Willie Mays and George Brett – They Won a Couple of Close Ones

WILLIE MAYS COMES BACK – HIS 1954 BATTING TITLE

WillieOn this day (September 26) in 1954, Willie Mays won his first (only) batting title – and it was quite a comeback.  The Say Hey Kid was coming back from missing the 1953 season (military service) and – on that September day – he was also focused on coming back from third place in the batting race.

The Giants, who were headed for the World Series, were taking on the Phillies in Philadelphia. As the game got underway, Giants’ RF Don Mueller was hitting .34258; the Dodgers’ CF Duke Snider (starting against the Pirates in Brooklyn) was just .00007 behind at .34251; and Mays was third at .34224.

That day, the Dodgers’ starting pitcher, 23-year-old rookie southpaw Karl Spooner, was appearing in just his second MLB game.  In his first outing (September 22), he had thrown a complete-game shutout against the Giants. He picked up a 3-0 win, giving up just three hits and three walks – while fanning fifteen. Spooner built on that performance against the Pirates, again notching a complete game shutout (1-0), this time allowing four hits and three walks and fanning a dozen. The Pirates’ Jake Thies (3-8 on the year) was nearly as good, also pitching a four-hit complete game, giving up a single run on a Gil Hodges’ round tripper. Thies’ performance (the best of his two-season MLB career) cost Snider his chance at the batting title, as the future Hall of Famer went zero-for-three and dropped to .341.  Side note: Spooner suffered a shoulder injury in 1955 Spring Training and pitched in only two Major League seasons (1954-55), going 10-6, 3.09.

Meanwhile, the Giants were facing a tough pitcher in 23-game winner Robin Roberts.  Mueller got off to a good start with a single in the first inning, but he didn’t get another hit until the tenth (the Giants won in eleven). Mueller ended two-for-six, dropping his average to .342.  Mays touched Roberts (who pitched a complete game) for a single in the second, a groundout to second in the fourth, a triple in the seventh, a double in the eighth and an intentional walk in the tenth.  His three-for-four game pushed his average up to .345 – as Mays moved from third place to first on the leader board.

The anniversary of Mays’ batting title (and the close race described above) caused me to reflect on another very close batting race. This one took place in 1976 – and that’s what this post is really about.

Minnesota fans (I am a Minnesota fan, see my smile this year) may recall the 1976 AL batting race which carried right into the contenders’ final game (October 3) and final inning – with the three leading candidates playing in the same ballpark.

BrettReally, the stage had been set when the final regular season series opened two days before.  At that time, Royals’ DH Hal McRae was leading the AL with a .333 average, followed by Royals’ 3B George Brett at .328 and Twins’ 1B (already a five-time batting champion) Rod Carew at .325.

McRae took a zero-for-four that day (October 1) – as the Twins won 4-3 – and the batting race tightened up. Brett went three-for-three and pulled within .00005 of McRae – .33073 to .33078. Carew went two-for-four to move to .327 (no extra digits necessary).  Of interest here is that, despite the loss, the Royals were able to celebrate a division title that evening – thanks to an Oakland loss. The title-clinching opened the door for Carew to get back into the race.

The following day, the Twins again won (3-2) and – with Brett and McRae (and a number of other Royals’ regulars) on the bench – Carew reinserted himself into the final leg of the dash for the batting crown, going three-for-four and raising his average to .32945.

Here’s how things unfolded, with all three contenders on the same field for the final regular season game.

At game time, as noted earlier, Royals’ DH Hal McRae was leading the race at .33078, Royals’ 3B George Brett stood at .33073 and Twins’ 1B Rod Carew was third at .32945.

In the top of the first, Carew walked – and the leaderboard went unchanged.

In the bottom of the first, Brett (batting third) lined to short for the final out of the inning. His averaged dropped to .33022, giving just a bit more breathing room to McRae.

McRae, however, led off the bottom of the second and the Royals’ DH and cleanup hitter flied out to center and dropped to second in the race.  (McRae had more than 100 fewer at bats than Brett, so each out, or hit, made more of a difference.)  The race now stood at: Brett – .33022; McRae – .33015; Carew – .32945.

Carew lost more ground in his next at bat, by grounding out to shortstop in the top of the third.  His average slipped to .32890.

Brett added to his lead in the bottom of the fourth, with a double to right.  Now it was: Brett (.33126); McRae (.33015); Carew (.32890). But, McRae wasn’t done. He followed McRae’s double with a single to center of his own – raising his average to .33143 and retaking the lead.

Carew seemed to slip out of the competition in the top of the fifth, grounding out to second and dropping to .32836.  However, he got another at bat before Brett or McRae – and doubled to left (top of the seventh), putting the leaderboard at: McRae – .33143; Brett – .33126; Carew – .32947.

In the bottom of the seventh, Brett opened with a double to briefly retake the lead at .33230.  McRae, however, followed with an RBI single to go back in front. The leaderboard after seven innings: McRae – .33270; Brett – .33230; Carew – .32947.

The final inning of the final game and this thing wasn’t over yet – although Carew’s chances were. He singled in the top of the ninth, raising his average to .33057. But, even if Brett made an out in the bottom of the inning, the Royals’ 3B would finish at .33178.  Brett, however, did not make an out.  In the bottom of the ninth, he circled the bases on an inside-the-park home run that fell in front of and then bounced past Twins’ left fielder Steve Brye. (More on that in a minute.)  That put Brett in the batting lead at .33333. McRae, who was coming to the plate, still had a shot. A base hit would give McRae a .33397 average and the batting title, an out would put him at .33207, and  a non-at bat (walk, hit-by-pitch, sacrifice) would keep him at .33270 (still second to Brett). McRae needed a hit, but grounded out to shortstop.  The final tally – you can look it up – was Brett – .333; McRae – 332; Carew – .331. In one of the closest races ever – and one with a finish that quickly became controversial.

There were those in the stands – including McRae – that felt that Brye gave up on the Brett inside-the-park home run. McRae even felt that Twins’ Manager Gene Mauch had ordered Brye to misplay Brett fly ball, raising the possibility of racial motivation. In fact, after his ninth-inning groundout, McCrae made a one-finger gesture toward the Twins dugout, which led a bench-emptying confrontation.  Brye’s response was that he had been playing too deep and had simply misjudged the ball.  In the end, the first of three Brett batting titles was won in a tight race, in the last inning of the regular season, with a bit of a twist at the end – a twist that still stirs up some interesting conversation in Kansas City and Minnesota.

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Follow/Like Baseball Roundtable’s Facebook page here.

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

Gary Ward – A Cycling Record (or two)

I always like it when I have the opportunity to reflect on a hometown Twins’ accomplishment – and this is one of those days.

WardOn September 18, 1980, as the Twins faced off against the Brewers in the first game of a doubleheader, a 26-year-old rookie named Gary Ward was leading off and starting in left field for Minnesota. A September call-up, it was Ward’s fourth game of the season for the Twins and just the 14th MLB game of his professional career. (Ward had played in ten games for the Twins at the end of the 1979 season and was hitting .282, with 13 home runs, 66 RBI and 26 steals at Triple A when he got the 1980 call to the big club.) Little did Ward know, he was about to earn his way into the MLB record books that day.

In the top of the first inning, Ward double to center off Brewers’ starter Mike Caldwell. In the top of the third, with the Twins trailing 7-1, the 6’2”, 195-pound Ward singled to left – again off Caldwell. In the top of the fifth, he homered to center off Cardwell (Ward’s first major league round tripper) – cutting the lead to 7-2. In the seventh, he rapped a run-scoring triple to right field off reliever Reggie Cleveland, cutting the deficit to two runs (7-5) – and, of course, completing the cycle.  Notably, Ward had shown his ability to use the entire field – double and homer to center, triple to right and single to left.   In his final at bat, Ward lined out to short. His line for the day? Four-for-five with two runs scored and two RBI. The Twins, by the way, lost 9-8 on a walk-off home run by Milwaukee CF/clean-up hitter Gorman Thomas.

In completing his cycle, Ward immediately “wrote” one entry into the MLB record books and set the foundation for a second.

First, Ward set the record (which still stands) for the fewest MLB games played when recording a cycle (14). The Giants’ Fred Lewis came close to Ward’s record when he hit for the cycle in his 16th MLB game (May 13, 2007) – still the NL record for earliest cycle.

Second, Ward laid the foundation for the only (thus far) father-son combination to hit for the cycle. On May 26, 2004, Gary Ward’s son Daryle – playing 1B and batting third for the Pirates as they took on the Cardinals in St. Louis – hit for the cycle.  In that 11-8 Pirates victory Daryle Ward went four-for-six with three runs scored and six RBI.

For more on MLB’s cycles, click here.

SKIPPING A GENERATION

While, Gary and Daryle Ward are the only father-son combination to hit for the cycle, there is another “relatively” rare family cycle link.  Pirates’ RF Gus Bell and Phillies’ 3B David Bell are the only grandfather-grandson combination to achieve that feat (June 4, 1951 and June 28, 2004, respectively)

Here’s a bit more on the Twins’ Gary Ward. In that 1981 call-up, he hit .463, with one home runs and ten RBI in 13 games. Over five seasons as a Twin, Ward hit .285-51-219, with 26 steals (417 games). Over a 12-season MLB career (Twins, Rangers, Yankees, Tigers), Ward hit .276-130-597, with 83 steals (and 41 triples). The two-time All Star’s best season was 1982, when he hit .289, with 28 home runs and 91 RBI in 162 games for Minnesota. His son Daryle played 11 seasons in the majors (Astros, Cubs, Pirates, Dodgers, Nationals – 1998-2008). Daryle, playing outfield and first base, hit .263, with 90 home runs and 379 RBI over his career. His best campaign was 2002, with the Astros, when he hit .276-12-72 in 136 games.

GOING DEEP – THREE GENERATIONS DEEP

In this post, BBRT noted that Gus and David Bell are the only grandfather-grandson combination to hit for the cycle. The Bell family did have a chance to go three-deep in the cycle, as Gus’ son (and David’s father) Buddy Bell also played in the major leagues.

Here’s a list of three-generation major league families.

COLEMAN FAMILY

First Generation:

Joseph Patrick Coleman, pitcher … (MLB 1942-1955 … 52-76, 4.36)

Second Generation:

Joseph Howard Coleman, pitcher … (MLB 1965-79 … 142-135, 3.70)

Third Generation:

Casey Coleman, pitcher … (MLB 2010-12, 2014 … 8-13, 5.72)

_____________________________

BOONE FAMILY

First Generation:

Ray Boone, 3B-SS-1B … (MLB 1948-60 … .275, 151 HR, 737 RBI)

Second Generation:

Bob Boone, catcher … (MLB 1972-90 … .254, 105 HR, 826 RBI)

Third Generation:

Bret Boone, 2B … (MLB 1992-2005 … .266, 252 HR, 1,021 RBI)

Aaron Boone, 3B-1B … (MLB 1997-2009 … .263, 126 HR, 555 RBI)

_________________________________

BELL FAMILY

First Generation:

Gus Bell, Outfield … (MLB 1950-64 … .281, 206 HR, 942 RBI)

Second Generation:

Buddy Bell, 3B … (MLB 1972-89 … .279, 201 HR, 1,106 RBI)

Third Generation:

David Bell, 3B-2B … (MLB 1995-2006 … .257, 123 HR, 589 RBI)

Mike Bell, 3B … (MLB 2000 … .222, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

______________________________________

HAIRSTON FAMILY

First Generation:

Sammy Hairston, catcher … (MLB 1951 … .400, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

Second Generation:

Jerry Hairston, Outfield… (MLB 1973-89 … .258, 30 HR, 205 RBI)

Third Generation:

Jerry Hairston, Jr., 2B-3B-OF-SS … (MLB 1998-2013 … .257, 70 HR, 420 RBI)

Scott Hairston, Outfield … (MLB 2004-14 … .242, 106 HR, 313 RBI)

 

Coming soon, the results of BBRT’s first fan survey.  You can take the survey here.

Spoiler Alert from early returns: Beer and hot dogs are still number one; respondents are fine with instant replay, not so with waving a batter to first base on an intentional walk; double plays are more popular than strikeouts; and respondents would rather be in the stands for a perfect game than a four-homer game.

 

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Follow/Like the Baseball Roundtable Facebook Page here.

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

The RH Factor – Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins is for Real

“We can’t put guys in the seats, can we now?”

                               Miami Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly …

                                 on defending against Rhys Hoskins.

HoskinsPhillies’ rookie Rhys Hoskins is the RH Factor in the middle of the Philadelphia line-up – putting up a .310-17-37 stat line since his MLB debut on August 10.  In yesterday’s contest – an 8-1 Phillies win over the Marlins in Philadelphia – the 6’5”, 24-year-old 1B/OF went two-for-two, with two runs scored and three RBI. He notched a two-run home run, a run-scoring sacrifice fly, a single and drew a walk in four plate appearances.  The home run was his 17th of the season and, like most of his long balls, carried a little history over the fence.  Coming in just his 33rd MLB game, it made Hoskins the fastest player to reach 17 career round trippers. And, it wasn’t even close – the next quickest to 17 career long balls in the big leagues was Boston Brave Wally Berger at 42 games in 1930.   Then again, Hoskins seems to be getting to all the long-ball marks at breakneck speed.  As the chart below shows, he has been the fastest to reach every career home run mark from nine to 17 (with more to come). Side Note: In other news … only Zeke Bonura, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams got to 37 career RBI in as few games as Hoskins. Not bad company.)

RHYS HOSKINS IS THE FASTEST PLAYER TO REACH …

          Nine Home Runs … 16 games

         Ten Home Runs … 17 games

         Eleven Home Runs … 18 games

         Twelve Home Runs …24 games

         Thirteen Home Runs … 29 games

         Fourteen Home Runs … 30 games

         Fifteen Home Runs … 32 games

         Sixteen Home Runs … 32 games

         Seventeen Home Runs … 33 games

So, where did the rookie “phenom” come from?  Let’s take a look.  (Oh, and just so you don’t think BBRT climbed aboard the Hoskins’ bandwagon a little late, the RH Factor was featured in a September 1 post – the August Wrap Up.)

First, I think it’s fair to say, the scouts didn’t see this coming – and that goes for pro and college scouts.  In 2011, when Hoskins graduated from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California – where he played baseball, football and basketball – he apparently wasn’t on anyone’s radar. (In his senior season, he hit .304, with three home runs and 22 RBI.) Not only did Hoskins go undrafted by the pros, he received only one college scholarship offer – California State University at Sacramento.

Coming out of high school, Rhys Hoskins wasn’t on the scouts’ radar.

Hoskins made the most of his three years as a Sacramento State Hornet: First Team Freshman All-American (Baseball America & Louisville Slugger) and Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year (.353-10-53); a .283-3-37 sophomore season; Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a Junior (.319-12-53).   That performance earned him $349,700 as the Phillies’ selection in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2014 MLB Draft.  Note: Hoskins was also a three-time Academic All-WAC honoree.

Hoskins began his professional career with the short-season (New York-Penn League), Williamsport Crosscutters, where hit just .237, but showed budding power with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 70 games. In 2015, Hoskins hit a combined .319-17-90 at Class A and High-A. In 2016, he really broke out – earning Eastern League (Double A) Rookie of the Year honors with a .281-38-111 season (135 games) for the Reading Fightin’ Phils. That $350,000 investment was looking pretty good by then.

2017 – THE YEAR OF THE RH FACTOR

Then came 2017, and Hoskins’ blazing start with the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs – .284-29-91 line in 115 games (International League MVP and Rookie of the Year). Just as important, he showed solid plate discipline, drawing 64 walks (versus 75 strikeouts). That earned Hoskins an August call up to the big club – where the burn did not exactly continue (at least nor right away).

In his first major league at bat (August 10), Hoskins struck out looking versus the Mets’ Jacob deGrom. His next trip to the plate, he hit into a 4-6-3 double play.  And in his final plate appearance of the day, he drew a six-pitch walk. After four games, things did not look much better. Hoskins was one-for-sixteen (.077), with one run scored and one RBI.

In Hoskins’ fifth game (August 14), things began to get interesting, as he went two-for-four with a pair of home runs.  Since that time (29 games between August 14 and September 13), Hoskins has hit .340, with 17 home runs, 36 RBI and 30 runs scored.  He also put up nearly identical numbers for walks (21) and strikeouts (22) over those 29 games. (He has 24 walks and 26 strikeouts overall.)  That combination of power and patience is why so many are convinced Hoskins is the real deal.

In  a clutch situation. a walk may be the best way to “de-fence” Rhys Hoskins.

And, just to top it off his hot start at the plate, young Mr. Hoskins – on August 27 –  made a sliding, shoestring catch to start a 7-4-3 triple play.

CAN RHYS HOSKINS WIN THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD?

Can a player who debuts in August capture the Rookie of the Year Award?  There is a (close) precedent. In 1959, San Francisco Giants’ rookie first baseman Willie McCovey made his MLB debut on July 30.  The future Hall of Famer captured NL rookie of the year honors despite playing in only 52 games.  McCovey put a .354-13-38 stat line that season.  Hoskins, who made his MLB debut on August 10, should surpass McCovey  in all offensive categories except average.  He’s could win this thing.  His biggest obstacle may be another 1B/OF –  Dodgers’ rookie Cody Bellinger , .272-37-86 through 116 games, who looks to break the NL rookie season home run record this campaign. Still, Hoskins should pick up his share of votes.

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Follow/Like the Baseball Roundtable Facebook Page here.  More baseball commentary, blog post notifications and PRIZES.

Member: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliqauary; The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Baseball Bloggers Alliance

Another Episode of How the Game Has Changed

Jerry Koosman ... 20-game winner for the Mets and the Twins.

Jerry Koosman … 20-game winner for the Mets and the Twins.

On this date (September 12) in 1969, the Mets – on their way to a World Series title – were in Pittsburgh for a doubleheader against the Pirates. Both games ended 1-0 in favor of the New Yorkers – and in both contests, the winning pitcher also drove in the only run.

In Game One, the Mets’ Jerry Koosman went the distance, giving up just three hits and three walks, while fanning four. He also drove in the winning (and only) tally with a single to right field off Pirates’ starter Bob Moose in the top of the fifth inning. It was Koosman’s fourteenth win of the season (versus nine losses).

In Game Two, the Mets’ Don Cardwell picked up his seventh win (versus nine losses), giving up just four hits over eight innings, while walking one and fanning three. (Tug McGraw pitched the ninth for his 12th save.) In the top of the second, Cardwell drove in the game’s only run with a single to left-center off Pirates’ starter Dock Ellis.

Now, you still see the occasional doubleheader, shutout and pitchers’ game-winning RBI (that final occurence more often in the NL, of course).  However, this game did cause me to reflect on “how the game has changed” over the years.  (Also, it gave me a chance to feature a Minnesota “favorite son,” Jerry Koosman – a career 222-game winner, who starred for the Mets and also was a 20-game winner for the Twins.) Here are just a few observations spurred by the anniversary of the New York/Pittsburgh double-dip.  Special note:  These are just observations, not judgements.

  • It was a doubleheader. (Don’t see many of those anymore.)

In 1969, MLB teams played 176 doubleheaders. Thus far, in 2017, there have been 29 doubleheaders (mostly split). Side note: The White Sox played a record 44 doubleheaders in 1943 and the Boston Braves played a record nine consecutive doubleheaders between September 4 and September 15, 1928 (18 games in 12 days). 

USED TO LOVE THOSE SUNDAY DOUBLE HEADERS

I always loved those Sunday two-for-one doubleheaders.  Of the 176 doubleheaders in 1969, 71 were Sunday twin bills. Over the course of the 1969 season, there were only three Sundays that didn’t feature at least one MLB doubleheader.

  • Total playing time for the TWO 1969 games was four hours and 21 minutes.

The QUICKEST two MLB games from yesterday (September 11) took a combined 5 hours and 37 minutes.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT

In 1969, the average MLB game took 2 hours and 32 minutes.  In 2017 (through September 11), the average is 3 hours and 9 minutes.

  • The Mets and Pirates used a total of seven pitchers (and remember no DH) in that 1969 double-dip.

THE MORE THE MERRIER?

In 1969, fans could expect to see an average of 5.2 pitchers per game (both teams).  In 2017 (through September 11), that average is about three pitchers higher (8.3).

  • The starting pitchers in the Mets/Pirates twin bill were on the mound for 33 of the 36 innings.
  • The two winning pitchers fanned just seven batters in 17 innings. (The losing hurlers – Dock Ellis and Bob Moose – fanned 21 in 16 frames.

FANNNING FOR THE FANS?

In 1969, a fan could expect to see an average of 11.6 strikeouts per game (both teams).  In 2017 (as of September 11), that average is up to 16.7.

  • Jerry Koosman’s complete game shutout in the first game of the DH was his 13th complete game of the season – and his fourth complete-game shutout.

Koosman ended the season with 16 complete games and six shutouts and finished tied for ninth in the NL in compete games (Bob Gibson led with 28) and tied for fourth in shutouts (Juan Marichal led with eight). This season, as of  September 11, Erwin Santana of the Twins leads all of MLB in complete games with five and shutouts with three. Only Santana and Corey Kluber have more than two complete games and only Santana, Kluber and the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez have more than one shutout.

  • There were, of course, no home runs in the doubleheader.

FANS DIG THE LONG BALL?

In 1969, MLB teams averaged approximately 1.6 home runs per game (both teams).  In 2017 (as of September 11) that average is 2.5. While that is only about one extra long ball per game, it is an increase of 57.5 percent.  

Again, just observations, no judgements.  Plus, a chance for younger fans to get a feel for how the game has changed over the years.

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Follow/Like the Baseball Roundtable Facebook page, here.  Blog post notifications, additional baseball commentary and PRIZES.

Member: Society y for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliquary; the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

MLB Players Weekend – A Four-Star Production

http://Embed from Getty Images

Let me start by admitting I can be a bit “old school” when it comes to the national pastime. I am:

  • Not fond of the DH (and believe it ought to stand for the disappearing DoubleHeader;
  • Prefer high socks to pajama pants;
  • Oppose waving a batter to first on an intentional walk;
  • Would take a well-turned double play over a pair of strikeouts and a triple over a 450-foot home run;
  • Would rather have a spirited debate than wait for a challenge decision;
  • Am more interested in how far a baseball travelled than its exit velocity and angle;
  • Like to see pitchers and hitters adjust to an umpire’s stike zone;
  • Would always choose outdoor over indoor baseball.

You get the idea.

However, I was pleased by the color, excitement and sense of “play” brought to the game by the MLB Players Weekend – more colorful uniforms and caps; personalized socks, bats and batting gloves: the MLB Players Weekend logo (from Little League to the “Bigs.”); tribute patches; nicknames on the backs of uniforms; and charity connections. All of this, I believe created more excitement, particularly for young fans and reminded us all that it’s still a game.   That, I believe, is  a good thing for baseball.

My favorite part of the promotion was the (player-chosen) nicknames on the uniforms.  There were some great ones: Josh Donaldson – Bringer of Rain;  Kendall Graveman – Digger (my nickname in my playing days); Robert Osuna – No Panic; Aaron Judge – All Rise; Chih-Wei Hu – Who?; Dustin Pedroia – Laser Show; Kenley Jansen – Kenleyfornia; Trevor Bauer – Bauer Outage; Ian Kinsler – Bootsie (Is that good for an infielder?); Yasiel Puig – Wild Horse.  And then, of course, there were those who used already well-established nicknames, like: Moose Moustakas; Mad-Bum Bumgarrner; Joey Bats Bautista; Miggy Cabrera.   Others, like Jason Motte (J Motte) used their first initial and last name and still other used just their first name (Matt Kemp; Koji Euhara; Homer Baily (still an unfortunate name for a pitcher).

Finally, there were those business-as-usual players who simply used their last name. In this post, I’d like to provide a list of my favorite nickname from each team, as well as suggestions for a few of the players who chose not to choose a nickname for the weekend.

MY FAVORITE PLAYERS WEEKEND NICKNAMES

     Arizona Diamondbacks – Chris Herrmann – Herm the Worm

     Atlanta Braves – Brandon Phillips – Dat Dude

     Baltimore Orioles – Manny Machado – Mr. Miami

     Boston Red Sox – Brock Holt – Brock Star

     Chicago Cubs – Justin Grimm – Reaper

     Chicago White Sox – Yoan Moncada – Yo Yo

     Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen – Zen Master

     Colorado Rockies – Charlie Blackmon – Chuck Nazty

     Cleveland Indians – Carlos Santana – Slamtana

     Detroit Tigers – Mike Mahtook – Night Hawk

     Houston Astros – Carlos Correa – Showrrea

     Kansas City Royals – Brandon Mauer – Mauer Power

     Los Angeles Angels – Albert Pujols – The Machine

     Los Angeles Dodgers – Curtis Granderson – Grandyman

     Miami Marlins – Jarlin Garcia – Jarlin the Marlin

     Milwaukee Brewers – Josh Hader – Haderade

     Minnesota Twins – Max Kepler – Rozycki

     New York Mets – Noah Syndergaard – Thor

     New York Yankees – Todd Frazier – Toddfather

     Oakland A’s – Chris Smith – Rock N Fire

     Philadelphia Phillies – Tommy Joseph – Tojo

     Pittsburgh Pirates – Gerritt Cole – Cole Train

     St. Louis Cardinals – Carlos Martinez – Tsunami

     San Diego Padres – Chase d’Arnaud – Cheetah

     San Francisco Giants – Pablo Sandoval – Panda

     Seattle Mariners – Nelson Cruz – Boomstick

     Tampa Bay Rays – Steve Cishek – Speedpass

     Texas Rangers – A.J. Griffin – Sweet Lettuce

     Toronto Blue Jays – Josh Donaldson – Bringer of Rain

     Washington Nationals – Bryce Harper – Big Kid

There were plenty of players who stayed “old school” and just went with their last names on thier uniform backs. Here are suggestions for next year for just a few of those:

Brett Gardner, Yankees – Old School (Gardner said he was “not a big fan” of the loosening of uniform rules)

Corey Gearrin, Giants – Gear Daddy

Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks – Grain-Man

Marco Gonzales, Cardinals – Polo

Mitch Haniger, Mariners – Handyman

Greg Holland, Rockies – Dutch Master

Scott Kazmir, Dodgers – Great Scott

Dallas Keuchel, Astros – Big K

Josh Lindblom, Pirartes – Kim Chee (Played in Korea)

Mike Minor, Royals – M & M’s

Gift Ngoepe – Gift is great on its own

Pat Neshek, Rockies – Collector (Memorabilia and autograph collector)

Dovydas Neverauskas – Scrabble

Daniel Nava, Phillies – Not Nova (See below)

Aaron Nola – Not Nava (See above)

Paulo Orlando, Royals – Three Bags Full (first three MLB hits were triples)

Cameron Perkins, Phillies – Pancakes

Ryan Schimpf – Etouffe

Corey Seager, Dodgers – Kyle’s Brother ()nly fair, Kyle used Corey’s Brother)

Tony Sipp, Astros – Big Gulp

Seth Smith, Diamondbacks – Little Eli (Backed up Eli Manning at Ole Miss)

George Springer, Astros – Slinky (The ultimate spring)

Matt Szczur,Padres – Scissors

Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks – 76

Scott Van Slyke, Reds – Family Business (son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke)

All in all a great weekend for MLB and the fans. Looking forward to next year.

 

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

 

Follow/Like Baseball Roundtable’s Facebook page here. Baseball commentary, blog post notificatins, PRIZES.

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

“Whiff”-le” Ball – Judge’s Record and a Look at the Other Side

Thirty-two MLB hitters have already struck out more times this season than Joe Sewell did in his  14-season (1920-33), 1,903-game major league career.

Aaron Judge baseball photo

Photo by apardavila

Yankees’ rookie phenom Aaron Judge – as most fans know – has set a new single-season  major league record for consecutive games with a strike out (for non-pitchers) at 37 (July 8 – August 20); topping Adam Dunn’s 2012 record of 32. (Judge’s streak ended yesterday.)  Judge also broke pitcher Bill Stoneman’s overall single-single season (1971) record for consecutive games played with a strikeout (35) and tied Stoneman’s record for consecutive games played with strikeout (over more than one season) of 37.

 

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

SewellIn 1929, Indians’ 3B Joe Sewell played an MLB (modern) record 115 consecutive games without striking out (May 19-September 19).  During his 115-game streak, Sewell racked up 436 at bats and 143 hits (.328), with 27 doubles, two triples, seven HR and 56 RBI.   On the season, Sewell fanned just four times in 578 at bats – and it wasn’t even his best campaign in terms of at bats/per whiff.   That would be 1932, when Sewell struck out just three times in 503 at bats.  For his career, Sewell fanned 114 times in 7,132 at bats – or once each 62.6 at bats. That puts Sewell second on the career list (among players who played after 1900) to Wee Willie Keeler, who fanned just once every 63.2 at bats in 19 MLB seasons (1892-1910).

 

Judge stopped his streak the hard way (at least for a free swinger) – with patience at the plate.  He came to the plate four times and recorded a single and three walks. Judge was pulled from the contest in the top of the seventh inning (pinch-hitter Jacob Ellsbury) with the Bronx Bombers up 11-1. During the whiff streak, Judge hit .176 (23-for-131), with eight home runs, 16 runs scored, 14 RBI, 31 walks and 63 strikeouts.  Before, we get too critical, however, let’s keep in mind that Judge (season-to-date) is hitting .284, with an AL-leading 37 home runs, 81 RBI, a league-leading 93 runs scored and a league-high 93 walks. Suddenly, those strikeouts (Judge has 167 on the season, second only to the Twins’ Miguel Sano at 170) don’t seem so important.

Woulda – Coulda – Shoulda

Aaron Judge’s best chance to end his record-setting consecutive games with a strikeout streak early may have come in Minnesota on July 19 (Whiff Game Number Nine), when his only plate appearance came as a pinch hitter with one out in the top of the ninth and the Yankees down 6-1. Twins’ reliever Trevor Hildenberger fanned Judge on three pitches (two fouls and a swinging strike).

The year Adam Dunn set the previous position player record for consecutive games with a strikeout (2012), he hit .204, with 41 home runs and 96 RBI (and, like Judge, was selected to the All Star team). During his 32-game whiff streak, Dunn hit .243 (27-for-111), with 10 home runs, 25 RBI, 19 runs scored, 25 walks and 47 strikeouts.   That season, Dunn struck out 222 times, one short of Mark Reynolds’ 2009 record.

ROLLING A 200

Five hitters have fanned 200 or more times in a season.  Mark Reynolds (Diamondbacks) was the first, with 204 strikeouts in 2008 … and also leads the pack with three such seasons (consecutively).

Mark Reynolds, D-backs, 2009                       223

Adam Dunn, White Sox, 2012*                        222

Chris Davis, Orioles, 2016                                 219

Chris Carter, Astros, 2013                                 212

Mark Reynolds, D-backs, 2010                        211

Chris Davis, Orioles, 2015                                  208

Chris Carter, Brewers, 2016                              206

Drew Stubbs, Reds, 2011                                     205

Mark Reynolds, D-backs, 2008                        204

 

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

Follow/Like the Baseball Roundtable Facebook page here.  Baseball commentary, blog post notifications, PRIZES.

Member: Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliquary; The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Baseball Bloggers Association.

Five Home Runs in an Inning – Fireworks Times Six

Bryce Harper photo

Bryce Harper. Photo by Keith Allison

 

Yesterday, the Washington Nationals tied an MLB record by bashing five home runs in one inning – as they scored seven runs in the third inning of a 15-2 bashing of the Brewers in Washington.  It was the only the sixth time an MLB team has notched a five-dinger inning and featured long balls by CF Brian Goodwin (his tenth of the season); SS Wilmer Difo (third of the season); RF Bryce Harper (27th); 1B Ryan Zimmerman (21st); and 3B Anthony Rendon (21st).  We’ll take a look at the historic innings in detail in this post, but here are a few facts from th MLB’s five-homer innings.

 

  • A five-HR inning has been achieved five times in the NL – just once in the AL, by the Minnesota Twins on June 9, 1966.
  • The Cincinnati Reds have been the victims of four of the six five-homer innings.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers are the only team to both give up a five-homer inning and achieve a five-homer inning.
  • The home team has put on the power display five of the six times.
  • Fourteen of the 30 home runs have come with two outs.
  • Pitchers have contributed (as hitters) HRs in two of the six five-homer innings.
  • The Reds have been the “victims” in four of the six five-homer frames.
  • One of the five-homer innings was kept alive by three fielding errors.
  • One of the five-homer innings included two home runs by one player in the inning.
  • Two of the six power outbursts included an inside-the-park home run.
  • The five-homer innings have featured the scoring of 50 runs – the fewest at six, the most at 12.

Now, let’s take a closer look at those five-homer barrages.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

June 9, 1966 … Minnesota Twins versus Kansas City Athletics

Harmon Killebrew was a big gun in the Twins' five- homer inning.

Harmon Killebrew was a big gun in the Twins’ five- homer inning.

Things did not start out well for the Twins on the day of their historic power display.  With the game being played at Metropolitan Stadium (Bloomington, MN), the Athletics got off to a fast start, knocking out Twins’ ace Camilo Pascual in the top of the first. (Pascual lasted 2/3 of an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk.) With Catfish Hunter on the mound, the Twins’ chances looked slim.  The Twins scored one in the fifth and two in the sixth (on a Harmon Killebrew home run) and then, trailing 4-3, broke the game open with five home runs in the seventh.

It started innocently enough with a Catfish Hunter walk to C Early Battey, followed by an infield fly out for 2B Bernie Allen. That brought pinch hitter (for the pitcher) Rich Rollins to the plate, and he hit the inning’s first homer (just the second of ten HRs Rollins would hit in 1966). Lead-off hitter  SS Zoilo Versalles followed with his fifth homer of the year – and Paul Lindblad replaced Hunter on the mound. Lindblad got Twins’ LF Sandy Valdespino on a grounder to short, but then gave up consecutive round trippers to RF Tony Oliva (his 14th) and 1B Don Mincher (his 6th). That brought John Wyatt in from the bullpen and he quickly gave up a home run to 3B Harmon Killebrew (his second of the day and 11th of the year). Wyatt then gave up a double to RF Jimmie Hall and C Earl Battey reached on an error before 2B Bernie Allen ended the inning on a ground ball (catcher to first).

The Inning’s HR Hitters:  Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Tony Oliva, Don Mincher, Harmon Killebrew

Final Score:  Twins 9 – Athletics 4

_____________________________________

NATIONAL LEAGUE

June 6, 1939 … NY Giants versus Cincinnati Reds

Pitcher Manny Salvo hit an inside-the-park home run in Giants five-homer inning.

Pitcher Manny Salvo hit an inside-the-park home run in Giants five-homer inning.

The first-ever five-home run MLB inning took place in New York on June 6, 1930, as the sixth-place Giants (20-24 record) surprised the league-leading Reds (29-15) by a 17-3 score, plating all 17 runs in the first five innings.

The record-setting power display came in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Giants already up 6-0.  Peaches Davis, who had relieved Johnny Vander Meer in the first inning (Vander Meer had given up six hits and three runs in 2/3 of an inning), retired Giants’ LF Jo Jo Moore and SS Billy Jurgess to start the inning. Then the wheels came off.  C Harry Danning laced a home run to center (his sixth). Then clean-up hitter Mel Ott drew a walk, 1B Zeke Bonura singled and CF Frank Demaree hit the second home run of the inning (his second of the season).  That ended Davis’ day and brought Wesley Livengood (whose MLB career would consist of five appearances and a 9.53 ERA) to the hill. Livengood was not so good, he walked Tony Lazzeri and then gave up a home run to 2B Burgess Whitehead (the first of only two he would it in 1939).  Giants’ pitcher Manny Salvo was up next. A weak hitter (at best), Salvo surprised everyone in the ball park with the only home run of his five-season MLB career – an inside-the-park round tripper off the right field fence.  Next up was lead-off hitter Jo Jo Moore, who hit the fifth and final homer of the inning (and his second of the day).  And, all of this with two out. Livengood’s line for the day:  1/3 inning pitched, three hits, two walks, four earned runs (3 HRs).

The Inning’s Home Run Hitters: Harry Danning, Frank Demaree, Burgess Whitehead, Manny Salvo, Jo Jo Moore

Final Score:  Giants 17 – Reds 3

____________________________________

June 2, 1949… Philadelphia Phillies versus Cincinnati Reds

Andy Seminick hit two round trippers in the Phillies' five-homer inning.

Andy Seminick hit two round trippers in the Phillies’ five-homer inning.

Ten seasons passed before the next five-homer inning – and the victims were again the Reds.  This time the bashing came off the bats of the Phillies (in Philadelphia).  It started out as a close game, with the Reds actually leading 3-2 after seven innings behind a strong performance by starting pitcher Ken Raffensberger (who would win 18 games that season). Things, however, went awry in the bottom of the eighth.

CF Del Ennis (the Phillies’ clean-up hitter) led off the inning with a home run (his seventh of the season), which was followed by C Andy Seminick’s second home run of the game – marking Raffensberger’s exit. Jess Dobernic came on in relief and retired RF Stan Hollmig on a liner to short before giving up a home run to 3B Willie Jones (his third of the year). Dobrenic then induced a soft fly ball out to second base by 2B Eddie Miller, bringing up P Schoolboy Rowe, who had relieved Philadelphia starter Curt Simmons in the top of the eighth  (Stan Lopata had pinch hit for Simmons in the bottom of the seventh.) Rowe promptly rapped a home run to left (the only home run of the year for the 39-year-old veteran, in his last MLB season). Kent Petersen came on in relief of Dobernic and added fuel to the fire in this order:  walk to CF Richie Ashburn, double to SS Granny Hamner, 1B Eddie Waitkus safe on an error (Ashburn scores), an Ennis single to right (Hamner scores), and Seminick’s second home run of the inning (third of the game and seventh of the season). That was the end of the home runs, but the inning continued with the Phillies adding another run on a hit batsman and a triple.  Suddenly a 3-2 Reds lead was a 12-3 deficit.

The Inning’s Home Run Hitters; Del Ennis, Andy Seminick (2), Willie Jones, Schoolboy Rowe

Final Score:  Phillies 12 – Reds 3

________________________________

August 23, 1961 … San Francisco Giants versus Cincinnati Reds

Jim Davenport contributed a three-run inside-the-park homer to the Giants record-tying inning.

Jim Davenport contributed a three-run inside-the-park homer to the Giants record-tying inning.

Twelve seasons after five-home inning number two, it happened again – and for the third straight time, the Reds were the victims – and this time they were at home.  On August 23, 1961, another close game became a late-inning route.  The Reds trailed the San Francisco Giants 2-0 after eight innings with both starters (Juan Marichal for the Giants and Joey Jay for the Reds) still in the game.  A low-scoring game was expected, Marichal game into the contest with a 12-7 record for the third-place Giants, while Jay was 18-7 for the first-place Reds.

In the top of the ninth, however, the Giants broke the contest wide open.  1B Willie McCovey opened with a double off Jay and then scored on an error by Reds’ 2B Don Blasingame after a Willie Mays pop out. LF Orlando Cepeda and RF Felipe Alou followed with a pair of deep home runs (to center and left, respectively). It was Cepeda’s 36th of the year and Alou’s 15th.  That brought Jim Brosnan in from the bullpen – and led to a fly ball out by C John Orsino, singles to SS Jose Pagan and Marichal, 2B Joey Amalfitano reaching on an error by Reds’ third baseman Gene Freese (Pagan scoring), a three-run inside-the-park home run by 3B Jim Davenport (his 8th homer of the year) and a single to McCovey.  Next in the line of fire (relieving Brosnan) was Bill Henry, who gave up a two-run homer to Willie Mays (his 34th of the season), a single to Cepeda, and had Alou reach on Freese’s second error of the inning (and the Reds’ third miscue of the frame). Orsino then took Henry deep (just his second of the year) before Pagan struck out to mercifully end the 12-run, ninth-inning uprising.

The Inning’s Home Run Hitters:  Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Alou, Jim Davenport, Willie Mays, John Orsino

Final Score:  Giants 14 – Reds  0

______________________

April 22, 2006 … Milwaukee Brewers versus Cincinnati Reds

Prince Fielder put the "cherry on top" (old school analogy) for the Brewers.

Prince Fielder put the “cherry on top” (old
school analogy) for the Brewers.

The Brewers were less than hospitable hosts to the Reds on April 22, 2006 – when they pounded the visitors 11-0, racking up the fourth five-homer inning against the Reds’ franchise along the way.   The outburst came in the bottom of the fourth inning with starter Brandon Claussen still on the mound and the Reds trailing 3-0.

Milwaukee 3B Bill Hall (the number-six hitter) started it with a home run (his third of the young season). Then 2B Richie Weeks singled to left, scoring on C Damian Miller’s home run (his first of the year). That seemed to establish a (brief) HR-1B-HR pattern, as Brewers’ pitcher Dave Bush followed the Miller home run with a single and CF Brady Clark backed up the Bush single with his first home run of 2006. SS J.J. Hardy broke the pattern with a home run (his 3rd of the year).  At this point, Claussen had faced six batters in the inning, giving up four home runs and two singles – and his day was done.  Chris Hammond came on in relief and provided just that, striking out the first two batters he faced (RF Geoff Jenkins and LF Carlos Lee).  Then Prince Fielder gave the Brewers a piece of the five-homer in one inning record, hitting his third of the year. The carnage ended on a fly out to center by Hall.

The Inning’s Home Run  Hitters: Bill Hall, Damian Miller, Brady Clark, J.J. Hardy, Prince Fielder

Final Score:  Brewers 11 – Reds 0

_______________________________

July 27, 2017 … Washington Nationals versus Milwaukee Brewers

The Nationals (60-39, running away with the NL East) faced off (at home) against the Milwaukee Brewers, who were trying  to keep pace with the division-leading Cubs  in the NL Central. Washington was starting its staff “ace” – Max Scherzer – going for his twelfth win. Milwaukee countered with Michael Blazek getting his first start of the season (fifth appearance). It was also the first start of Blazek’s four MLB seasons (109 appearances).  After Scherzer worked a 1-2-3 top of the first, Blazek gave up a two-run home run to Bryce Harper to fall behind 2-0. Neither team scored in the second and Scherzer continued to hold the Brewers scoreless in the top of the third.

In the bottom of the third, Scherzer drew a walk to start things off. CF and leadoff hitter  Brian Goodwin followed with a home run to right (his tenth HR of the season); Then SS Wilmer Difo hit one out to right-center (his third HR of the season); RF Bryce Harper hit his second long ball of the game (27th of the season) to left-center; and Ryan Zimmerman added the fourth consecutive blast of the inning (his 21st of the year) to left-center. Daniel Murphy followed with a fly out to center, and 3B Anthony Rendon followed with the fifth homer of the inning (his 21st), this one to straight-away center.  That prompted a pitching change. New Brewer moundsman Wily Peralta gave up two singles and a double – and one more run – before getting out of the inning.  At the end of the frame, the score stood Washington 9 – Milwaukee.   And, the Nationals weren’t done yet.  They added six more runs in the bottom of the fourth on five hits (two more home runs) and a walk.

The Inning’s Home Run hitters: Brian Goodwin; Wilmer Difo; Bryce Harper; Ryan Zimmerman; Anthony Rendon

Final Score: Nationals 15-Bewers 2

FOUR IN A ROW – THAT’S A RECORD, TOO!

The Nationals also became just the eighth tEAM to hit four consecutive home runs in an inning.  Here’s the list.

Boston Red Sox: April 22, 2007 – Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek

LA Dodgers: September 18, 2006 – Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, Marlon Anderson

Minnesota Twins: May 2, 1964 – Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall

Cleveland Indians: July 31, 1963 – Woodie Held, Pedro Ramos, Tito Francona, Larry Brown

Milwaukee Braves: June 8, 1961 – Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, Frank Thomas

Chicago White Sox: August 14, 2008 – Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Juan Uribe

Arizona D-backs: August 11, 2010 – Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds, Stephen Drew

Washington Nationals: July 27, 2017 – Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman

 

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

 

Follow/Like Baseball Roundtable’s Facebook page – here.

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

 

Y

Baseball Roundtable All Star Ballot

Check out Baseball Roundtable’s All Star Ballot on the BBRT Facebook page … click here.  My votes – and a bit of justification.

Roger Maris – from zero intentional walks one season to four in one game – and other IBB Trivia

Maris

In 1961, the Yankees’ Roger Maris belted 61 home runs (breaking Babe Ruth’s then MLB record of 60). He also drove in a league-leading 141 runs, scored a league-leading 132 times and won his second consecutive AL Most Valuable Player Award. In addition, he drew a career-high 94 walks.  Ironically, however, 1961 was the only season in his 12-year MLB-career that Maris did not draw a single intentional walk. 

Compare that to the following season, when – On May 22, 1962 – in a 2-1, 12-inning Yankee victory over the Angels, Maris drew five walks in six trips to the plate – including an AL single-game record (later tied by the Red Sox’ Manny Ramirez) four intentional passes. In 1962, Maris drew a career-high eleven intentional passes, while putting up a .256-33-100 line.

 

Notably, when you talk intentional walks, the conversation pretty much has to focus on Barry Bonds.   Bonds holds the records for:

  • IBB in a season – 120 with the Giants in 2004. (Bonds, in fact, holds the top three spots. The first non-Barry on the list is the Giants Willie McCovey with 45.) Note: Only three players had as many total walks as Bonds had intentional walks in 2004 – Bobby Abreu, Lance Berkman, and Todd Helton (127 each). Bonds drew 232 total walks.
  • IBB in a career – 688. Second Place goes to the still active Albert Pujols of the Angels with 305 as this is written.
  • Most seasons leading the league in IBB – 12.
  • Most IBB’s in a nine-inning game – four (twice) on May 1 and September 22, 2004.

FEASTING ON FREEBEES

On May 22, 1990, RF and cleanup hitter Andre Dawson of the Cubs came to the plate eight times in a 16-inning, 2-1 Cubs win over the Reds. Dawson drew five intentional passes – the MLB record for IBB in a game. His day went like this:

  • Bottom of the first – runner on second and one out – intentional walk.
  • Bottom of the fourth – leading off – groundout to SS.
  • Bottom of the sixth – two outs and a runner on first – fly out to left.
  • Bottom of the eighth – score still 0-0, runner on third, two out – intentional walk.
  • Bottom of the 11th – runner on first, no outs – single.
  • Bottom of 12th – still 0-0, runners on first and second, two outs – intentional walk.
  • Bottom of 14th – score now 1-1, runner on second, two out – intentional walk.
  • Bottom of 16th – runners on first and third, one out – intentional walk, loading the bases. LF Dave Clark followed with a walk-off single to win the game.

Dawson, who hit .310-27-100, drew a career-high 21 intentional free passes in 1990.

A few other free pass marks:

  • Most IBB in a season in the American League – 33 by Ted Williams in 1957 and John Olerud in 1993.
  • Most IBB to a rookie – 16 to Mariners’ OF Al Davis in 1984, when he hit ..284-27-116 and was the AL Rookie of the Year.
  • Most intentional walks received by a team in a game – six, provided by the Cardinals (to the Giants) in a 5-2 loss On July 19, 1975 – with three going to number-eight hitter catcher Dave Rader. Here are the IBB’s: bottom of second to Dave Rader with a runner on second, one out and Cardinals down 2-0; bottom of third to Dave Rader, runners on second and third, two out, Cardinals down 4-2; bottom of the fifth to Dave Rader, with a runner on second, two out and the Giants up 4-2; bottom of the sixth to Bobby Murcer, with a runner on second, one out and the Giants up 4-2; bottom of the sixth to Willie Montanez, with the bases loaded, two outs and Giants still up 4-2; bottom of the eighth to Willie Montanez, with a runnr on third and one out and Giants up 4-2.
  • Six players have received intentional walks with the bases loaded: Abner Dalrymple (August 2, 1881); Nap Lajoie (May 23, 1901); Del Bissonette (May 2, 1928); Bill Nicholson (July 23, 1944); Barry (of course he did) Bonds (May 28, 1998); and Josh Hamilton (August 17, 2008).

WALKIN’ IN THE SUNSHINE

In 2004, the year he set the single-season record for intentional walks (120), Barry Bonds also set the single-season record for total walks (232). The next highest MLB walk total that season was 127.  In 2004, Bonds walked in 37.9 percent of his trips to the plate. (Notably, he only struck out 41 times in a .362-45-101 campaign.) While Bonds walked more than 100 times in a season 14 times, the only season he reached 100 strikeouts was in his rookie year (1986).  Note: The other two members of the 700+ home run club –  Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth – had zero 100 strikeout seasons between them.  Aaron also never drew 100 walks in a season, while Ruth had 12 seasons of 100+ bases on balls.

Among the references sources for this post: Baseball-Almanac.com; Baseball-Reference.com; MLB.com.

 

Follow/Like Baseball Roundtable’s Facebook page – here.  Baseball commentary, blog post notifications, baseball giveaways.

 

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

 

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

Grand (Slam) Old Day at the Ballpark(s)

Albert Pujols photo

Photo by Keith Allison

It was a big day in baseball yesterday, not only did fans witness the first no-hitter of the 2017 season (the Marlins’ Edison Volquez), but major league hitters bashed a one-day record seven Grand Slams.  The four-run blasts where flying off the bats of players from A to Z (Adams to Zunino). The “Granddaddy” of those was stroked by Angels’ DH Albert Pujols in a 7-2 win over the Twins. It was Pujols’ ninth round tripper of the year, but more significantly, the 600th of his career.

All in all, it was a good day to come to the plate with the sacks full. On the day, MLB hitters made 20 plate appearances with the bases loaded – and hit a robust .579 in those situations.  The finally bases-full tally:

  • 20 plate appearances;
  • 11 hits (19 at bats) and a walk;
  • Three singles, one double and seven Grand Slams;
  • 37 total RBI in bases-loaded trips to the plate.

Here are the day’s Grand Slam contributors:

Matt Adams, 1B, Braves …. Fifth home run of the season, as the Braves beat the Red 6-5. (Adams hit a second home run later in the game.)

Ian Desmond, 1B, Rockies – His third home run of 2017, as the Rockies topped the Padres 10-1.

Albert Pujols, DH, Angels … His ninth HR of the year, as Angels win 7-2 over Twins.

Kyle Schwarber, LF, Cubs … His ninth HR, as the Cubs topped the Cardinals 5-3.

Travis Shaw, 38, Brewers … His tenth long ball, as the Brewers lost 10-8 to the Dodgers.

Chris Taylor, CF, Dodgers … His seventh, as the Dodgers beat the Brewers 10-8.

Mike Zunino, C, Mariners …. His second dinger of the season, as the Mariners topped the Rays 9-2. (Zunino had seven RBI in the game.  He had just five RBI in 33 games played going into the game.)

I tweet baseball @DavidBBRT

 

FOLLOW/LIKE The Baseball Roundtable Facebook page.

Member:  Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); The Baseball Reliquary; The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Baseball Bloggers Alliance