The Houston Astros designated Rick Ankiel for assignment Monday afternoon, making it a bad day for the Three True Outcome club.
Ankiel, 33, had 62 at-bats and 43 (or, 66.15%) of them resulted in one of the three true outcomes — a home run, strikeout or walk. It was a helluva stretch, even though Ankiel wasn’t a qualified player.
Of the current Three True Outcome players, fellow Astro Chris Carter leads the pack. There are 6 players with a percentage greater than 50%.
Two starting pitchers have yet to allow a walk this season. St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright and … Bartolo Colon of the Oakland Athletics.
Wainwright’s streak continued on Wednesday after the right-hander threw seven innings without walking a single batter, extending his streak to 29 innings to begin the season. He’s faced 113 batters in the span.
The record for most innings thrown as a starter without allowing a walk to start the season is 51 innings (!) and is held by Pete Alexander, who set the record back in 1923.
Of the six names ahead of Wainwright, the only recognizable name is Ben Sheets, who went 32 2/3 innings without walking a batter to start the season in 2004. He hit a pair, though.
Wednesday’s game between the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners began with Max Scherzer and Felix Hernandez taking the mound for their respective team, while ending with empty bullpen for both teams and a home plate collision that resulted in the final out of the 14 inning game.
Hernandez and Scherzer each had 12 strikeout victims in 8 innings of work, but that was just the start of the strikeout frenzy. After each starter handed it over to their bullpen, 16 more strikeouts were recorded between 12 relievers.
Of the 84 recorded outs, there were 40 strikeouts (!) between the two teams. That ties the 2001 San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants for the second most strikeouts combined by two teams in a game, finishing just three short of the record held by the 1971 California Angels and Oakland Athletics.
The Texas Rangers’ lead quickly evaporated against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. Entering the ninth inning with a four-run lead, the Cubs were able to score two and load the bases with two outs. It could have been more than that, perhaps cutting the deficit to one or better yet, none, if it wasn’t for that darn Craig Centry in center.
Darwin Barney blooped a 2-2 breaking pitch to center field. It looked as if the Cubs would tie the game. Until Gentry covered a ton of ground to make a diving catch, ending Chicago’s threat.
After hearing about the tragic events in Boston today, I don’t feel like writing much about anything. I just browsed around FanGraphs leaderboards for some of those fun, statistical oddities. Even though it is just a dozen or so games.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has worked a walk in 20 of 59 plate appearances, or in 33.9% of plate appearances. That’s a lot. The next closest batter, Albert Pujols, has taken ball four 11 times. Votto doesn’t rank atop all players, though, but he’s even ahead of the Chicago White Sox. As a team, the White Sox have walked just 16 times on the season and that is in 429 plate appearances.
Shin-Soo Choo, Votto’s teammate on the Reds, is doing his best to match Votto’s ability to get on base, but in a more efficient (and painful) method. Acquired in the offseason from the Cleveland Indians, Choo’s been hit by a pitch an extraordinary 7 times in 12 games, which leads all players while Shin-Soo Choo the team is tied with the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins for the major league lead.
The Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals are the only teams that have yet to be caught stealing a base. The Cardinals have just two stolen bases, but the Toronto Blue Jays have stolen 11 bases without being caught to start the 2013 season. In fact, the Jays streak dates back to the 2012 season, putting their streak at 13 consecutive stolen bases without being caught stealing.
Miami Marlins infielder Placido Polanco has seen 159 pitches at the plate this season and has yet to swing-and-miss on a single one. He’s the only regular currently posting swinging strike rate of 0%. Honorable mention to Norichika Aoki, who has whiffed on just 1% of 192 pitches.
Cliff Lee hasn’t walked a batter in 2013 and he’s faced 60 batters. The last time he walked someone was mid-September in 2012, or 147 batters ago. While writing this post, Lee’s extend his streak another 20 batters without walking.
The Angels, again, have high expectations on the season and are, again, off to a slow start. While the Angels offense will be scoring a ton of runs once everyone starts clicking, the pitching depth in the rotation and bullpen are questionable at best.
Everyone always stops to look at the accident on the road, so while I was watching the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game on Saturday, the Angels play-by-play broadcaster noted an interesting statistic (that I turned into a blog post because I’m feeling a little lazy):
The longest outing by an Angels starting pitcher is 6 1/3 innings. Garrett Richards accomplished that on Saturday, pitching against the Houston Astros.
I went through all the other major league teams to find out if any other team had a comparable, shortest-longest outing that was 7 innings or less. My findings:
The third time is a charm for St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller, who dominated the Milwaukee Brewers in what was the right-hander’s best outing at the major league level to date. Miller threw 7 innings of shutout ball, allowing just 1 base hit while striking out 8 batters and walking none.
Of the 21 outs Miller recorded, 8 came via strikeout and 10 others with the ground ball out. The lone hit on the day from the Brew Crew was just a single and the first batter Miller faced. After that, it was a lot of mid-90 fastballs that the Brewers couldn’t catch up to, constantly fouling before being put away.
Shelby Miller threw 113 pitchers in his 7 innings of work and 84 were fastballs. 28 of the 29 other offerings were classified as changeups with the lone exception being one changeup.