Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 10th Box Score Ephemera

***25 RUNS IN A GAME***
Technically, this belongs in yesterday's ephemera, but it took me some time to research, so I present it today. In the pitching duel that occurred in the Houston-Seattle game, a total of 25 runs were scored (16-9). How many games in baseball history have had at least 25 runs scored? The answer is 842 out of over 160,000 regular season games played since 1916, or about .5%. Whether that's a big number or not is for you to determine. There have been over 6,000 games in which one or both teams scored at least 13 runs, with the incidence (not corrected for the number of games) shown below:

Yet more proof that a new era of diminished offensive output is upon us. And for fun, the record for teams that score at least 13 runs is 6096-114-8--it probably wasn't a fun day for those 114 teams that scored 13 or more runs and lost. Ask last year's Red Sox, who lost 14-13 to the Angels on August 23rd.

This goes back even further, but I'm a close to finishing out play-by-play data for the 2009 season. Andy LaRoche of the Pirates had this game against the Reds on October 2nd, 2009:
1st inning--doubled off 1st on a line drive double play by Ryan Doumit
3rd inning--singles and drives in pitcher Daniel McCutchen and Andrew McCutchen (who are not related, as a brief view of their pictures will make abundantly clear), thrown out trying to advance to 2B
8th inning--singles, thrown out trying to advance to 2B
There's aggressive base running and just-take-what-you're-given base running--LaRoche would have been well-advised to stick with what he was given that day.

Well, strictly speaking, not so much GDP instead of the manner in which two outs are made in one at-bat. In the bottom of the 6th, Ranger Mitch Moreland hit into your typical  2B-SS-1B double play in which the lead runner (Jeff Baker) was ruled out on interference and Moreland thrown out at 1st. In the bottom of the 8th, Leonys Martin batted into the more typical flyball-runner thrown out at home (Adrian Beltre). Both of these are base running mistakes just like the ones referenced in the comment above. What I didn't say was that in the past four years, the typical team makes about 50 base running miscues like this per year (I discussed this in this post), and to have two in a game (or three in a game BY ONE PERSON like the unfortunate Andy LaRoche above), you're entering rarefied territory, and not in a positive manner.

Kyle Skipworth of the Marlins made his major league debut last night, pinch-hitting in the bottom of the 7th with the Marlins on the wrong end of a 7-0 game against the red-hot Braves. No pressure, good spot to get your feet wet, but still, grounding into a double play probably wasn't what he had in mind.

In the Phillies 7-3 victory over the Mets, the Phils scored all seven of their runs with home runs. I'm sure I'm imagining it, but it sure seems like this is occurring with some frequency this year. If only there was a way to measure it...

 This is a two-axis chart, so be sure to look at it carefully. The red line is runs per game from 1901-2013, showing that (with some exceptions), the MLB average of runs is in the 4-4.5 range, with clear drops in the Dead Ball Era and a lesser one in the mini-Dead Ball Era of the 1960s. The second line is an attempt to measure the effect of home runs on runs and is simply a ratio of the home runs to total runs scored. I leave it to you to make distinctions, but there is an uptick that begins around 2007--it's small, but it does suggest the greater reliance on the home run to score runs. You can see the raw data used at this page on

***10-0 GAMES***
Busy day, but this is it--both the Cardinals and Giants won their games 10-0, making me wonder if there had ever been two 10-0 games on the same day in baseball history. Oddly enough, this has happened three times:

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