Baseball Notes – BALLS HIT DEEP


I’ve hypothesized all year that Boston has been the victim of more “warning track outs” than anybody else this season. And it appears that I was wrong. At least I was if you use the Baseball-Reference’s event finder play descriptions for balls hit to “deep outfield”. Below are the team-by-team totals (through May 28) for batted balls where the location was listed as “deep” and “outfield”:

temp 2015 thru May 28 DEEP results















The Red Sox have hit the 13th most such balls (272) and their 1.646 OPS on them ranks a very bad 26th. The only AL team that’s worse is Chicago (1.634). Of course, the Red Sox currently rank 25th in overall OPS (.680) with, you guessed it, the White Sox (.658) the only AL team that’s worse.

Is it luck? Is it a quirk in the way batted balls are categorized from park to park? Is it that Red Sox and White Sox hitters have “warning track power”? Let’s look at 2014:

temp 2014 DEEP results















Well look at that. Toronto was on top last year, too. And Boston was in their same 26th place, albeit with an OPS about 100 points lower.

Before we move on to players, let’s look at Home/Road splits. Here are HOME results since the start of the 2014 season:

temp 2014 2015 HOME DEEP results
















Boston checks in 12th (1.779 OPS) while Toronto remains in the top spot with a ridiculous 2.305 OPS. The Blue Jays have 132 HR on 465 deep balls at home (28%), while the rest of the league was at 16% (Boston 12%, KC just 9%).

What about on the road?

temp 2014 2015 ROAD DEEP results















Aaack. There are the Red Sox, dead last, with a 1.400 OPS on deep balls hit on the road. However, only one team has hit more deep balls on the road since the start of the 2014 season than the Red Sox (655)…Cleveland (657).

Baltimore leads the league in road OPS on deep balls (1.954), thanks to 21% of their deep balls leaving the yard. On the road, the Blue Jays sport a much more normal 17% home run rate, leading me to believe that there is some noise in the data coming from Rogers Centre.

So what about individual players? Here is the list of players with 40+ deep balls so far in 2015:

temp 2015 thru May 28 INDIVIDUAL DEEP results









Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (49) and Cincinnati;s Todd Frazier (47) have the most deep balls in the league so far. But look who’s 5th? Yep, Boston rookie Mookie Betts. And only Evan Longoria (1.220) has a lower OPS on deep balls among this group than Betts’ 1.333.

Finally, here are the batters who have had the worst “luck” on deep batted balls this season (min. 25 deep balls):

temp 2015 thru May 28 WORST INDIVIDUAL DEEP results











Note that Betts is the only Red Sox player on this list. I found it interesting that Detroit’s Ian Kinsler and Seattle’s Robinson Cano have hit 61 deep balls between them and have only one home run between them to show for it. Remember that one homer is hit for just about every six deep balls on average.

I hope you found this as enlightening as I did. Thanks to Baseball-Reference and their awesome stats database for making this possible.

Comments? Find me on Twitter: @nuggetpalooza.

Have a good weekend, everyone.











































































































































Baseball Notes – May 31 – The First Inning

* – The Red Sox allowed a 1st inning run (again) on Saturday. They’ve now allowed a 1st inning score in 12 of their 28 games this month. They’ve SCORED in the 1st frame just twice in that span. In their 19 games since May 11, the Sox have been outscored 12-1 in the 1st inning.

NOTE THIS: Boston has not scored in the 1st inning since May 19, going scoreless in the opening frame in 11 straight games, the longest current such streak in the majors. Here are Boston’s longest 1st inning droughts (within a season) since 2009:

red sox 1st inn scoreless droughts 12+ games since 2009 - 2015 05 31






The Brewers failed to score a 1st inning run for nearly a month in 2013:

mlb longest 1st inn scoring droughts since 2009 - 2015 05 31






One more table: 1st inning runs allowed in May (through Saturday):


mlb 1st inn runs allowed may 2015 - 2015 05 31















A little context on the Giants’ 2 runs allowed in first innings this month: Since 2009, the only staffs that have allowed fewer 1st inning runs over a full month are the 2009 Dodgers (0 allowed during August) and the 2013 Blue Jays (1 allowed during June).

Have a good Sunday!















Baseball Notes – May 30


* – The Red Sox put the leadoff batter on base in both the 1st and 2nd innings on Thursday for the 1st time in 38 games (April 15).

* – Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun has come to bat with 79 runners on base this season and has driven home 25 of them. That 32% rate is tops in the majors (minimum 50 baserunners). Here are the leaders:

RBI by ROBSIT leaders 2015 05 28 min 50



And here are the laggards:

RBI by ROBSIT laggards 2015 05 28 min 50

Here are Boston’s hitters for the 2015 season to date:

RBI by ROBSIT red sox 2015 05 28 min 50

Note that Mookie Betts has 7 more RBI than David Ortiz despite having 13 fewer baserunners on during his at bats.

Finally, here are Boston’s hitters in May (through Thursday):

RBI by ROBSIT red sox may only thru 2015 05 28 min 50

You know, there’s not a lot of comment needed here.




















































































Baseball Nuggetpalooza – 4/17/15

A few things I saw this week:

* – So far in 2015, hitters leading off innings for the Red Sox have gone 11-for-76 (.145), the lowest average in the majors:

.145 – Red Sox
.169 – Mariners
.169 – Nationals

Note this: The Sox do have 10 walks leading off innings, which is tied for 2nd most in the majors, trailing only the Cubs. That drives their OBP to .270, which is 20th.


* – True to their philosophy of grinding at bats, Red Sox hitters have swung at the first pitch only 66 times in 2015, the fewest in the league:

66 – Red Sox
68 – Indians
70 – A’s

Note this: The Giants (136), Reds (128), and Nationals (127) have swung at first pitches most often.


* – The Rays have already received 6 bases-loaded walks this season. The other 29 teams have combined to receive 11 such walks.

Here are the career leaders in bases-loaded walks received (since 1950):

39 – Carl Yastrzemski
38 – Dwight Evans
31 – Derek Jeter
31 – Joe Morgan
30 – 3 tied (Mickey Mantle, Rocky Colavito, Mickey Tettleton)

And the pitchers who have surrendered the most bases-loaded walks since 1950:

47 – Nolan Ryan

* – Going into last Sunday night, the Red Sox had not allowed 10+ runs in a game since last July 29, a streak of 61 games. At the time, it was the 2nd longest current streak in the AL. Now, they’ve allowed 10+ twice in the last four games.

Longest current streaks without allowing 10+ runs:

143 – Mets
95 – A’s
86 – Pirates
68 – Phillies


* – The last time that the Twins swept a road series of three games or more was June 2-3-4-5, 2011 in Kansas City. Since then, they’ve played 86 such road series and lost at least one game in each of them.

Here are the longest such losing streaks since 2003:

99 – Brewers, 2004-2008
89 – Rangers, 2005-2008
86 – Twins, 2011-present
81 – Royals, 2003-2006

Longest HOME streaks without a sweep are much shorter, but still feature a LONG current drought:

66 – Astros, 2012-present
49- Cubs, 2009-2011
39 – Cubs, 2012-2014
39 – White Sox, 2010-2012

Keep in mind that we’re only counting series’ of 3+ games.


* - Steve Carlton allowed 2+ unearned runs in 58 different starts since 1970, the most such starts in that 45 season span:

58 – Steve Carlton
57 – Nolan Ryan
53 – Phil Niekro

Note: Roger Clemens had 35 such starts in his career and posted a record of 1-21 in those starts, the lowest winning percentage (.045) by any pitcher with 25 or more such starts in that span.

At the other end of that spectrum, four different times pitchers have put together a streak of 50+ starts without allowing an unearned run since 1970. The TWO longest streaks belong to Curt Schilling:

69 – Curt Schilling, 2004-2007
53 – Curt Schilling, 2001-2002
50 – Dontrelle Willis, 2007-2011
50 – Roy Oswalt, 2008-2010

The longest current streaks without allowing an unearned run (active in 2015):

42 – Drew Hutchison, TOR
31 – Dillon Gee, NYM
24 – Jered Weaver, LAA


* – From 1931-1942, Giants’ pitcher Carl Hubbell had 47 starts in which he lasted at least 6 innings and allowed zero extra-base hits. The Giants won all 47 of those starts, the longest such streak in MLB history. No one else has a streak longer than 35 such starts.

The top 4 such streaks by active players are:

21 – Edinson Volquez (2007-2013; 3 teams)
20 – Scott Feldman (2008-2014; 4 teams)
20 – Tim Hudson (2001-2005; 2 teams)

The longest current streaks belong to Max Scherzer (11) and Justin Masterson (10).


Comments? Suggestions? See something cool? Wanna talk baseball? I’m on Twitter at @nuggetpalooza!



My Second Post on Super Bowl Forty-Nine

I thought I’d look into the importance of field position today…

During the regular season, the Patriots started 28 drives (16% of their total) inside their opponent’s 50-yard-line, the 3rd highest percentage in the league. They put up an average of 4.32 points on those drives, 4th highest:

Bears – 5.3                                                                                                                                               Steelers – 5.0                                                                                                                                           Packers – 4.5                                                                                                                                           Patriots – 4.3

Seattle had 27 such drives, tied for 4th most, but managed only 3.3 points per drive, ranked 23rd.

So how has the New England offense done on these “short field” drives recently? Well, including the playoffs, they’ve scored 8 touchdowns, 2 field goals, and 2 punts on their last 12 drives starting inside opponent territory, an average of 5.2 points. And to be fair, one of those punts came late in the 4th quarter with the game in hand last Sunday.

Seahawks’ opponents started only 12 drives in Seattle territory during the regular season, tied with the 49ers for 2nd fewest in the league (Lions, 10). However, they put up an average of 4.8 points on those drives, the 2nd highest average points allowed in the league. Only the Lions, at 5.5, allowed a higher average. There are obviously small sample size alerts here.

Seattle famously allowed three short field opportunities to the Packers last week (starting at the 19, 23, and 33) and allowed only a FG each time. During the season, Seattle had allowed 4 touchdowns and 2 FGs when opponents’ began drives at or inside the Seahawks’ 33-yard-line. The Packers had scored touchdowns on 5 of their 6 such opportunities this season.

On offense, Seattle did not start a drive inside Green Bay’s 50 last week, although the one time they started AT the 50 (following the successful onsides kick) they scored a touchdown. If you count that, they have now scored a touchdown on ALL SIX of their short field opportunities since the beginning of December.

Patriots’ opponents scored each of the first 10 times that they started drives in New England territory (6 touchdowns; 4 FGs), averaging 5.4 points on those drives. However, they allowed a total of only 3 points on two such drives over their last two regular season games and haven’t allowed a short field opportunity in the postseason yet.

How does Seattle’s opponents fare when forced to start drives at or inside their own 20-yard-line? Not very well. If you ignore the oh-by-the-way touchdown scored by the Panthers late in the 4th quarter when down by three touchdowns, the Seahawks have allowed exactly 3 total points on the last 28 such possessions dating back to December 14. The only FG coming by the Packers early in the 4th quarter last week.

By contrast, when the Patriots have forced opponents to start at or inside their own 20, they’ve allowed 4 touchdowns and a FG in their last 28 tries (31 points… still stout). Here are the leading defenses during the regular season in average points per drive on drives started at or inside the 20:

TEMP Opp Drives From Inside 20 Leaders





At 1.50, the Patriots ranked 16th, right smack in the middle of the league.

That’s all for now. More coming as the Super Bowl draws closer!

Thanks for Pro Football Reference for their outstanding statistical resources!

Got comments or suggestions? Give me a shout on Twitter: @Nuggetpalooza.


My First Post on Super Bowl Forty-Nine


One of the myriad of “prop” bets on the Super Bowl asks, “Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown in the game?”. “Yes” gets you 8-to-5 odds (you win $160 on a $100 bet) and “No” has 1-to-2 odds (you win $50 on a $100 bet). So how often do these touchdowns occur in the postseason?

Since 2000, there have been 73 such touchdowns in 164 postseason games, or one every 2.24 games. So based on that alone, the odds really should be 11-to-5 for “Yes” and 4-to-9 odds for “No”.

What about returns TD’s in just the Super Bowl? Since 1970, there have been 31 in 44 games, or one every 1.42 games, . Since 2000, there have been a whopping 16 such returns in 14 games (1.14 PER GAME), a MUCH higher rate than the postseason as a whole in that span. Look at it this way:

Super Bowls since 2000:                   1.14 returns TDs per game                                                       All other postseason games:            0.38 returns TD’s per game                                            

Below is a list of the 16 returns TDs in the Super Bowl since 2000:

TEMP SB Returns TDs since 2000    








Did anybody recall that Gruden’s Tampa Bay Bucs had THREE pick-six’s twelve years ago against Oakland? Of course two of those came in the final two minutes when the game was already in the bag. Oakland’s Rich Gannon had five picks that day.

One more thing about returns TDs in the postseason: The Patriots have not had such a TD in their last 14 postseason games, the 3rd longest active streak in the NFL:

Vikings – 22 games (last 1/9/1988 vs 49ers, pick-6)                                                                            Dolphins – 22 games (last 1/30/1983 vs Redskins, KO return)                                                             Patriots – 14 games (last 1/21/2007 vs Colts, Fumble return)

More later!

Got comments or suggestions? Give me a shout on Twitter: @Nuggetpalooza.

Gettin’ Them In

Tommy Lasorda once said “I’d rather get ‘em on and not get ‘em in than not get ‘em on and not get ‘em in”.

Well, the 2014 Red Sox would be his kind of team.

Through Saturday, the Red Sox have averaged 12.3 baserunners per game (hits plus walks plus HBP), which ranks 9th best in the majors (Oakland leads at 12.9). However, the Sox have scored only 3.8 runs per game, the 4th worst average in the majors and worst in the AL. Only the Padres, Braves, and Cardinals have had more trouble putting runs on the board this season.

Below is a table showing the above statistics but sorted by baserunners per run scored in 2014, which places the Red Sox as the second least efficient offense in the majors so far
















Compare that to the 2013 Sox, who led the majors in runs per game (5.3) and baserunners per game (13.7), while finishing 2nd in baserunners per run (2.6).

Just something to think about after those maddening innings where they put ducks all over the pond but ultimately fail to score…again.



The Great Red Sox Power Outage of 2014

The Red Sox have hit 3+ HR in at least 15 different games in every season since 2001, the longest active streak in the majors:

BOS 13
TOR  5
BAL  3
TEX  3

They are in sight of the longest such streak since 1950:

NYY 15 (1998-2012)
TEX 14 (1996-2009)
BOS 13 (2001-    )
CHC 11 (1998-2008)

What’s more, 2000 is the only season in which Boston did not accomplish that feat since 1995 (they had only 13 such games that year), so they’ve done it in 18-of-19 seasons.

Problem is, they’ve had exactly TWO such games this year. Only two clubs, the Twins (1) and Royals (1) have fewer. The Sox went from May 4 through June 21 without clubbing three or more homers in any game. That 44-game streak is their longest since a 55-gamer back in 2000 (July 7 through Sept 6).

Longest MLB streaks without hitting 3+ HR in a game since 2000:

128 – Cardinals (8/22/13 -    )
116 – Marlins (6/25/13 – 5/2/14)
103 – Royals (5/9/13 – 9/3/13)

Note this: St. Louis holds the record for the longest such streak since 1950, at 282 games, from 4/22/88 through 9/1/1989.

Opening Day!

Hey there!

Stretching out my blogging legs after an extended absence due to “real job” requirements. Hopefully there will be many, many more posts like this as the 2014 baseball season progresses.

Let’s get started with some random stats that I thought you might find interesting:


* – Highest Opening Day OPS since 2000 (min. 25 such PA; Active players only):

1.739 – Xavier Nady, Padres 481/517/1232/1739
1.300 – Chase Utley, Phillies 417/467/833/1300
1.253 – Adam Jones, Orioles 417/462/792/1253

And here are the lowest:

0.134 – Hunter Pence, Giants (1-for-22)
0.316 – Ty Wigginton, unsigned (4-for-33)
0.327 – Russell Martin, Pirates (2-for-25)


* – 2013 Lowest OBP Allowed to #1 Hitters (min. 70 such BF):

.340 – Julio Teheran, Braves
.342 – Roberto Hernandez, Phillies
.343 – Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks

And here are the highest:

.481 – Barry Zito, Giants
.442 – Anibal Sanchez, Tigers
.445 – Shelby Miller, Cardinals

Note this: Boston’s Andrew Miller faced only 15 such batters last season, but he allowed 12 of them to reach base (.800 OBP) as they went 8-for-11 with 4 walks.


* – The Nationals did not allow more than 5 runs in any of their last 22 games last regular season. That’s the second-longest such streak to end a season on record:

24 – Astros, 1971
22 – Nationals, 2013
20 – Pirates, 1970
20 – Dodgers, 1968
20 – Cubs, 1968

Note this: The next longest such streak since 2000: 14 (by the 2013 Rangers and 2012 Rays)…Washington pitchers allowed just 9 home runs in that 22 game stretch.


* – 2013 Longest Streaks Without Scoring In First Inning:

27 – Brewers
23 – Twins
18 – Astros
18 – Athletics
17 – Cubs


* – Highest Pitches per Inning by Opposing Starters, 2013:

17.9 – Red Sox
17.1 – Indians
17.0 – Athletics
17.0 – Twins


* – Most Games in which Opposing Starter lasted 5 innings or less but threw 100+ pitches:

20 – Red Sox (17-3)
13 – Athletics (10-3)
13 – Rays (6-7)
12 – Indians (8-4)

Boston’s own staff had 14 different starts of 5 or fewer innings and 100+ pitches, also the most in the majors. Felix Doubront (5) and Ryan Dempster (4) accounted for most of those outings.


* – Most Games Where Bullpen Allowed 0 Runs in 3+ IP:

44 – Twins (25-19)
41 – Royals (25-16)
38 – Braves (29-9)
37 – Marlins (23-14)
36 – Orioles (31-5)

Note this: Top winning percentages when pen combined for 3+ IP and 0 runs:

.880 – Red Sox (22-3)
.861 – Orioles (31-5)
.846 – Yankees (22-4)
.829 – Pirates (29-6)

In 2012, Boston went just 15-13 when their pen combined for 3+ scoreless.


* – Kansas City started last season by winning only 4 of their first 13 road games against lefty starters. Then they won 10 of their last 12 such games.

Note this: The White Sox faced 20 lefty starters away from home last year and won just 4 times, including losing 14-of-15 after May 17.


* – Longest current streaks without allowing multiple runs in a first inning:

52 – Giants (August 4)
38 – Rays (Aug 22)
18 – Tigers (Sept 10)
17 – Padres (Sept 13)
16 – Royals (Sept 12)


* – 2014 will be the 15th time since 1994 that the Orioles have opened their season at home and they’ve gone 12-3 in those games. They are 9-6 in game two in those seasons. They’ve hosted Boston in their opener 5 times and won the last 4 (’76, ’89, ’01, ’04) with their only loss coming in 1969. 3 of those 5 games lasted at least 11 innings.


* – Last season, 154 starting pitchers left 50+ innings to their bullpens. Here are the top ten bullpen ERA’s by starter:

1.03 – Gerrit Cole, PIT
1.33 – Jeremy Guthrie, KCR
1.68 – Zack Grienke, LAD
1.78 – Bruce Chen, KCR
1.78 – Kyle Lohse, MIL
1.83 – Kris Medlen, ATL
1.90 – Julio Teheran, ATL
1.91 – Mike Minor, ATL
1.92 – Jeff Francis, COL
2.04 – Sam Deduno, MIN

And here are the worst:

6.13 – Jordan Lyles, HOU
5.84 – Justin Verlander, DET
5.68 – Erik Bedard, HOU
5.59 – Joe Blanton, LAA
5.46 – Brandon Maurer, SEA
5.36 – Matt Cain, SF
5.35 – Corey Kluber, CLE
5.27 – Hector Santiago, CHW
5.25 – Tommy Hanson, LAA
5.24 – Lucas Harrell, HOU


Do you like what you see? If so, please let others know!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment here or find me via twitter (@nuggetpalooza).

Weekend Wrapup

A few things from my weekend notes:

* – On Friday, the Orioles shut out the Red Sox, 2-0. Prior to that, the Red Sox had scored in their last 116 games (and 223 of 224) against the O’s, their third longest such streak against a single team in club history:

125 – vs A’s; 1953-1959
124 – vs Royals; 1997-current
116 – vs Orioles; 2006-2013
107 – vs Orioles; 2001-2006

It was also the longest streak without a shutout by the Orioles against any team since they moved to Baltimore:

116 – vs Red Sox; 2006-2013
103 – vs Indians; 1952-1956

* – The Dodgers have not scored 10 or more runs in a game since last August 29, a span of 99 straight games, the longest current drought in the majors. The Cubs (83) and the Phillies (82) are the other teams that have yet to score in double figures in a game yet this season.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have score 10 or more in nine games already in 2013, matching their full season totals for 2010 and 2011 (they did it 16 times last season). The Tigers, Reds, and A’s have all done it eight times.

* – On Sunday afternoon, the Red Sox pitching staff struck out 11, walked none, but allowed 14 hits to the Orioles in a 6-3 loss. It was the most hits they’ve ever allowed in a regulation game (no extra innings) in which they struck out 10+ and walked none.

* – All of baseball has gone wild over Dodgers’ rookie Yasiel Puig’s torrid start. Over the last two weeks, Puig is batting .479 (23-for-48) with 4 home runs and a 1.271 OPS. Nobody’s made a fuss much at all about Mike Carp’s last two weeks, in which the Red Sox’ outfielder/first baseman/DH has hit .417 (15-for-36) with 5 home runs and a league best 1.365 OPS in that span.

* – St. Louis’ reliever Edward Mujica has walked only one batter this season and now has 27 straight appearances without issuing a free pass, two shy of the Cardinals’ all-time record of 29, set by Dennis Eckersley in 1997. The major league record is 41, also by Eckersley (1989-1990).

* – The Yankees’ road OPS is just .668 (.233/.292/.376) which comes out to an OPS+ of 90 (a league average OPS would yield an OPS+ of 100 and 10% above league average would be 110). That’s on pace to be their second lowest road OPS+ in their last 98 seasons. The only season lower was 89 in 1990 (.660).

New York has put up a road OPS+ above 100 (i.e. above league average) in each of the past 11 seasons and 35 of the last 39.