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Saturday, April 02, 2011

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

Last season the New York Mets set a dubious record.  Greatest differential between Grand Slams hit and Grand Slams allowed, from the Allowed perspective.  At least as far as I can find on Baseball-Reference.  The Mets allowed 12 grand slams in 2010, and hit zero.  Zero.  The Mets offensive struggles with the bases loaded were well documented - they had an OPS of .590 with the bases drunk.  I also watched as they allowed, seemingly, a salami at every possible opportunity.  The Mets allowed 12 more grand slams than they hit.  Or as Larry Hockett would say “New League Record.” 

Going old school and looking up this record in The Sporting News Record Book (from 1993), I could see that the Mets had a real shot at the record during the season.  Thumbing, electronically, through B-R, I found that the 1996 Detroit Tigers allowed 14 GS, which it appears, is the record.  Congratulations, Detroit!  The National League record was set by the 2000 Montreal Expos, also allowing a dozen.

The difference between those two teams and the 2010 Mets was success at the plate.  The Tigers also managed to hit four grand slams of their own, for a difference of 10.  The Expos only hit one, giving them a difference of 11, but that is still one more than the Mets hit last year. 

I have read enough studies not to put too much worry into situational hitting successes and failures.  Like the weather in so many places, just wait a few minutes and it will change.  So when the Mets had such a huge gap in the GS column, I shrug it off as an anomaly, and look forward to the next season. 

So last night when John Buck, who can hit home runs, hit a grand slam, I thought to myself “You have got to be kidding me.” 

Then I think about things that might not make it as unlikely, mostly driven by chance.  The Mets pitchers aren’t a collection of big-time fly ball pitchers allowing scads of HRs in all situations.  The Mets pitchers do seem to struggle with “out pitches”.  Sure enough, Buck started the count 0-2, and then Pelfrey couldn’t put him away.  Is there anything to that?  Does a pitching staff philosophy put pitchers in this situation - not having the big strikeout pitch?  I can tell myself that I know that this is just bad dice rolls.  After all, Pelfrey didn’t give up any grannies last year. 

Or the Mets are just a bunch of chokers…

 

Chris Dial Posted: April 02, 2011 at 12:35 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. booond Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:25 PM (#3784376)
Interesting stat that has little to do with anything but circumstance, unless the Tigers or Expos had a string of years where they led or were near the lead in these situations.
   2. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: April 02, 2011 at 03:40 PM (#3784380)
I know, booond. It's just brutal to follow during the season.
   3. Lassus Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3784395)
The only think that game was missing was some bases-loaded failures on our part.
   4. Run Joe Run Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3784400)
But you know, after they gave up the GS, they did mount a bit of a rally against a pitcher that had been no hitting them. I took that as a good sign. I am still optomistic
   5. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: April 02, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3784412)
Mets need to hire Jim Palmer as pitching coach.
   6. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 03, 2011 at 04:22 AM (#3784870)
The 1996 Tigers are always a go-to-team for horrible pitching statistics. Two words: Greg Gohr.

Total pitching WAR for the 27 pitchers they used that year: 1.1
WHIP: 1.733 (next highest in MLB was the Red Sox with 1.597)
K/BB: 1.22 (next lowest: the Brewers with 1.33. By comparison, the best was the Braves, 2.76)
Team ERA: 6.38 (next highest: the Rockies with 5.59)
ERA+: 80 (next lowest: the Giants with 86)
Runs allowed: 1103 (next highest: the Rockies with 964)
HR allowed: 241 (next highest: the Twins with 233)
Walks allowed: 784 (next highest: the Red Sox with 722)
Strikeouts: 957 (finally a stat in which they weren't the worst in baseball! They were 5th worst.)
Saves: 22 (next lowest: the Twins with 31)

At least they got their money's worth out of Omar Olivares, their highest-paid and best pitcher.
   7. bobm Posted: April 03, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#3785388)
Thumbing, electronically, through B-R, I found that the 1996 Detroit Tigers allowed 14 GS, which it appears, is the record. Congratulations, Detroit! The National League record was set by the 2000 Montreal Expos, also allowing a dozen.

The difference between those two teams and the 2010 Mets was success at the plate. The Tigers also managed to hit four grand slams of their own, for a difference of 10. The Expos only hit one, giving them a difference of 11, but that is still one more than the Mets hit last year.


The 1996 to 2010 timeframe has not been particularly lucky for the Mets in terms of grand slams. Using the BB-REF Play Index Event Finder, I counted the following items:

From 1996-2010:

1. the Mets rank 3rd in (GS allowed - GS hit) differential with 25, behind Kansas City with 32 and Tampa Bay with 26 (from 1998-2010). (The Yankees had the most favorable differential, hitting 35 more grand slams than allowed in the same time frame.)

2. The Mets have hit the 5th fewest (52) grand slams and allowed the 8th most (77).

3. In only 4 of 15 seasons did the Mets hit more grand slams than they allowed: 1997, 1999, 2005, and 2006.

4. Aside from 1996 Detroit, 2000 Montreal, and 2010 New York, the only other team with a (GS allowed - GS hit) differential of 10 or more was 2006 Baltimore.

5. Aside from 2010 New York, the only other team that hit 0 grand slams while leading the MLB that season in (GS allowed - GS hit) differential was 2007 Kansas City.

6. 10 times has a team hit 0 grand slams in a season. The Mets did it 3 times: 1996, 2007 and 2010. No other team did so more than once.
   8. Harris Posted: May 01, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#3814365)
Ryan Howard added to the total last night...

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