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Friday, January 20, 2012

Grantland: Bill James: The 100 Best Pitchers’ Duels of 2011

Bill James sez it all!

My list of the 100 best pitchers’ duels of 2011 is better than your list, for one reason and one reason only.

You don’t have any list.

 

 

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, reviews, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. BDC Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4041062)
Hmmn, the only ones that happened in Arlington were Phillies games, and I was out of the country for that series. The Ballpark is not the mother of pitchers' duels ...
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4041064)
Lincecum and Kershaw matched up four times in 2011, Kershaw winning all four contests, all four of them tremendous duels. In the four games Lincecum pitched 29 innings with a 1.24 ERA, but an 0-4 record. Kershaw was 4-0, pitched 30.1 innings with a 0.30 ERA.

Incredible. Koufaxian.

EDIT: Closed out the italics but didn't touch anything else. Ron J
   3. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4041066)
10. July 31, 2011, Angels in Detroit, Jered Weaver against Justin Verlander:

...When Weaver's next pitch was over the head of Alex Avila, Weaver and Mike Scioscia were ejected from the game. In the top of the eighth, Verlander gave up a single and two unearned runs. Detroit 3, Angels 2.
Wow, he complete leave out the Aybar bunt and the fireworks that followed that preceded the base hit. I thought that was as big a story as anything that went on between Weaver and Ordonez/Guillen/Avila.

I guess when one team is responsible for three of the top 10 pitchers' duels, it's a sign that you have really good pitching and really crappy offense. The Giants and Angels fit that description pretty well.
   4. villageidiom Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4041082)
Fixed?
   5. flournoy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4041093)
Pretty useless list with useless comments, honestly. How can you mention this game ...

37. June 20, Atlanta in Toronto, Tim Hudson against Ricky Romero

Hudson dominant. Atlanta 2, Toronto 0.


... without even mentioning that the Braves' two runs were scored on Tim Hudson's own two run homer? I mean, what's the point, then?

Not to mention that his useless commentary is wrong anyway, that game was in Atlanta, obviously, not Toronto.
   6. Guapo Posted: January 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4041116)
Josh Collmenter (Don't feel bad; I never heard of him, either)


Pass.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4041124)
I thought this list was a ton of fun. I liked this observation -
Kuroda was 13-16 this year with a 3.07 ERA. That's a clear sign of how much baseball has returned to normal in the post-steroid era. There have been hundreds of records like that in baseball history, but none in the last twenty years. In 1992 three pitchers lost 15 or more games with ERAs better than 3.20. Since 1992 NO pitcher had done that — until Kuroda.
Blah blah not the "steroid era" blah blah

Offensive levels have changed drastically, and this is a really nice anecdotal depiction of the difference. James is still great at finding the right anecdote to illustrate a point.
   8. salvomania Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4041126)
I guess the postseason doesn't count for some reason, but Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay hooked up for a pretty nice duel in the clinching game of the NLDS....
   9. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4041128)
[6] Yeah that was the point where I stopped skimming.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4041129)
salvo beat me to the punch.
   11. salvomania Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4041132)
Kershaw was 4-0, pitched 30.1 innings with a 0.30 ERA.

Incredible. Koufaxian.


1966 Larry Jaster scoffs.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4041137)
[6] Yeah that was the point where I stopped skimming.


Not only should James probably know everyone who threw more than 150ip last year, but Collmenter is the Mike Marshall mechanics guy and stands out if you see him throw one pitch.
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4041143)
I'm a sucker for this sort of stuff. Some nits to pick but I love these kinds of lists. I'm also very glad he did this for Grantland and not for the Bleacher Report.
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4041145)
Salvo

How did you know of that guy? I barely recalled the name and certainly not his crazy good performance against the Dodgers in 1966
   15. BDC Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4041152)
As somebody who'd never heard of Josh Collmenter, I can relate. I am sure that the actual Bill James has not only heard of, but thought deeply unto, Josh Collmenter. But he's always had the knack of writing for people like me who are obsessed with baseball but maybe more with history and our local teams/divisions/leagues than the 40-man rosters of the entire universe :) As to guys like Collmenter, if they don't play in Arlington, I don't see 'em and they might as well not exist ... though I'll sure remember his name now ...
   16. salvomania Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4041154)
How did you know of that guy?


I'm and old school Cardinals fan, so it's my job to know stuff like that.
   17. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4041157)
Yeah, I'd never heard of him. That's one of the weirdest stats I've ever seen. Five shutouts in five starts against the Dodgers, 4.64 ERA against everyone else.
   18. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4041160)
1966 Larry Jaster scoffs.


Wow! What a strange split. 5 shutouts against the Dodgers, no better than a 3.95 ERA against any other team.

I'm not sure what's more impressive, that or the fact that he went 6-5 with a 77 ERA+ against the rest of the league.
   19. Derb Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4041162)
I think this is my favorite:

69. June 9, Mariners in Detroit, Doug Fister against Justin Verlander

Ten Ks for the big dude. Tigers 4, Mariners 1.
   20. JJ1986 Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4041165)
As somebody who'd never heard of Josh Collmenter, I can relate. I am sure that the actual Bill James has not only heard of, but thought deeply unto, Josh Collmenter. But he's always had the knack of writing for people like me who are obsessed with baseball but maybe more with history and our local teams/divisions/leagues than the 40-man rosters of the entire universe :) As to guys like Collmenter, if they don't play in Arlington, I don't see 'em and they might as well not exist ... though I'll sure remember his name now ...


But this is the perfect opportunity to tell people about Collmenter and maybe add some substance and it would have taken two sentences.
   21. jingoist Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4041190)
I read TFA and James came across as a dude with a serious attitude problem.
Is he mad at the stats crowd or just feeling pretty cocky now that th larger worlsd has discovered him?
   22. Don Malcolm Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4041195)
For goodness' sakes, Collmenter pitched a great game in NLDS against the Brewers.

This is James doing his 80s-type non-theoretical stuff. No more, no less. Entertaining? Sure. Enlightening? Occasionally. But other than that it's just product.

As for Kuroda, the context that Bill isn't telling you is that since 1961 there have been 47 seasons that meet this (arbitrary) criteria. The reason why it used to happen so much more than has been the case recently is not just because of offensive levels, but due to the changes in pitcher usage that have resulted in starters getting less decisions (78% of decisions went to starters in 1968, 68% in 2000, 73% in 2011).

What Bill also doesn't tell you is that the three incidences of this "stat paradox" in 1992 were a fluke clustering. From 1979-1992, this happened only seven times. For the record: it happened 21 times in the 60s, 18 times in the 70s, 4 times in the 80s, 3 times in the 90s (all in '92).
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4041196)
I read TFA and James came across as a dude with a serious attitude problem.
Is he mad at the stats crowd or just feeling pretty cocky now that th larger worlsd has discovered him?


He's always been like that a little bit. Hell, when he stopped doing the Abstracts one of the reasons he gave was he was writing more "hey idiot" response letters (not sure that was the precise term, but you get the idea I hope). James' style has always included a good bit of snark that like any snark could crossover from "funny" to "insulting" pretty quickly.
   24. jingoist Posted: January 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4041200)
Thanks Jose
   25. Morty Causa Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4041206)
Bill James has a ego--and why shouldn't he? Most of the time he works to curb it, and even tries to be diplomatic. But it is not natural to him to suffer those he considers fools gladly, and sometimes he doesn't try, or he can't restrain himself. To me, it's no big deal. I try to stick to the arguments; character is an entirely separate issue--one as a matter of polemics that usually goes in circles.
   26. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4041208)
he was writing more "hey idiot" response letters (not sure that was the precise term,
I think James called them "Dear Jackass" letters.
   27. BDC Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4041210)
For goodness' sakes, Collmenter pitched a great game in NLDS against the Brewers

Sure, I'm not saying I'm proud not to have heard of him; I'm ignorant. Between a full-time job, a family, and being utterly absorbed in the Rays-Rangers ALDS, I simply missed that whole series. My bad.

James, OTOH, as people have pointed out, has always been a certain percentage information to a large percentage of shtick. He's the Neil Tyson of baseball science – and I say that admiringly as a fan of both of them :)
   28. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4041211)
Other than the "Game 162" madness, I think #92 was my favourite game of the year:

92. September 5, Boston in Toronto, Josh Beckett against Henderson Alvarez

Beckett left early with a sprained ankle, but the game was scoreless through nine innings, scoreless through 10. Brett Lawrie homered with two out in the bottom of the eleventh. Toronto 1, Boston 0.


That home run, against that team, from that guy, at that time, with that player/teammate/crowd reaction, was awesome.
   29. puck Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4041217)
Bah.
   30. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4041220)
I think James called them "Dear Jackass" letters.


Yup, that's it. I couldn't think of it.
   31. puck Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4041224)
Bah, part ii.
   32. Perry Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4041236)
How did you know of that guy? I barely recalled the name and certainly not his crazy good performance against the Dodgers in 1966


Every Cardinal fan knows that guy. He's in the pantheon with Nelson Briles, Dick Hughes, Glenn Brummer, Roger Freed, and Mike Laga.
   33. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: January 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4041245)
I have never heard of Josh Collmenter. I was getting married during the divisional series round.
   34. Tippecanoe Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4041273)
East Coast bias showing...seriously, Collmenter was sporting an ERA of around 1.00 well into the season. All it took was a glance at a leader board.

Also:
Glenn Brummer, Roger Freed,


sorry to hijack, but seeing these names makes me smile...if I ever meet either guy in an airport, they will be getting a beer from me like it or not.
   35. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4041285)
Brett Lawrie homered with two out in the bottom of the eleventh. Toronto 1, Boston 0.

That home run, against that team, from that guy, at that time, with that player/teammate/crowd reaction, was awesome.


Damn straight! Lawrie had a string of Papi-esque clutch hits in his limited playing time. I have (hopefully not unrealistic) high hopes for him this year.
   36. JRVJ Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4041308)
Well, this confirms that Cliff Lee had a heck of a year. He came in 3rd in the NL Cy Young race, but truly, he would have been as fine a Cy Young winner as either Kershaw or Halladay.

And Cole Hammels was pretty darn good, too.

As a Philly phan, I'm sad at how the Phillies 2011 season went, but you have to admit, they had a monster rotation last year (even though Oswalt went down early).
   37. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4041318)
if I ever meet either guy in an airport, they will be getting a beer from me like it or not.

I love this line. I'm picturing Roger Freed trying to get to his gate with some guy chasing him, trying to force a beer on him. "Take the beer, dammit!"
   38. BDC Posted: January 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4041355)
Now, Roger Freed I've heard of. When he got to Philly he was supposed to be the next, I dunno, at least the next Deron Johnson. He ended up being the next Marv Throneberry.
   39. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 20, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4041370)
Every Cardinal fan knows that guy. He's in the pantheon with Nelson Briles, Dick Hughes, Glenn Brummer, Roger Freed, and Mike Laga.


Ah, this lets me translate it into my own dialect. Based on the Phillies Alternative Career Translator System (PHACTS) he's the Cardinal equivalent of Wayne Twitchell.
   40. morineko Posted: January 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4041382)
The only decently-pitched game I saw in person during 2011 involved Neil Ramirez in a AAA game. I don't think I'm the audience for this list.
   41. KJOK Posted: January 20, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4041406)
Glenn Brummer, Roger Freed,

and your thoughts are "Stolen Base, PH Home Run" then you're a true Cardinal fan.

He's in the pantheon with Nelson Briles, Dick Hughes, Glenn Brummer, Roger Freed, and Mike Laga.


with Tom Lawless and Mike Ramsey.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4041433)
But this is the perfect opportunity to tell people about Collmenter and maybe add some substance and it would have taken two sentences.


Especially since he got ripped off on the ROY vote. (at worse he should have been third behind Ramos and Worley, but arguably could have been ahead of either of them)

sorry to hijack, but seeing these names makes me smile...if I ever meet either guy in an airport, they will be getting a beer from me like it or not.


You better hope you don't meet Roger Freed in an airport(RIP), but at the baseball writers association dinner a few years back, Brummer proved he would be more than willing to take you up on that offer(he was trashed)

   43. Matt Welch Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4041444)
I'd never heard of Collmenter either.

It's possible during these more specialized times, I think, to focus much more on a single league than before, if your team is in it. My team (and James's teams) are in the AL.

Anyway, I thought this was a super-fun list, and he struck me as not one percentage point dickier than usual.
   44. TerpNats Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4041461)
Uh, Bill, since you mentioned him five times in your 100, you should know that the Washington pitcher's name is Jordan Zimmermann. Two "n's" at the end, OK?
   45. Matthew E Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4041473)
Uh, Bill, since you mentioned him five times in your 100, you should know that the Washington pitcher's name is Jordan Zimmermann. Two "n's" at the end, OK?


James doesn't care how players' names are spelled. He reserves the right to spell anything and everything his own way.

No, seriously, he does. In The Mind of Bill James, the biography by Scott Gray, there's a part where James complains about copy editors with their narrow belief that if you spell a guy's name one way in one paragraph, you should spell it the same way in the next paragraph.
   46. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4041479)
It's possible during these more specialized times, I think, to focus much more on a single league than before, if your team is in it. My team (and James's teams) are in the AL.
I've said this a number of times before, but whether it's due to the availability of broadcasts, the internet, age, or who knows what, as I've gotten older, I've become much more interested/knowledgable about the teams that I follow, and much less knowledgable about the rest of the sport. This is true for hockey and baseball in particular. I know a hell of a lot more about the Angels' and Kings' farm systems, organizational structure, etc. than I ever did back in the '80s and '90s, but I know next to nothing about the National League and Eastern Conference. And what I know about American League and Western Conference teams is almost entirely what I learn while they're playing the Angels and Kings. In the old days, I would watch Saturday and Monday night baseball because there wasn't that much baseball on TV during the rest of the week. Now I watch 120 Angels games per year. I don't really have the time or interest to follow other teams that closely.

I had never heard of Collmenter either.
   47. Tippecanoe Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4041487)
and your thoughts are "Stolen Base, PH Home Run" then you're a true Cardinal fan.


1) I was listening to Buck (Jack!) and Shannon for Brummer's straight steal of home in the bottom of the 12th.

2) I was about 15 and attended the game against the Dodgers when Freed hit a pinch 3-run bomb to finish of the 9th inning rally from down 6-1.

   48. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4041506)
I think it's considerably easier to be more knowledgeable about the entire sport than it ever was. As a kid I knew the AL East like the back of my hand but the NL was pretty vague other than the stars and a few key players on top teams (and for some reason Omar Moreno who fascinated me).

No, seriously, he does. In The Mind of Bill James, the biography by Scott Gray, there's a part where James complains about copy editors with their narrow belief that if you spell a guy's name one way in one paragraph, you should spell it the same way in the next paragraph.


He's right. Of course ideally that one way to spell the name should be the right way. As for the specific Zimmerman(n) issue I think that's a forgiveable transgression.
   49. Perry Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4041515)
1) I was listening to Buck (Jack!) and Shannon for Brummer's straight steal of home in the bottom of the 12th.


With 2 out and 2 strikes on the batter! One of his 4 career steals.

I was about 15 and attended the game against the Dodgers when Freed hit a pinch 3-run bomb to finish of the 9th inning rally from down 6-1.


And that's only his 2nd-most-famous pinch homer.

   50. salvomania Posted: January 20, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4041523)
And that's only his 2nd-most-famous pinch homer.


Without looking it up, I seem to recall a pinch-hit extra-inning grand slam in 1977, and I remember (or I imagine I remember) the photo of him being mobbed by his Cardinal teammates. But I may be mis-remembering what was really the 3-run job mentioned above.

Now I am going to look it up.


EDIT: OK, wasn't imagining it, although I did have the year wrong. On May 1, 1979, after the Astros scored three in the top of the 11th, Freed hit a 2-out pinch-hit bases-loaded walkoff homer off ace closer Joe Sambito.
   51. Guapo Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4041538)
Pitchers in this article I've never heard of:

Anthony Swarzak
Guillermo Moscoso
Rubby de la Rosa
Alejandro Sanabia
Jhoulys Chacin
Henderson Alvarez
Luis Perez

Cory Luebke rang a bell, but I couldn't tell you anything about him, like what team he played for.

That's more than I would have thought. I'm off to look those guys up to figure out if I should be embarrassed or not. I note that it's possible that I'm a racist, since many of those names appear hispanic.

   52. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4041553)
Yeah, but your name is Guapo. Doesn't that mitigate the racism?
   53. jingoist Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4041554)
When I think of the Cards, its always Musial, Schoendinst, Wally "Moon Shot" Moon, Kenny Boyer and the McDaniel twins. Of course we're talking mid-50's but I was 10 and listening to KMOX late at night when AM radio signaals would get the Ionospheric bounce and we'd listen to the games announcers fade in and out.
My Pirates (thankfully) got a young RoY CF Bill Virdon from the Cards; he and Roberto anchored our outfield for many years.
Tough being a Pirate fan these past 20 years; happy for you Cards fans that your team has been lots of fun to watch over the years.
   54. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4041564)
In The Mind of Bill James, the biography by Scott Gray, there's a part where James complains about copy editors with their narrow belief that if you spell a guy's name one way in one paragraph, you should spell it the same way in the next paragraph.

Hey, that was how they did it until about 200 years ago. Roy Holliday, Roy Holiday, Roy Hawlidey, you know who I'm talking about. Also, when you get off the boat we make your name more pronounceable to your new neighbors. Alejandro Sanabia, you are now Alexander Sanabia. Jhoulys Chacin, you are Julius Chasen. Luis Perez, you are Lou Peters.
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4041567)
My Pirates (thankfully) got a young RoY CF Bill Virdon from the Cards; he and Roberto anchored our outfield for many years.
Tough being a Pirate fan these past 20 years; happy for you Cards fans that your team has been lots of fun to watch over the years.


Thanks for reminding me, Bill Virdon was at the St Louis BBWAA dinner last week(not on the dais, but at one of the tables) and TLR kept trying to get Bill Virdon to like him(he said if he could get Bill Virdon to like him, he'll consider himself to have been successful---or something like that)
   56. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4041571)
Alejandro Sanabia, you are now Alexander Sanabia. Jhoulys Chacin, you are Julius Chasen. Luis Perez, you are Lou Peters.

Roberto Hernandez Heredia, you are now Fausto Carmona.
   57. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4041579)
Fausto Carmona, you are now Charlie Faust.
   58. TerpNats Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4041585)
I know a hell of a lot more about the Angels' and Kings' farm systems, organizational structure, etc. than I ever did back in the '80s and '90s, but I know next to nothing about the National League and Eastern Conference. And what I know about American League and Western Conference teams is almost entirely what I learn while they're playing the Angels and Kings. In the old days, I would watch Saturday and Monday night baseball because there wasn't that much baseball on TV during the rest of the week. Now I watch 120 Angels games per year. I don't really have the time or interest to follow other teams that closely.
And somewhere else in southern California, there's a person who follows the Dodgers and the Ducks, just to even things out.
   59. fra paolo Posted: January 20, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4041597)
Fatso Cremona

he struck me as not one percentage point dickier than usual.

Praising with faint d--ns.

I remember watching that game, listed at #1, between Verlander and Haren on the television at my B-i-L's apartment just before SABR in Long Beach. It was the second time that season that I could have gone to a Verlander start if I'd set aside all other responsibilities and bought the tickets, the other being the no-hitter in Toronto.
   60. Walt Davis Posted: January 20, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4041711)
Huh ... so I'm a weirdo in that every month or so I trawl through every team on b-r so I have some clue who's playing.

Cool, no wonder I was way ahead on the Al Albuquerque curve.
   61. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 21, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4041750)
Cool, no wonder I was way ahead on the Al Albuquerque curve.


Complete with the Jamesian touch.
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: January 21, 2012 at 01:27 AM (#4041753)
"1966 Larry Jaster scoffs."

Been pimping that for years on BBTF (and maybe others have, too), but plenty of room on the bandwagon. Bizarre numbers even for the era and # of teams for a mediocre pitcher to score...

   63. Erix Posted: January 21, 2012 at 03:06 AM (#4041772)
I found this article to be rather "meh". I don't expect James to be breaking any new and innovative research on Grantland... But still.
   64. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4041819)
Huh ... so I'm a weirdo in that every month or so I trawl through every team on b-r so I have some clue who's playing.


You are to current players what Howie Menckel is to historical players.
   65. Accent Shallow Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4041825)
Nitpickery about #2 on the list . . .

2. July 10, 2011, Tampa Bay at New York, CC Sabathia against James Shields

Sabathia came into the game 12-4 with an ERA of 2.90; Shields came in 8-6 but with an ERA of 2.47, and it was the day after Jeter went 5-for-5 and got his 3,000th hit. Rays shortstop Elliot Johnson doubled in the first but didn't advance. Sean Rodriguez doubled leading off the third, but tried to steal third and was thrown out — a critical play in the game. The Yankees got runners on second and third, one out in the third on a single, a bunt single, and a bunt, but Teixeira flied to center and Upton threw out Nunez at home plate to keep the game scoreless. Upton singled in the fourth, but Sabathia picked him off first. No one else reached (for either team) until the seventh inning. Upton singled, but Rodriguez flied to right and Upton didn't get back to first base in time — the third scoring chance the Rays had wasted with overaggressive base running. Cano singled leading off the bottom of the seventh. Posada flied to center, but Upton threw wildly returning the ball to the infield — his third critical mistake of the game — allowing Cano to go to third, from where he scored the game's only run on a ground ball. Sabathia pitched a four-hit shutout, striking out nine. Shields also pitched a four-hitter, but lost on the unearned run, making it a snakebite game. (A snakebite game is a game in which the starting pitcher pitches well and does not allow an earned run, but is charged with the loss anyway.) Yankees 1, Rays 0.


Cano didn't score on a ground ball . . . he scored when Shields tried to pick him off 3B (!) and threw it away (!!!)
   66. esseff Posted: January 21, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4041910)
When I think of the Cards, its always Musial, Schoendinst, Wally "Moon Shot" Moon, Kenny Boyer and the McDaniel twins.


I presume that's just shorthand at the end. No two of the three McDaniel brothers -- Lindy, Von and Butch -- were twins.

To add a name to the pantheon of Cardinals unlikelies: Doug Clarey.
   67. bobm Posted: January 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4041932)
FTFA:
What are the elements of a great pitchers' duel? A pitchers' duel is a low-scoring game, obviously; a 1-0 game is the champion of its list. The term "pitchers' duel" implies that the starting pitchers pitch well, as opposed to staggering through five innings un-scored upon and handing it off to the bullpen. We think of a pitchers' duel more highly if it involves pitchers of stature. A 1-0 game is more memorable if it is Sabathia against Verlander than if it is Marco Estrada against Kevin Correia. Which, by the way, actually happened last year; Marco Estrada and Kevin Correia matched up on August 13 at Miller Park, and the result was a 1-0 game. Go figure. There's a woman involved somewhere.

Anyway, a great pitchers' duel implies that there is something at stake beyond fifth place, although you don't want to place too much emphasis on that criterion, or you wind up warbling on about Jack Morris in 1991, long after anybody cares.

Four criteria — low-scoring game, quality pitchers on the mound, [starting] pitchers pitch well, and something is at stake.


The "low-scoring game" and "starting pitchers pitch well" seem like the more expected criteria for a good pitchers' duel IMO than "quality pitchers on the mound" and "something is at stake"
   68. Shredder Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4044306)
And somewhere else in southern California, there's a person who follows the Dodgers and the Ducks, just to even things out.
I hate that guy.
   69. JJ1986 Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4044312)
Sanabia does go by Alex.

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