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Monday, August 06, 2012

Ichiro’s amazing string of 1-fors continues

Commenter: “It’s not easy to be in a hitting streak and a slump simultaneously.”

Ichiro Suzuki played in his 12th game for the Yankees in a 6-2 win over the Mariners on Sunday. Just like in the first 11, he had exactly one hit, no walks and no strikeouts.

That makes for a few oddities:

- His hitting streak with exactly one hit in each game is the longest since the Dodgers’ Willy Aybar had a 13-game streak in 2006. The Cardinals’ Ted Sizemore has the longest such streak since 1970, going 16 straight games in 1975…

- At 12 games, he’s now tied with Don Slaught (1988) for the longest hitting streak to begin a career for the Yankees.

The District Attorney Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:13 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ichiro suzuki, yankees

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 06, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4201315)
A few additional oddities/factoids:

1) Through 12 games in NY, he has four plate appearances per game, and exactly one hit per game. However, in two of the plate appearances, he was hit by a pitch, so his batting average in NY is .261 (12 for 46). His slash line is .261/.292/.370.

In 95 games and 423 PAs with Seattle this year, he hit...exactly .261, but his OBP and SLG were actually lower in Seattle, because he hit with so little power, and so few walks.

2) In his 95 games with Seattle, he averaged about 4.4 PAs per games, as compared to exactly 4 per game thus far with the Yankees. When you consider how many fewer non-outs the Mariners make compared to the Yankees, it truly highlights how many more PAs Ichrio got in Seattle, as a leadoff hitter and somebody who rarely missed a game. Already, if he was the leadoff hitter for NY, he'd probably have an additional three to four PAs in the last 12 games. Over 150 games, that'd probably be an extra 40 or so PAs in a season. Even hitting .261, that's an extra 10-12 hits a year.

   2. tfbg9 Posted: August 06, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4201330)
If we're talking "one-fer" streaks, Ichiro's got a long way to go before he catches Wilt.
   3. Repoz Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4201332)
Michael the Kay: "I don't know how he does it, but Ichiro just keeps getting hits!"
   4. AROM Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4201335)
I noticed he was having a lot of one-fers, but didn't realize it was an unbroken streak.

When I was a kid, the first time I heard about hitting streaks I thought it meant you never made an out. I was corrected that it meant just getting one hit per game, and was very unimpressed with hitting streaks, and why anybody would care about an accomplishment that could be done by a .250 hitter.

I was wrong, for the same reason critics of the quality start (what's the big deal about a 4.50 ERA?) are wrong. It's a minimum. A guy in a 35 game hitting streak is probably batting .380 during the streak. A pitcher who throws a QS every time out will probably have an ERA around 2.00.

It's been a long time, but now I have the hitting streak that fits the unimpressive one I imagined as a kid. And since it's taken so long to see one, it's kind of impressive in its own way.
   5. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 06, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4201355)
This is the kind of thing that only a real baseball fan - not a general sports fan or a nonfan - would know. Placing this streak in a context about exactly how impressive this is can be overstated or understated really easily.
   6. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4201385)
Ichiro then went and flipped coins. He got heads 10 times in a row - Amazing.

And yes this is a bit harsh, but still just a random bit of stats noise.
   7. TomH Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4201386)
This is exhibit A on why 'hitting streaks' are THE single largest overrated MLB stat.

Who thinks Joe DiMaggio would EVER have been labeled the 'greatest living ballplayer' if one mere bounce or bloop (or even taken a walk instead) had gone awry during the summer of '41? Not to mention the MVP award.

   8. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4201391)
Who thinks Joe DiMaggio would EVER have been labeled the 'greatest living ballplayer' if one mere bounce or bloop (or even taken a walk instead) had gone awry during the summer of '41? Not to mention the MVP award.
DiMaggio's hitting streak, IIRC, is the unlikeliest thing that's ever happened in sports history.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4201395)
This is exhibit A on why 'hitting streaks' are THE single largest overrated MLB stat.


Actually, as AROM notes, this type of thing is very, very rare, so it's more the exception rather than the exhibit. People in hitting streaks are almost always hitting extremely well (a floor of one hit per game is a great place to build a great stretch of hitting).

   10. The Good Face Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4201408)
Ok, I've been off the grid for the past couple of weeks, and of all the things that happened while I was away, Ichiro winding up on the Yankees is the most surprising to me. WTF happened? Why did the Yankees want the corpse of Ichiro in the first place? Was there a BBTF thread where this was discussed? If so, could some kind soul link it?
   11. McCoy Posted: August 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4201412)
Ichiro being traded to the Yankees flew under the radar here.
   12. The Good Face Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4201415)
Ichiro being traded to the Yankees flew under the radar here.


Not sure if serious...
   13. Dan Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4201423)
DiMaggio's hitting streak, IIRC, is the unlikeliest thing that's ever happened in sports history.


Yeah, it was really unlikely that an official scorer would give a Yankee hits instead of charging the opposing defenders with errors.
   14. Repoz Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4201424)
if one mere bounce or bloop (or even taken a walk instead)

or if a score keeper...
   15. AROM Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4201429)
"DiMaggio's hitting streak, IIRC, is the unlikeliest thing that's ever happened in sports history."

Not so sure. It was only the second longest hitting streak in DiMaggio's professional career.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4201432)
   17. The Good Face Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4201436)
Thanks much.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4201461)
"DiMaggio's hitting streak, IIRC, is the unlikeliest thing that's ever happened in sports history."


This seems like an impossible thing to evaluate.
   19. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4201486)
This seems like an impossible thing to evaluate.


At a low enough level of granularity every event is perfectly unqiue and they are all exactly as likely. Beyond that it is choosing what level of granularity of information you have and want to use to determine uniqueness. So yeah it is impossible at any meaningful level to evaluate. But humans like bright lines, so I have seen studies that suggest it is one of the unlikeliest.
   20. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4201493)
Ok, I've been off the grid for the past couple of weeks, and of all the things that happened while I was away, Ichiro winding up on the Yankees is the most surprising to me. WTF happened? Why did the Yankees want the corpse of Ichiro in the first place? Was there a BBTF thread where this was discussed? If so, could some kind soul link it?
Brett Gardner is out for the season, and they didn't want to keep putting Ibanez in left field. He was almost free, and is still a good glove.
   21. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 06, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4201494)
Nobody will ever convince me that DiMaggio's hitting streak was unlikelier than, say, Victory Faust's entire playing career.
   22. bobm Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4201536)
The Cardinals’ Ted Sizemore has the longest such streak since 1970, going 16 straight games in 1975…


As far as I can tell on B-R PI streak finder, this is the longest such streak since 1918.
   23.   Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4201569)
I think that [7] and [8] can both be true.
   24. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4201572)
VanderMeer's no-hitters have to be more improbable. In fact, I think this book cited a study in support, but I don't have the book handy to look it up.
   25. AROM Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4201594)
When calculating the odds of a hit streak, It's not enough to assume his talent is a .360 hitter (or whatever) with equal odds in 4-5 chances each game. He can change his approach to maximize getting base hits at the expense of power or walks. He can drop down a bunt (which I believe he did a few times during the streak). He could do this either early in the game (to get the streak-extending hit out of the way, and be free to play his normal game afterwards) or later if he's hitless the first 2-3 times up.
   26. TomH Posted: August 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4201626)
Pete Rose would never have done that! <snark>
   27. UCCF Posted: August 06, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4201668)
Pete Rose would never have done that! <snark>

Wanna bet?
   28. SandyRiver Posted: August 06, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4201670)
VanderMeer's no-hitters have to be more improbable. In fact, I think this book cited a study in support, but I don't have the book handy to look it up.

Never duplicated, but Ewell Blackwell came close, in 1949 I think. 2nd no-no was broken up with 1 out in the 9th by a grounder up the middle, followed by an out, a 2nd hit, and a game-ending out. Blackwell was (is?) 6'6", and some thought his altitude kept him from grabbing the moderately hard-hit GB. Of course, had he fielded it, we can't know if the following batter would still have made a out.
   29. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4202039)
The general problem with declaring something to be the most improbable sports event ever is that it's not.

Dimaggio hitting in 56 games in a row, for example, is less probable that Dimaggio hitting in 56 games in a row immediately followed by a game without a hit. Which happened. And which in turn is less likely than 56 on, 1 off, 1 on. Which happened. And which in turn is less likely than 56 on, 1 off, 2 on. Which happened. And blah blah blah. And which is less likely than 56 in a row while hitting .408 during those 56. Which happened. And blah blah blah. There's an infinite number of ways to slice and dice.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: August 06, 2012 at 11:29 PM (#4202043)
I think that was the point of comment #19. If you want to be a stupid dick about it, then sure, everything that's ever happened in sports is probably unique and thus equally unlikely. What's the point?

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