Category Archives: Uncategorized

One Pitch Victories

I didn’t even look at the boxscore after watching game 7, so I didn’t even know ’til I read How to get credited with a win while not making it out of the fifth inning, that Madison Bumgarner didn’t get credit for the W. I assumed he would, ’cause, honestly, he pitched most of the game for San Francisco and pitched brilliantly on just a couple days rest.

This makes for a silly sounding trivia question — what does Madison Bumgarner, Joaquin Benoit, and Blas Minor, have in common?

They are the only pitchers since the 1980’s to have a save of 5+ innings long.

Madison Bumgarner. 5 innings, 0 ER. October 29, 2014. I don’t think I need to say much about this, ’cause you probably just watched it a couple nights ago. Thing is, Jeremy Affeldt pitched well, but, when you’ve got a pitcher who throws a shutout for more than half the game, it seems like he was more crucial to the victory than any other pitcher, don’t ya think?

Joaquin Benoit. 7 innings, 1 ER. September 3, 2002. The Rangers starter, Aaron Myette, was replaced during the 1st batter he faced. So obviously there was an injury of some sort. His replacement, Todd Van Poppel, and he hadn’t pitched more than 3 innings in any game all year. He threw 2 innings in this game, and ended up with the pitcher victory, probably because his offense gave him a lead.

Like Bumgarner, Benoit was a starter at this point in his career. In fact, he wouldn’t get credited with another save for over 4 years. So it really looks like manager Jerry Narron was just replacing his starter, but needed somebody else to pitch while his 2nd starter took time to warm up. If only the offense had waited another couple innings to get the lead, then maybe Benoit would’ve been given the big phat W.

Blas Minor. 5 innings, 0 ER. June 19, 1993. The official scorer gave the pitcher win to Freddie Tolivar, who only threw 3 pitches to 1 batter in the 4th. Yeah, seriously. If only Minor had started the game, he’d have gotten the win ’cause he went 5 innings. Or, if only Minor had been in the game for 1 batter, he could’ve gotten it too. Holdin’ down the fort for the first 5 innings, or for 1 batter, is apparently much more win worthy than holdin’ down the fort for the last half of the game. Don’t feel too bad for Minor though, ’cause he beat the Giants on only 2 pitches a couple months earlier.

The Blas Minor situation got me thinking. How many times has this happened? How many times has a pitcher been credited with the victory when they threw only 2 pitches? I would’ve guessed maybe 5 or 10 times, but a quick search on Baseball-Reference’s Play Index, shows that from the start of 1988 (when reliable pitch count data starts), there’s been 176 cases of a pitcher tossing just 2 pitches and getting the W. In almost all of these cases (165 of them), both pitches were to the same batter. It happened 6 times in this past season alone. Which leads us to an even more obvious question —

Has anyone ever gotten credited with a pitcher win, when they only threw 1 pitch during the game? Yep. 122 times from 1988-2014.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec Pit
1 Zach Duke 2014-09-20 MIL PIT W 1-0 8-8, W 1
2 Matt Belisle 2014-08-10 COL ARI W 5-3 9-9, W 1
3 Ryan Pressly 2014-08-02 MIN CHW W 8-6 7-7, W 1
4 Darin Downs 2014-07-22 HOU OAK W 3-2 11-11, W 1
5 Randy Choate 2014-06-14 STL WSN W 4-1 7-7, W 1
6 Daniel Webb 2014-04-15 CHW BOS W 2-1 9-9f, W 1
7 Tony Sipp 2013-06-10 ARI LAD W 5-4 8-8, W 1
8 Sergio Romo 2013-04-22 SFG ARI W 5-4 9-9f, W 1
9 Matt Guerrier 2013-04-11 LAD SDP W 3-2 7-7, W 1
10 Luke Gregerson 2013-04-09 SDP LAD W 9-3 7-7, W 1
11 Nate Jones 2012-08-25 CHW SEA W 5-4 6-6, W 1
12 Bryan Shaw 2012-05-27 ARI MIL W 4-3 6-6, W 1
13 Brad Ziegler 2012-05-17 ARI COL W 9-7 8-8, W 1
14 Joe Smith 2012-05-14 CLE MIN W 5-4 8-8, W 1
15 Jeff Gray 2012-04-11 MIN LAA W 6-5 7-7, W 1
16 David Robertson 2011-09-21 (2) NYY TBR W 4-2 8-8, W 1
17 Kyle McClellan 2011-09-13 STL PIT W 6-4 8-8, W 1
18 Tony Watson 2011-09-07 PIT HOU W 5-4 8-8, W 1
19 Pedro Beato 2011-07-08 NYM SFG W 5-2 8-8, W 1
20 Mark Lowe 2011-05-15 TEX LAA W 5-4 8-8, W 1
21 Jorge Sosa 2010-05-31 FLA MIL W 13-5 6-6, W 1
22 Bobby Seay 2009-09-14 DET TOR W 6-5 10-10f, W 1
23 David Robertson 2009-06-04 NYY TEX W 8-6 8-8, W 1
24 Jason Motte 2009-04-21 STL NYM W 6-4 8-8, W 1
25 Edward Mujica 2009-04-13 SDP NYM W 6-5 5-5, W 1
26 Brian Shouse 2008-09-05 MIL SDP W 3-2 11-11f, W 1
27 Joe Beimel 2008-08-17 LAD MIL W 7-5 9-9f, W 1
28 David Robertson 2008-07-22 NYY MIN W 8-2 6-6, W 1
29 Dennys Reyes 2008-06-24 MIN SDP W 3-1 8-8, W 1
30 Royce Ring 2008-05-04 ATL CIN W 14-7 5-5, W 1
31 Brian Shouse 2008-05-01 MIL CHC W 4-3 8-8, W 1
32 Joe Beimel 2008-05-01 LAD FLA W 5-3 8-8, W 1
33 Javier Lopez 2008-04-19 BOS TEX W 5-3 8-8, W 1
34 Brian Shouse 2008-04-17 MIL STL W 5-3 9-9, W 1
35 Jorge Sosa 2008-04-10 NYM PHI W 4-3 12-12f, W 1
36 Bill Bray 2007-08-19 CIN MIL W 7-6 7-7, W 1
37 Zach Miner 2007-08-06 DET TBD W 6-4 7-7, W 1
38 Ray King 2007-08-05 WSN STL W 6-3 8-8, W 1
39 Luis Vizcaino 2007-07-15 NYY TBD W 7-6 7-7, W 1
40 Ryan Bukvich 2007-06-30 CHW KCR W 3-1 9-9, W 1
41 Eric O’Flaherty 2007-06-08 SEA SDP W 6-5 10-10, W 1
42 Aaron Heilman 2007-05-14 NYM CHC W 5-4 9-9f, W 1
43 Chad Paronto 2007-05-06 ATL LAD W 6-4 7-7, W 1
44 Macay McBride 2007-04-04 ATL PHI W 3-2 10-10, W 1
45 Manny Corpas 2006-09-07 COL WSN W 10-5 8-8, W 1
46 Jason Grilli 2006-08-30 (2) DET NYY W 5-3 8-8, W 1
47 Jonathan Broxton 2006-08-26 LAD ARI W 4-3 8-8, W 1
48 Chad Paronto 2006-08-13 ATL MIL W 7-4 7-7, W 1
49 Jeremy Affeldt 2006-07-05 KCR MIN W 6-3 7-7, W 1
50 Neal Cotts 2006-07-01 CHW CHC W 8-6 8-8, W 1
51 Geoff Geary 2006-06-04 PHI LAD W 6-4 7-7, W 1
52 Bill Bray 2006-06-03 WSN MIL W 4-3 8-8, W 1
53 Tim Byrdak 2006-04-14 BAL LAA W 6-5 9-9f, W 1
54 Jorge De La Rosa 2006-04-13 MIL STL W 4-3 10-10, W 1
55 Dennys Reyes 2005-05-17 SDP ATL W 3-2 9-9f, W 1
56 Hector Carrasco 2005-05-15 WSN CHC W 5-4 6-6, W 1
57 Neal Cotts 2004-09-22 CHW MIN W 7-6 9-9f, W 1
58 Julian Tavarez 2004-08-25 STL CIN W 6-5 8-8, W 1
59 Gabe White 2004-08-12 CIN LAD W 6-5 8-8, W 1
60 Joe Horgan 2004-07-19 MON PIT W 6-2 6-6, W 1
61 Joe Horgan 2004-06-30 MON PHI W 6-3 7-7, W 1
62 Scott Service 2004-06-06 ARI LAD W 6-5 7-7, W 1
63 Matt Perisho 2004-05-13 FLA HOU W 3-2 8-8, W 1
64 C.J. Nitkowski 2004-05-01 (2) ATL COL W 11-7 7-7, W 1
65 Michael Tejera 2003-09-23 FLA PHI W 5-4 7-7, W 1
66 Gabe White 2003-09-09 NYY DET W 4-2 8-8, W 1
67 Ricardo Rincon 2003-09-02 OAK BAL W 2-0 11-11, W 1
68 Kyle Farnsworth 2003-07-02 CHC PHI W 1-0 8-8, W 1
69 Alan Embree 2003-04-30 BOS KCR W 5-4 9-9f, W 1
70 Kent Mercker 2002-09-13 COL LAD W 5-4 7-7, W 1
71 Rich Rodriguez 2002-09-10 TEX SEA W 3-2 8-8, W 1
72 Rich Rodriguez 2002-08-20 TEX BOS W 3-2 9-9, W 1
73 Antonio Osuna 2002-08-07 CHW ANA W 7-6 9-9f, W 1
74 Kelly Wunsch 2002-05-25 CHW DET W 6-4 5-5, W 1
75 Luis Vizcaino 2002-04-20 MIL STL W 5-3 7-7, W 1
76 Luis Vizcaino 2002-04-14 MIL SFG W 4-3 7-7, W 1
77 Robb Nen 2001-08-15 SFG FLA W 2-1 9-9f, W 1
78 Mark Guthrie 2001-05-15 OAK NYY W 3-2 12-12f, W 1
79 Pat Mahomes 2000-07-14 NYM BOS W 6-4 7-7, W 1
80 Armando Almanza 2000-06-30 FLA MON W 5-4 8-8, W 1
81 Alan Mills 2000-05-17 LAD CHC W 8-6 8-8, W 1
82 Jeff Wallace 2000-05-02 PIT STL W 10-7 7-7, W 1
83 Matt Anderson 2000-04-30 DET CHW W 4-3 12-12f, W 1
84 Mark Redman 2000-04-14 MIN BAL W 10-9 8-8, W 1
85 Pedro Borbon 1999-08-07 LAD NYM W 7-6 8-8, W 1
86 T.J. Mathews 1999-05-15 OAK MIN W 6-5 9-9f, W 1
87 Dennis Cook 1999-04-10 NYM MON W 4-3 10-10, W 1
88 Graeme Lloyd 1998-09-04 NYY CHW W 11-6 7-7, W 1
89 Jason Christiansen 1998-08-20 PIT CIN W 6-5 9-9f, W 1
90 Aaron Small 1998-07-19 ARI COL W 6-4 7-7, W 1
91 Xavier Hernandez 1998-07-11 TEX OAK W 4-2 8-8, W 1
92 Greg McMichael 1997-07-10 NYM ATL W 10-7 8-8, W 1
93 Paul Assenmacher 1997-05-28 CLE KCR W 10-3 7-7, W 1
94 Rich Rodriguez 1997-04-04 SFG NYM W 6-4 7-7, W 1
95 Dan Naulty 1997-04-01 MIN DET W 7-5 8-8, W 1
96 Steve Reed 1996-09-08 COL HOU W 5-2 8-8, W 1
97 Jeff Schmidt 1996-07-20 CAL SEA W 5-4 8-8, W 1
98 Eddie Guardado 1996-07-05 MIN KCR W 9-8 9-9f, W 1
99 Mark Guthrie 1995-07-22 MIN BOS W 8-7 8-8, W 1
100 Danny Cox 1995-06-30 TOR BAL W 6-5 9-9f, W 1
101 Steve Bedrosian 1995-06-05 ATL CHC W 7-5 7-7, W 1
102 Joe Ausanio 1995-05-04 NYY BOS W 5-3 8-8, W 1
103 Jim Dougherty 1995-05-02 HOU CHC W 5-2 6-6, W 1
104 Josias Manzanillo 1994-07-19 NYM LAD W 7-4 8-8, W 1
105 Rob Murphy 1994-06-21 STL MON W 5-4 9-9f, W 1
106 Tim Mauser 1994-06-06 SDP ATL W 4-3 8-8, W 1
107 Scott Service 1993-08-28 CIN PHI W 9-5 5-5, W 1
108 Roger McDowell 1993-05-12 LAD CHC W 9-3 7-7, W 1
109 Norm Charlton 1992-09-05 CIN NYM W 6-5 9-9f, W 1
110 Tony Fossas 1992-07-08 BOS KCR W 5-4 8-8, W 1
111 Scott Ruskin 1992-04-21 CIN LAD W 4-3 6-6, W 1
112 Mike Henneman 1990-09-25 DET SEA W 4-1 9-9f, W 1
113 Willie Blair 1990-09-14 TOR BAL W 8-7 9-9f, W 1
114 Jesse Orosco 1990-05-19 CLE SEA W 4-3 7-7, W 1
115 Norm Charlton 1990-05-11 CIN CHC W 7-5 8-8, W 1
116 Ed Nunez 1989-09-06 DET KCR W 11-5 4-4, W 1
117 Atlee Hammaker 1989-05-21 SFG NYM W 10-6 6-6, W 1
118 Willie Hernandez 1988-09-16 DET BAL W 8-7 9-9f, W 1
119 Brian Holton 1988-06-25 LAD CIN W 6-4 1-1, W 1
120 Craig Lefferts 1988-06-22 SFG SDP W 8-7 9-9f, W 1
121 Willie Hernandez 1988-06-20 DET NYY W 2-1 10-10f, W 1
122 Jose Rijo 1988-04-16 CIN HOU W 8-2 7-7, W 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/31/2014.

That is like, Bugs Bunny territory. Throw one pitch, and the game is decided! Won! Shout in the streets riot ’til you drop! Not even Cy Young could’ve pulled that off, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want to.

Looks Bad for KC, but…

So the Giants are 1 win away from securing the 2014 championship, and they have experience in recent years with not choking. If the Royals can win game 6, and I think they will, they’ll have history on their side for game 7. Nobody in the World Series has lost a game 7 at home since the ’79 Orioles. That’s 9-0, with the most recent being the 2011 Cardinals. Those Cardinals came back to St Louis needing to win 2 games, just like this year’s Royals.

  • ’82 Cardinals
  • ’85 Royals
  • ’86 Mets
  • ’87 Twins
  • ’91 Twins
  • ’97 Marlins
  • ’01 Diamondbacks
  • ’02 Angels
  • ’11 Cardinals

What I find more interesting than that though, is the pattern of wins in these series.

1982 – 2011, World Series’s That Went 7 Games
World Series Home Team Thru 5 Games Last 2 Games
19-26 17- 1
1982 Cardinals 2-3 2-0
1985 Royals 2-3 2-0
1986 Mets 2-3 2-0
1987 Twins 2-3 2-0
1991 Twins 2-3 2-0
1997 Marlins 3-2 1-1
2001 Diamondbacks 2-3 2-0
2002 Angels 2-3 2-0
2011 Cardinals 2-3 2-0

8 of those 9 teams, like this year’s Royals, came back home for game 6 with a 2-3 record. 100% of them went on to win both games 6 & 7. It remains to be seen if the Royals will join the club, but if history repeats itself, then they will. It’s possible Kansas City could lose game 6 though, and never see a game 7 to join this club. So how many teams coming back home with a 2-3 record have blown game 6?

1982 – 2011, World Series’s That Went 6 Games
World Series Home Team Thru 5 Games Last Game
24-21 6-3
1992 Braves 2-3 0-1
1993 Blue Jays 3-2 1-0
1995 Braves 3-2 1-0
1996 Yankees 3-2 1-0
2003 Yankees 2-3 0-1
2009 Yankees 3-2 1-0
2013 Red Sox 3-2 1-0

Only 2. So in total, 8 of these teams with the same criteria as the Royals went on to win game 6, and 2 of these teams lost it. That’s an 80% success rate for game 6, and 100% success rate for game 7. That’s really good news for the Royals.

On the other hand, this was nowhere near common before the ’82 Cardinals did it. Check out how clubs did from 1946-1981 when they had home field advantage, after game 5, being down 2 games to 3 (started at ’46, ’cause the ’45 World Series was a different format – 3 away, THEN 4 straight home).

1946-1981 World Series’s That Fit Criteria
World Series Home Team Thru 5 Games Game 6 Game 7
30-45 11-4 2-9
1946 Cardinals 2-3 W W
1948 Braves 2-3 L
1955 Yankees 2-3 W L
1956 Dodgers 2-3 W L
1957 Yankees 2-3 W L
1959 White Sox 2-3 L
1962 Giants 2-3 W L
1965 Twins 2-3 W L
1967 Red Sox 2-3 W L
1971 Orioles 2-3 W L
1972 Reds 2-3 W L
1973 A’s 2-3 W W
1975 Red Sox 2-3 W L
1978 Dodgers 2-3 L
1981 Yankees 2-3 L

Not only was it uncommon, it was quite rare. Only 13.3% accomplished it (2 out of 15).

I have no idea why there was such a big swing of change after 1981, but there was. It could be just plain ‘ol regression, post-season roster rules, teams figuring something out, a mental attitude, a mental block, pure chance, changes in free agency, or something else entirely.

I should mention that I don’t consider any of this predictive, since history has nothing to do with the current roster talent of either club. This ain’t sabermetrics, so don’t pretend it is. It’s just a curious historical observation. If history continues on its current track, the Royals will win games 6 & 7 to #TakeTheCrown.

A Team in Montreal Soon?

The Tampa Bay Rays ownership have started discussing a move to Montreal. I say started, because they won’t leave Tropicana Field until 2017, unless they want to pay Tampa some cash. I won’t be surprised if they go though. Historically, every time a team leaves a city without an MLB team since 60 years ago, another team has moved back in.

1957 Dodgers & Giants leave NYC
1960 Senators leave Washington, DC
1961 MLB expands, new Senators in Washington, DC
1962 MLB expands, gives NYC the Mets
1966 Braves leave Milwaukee
1968 A’s leave Kansas City
1969 MLB expands into Kansas City
1970 Pilots leave Seattle, move to Milwaukee
1973 Rangers leave Washington, DC
1977 MLB expands, Mariners fill the Seattle slot
2005 Expos move from Montreal to Washington, DC

It took Washington a while, but for a good 20 year period, this was normal for MLB. So, sooner or later, there will be a team in Montreal again. We just don’t know if it’ll be the Rays going there, or if it’ll be some other franchise playing in Montreal someday.

It seems it’d be pretty easy for the Rays to sell the move to enough owners, for a 75% vote. As of right now, I think the Blue Jays have territorial rights for all of Canada. They have to share some of Canada, but they still have rights throughout it. I doubt any other club would like to let the Blue Jays have that much possible revenue at their fingertips if there’s any chance to allow it or stop it, so it’d be in the best interest of baseball & every non-Toronto ownerships to slice some of that area off.

So I think right now, the rays are bringing the subject up to begin the discussion, since there’s only a couple more seasons before 2017. As the article points out, this might simply be a ploy to get Tampa to support the team more. Of course, if it doesn’t, then the Rays can walk away without a problem. I think the Rays really are interested in moving though.

Eureeka Uribe!

Very fitting that Juan Uribe powers Dodgers to NLCS. He’s got to be the most underrated guy on the team this season.

I remember watching a Dodgers game on the final weekend of the season and there was this poll – who was the best Dodger of the year? They gave three choices & you could text in your answer. The choices were Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, & Hanley Ramirez.

That was pretty surprising to me at the time, ’cause all season long, I’d kept noticing that Uribe and Yasiel Puig were two of the reasons the team was doing so well and yet they weren’t even included. In fact, the team leaders in WAR are:

2013 Dodgers WAR Leaders
Player fWAR rWAR
Clayton Kershaw 6.5 7.9
Juan Uribe 5.1 4.1
Hanley Ramirez 5.1 5.4
Yasiel Puig 4.0 5.0
Adrian Gonzalez 2.8 3.9

Versus The > .500 Clubs

A good article over at Fangraphs, A First Last Word on Strengths of Schedules, is worth checking out & gives some good insight on the upcoming playoffs. It got me thinking of something more straight forward though, like, when it comes down to it, how do these clubs do when they’re facing other clubs that are over .500.

2013 Playoff Teams Vs. Teams Over .500
Team W L %
Braves 39 24 .619
Red Sox 53 43 .552
Tigers 48 40 .545
A’s 40 34 .541
Pirates 40 34 .541
Dodgers 34 31 .523
Cardinals 39 36 .520
Rays 47 49 .490
Reds 35 42 .455
Indians 36 52 .409

64 Down, 17 To Go

July 30: Top 5 Teams in MLB
Team W L % GB Last 10
Pirates 64 42 .604 7-3
Rays 64 43 .598 0.5 8-2
Red Sox 64 44 .593 1.0 5-5
Cardinals 62 43 .590 1.5 4-6
A’s 63 44 .589 1.5 7-3

That’s the standings after last night; After the Pirates swept a doubleheader from the Cardinals. If somebody had told me in march that the Pirates would have the best record in baseball at the end of July 30th, and be in the middle of making the Cardinals look bad…. I never would’ve believed it.

This is just about the time of year when Pittsburgh’s supposed to pull off their sudden collapse trick, and wind up under .500 yet again. Now though, they look like they’re making it clear they’re as good as anybody.

St Louis will probably beat ’em tonight, ’cause Wainwright’s scheduled to start. But even if they do, the Pirates will still be 1/2 game up in the division when August begins.

So the Pirates might actually be a contender when September begins. There’s an entire generation of baseball fans who’ve never seen that. Before the team gets that far though, they’ll reach 81 W’s.

The Pirates have 28 games on the schedule in August, and need just 17 W’s to reach the 81 mark for the season. So if they still need 17 wins when the month begins, then they can reach 81 if they go 17-11 (.607) or better in August. That wouldn’t be beyond them either, as they went 19-9 (.679) in May and 17-9 (.659) in June. Also, they’ll be facing a number of teams they should be able to handle.—

  1. 6-2 against the Cardinals (3 home, 3 away)
  2. 0-0 against the Rockies (3 home, 3 away)
  3. 1-2 against the Marlins (3 home)
  4. 2-1 against the Diamondbacks (3 home)
  5. 0-0 against the Padres (3 away)
  6. 2-1 against the Giants (4 away)
  7. 9-4 against the Brewers (3 home)

The NL West is weak this year, so I think Pittsburgh won’t have much problem with the Rockies, Padres, and Giants. The Diamondbacks might give ’em a series loss tho. I doubt the Marlins will win the season series against the Pirates. The Brewers and Cardinals seem to be no match for the Pirates.

Fans should start lining up for tickets to the Pirates homestand at the end of the month (Aug 27 – Sep 1). It’ll be 6 games against the Brewers and Cardinals. Sometime during that homestand, is when I think they’ll secure a .500 season for the first time since 1992. It’s too soon to tell which game it’ll likely be.

The Rays Are Shining

You’ve probably noticed by now that the Rays are 21-4 (.840) in the past month. They catapulted from observers to contenders, even reaching 1st place in the AL East for a day before their loss in New York yesterday. We all know Tampa’s good, but how have they just suddenly turned it up a notch?

If you’re like me, you probably figure the offense caught fire by way of an Evan Longoria spark. Yet, that couldn’t be more wrong. The Rays are pulling this hot streak off, with a slumping Longoria. He’s batting .200/.299/.365 during these last 25 games.

That should probably scare fans in New York, Boston, and Baltimore. After all, Tampa’s usually good, but now it seems like they’ve learned how to win without relying on Longoria to carry the offense.

The guys leading the team through this, are an aging Luke Scott (.324/.405/.632), James Loney (.361/.389/.458), and rookie Wil Myers (.348/.378/.551). Kind of a weird mix, but it kind of makes sense too. Those three lead the team in OBP during the team’s heat wave.

On the pitching side of things, guys like David Price, Matt Moore, and Fernando Rodney, are doing their jobs as we’d expect. Then there’s some unknowns who are stepping it up alongside them. Middle reliever Alex Torres hasn’t allowed any runs, earned or unearned, in his past 10 1/3. You should also note that he’s striking out 8.71 batters per 9 IP. Starter Chris Archer, is 4-0 with 2 shutouts, on the strength of a 1.29 ERA.

Tonight, the Rays are in Boston, to play the division leading Red Sox. There’s only a half game difference between them right now. This should be good.

51 Down, 30 To Go

After this afternoon’s 14 inning win over Milwaukee, the Pirates are sitting pretty at 51-30. Not only are they the first team to reach 50 W’s, but they’re actually on pace for 100 victories. I’m not saying they’ll pull that off, but just the idea that the Pirates would be in this position, is almost inconceivable.

This pretty much guarantees Pittsburgh of a .500 season. Sure, mathematically they could still go 29-52, to finish at 80-82, but how likely is that? I haven’t worked out the math for that, but I’m pretty sure it’s pretty close to 0% chance.

With only having to go 30-51 (.370) for about half a season to make it to the hallowed 81 win mark, I seriously can’t see this Pirates club playing worse than that for a full half a season. I’m sure some of you are thinking that I’m gettin’ ahead of myself, ’cause Pittsburgh finished the past two years with stretches of 19-43 (.306) in 2011, and 16-36 (.308) in 2012.

While those winning percentages are both far worse than the .370 that the team needs to maintain this year, the amount of games in those slumps were also much smaller. If the Pirates suddenly go on a .308 pace from here on out, it means they’ll go 25-56. That’d leave them only 5 wins short of 81 for their whole season. We know that anything can happen in 5 games over the course of 81. It could be as simple as the ball bouncing in the Pirates favor, or even the opposing team taking Pittsburgh for granted. So it’s not inconceivable for them to win 30 more games even if they suddenly turn back into a pumpkin when the clock strikes midnight and July starts.

51 down, 30 to go.

Puig’s WAR

Baseball Reference’s version of WAR, shows that in just 60 PA, Yasiel Puig’s already leading the Dodgers batters in the stat—

  1. 1.6 – Yasiel Puig
  2. 1.5 – A.J. Ellis
  3. 1.4 – Adrian Gonzalez
  4. 1.2 – Carl Crawford
  5. 1.1 – Juan Uribe, & Nick Punto

Fangraphs version of WAR works a little different, but still Yasiel Puig is catching up with everybody. In fact, he’s already as valuable as Adrian Gonzalez.

  1. 2.0 – Carl Crawford
  2. 1.5 – A.J. Ellis
  3. 1.2 – Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, & Juan Uribe

Nobody else listed above, has less than 141 PA (Uribe). Yet, Puig’s not even listed among the choices on MLB.com’s official All-Star balloting page, while Matt Kemp is.

Double Length Games

This probably doesn’t interest anyone but me, but after the Yankees & A’s went 18 on Thursday night, we’ve now seen 4 MLB games reach the 18th inning this season. While that’s not a record, it does mean this season has a shot at the record.

1916-2013, Seasons With The Most Games Of 18+ Innings
Games Season
9 1967
6 1918, 1972
4 1969, 1971, 1973, 1984, 1985, 2006, 2013
3 1927, 1968, 1979, 1980, 1989, 2001

Before you ask… I’m only going back to 1916, ’cause that’s currently as far back as the retrosheet records are accurate for game lengths by total outs. All my data is from the retrosheet gamelogs.

Anyway, back to the subject. I doubt we’ll see 5 more games of this length this year, but it’s possible. We might see 2 or 3, so it’s possible this season could end up 2nd or tied for 2nd most.

Another interesting point when looking at that list, is that double-length games were pretty uncommon ’til 1967. Only two seasons before that, show up on this listing. Anyone care to guess why that might be? I’m not sure where to start to try figuring out what changed. It might be the draft. Might be expansion. Might be something unexpected.

We’ve actually had 6 of these double length games in the past calendar year. Don’t get too excited tho, ’cause the same thing happened in late ’84 – early ’85, but then there wasn’t another one for over a year.

Here’s the complete list, along with links to the boxscores & some newspaper article links….

1916 – June 14, 2013 – MLB Games That Ended In The 18th or Later
Date Teams Innings
June 13, 2013 NYA (2) @ OAK (3) 17 (+ 4 outs)
June 8, 2013 MIA (2) @ NYN (1) 20
June 8, 2013 TEX (3) @ TOR (4) 17 (+ 5 outs)
April 29, 2013 LAA (8) @ OAK (10) 18 (+ 5 outs)
September 18, 2012 BAL (4) @ SEA (2) 18
August 19, 2012 PIT (6) @ SLN (3) 19
July 26, 2011 PIT (3) @ ATL (4) 18 (+ 4 outs)
May 25, 2011 CIN (4) @ PHI (5) 18 (+ 5 outs)
April 17, 2010 NYN (2) @ SLN (1) 20
June 07, 2009 ARI (9) @ SDN (6) 18
May 25, 2008 CIN (9) @ SDN (12) 17 (+ 5 outs)
April 17, 2008 COL (2) @ SDN (1) 22
August 15, 2006 ARI (2) @ COL (1) 18
August 15, 2006 CHN (8) @ HOU (6) 18
July 09, 2006 BOS (5) @ CHA (6) 18 (+ 4 outs)
May 27, 2006 HOU (7) @ PIT (8) 17 (+ 4 outs)
July 28, 2005 ANA (1) @ TOR (2) 17 (+ 4 outs)
August 08, 2004 OAK (6) @ MIN (5) 18
June 24, 2004 SEA (7) @ TEX (9) 17 (+ 3 outs)
April 27, 2003 SLN (7) @ FLO (6) 20
August 25, 2001 BOS (7) @ TEX (8) 17 (+ 5 outs)
June 05, 2001 DET (3) @ BOS (4) 17 (+ 3 outs)
May 29, 2001 ARI (1) @ SFN (0) 18
August 01, 2000 BOS (4) @ SEA (5) 18 (+ 3 outs)
August 03, 1996 ATL (5) @ LAN (3) 18
August 31, 1993 CLE (4) @ MIN (5) 21 (+ 3 outs)
July 07, 1993 LAN (6) @ PHI (7) 19 (+ 4 outs)
April 11, 1992 BOS (7) @ CLE (5) 19
June 06, 1991 TEX (3) @ KCA (4) 17 (+ 3 outs)
May 01, 1991 CHA (9) @ MIL (10) 18 (+ 5 outs)
August 23, 1989 LAN (1) @ MON (0) 22
August 06, 1989 CHN (4) @ PIT (5) 17 (+ 3 outs)
June 03, 1989 LAN (4) @ HOU (5) 21 (+ 5 outs)
September 11, 1988 DET (4) @ NYA (5) 17 (+ 3 outs)
May 14, 1988 ATL (7) @ SLN (5) 19
September 02, 1986 HOU (8) @ CHN (7) 18
July 07, 1985 MON (6) @ HOU (3) 19
July 04, 1985 NYN (16) @ ATL (13) 19
June 11, 1985 SFN (5) @ ATL (4) 18
April 28, 1985 PIT (4) @ NYN (5) 17 (+ 3 outs)
September 06, 1984 ATL (3) @ LAN (2) 18
July 13, 1984 SFN (3) @ PIT (4) 17 (+ 4 outs)
May 08, 1984 MIL (6) @ CHA (7) 24 (+ 4 outs)
April 27, 1984 CLE (8) @ DET (4) 19
May 27, 1983 SLN (3) @ HOU (1) 18
August 17, 1982 LAN (2) @ CHN (1) 21
June 09, 1982 CLE (3) @ DET (4) 17 (+ 4 outs)
April 13, 1982 SEA (3) @ CAL (4) 19 (+ 4 outs)
September 03, 1981 SEA (8) @ BOS (7) 20
August 26, 1980 SDN (8) @ NYN (6) 18
August 15, 1980 HOU (3) @ SDN (1) 20
July 06, 1980 CHN (4) @ PIT (5) 19 (+ 4 outs)
August 25, 1979 PIT (4) @ SDN (3) 19
June 18, 1979 NYN (2) @ HOU (3) 17 (+ 3 outs)
May 10, 1979 CIN (8) @ CHN (9) 17 (+ 4 outs)
August 10, 1977 CHN (1) @ PIT (2) 17 (+ 5 outs)
May 21, 1977 SDN (11) @ MON (8) 21
August 25, 1976 MIN (4) @ NYA (5) 18 (+ 5 outs)
September 16, 1975 MON (3) @ NYN (4) 17 (+ 5 outs)
September 11, 1974 SLN (4) @ NYN (3) 25
June 28, 1974 CHN (8) @ MON (7) 18
June 27, 1973 MON (5) @ CHN (4) 18
May 26, 1973 CLE (3) @ CHA (6) 20 (+ 5 outs)
May 24, 1973 NYN (7) @ LAN (3) 19
May 04, 1973 ATL (4) @ PHI (5) 19 (+ 4 outs)
August 10, 1972 CHA (3) @ OAK (5) 18 (+ 4 outs)
August 08, 1972 LAN (1) @ CIN (2) 18 (+ 3 outs)
August 01, 1972 PHI (2) @ NYN (3) 17 (+ 4 outs)
June 07, 1972 PIT (1) @ SDN (0) 18
May 17, 1972 TEX (4) @ KCA (3) 18
May 12, 1972 MIL (4) @ MIN (3) 22
September 24, 1971 HOU (2) @ SDN (1) 21
September 14, 1971 WS2 (8) @ CLE (6) 20
July 09, 1971 CAL (0) @ OAK (1) 19 (+ 5 outs)
June 04, 1971 OAK (5) @ WS2 (3) 21
April 22, 1970 NYA (1) @ WS2 (2) 17 (+ 5 outs)
September 06, 1969 MIN (8) @ OAK (6) 18
August 24, 1969 BAL (8) @ OAK (9) 17 (+ 5 outs)
July 27, 1969 BOS (5) @ SE1 (3) 20
July 19, 1969 MIN (11) @ SE1 (7) 18
August 25, 1968 BOS (2) @ BAL (3) 17 (+ 5 outs)
August 23, 1968 DET (3) @ NYA (3) 19
April 15, 1968 NYN (0) @ HOU (1) 23 (+ 4 outs)
September 01, 1967 SFN (1) @ CIN (0) 21
August 29, 1967 BOS (3) @ NYA (4) 19 (+ 4 outs)
August 09, 1967 WS2 (9) @ MIN (7) 20
July 26, 1967 MIN (3) @ NYA (2) 18
June 17, 1967 KC1 (6) @ DET (5) 19
June 12, 1967 CHA (5) @ WS2 (6) 21 (+ 4 outs)
June 04, 1967 WS2 (5) @ BAL (7) 18 (+ 3 outs)
May 21, 1967 CIN (1) @ PHI (2) 17 (+ 5 outs)
April 16, 1967 BOS (6) @ NYA (7) 17 (+ 5 outs)
July 19, 1966 CIN (3) @ CHN (2) 18
October 02, 1965 PHI (0) @ NYN (0) 18
May 31, 1964 SFN (8) @ NYN (6) 23
June 14, 1963 WS2 (2) @ CLE (3) 18 (+ 3 outs)
June 24, 1962 NYA (9) @ DET (7) 22
August 06, 1959 CHA (1) @ BAL (1) 18
July 19, 1955 MLN (3) @ PIT (4) 18 (+ 4 outs)
July 01, 1952 SLA (3) @ CLE (4) 18 (+ 5 outs)
June 20, 1952 WS1 (5) @ SLA (5) 18
September 07, 1951 CHN (6) @ CIN (7) 17 (+ 5 outs)
July 13, 1951 BOS (4) @ CHA (5) 18 (+ 4 outs)
September 15, 1950 CIN (7) @ PHI (8) 18 (+ 3 outs)
June 09, 1949 PIT (3) @ PHI (4) 17 (+ 5 outs)
June 08, 1947 WS1 (1) @ CHA (0) 18
September 11, 1946 CIN (0) @ BRO (0) 19
July 21, 1945 DET (1) @ PHA (1) 24
August 09, 1942 CHN (10) @ CIN (8) 18
July 05, 1940 BRO (6) @ BSN (2) 20
June 27, 1939 BRO (2) @ BSN (2) 23
May 17, 1939 BRO (9) @ CHN (9) 19
July 01, 1934 SLN (8) @ CIN (6) 18
August 21, 1933 NYA (3) @ CHA (3) 18
July 02, 1933 SLN (0) @ NY1 (1) 17 (+ 5 outs)
August 17, 1932 BSN (2) @ CHN (3) 18 (+ 5 outs)
July 10, 1932 PHA (18) @ CLE (17) 18
August 28, 1930 SLN (8) @ CHN (7) 20
May 24, 1929 DET (6) @ CHA (5) 21
September 05, 1927 NYA (11) @ BOS (12) 17 (+ 4 outs)
May 17, 1927 CHN (4) @ BSN (3) 22
May 14, 1927 CHN (7) @ BSN (2) 18
July 07, 1922 NY1 (9) @ PIT (8) 18
August 09, 1921 SLA (8) @ WS1 (6) 19
May 03, 1920 BRO (1) @ BSN (2) 18 (+ 4 outs)
May 01, 1920 BRO (1) @ BSN (1) 26
June 01, 1919 PHI (10) @ BRO (9) 18
April 30, 1919 BRO (9) @ PHI (9) 20
August 04, 1918 WS1 (6) @ DET (7) 17 (+ 4 outs)
August 01, 1918 PIT (2) @ BSN (0) 21
July 17, 1918 PHI (1) @ CHN (2) 20 (+ 3 outs)
June 13, 1918 SLN (8) @ PHI (8) 19
May 24, 1918 CLE (3) @ NYA (2) 19
May 15, 1918 CHA (0) @ WS1 (1) 17 (+ 4 outs)
August 22, 1917 PIT (5) @ BRO (6) 21 (+ 5 outs)
June 28, 1916 PIT (3) @ CHN (2) 18

The 40 Inning “Game”

it’s not even half way thru the season and we’ve already seen a 20 inning game, a 19 inning one, and an 18 inning. It’s rare to see just one game that’s twice as long as regulation in a season, but we’ve already got 3. In fact, the Blue Jays have almost played two of these, ’cause in addition to their 18 inning game yesterday, they also played a 17 inning game just the previous weekend in San Diego.

That, reminded me of something I found a couple years ago when I was searching through some old newspapers about the longest games. Back in 1945, the A’s needed 40 innings to beat the Tigers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t officially count as 1 game, but it really isn’t much different than one, ’cause they needed to play all 40 innings to get a W out of it.

It all began on July 21, 1945, just a few weeks before World War 2 finished, when the A’s and Tigers spent 24 innings trying to get the better of each other. The umpires called the game on account of darkness. Amazingly, that game only took 4 hours & 48 minutes. These days, some regular season games go on longer than that, but at the time, this was the record for elapsed time of game. Seriously, yeah.

Unfortunately that game didn’t count in the standings, since it ended in a tie. I don’t think they did the suspended game thing back then. If the Tigers weren’t leading the AL by just 2 games, they probably never would’ve bothered to try playing it again. But, they were caught up in a pennant race with the Senators and every win or loss, would be important. There were no wild card’s back then, so it wasn’t like the 2nd place team would still get a shot in the playoffs.

So, the Tigers played a makeup game on September 12, after their regularly scheduled game against the A’s—

“The 16-inning nightcap was a playoff of the 24 inning tie game which the two clubs played on July 21, the two fracases taking up a total of 40 innings in order to get one decision into the records.” – 2nd ref

If the league had treated it as a suspended game, the Tigers would’ve won it on Jimmy Outlaw’s single to right that scored Roy Cullenbine from 2nd, in the top of the 31st inning. When the A’s came up in the bottom half, they just smacked 3 fly balls for outs.

But since it was being treated as a new game, the A’s got some extra chances. With 2 outs in the 9th, they’d tie the game on a run scoring double by Hal Peck. Moving the game into extra innings. This is the 2nd time they’ve played this game, and both times it’s going into extra as a 1-1 tie. Who’d of thunk it?

A couple innings later, both teams would each score another run. It wasn’t ’til the bottom of the 16th, that the A’s would win it on a walk-off double by Bobby Estalella.

This “two-for-one game” is obviously fascinating for a lot of reasons, but even though it’s not a single game, I think it should be remembered as one of the longest. After all, it all had to be played in order to get one single victory.