period between his first and last SS/GG double crown (11 seasons – 1994-2004).
  • Mike Hampton is the only pitcher to win the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove in the same season (Braves – 2003).
  • Scott Rolen (3B) is the only player to win the SS/GG combo in a season in which he played for two different teams (2002, Phillies/Cardinals). Rolen was traded from the Phillies to the Cardinals on July 29. He played 100 games for the Phillies and 55 for the Cardinals in his only SS/GG combo season.
  • Adrian Gonzalez (1B) and Matt Williams (3B) are the only players to capture a SS/GG single-season combination in both the AL and NL. Gonzalez – Dodgers-2014; Red Sox-2011. Williams – Indians-1997; Giants-1993-1994.
  • The only team to have three SS/GG winners in the same season is the 1993 Giants (Robby Thompson (2B), Matt Williams (3B), Barry Bonds (OF).
  • Eighteen players have captured a total of 22 MVP Awards in the same season they also won Silver Sluggers, led by Giants’ outfielder Barry Bonds, who achieved the MVP/SS/GG three times (1990, 1992, 1993). Two-time winners of the MVP/SS/GG include: Mike Schmidt (Phillies, 1981, 1986); Dale Murphy (Braves, 1982, 1983); Those accomplishing the MVP/SS/GG once are: Robin Yount (Brewers-1982); Ryne Sandberg (Cubs-1984); Willie McGee (Cardinals-1985); Cal Ripken, Jr. (Orioles-1991);  Jeff Bagwell (Astros-1994); Barry Larkin (Reds-1995); Ken Caminiti (Padres-1996); Ken Griffey, Jr. (Mariners-1997); Larry Walker (Rockies-1997); Ivan Rodriguez (Rangers-1999); Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners-2001); Alex Rodriguez (Rangers-2003); Jimmy Rollins (Phillies-2007); Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox-2008); Joe Mauer (Twins-2009)
  • Outfielders have achieved the SS/GG combo most often (65 times), but if you factor in the potential to outfielders to achieve three combos each season, second baseman have been most successful, putting up 29 SS/GG seasons.
  • The top team in terms of SS/GG seasons is the Yankees (13)
  • The White Sox are the only teams to never have a player win a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in the same season.

2015 Silver Slugger Award Winners


Brian McCann, Yankees

Buster Posey, Giants

First Base

Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Second Base

Jose Altuve, Astros

Dee Gordon, Marlins

Third Base

Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays

Nolan Arenado, Rockies


Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox

Brandon Crawford, Giants


Mike Trout, Angels

Nelson Cruz, Mariners

J.D. Martinez, Tigers

Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

Bryce Harper, Nationals

Carlos Gomez, Rockies


Madison Bumgarner, Giants


Kendrys Morales, Royals


2015 Awards Recognizing Fielding Excellence

The three most significant defensive recognitions are:

Rawlings Gold Glove … This is the most senior (and most recognized and publicized) defensive award, established in 1957. It is also considered the most subjective, with 75 percent of the results dependent on a vote of MLB managers and coaches and 25 percent on statistical defensive metrics (provided by MLB and the Society for American Baseball Research – SABR).

The Fielding Bible Award … Established in 2006, the Fielding Bible Awards are considered to be less subjective than the Gold Gloves. These awards are voted on by a panel of twelve sabermetrically-inclined and experienced journalists (and bloggers).

Wilson Defensive Player(s) of the Year … Established in 2012, this recognition is based on scouting reports, traditional defensive statistics and sabermetric measures like Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), Defensive Wins Above Replacement (dWAR) and other less self-explanatory statistics.



Full List of Same Year Gold Glove/Silver Slugger Winners by Season



Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks

Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies

Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants.


Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Dodgers


Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks

J.J. Hardy, SS, Orioles

Adam Jones, OF, Orioles


Adam LaRoche, 1B, Nationals

Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees

Chase Headley, 3B, Padres

Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates


Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Red Sox

Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers

Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies

Jacob Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox

Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers


Joe Mauer, C, Twins

Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals

Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees

Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies

Carl Crawford, OF, Rays

Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Rockies


Joe Mauer, C, Twins

Mark Tiexeira, 1B, Yankees

Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Nationals

Deterk Jeter, SS, Yankees

Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners

Torii Hunter, OF, Angels


Joe Mauer, C, Twins

Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox

David Wright, 3B, Mets

Grady Sizemore, OF, Indians


Russell Martin, C, Dodgers

Placido Polanco, 2B, Tigers

David Wright, 3B, Mets

Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies

Carlos Beltran, OF, Mets

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners


Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees

Carlos Beltran, OF, Mets


Jason Veritek, C, Red Sox

Mark Tiexierea, 1B, Rangers

Derrek Lee, 1B, Cubs

Andruw Jones, OF, Braves


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Tigers

Jim Edmonds, OF, Cardinals


Brett Boone, 2B, Mariners

Edgar Renteria, SS, Cardinals

Alex Rodriguez, SS, Rangers

Mike Hampton, P, Braves


Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies

Scott Rolen, 3B, Cardinals/Phillies

Eric Chavez, 3B, A’s

Edgar Renteria, SS, Cardinals

Alex Rodriguez, SS, Rangers


Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Mariners


Roberto Alomar, 2B, Indians

Darin Erstad, OF, Angels


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Rangers

Robert Alomar, 2B, Indians

Larry Walker, OF, Rockies

Ken Griffey, Jr., OF, Mariners

Shawn Green, OF, Blue Jays


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Rangers

Rafael Palmeiro, 1B, Rangers

Ken Griffey, Jr. OF, Mariners


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Rangers

Craig Biggio, 2B, Astros

Chuck Knoblauch, 2B, Twins

Matt Williams, 3B, Indians

Larry Walker, OF, Rockies

Barry Bonds, OF, Giants

Ken Griffey, Jr, OF, Mariners


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Rangers

Roberto Alomar, 2B, Orioles

Ken Caminiti, 3B, Padres

Barry Larkin, SS, Reds

Barry Bonds, OF, Giants

Ken Griffey, Jr. OF, Mariners


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Rangers

Craig, Biggio, 2B, Astros

Barry Larkin, SS, Reds


Ivan Rodriguez, C, Rangers

Jeff Bagwell, 1B, Astros

Craig Biggio, 2B, Astros

Matt Williams, 3B, Giants

Wade Boggs, 3B, Yankees

Barry Bonds, OF, Giants

Ken Griffey, Jr., OF, Mariners


Robby Thompson, 2B, Giants

Matt Williams, 3B, Giants

Jay Bell, SS, Pirates

Barry Bonds, OF, Giants

Ken Griffey, Jr, OF, Mariners


Roberto Alomar, 2B, Blue Jays

Larry Walker, OF, Expos

Andy Van Slyke, OF, Pirates

Barry Bonds, OF, Pirates

Kirby Puckett, OF, Twins


Will Clark, 1B, Giants

Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs

Cal Ripken, Jr., SS, Orioles

Barry Bonds, OF, Pirates

Ken Griffey, Jr., OF, Mariners


Benito Santiago, C, Padres

Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs

Kelly Gruber, 3B, Blue Jays

Barry Bonds, OF, Pirates

Ellis Burks, OF, Red Sox


Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs

Eric Davis, OF, Reds

Kirby Puckett, OF, Twins

Tony Gwynn, OF, Padres


Benito Santiago, C, Padres

Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs

Andy Van Slyke, OF, Pirates

Kirby Puckett, OF, Twins


Don Mattingly, 1B, Yankees

Ozzie Smith, SS, Cardinals

Tony Gwynn, OF, Padres

Eric Davis, OF, Reds

Kirby Puckett, OF, Twins

Andre Dawson, OF, Cubs


Don Mattingly, 1B, Yankees

Frank White, 2B, Royals

Mike Schmidt, 3B, Phillies

Tony Gwynn, OF, Padres

Kirby Puckett, OF, Twins


Don Mattingly, 1B, Yankees

Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs

Lou Whitaker, 2B, Tigers

Tim Wallach, 3B, Expos

George Brett, 3B, Royals

Willie McGee, OF, Cardinals

Dale Murphy, OF, Braves

Dave Winfield, OF, Yankees


Lance Parrish, C, Tigers

Keith Hernandez, 1B, Mets

Eddie Murray, 1B, Orioles

Ryne Sandberg, 2B, Cubs

Lou Whitaker, 2B, Tigers

Mike Schmidt, 3B, Phillies

Buddy Bell, 3B, Rangers

Dave Winfield, OF, Yankees

Dale Murphy, OF, Braves


Lance Parrish, C, Tigers

Eddie Murray, 1B, Orioles

Lou Whitaker, 2B, Tigers

Mike Schmidt, 3B, Phillies

Dale Murphy, OF, Braves

Dave Winfield, OF, Yankees

Andre Dawson, OF, Expos


Gary Carter, C, Expos

Mike Schmidt, 3B, Phillies

Robin Yount, SS, Brewers

Dale Murphy, OF, Braves

Dave Winfield, OF, Yankees


Gary Carter, C, Expos

Manny Trillo, 2B, Phillies

Mike Schmidt, 3B, Phillies

Andre Dawson, OF, Expos

Rickey Henderson, OF, A’s

Dwight Evans, OF, Red Sox

Dusty Baker, OF, Dodgers


Keith Hernandez, 1B, Cardinals

Cecil Cooper, 1B, Brewers

Andre Dawson, OF, Expos

Willie Wilson, OF, Royals

Your  Gold Glove/Silver Slugger combo winners listed alphabetically:

Alomar, Roberto … 1992; 1996; 1999; 2000

Altuve, Jose … 2015

Arenado, Nolan … 2015

Baker, Dusty … 1981

Bagwell, Jeff … 1994

Bell, Buddy … 1984

Bell, Jay … 1993

Beltre, Adrian … 2011

Beltran, Carlos … 2006; 2007

Biggio, Craig … 1994; 1995; 1997

Boggs, Wade … 1994

Bonds, Barry … 1990; 1991; 1992; 1993; 1994; 1996; 1997

Boone, Brett … 2003

Brett, George … 1985

Burks, Ellis … 1990

Caminiti, Ken … 1996

Cano, Robinson … 2010; 2012

Carter, Gary … 1981; 1982

Chavez, Eric … 2002

Clark, Will … 1991

Cooper, Cecil …1980

Crawford, Brandon … 2015

Crawford, Carl … 2010

Dawson, Andre … 1980; 1981; 1983; 1987

Davis, Eric … 1987; 1989

Edmonds, Jim … 2004

Ellsbury, Jacob … 2011

Erstad, Darin … 2000

Evans, Dwight … 1981

Goldschmidt, Paul … 2015

Gonzalez, Adrian … 2011; 2014

Gonzalez, Carlos … 2010

Gordon, Dee … 2015

Green, Shawn … 1999

Griffey, Ken Jr. … 1991; 1993; 1994; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999

Gruber, Kelly … 1990

Gwynn, Tony … 1986; 1987; 1989

Hampton, Mike … 2003

Hardy, J.J. … 2013

Headley, Chase … 2012

Helton, Todd … 2002

Henderson, Rickey … 1981

Hernandez, Keith … 1980; 1984

Hunter, Torii … 2009

Jeter, Derek … 2006; 2009

Jones, Adam … 2013

Jones, Andruw … 2005

Kemp, Matt … 2009; 2011

Knoblauch, Chuck … 1997

Larkin, Barry … 1995; 1996

LaRoche, Adam  … 2012

Lee, Derrek … 2005

Martin, Russell … 2008

Mattingly, Don … 1985; 1986; 1987

Mauer, Joe … 2008; 2009; 2010

McCutchen, Andrew … 2012

McGee, Willie … 1985

Molina, Yadier … 2013

Murphy, Dale … 1982; 1083; 1984; 1985

Murray, Eddie … 1983; 1984

Palanco, Placido … 2007

Palmeiro, Rafael … 1998

Parrish, Lance … 1983; 1984

Pedroia, Dustin … 2008

Phillips, Brandon … 2011

Puckett, Kirby … 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989; 1992

Pujols, Albert … 2010

Renteria, Edgar … 2002

Ripken, Cal, Jr. … 1991

Rodriguez, Alex … 2002; 2003

Rodriguez, Ivan … 1994; 1995; 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2004

Rolen, Scott … 2002

Rollins, Jimmy … 2007

Sandberg, Ryne … 1984; 1985; 1988; 1989; 1990; 1991

Santiago, Benito … 1988; 1990

Schmidt, Mike … 1981; 1982; 1983; 1984; 1986

Sizemore, Grady … 2008

Smith, Ozzie … 1987

Suzuki, Ichiro … 2001; 2007; 2009

Thompson, Robby … 1993

Tiexeira, Mark … 2005, 2009

Trillo, Manny … 1981

Tulowitzki, Troy … 2010; 2011

Van Slyke, Andy … 1988; 1992

Varitek, Jason … 2005

Walker, Larry … 1992; 1997; 1999

Wallach, Tim … 1985

White, Frank … 1986

Whitaker, Lou … 1983; 1984; 1985

Williams, Matt … 1993; 1994; 1997

Wilson, Willie … 1980

Winfield, Dave … 1982; 1983; 1984; 1985

Wright, David … 2007; 2008

Yount, Robin … 1982

Ryan Zimmerman … 2009

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Member: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliquary; Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

A Look at the World Series’ Longest Games

Alcides Escobar - Toured the bases for an inside-the-park home run in the first (of 14) inning(s).

Alcides Escobar – Toured the bases for an inside-the-park home run in the first (of 14) inning(s).

Last night, the Mets and Royals gave baseball fans a real treat – a 14-inning Game One of the World Series (won by the Royals 5-4). A lot has been written about that contest:

  • Tied for the most innings in World Series history.
  • Second-longest WS game by time at five hours and nine minutes.
  • Longest Game One in terms of innings and time.
  • Alcides Escobar hitting just the 12th inside-the-park homer in World Series history.
  • The Mets’ Bartolo Colon becoming the oldest pitcher to lose a WS game (42 years and 157 days)
  • Two critical errors (Royals’ 1B Eric Hosmer and Mets’ 3B David Wright), both made by players with multiple Gold Gloves on their MLB resumes.
  • Mets’ OF Mike Conforto becoming just the third player to play in the Little League, College and MLB World Series – and the first to drive in a run in all three.

I could go on, but I will leave that to other observers.  In this post, BBRT would like to focus on the three 14-inning games in World Series history – and how different they were.

Those three contests were:

  • Game Two of the 1916 World Series (Dodgers/Red Sox) on October 9, 1916.
  • Game Three of the 2005 World Series (White Sox/Astros) on October 25, 2005.
  • Game One of the 2015 World Series (Mets/Royals) on October 28, 2015.

Here’s a teaser to entice you to read on:  The number of pitchers used in each game ranged from just two to 17; the time of each game ranged 5:41 to 2:32; two of the games featured first-inning, inside-the-park home runs; and the winning team in each game went on to win the Series. Interested?  If so, read on.

Pitchers Used … 2-17-13

Babe Ruth went the distance in 14-inning, 2-1 Series win. 

In the Red Sox’ 1916 win, the teams used a combined TWO pitchers.  Boston ace Babe Ruth (who had been 23-12 for the Red Sox with a league-low 1.75 ERA in the regular season) went the distance in a 2-1 victory, setting the record for most innings pitched in a single World Series game (14). Ruth gave up just six hits and one run, walking three and fanning four. The Dodgers’ Sherry Smith (14-10, 2.34 in the regular season) also went the distance (13 1/3 innings completed when the winning tally scored), giving up two runs on seven hits and six walks, while fanning two.

In the 2005 White Sox’ win (by a score of 7-5), 17 pitchers were used – nine by the White Sox and eight by the Astros. Last night, the Mets and Royals combined to use 13 hurlers – seven by the Royals, six by the Mets.

Players Used … 43-22-21

In the White Sox/Astros’ contest, a WS single-game record 43 players were used – including five pinch hitters and two pinch runners. In the Mets/Royals’ game, 22 players took the field (just one pinch hitter and one pinch runner).  The Dodgers and Red Sox used only 21 players (the Dodgers the minimum nine), with two pinch hitters and one pinch runner.

Time of Game

The White Sox/Astros’ tilt was the longest game in World Series’ history in terms of time at 5 hours and 41 minutes.  Last night’s Mets/Royals’ game was the second-longest at five hours and nine minutes.  The Dodgers and Red Sox took only two hours and 32 minutes to complete their 14-inning matchup. (My how the game has changed.)

Inside-the-Park Home Runs

The Dodger/Red Sox’ and Mets/Royals’ contests each featured an inside-the-park home run – and both came in the first inning (Dodger’ CF Hi Meyers and Royals’ SS Alcides Escobar). Total long balls: The Mets/Royals and White/Sox Astros each featured three home runs; the Dodger/Red Sox just one.

Walks and Whiffs

The Mets/Royals featured nine walks and 22 strikeouts; with the Royals being most efficient at three free passes and 15 strikeouts.  The White Sox/Astros’ game saw a whopping 21 walks in 14 innings, with 25 strikeouts. The Astros’ staff walked nine and whiffed 11, while the Sox walked 12 and struck out 14. The Dodgers/Red Sox put the ball in play – a total of only nine walks and six strikeouts combined.

Attendance – Pretty Darn Close

Mets/Royals … 40,320

White Sox/Astros … 42,848

Dodgers/Red Sox … 47,373

Total Hits, Runs and Errors

Last night’s Mets/Royals’ contest featured 22 hits, nine runs and two errors. The White Sox/Astros combined for 22 hits, 12 runs and four errors.  The Dodgers/Red Sox were stingier at 13 hits, three runs and three errors.

Who Won the Series?

Omen? Who knows. In the 1916 and 2005 World Series, the teams that won the 14-inning contests went on to win the Series.

How the Games Ended

Mets/Royals … With the Mets’ Bartolo Colon on the mound in the bottom of the 14th, Royals’ SS Alcides Escobar led off by reaching third base on an error by NY third baseman David Wright. 2B Ben Zobrist singled to put runners on first and third.  CF Lorenzo Cain was walked to load the bases and 1B Eric Hosmer hit a “walk-0ff” sacrifice fly to right to end the game – on an unearned run. Colon, the Mets’ sixth pitcher got the loss. Chris Young, the Astros’ seventh pitcher got the win (three innings of hitless, scoreless relief – one walk, four strikeouts).

Dodgers/Red Sox … With starter Sherry Smith still on the mound for the Dodgers, Red Sox’ 1B Dick Hoblitzell led off the bottom of the fourteenth with a walk. LF Duffy Lewis bunted him to second. At this point, the Red Sox brought in Mike McNally to run for Hoblitzell and Del Gainer to pinch hit for 3B Larry Gardner (zero-for-five at that point). The moves worked, Gainer singled to left, bringing home McNally with the winning run – in what we would now term “walk-off” fashion.

White Sox/Astros … Unlike the Dodgers/Red Sox and Mets/Royals, this game did not end in a walk-off.  The White Sox scored the winning run(s) in the TOP of the fourteenth.

The two teams went into the fourteenth tied at 5. The Astros pulled a double switch – bringing Ezequiel Astacio in to pitch (and bat sixth), pulling 2B Craig Biggio and putting Jose Vizcaino (who had pinch hit in the bottom of the 13th) in at 2B.  White Sox RF Jermaine Dye led off with a single to right field, but 1B Paul Konerko hit into a 5-4-3 double play.  So, two outs and no one on base. That’s when things got ugly.  ChiSox 2B Geoff Blum (the sixth player to hold the number-five spot in the batting order), who had come into the game defensively in the 13th, homered to give the Sox the lead.  BBRT note:  It would be Blum’s only at bat in the Series.

Next came a single by CF Aaron Rowand, a single by 3B Joe Crede and a walk to SS Juan Uribe to load the bases. Astacio then walked C Chris Widger to force in an insurance run – and was replaced on the mound by Wandy Rodriguez, who fanned LF Scott Podsednik to end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Damasco Marte and Mark Buehrle combined to hold the Astros scoreless – although, thanks to a walk and an error, the tying runs were  on  base when Buehrle got Houston SS Adam Everett to pop out to end the game. Marte, the Sox’ eighth pitcher got the win, Buehrle the save. Astacio, the Astros’ seventh hurler, took the loss.


I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT


Member:  Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliquary; Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

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World Series’ Futility – Getting There and Playing There

The New York Yankees have lost more World Series than any other team (13). Of course, they've won more as well (27).

The New York Yankees have lost more World Series than any other team (13). Of course, they’ve won more as well (27).

As the Mets and Royals face off in the 2015 World Series, we can be assured that a World Championship drought of at least 28 years will be broken. The Royals last won MLB’s Fall Classic in 1985, the Mets in 1986.  Still, neither is close to the Cubs’ run of futility – Chicago’s NL entry last won a World Series 107 seasons ago (1908).  And, among non-expansion teams, the Cubs’ have the worst won-lost record – having won the title just twice in ten trips to the Series. Further – again among non-expansion teams – the Cubs have gone the longest since last appearing in the World Series – all the way back to 1945.

Among expansion teams,we have the Nationals/Expos and Mariners, who have never been to the World Series – and the Rays, Rockies, Padres, Brewers, Astros and Rangers, who have never won a Series title.  

In this post, BBRT would like to look at some of the World Series’ records for futility – both in terms of reaching the Fall Classic and performance on the big stage. For the more positive side of the record book, you can get a look at World Series’ single-game records, by clicking here.  For even more on the World Series’ records, click here. 

Long Careers Without Reaching the World Series

 Phil Niekro – A Man for Many Seasons

Phil Niekro - earned a statue and a plaque (Hall of Fame), but never got a chance to earn a win in the Fall Classic.

Phil Niekro – earned a statue and a plaque (Hall of Fame), but never got a chance to earn a win in the Fall Classic.

No player took the field for more seasons without playing in the World Series than hurler Phil Niekro (24 seasons; 1964-87). The Hall of Fame knuckleballer also holds the record for the most wins for any pitcher never appearing in the Fall Classic at 318 (versus 274 losses). During his career, Niekro pitched for the Braves (in Milwaukee and Atlanta); Yankees; and Blue Jays.  He was a five-time All Star, two-time 20–game winner (leading the NL in wins in 1974 and 1979), led the NL in winning percentage (17-4, .810) in 1982 and even won five Gold Gloves. On the other side of the coin, Niekro also led the NL in losses for four consecutive seasons (1977-1980), when he went a cumulative 71-76.  Notably, Phil’s brother Joe nearly matched his World Series’ drought. Joe Niekro pitched 22 years in the big leagues – and didn’t make his first World Series appearance until his 21st season (1987, with the Twins).

The only other pitcher to win 300 games and not appear in the World Series is Gaylord Perry (314-265 over 22 seasons). BBRT note: Phil Niekro and Gaylord Perry are both part of MLB’s winningest brother combinations.  Phil and Joe Niekro rank first (a combined 539 MLB wins) and Gaylord and Jim Perry rank second (529 wins).

Among position players, the most seasons played without appearing in a World Series is 23 (Julio Franco; 1982-94, 1996-97; 1999; 2001-07).

Phil Niekro – 20/20 Vision

Phil Niekro, who went 21-20 for the Atlanta Braves in 1979, is the last MLB pitcher to lead his league in wins and losses in the same season – and the last MLBer to win and lose 20 or more games in the same season. That same season, Phil’s brother Joe went 21-11 for the Houston Astros, marking the only season in which  two brothers have tied for the league lead in victories.

Rafael Palmeiro – Stretching for October

Rafael Palmeiro played the most regular-season games without making it to baseball’s finals 2,831 from 1986-2005. Palmeiro also has the most at bats without playing in a World Series (10,472) and is one of only two players with at least 3,000 hits not to make it to the Fall Classic .(Palmeiro retired with 3,020 hits; Rod Carew amassed 3,053 hits without ever making it to the Series.) With 569 career homers, Palmeiro has the third-most of any player not to appear in the World Series (Ken Griffey, Jr. is number-one at 630, followed by Sammy Sosa at 609. The only other member of the 500+ HR Club not to play in the World Series is Ernie Banks at 512.)

Rafeal Palmeiro – The No-So-Golden Glove

In 1999, Rafael Palmeiro won his third-consecutive Gold Glove at first base – in a season in which he started only 25 games at the position (and played first base in only 28 games) – while starting 128 games as a Designated Hitter.


Of course, getting to the World Series is only half the battle.

World Series’ Futility – On the Playing Field

Whitey Ford – Leading in Losses (not to mention starts and wins)

Whitey Ford holds the record for most career World Series losses at eight, but that came in 22 starts and was accompanied by an MLB-best 10 World Series wins.


Four by Four: No WS Wins – Four Losses

The most career WS losses without a win is four:

Charlie Liebrandt … 0-4, 4.84 in five WS starts – Royals in 1985, and Braves 1991 and 1992.

Don Newcombe … 0-4, 8.59 in five WS starts – Dodgers in 1949, 1955 and 1956.

Bill Sherdel … 0-4, 3.26 in four WS starts – Cardinals in 1926 and 1928.

Ed Summers … 0-4, 5.73 in four WS starts – Tigers  in 1908 and 1909.


Three Losses in a Single Series

The record for the most losses in a single World Series belongs to George Frazier of the Yankees, who went 0-3, with a 17.18 ERA versus the Dodgers in 1981. Frazier appeared in three games, giving up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.


An 0-For World Series Career at the Plate

As you might expect, the record for World Series’ futility at the plate belongs to a player who earned his keep on the mound. Philadelphia Athletics’ pitcher George Earnshaw holds the record for most career World Series at bats without a hit at 22 – accumulated over eight games in three Fall Classics (1929, 1930, 1931).  As a pitcher, Earnshaw went 4-3, 1.58, with five complete games in his eight WS starts. Note: Earnshaw was a 20-game winner in all three of his WS seasons – winning 66 games and losing just 28 from 1929-31.

Among position players, catcher Bill Sullivan (Senior) holds the record for most World Series at bats without a hit.  Sullivan went 0-for-21 for the White Sox in the 1906 Series and never made it back to October baseball.


Worst Single Series

In 1968, Cardinals’ shortstop Dal Maxvill, who hit a career-high .253 and won a Gold glove in the regular season, went 0-for-22 as the Cardinals lost the World Series (in seven games) to the Tigers. In the process, Maxvill set the record for the most at bats in a single series without a safety. Dodger Gil Hodges had gone 0-for-21 in the 1952 Series. Maxvill played in four World Series over his career, hitting .115 (7-for-61). The slick fielding infielder hit .217 over a 14-year MLH career.


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A Tale of Two Murphys – A Hero and A Goat


Daniel Murphy - THE HERO.

Daniel Murphy – THE HERO.

Yesterday, the Mets ended the Cubs 2015 post-season run in a four-game sweep, winning the NLCS and punching their ticket to the World series behind some powerful arms and the bat of a hero named Murphy. Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy went 4-for-5 (two runs and two RBI) in the New Yorkers’ 8-3 Game Four victory. Murphy went 9-for-17 (.529) with four home runs, six RBI and six runs scored in the NL Championship Series. He homered in all four games, in the process setting a new MLB record by going yard in six consecutive post-season contests.  His performance earned Murphy the NLCS 2015 Most Valuable Player Award.

Through yesterday’s game, Murphy’s 2015 post-season stat line reads, .421-7-11 (with 11 runs scored). He stands just one home run shy of the HR record for a single post season.  For a look at the single and career post-season records, click here.

The 30-year-old Murphy’s power surge is a bit of surprise. In his seven MLB seasons, he has accumulated a regular-season batting average of .288 and hit just 62 home runs (about one HR every 14.5 games) and collected 402 RBI (one every 2.1 games). Still in 2015, he did enjoy perhaps his best season at the plate, going .281-14-73.

That a player named Murphy should doom the Cubs, however, is no surprise. Read on.


Chicago Cubs on way to reversing the curse - behind the arm of Jake Arrieta.

Chicago Cubs on way to reversing the curse – behind the arm of Jake Arrieta.

On October 6th,1945, with the Cubs up two games to one in the World Series (having beaten the Tigers two out of three at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium), happy Cubbies’ fans were lined up to get into Wrigley Field. One of those fans was Greek William “Billy Goat” Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. Sianis purchased two tickets to the game – one for him and one for his “lucky” pet goat – named Murphy. As he moved to enter Wrigley – this well-documented legend has it – Murphy was turned away and Sianis was informed that animals were not allowed in the ball park.

Sianis reportedly appealed the usher’s ruling all the way up to Cubs’ owner P.K. Wrigley, who reportedly told the tavern owner the goat could not be let in because of its less than appealing odor (only in stronger terms). As the popular and oft-told story goes, Sianis put a curse on the Cubs – vowing they would not win another World Series until Murphy was allowed in the ballpark. The Cubs, without Murphy in the stands, lost game four (4-1) and the Series (four games to three). After the Series, Sianis sent Wrigley a telegram reading “Who stinks now?”  Sianis’ curse appears to have worked long and well – as, over the years, the Cubs have become affectionately known as the “Loveable Losers” – and have not captured another World Series title.

A side note:  How seriously is the curse taken in some quarters? On the Fourth of July, 1973 – with the Cubs in first place (six games up on second-place Saint Louis) –  William Sianis’ nephew (and new Billy Goat Tavern owner) Sam Sianis and Chicago Tribune columnist Dave Condon arranged to bring one of Murphy’s descendants (a goat name Socrates)  to Wrigley in an attempt to lift the curse. The goat arrived at Wrigley Field in a limousine accompanied by Sianis and a sign that read “All is forgiven. Let me lead you to the pennant. Your Friend, Billy Goat.”  Well, not all lessons are easily leaned.  Like Murphy before him, Socrates was denied entrance to the Wrigley.  The Cubs?  They faded to fifth place- five games out.  Over the years, Murphy’s descendant has been allowed on the Wrigley Field more than once and even made a pennant race road trip (to Houston) in attempts to break the curse.

Second side note; The Billy Goat Tavern reportedly was the inspiration for the Saturday Night Live’s Olympia Cafe – “Cheezeborger – No fries. Cheeps – No Coke. Pepsi.” 


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Murphy’s Law – Post-Season Records Are Made To Be Broken (or at least challenged)

Daniel Murphy - "In the zone" in the post season.

Daniel Murphy – “In the zone” in the post season.

Last night (October 20), as the Met’s topped the Cubs 5-2 to take a 3-0 lead in the NLCS,  Mets’ second baseman Daniel Murphy batted his way into the record books. Murphy homered into the center field bleachers at Wrigley Field – marking the record-tying fifth straight post-season game in which he has gone yard.  Murphy joins Carlos Beltran (Astros, 2004) as the only two players to homer in five straight post-season contests. It was also Murphy’s sixth home run of the 2015 post-season, leaving him just two shy of the MLB single-post-season record – with plenty of games to go.  Murphy has touched up such some pretty good pitching in his run – including Zack Greinke, Clayton KershawJake Arrieta, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks..  Through his first eight games of the 2015 post season, Murphy is hitting .364, with six home runs, nine runs scored and nine RBI. How surprising are those numbers?  In his seven regular seasons at the major league level, Murphy has hit a total of 62 home runs in 903 games, or about one every 14.5 games.  (He did, however, hit a career high 14 in 130 games this past season.)  If Murphy continues to rake, he has a good chance of reaching the all-time record for home runs in a single post-season of eight – held by Carlos Beltran (Astros, 2004). Barry Bonds (Giants, 2002) and Nelson Cruz (Rangers, 2001).

Special note: The pet goat, denied entrance to Wrigley Field in 1945, and alleged to have been the force behind the “Cubs’ Curse” was named “Murphy.”

Beltran’s eight-homer post-season, at least for BBRT, is the most impressive of the three eight-homer post-seasons. Bonds and Cruz both benefited from post-season runs that went all the way to the World Series, with both Cruz’ and Bonds’ eight long balls coming in 17 games (70 plate appearances for Cruz and 74 for Bonds).  Beltran’s Astros made it only as far as the NL Championship Series and he hit his eight homers in 12 games (56 plate appearances, 46 at bats). In those 12 post-season contests, Beltran hit .435, collecting 20 hits, 14 RBI, 21 runs scored (also the record for a single post-season), while tossing in nine walks and six stolen bases.  In the 2004 post season, Beltran homered in seven of the 12 games he played (including the previously noted five in a row). In the Astros’ six wins, Beltran went 14-for-23 (.609) with six home runs, 11 RBI and 14 runs scored. In the team’s six losses, Beltran’s line was .261 (6-for-23), with two homers, three RBI and seven runs scored – including an 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in a 4-2 loss to Atlanta in Game Two of the NLDS.

Schwarber also Shoots for the Record Books

While Daniel Murphy was garnering yesterday’s headlines, Cubs’ rookie C/OF Kyle Schwarber homered his way into the post-season record books as well. Schwarber hit his fifth home run of the 2015 post-season – becoming the youngest player (at 22) to homer five times in a single post-season. Schwarber is just one short of the all-time rookie record of six HRs in a single post season (Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay, 2008), but time is running out on the Cubbies.

With Murphy having already earned a spot in the post-season record bools, it seems like a good time to take a look at some of the single post-season marks this year’s crop of playoff participants will be shooting for. As you might expect, most of the records were set after the play offs were expanded to multiple rounds.  Current 2015 post-season leaders listed are as of the close of play on October 20.

For BBRT’s past look at World Series’ single-game records, click here.  For even more on the World Series’ record book, click here. 


 Batting Average

.727 … Lloyd McClendon (Pirates, 1992); 8-for-11 over five games. The current 2015 post-season leader: the Dodgers’ Justin Turner at .526.

Home Runs

8 … Barry Bonds (Giants, 2002), Carlos Beltran (Astros, 2004), Nelson Cruz (Rangers, 2011) – Bonds and Cruz each hit their eight home runs in 17 games played, while Beltran launched his in 12 games. Current 2015 leader: the Mets’ Daniel Murphy at 6.


21 … David Freese (Cardinals, 2011) – in 18 games. Current 2015 post-season leaders: Royals’ Kendrys Morales and Eric Hosmer at 10.

Runs Scored

21 … Carlos Beltran (Astros, 2004) – in 12 games. Current 2015 post-season leaders: Royals’ Ben Zobrist, Mets’ Daniel Murphy and Royals’ Alcides Escobar at 9.

Base Hits

26 … Pablo Sandoval (Giants, 2014) – in 17 games. Current 2015 post-season leader: Royals’ Alcides Escobar at 15.

Total Bases

50 … David Freese (Cardinals, 2011) – in 18 games. Current 2015 post-season leader: Mets’ Daniel Murphy at 31.  Note: Freese was the MVP of both the NL Championship Series and the World Series in 2011. In his 18 post season games, he hit .397 (25-for-63) with five home runs, eight doubles and one triple – driving in 21 runs and scoring 12.


8 … Albert Pujols and David Freese (both Cardinals, 2011) – in 18 games. Current 2015 post-season leader: Dodgers’ Justin Turner at six.


4 … Tommy Leach (Pirates, 1903) – in eight  games. Note: In an eight-game World Series, Leach went 9-for-33, hitting two triples in game one, one in game four and one in game five. Current 2015 post-season leader: Royals’ Alicides Escobar at two.


27 … Barry Bonds (Giants, 2002) – in 17 games. Current 2015 post-season leaders: Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista, Astros’ Colby Rasmus and Mets’ David Wright at 7.  Note: Bonds was walked in 35 percent of his 2002 post-season plate appearances – and 13 of his 27 free passes were intentional. In his 45 at bats, Bonds hit .356 (16-for-45) with eight home runs and 16 RBI.

Stolen Bases

11 … Rickey Henderson (A’s, 1989) and Kenny Lofton (Indians, 1995). Henderson swiped 11 bags in 9 games, Lofton in 15 contests. Current 2015 post-season leader: Mets’ Curtis Granderson at three.


26 … Alfonso Soriano (Yankees, 2003) – in 17 games. Current 2015 post season leader: Mets’ Lucas Duda at 13.

Slugging Percentage

1.727 … Lou Gehrig (Yankees, 1928) – in 11 at bats over four games. Note: Gehrig went 6-for-11 with a double and four home runs. Current 2015 post-season leader: Astros’ Colby Rasmus at 1.176.


Derek Jeter – King of the Post-Season Record Book

Derek Jeter - had to inclede a picture of the captain.

Derek Jeter – king of the post season.

Derek Jeter (Yankees) sits atop the post-season career record book in nine categories.  In fact, with a record 158 post-season games, he has played the equivalent of a regular full season – in the playoffs. Jeter-held career post-season records:

Games Played … 158

At bats … 650

Plate Appearances …. 734

Runs Scored … 111

Hits …. 200

Total Bases … 302

Doubles … 32

                                                                        Triples … 5 (tie with Rafael Furcal & George Brett

                                                                        Strikeouts … 135

More post-season career marks are listed after the single post-season pitching records.


5 … Randy Johnson (2001, Diamondbacks) and Francisco Rodriguez (Angels, 2002). Note:  Johnson went 5-1 in five starts and one relief appearance; Rodriguez went 5-1 in 11 relief appearances.  Current 2015 post-season leader:  Jacob deGrom (Mets) at three.

A Rookie Makes His Mark in the Record Books

Francisco Rodriguez - five post-season wins (tying the single post-season record) before his first regular season decision.

Francisco Rodriguez – five post-season wins (tying the single post-season record) before his first regular-season decision.

When twenty-year-old right-hander Franscisco Rodriguez made his major league debut on September 18, 2002, little did he know that he would notch five post-season wins before he garnered his first-ever regular-season win (in fact, before his first regular-season decision of any kind  – win, loss or save). Rodriguez pitched in just five regular season games, totaling 5 2/3 innings of work.  In that brief stint, he gave up just three hits and two walks, while fanning 13.  It was enough to earn him spot on the post-season roster – and he responded with five wins (tying the record for a single post season) against one loss in 11 appearances.  He tossed 18 2/3 innings, giving up 10 hits, five walks, and five earned runs, while striking out 28. It was a portent of things to come. Between 2005 and 2008,  Rodriguez  saved 193 games, leading the AL in saves three of those four seasons and notching an MLB–record 62 saves in 2008. He closed out the 2015 season with 386 saves.



7 … Six pitchers have notched seven saves in a single post-season – and, no, Mariano Rivera is not one of them.  Here they are: John Wetteland (Yankees, 1996); Troy Percival (Angels, 2002); Robb Nen (Giants, 2002); Brad Lidge (Phillies, 2008); Koji Uehara (Red Sox, 2013); Greg Holland (Royals, 2014). Current 2015 post-season leader: Jeurys Familia (Mets) at five.

Winning Percentage

1.000 … Many players have notched a 1.000 winning percentage for a single post season – but only ten achieved at least four victories without a loss: Dave Stewart (A’s, 1989); Jack Morris (Twins, 1991); Livan Hernandez (Marlins, 1997); David Wells (Yankees, 1998); Curt Schilling (D-backs, 2001); Josh Beckett (Red Sox, 2007); Cole Hamels (Phillies, 2008); Cliff Lee (Phillies, 2009); Andy Pettitte (Yankees, 2009); Chris Carpenter (Cardinals, 2011). Current 2015 leader: Jacob deGrom at 3-0; at 2-0 are Matt Harvey (Mets) and Dallas Keuchel (Astros). There are six players at 1-0.

Earned Run Average

0.00 … Christy Mathewson (Giants, 2005) and Waite Hoyt (Yankees, 1921).  While there are several pitchers with 20 or more innings pitched and an ERA of zero, Mathewson and Hoyt had the most innings pitched in a single post-season without an earned run at 27. Current 2015 post-season leader (at least ten innings pitched): Jacob deGrom (Mets) at 1.80.  Mets’ reliever Jeurys Familia has pitched the most innings without giving up a run this post-season (8 2/3).


56 … Curt Schilling (D-backs, 2001) – in six starts, 48 1/3 innings pitched. Current 2015 post-season leader: Jake Arrieta at 28, in 19 2.3 innings pitched.

Games Pitched

14 … Paul Assenmacher (Indians, 1997). Current 2015 post-season leaders: Aaron Sanchez (Blue Jays) and Jeurys Familia (Mets) at seven games.

Innings Pitched

52 2/3 … Madison Bumgarner (Giants, 2014) – in six starts and one relief appearance.  Current 2015 post-season leader: Jacob deGrom (Met) at 20 IP.

Games Started

6  … Curt Schilling (D-backs, 2001); Chris Carpenter (Cardinals, 2011); Madison Bumgarner (Giants, 2014).  Current 2015 post-season leaders, all at three starts: Johnny Cueto (Royals): Jake Arrieta (Cubs); Yordano Ventura (Royals): Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays); and Jacob deGrom (Mets).

Complete Games

5 … Deacon Phillippe (Pirates, 1903) – in five starts (World Series was five-out-of-nine) over eight days. Note: Phillippe went 3-2, 3.07 in the Series.  Current 2015 post-season leader: Jake Arrieta (Cubs) at one.

Complete Game Shutouts

3 … Christy Mathewson (Giants, 1905). Current 2015 post-season leader: Jake Arrieta (Cubs) at one.

Those are your single post-season record holders. Now, lets take a look at a few career post-season marks that aren’t held by Derek Jeter.


Batting Average

.439 … Bobby Brown (Yankees) – over 17 games in four post seasons.

Home Runs

29 … Manny Ramirez (Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers) – over 111 games in 11 post seasons.


80 … Bernie Williams (Yankees) – over 121 games in 12 post seasons.


72 … Manny Ramirez (Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers) and Chipper Jones (Braves) – Ramirez over 121 games in 12 post seasons; Jones over 93 games in 12 post seasons.

Stolen Bases

34 … Kenny Lofton (Indians, Braves, Giants, Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers) – over 95 games in 11 post seasons.

On the mound, the career post-season record holders are:


Andy Pettitte - 19 career post-season wins.

Andy Pettitte – a record 19 career post-season wins, a record 44 post-season starts and a record 276 2/3 post-season innings.

19 … Andy Petitte (Yankees, Astros) – over 44 appearances in 14 post seasons.  Note: All but one of those victories came with the Yankees.


16 … Tom Glavine (Braves, Mets) – over 35 appearances in 12 post seasons (versus 14 wins). Note: All but one of the losses came with the Braves. .





42 … Mariano Rivera (Yankees) – over 96 appearances in 14 post seasons.

Winning Percentage (minimum six decisions)

1.000 (6-0) – Left Gomez (Yankees) – over seven appearances in five post seasons.

Earned Run Average (minimum 30 IP)

0.70  … Mariano Rivera (Yankees) – over 96 appearances (142 innings) in 16 post seasons. Note: The fourth-lowest post-season ERA (0.87 in 31 IP) belongs to Babe Ruth.


199 … John Smoltz (Braves, Cardinals) – over 41 appearances and 209 innings pitched in 14 post seasons. Note:  All but one appearance and five strikeouts for the Braves.

Games Pitched

96 … Mariano Rivera (Yankees) – over 16 post seasons.

Games Started

44 … Andy Pettitte (Yankees, Astros) – over 14 post seasons. Note: 40 of those starts were as a Yankee.

Innings pitched

276 2/3 … Andy Pettitte (Yankees, Astros) – over 14 post seasons.

Complete Games

10 … Christy Mathewson (Giants) – over 11 starts in four post seasons. Note: Mathewson also holds the post-season record for CG shutouts at four.


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Welcome to Whiff City – 35 Punch Outs in Scherzer No-Hitter

Max Scherzer - Fans 17 in second no-hitter, 18 Nationals also go down on strikes.

Max Scherzer – Fans 17 in second no-hitter, 18 Nationals also go down on strikes.

Yesterday (October 3, 2015), Nationals’ right-hander Max Scherzer (the 2013 Cy Young Award winner – while with the Tigers) threw his second no-hitter of the 2015 season – beating the Mets 2-0 (second game of a double header) in New York. Which game it was doesn’t matter, but I seldom get a chance to use the phrase “double header” these days.  Scherzer is on one of just five pitchers to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season, joining Johnny Vander Meer (Reds-1938), Allie Reynolds (Yankees-1951), Virgil Trucks (Tigers-1952), and Nolan Ryan (Angels-1973), In addition, Roy Halladay threw a regular-season and post-season (NL Division Series) no-hitter for the Phillies in 2010. BBRT Note: Vander Meer’s no-hitters came in consecutive starts, the only consecutive no-hitters by a pitcher in MLB history.

In both of his 2015 no-hitters, Scherzer was just one mistake away from a perfect game. On June 20, Scherzer had a 6-0 lead and a perfect game with two outs in the ninth against the Pirates. He got within one strike of perfection, running up a 2-2 count on pinch hitter Jose Tabata. Tabata then fouled off three pitches before Scherzer hit him on the elbow with a breaking ball. Mad Max retired the next hitter (2B Josh Harrison) to preserve the no-hitter, but that perfect game was oh, so close. There wasn’t as much tension in yesterday’s missed “perfecto.”  The only base runner came on a throwing error by National’s 3B Yunel Escobar in the sixth inning. For more from BBRT on near perfect games, click here. 

Here are a few other stats from Scherzer’s no-hitter against the Mets.

  • Scherzer fanned 17 batters in the game, tying Nolan Ryan for the most strikeouts in a no-no. Ryan walked four in his 17-strikeout no-hitter on July 15, 1973; which also happened to be Ryan’s second no-hitter of the season.
  • Scherzer’s 17 strikeouts were the most ever in a no-hitter without a walk. The record had been held by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who fanned 15 in a June 18, 2014, no-hitter. The only opposition base runner to reach in Kershaw’s game came on an error by Dodgers’ SS Hanley Ramirez.
  • Strikeouts were the name of the game in Scherzer’s no-no. In addition to Scherzer’s 17 punch outs, four Mets’ hurlers combined to whiff 18 Nationals’ batters – setting a new combined MLB record of 35 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.
  • Scherzer went one-for-three at the plate (just more on why I hate the DH).
  • Scherzer struck out every member of the Mets’ starting nine at least once – except for pitcher Matt Harvey (who only batted once).
  • Scherzer struck out at least one hitter every inning, and appeared to get stronger as the game went on. He fanned nine over the first six innings – and eight over the final three. (Scherzer threw 109 pitches, 80 for strikes.)

Scherzer’s masterpiece was the seventh no-hitter of 2015, one short of the MLB record of eight, set in in 1884 (four in the American Association, two in the Union Association, two in the National League). This season’s seven no-hitters ties the modern era (post-1900) record – reached in 1990, 1991 and 2012.

No Hitters in Both Leagues

Five pitchers have thrown no-hitters in both the NL and AL – and five catchers have caught no-hitters in both leagues.

The Pitchers:

Nolan Ryan: Seven total no-hitters: AL … California Angels (4) and Texas Rangers (2); NL …  Houston Astros (1)

Cy Young: Three total no-hitters; AL …  Boston Americans/Red Sox (2); NL … Cleveland Spiders (NL).

Jim Bunning: NL … Philadelphia Phillies; AL … Detroit Tigers.

Hideo Nomo: NL … Los Angeles Dodgers; AL … Boston Red Sox.

Randy Johnson:  AL … Seattle Mariners; NL … Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Catchers

Gus Triandos:  AL … Baltimore Orioles (Hoyt Wilhelm, 1958); NL … Philadelphia Phillies (Jim Bunning, 1964).

Jeff Torborg: NL … Los Angeles Dodgers (Sandy Koufax, 1965); AL … California Angels (Nolan Ryan, 1973).

Darrell Porter: AL … Kansas City Royals (Jim Colborn, 1977); NL … St. Louis Cardinals (Bob Forsch, 1983).

Ron Hassey: AL … Cleveland Indians (Len Barker, 1981); NL … Montreal Expos (Dennis Martinez, 1991). BBRT Note: Both of these were perfect games, making Hassey the only player to catch two MLB perfect games.

Drew Butera: AL  …Minnesota Twins (Francisco Liriano, 2011); NL … Los Angeles Dodgers (Josh Beckett 2014).


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September – Inside the Park Grand Slams … Inside the Park Births … and More

The September stretch run is complete – but there is still meaningful baseball to be played in the first few days of October – particularly in the AL, where Houston is within striking distance of the Rangers (2 ½ games behind) for the West Division title and the Angels and Twins are hot on the heels of the Astros for the final Wild Card spot.

Cubs won more than any other team in September.

Cubs won more than any other team in September.

Baseball’s hottest team in September was the surging Cubs, who went an MLB-best 19-9 (.657). The Cubs did it with pitching – sporting MLB’s lowest ERA (2.73 for the month), led by Jake Arrieta, who went 4-0, with a minuscule 0.45 September ERA.  The Cubs gave up the fewest runs in baseball in September (92), while scoring the fifth-most (141). Other teams with strong Septembers were the Angels and Blue Jays (each at 18-9), and the Rangers (18-10). The worst September won-lost marks went to the Oakland A’s in the AL (8-19) and the San Diego Padres in the NL (9-18). The Padres did, however, record the highest number of in-stadium births (more to come on that).  BBRT will look a bit deeper into September team performance later in this monthly update, but first let’s consider where things stood as of “the end of business” on September 30 – and touch on a few September events that caught BBRT’s eye.

If the Season Ended September 30 …

There are still a few post season spots to be determined, but if the end of September marked the end of the regular season, here’s how the playoffs would look:

  • AL … Division Champions: Blue Jays; Royals; Rangers. Wild Cards: Yankees, Astros. Note: The Angels are just ½ game behind the Astros in the race for the final Wild Card spot – with the Twins 1 ½ games back of Houston.
  • NL … Division Champions: Mets; Cardinals; Dodgers. Wild Cards: Pirates, Cubs.

You will find full end-of-September standings at the end of this post.

 A Few September “Events” That Caught BBRT’s Attention

 The Three R’s – Reds’ Rookie Rotation

On September 11, when Reds’ rookie pitcher Michel Lorenzen took the mound against the Cardinals in Cincinnati, it marked the 42nd consecutive game in which the Reds started a rookie hurler (an MLB record). The previous high of 41 was set by the 1902 Cardinals.  Lorenzen, by the way, went just five innings, giving up two runs on ten hits – but got the win.

The Reds have boasted (if that’s the right word) an all-rookie rotation since trading veteran starters Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake before the July 31 trading deadline.  The last non-rookie to start for the Reds was Leake on July 28.  At the close of September, the Reds had expanded their record to 60 consecutive rookie starts (19 wins, 41 losses over that time), and should reach 64 by season’s end.

David Ortiz Joins 500 Club

Newest member of the 500 Home Run Club.

Newest member of the 500 Home Run Club.

On September 12, as the Red Sox pasted the Tampa Bay Rays 10-4, David Ortiz bashed a pair of round trippers – the 499th and 500th of his career (33rd and 34th of 2015).

Ortiz is 27th player to reach the 500-home run mark and the fourth player to collect number 500 in a multi-homer game – joining Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols.  For more on Ortiz and the other 500 Club members click here.

 Send the Lefty to Right

We’ve read a lot about position players taking the mound this season. In the September 15th Rockies/Dodgers contest (won by the Rockies 5-4 in 16-innings), we learned that “turnabout is fair play,” as Rockies’ southpaw hurler Jason Gurka was called on to finish the game in right field after a Carlos Gonzalez injury. The real story here, however, is the “everyone gets to play” records that were tied or broken.

  • The Rockies’ used 30 players in the game (only in September), tying the MLB single-game record.
  • The Rockies’ set an MLB single-game record using 13 pitchers;
  • The teams used a combined 58 players and 24 pitchers – both MLB single-game records.

The five-hour and 23-minute game also featured 11 pinch-hitters and three pinch-runners, 24 hits, nine walks and four errors.

I’m just thankful I wasn’t keeping score.

Making an Entrance

Young Levi Stiles knows how to make a grand entrance. Levi was born on Thursday, September 24, during the Padres/Giants game at Petco Park.  Key words here AT PETCO PARK. For those of you who track such things (and we do track everything in baseball), Levi came into the world:

  • At 6-pounds-14-ounces, 20.5 inches;
  • In the bottom of the third inning, with the Padres leading 3-2;
  • On a gurney near the team store in Petco’s Palm Court Plaza.

San Diego eventually won the game 5-4 on a pinch-hit RBI single by Alexi Amarista in the bottom of the ninth (Levi had left early.).  The announced attendance of 31,137 was reported to be off by one – paid attendance could be on the money.  Levi Stiles is now the youngest fan ever to attend a MLB game, a record that could be tied, but will never be broken.

A-Rod Continues His “Comeback” Season

A-Rod ... another step up the stat ladder.

A-Rod … another step up the stat ladder.

On the same night (September 24) that Levi Stiles was born at Petco Park, Yankee DH Alex Rodriguez walked in the third inning and came around to score on a Carlos Beltran home run. The run – part of a 3-2 Yankee home win over the White Sox – made A-Rod  just the eighth MLB player to reach 2,000 runs, as well as just the second player (Hank Aaron was the first) to reach 3,000 hits, 2,000 RBIs and 2,000 runs scored in their career.

Notably, Rodriguez reached all three landmarks … 2,000-runs, 2,000-RBI and 3,000-hits … this season – his 21st MLB campaign.

KC Grabs First Division Title Since 1985

When the Royals topped the Mariners 10-4 on September 24th, they clinched their first division title since 1985.  Why does BBRT put that here?  So I can add the fact that the Royals were the first expansion team to capture a Division Title (1976); League Pennant (1980); and World Series Championship (1985) – all in different seasons.

The “In’s” and “Out’s” of the Power Game

On September 25, Phillies’ rookie LF Aaron Altherr had quite a game – going 4-for-5, with two runs scored and five driven in. He added to the excitement with a pair of home runs – one of the traditional “it’s outta here” mode and one (a Grand Slam) of the “run-like the wind” inside-the-park variety.  The Phillies rode Altherr’s big game to an 8-2 win over the Nationals in Washington.  Altherr’s 11 total bases in the game, incidentally, matched the Nationals’ team total. 

Home Cookin’

Dallas Keuchel - unbeatable at home this year.

Dallas Keuchel – unbeatable at home this year.

Here’s a couple of examples of sweet home cooking. Astros’ ace southpaw Dallas Keuchel topped the Rangers (in Houston) 4-2 on September 27, going seven innings and giving  up just two hits and one run, while fanning ten Texas hitters. In the process, Keuchel set a record for the most home victories without a loss in an MLB season.  Keuchel, 19-8 on the season, is 15-0 at home this year.  Through September, the Cy Young Award candidate’s home record is 15-0, with a 1.46 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings pitched. Away from Minute Maid Park, Keuchel is 4-8, 3.82, with 74 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings. If Houston makes the post-season, look for Keuchel to start at home.

Jose Fernandez - The King of Marlins Park

Jose Fernandez – The King of Marlins Park

On September 25, the Marlins topped the Braves (at Marlins Park) by a score of 12-11. Miami starting pitcher Jose Fernandez gave up six runs on nine hits in just five innings – but still made a bit of pitching history. Fernandez got the victory (running his record to 6-0 on the season). On a more historic note, the 22-year-old right-hander earned his 17th  career home victory – without a home loss – becoming the first MLB pitcher to win his first 17 home decisions.  Fernandez has made 26 career starts at Marlins Park, where he has a 1.40 ERA.  In 21 road starts, Fernandez is 5-9, 3.78.

STATS TIME (or time to stop reading if stats don’t grab you)  

A Few Team Observations

As of the end of play on September 30, the Cardinals (.629) and Pirates (.604) were the only teams playing .600 or better ball – and only the Cardinals had 100 victories (100-59). The best record in the AL belonged to the Blue Jays (92-66, .582). Only two teams played under .400 ball through September: The Phillies (61-97, .386) and the Reds (63-95, .399). The worst winning percentage in the AL belonged to the A’s (66-93, .415).

A sampling of team stats through- and in-September:

  • The Blue Jays continued to lead all of MLB in runs scored with 873 – 122 ahead of the closest challenger (the Yankees at 751). The Jays were also September’s top scoring team with 153 runs in the month, two ahead of the Red Sox and Rangers. The top scoring team in the NL through September was the Cubs (713 runs), while the Mets led the NL in September tallies with 148. The Braves were MLB’s lowest-scoring team through September (561 runs), as well as in September (just 85 runs, the only team under 100). In the AL, The White Sox scored the fewest runs through September at 612, while Detroit scored the fewest in September at 112.
  • The Cardinals gave up the fewest runs through September (513), and had MLB’s lowest ERA (2.91, the only team under 3.00). In the AL, the Astros had the lowest total runs allowed and best ERA at 606 and 3.57, respectively. The leaders for the month of September were a bit surprising. The Cubs at 2.73 and the Mariners at 3.47 had the NL’s and AL’s lowest September ERAs.
  • Through September, only the Rockies carried an ERA above 5.00 (5.05). The Tigers had the AL’s worst ERA at 4.69.
  • Toronto led all of MLB in home runs through September at 227.  Notably (thanks DH), all four teams with 200+ homers through September were in the AL (Blue Jays, Astros, Orioles, Yankees). The Dodgers led the NL with 183 round trippers. Least power?  The Braves were the only team with less than 100 long balls, 96. The White Sox trailed in the AL with 136 homers.  The Astros topped all teams in September HRs with 44, while the Mets led the NL with 42. The Braves (13) and the Tigers (18) were the only teams with less than 20 September dingers.

Now, here are your month-of-September and through-September batting and pitching leaders:

Month-of-September Batting Leaders

In September, only the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo topped .400 (.404 for the month), and he turned those hits into tallies, tying for the MLB lead in September runs scored.  If I had to pick my hitters of the month. I’d go for a two-way tie in each league.  In the NL, the Nationals’ Bryce Harper (.341-10-19) and Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (.339-11-32). In the AL, the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre (.327-4-29) and the surprising Chris Davis (for his average) of the Orioles (.295-10-20). Harper, Arenado and Davis were the only players with double-digit home runs in September; Arenado and Beltre were 1&2 in RBI for the month; and Harper led the NL in runs scored.

There were some unexpected names on the September leader board: Martin Prado (.395 average); Greg Bird (8 HR); Justin Bour (25 RBI).

Here’s the list of in-September batting leaders.

AVERAGE (minimum 75 plate appearances)


Shin-Soo Choo, RF ,  Rangers – .404

Mookie Betts, CF, Red Sox – .389

Adam Eaton, CF, White Sox – .373


Martin Prado, 3B, Marlins – .395

Yunel Escobar, 3B, Nationals – .365

Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins – .343



Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies – 11

Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals – 10

Four with nine


Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles – 10

Joe Bautista, RF, Blue Jays – 9

Mike Trout, CF, Angels – 8

Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees – 8



Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers – 29

David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox – 25

Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays – 25

Prince Fielder, DH, Rangers – 25


Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies – 32

Justin Bour, 1B, Marlins – 25

Carlos Gonzalez, RF, Rockies – 24



Sin-Soo Choo, RF, Rangers – 26

Mookie Betts, CF, Red Sox – 26

Xander Bogaerts,SS, Red Sox – 23


Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals – 25

Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals – 22

Christian Yelich, LF, Marlins – 22



Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins – 11

Ender Inciarte, RF, D-backs – 8

Angel Pagan, CF, Giants – 6

Charlie Blackmon, CF, Rockies – 6


Kevin Pillar, CF, Blue Jays – 8

Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers – 7

Ben Revere, LF, Blue Jays – 6

Month-of-September Pitching Leaders

We saw three five-game winners in September: David Price (Blue Jays) and Cody Anderson (Indians) in the AL and, of course, Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) in the senior circuit.  Still the mound star of the month had to be the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta, who became the first pitcher to 20 wins this season and went 4-0 for September with a 0.45 ERA, giving up just 2 earned runs in 40 innings and notching 39 strikeouts versus just four walks.  Arrieta is just continuing on from his sterling August, when he went 6-0 with a 0.43 ERA.  He has, in fact, given up just four runs in 82 1/3 innings over his last 11 starts.



Cody Anderson, Indians – 5-0, 1.38 ERA

David Price, Blue Jays – 5-0, 2.32

Five with four victories


Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – 5-1, 1.84 ERA

Jake Arrieta, Cubs – 4-0, 0.45

Zack Grienke, Dodgers – 4-0, 2.04

Gerrit Cole, Pirates – 4-1, 3.29

ERA (minimum 20 innings pitched in the month)


Rich Hill, Red Sox – 1.17

Cody Anderson, Indians – 1.38

Jose Quintana, White Sox – 1.50


Jake Arrieta, Cubs – 0.45

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals – 1.48

John Lackey, Cardinals – 1.78



Rick Porcello, Red Sox – 45 (43 1/3 IP)

Drew Smyly, Rays – 45 (36 IP)

Carlos Carrasco, Indian – 43 (25 2/3)


Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – 58 (44 IP)

Max Scherzer, Nationals – 50 (41 2/3)

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals – 50 (30 1/3)



Houston Street, Angels – 9

Andrew Miller, Yankees – 8

Brad Boxberger, Rays – 7


Mark Melancon, Pirates – 8

Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers – 7

Kenley Jansen, Dodgers – 7

John Axford, Rockies – 7

A.J. Ramos, Marlins – 7


And now the MLB Leaders Through September



Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals – .331

Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins – .331

Buster Posey, C, Giants – .321


Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers – .334

Xander Bogaerts, SS. Red Sox – .323

Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros – .310



Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles – 45

Nelson Cruz  RF, Mariners – 44

Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays – 41

Mike Trout, CF, Angels – 41


Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies – 41

Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals – 41

Carlos Gonzalez RF, Rockies – 40



Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies – 127

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, D-backs – 106

Matt Kemp, RF, Padres – 100


Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays – 123

Jose Bautista, RF. Blue Jays – 113

Chris Davis, 1B. Orioles – 112 



Josh Donaldson, 3B. Blue Jays – 122

Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays – 107

Brian Dozier, 2B, Twins – 101

Mike Trout, CF, Angels – 101


Bryce Harper, CF, Nationals – 117

A.J. Pollock, CF, D-backs – 107

Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals – 101



Billy Hamilton, CF, Reds  – 57

Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins – 56

Charlie Blackmon, CF, Rockies – 42


Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros – 38

Lorenzo Cain, CF, Royals – 28

Billy Burns, CF, A’s – 26

Jarrod Dyson, RF, Royals – 26

Through September Pitching Leaders



Jake Arrieta, Cubs – 21-6 (1.83 ERA)

Gerrit Cole, Pirates – 19-8 (2.60)

Zack Greinke, Dodgers – 18-3 (1.68)

Madison Bumgarner, Giants – 18-9 (2.93)


Dallas Keuchel, Astros – 19-8 (2.47)

Felix Hernandez, Mariners – 18-9 (3.53)

David Price, Tigers/Blue Jays – 18-5 (2.45)

Collin McHugh, Astros – 18-7 (3.98)



Zack Greinke, Dodgers – 1.68

Jake Arrieta, Cubs – 1.82

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – 2.16


David Price, Tigers/Blue Jays – 2.45

Dallas Keuchel, Astros – 2.47

Sonny Gray, A’s – 2.73



Chris Sale, White Sox – 267 (201 2/3 IP)

Chris Archer, Rays – 248 (207 IP)

Corey Kluber, Indians – 236 (214 IP)


Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – 294 (229 IP)

Max Scherzer, Nationals – 259 (219 2/3 IP)

Madison Bumgarner, Giants – 234 (218 1/3 IP)



Brad Boxberger, Rays – 40

Huston Street, Angels – 40

Andrew Miller, Yankees – 36


Mark Melancon, Pirates – 51

Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals – 48

Jeurys Familia, Mets – 42




To close, here are the MLB standing as of September 30



Blue Jays         92-66   .582

Yankees           86-72   .544     6.0

Red Sox           78-80   .494     14.0

Orioles             77-81   .487     15.0

Rays                77-81   .487     15.0


Royals             91-67   .576

Twins              82-76   .519     9.0

Indians            78-79   .497     12.5

White Sox       74-84   .468     17.0

Tigers               73-85   .471     18.0


Rangers           86-72   .544

Astros              84-75   .528     2.5

Angels             83-75   .525     3.0

Mariners          75-84   .472     11.5

A’s                  66-93   .415     20.5


Mets                89-69   .563

Nationals         80-78   .506    9.0

Marlins            69-89   .437    20.0

Braves             64-94   .405     25.0

Phillies            61-97   .386     28.0


Cardinals         100-59 .629

Pirates             93-63   .604     4.0

Cubs                93-65   .589     6.5

Brewers            68-90   .430     31.5

Reds                63-95   .399     36.5


Dodgers            88-70   .557

Giants              83-75   .525     5.0

D-backs           77-81   .487     11.0

Padres             73-85   .462     15.0

Rockies             66-92   .418     22.0


I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Member: Society for American Baseball Research; The Baseball Reliquary; Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

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Satchel Paige – His Last MLB Innings – Fifty Years Ago Today



Fifty years ago today (September 25, 1965), a true baseball legend did something truly legendary. Leroy “Satchel” Paige took the mound in a regular season major league game for the last time – at the (conservatively reported) age of 59.

It was the final day of the season and the Kansas City Athletics and Boston Red Sox were playing a relatively meaningless game in Kansas City.  A’s owner Charles Finley decided that Paige – who had not pitched in the majors since 1953 – might be just the “ticket” to boost attendance for the final contest.  (Finley had contacted Paige a few days earlier and Satchel had agreed to make an appearance – which would earn the popular Paige the title of the oldest player ever to appear in an MLB game.)

Paige had, of course made a name for himself, long before he ever made it to the big leagues.  (Paige became baseball’s oldest-ever rookie in 1948 – the year after Jackie Robinson broke through MLB’s color line – signing with the Cleveland Indians and going 6-1, with a 2.47 ERA at the age of 42.)

He started his professional career with the Chattanooga Black Lookouts in the Negro Southern League in 1926 and went on to pitch for the Birmingham Black Barons, Baltimore Black Sox, Nashville Elite Giants , Cleveland Cubs, Pittsburgh Crawfords and Kansas City Monarchs – as well as in Mexico, Cuba and the Dominica Republic and with a mixed-race team in Bismarck, North Dakota. When he wasn’t pitching for those teams, he caught on with or led “barnstorming” teams – often playing against, and defeating, teams boasting some of major league baseball’s best players.

How good was Satchel Paige?  Here’s what a few major league Hall of Famers had to say about him.

Joe DiMaggio called him “the best and fastest pitcher I ever faced” … and said that once he got a hit off Paige he knew he was ready for the major leagues.

Casey Stengel said “He threw the ball as far from the bat and as close to the plate as possible”

Dizzy Dean was pretty impressed as well  … “My fastball looks like a change of pace alongside that little pistol bullet Satchel shoots up to the plate.”

Hack Wilson agreed with Dean’s assessment of the Paige heater, saying “It starts out like a baseball and, when it gets to the plate, it looks like a marble.”

And HOFers like Bob Feller and Ted Williams simply labeled Paige one of, if not the, greatest pitchers in the game.

How popular was Paige? He had been one of the greatest draws in the Negro Leagues and on the barnstorming circuit and his first start in Cleveland drew 72,434 fans (more than double the Indians’ average attendance of 33,598 for the season).

Between 1948 and 1953 Paige played in five MLB seasons – for the Indians and Saint Louis Browns – primarily as a relief pitcher, making the All Star team in 1952 and 1953. Although he played professionally (Negro Leagues and Minor Leagues) and returned to barnstorming after 1953, Paige did not play in another MLB game until his start for the Athletics in 1965.

And just how did that historic appearance go?   Off the diamond, comically, with Paige (always the showman) spending the pre-game time in a rocking chair being attended to by a nurse.  On the field, he may not have thrown as hard, but witnesses say the pinpoint control was still there.  Paige pitched three scoreless innings, just 28 pitches, and gave up just one hit – a double to Carl Yastrzemski. For you trivia buffs, Yaz got the final hit off of Paige and the opposing pitcher Bill Monboquette was Paige’s final MLB strikeout victim (in the third inning).

You could fill books with Paige’s  philosophical quotes.  One of my favorites is “Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”  Well, fifty years ago today, age didn’t matter to Satchel Paige.

Paige took the mound – fifty-nine years young.

Then he limbered his arm – and got the job done.

Yaz may have doubled, but no one else did much.

As Ol’ Satch proved to them all that he still had the touch.


I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT.

Member: Society for American Baseball Research; The Baseball Reliquary; Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

Seaver and Cone – Good Timing in the Big Apple

Timing may not be everything, but it can really “be something special.” In this post, BBRT looks at a couple of very well timed pitching performances – Tom Seaver’s 19-strikeout effort in 1970 and David Cone’s 1999 perfect game.

April 22, 1970 – Shea Stadium – Tom Terrific for the Record


On April 22, 1970, before an Astros/Padres game at Shea Stadium, Mets’ starting pitcher (and future Hall of Famer) Tom Seaver was officially presented with his 1969 Cy Young Award (his first of three CYAs).  In 1969, Seaver’s third major league season, he had gone 25-7, with a 2.21 ERA and 208 strikeout in 273 1/3 innings pitched. BBRT note: Seaver would go on to win 311 MLB games (20 seasons) versus 205 losses, win twenty or more in a season five times, post a career 2.86 ERA and strike out 3,640 batters in 4,783 innings pitched. He would lead his league in wins three times, winning percentage once, ERA three times, strikeouts five times, complete games once and shutouts three times – while being selected to a dozen All Star squads (as well as 1967 NL Rookie of the Year).

On April 22, 1970, however, the timing was right for the 25-year-old right-hander not only to receive his 1969 Cy Young Award, but to prove the previous campaign was no fluke – and he did just that, in style.

It was Seaver’s fourth start of the young season and he came into the game with a 2-0 record, a 2.55 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings pitched. Opposing Seaver on the mound was Padres’ righty Mike Corkins – 0-1, with a 6.23 ERA.

The contest proved to be a true pitchers’ duel.  After five innings, the Met’s held a 2-1 lead (the eventual final score). Seaver had given up just two hits and one run (on a second-inning home run by Padres’ LF Al Ferrara). Seaver had fanned nine hitters in just five innings – but the best was yet to come.  Corkins, by the way, was also pitching a solid game – working his way into and out of trouble.  Through five innings, he had given up two runs on four hits and three walks (one intentional), while fanning two. (He would end up going seven innings and giving up just two runs.)

In the bottom of the sixth, Seaver got the first hitter on a foul pop up and the second (CF Cito Gaston) on a fly out to right.  That would be the last Padres’ hitter to put a ball in play.  Seaver recorded the third out in the sixth by fanning Al Ferrara (he of the second inning homer) on a called third strike. Seaver then went on to strike out the side in order in the seventh, eighth and ninth – with the final out and strikeout of the game being, appropriately, Ferrara.

So, on the day he was presented his Cy Young Award, Seaver got a win, threw a complete game two-hitter, tied the MLB nine-inning game strikeout record at 19 (later surpassed by Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood) and set the single-game consecutive strikeout record (which still stands) at ten.  Good timing, Tom Terrific.

July 18, 1999 – Yankee Stadium – David Cone’s “Perfect” Timing


On July 18, 1999, the New York Yankees held Yogi Berra Day.  As part of the pre-game festivities, the fans were treated to former Yankee Don Larsen throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to Berra – reuniting the battery for the most famous (and only World Series) perfect game ever pitched (October 8, 1956).  The 41,390 fans in attendance had no idea of the treat that was yet to come.

On the mound for the Yankees that day was right-hander David Cone, who came into the contest with a  9-4 record and a 2.86 ERA.  Opposing Cone was the Montreal Expos’ Javier Vazquez (2-4, 6.63).

The game started out routinely enough.  The Expos went down in order in the top of the first inning (strikeout, fly out, fly out). The Yankees went scoreless in the bottom of the inning (leadoff hitter Chuck Knoblauch hit by pitch, followed by a fly out and two infield ground outs). The Expos went quietly again in the second (strikeout, groundout, groundout), but the Yankees exploded for five runs in the bottom of the inning  – a frame which included home runs by LF Rickey Ledee and SS Derek Jeter.  After that it was clearly “game on” for Cone, as he struck out the side (in order) on 12 pitches in the top of the third.

The rest, as they say, is history.  The Yankees won 6-0 and Cone pitched a perfect game (still the only one in  an interleague contest) – on the day when Don Larsen (who tossed the only World Series perfecto) tossed out the first pitch.  Cone used just 88 pitches to record his 27 outs, throwing 68 for strikes (he fanned ten Expos).  Cone’s 88 pitches are the second-fewest ever in a perfect game (Addie Joss had a 74-pitch perfect outing in 1908.)

BBRT note:  Cone’s perfecto almost didn’t make it into the books – the game was delayed for 33 minutes by rain in the bottom of the third inning.

Cone ended the 1999 season – the 36-year-old’s 14th MLB campaign – 12-9, with a 3.44 ERA. His career stats were 194-126, 3.46, with 2,668 strikeouts in 2,898 2/3 innings pitched. In his career, he was a two-time 20-game winner, won the 1994 Cy Young Award (while with the Royals), led his league in wins once, winning percentage once and strikeouts twice. In 1992, he led MLB in strikeouts with 261, without leading either league (214 for the Mets, 47 for the Blue Jays). Cone was a five-time All Star.

Clearly, in 1999, he picked a “perfect” day to put it all together – with Berra and Larsen “in the building.”

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Member: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), The Baseball Reliquary, Baseball Bloggers Alliance.