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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Batting .400? A sub-1.00 ERA? Here are the MLB records that could be threatened in an 82-game season

Breaking any of these records is going to be difficult, but we’ve actually seen a few players flirt with .400 over a half season in recent years. Seattle Mariners great Ichiro Suzuki hit .429 in 76 games after the All-Star break in 2004. Joey Votto hit .408 in 72 games in the second half in 2016. If you pretended Suzuki and Votto’s final 82 games those years were “full seasons” then both players would have posted batting averages over .400. Votto would have barely made it at .401. Suzuki hit .423 in the back half of 2004.

Those are the only two players to hit over .400 in a half season since 2000. Many others have come close, though. Chris Coghlan, Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee and Joe Mauer have all hit .370 or higher during a half season, and Victor Martinez and Buster Posey have exceeded .380 in a half season.

A .400 average could, at the very least, be threatened during an 82-game season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2020 at 07:28 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: .400

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   1. Darren Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5953832)
They don't even have to do it for 82 games. Just 255 (82*3.1) plate appearances. Just looking quickly, Nomar hit .420 over 277 PA in 2000. Bonds and Helton must have done it a few times too.


And I wonder how many players have hit .400 for that long? Or put up a sub-1.00 ERA for 82 IP?

   2. Darren Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5953833)
Who would be a good candidate? Yelich maybe? Altuve?
   3. Itchy Row Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5953835)
Here are the top BA's in a 255-PA first or second half of the season since 1941. I'm not good enough at PI to search for 255 PA spans that weren't within a half of a season. The article mentioned Ichiro and Votto since 2000, but Bonds hit .404 in the second half of 2002.

And here are the top ERA's in 82-IP halves over the last 100 years. Bob Gibson was just over 1 in both halves of his 1.12 year.

(Edited after I actually read the article)
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5953836)
Ichiro in 2004 (.429!)


Say what now
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5953838)
Geez, Brett hit .421 in the final 82 games of 1980. Ridiculous.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 27, 2020 at 12:59 PM (#5953842)
And here are the top ERA's in 82-IP halves over the last 100 years

if you look at the top 25 in that list (ERA < 1.34) 20 occured in the 2nd halves of seasons and only 5 in first halves--wonder why? Am I missing something obvious?
   7. Itchy Row Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5953847)
Second halves are shorter- that's the only thing I can think of. It's possible some guys are getting just over 82 IP in the second half, while the extra start or two in the first half makes it harder to keep a ERA that low.

It looks like nobody at the top of the list just barely qualified, though. Only three of the top 50 were under 90 IP in their half, so I don't know what I'm talking about.
   8. flournoy Posted: May 27, 2020 at 01:18 PM (#5953851)
Or put up a sub-1.00 ERA for 82 IP?


My first thought was Orel Hershiser in 1988. Indeed, an 0.44 ERA over his last 82 innings.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:00 PM (#5953866)
Chris Coghlan, Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee and Joe Mauer have all hit .370 or higher during a half season
One of these things is not like the others...
   10. Baldrick Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:14 PM (#5953872)
Mauer hit as many home runs in each half of 2009 as he ever managed in another full season. What a weird year. Can't be too many other people with non-trivial amounts of home runs to manage that feat.
   11. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5953873)
Rich Aurilia hit 25 homers in the second half of 2001 (72 games). In his other 14 seasons he didn't have more than 23.

Brady Anderson 1996: 30 in the first half, 20 in the second half. Career high of 24 otherwise.
   12. Zonk WARRIORS ALONE! Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5953876)
Man.... am I glad I invested heavily in asterisks!
   13. Itchy Row Posted: May 27, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5953887)
Wade Boggs hit 17 HR in the first half of 1987. His next best season totals were 11 and three years with 8. He hit 7 in the second half in '87.
   14. Booey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:15 PM (#5953892)
Luis Gonzales hit 35 HR in the first half of 2001, with a full season career high of 31 otherwise.
   15. Booey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5953895)
Terry Steinbach 1996 - 18 HR in the 1st half and 17 in the 2nd half; never more than 16 in any other full season.

Jacoby Ellsbury 2011 - 21 HR in the 2nd half; never more than 16 in any other full season (and his 3rd highest full season total was only 9).
   16. Booey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5953899)
Bert Campaneris 1970 - 13 HR in the 1st half and 9 in the 2nd half; never more than 8 in any other full season.
   17. Itchy Row Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5953907)
Willard Marshall hit 19 and then 17 in 1949 and never hit more than 17 in any other season.
   18. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 27, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5953908)
In 1980, Brett hit .436 between 23 April and 20 Aug, 324 PA
   19. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:26 PM (#5953955)
Lets say that someone has an absolutely redonkulous half season. Trout hits 403/620/944 or whatever. Are you more glad that you got to see this amazing abbreviated season, or unhappy that you missed out on a season that could have been truly historic if it had been an actual season?
   20. flournoy Posted: May 27, 2020 at 06:46 PM (#5953962)
Are you more glad that you got to see this amazing abbreviated season, or unhappy that you missed out on a season that could have been truly historic if it had been an actual season?


Good question. Probably the latter. I'm still annoyed that the strike interrupted Greg Maddux's 1994-1995 run.
   21. Moeball Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:43 PM (#5953974)
Playing at a ridiculously hot level for 2 or 3 months makes me think not only of Brett in 1980 but also Eric Davis 1987. HRs, SBs and spectacular defensive catches all over the place. For a brief period there he was as great a player as I've ever seen. Come to think of it, wasn't Christian Yelich just about impossible to get out the last couple of months of 2018, including hitting for the cycle twice in a span of about 2 or 3 weeks?

For pitchers, it's Bob Gibson in the middle of 1968. Had a stretch of 14 consecutive starts in which he 1) completed every start 2) pitched shutouts in 10 of them 3) allowed only 1 run in each of the other 4. 2 of the runs were unearned. That's a total of only 2 earned runs in 126 innings. Never seen anyone else come even remotely close to that.
   22. Booey Posted: May 27, 2020 at 07:59 PM (#5953977)
#19 - I'll definitely take part of a great season over none at all. Having to wonder what Thomas, Belle, Griffey, Maddux, Gwynn, Matt Williams, etc would have ended up with in 1994 sucked, but they still provided me with a lot more entertainment than they would have if the entire season had been cancelled.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 27, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5953984)
For pitchers, it's Bob Gibson in the middle of 1968. Had a stretch of 14 consecutive starts in which he 1) completed every start 2) pitched shutouts in 10 of them 3) allowed only 1 run in each of the other 4. 2 of the runs were unearned. That's a total of only 2 earned runs in 126 innings. Never seen anyone else come even remotely close to that.
Jake Arrieta in the second half of 2015 came pretty close, if you adjust for context.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: May 27, 2020 at 08:46 PM (#5953988)
Are you more glad that you got to see this amazing abbreviated season, or unhappy that you missed out on a season that could have been truly historic if it had been an actual season?


The former. Some baseball is superior to no baseball.
   25. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:19 PM (#5953996)
The former. Some baseball is superior to no baseball.


That's what I think too, but there'd still be some nagging regret there.
   26. flournoy Posted: May 27, 2020 at 09:33 PM (#5953999)
I didn't take the question to mean some baseball versus no baseball. I think we'd all prefer some baseball.
   27. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 27, 2020 at 10:43 PM (#5954008)
Lets say that someone has an absolutely redonkulous half season. Trout hits 403/620/944 or whatever. Are you more glad that you got to see this amazing abbreviated season, or unhappy that you missed out on a season that could have been truly historic if it had been an actual season?


In 1969, Reggie Jackson hit 37 HR in the first half. It wasn't a matter of if he would break the record, but by how much. He hit just 10 in the second half, and finished 3rd in the league. I might prefer the historic pace of the short season rather than him hitting .203 or something in the second half, to post excellent, but hardly historic numbers.
   28. Zonk WARRIORS ALONE! Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:24 AM (#5954068)
Anyone - and any team - can have a hot couple months. 162 games has a way of separating wheat from chaff, but to me? The silver lining of a, say, 60-80 game season is that literally anything could happen.

It would be interesting to see what happens to teams that may have had a rebuilding plan coming into this season: if you have a hot month, and suddenly you find yourself in the thick of it with just a month to go... do you go for it, a shortened season title?

I would hope so... nobody's gonna put an asterisk on a WS banner and flags fly forever.

It would basically be like being transported into a pennant race on opening day.
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: May 28, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5954074)
This is probably a good place to air my boring gripe that half-season split stats should actually reflect ... half-seasons, instead of pre- and post- all-star game.
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: May 28, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5954204)
not as long a stretch of course, but Doc Gooden at age 20 in 1985 was 20-4 with a 1.81 ERA entering September.

then 0 ER in his next 44 IP in 5 G - all 9-inning efforts but one; he only pitched 8 innings when they sat him down with a 12-1 lead.

weirdly, he got ND in 2 of those.

then just for spits and giggles, Gooden closed with a CG 5-2 victory. allowed a run in the second and got to 2 out, nobody on in the 9th before allowing a couple of walks and a single which ballooned his season ERA to 1.53 to go with that 24-4 record.

1968 Gibson 258 ERA+, 3rd in NL in IP
1985 Gibson 229 ERA+, 1st in NL in IP
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5954236)
then just for spits and giggles, Gooden closed with a CG 5-2 victory. allowed a run in the second and got to 2 out, nobody on in the 9th before allowing a couple of walks and a single which ballooned his season ERA to 1.53 to go with that 24-4 record.

1968 Gibson 258 ERA+, 3rd in NL in IP
1985 Gibson 229 ERA+, 1st in NL in IP


Just for fun I looked at Tudor splits that year, but that didn't really work, but there is a 20 game stretch where Tudor pitched 166 innings at 1.08 era. Gooden didn't have a stretch like that. He was good and consistent all season long.
   32. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 28, 2020 at 07:43 PM (#5954239)
Just for fun I looked at Tudor splits that year, but that didn't really work, but there is a 20 game stretch where Tudor pitched 166 innings at 1.04 era. Gooden didn't have a stretch like that. He was good and consistent all season long.


Jake Arrieta 2015, from June 21-end of season, 147 IP, 0.86 ERA. Then he threw a CG shutout in the WC game. Straight second half: 12-1, 107 IP, 0.75 ERA.
   33. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2020 at 08:59 PM (#5954262)
I prefer Cherry Coke Zero, Misirlou.
   34. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:06 PM (#5954277)
Todd Helton hit .417 in 259 plate appearances between Jun 28 and August 28, 2000.

EDIT: Ichiro! hit .456! between July 18th to September 13th in 255 plate appearances. That's pretty incredible. He had a 109 hits in 54 games played, 53 starts.
   35. AndrewJ Posted: May 29, 2020 at 09:51 AM (#5954308)
In 1980, Brett hit .436 between 23 April and 20 Aug, 324 PA

And from May 22nd through August 20th, Brett hit .468 over 58 games. Joe DiMaggio hit .408 over his 56-game streak. The Royals went 45-13 through Brett's stretch there.
   36. Jeff R. Posted: May 29, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5954323)
In 1969, Reggie Jackson hit 37 HR in the first half. It wasn't a matter of if he would break the record, but by how much. He hit just 10 in the second half, and finished 3rd in the league. I might prefer the historic pace of the short season rather than him hitting .203 or something in the second half, to post excellent, but hardly historic numbers.


I was bothered at the time by Bagwell's MVP in 1994 - he got injured right before the rest of the season was cancelled, and I always questioned whether his .368/39/116 would have held up as MVP numbers if the rest of the league got to play 50 more games.
   37. TJ Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:05 PM (#5954334)
These ar all great examples to an intriguing question. But not the most important question, which is “Will the New York Mets keep Tim Tebow on their taxi squad this year?”

   38. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5954337)
255 plate appearances nothin'. Ichiro had 3089 plane appearances over which he posted a 1.000 batting average!
   39. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5954338)
In 2019 Mookie Betts had about 4.71 PA per game, leading the majors. Over 82 games that's about 386 PA. In a 154 game season under current rules you could qualify for the batting title with 478 PAs. 191 hits in 478 PAs gets you a .39958 average. So if Mookie gets 386 PA this season and manages 191 hits (a .495 average) he could go 0-92 and still have a (rounded up) .400 BA in a 154 game season. If that happens I'd be happy to call it a .400 season.
   40. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5954339)
Through 82 team games (79 games played), Larry Walker in 1997 was at .408/.507/.771
   41. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 29, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5954345)
The most amazing part of that is that Walker played in 79 of 82 games.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: May 29, 2020 at 02:47 PM (#5954377)
Ichiro had 3089 plane appearances
If Wade Boggs had that many, he'd be dead of cirrhosis...
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5954391)
Reliever half-season samples are what they are. But...
Fernando Rodney, from June 16 to the end of 2012 pitched 45 innings with a 0.20 ERA.
Chris Hammond, from May onward in 2002 pitched 60.3 innings with a 0.45 ERA.
   44. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5954392)
If Wade Boggs had that many, he'd be dead of cirrhosis...
Has anyone heard from him since the quarantine? He might be anyway.
   45. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 29, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5954394)
Eric Gagne had a 0.22 ERA in the 2nd half of 2003
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: May 29, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5954397)
Chris Hammond, from May onward in 2002 pitched 60.3 innings with a 0.45 ERA.
He followed that up with 2 ER in his first postseason inning that year.
   47. McCoy Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5954439)
If I recall both wade boggs and tony gwynn hit .400 or better over 162 team games.
   48. McCoy Posted: May 29, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5954441)
Ted Williams hit .407 in 82 team games starting in 1947.

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