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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Dustin Pedroia’s sad connection to Jim Rice, and other surprising Red Sox numbers

Cover the Red Sox for a year and you’ll spend a lot of time staring at Baseball-Reference, the pre-eminent site for the kind of stats you would’ve found on a Topps card in 1986, as well as many of the advanced numbers that have transformed the modern game.

Over the course of a season, some numbers will occasionally jump out at you. Here are five, from lowest to highest, that caught my attention in 2019.

.001 — The difference in OPS between Rafael Devers (.916) in his superstar breakout year and Mookie Betts (.915) in his lackluster MVP follow-up. Anyone who watched the team knows that Devers was the more impactful offensive player, especially from May through July, when the Red Sox still believed they had a shot at the playoffs. And yet when all was said and done, their numbers were virtually identical. It turns out that context matters.

3 — Hits for Dustin Pedroia since the start of 2018. He’s had just 31 at-bats in that span, but that has been enough to drop his lifetime average from .300 to .299. He’s almost certain to become a victim of the Jim Rice Effect. The Hall of Fame slugger was a .300 hitter for almost his entire career, dropping below that threshold on May 5, 1989. He played only 29 more games, and finished at .298. Let the record show that Pedroia was still a lifetime .300 hitter (technically .299535, but baseball rounds up), until grounding to short to lead off his penultimate game against Baltimore’s Dan Straily. If this is it, he’ll finish his career two hits shy of .300.

A consideration of both numbers and the meanings that they can hold.

 

QLE Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:33 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, numbers

Monday, September 30, 2019

MLB finishes with 6,776 homers, 11% above previous record

NEW YORK (AP) — Major league batters finished with 6,776 home runs, shattering the previous record of 6,105 set two years ago.

Dominic Smith hit the final long ball of the season, a three-run drive in the 11th inning Sunday off Atlanta’s Grant Dayton that lifted the New York Mets over the NL East champion Braves 7-6.

Oakland’s Steven Piscotty started the barrage on March 20 in Tokyo against Seattle’s Marco Gonzales, the sixth batter of the season.

This year’s total was 11% above the old record and 21% higher than last year’s 5,585.

That was the season that was- and here are the numbers that go with it.

QLE Posted: September 30, 2019 at 12:56 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, home run spike, milestones, numbers

Monday, September 02, 2019

Justin Verlander no-hitter: Inside the numbers behind Verlander’s third career no-hitter

On Sunday, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander threw the fourth no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season, against the Blue Jays. It was also the second Astros no-hitter on the year after four pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter in August. It was Verlander’s second consecutive no-hitter at Rogers Centre, making him the first pitcher in MLB history with multiple no-hitters on the road against the same opponent.

At 36 years old, Verlander proved he’s still got a lot left in him for another World Series run while also propelling himself at the top of the American League Cy Young Award race. Here’s his final line:

...

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the other numbers involved.

A consideration of a no-hitter, and some of the environment it interconnects with.

QLE Posted: September 02, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, no-hitter, numbers

 

 

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