Retrosheet


Fun With Retrosheet Data, the Sequel

By Tom Ruane

A while back, I started collecting my Retrosheet posts in a place on the web-site. This series eventually grew to encompass four articles. Here are the three others:

Fun With Retrosheet Data
Fun With Retrosheet Data, Episode 3
Fun With Retrosheet Data, Episode 4

I hope at least some of this is of general interest and, as always:

Thanks for your patience.

List of Articles (starting with most recent)

Most Surprising Pitching Performances (July 5, 2014)
Both Starting Pitchers Making MLB Exits (May 26, 2014)
Both Starting Pitchers Making MLB Debuts (May 19, 2014)
The Age of Starting Lineups (May 5, 2014)
Hot Starts to Careers, the Pitching Edition (April 29, 2014)
Hot Starts to Careers, the Batting Edition (April 28, 2014)
Hard to Hit Pitchers (April 5, 2014)
Unique Batting Lines (August 26, 2012)
Come-From-Behind Wins and Losses (July 8, 2012)
A Tour of Team Pitching Logs (July 7, 2012)
A Tour of Team Batting Logs (July 5, 2012)
Consecutive Winless Starts (June 23, 2012)
Low-Hit Clusters (June 19, 2012)
When Winning Streaks Collide (June 14, 2012)
Defensive Juggling (May 8, 2012)
Incomplete Games By Position (April 8, 2012)
A Look at Triple-Crown Leaders (December 19, 2011)
Do Only Slow Runners Ground into a Lot of DPs? (December 15, 2011)
The Homering-est Teammates (and Multiple Debuts) (December 12, 2011)
Multiple Hitting Streaks (November 29, 2011)
The Most Exciting Games (October 28, 2011)
League Leaders With the Fewest Games Played (October 14, 2011)
Nelson Cruz Made Me Do It (October 15, 2011)
Players With The Highest Percentage of Post-Season Homers (October 7, 2011)
Doubling Their Home Runs (September 27, 2011)
Top Hitting Streaks By Batting Order and Defensive Position (September 27, 2011)
Come-From-Behind Batting Champions, An Update (September 26, 2011)
Best Career Marks By Park (September 24, 2011)
Come-From-Behind Batting Champions (September 23, 2011)
Best Career Hitters By Lineup Position (September 18, 2011)
Best Hitters By Lineup Position (September 16, 2011)
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About 1-0 Games (September 15, 2011)
Best/Worst Month for a Team's Pitchers (September 14, 2011)
Batters Supporting Starting Pitchers (September 10, 2011)
Most Strikeouts Between Hits Allowed... And Then Some (September 5, 2011)
Double-Digits In Strikeouts and Hits Allowed (September 3, 2011)
Bases-Loaded Plate Appearances (August 31, 2011)
Palindromic At-Bat Line (August 27, 2011)
Most At-Bats With the Bases Loaded (August 25, 2011)
Starting Infields, Then And Now (August 24, 2011)
Easy schedule runs (July 15, 2011)
Parity Comes to MLB (May 29, 2011)
Two .400 Hitters on a Team (May 3, 2011)
Pitcher versus Team (July 22, 2010)
Expected Pitcher Match-Ups (July 21, 2010)
Consecutive Starts With IPs greater than or equal to Hits (July 19, 2010)
Consecutive Starts With Ks greater than or equal to IPs (July 17,2010)
Pitcher Match-Ups (July 16, 2010)
Most Blown Saves Combo (June 3, 2009)

Best Career Marks By Park

Last week, Trent McCotter was wondering what hitter held the career record for the most hits in a single park. We both guessed Stan Musial at Busch Stadium and we were both close, which is a polite way of saying we were wrong. Of course, one thing led to another, and as is usually the case, that meant a series of charts, this time of various batting and pitching park leaders. Once again, this covers all games played from 1918 to 2010.

The first chart shows the career leaders at a single park in seven different categories: games played, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs and runs batted in. The list is sorted by games played, but alongside each statistic is the career ranking in each category. All of the players who ranked among the top five in any of the seven categories are listed (although the ordering can be a little tough to see once you get past the first category).

                                                  ---G---   ---AB--   ---R---   ---H---   --2B--   --3B--   --HR--   --RBI--
Player             Park                 1st Last     # RK      # RK      # RK      # RK     # RK     # RK     # RK      # RK
Carl Yastrzemski   Fenway Park         1961 1983  1676  1   5948  1    994  2   1822  1   382  2    38  -   237 12   1063  1
Stan Musial        Busch Stadium       1941 1963  1524  2   5402  2t   999  1   1815  2   394  1    90  6   252  8   1056  2
Robin Yount        County Stadium      1974 1993  1438  3   5402  2t   810 11   1558  4   285  8    67 20t  124 92t   721 22
Brooks Robinson    Memorial Stadium    1955 1977  1435  4   5127  4    602 45   1397 10   232 20    32  -   137 66    701 25t
Al Kaline          Tiger Stadium       1953 1974  1421  5   4984  6    838  7   1508  7   247 14t   33  -   226 15    827  8
Mel Ott            Polo Grounds        1926 1947  1367  6   4576  8    954  4   1360 15   182 65    21  -   323  1    947  4
George Brett       Kauffman Stadium    1973 1993  1366  7   5122  5    818  9   1637  3   351  3    97  4   136 67    839  7
Ernie Banks        Wrigley Field       1953 1971  1285  8   4734  7    722 19   1372 12   218 28    42 76t  290  3    909  6
Tony Gwynn         Jack Murphy Stadium 1982 2001  1213 12t  4506  9    695 23   1544  5   260 12    48 48t   66  -    536 63t
Mickey Mantle      Yankee Stadium      1951 1968  1213 12t  3970 25    825  8   1211 23   163 94t   44 65t  266  4    744 15t
Mike Schmidt       Veterans Stadium    1972 1989  1202 15   4020 23    784 13   1094 45   220 25t   31  -   265  5    825  9
Charlie Gehringer  Tiger Stadium       1924 1942  1176 17   4386 11    948  5   1417  8   297  5    62 26t   92  -    765 12
Ted Williams       Fenway Park         1939 1960  1165 19   3887 30    974  3   1403  9   319  4    35  -   248 10    965  3
Paul Waner         Forbes Field        1926 1944  1124 20   4274 12    814 10   1513  6   296  6   128  1    56  -    630 35t
Lou Gehrig         Yankee Stadium      1923 1939  1080 26   3861 31    882  6   1269 20   206 39    83 10t  251  9    946  5
Roberto Clemente   Forbes Field        1955 1970  1070 28   4144 19    630 39   1364 13   198 46t   95  5    86  -    576 52
Sam Rice           Griffith Stadium    1918 1934  1060 30   4036 22    706 21   1363 14   201 43t  101  3     9  -    528 70
Pie Traynor        Forbes Field        1920 1935   948 56   3603 42    617 41   1197 26   174 71t  102  2    23  -    650 30
Sammy Sosa         Wrigley Field       1992 2004   917 62t  3475 52    638 34   1005 61   145  -    19  -   293  2    740 17

So Yastrzemski and Musial sit atop the hit list, only seven apart, while no one else is even close. And they also hold the top two spots in all the other categories except for triples and home runs.

Forbes Field was a great field to hit triples in. Eleven different players hit 50 or more triples there from 1918 on. In contrast, the leader in triples at Veterans Stadium was Larry Bowa with 49, and during period covered, Ryne Sandberg's 48 triples are the most hit at Wrigley Field and Bobby Doerr's 46 triples top the list at Fenway Park.

Here are the highest career batting averages in a park since 1918 (2000 plate appearances minimum):

Player             Park                 1st Last   AVG   ELSE
Chuck Klein        Baker Bowl          1928 1938  .395   .277
Rogers Hornsby     Sportsman's Park    1920 1937  .392   .354
Tris Speaker       Dunn Field          1918 1928  .381   .317
Larry Walker       Coors Field         1995 2005  .381   .282
George Sisler      Sportsman's Park    1918 1930  .369   .328
Wade Boggs         Fenway Park         1982 1999  .369   .306

The "ELSE" column contains each player's batting average elsewhere during the period covered.

Sportsman's Park was known as Busch Stadium starting in 1953 and Dunn Field was known as League Park after 1927.

The highest on-base and slugging percentages:

On-Base Percentage:
Player             Park                 1st Last   AVG   ELSE
Ted Williams       Fenway Park         1939 1960  .496   .467
Babe Ruth          Yankee Stadium      1923 1934  .487   .474
Tris Speaker       Dunn Field          1918 1928  .475   .401
Rogers Hornsby     Sportsman's Park    1920 1937  .467   .433
Wade Boggs         Fenway Park         1982 1999  .464   .388

Slugging Percentage:
Player             Park                 1st Last   AVG   ELSE
Larry Walker       Coors Field         1995 2005  .710   .501
Chuck Klein        Baker Bowl          1928 1938  .705   .451
Babe Ruth          Yankee Stadium      1923 1934  .697   .701
Hank Greenberg     Tiger Stadium       1930 1946  .691   .532
Jimmie Foxx        Shibe Park          1925 1945  .668   .584

Chuck Klein and Larry Walker were both very fortunate in their choice of home parks throughout the peak years of their careers. And despite placing third on the slugging list, Ruth actually hit better away from Yankee Stadium. Of course, an .840 slugging percentage in 216 games at the Polo Grounds didn't hurt.

Barry Bonds fell 4 plate appearances short of the 2000 minimum at Pacific Bell Park or he would have easily topped both of the lists above with an OBP of .526 and a slugging percentage of .763.

Here is a summary of the leaders (with additional categories added), along with the leaders among players who played in the park during 2010:

CAT   Player             Park                 1st Last     #     Current Player     Park                 1st Last     #
  G - Carl Yastrzemski   Fenway Park         1961 1983  1676     Garret Anderson    Anaheim Stadium     1994 2010  1023
 AB - Carl Yastrzemski   Fenway Park         1961 1983  5948     Garret Anderson    Anaheim Stadium     1994 2010  3989
  R - Stan Musial        Busch Stadium       1941 1963   999     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010   788
  H - Carl Yastrzemski   Fenway Park         1961 1983  1822     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010  1239
 2B - Stan Musial        Busch Stadium       1941 1963   394     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010   283
 3B - Paul Waner         Forbes Field        1926 1944   128     Carl Crawford      Tropicana Field     2002 2010    58
 HR - Mel Ott            Polo Grounds        1926 1947   323     Paul Konerko       Comiskey Park II    1999 2010   216
RBI - Carl Yastrzemski   Fenway Park         1961 1983  1063     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010   748
 BB - Ted Williams       Fenway Park         1939 1960  1031     Chipper Jones      Turner Field        1997 2010   642
IBB - Barry Bonds        Pacific Bell Park   2000 2007   198     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010    95
 SO - Mike Schmidt       Veterans Stadium    1972 1989   897     Jim Thome          Jacobs Field        1994 2010   628
 HBP- Craig Biggio       Astrodome           1988 1999    92     Chase Utley        Citizens Bank Park  2004 2010    56
 SH - Joe Judge          Griffith Stadium    1918 1934   140     Omar Vizquel       Jacobs Field        1994 2010    73
 SF - George Brett       Kauffman Stadium    1973 1993    72     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010    48
 SB - Rickey Henderson   Oakland Coliseum    1979 2002   435     Carl Crawford      Tropicana Field     2002 2010   197
 CS - Rickey Henderson   Oakland Coliseum    1979 2002   133     Luis Castillo      Pro Player Stadium  1996 2010    67
AVG - Chuck Klein        Baker Bowl          1928 1938  .395     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010  .356
OBP - Ted Williams       Fenway Park         1939 1960  .496     Todd Helton        Coors Field         1997 2010  .454
SLG - Larry Walker       Coors Field         1995 2005  .710     Jim Thome          Jacobs Field        1994 2010  .629

Many of the modern parks on the list have gone through a variety of name changes. I just picked one. In these cases, each park page will contain the litany of companies who paid for the naming rights.

Bonds set the high for intentional walks in only 494 games, drawing an intentional pass in just over 40% of those games.

And here are the career leaders if we only count games played by visiting players (for average categories I used a 200 plate appearance minimum):

CAT   Player             Park                 1st Last     #     Current Player     Park                     1st Last     #
  G - Stan Musial        Forbes Field        1941 1963   215     Derek Jeter        Fenway Park             1996 2010   118
 AB - Stan Musial        Shibe Park          1942 1963   808     Derek Jeter        Fenway Park             1996 2010   508
  R - Babe Ruth          Tiger Stadium       1918 1934   170     Derek Jeter        Camden Yards            1996 2010    85
  H - Stan Musial        Forbes Field        1941 1963   271     Derek Jeter        Camden Yards            1996 2010   151
 2B - Lou Gehrig         Tiger Stadium       1923 1938    64     Magglio Ordonez    Jacobs Field            1997 2010    31
 3B - Jim Bottomley      Crosley Field       1922 1932    20     7 - many players
      Jim Bottomley      Braves Field        1922 1935    20
      Earl Averill       Griffith Stadium    1929 1940    20
      Stan Musial        Forbes Field        1941 1963    20
 HR - Babe Ruth          Shibe Park          1918 1934    68     Alex Rodriguez     Anaheim Stadium         1995 2010    37
RBI - Babe Ruth          Tiger Stadium       1918 1934   181     Alex Rodriguez     SkyDome                 1995 2010    90
 BB - Babe Ruth          Dunn Field          1918 1934   172     Todd Helton        Dodger Stadium          1997 2010    65
                                                                 Chipper Jones      Pro Player Stadium      1995 2010    65
IBB - Barry Bonds        Dodger Stadium      1986 2007    44     Albert Pujols      Minute Maid Park        2001 2010    18
 SO - Mike Schmidt       Forbes Field        1973 1989   140     Alex Rodriguez     Fenway Park             1994 2010    92
                                                                 Alex Rodriguez     SkyDome                 1995 2010    92
HBP - Minnie Minoso      Tiger Stadium       1951 1964    19     Derek Jeter        Camden Yards            1996 2010    10
                                                                 Alex Rodgiguez     Tropicana Field         1998 2010    10
 SH - Roger Peckinpaugh  Comiskey Park       1918 1926    29     Livan Hernandez    Pro Player Stadium      1999 2010    11
      Joe Sewell         Comiskey Park       1921 1933    29
 SF - Ernie Banks        Crosley Field       1953 1970    12     Joe Mauer          Kauffman Stadium        2004 2010     8
 SB - Rickey Henderson   Cleveland Stadium   1979 1993    59     Johnny Damon       Camden Yards            1995 2010    29
      Rickey Henderson   Kauffman Stadium    1979 2002    59
      Rickey Henderson   Humphrey Metrodome  1982 2002    59
 CS - Lou Brock          Dodger Stadium      1962 1979    20     7 - many players
AVG - Lefty O'Doul       Sportsman's Park    1919 1934  .436     Adrian Beltre      Coors Fields            1999 2010  .399
OBP - Babe Ruth          Dunn Field          1918 1934  .534     Ken Griffey Jr.    Rangers Ballpark        1994 2010  .470
SLG - Willie Mays        Ebbets Field        1951 1957  .786     Lance Berkman      Great American Ballpark 2003 2010  .765

What I called (for space) the Humphrey Metrodome was usually known as the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome; the Rangers Ballpark is really called the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington; and Camden Yards is the Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

So much for the batters. Before moving on to the pitchers, I wanted to take a brief detour. As I said above, this only covers 1918 to 2010. I thought it might be interesting to calculate the parks with the most missing games (in other words, the parks that hosted the most games from 1871 to 1917). Here are the top ten:

Park                                          1st Last Missing
Robison Field (St. Louis)                    1893 1920    1850
Baker Bowl (Philadelphia)                    1895 1938    1707
West Side Grounds (Chicago)                  1893 1915    1688
Exposition Park III (Pittsburgh)             1890 1915    1570
Polo Grounds IV (New York)                   1890 1911    1545
South End Grounds III (Boston)               1894 1914    1489
League Park III (Cleveland)                  1891 1909    1220
Washington Park (Brooklyn)                   1898 1912    1125
Polo Grounds V (New York)                    1911 1963     908
Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds (Boston)  1901 1911     831

One more non-germaine chart and then we'll get back on topic. Since all of the parks above lasted at least several years into the 20th century, I was wondering which parks hosted the most 19th century games. The list:

Park                                          1st Last Games
Jefferson Street Grounds (Philadelphia)      1871 1890   742
Exposition Park III (Pittsburgh)             1890 1915   726
Sportman's Park I (St. Louis)                1882 1892   716
Polo Grounds IV (New York)                   1890 1911   712
League Park I (Cincinnati)                   1884 1893   699
South End Grounds I (Boston)                 1871 1887   688
Eclipse Park I (Louisville)                  1882 1893   677
Oriole Park III (Baltimore)                  1891 1899   618
Boundary Field (Washington)                  1891 1899   617
Eastern Park (Brooklyn)                      1890 1897   554

Okay. Back to the matter at hand: here are the pitching leaders in complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, hits allowed, bases on balls, strikeouts, wins and losses. Once again, the top five in each category is shown and, once again, the order can be difficult to see once you get past the first column.

                                                  ---CG--   --SHO--   ---IP----   ---H---   ---BB--   ---SO--   ---W--   ---L--
Player             Park                 1st Last     # RK      # RK      #   RK      # RK      # RK      # RK     # RK     # RK
Ted Lyons          Comiskey Park I     1923 1946   176  1      9  -   2068.1  2   2216  1    538 14t   589  -   131  4   106  2
Red Ruffing        Yankee Stadium      1925 1947   149  2     26  6t  1751   10   1509 14    553  9    885 32   126  6t   69 25t
Robin Roberts      Shibe Park          1948 1966   140  3     15 48t  1953    5   1851  4    362 73t  1050 17   126  6t   94  4
Carl Hubbell       Polo Grounds        1928 1943   131  4     26  6t  1878    7   1746  5    372 62t   949 25   133  3    76  9t
Warren Spahn       County Stadium      1953 1965   122  5     26  6t  1657   14   1479 17    381 57t   836 42   124  9    71 17t
Jim Palmer         Memorial Stadium    1965 1984   112  9     30  3   2005.1  4   1649  6    608  5   1191 11   134  2    72 15t
Walter Johnson     Griffith Stadium    1918 1927   109 10t    27  4t  1334.1 42   1202 51    322  -    678 82    94 35t   55 61t
Steve Carlton      Veterans Stadium    1972 1986   105 13     20 17t  1887.2  6   1558 13    615  4   1615  1   138  1    62 36t
Phil Niekro        Atlanta Stadium     1966 1987   102 17     21 15t  2257    1   2082  2    732  1   1442  5   130  5   101  3
Mickey Lolich      Tiger Stadium       1963 1975    99 20t    23 11t  1760.1  9   1643  9    474 20   1536  2   114 14    85  5
Bob Lemon          Cleveland Stadium   1946 1958    97 25t    17 30t  1403.2 32   1192 55    629  3    646 94   100 23t   60 44t
Nolan Ryan         Anaheim Stadium     1972 1993    94 30t    34  1t  1274   51    796  -    683  2   1446  4    85 48t   58 50t
Don Sutton         Dodger Stadium      1966 1988    94 30t    34  1t  2027    3   1648  7    494 18   1498  3   126  6t   84  6
Whitey Ford        Yankee Stadium      1950 1967    87 34t    27  4t  1696   12   1474 18    540 13   1063 16   120 11t   55 61t
Bob Friend         Forbes Field        1951 1966    83 38     23 11t  1831.2  8   1896  3    456 25    891 31   101 21t  109  1

For a big chunk of Robin Robert's career, Shibe Park was known as Connie Mack Stadium.

Walter Johnson is only seven shutouts behind the leaders in a single park, despite missing his games in Griffith Stadium from 1911 to 1917, years in which he threw 51 shutouts and won nearly 200 games. This intrigued me enough to cause me to head to the Official Dailies to complete his record there. Now this work is unproofed and some of the stats don't quite match his official records, but it's close enough to get some idea of what the complete data will look like once it's compiled. Adding those missing years gives us the following totals for Johnson in that park:

                                                  ---CG--   --SHO--   ---IP----   ---H---   ---BB--   ---SO--   ---W--   ---L--
Player             Park                 1st Last     # RK      # RK      #   RK      # RK      # RK      # RK     # RK     # RK
Walter Johnson     Griffith Stadium    1911 1927   223  1     61  1   2549    1   2083  2    535 16   1512  3   200  1    93  5 

It would be nice to report that he had an even 200 wins, but I wouldn't guarantee it at this point. One of the stats that didn't match in the seven years I worked on was Johnson's win total in 1913. I got a home record of 19-3 and a road mark of 16-4, which adds to 35-7. Since his official record is 36-7 that year, I am currently missing one of his wins from that season. Try as I might (wins were not marked on the official sheets in 1913, but I read game accounts of all of his non-wins from that season), I can't locate it. I suspect he was given a win in the first game of the double-header with New York on September 5th. He entered that game in the top of the ninth inning with the bases loaded, no one out and the Senators clinging to a 3-2 lead. Johnson retired the side without giving up the lead, and while today this would be called a save, I think that the officials of the time were impressed enough with his performance to give him the win. If this is the mystery win, then his record in Griffith Stadium will improve to 201-93.

Here are the park ERA leaders with a minimum of 500 innings pitched:

Player             Park                 1st Last    IP      ERA
Sandy Koufax       Dodger Stadium      1962 1966   715.1   1.37
Hippo Vaughn       Wrigley Field       1918 1921   513     2.09
Don Drysdale       Dodger Stadium      1962 1969  1107     2.19
Dean Chance        Dodger Stadium      1962 1965   511     2.24
Greg Maddux        Atlanta Stadium     1987 1996   514.1   2.33

Wrigley Field was known as Weeghman Park and then Cubs Park when Vaughn pitched there. And during Maddux's career Atlanta Stadium had the more cumbersome handle of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (which didn't fit nicely in the chart).

It turns out that Dodger Stadium was pretty good to pitchers. If you raise the bar to 1000 innings pitched, here is the same list:

Player             Park                 1st Last    IP      ERA
Don Drysdale       Dodger Stadium      1962 1969  1107     2.19
Nolan Ryan         Anaheim Stadium     1972 1993  1274     2.36
Catfish Hunter     Oakland Coliseum    1968 1979  1095.1   2.39
Vida Blue          Oakland Coliseum    1969 1982  1029.1   2.43
Walter Johnson     Griffith Stadium    1918 1927  1334.1   2.46

The official dailies for Walter Johnson's missing years (1911 to 1917) didn't include earned runs for 1911 and 1912, but if you add his 1913 to 1917 data to the mix, his ERA drops from 2.46 (in 1334.1 innings) to 2.06 (in 2196 innings). And since his ERAs in 1911 and 1912 were 1.90 and 1.39, it will drop even lower once those years are added.

By the way, the pitcher with the highest ERA in a park with a minimum of 1000 innings pitched from 1918 to 2010:

Player             Park                 1st Last    IP      ERA
Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010  1476.1   4.40

Here is a summary of the leaders (with additional categories added), along with the leaders among players who played in the park during 2010:

CAT   Player             Park                 1st Last     #     Current Player     Park                 1st Last     #
  G - Mariano Rivera     Yankee Stadium      1995 2008   435     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010   287
 GS - Phil Niekro        Atlanta Stadium     1966 1987   292     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010   205
 CG - Ted Lyons          Comiskey Park I     1923 1946   176     Roy Halladay       SkyDome             1998 2010    30
SHO - Nolan Ryan         Anaheim Stadium     1972 1993    34     Roy Halladay       SkyDome             1998 2010    10
      Don Sutton         Dodger Stadium      1966 1988    34
 SV - Mariano Rivera     Yankee Stadium      1995 2008   230     Trevor Hoffman     PetCo Park          2004 2010   105
 IP - Phil Niekro        Atlanta Stadium     1966 1987  2257     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010  1476.1
  H - Ted Lyons          Comiskey Park I     1923 1946  2216     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010  1490
  R - Ted Lyons          Comiskey Park I     1923 1946  1007     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010   808
 ER - Phil Niekro        Atlanta Stadium     1966 1987   852     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010   721
 BB - Phil Niekro        Atlanta Stadium     1966 1987   732     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010   455
 SO - Steve Carlton      Veterans Stadium    1972 1986  1615     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010   968
  W - Steve Carlton      Veterans Stadium    1972 1986   138     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010    93
  L - Bob Friend         Forbes Field        1951 1966   109     Tim Wakefield      Fenway Park         1995 2010    75
ERA - Sandy Koufax       Dodger Stadium      1962 1966  1.37     Roy Oswalt         Minute Maid Park    2001 2010  2.89

And here is the same list only counting visiting players (the qualifying bar for ERA leadership has been dropped to 150 innings pitched for the first column and 75 innings pitched for current players):

CAT   Player             Park                 1st Last     #     Current Player     Park                 1st Last     #
  G - Kent Tekulve       Wrigley Field       1975 1989    65     Mariano Rivera     Camden Yards        1995 2010    60
 GS - Warren Spahn       Busch Stadium       1946 1965    54     Andy Pettitte      Camden Yards        1995 2010    23
 CG - Warren Spahn       Crosley Field       1947 1965    31     Mark Buehrle       Comerica Park       2000 2010     3
                                                                 Livan Hernandez    Pro Player Stadium  1999 2010     3
SHO - Bob Gibson         Wrigley Field       1959 1975     7     Mark Buehrle       Comerica Park       2000 2010     2
      Bert Blyleven      County Stadium      1970 1992     7     Livan Hernandez    Pro Player Stadium  1999 2010     2
                                                                 John Lackey        Safeco Field        2002 2010     2
 SV - Trevor Hoffman     Dodger Stadium      1993 2009    39     Mariano Rivera     Camden Yards        1995 2010    37
 IP - Warren Spahn       Busch Stadium       1946 1965   408     Mark Buehrle       Kauffman Stadium    2001 2010   148
  H - Warren Spahn       Busch Stadium       1946 1965   395     Andy Pettitte      Camden Yards        1995 2010   159
  R - Earl Whitehill     Yankee Stadium      1923 1938   209     Jamie Moyer        SkyDome             1990 2010    75
 ER - Earl Whitehill     Yankee Stadium      1923 1938   192     Jamie Moyer        SkyDome             1990 2010    72
 BB - Early Wynn         Yankee Stadium      1941 1963   159     Andy Pettitte      SkyDome             1995 2010    56
 SO - Steve Carlton      Wrigley Field       1965 1986   227     Andy Pettitte      SkyDome             1995 2010   113
  W - Warren Spahn       Crosley Field       1947 1965    32     Andy Pettitte      Camden Yards        1995 2010    16
  L - Early Wynn         Yankee Stadium      1941 1963    31     Tim Wakefield      Rangers Ballpark    1995 2010    13
ERA - Tom Seaver         Jack Murphy Stadium 1969 1983  1.58     A.J. Burnett       Tropicana Field     2001 2010  2.09 

The most wins by a visiting pitcher without a loss:

Player             Park                 1st Last     #
Vic Raschi         Comiskey Park       1947 1955    14
Whitey Ford        Griffith Stadium    1950 1961    13
Mudcat Grant       Griffith Stadium    1958 1961    11
Lon Warneke        Shibe Park          1938 1943    10
Hank Wyse          Shibe Park          1942 1947    10

Warneke had a 1.03 ERA in his games at Shibe Park. Wyse pitched so well there that he joined the Athletics in 1950. Unfortunately, he found that it was much easiest beating the Phillies with his Cub teammates behind him than it was winning games for the A's. He went 4-5 with a 5.58 ERA pitching there for the home team.

And the most losses without a win:

Player             Park                 1st Last     #
Ben Cantwell       Wrigley Field       1927 1936    13
Frank Tanana       Kauffman Stadium    1973 1990    12
Tom Poholsky       Ebbets Field        1951 1957    11
Tommy Thomas       Yankee Stadium      1926 1937    11

It occurred to me that Retrosheet's game logs contain complete information on games started by pitchers back to 1871. Although we don't have any other statistical data for the pitchers than that, I thought that looking at the most games started in any single park during our missing years (1871 to 1917) might give us some idea how much the lists above will change once our data is complete. Here's the list:

Player             Park                                           1st Last    GS
Cy Young           League Park II (Cleveland)                    1891 1909   214
Christy Mathewson  Polo Grounds IV (New York)                    1900 1911   196
Amos Rusie         Polo Grounds IV (New York)                    1891 1898   182
Jim McCormick      League Park I (Cleveland)                     1879 1884   177
George Mullin      Bennett Park (Detroit)                        1902 1911   173
Mickey Welch       Polo Grounds I (New York)                     1883 1888   157
Vic Willis         South End Grounds III (Boston)                1898 1910   157
Pud Galvin         Riverside Grounds (Buffalo)                   1879 1883   155
Guy Hecker         Eclipse Park I (Louisville)                   1882 1889   154
Cy Young           Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds (Boston)   1901 1911   153

So despite all the data we are missing, we can be sure that no pitcher completed more games at a single stadium than Walter Johnson. The only pitcher other than Johnson who pitched prior to 1918 and started as many as 223 games in one park was Red Faber (who started 242 games at Comiskey Park from 1914 to 1932), but we know that he completed only 104 of his 186 starts there from 1918 onward, so he couldn't have come close to Johnson's 223 complete games at Griffith Stadium.

I'm sure we're all glad I cleared that up.

Doubling Their Home Runs

Jacoby Ellsbury entered this season with 1510 plate appearances and 20 home runs and has proceeded to more than double his round-trippers by hitting 31 so far this year. Which got me to wondering about the record for the most plate appearances entering such a season. Well, it turns out that 1510 isn't even close, sitting in 187th place (not counting any other player that might have done this in 2011). Here are the top five:

Year Player              HR  CHR   PAs
1977 Larry Bowa           4    4  4399
1914 Al Bridwell          1    1  4240
1935 Dick Bartell        14    9  4194
1950 Eddie Stanky         8    7  3946
1884 Cap Anson           21    5  3834

HR is the number of HRs hit that year and CHR and PAs are the career homers and plate appearances at the beginning of the season.

Dick Bartell was traded to the Giants prior to the 1935 season and discovered his home run stroke in the Polo Grounds. He played all or parts of eight seasons with the Giants and during those years hit 54 homers at home compared to just 6 on the road. Eddie Stanky also has the Polo Grounds to thank for his appearance here. He played only two seasons with the Giants and almost doubled his home run total in both of them. After his power surge in 1950, he entered the next season with 15 career homers and proceeded to hit 14. His two year total of 22 included only 4 away from home.

Since most of the players above hardly ever hit a round-tripper, I decided to require a minimum of at least 20 homers. This produced the following:

Year Player              HR  CHR   PAs
1884 Cap Anson           21    5  3834
1962 Chico Fernandez     20   19  2306
1884 Abner Dalrymple     22    4  2161
1884 Ned Williamson      27    8  2086
1945 Tommy Holmes        28   22  2035
1977 George Brett        22   20  1929
2009 Aaron Hill          36   28  1899
1948 Sid Gordon          30   27  1597
2011 Jacoby Ellsbury     31   20  1510

Anson, Dalrymple and Williamson were all teammates on the Chicago White Stockings and owe their place on the list (as well as almost all of their homers) to their park that year: Lake Front Park. As a matter of fact, of the 14 players on that team who hit at least one home run in 1884, only one of them, George Gore, did not hit at least as many homers that season as he had in his entire career to that point.

I repeated this exercise with doubles instead of homers and, as expected, had a much much smaller list:

Year Player              2B  C2B   PAs
1969 Don Kessinger       38   36  2261
1910 Bobby Byrne         43   37  1804

Among players with at least 2000 plate appearances, only Roy Thomas and Bill Bergen ever entered a season with a lower career rate of doubles per at-bat than Kessinger in 1969:

Year Player            2B/100
1903 Roy Thomas          1.22
1911 Bill Bergen         1.50
1969 Don Kessinger       1.72

Where 2B/100 is the number of doubles hit per 100 at-bats.

Actually, Thomas and Bergen both entered several seasons with a lower doubles rate than Kessinger. The years shown are their lowest rates. While Kessinger had his big year in 1969, Roy Thomas (whose career high in a season was 15) and Bill Bergen (who topped out at 8 in a year) never did.

And the triples list was somewhere in between, with 65 entries. The players at the top:

Year Player              3B  C3B   PAs
1978 Jeff Burroughs       6    6  3579
2009 Victor Martinez      1    1  3014
2004 Mike Lowell          1    1  2789
1999 Jim Leyritz          1    1  2597
2005 Ramon Hernandez      2    1  2571

Similar to the first home run list above, this contains people who almost never hit triples. Here's the list with a ten triple minimum:

Year Player              3B  C3B   PAs
1952 Ted Kluszewski      11    8  2174
1974 Ralph Garr          17   12  2124
1899 Fred Tenney         17   13  1888
1905 George Browne       14   14  1880
2001 Luis Castillo       10   10  1837
2004 Jack Wilson         12    8  1626
1990 Mariano Duncan      11    9  1625
1930 Woody English       17   11  1596
1996 Thomas Howard       10   10  1589
1900 Honus Wagner        22   20  1528
1966 Tim McCarver        13   13  1506

Ted Kluszewski never hit more than four triples in a season before or after that big year and Thomas Howard's second highest total was three.

Top Hitting Streaks By Batting Order and Defensive Position

Eric Jones was wondering about the longest hitting streaks by batting order and defensive position. Of course, some of these will be very familiar to us. Let's start with the top two streaks by each batting order position:

Pos   # Start      End        Player
  1  44 1978- 6-14 1978- 7-31 Pete Rose
     39 1987- 6-18 1987- 8-25 Paul Molitor
  2  38 1945- 5-20 1947- 5- 6 Tommy Holmes
     34 1938- 7-24 1938- 8-25 George McQuinn
  3  41 1922- 7-27 1922- 9-17 George Sisler
     35 1924- 9-27 1925- 5-19 George Sisler
  4  56 1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16 Joe DiMaggio
     36 1982- 4-17 1982- 6-13 Kent Hrbek
  5  38 1936- 8- 6 1936- 9-14 Luke Appling
     32 1987- 8-25 1988- 4-26 Benito Santiago
  6  39 1957- 4-21 1965- 8-29 Dick Groat
     29 1942- 5-13 1942- 6-14 Joe Gordon
  7  30 1922- 9-24 1923- 5-16 Charlie Grimm
     29 1930- 6-29 1930- 8- 6 Gabby Hartnett
  8  20 1948- 6-20 1950- 5-26 Al Dark
     19 1925- 4-26 1925- 5-30 Earl Smith
     19 1933- 8-26 1933- 9-16 Lou Finney
     19 1959- 8-17 1959- 9- 9 Eddie Kasko
     19 1964- 6- 9 1964- 7-28 Andre Rodgers
  9  19 1978- 7- 3 1979- 4- 9 Mike Edwards
     19 1985- 9- 5 1985-10- 4 Jerry Willard

The entries above by Pete Rose, Paul Molitor, George Sisler and Joe DiMaggio will be familiar to most baseball fans, but most of the others are new. At first I thought that the streak by Tommy Holmes was almost the same as his 37-game streak in 1945, but then I saw the range of dates. It turns out it included 9 games before his famous streak began and another 6 more after it ended. He was moved down to third after he had hit in 23 straight games in 1945 and didn't hit in the second slot again until 1947. And I bet you didn't expect to see Kent Hrbek with the second longest run out of the cleanup spot.

Luke Appling had a normal 27-game hitting streak before being moved to the cleanup spot for two hitless games. He was then dropped back down to fifth and hit in another 11 straight games. I'm sure Dick Groat never realized he had a 39-game consecutive hitting streak that spanned over eight years. It was finally broken on September 3, 1965 by Dick Selma and Gordon Richardson. And Jerry Willard got exactly one hit in each game of his streak.

A few other interesting cases (at least to me):

Pos   # Start      End        Player
  1  32 1969- 6-19 1969- 9-14 Cesar Tovar
  2  33 2006- 7-14 2008- 4-26 Eric Byrnes
  2  30 1929-10- 5 1930- 5-17 Sam Rice
  3  31 1924- 8-23 1924- 9-24 Sam Rice
  6  23 1954- 7- 2 1964- 9- 7 Willie Mays

Tovar's streak didn't end for three months. Not only did Twins manager Billy Martin play Tovar all over the field that year, but Tovar also had at least 25 plate appearances at six different lineup positions. Eric Byrnes played only 10 games batting second during 2007, but hit over .400 there. Sam Rice is the only player with streaks of thirty games or more at two different lineup spots. And Willie Mays took over a decade to string together 23 straight games with a hit while batting sixth.

And finally, the top two hitting streaks by each defensive position:

Pos   # Start      End        Player
  P  16 1924- 6-23 1924- 9- 3 Wilbur Cooper
     13 1947- 6-26 1947- 8-21 Johnny Sain
     13 2008- 6- 2 2008- 8-26 Carlos Zambrano
  C  34 1987- 8-25 1987-10- 2 Benito Santiago
     29 1997- 5-25 1997- 7- 6 Sandy Alomar
 1B  41 1922- 7-27 1922- 9-17 George Sisler
     35 1924- 9-27 1925- 5-19 George Sisler
 2B  35 2002- 5- 8 2002- 6-21 Luis Castillo
     33 1922- 8-13 1922- 9-19 Rogers Hornsby
     33 2006- 6-23 2006- 8- 3 Chase Utley
 3B  42 1978- 6-14 1978- 7-31 Pete Rose
     39 1980- 6- 8 1980- 8-18 George Brett
 SS  38 2005- 8-23 2006- 4- 5 Jimmy Rollins
     34 1963- 8-27 1964- 5- 9 Eddie Bressoud
 LF  36 1971- 9- 3 1972- 7-21 Ralph Garr
     32 1933- 7-22 1933- 8-25 Heinie Manush
 CF  56 1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16 Joe DiMaggio
     36 1933- 7- 4 1933- 9- 7 Freddie Lindstrom
 RF  34 1993- 8-26 1994- 4-30 Kirby Puckett
     32 1922- 8-17 1923- 5-15 Harry Heilmann
 DH  39 1987- 7-16 1987- 8-25 Paul Molitor
     30 1998- 8-15 1999- 9-28 Juan Gonzalez

I wasn't sure how to count multiple positions played in a single game, so I only used the first defensive position. Since Pete Rose started two of the games during his 44-game streak in left-field, his total above is 42 at third. In one of those games, Rose did move to third-base, but after that got up only once and walked. Garr's entry above spanned the 1971 and 1972 seasons. During most of 1972 Garr moved around the outfield quite a bit. He also moved to left-field at the end of several games during his streak, but they were ignored.

During Brett's long streak, he played one game at first-base and went 0-4. Bressoud's run was broken up by both the end of the 1963 season and an unsuccessful pinch-hitting appearance. And Juan Gonzalez was primarily a right-fielder during 1998 and 1999.

Here are the leaders in various statistical categories during hitting streaks of all lengths (and at all positions):

CAT  LEN    #  Start      End         Player
 AB   56  223  1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16  Joe DiMaggio
  R   56   56  1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16  Joe DiMaggio
  H   56   91  1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16  Joe DiMaggio
 2B   38   22  2005- 8-23 2006- 4- 5  Jimmy Rollins
 3B   21    9  1930- 8-20 1930- 9-10  Paul Waner
 HR   56   15  1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16  Joe DiMaggio  
      24   15  1963- 6-25 1963- 7-19  Willie McCovey
      23   15  2006- 9-25 2007- 4-23  Alex Rodriguez
RBI   56   55  1941- 5-15 1941- 7-16  Joe DiMaggio
 BB   26   29  1921- 7-28 1921- 8-25  Babe Ruth
IBB    9   12  2004- 7- 7 2004- 7-20  Barry Bonds
HBP   13    6  1998- 6-24 1998- 7-11  Fernando Vina
      16    6  1999- 5-20 1999- 6- 7  Jason Kendall
      12    6  2001- 7- 5 2001- 7-20  Craig Biggio
      22    6  2006- 6-16 2006- 7-13  Nomar Garciaparra
 SO   30   30  1998- 7-12 1998- 8-15  Eric Davis
 SH   20    9  1943- 7-21 1943- 8-18  Harry Walker
       5    8  1920- 7-19 1920- 7-23  Jimmy Dykes
 SF   27    5  2006- 7-15 2006- 8-12  Manny Ramirez
 SB   19   23  1962- 8-23 1962- 9-11  Maury Wills
 CS   28   11  1981- 8-29 1982- 4-11  Lonnie Smith

It's hard to have a hitting streak when opposing pitchers are intentionally walking you more than once a game, but Bonds managed to reach nine games in 2004. Jimmy Dykes is tied with several other players for second place with 8 sacrifice hits during a hitting streak. I added him to the chart above because he managed to do it only five games.

And finally, not counting Jerry Willard above (since his was only a long hitting streak from the 9th spot in the batting order), the longest hitting streak in which the player got exactly one hit in each game was:

  # Start      End        Player
 16 1975- 6- 1 1975- 6-18 Ted Sizemore

Players With The Highest Percentage of Post-Season Homers

A quick one today: here are the players who have hit the highest percentage of their home runs during the post-season:

Player            First Last  REG POST     PCT
Mickey Lolich      1963 1979    0    1  1.0000
Don Gullett        1970 1978    0    1  1.0000
Joe Blanton        2004 2011    0    1  1.0000
David Freese       2009 2011   15    5   .2500
Allen Craig        2010 2011   15    4   .2105
Paul Goldschmidt   2011 2011    8    2   .2000
Bucky Harris       1919 1931    9    2   .1818
Dave McNally       1962 1975    9    2   .1818
Jose Lind          1987 1995    9    2   .1818
Nelson Cruz        2005 2011  106   14   .1167
Lenny Dykstra      1985 1996   81   10   .1099
Jayson Werth       2002 2011  140   13   .0850
Derek Jeter        1995 2011  240   20   .0769
Bernie Williams    1991 2006  287   22   .0712
Manny Ramirez      1993 2011  555   29   .0497

The list is current through the end of 2011 and is in ascending order of post-season homers. Missing entries have fewer home runs and a lower percentage than the entries shown. I did keep the three players behind Freese (as well as two other current players) because he is unlikely to continue to hit 25% of his home runs in the postseason. The same goes for the player (Lenny Dykstra) behind Nelson Cruz.

The top three entries (and Dave McNally) are pitchers.

Players with 400 or more home runs who failed to hit a single post-season round-tripper:

Player            First Last  HRs
Ted Williams       1939 1960  521
Ernie Banks        1953 1971  512
Dave Kingman       1971 1986  442
Andre Dawson       1976 1996  438
Billy Williams     1959 1976  426
Darrell Evans      1969 1989  414

League Leaders With the Fewest Games Played

Cliff Blau recently mentioned to me that Vince Barton led the NL in getting hit by pitches in 1931 despite playing only 66 games and wondered what were the fewest games for players leading their respective leagues in a hitting category.

So since major league baseball returned to a 150+ game schedule in 1904 (and ignoring the shortened seasons of 1918-19, 1981 and 1994-1995), here are the leaders in the various categories with the fewest games played:

CAT   G   # Year Player
AB  143 622 1941 Johnny Rucker
R   118 114 1987 Paul Molitor
H   139 198 1959 Harvey Kuenn
2B  118  41 1987 Paul Molitor
3B   97  14 1992 Deion Sanders
HR  102  10 1904 Harry Davis
RBI 133 107 1914 Frank LaPorte
BB  115 104 1990 Jack Clark
IBB  98  17 1955 Ted Williams
SO  101  99 1944 Pat Seerey
HBP  66   9 1931 Vince Barton
SH   29  15 2003 Jason Schmidt
SF  116  12 1961 Leo Posada
GDP 107  26 1933 Ernie Lombardi
SB   85  18 1941 Danny Murtaugh
CS  101  18 2003 Alex Sanchez

RBI wasn't an official stat in 1914 in Frank LaPorte's day and he led the Federal League, a borderline major league. If you don't count him, the leader with the fewest games played was Ray Boone who collected 116 RBIs in 135 games to tie Jackie Jensen for the most in the AL in 1955.

Pat Seerey also topped the AL in strikeouts while playing only 105 games in 1948 and led the league four times in all without ever having more than 414 at-bats in a season.

And Cliff was right to point out Barton. With the exception of sacrifice hits, where pitchers now and then lead the league, no player has ever led a league in one of these categories while appearing in as few games as Barton did in 1931. He was a rookie that year and didn't join the Cubs until July 17th and didn't start a game until July 20th, when the Cubs reshuffled their outfield, replacing disappointing Hack Wilson with the rookie. He quickly became one of the NL's pitcher's favorite targets. The Philly hurlers hit him four times in two games before the end of the month, and in less than two weeks he had already taken over the leadership in getting plunked. He ended up hitting 13 HRs and driving in 50 runs in less than half a season, but a low batting average and a poor start the next season soon spelled the end of his career.

Rookie Danny Murtaugh didn't play his first game until July in 1941 and had only one stolen base after swiping three in a September 3rd double-header, but teams didn't run much in 1941 and he narrowly took the crown from teammate Stan Benjamin. Despite having the circuit's top two base stealers, the Phillies had a dreadful offense in 1941, scoring nearly 100 runs less than the second worst offense in the majors that year, on their way to 111 losses.

Other league leaders in 1961 got more publicity than Leo Posada, but I suppose he can take some solace in having made this list.

While we were on the subject, I thought it might be interesting to see the earliest date that a player had clinched at least a tie for the league leadership. Perhaps an example might make it clear what I'm getting at. Frank Robinson led the NL in doubles in 1962 with 51. Willie Mays was second with 36. On July 28th, Robinson hit his 36th double so, theoretically at least, Robinson could have taken the rest of the year off and still tied for the lead.

Now I realize that we shouldn't take this too seriously, and that Robinson's absence over the last two months of the season could very well have changed how many doubles the rest of the players hit, but I decided to go ahead with this anyway. I looked at the games from 1920 to 2010 (again ignoring shortened seasons) and here's what I found.

CAT   G  TOT  2ND     Date     Player
AB  143  679  624  1953- 9-11  Harvey Kuenn
R   112  152  124  1932- 8- 9  Chuck Klein
H   123  228  184  1946- 8-28  Stan Musial
2B  101   51   36  1962- 7-28  Frank Robinson
3B   57   23   10  2007- 6- 6  Curtis Granderson
HR   47   47   19  1926- 6- 5  Babe Ruth
RBI  92  170  119  1935- 7-27  Hank Greenberg
BB   76  232  127  2004- 7- 9  Barry Bonds
IBB  29  120   26  2004- 5- 9  Barry Bonds
SO   93  119   81  1936- 7-24  Jimmie Foxx
HBP  27   24   10  1973- 5-15  Ron Hunt
SH   41   39   14  1990- 5-26  Jay Bell
SF   71   13   11  2007- 6-19  Carlos Lee
GDP  69   36   23  1984- 6-26  Jim Rice
SB   36   57   22  1964- 5-25  Luis Aparicio
CS   50   23   16  1967- 6-12  Don Buford

I had a good idea who would have clinched at least a tie for a league leadership the earliest and, sure enough, it was Barry Bonds, who had 26 intentional walks in his first 29 games of 2004, on his way to a ridiculous 120.

Jim Rice's 36 grounded into double-plays in 1984 is the major league record, but he was an even more amazing GDP machine in the early going that year, hitting into an average of one every three games, a pace that would have given him 53 for the season. The next year, he once again had a ton of these in the first three months of the season, hitting into his 26th on June 25th, a day earlier than in 1984. Despite that, he doesn't make the list for his 1985 performance because Cal Ripken grounded into 32 DPs that season, tying tied him for the most in major league history for a player not named Rice.

When Aparicio stole his 22nd base on May 25, 1964, the next highest total in the league was only five.

The previous chart looked at the earliest date in a season where a player had tied the league's runner-up. Here's a similar chart of the players that did this in the fewest games.

CAT   G  TOT  2ND     Date     Player
AB  139  622  603  1941- 9-23  Johnny Rucker
    139  639  610  1951- 9-21  Dom DiMaggio
R   112  152  124  1932- 8- 9  Chuck Klein
    112  119   98  1960- 8-20  Mickey Mantle
H   123  244  211  1922- 9- 1  George Sisler
    123  228  184  1946- 8-28  Stan Musial
2B   94   56   40  1937- 8- 5  Joe Medwick
3B   57   23   10  2007- 6- 6  Curtis Granderson
HR   47   47   19  1926- 6- 5  Babe Ruth
RBI  92  170  119  1935- 7-27  Hank Greenberg
BB   76  232  127  2004- 7- 9  Barry Bonds
IBB  29  120   26  2004- 5- 9  Barry Bonds
SO   83  102   87  1948- 8-15  Pat Seerey
HBP  20    9    7  1931- 8- 5  Vince Barton
SH   24   17   13  1999- 8- 5  Shane Reynolds
SF   62   18   11  1983- 6-21  Andre Dawson
GDP  69   36   23  1984- 6-26  Jim Rice
SB   36   57   22  1964- 5-25  Luis Aparicio
CS   50   23   16  1967- 6-12  Don Buford

In addition to all those strikeouts, Pat Seerey's year also included a June trade and a four home run game.

Here is a list of the pitchers who locked up at least a tie for the leadership of a category the earliest in a season:

CAT   G   TOT   2ND       Date     Player
G    47    64    47    1926- 8- 8  Firpo Marberry
CG    6     9     4    2008- 4-29  Roy Halladay
SHO   5     3     2    2005- 5- 1  Jon Garland
      6     4     2    2010- 5- 1  Roy Halladay
GF   30    62    23    1950- 7- 1  Jim Konstanty
SV   49    62    42    2008- 7-23  F. Rodriguez
IP   33   346.2 265.2  1953- 8-18  Robin Roberts
H    32   324   243    1953- 8-16  Robin Roberts
HR   25    40    29    1957- 7-25  Robin Roberts
R    32   151   119    1951- 8- 8  Murry Dickson
ER   28   127    94    1942- 8-11  Jim Tobin
BB   16   204    99    1977- 6-16  Nolan Ryan
IBB  31    11     9    2007- 6-16  Luis Vizcaino
SO   22   364   221    1999- 7-20  Randy Johnson
     21   347   217    2000- 7-20  Randy Johnson
WP   11     9     6    1925- 5-20  Lefty Grove
HBP   8     7     5    1946- 5-18  Bobo Newsom
W    29    31    22    1931- 8- 3  Lefty Grove
L    28    22    18    1963- 7-27  Roger Craig

Roy Halladay also clinched at least a tie for his league's lead in complete games before the end of May in 2005 and 2010. The only other pitcher to do this before the end of June was Curt Schilling in 2001. Halladay pitched four straight complete games in April of 2008, losing three of them.

I did not include any saves leaders prior to 1969. If I had, the earliest pitcher to clinch a tie for the lead would have been Firpo Marberry when he picked up his ninth save on June 10, 1926 and Jim Turner who got his fifth save exactly nineteen years later.

Randy Johnson actually had more strikeouts in 2001 than either 1999 or 2000, including 220 by July 20th, but Curt Schilling's 293 strikeouts that year kept Johnson off the list.

Rookie Lefty Grove threw eight wild pitches in his first 54.2 major league innings (up through the games of May 26th), but then threw only one more the rest of the season.

Nelson Cruz Made Me Do It

Normally, I try to find someone else to blame for suggesting one of these posts, but this silly one is all mine. After noticing that Nelson Cruz had seven RBIs in the eleventh innings of Texas' playoff series with the Tigers, I wondered what player had the most extra-inning HRs and RBIs in a season from 1948 to 2010. And then I decided I might as well look at who holds the record in each inning. Here are the HR leaders by inning:

INN Player            Year  Team   AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB IBB  SO  SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
  1 Alex Rodriguez    2001 TEX A  143  33  53  10   0  18  40  15   0  38   2   0  .371  .438  .818
  2 Willie Mays       1954 NY  N   81  19  32   2   1  13  18   5   0   9   0   1  .395  .430  .926
    Ron Cey           1980 LA  N  102  27  41   7   0  13  20  18   0  20   2   2  .402  .500  .853
    Richard Hidalgo   2000 HOU N   88  24  29   3   0  13  17   9   0  13   2   2  .330  .427  .807
  3 Roger Maris       1961 NY  A   74  25  27   3   0  15  29   7   0   5   0   0  .365  .422 1.014
  4 Albert Belle      1996 CLE A   72  20  31   2   0  13  22   8   0   8   2   0  .431  .494 1.000
    Mark McGwire      1998 STL N   51  21  24   5   0  13  19  12   2   9   0   0  .471  .571 1.333
    Jim Thome         2002 CLE A   77  17  29   3   1  13  22  14   0  15   0   0  .377  .478  .948
  5 Sammy Sosa        1998 CHI N   64  13  22   2   0  12  26   4   0  18   0   2  .344  .382  .938
  6 Ryan Howard       2006 PHI N   81  18  28   4   0  13  22  15   2  20   0   0  .346  .448  .877
  7 Todd Hundley      1996 NY  N   62  15  18   3   0  11  23   7   5  13   0   0  .290  .357  .871
  8 Jim Wynn          1967 HOU N   70  18  27   2   0  14  30   3   1  10   1   1  .386  .411 1.014
  9 Tony Batista      2000 TOR A   56  16  21   4   0  10  17   6   0  10   0   0  .375  .435  .982
 EX Charlie Maxwell   1960 DET A   17   5   6   0   0   5   7   2   1   3   0   0  .353  .421 1.235
    Nelson Cruz       2010 TEX A    9   5   6   0   0   5   8   1   1   0   0   0  .667  .700 2.333

Now our data is only 100% complete back to 1956 and the lists above and below will certainly look very different once we extend our reach before 1948, but hopefully this is of some interest despite these limitations.

Once I wrote these words, I realized that we do know at least what inning each home run was hit in, even if we are missing the play-by-play data for the game. So I went and generated the all-time leaders for each inning and only one old-timer replaced an entry above: Jimmie Foxx hit 12 seventh-inning homers back in 1932.

I had assumed that Mays had such a low HR/RBI ratio above was because hit fourth in 1954 and so frequently led off the second inning, but he actually hit sixth more often than any other place that year. And the same goes for Ron Cey in 1980 and Richard Hidalgo in 2000.

Once you get past the first two innings, I think the law of small sample sizes takes over, although it does appear that hitting well in extra-innings isn't something new for Nelson Cruz. And despite his reputation for hitting well on Sundays, Charlie Maxwell hit his extra-inning home runs in 1960 on Tuesday, Friday (two) and Saturday (two).

And the RBI leaders:

INN Player            Year  Team   AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB IBB  SO  SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
  1 Ted Kluszewski    1954 CIN N   80  18  33   6   0  10  44  14   2   5   0   0  .412  .490  .863
    Juan Gonzalez     2001 CLE A   85  14  30   7   1   8  44   5   0  13   0   0  .353  .367  .741
  2 Butch Hobson      1977 BOS A  109  19  32   9   2   7  28  11   0  27   0   2  .294  .364  .606
  3 Jackie Jensen     1954 BOS A   70  17  26   5   2   7  34   9   0   3   3   2  .371  .434  .800
  4 Manny Ramirez     2005 BOS A   72  20  26   4   0   9  29  12   0  13   0   0  .361  .452  .792
  5 Albert Pujols     2006 STL N   61  28  32   5   0  11  37  16   6   4   1   0  .525  .633 1.148
  6 Orlando Cepeda    1961 SF  N   84  17  28   1   1  11  31   4   3  11   4   3  .333  .367  .762
  7 Rafael Palmeiro   1999 TEX A   67  14  29   6   0   9  28  13   1   5   0   0  .433  .525  .925
    Sammy Sosa        2001 CHI N   67  23  29   4   1  10  28  16   5  21   0   0  .433  .535  .970
  8 Jim Wynn          1967 HOU N   70  18  27   2   0  14  30   3   1  10   1   1  .386  .411 1.014
  9 Alex Rodriguez    2007 NY  A   42  14  19   3   0   8  21   9   0   7   1   0  .452  .549 1.095
 EX Tim Wallach       1982 MON N   17   2   6   2   0   2  11   0   0   2   0   0  .353  .333  .824
    Juan Gonzalez     1991 TEX A   27   4  10   2   0   2  11   2   0   2   1   2  .370  .414  .667

Nowadays teams have access to all sorts of arcane data (although probably not quite this arcane), but I wonder if Jim Wynn would have been intentionally walked more than once in the eighth inning during 1967 if anyone had known how well he was hitting in that frame. Sadly, this "talent" was short-lived. In 1968, he hit .233 (with an OPS of .724) in the eighth inning.

I also thought that one of these ninth or extra-innings leaders would have been on the list of players with the most walk-off RBIs in a season, but I was wrong. The following players lead with six each:

Rodney Scott      1979 MON N
Cory Snyder       1987 CLE A
Wally Joyner      1989 CAL A
Andre Ethier      2009 LA  N

Rodney Scott knocked in all of 42 runs that year, but six of them ended games. Go figure.

Despite hitting 30 home runs, Hobson often hit eighth for the Red Sox in 1977 and it didn't hurt that two of the team's better hitters, Carlton Fisk and George Scott usually hit in the fifth and sixth slots. As a result, the team got their most runs scored out of the sixth place in the batting order.

How unusual was that? If I may be excused a brief digression here, how often do teams get their most runs scored out of the different spots in the batting order? Since there's probably no point to doing this without going overboard, I decided to look at how often each team from 1918 to 2010 got the most at-bats, run, hits and so on, from each spot in the batting order. Here's the inevitable chart:

POS   AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB IBB   SO HBP   SH  SF   SB   CS
  -    0   0   0   0   0   0    0   0 464    0   0    0 559    0  208
  1 1531 827 637 293 752  45    1 428  42   60 372   55  50 1171 1120
  2  381 359 414 312 397  55    8 145   5   38 305  323 105  287  229
  3   60 486 561 558 339 535  469 528 285   77 298   28 465  256  118
  4   12 267 267 384 157 933 1156 557 418  163 315   12 372   59   45
  5    0  40  77 245 132 279  278 171 144   81 211   18 191   64   81
  6    0   4  24 108  70  96   59  61  74   64 175   14  76   65   86
  7    0   1   4  58  55  35   10  29  62   57 151   17  84   42   57
  8    0   0   0  25  55   5    3  64 490   29 120   50  62   22   19
  9    0   0   0   1  27   1    0   1   0 1415  37 1467  20   18   21

The first row in the chart (the "-" row) is for the years when that particular stat didn't exist.

What this chart means, for example, is that during those years, 1531 teams got the most at-bats out the leadoff spot in the batting order; 381 got the most at-bats out of second place, and so on. The surprising thing to me are the 12 teams that got their most at-bats out of the cleanup spot. The last team to do this was the 2009 Anaheim Angels,

Here are the last (and in some cases only) teams to have had some of the weirder team leaders. If there was a particular player most responsible for the team's appearance on the list, he is listed in parenthesis.

Year Team
1987 OAK A  7th place hitters led team in runs scored
2006 ARI N  7th place hitters led team in hits
1982 DET A  9th place hitters led team in doubles (Alan Trammell)
1918 WAS A  9th place hitters led team in homers
1976 CHI A  8th place hitters led team in RBIs
1977 CHI A  9th place hitters led team in walks (Jim Essian)
1987 MIL A  2nd place hitters led team in intentional walks (Robin Yount)

Admit it. When you noticed that one team got more home runs from their ninth-place hitters than any others, you figured that it had to be from the DH-era. But in 1918, the Senators got half of all their home runs (okay, were only talking about a grand total of four) from their last-place hitters. One was hit by Walter Johnson and the other by Nick Altrock. Altrock's homer came in the final game of the season and is discussed in some detail in my review of 1918.

Here are the single-season leaders in first-inning intentional walks

Player            Year  Team   AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB IBB  SO  SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
Barry Bonds       2004 SF  N   47  11  15   4   1   2  17  42  24   4   1   0  .319  .645  .574
Willie McCovey    1969 SF  N   73  13  25   4   0   5  26  25  11   9   0   0  .342  .510  .603
Barry Bonds       2003 SF  N   61  17  21   4   0   3  12  23  11   5   1   0  .344  .529  .557
Willie McCovey    1970 SF  N   82  18  23   5   1   6  31  29  10   8   0   0  .280  .465  .585
Barry Bonds       1993 SF  N   53  14  15   5   0   3  18  20   9  10   2   0  .283  .480  .547
Barry Bonds       2006 SF  N   50  11  17   4   0   4  17  21   9   5   1   0  .340  .554  .660
Barry Bonds       2002 SF  N   87  20  33   6   0   9  24  32   8   8   2   0  .379  .557  .759
Willie McCovey    1971 SF  N   49   6  15   5   0   1  12  15   7   8   0   0  .306  .455  .469
Ryan Howard       2006 PHI N   66   7  16   2   0   4  18  21   7  22   0   0  .242  .430  .455
Barry Bonds       2007 SF  N   53  15  20   1   0   7  19  16   7   6   1   0  .377  .529  .792

I'm seeing a definite pattern here.

And here are the career extra-inning leaders:

Player              AB    R    H  2B  3B  HR  RBI   BB  IBB   SO  SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
Willie Mays        290*  53*  84* 11   6* 20*  42   55   26   40   6   2  .290  .405  .576
Pete Rose          283   43   83  19*  2   2   27   66   30   32   7   1  .293  .429  .396
Frank Robinson     250   45   76   7   1  16   44*  60   23   49  12   5  .304  .444  .532
Barry Bonds        195   48   51   9   3  11   28   90*  42*  38  15   2  .262  .497  .508
Reggie Jackson     202   27   41   8   0  10   21   39   12   68*  6   2  .203  .346  .391
Tim Raines         223   44   76  11   1   3   23   50   24   16  29*  0  .341  .458  .439
Lou Brock          253   33   77   8   2   5   27   35   14   48  15  12* .304  .387  .411

It turns out that we are missing play-by-play for two of Willie Mays' extra-inning home runs. So he actually hit 22. This will of course affect his other extra-inning stats as well. And since one of those homers came with a man on, adding those will also bump Frank Robinson out of the top spot in RBIs. The games we are missing were on June 4, 1955 and July 4, 1955.

Rickey Henderson was second with 27 extra-inning stolen bases and he also had a phenomenal success rate, getting caught only once.

And finally, I showed the single season walk-off RBI leaders above. Here are the career leaders (at least for the period covered by our play-by-play data):

Frank Robinson     27
Dusty Baker        25
Rickey Henderson   22
Roberto Clemente   21
Pete Rose          21
Manny Mota         20
Tony Perez         20
Ted Simmons        20
Andre Dawson       20
Lou Whitaker       20

The Most Exciting Games

Recently, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times wrote an article on the most exciting post-season series of all time. And rather than simply picking them subjectively, he came up with a formula. You can read the linked article for the details of his formula, but it occurred to me that with a little modification, I could use the same method to come up with the most exciting post-season games as well.

For those who like the details, the basic modification was to drop the bonus for extra elimination games and give a simple 3, 5 and 8 point credit for the fifth, sixth and seventh game of a seven-game series, and a 2 and 8 point credit for the last two games of a best-of-five. Oh, and I dropped the fractional points (since this is sort of a seat of the pants method, we probably shouldn't make it seem more exact than it is). And, finally, I credit a game with 4 points for the 10th inning and 3 for each additional one; Chris gives them 7 points for the 10th inning and 4 from then on. This was originally simply a misunderstanding on my part, but by the time I discovered it, it sure seemed as if both of us were giving extra-innings too much credit so I left it alone.

So without dragging this out unnecessarily, here are the top games from 1903 to 2010:

 PTS    Date           Teams
  64 2005-10- 9    ATL N at HOU N
  52 1960-10-13    NY  A at PIT N
  48 1999-10-19    NY  N at ATL N
  45 1986-10-15    NY  N at HOU N
  45 2003-10-16    BOS A at NY  A
  45 2008-10-16    TB  A at BOS A
  44 1975-10-21    CIN N at BOS A
  43 1999-10-17    ATL N at NY  N
  42 1995-10- 3    BOS A at CLE A
  42 1995-10- 4    SEA A at NY  A
  41 1976-10-14    KC  A at NY  A
  41 1993-10-23    PHI N at TOR A

Again, this method probably gives a little more weight than it should to all the extra-innings in our top game, but this is still an pretty good list. And according to my pencil and paper calculations (working things out by hand isn't something I do particularly well, but I won't have computerized data on this game until the series ends), the sixth game of the 2011 World Series ended up with 47 points, good for fourth place on the list above.

After doing this, it occurred to me that we could use the same method (minus the credit for the late games of a series) to evaluate regular season games as well. Of course, many of these games had little meaning in the context of a pennant race, so it might be better to look at this as a list of games which would have been the most exciting had their outcomes mattered.

Here's the list from 1948 to 2011 (and we are missing some games prior to 1956):

 PTS    Date           Teams
  91 1984- 5- 8    MIL A at CHI A
  82 1976- 4-17    PHI N at CHI N
  80 2001- 8- 5    SEA A at CLE A
  76 2004- 5- 8    DET A at TEX A
  73 1956- 6-27    BAL A at CLE A
  72 1993- 8-31    CLE A at MIN A
  72 2008- 5-25    CIN N at SD  N
  70 1950- 9-15(2) CIN N at PHI N
  70 1970- 5-23    SD  N at SF  N
  68 1977- 7-28    CIN N at CHI N

These are all high-scoring extra-inning affairs, which makes sense given the premium placed on comebacks and bonus frames. So here is a list of the highest-scoring regulation affairs:

 PTS    Date           Teams
  67 1974- 7-20    OAK A at CLE A
  65 1961- 9- 5(2) LA  A at KC  A
  65 1993- 8-11    CHI N at FLA N
  62 1984- 9-28    MIN A at CLE A
  62 1996- 6-30    LA  N at COL N
  61 1948- 7- 4    NY  N at BRO N
  61 1961- 6- 9    MIL N at CHI N
  61 1996- 7-17    NY  A at BOS A
  61 1996- 7-23(2) NY  N at COL N
  61 1999- 5- 4    COL N at CHI N

Three of these games occurred with a month of each other in 1996, two of them at Coors Field.

Of course, context is everything and most of these games, coming in the first four months of the season, wouldn't make most people's lists of baseball's most exciting games. For example, the final game of the 1951 regular season only ranked third that year by this method, behind this game and that game. Which only means that perhaps this isn't the best method to evaluate regular season games.

And finally, speaking of games that don't count, here are the top ranked All-Star Games:

 PTS    Date        Teams
  42 2008- 7-15    NL at AL   
  41 1955- 7-12    AL at NL   
  34 1941- 7- 8    NL at AL   
  33 1970- 7-14    AL at NL   
  32 1994- 7-12    AL at NL   

Only the 1941 game, won by Ted Williams' two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, was a regulation affair.

Multiple Hitting Streaks

While writing another article, I noticed that on April 18, 1931, Freddie Lindstrom and Mel Ott both extended long hitting streaks at the Baker Bowl, Lindstrom hitting in his 36th straight game there and Ott in his 29th straight. Of course, a hitting streak in a specific ball park is a rather obscure record and I'm sure few if any people knew about it at the time. The story in The New York Times the next day didn't mention it.

But that got me to wondering about whether or not there were other long hitting streaks of the normal variety, the ones newspaper reporters do like to write about, that were extended in the same game. Well, I didn't find a pair as long as 29 consecutive games from 1918 to 2011, but I came close. A little more than a month after the game mentioned above, Earle Combs and Al Simmons both got hits to push their hitting streaks to 27 and 26 games, respectively. As expected, these streaks were mentioned in the game story in the next day's New York Times.

The teams would end their six-game series that day, and the two would go hitless a few games after that. Here are the longest pairs I found:

   Date       Players (Length)
 5-28-1931    Earle Combs (27), Al Simmons (26)
 8-24-1922    Ken Williams (28), George Sisler (22)
 8-11-1938(2) Mel Almada (29), George McQuinn (21)
 7-30-1936    Hal Trosky (25), Odell Hale (21)
 9- 9-1980    Mickey Rivers (24), Al Oliver (21)
 6-20-1927    Paul Waner (23), Clyde Barnhart (21)

All of these pairs were teammates except for Combs and Simmons. George Sisler's streak would eventually reach 41 games, an American League record before Joe DiMaggio broke it in 1941. Mike Norris held both Rivers and Oliver hitless the next day.

Now I'm defining the longest pair as the one in which the shorter of the two is the greatest. If I had simply used the sum of the two longest streaks, the top three would have been these:

 7-13-1941(1) Joe DiMaggio (52), Phil Rizzuto (16)
 7-15-1941    Joe DiMaggio (55), Luke Appling (10)
 8-25-1987    Paul Molitor (39), Brett Butler (19)

Both Molitor and Butler's streak ended the next day in a 1-0 pitching duel won by Teddy Higuera. Both Higuera and rookie John Farrell allowed only three hits and no runs. Farrell left after nine before Doug Jones took the loss in the bottom of the tenth.

So, using my maximum of the minimum definition, what were the longest three streaks in the same game?

   Date       Players (Length)
 8-24-1922    Ken Williams (28), George Sisler (22), George Burns (18)
 7-28-1936    Hal Trosky (22), Roy Weatherly (20), Odell Hale (18)

One of these is the same and the other similar to one above.

And the longest four:

   Date       Players (Length)
 7-26-1936(1) Hal Trosky (20), Roy Weatherly (18), Odell Hale (16), Joe Vosmik (16)

The odd thing about this game is that the Indians were shut out 13-0 by Buck Ross. He allowed only six hits in the game, and the four Cleveland teammates above accounted for all of them. One of those held hitless in the game was Earl Averill, which should explain the game with the longest five streaks:

   Date       Players (Length)
 7-25-1936    Earl Averill (20), Hal Trosky (19), Roy Weatherly (17), Odell Hale (15), Joe Vosmik (15)

So how did the Indians do in the fifteen games with these five players hitting in each game? They went 12-3. I mentioned that they lost the next day 13-0. The also lost the game before they all started hitting at once, this one by a score of 18-0. Between those two routs, they scored an average of 8.3 runs a game.

Finally, here are the only two games I found with six players who had hit in ten or more straight games. One should look familiar:

   Date       Players (Length)
 7-19-1936(2) Earl Averill (15), Hal Trosky (14), Cecil Travis (13), Roy Weatherly (12), Odell Hale (10), Joe Vosmik (10)
 8- 6-1929(1) Joe Judge (11), Sam Rice (11), Earle Combs (11), Mark Koenig (10), Tony Lazzeri (10), Babe Ruth (10)

Of the players listed in this last game, only Sam Rice's run would eventually reach twenty or more games. Five of the Indians would reach that mark, the ones shown above as well as Joe Vosmik, who was injured in the July 26th game but hit in four more games upon his return before being stopped on August 5th.

The Homering-est Teammates (and Multiple Debuts)

While working on my Retro-review of 1965 (coming soon to an article near you), I noticed that Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron became the homering-est teammates on August 20th of that year when Mathews went deep in the Braves 4-3 victory over Don Cardwell and the Pirates. The home run gave them a combined 794, one more than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig had managed from 1923 to 1934 (only part of Ruth's homers from 1923 and 1924 counted since Gehrig spent most of those two years playing for Hartford). 1 By the time Mathews was traded to Houston after the 1966 season, their total had reached 863. Here are the top combos in history:2

HRS  Teammates
863  Hank Aaron (442), Eddie Mathews (421)
793  Babe Ruth (445), Lou Gehrig (348)
781  Willie Mays (410), Willie McCovey (371)
744  Duke Snider (391), Gil Hodges (353)
732  Harmon Killebrew (476), Bob Allison (256)
730  Jim Rice (382), Dwight Evans (348)
706  Andruw Jones (368), Chipper Jones (338)
704  Billy Williams (376), Ron Santo (328)

So who held the record before Ruth and Gehrig? Here is a chronology of the record holders back t0 1888, as close as I can determine:

HRS  Set Record  Teammates
124  1888- 9-15  Cap Anson (64), Ned Williamson (60)
133  1889- 6- 3  Jeff Pfeffer (69), Cap Anson (64)
151  1890- 7-23  Dan Brouthers (83), Hardy Richardson (68)
152  1896- 7-10  Jeff Pfeffer (78), Cap Anson (74)
161  1896- 8-28  Sam Thompson (94), Jack Clements (67)
184  1918- 7-25  Gavvy Cravath (117), Fred Luderus (67)
207  1922- 8-18  Babe Ruth (204), Carl Mays (3)
613  1923- 5-19  Babe Ruth (467), Bob Meusel (146)
793  1932- 6-12  Babe Ruth (445), Lou Gehrig (348)

The number in parenthesis after each player's name is the amount they had when their record was broken by the players on the following line.

And here are what I think are the top combos in some other categories:3

Cat     #  Teammates
G    4617  Lou Whitaker (2390), Alan Trammell (2227)
AB  16665  Lou Whitaker (8570), Alan Trammell (8095)
R    3083  Craig Biggio (1566), Jeff Bagwell (1517)
H    5152  Sam Rice (2861), Joe Judge (2291)
2B   1041  Craig Biggio (553), Jeff Bagwell (488)
3B    384  Sam Crawford (201), Ty Cobb (183)
RBI  2952  Lou Gehrig (1798), Tony Lazzeri (1154)
BB   2389  Jeff Bagwell (1401), Craig Biggio (988)
SO   3021  Derek Jeter (1568), Jorge Posada (1453)
HBP   392  Craig Biggio (264), Jeff Bagwell (128)
SB   1091  Ty Cobb (689), Donie Bush (402)

So much for the hitters. What pair of pitching teammates have combined for the most wins?4

W    Teammates
440  Eddie Plank (247), Chief Bender (193)
433  Christy Mathewson (297), Hooks Wiltse (136)
418  Tim Keefe (215), Mickey Welch (203)
412  Warren Spahn (233), Lew Burdette (179)
408  Lefty Grove (257), Rube Walberg (151)
407  Red Ruffing (219), Lefty Gomez (188)
406  Cy Young (252), Nig Cuppy (154)

And some leaders in a few other categories:5

Cat     #  Teammates
G    1167  Mariana Rivera (769), Andy Pettitte (398)
GS    820  Tom Glavine (454), John Smoltz (366)
CG    687  Tim Keefe (350), Mickey Welch (337)
SV    429  Mariano Rivera (429), Andy Pettitte (0)
BB   2122  Hal Newhouser (1209), Dizzy Trout (913)
SO   4477  Sandy Koufax (2366), Don Drysdale (2111)
SHO    94  Ed Walsh (55), Doc White (39)
L     314  Bob Friend (190), Vern Law (124)

While Rivera and Pettitte do have more saves than any other pair of teammates, the distribution is a little unequal, to say the least. One of the problems with saves is that almost all of them are distributed to the closer. I could find only two examples of two teammates each collecting at least 80 saves:6

Greg Minton (115), Gary Lavelle (89)
Ron Reed (90), Tug McGraw (80)

Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell both debuted on September 9, 1977 in the Tigers 8-6 loss to the Red Sox. And that got me to wondering if it was unusual for two future long-time regulars to debut for a team in the same game. This time there is no requirement that they be teammates for any but their first game. So here are the most combined career at-bats for a pair of players appearing for the first time in the same game (or day) for the same team:

  ABS     Date     Team   Players
20234  1989- 4- 3  SEA A  Omar Vizquel (10433), Ken Griffey (9801)
16858  1977- 9- 9  DET A  Lou Whitaker (8570), Alan Trammell (8288)
15193* 1968- 9-23  PIT N  Al Oliver (9049), Richie Hebner (6144)
14583  1890- 4-19  BOS N  Patsy Donovan (7505), Bobby Lowe (7078)
14458  1915- 9-29  WAS A  Joe Judge (7898), Charlie Jamieson (6560)
13957  1961- 4-11  BOS A  Carl Yastrzemski (11988), Chuck Schilling (1969)
13616  1963- 9-21  HOU N  Joe Morgan (9277), Jerry Grote (4339)
13435  1955- 4-12  STL N  Ken Boyer (7455), Bill Virdon (5980)
13324  1967- 9- 6  MIN A  Graig Nettles (8986), Pat Kelly (4338)
13253  1924- 4-15  PHI A  Al Simmons (8759), Max Bishop (4494)

* - same day but in different games

And a similar list for three teammates:

  ABS     Date     Team   Players
15848  1958- 4-15  SF  N  Orlando Cepeda (7927), Jim Davenport (4427), Willie Kirkland (3494)
15380  1880- 5- 1  WOR N  Harry Stovey (6138), George Wood (5371), Arthur Irwin (3871)
14451  1971- 9- 4  BOS A  Ben Oglivie (5913), Juan Beniquez (4651), Rick Miller (3887)
13912  1963- 9-21  HOU N  Joe Morgan (9277), Jerry Grote (4339), Mike White (296)
13479  1955- 4-12  STL N  Ken Boyer (7455), Bill Virdon (5980), Herb Moford (44)

Next, have there been instances where two pitchers with long careers debuted for a team in the same game? Here are the cases where two pitchers had careers of at least 1000 innings each:

 IPS       Date     Team   Players
6039.1  1898- 4-22  WAS N  Bill Dineen (3074.2), Bill Donovan (2964.2)
4543.1  1923- 4-19* BOS N  Larry Benton (2297), Bob Smith (2246.1)
4306.2  1920- 4-19  PHI A  Eddie Rommel (2556.1), Slim Harriss (1750.1)
3712.2  1995- 4-29  MIN A  Brad Radke (2451), LaTroy Hawkins (1261.1)
3507    1967- 5-31  DET A  Pat Dobson (2120.1), Mike Marshall (1386.2)
2875.1  1901- 4-26  DET A  Ed Siever (1507), Frank Owen (1368.1)

* - first game of a double-header. Smith debuted as a pinch-runner.

And the games with three pitchers whose careers lasted at least 200 innings each:

 IPS       Date     Team   Players
2795.1  1990- 9- 8  SEA A  Dave Burba (1777.2), Rich DeLucia (624), Mike Gardiner (393.2)
1791.1  2003- 4- 2  DET A  Jeremy Bonderman (1176), Wil Ledezma (396.1), Chris Spurling (219)

That last game also saw the debut of another pitcher, Matt Roney, who pitched 104.2 innings in the major leagues, the only game with debuts by four pitchers with careers that long.

Finally, I wondered if there were ever two pitchers on opposing teams with long careers who first appeared in the same game. Here is a list of the games where two opposing pitchers threw at least 1500 innings in their careers. And we've seen the top game before:

   Date     Team   Pitcher                  Team   Pitcher
1923- 4-19  NY  N  Red Lucas (2542)         BOS N  Larry Benton (2297)
1917- 4-13  CHI N  Dutch Ruether (2124.2)   PIT N  Hal Carlson (2002)
1902- 4-19  CIN N  Bob Ewing (2301)         CHI N  Bob Rhoads (1691.2)
1939- 4-25  DET A  Dizzy Trout (2725.2)     STL N  Jack Kramer (1637.1)
1882- 5- 2  LOU a  Guy Hecker (2924)        STL a  Jumbo McGinnis (1603.2)

Notes:

1"Mathews, Aaron Shatter Record for HR Combos," Bob Wolf. The Sporting News. October 2, 1965. Page 16.

2This doesn't include the following:

The seventeen homers Mays hit in 1959 before McCovey arrived on July 30th, the three that Mays hits in 1960 while McCovey was playing for Tacoma, or the thirteen McCovey hit in 1972 after Mays had been traded.

The eight homers Hodges hit in 1948 while Snider was playing for Montreal, and the seven that Snider hit for the Mets in 1963 after Hodges was traded to the Senators.

The seven homers Evans hit in 1974 while Rice was playing for Pawtucket.

The twenty-five homers Chipper Jones hit in 1996 while Andruw Jones was playing in the minors.

The nine homers Santo hit in 1960 while Williams was playing for Houston.

3Determining these leaders can be far from straight-forward. Some notes:

Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski had a total of 16735 at-bats between them from 1956 to 1972, but Clemente had 195 at-bats in 1956 before Mazeroski joined the team on July 6th of that year.

Honus Wagner and Fred Clarke combined for 5287 hits for the Pirates from 1897 to 1911 and 1913 to 1915. But Clarke was the Pirates manager during those years and in 1914 and 1915 made only three token appearances. If you do not count them as teammates during those last two years, then their 295 combined hits (all but one by Wagner) drops them below 5000. If you want to count them as true teammates during those years, then you'll probably need to subtract the hits that Clarke collected in 1897 before Wagner joined the team. And Clarke was only active as a player briefly in 1913 as well.

Joe Judge and Sam Rice combined for 5152 hits for the Senators from the September 20, 1915 to 1932. But for most of 1918, Rice was in the military, appearing in only three series while on furlough. If you count only the hits the two got into those games, their total drops to 5029. I figured this was over-thinking things and so credited them with 5152.

Wagner and Clarke also combined for 412 triples. All the same issues apply as before, since Wagner hit 26 of those in 1914 and 1915. And Clarke no doubt hit several of his 13 triples during 1897 before Wagner arrived in July.

Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford hit 391 triples between them from 1905 to 1917. But Cobb didn't join the team until late in 1905 and I think Crawford hit seven of his triples that year before then.

Derek Jeter struck out eleven times in 1995 before Jorge Posada was called up that September. And Posada shuttled back and forth between New York and Columbus in 1996, appearing on the big league roster from April 3rd to 18th, May 22nd to 25th, June 29th to July 7th and from September 2nd to the end of the season. Jeter struck out 28 times that season while they were both on the roster.

Ty Cobb stole 29 bases before Donie Bush arrived in September, 1908 and stole ten after he had been waived to the Senators in 1921.

4This doesn't include the following:

The twenty-one wins Welch had in 1880 before Keefe arrived in the beginning of August and the two wins Welch had in 1891 after Keefe was released.

The seventeen wins Spahn had in 1951 before Burdette arrived in 1951 and the fourteen wins Spahn had after Burdette was traded away in 1963.

The twelve wins Young had in 1901 after Cuppy was released.

The first win, of Lefty Gomez's career, picked up the day before Red Ruffing was traded to New York.

5Some notes on these:

Both Rivera and Pettitte spent time with Columbus during 1995. I think they were first on the Yankees roster together on May 27th, but Rivera was subsequently sent down from June 12th to early July (I'm not sure of the exact date) as well as from August 10th to 22nd. So it looks like Rivera's debut came while Pettitte was with Columbus and that seven of Pettitte's games came with Rivera in the minors.

Glavine's starts does not include the twenty he made in 1988 before Smoltz was called up from Richmond.

Welch's complete games does not include forty from 1880 or seven from 1891.

Dizzy Trout's walk total is missing the 65 walks he recorded in 1939 before Newhouser was called up after the end of the Texas League season on September 8th. Newhouser's total does not include the ten walks he surrendered after Trout was traded in 1952.

6Lavelle did have 127 saves during those years, but I think that 38 of the saves he collected from 1975 to 1978 came while Minton was pitching in the minors.

Do Only Slow Runners Ground into a Lot of DPs?

There was a discussion recently on SABR-L about whether we can reliably determine that a player was slow from his offensive statistics. Several markers were proposed: low stolen base totals, a poor SB success rate, and few triples were some of those that were mentioned. So was a high number of grounded into double-plays (GIDP). During the discussion that followed, one of the contributors mentioned that Jackie Jensen had set the major league record (since broken) when he grounded into 32 DPs in 1954, but also hit seven triples and had a league-leading 22 stolen bases with an above average (75.9) success rate. Someone else then suggested that perhaps Jensen simply had an extraordinarily high number of GIDP opportunities that year, what with Ted Williams (an OBP machine) hitting in front of him much of the year. Mike Lynch (of seamheads fame) then contacted me and suggested that it might be nice if we had some, you know, actual data on the subject.

So here's what I did: for each player's season from 1952 to 2011, I computed his total plate-appearances (PA), the number of those where a GIDP was possible (GPA), the number of ground-outs in those situations (GO), and the number of times he grounded into a double-play (GIDP). I also computed the percentage of plate-appearances in situations where a GIDP was possible, the percentage of those plate-appearances that resulted in a ground-out, and the percentage of those ground-outs that resulted in a GIDP.

So let's start with Jackie Jensen's 1954 season:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Jackie Jensen      1954 BOS A 674 179  .266  53  .296  32  .604
League Rank                     7   3     4   1     5   1     2

In the percentage categories, a minimum of 500 plate appearances was used.

So it seems that the record was a combination of Jensen being among the league leaders in all three risk factors:

1) He was fourth in the league in the percentage of plate appearances with a man on first and less than two outs. The players ahead of him:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Ted Williams       1954 BOS A 526 145  .276  27  .186  11  .407
Minnie Minoso      1954 CHI A 676 183  .271  45  .246  20  .444
Mickey Vernon      1954 WAS A 674 180  .267  37  .206   9  .243

2) He was fifth in the league in the percentage of ground-outs in these situations. Again, those ahead of him:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Al Kaline          1954 DET A 535 137  .256  50  .365  21  .420
Dave Philley       1954 CLE A 522 125  .239  40  .320  16  .400
Spook Jacobs       1954 PHI A 565  72  .127  23  .319   7  .304
Jim Finigan        1954 PHI A 547 108  .197  34  .315  17  .500

And perhaps most importantly:

He trailed only one other player in the league in the percentage of those ground-outs that resulted in double-plays:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Harvey Kuenn       1954 DET A 696 111  .159  30  .270  19  .633

So I'm not sure how to reconcile his obvious speed with his lack of success in beating out potential double-play grounders. I mean, 36-year-old first-baseman Mickey Vernon, with one stolen base in five attempts that season (although he did have fourteen triples), was doubled-up only 9 out of 37 times, a huge improvement over Jensen's rate.

Here are some historic extremes in this data. Let's start with the players from 1952 to 2011 with the highest percentage of ground-outs in these situations that resulted in double-plays:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Mark McGwire       1996 OAK A 548 106  .193  15  .142  14  .933
Mike Piazza        2004 NY  N 528  97  .184  16  .165  14  .875
Rocky Colavito     1966 CLE A 614  97  .158  28  .289  24  .857
Dale Murphy        1990 2 tms 629 103  .164  26  .252  22  .846
Jim Edmonds        2003 STL N 531 105  .198  13  .124  11  .846
Carlos Lee         2010 HOU N 649 121  .186  24  .198  20  .833
Bobby Darwin       1972 MIN A 562 121  .215  29  .240  24  .828
Dave Kingman       1975 NY  N 543 100  .184  16  .160  13  .812
Manny Ramirez      2002 BOS A 518  91  .176  16  .176  13  .812
Mike Piazza        2002 NY  N 541 121  .224  32  .264  26  .812

And the other end of the spectrum:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Dick McAuliffe     1968 DET A 658  78  .119  14  .179   0  .000
Rob Deer           1990 MIL A 511  87  .170   8  .092   0  .000
Craig Biggio       1997 HOU N 744  78  .105  13  .167   0  .000
Richie Ashburn     1953 PHI N 604 117  .194  34  .291   1  .029
Ichiro Suzuki      2009 SEA A 678  93  .137  25  .269   1  .040
David Justice      1992 ATL N 571 106  .186  24  .226   1  .042
Curtis Granderson  2009 DET A 710 106  .149  24  .226   1  .042
Michael Bourn      2009 HOU N 678  80  .118  23  .287   1  .043
Carl Crawford      2010 TB  A 663 132  .199  37  .280   2  .054
Kenny Lofton       2002 2 tms 611  86  .141  18  .209   1  .056

With the exception of Rob Deer, who hit only eight ground-outs all year with a man on first and less than two outs, all of the people on the second list are a lot faster than those on the first.

Here are the players who were at risk of grounding into a double-play in the highest percentage of their plate-appearances:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Paul O'Neill       1995 NY  A 543 169  .311  41  .243  25  .610
Ted Williams       1958 BOS A 517 160  .309  40  .250  21  .525
Minnie Minoso      1953 CHI A 657 198  .301  46  .232  24  .522
Earl Torgeson      1954 PHI N 544 162  .298  29  .179  11  .379
Jim Rice           1983 BOS A 689 201  .292  51  .254  31  .608
Ted Williams       1956 BOS A 503 144  .286  31  .215  13  .419
Jim Rice           1984 BOS A 708 202  .285  58  .287  36  .621
Frank Thomas       1996 CHI A 649 183  .282  33  .180  25  .758
Stan Musial        1953 STL N 512 144  .281  35  .243  10  .286
Jim Rice           1985 BOS A 608 171  .281  45  .263  35  .778

Since major league baseball started keeping track of GIDPs, there have been eleven seasons of more than thirty. Jim Rice is responsible for three of them (including the top two) and all three show up on this list.

The players with the fewest GIDP opportunities:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Tim Foli           1980 PIT N 540  33  .061  10  .303   5  .500
Luis Castillo      2001 FLA N 612  52  .085  16  .308   6  .375
Juan Pierre        2006 CHI N 750  65  .087  17  .262   6  .353
Don Kessinger      1967 CHI N 628  55  .088  10  .182   3  .300
Fernando Vina      2001 STL N 690  63  .091  17  .270   7  .412
Bill North         1980 SF  N 500  46  .092  12  .261   4  .333
Matty Alou         1969 PIT N 746  70  .094  22  .314   5  .227
Willie Wilson      1979 KC  A 640  61  .095  10  .164   1  .100
Pete Rose          1971 CIN N 709  68  .096  20  .294   9  .450
Pete Rose          1978 CIN N 731  70  .096  19  .271   8  .421

All of these players hit leadoff except for Tim Foli. But he hit second behind Omar Moreno, a player whose low on-base percentage and 129 steal attempts kept first base unoccupied for Foli most of the season.

Here are the players who grounded out the most in these situations:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Roberto Clemente   1968 PIT N 557  81  .145  39  .481  13  .333
Rey Ordonez        1996 NY  N 530  96  .181  46  .479  12  .261
Billy Ripken       1988 BAL A 559  88  .157  41  .466  14  .341
Willie McGee       1993 SF  N 519  86  .166  40  .465  12  .300
Enos Cabell        1979 HOU N 630  94  .149  42  .447  18  .429
John Wathan        1982 KC  A 502 101  .201  45  .446  26  .578
Maury Wills        1960 LA  N 559  70  .125  31  .443  11  .355
Roberto Clemente   1963 PIT N 642 143  .223  63  .441  23  .365
Julio Franco       1987 CLE A 560 116  .207  51  .440  23  .451
Davey Lopes        1974 LA  N 613  66  .108  29  .439  10  .345

And the least:

Player             Year Team   PA GPA   Pct  GO   Pct GDP   Pct
Rob Deer           1986 MIL A 546 117  .214   8  .068   4  .500
Howard Johnson     1989 NY  N 655 127  .194  10  .079   4  .400
Jose Valentin      1996 MIL A 628 139  .221  11  .079   4  .364
Mark McGwire       1998 STL N 681 137  .201  11  .080   8  .727
Ellis Burks        1987 BOS A 606  72  .119   6  .083   1  .167
Jonny Gomes        2010 CIN N 571 132  .231  11  .083   4  .364
Chris Young        2011 ARI N 659 114  .173  10  .088   3  .300
Reggie Smith       1978 LA  N 531 100  .188   9  .090   4  .444
Rob Deer           1988 MIL A 556  98  .176   9  .092   4  .444
Rob Deer           1990 MIL A 511  87  .170   8  .092   0  .000

Of course, neither of these last two lists tell us much about the speed of the players, only about their tendencies to strike, ground or fly out. Fast players are often encouraged to make contact and hit the ball on the ground, so the first list contains a somewhat faster group of players than the second.

After writing the original piece, Dave Pugh was wondering how much the batter's handedness affected his GIDP rate. Here are the stats for right and left-handed hitters (and for switch-hitters, I determined the side they hit from in each at-bat) from 1952 to 2011:

R/L         PA     GPA   Pct      GO   Pct     GDP   Pct
Right  5348968 1011889  .189  251619  .249  117732  .468
Left   3570819  666946  .187  165904  .249   61322  .370

So right-handed batters hit into a lot more DPs than their lefty counterparts. I expected their rate to be higher, but not that much higher.

The seasonal data (in csv format) for all players from 1952 to 2011 with at least 200 plate appearances can be found here.

A Look at Triple-Crown Leaders

While working on my Retro-review of 1966, the subject naturally turned to triple crown winners. In researching Frank Robinson's great season, I looked at players who had led their leagues in home runs, RBIs and batting average at various points during the year. Before I get too far into this piece, however, I wanted to make it clear that I am not looking at these three metrics because of their overwhelming importance. I think that RBIs and batting average, in particular, are among the most over-rated offensive statistics, but there is no denying the popular interest in these kinds of things. I will also only be looking at the daily leaders since 1920, when RBIs became an official statistic and people starting noticing hitters who led their league in all three categories.

So... who was the first player to be the triple-crown leader for a day? Babe Ruth, on April 24, 1921. By the next day, Riggs Stephenson had topped his batting average by a point, ending Ruth's brief run. If you skip the very early days of the season and only start with the beginning of May, the first triple crown leader was the Giants' High Pockets Kelly on May 1, 1922. He held on for about a week and a short time later there was a new leader: Rogers Hornsby. He was at the top for a handful of days in May and June before taking over for good on July 6th, winning the first post-1920 triple crown in a runaway.

Since most of us know the players who won triple crowns, I thought I'd focus on the players who didn't. Here is a list of the players who have led in all three categories the latest in a season without winning a triple crown:

   First     Last   Player           Team   Passed By
1949- 8- 3  10- 1   Ted Williams     BOS A  George Kell (AVG)
1926- 5-28   9-25   Babe Ruth        NY  A  Heinie Manush (AVG)
1924- 7-15   9-20   Babe Ruth        NY  A  Goose Goslin (RBI)
1931- 7- 1   9-16   Chuck Klein      PHI N  Bill Terry (AVG)
1940- 9-14   9-14   Johnny Mize      STL N  Stan Hack (AVG)
1935- 9-13   9-13   Hank Greenberg   DET A  Jimmie Foxx (AVG)
1972- 8-27   9- 8   Dick Allen       CHI A  Rod Carew (AVG)
1953- 8-23   8-24   Al Rosen         CLE A  Mickey Vernon (AVG)
1992- 8-22   8-23   Gary Sheffield   SD  N  Fred McGriff (HR) and Darren Daulton (RBI)
1946- 5- 7   8-21   Ted Williams     BOS A  Mickey Vernon (AVG)
1957- 5-19   8-15   Hank Aaron       MIL N  Stan Musial (AVG)
1932- 8- 6   8- 7   Chuck Klein      PHI N  Don Hurst (RBI) and Lefty O'Doul (AVG)
1955- 7-26   7-29   Al Kaline        DET A  Ray Boone (RBI)
2005- 5- 2   7-22   Derrek Lee       CHI N  Carlos Lee (RBI)
1945- 7-15   7-17   Tommie Holmes    BOS N  Dixie Walker (RBI)
1970- 5- 1   7-17   Tony Perez       CIN N  Rico Carty (AVG)
1943- 7-15   7-15   Vern Stephens    STL A  Nick Etten (RBI)

October 2, 1949, was a bad day for Ted Williams. Not only did his team lose the day's game (and as a result the pennant) to the Yankees, but Williams went hitless in two at-bats while George Kell was going 2-3 in the Tigers' loss to the Indians to deny the Red Sox slugger what would have been his third triple-crown.

In 1926, Ruth lost his triple-crown on the last day of the season. That morning, he had a slightly higher average than runner-up Heinie Manush (.37247 to .37219). But the Tiger center-fielder collected six hits in his double-header that day while Ruth, resting up for the World Series, made only a token appearance, striking out in his only at-bat.

On September 15, 1924, Ruth seemingly had his triple-crown locked up, with a six-RBI lead over Goose Goslin in the only race left in doubt. But Ruth would drive in only one more run that year, while Goslin would add another sixteen. Officially, Ruth's lead was even more secure that day, since the official scorer had failed to report any of the runs either team had driven in during the Senator's game on July 24th. So while Goslin is officially credited with 129 RBIs, he actually had one in that game as well.

And here are a few early-season triple-crown leaders I didn't expect to see:

   First     Last   Player           Team   Passed By
1931- 5-26   5-29   Buzz Arlett      PHI N  Chuck Klein (HR)
1937- 5- 8   5-10   Gee Walker       DET A  Beau Bell (AVG)
1956- 5-23   6- 3   Dale Long        PIT N  Ken Boyer (RBI)
1958- 5- 3   5- 3   Bob Cerv         KC  A  Sherm Lollar (AVG)
1972- 5- 1   5- 5   Bobby Darwin     MIN A  Steve Braun (AVG)
1991- 5-11   5-12   Dave Henderson   OAK A  Wally Joyner (AVG)

Buzz Arlett, a minor league legend who had won 29 games for Oakland in the PCL as a 21-year-old pitcher and later hit 54 homers with Baltimore of the International League, played only one season in the major leagues. He took the league by storm in the early going as a 32-year-old rookie, before a series of injuries slowed him down.

Dale Long was in the middle of hitting home runs in eight straight games when he took over the triple-crown leadership briefly in 1956.

If you came up with a list of all the players with 430 or more hits in a two-year span, Beau Bell would almost certainly be the most obscure player on it. He had his big years in 1936 and 1937, helped by his home park, the always accomodating (at least to hitters) Sportsman's Park. His home/road splits those two years:

        G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO HBP  SH  SB  CS   AVG   OBP   SLG
Home  155 628 112 249  47   8  14 125  56  53   0   2   5   0  .396  .446  .564
Away  156 630  70 181  44  12  11 115  57  56   2   7   1   3  .287  .348  .448

With the greater number of teams in each league, it is much harder to lead the league in homers, RBIs and batting average these days. As a result, there hasn't been a triple crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. But what if the leagues had never expanded? How many more triple crown winners would we have seen? Back in 1960, one of the reasons the major leagues expanded was because of the threat of a third major league. Well, what if all of these new teams had been added to a new league instead? What if the NL and AL had continued with their eight original franchises, while this new entity, let's call it the Continental League, started out with two teams in 1961 and is now practically bursting with 14 teams (much like the current American League)?

So would we have had any additional triple crown winners in this alternate universe? Yes. Two (and both of them Dodgers): Mike Piazza in 1998 and Matt Kemp in 2011. I was a little surprised that the Continental League never produced a triple-crown winner, since there were only two and then four teams for their first eight years, but the closest anyone came was Frank Howard who was in the lead as late as September 27, 1965, with the rather modest line of 21 homers, 81 RBIs and a .291 batting average. But the Astros' Jim Wynn hit his 22nd home run the next day, edging out Howard and the Continental League hasn't come close to a pretend triple-crown winner since.

Incomplete Games By Position

In doing research on the Deadball Era, I became interested in what teams did the most and least in-game substitutions. So I decided to take a look at the teams with the highest and lowest percentage of complete games by position. As in their pitching counterparts, a player can get credit for a complete game at a position if he is pinch-hit or ran for in the last half-inning of a game.

First of all, I figured it might be interesting in looking at the teams with the highest percentage of complete games at all positions. Here is the leaderboard from 1916 to 2011:

Year Team    CG   IG   Pct    W   L
1918 BRO N 1071   63  .944   57  69
1920 CHI A 1303   83  .940   96  58
1918 PHI A 1097   73  .938   52  76
1918 BOS N 1045   71  .936   53  71
1941 CHI A 1308   96  .932   77  77
1920 PIT N 1299   96  .931   79  75
1949 BOS A 1299   96  .931   96  58
1939 NY  A 1272   96  .930  106  45
1918 CIN N 1078   83  .929   68  60
1919 CIN N 1170   90  .929   96  44

Of course, including pitchers in the data above pretty much eliminates any modern team. So here is the same list with pitchers removed:

Year Team    CG   IG   Pct    W   L
1949 BOS A 1215   25  .980   96  58
1918 BRO N  986   22  .978   57  69
1918 PHI A 1017   23  .978   52  76
1940 WAS A 1205   27  .978   64  90
1934 STL A 1202   30  .976   67  85
1920 STL A 1201   31  .975   76  77
1939 NY  A 1185   31  .975  106  45
1941 WAS A 1216   32  .974   70  84
1920 PIT N 1207   33  .973   96  58
1940 NY  A 1206   34  .973   88  66
1943 CHI A 1206   34  .973   82  72

Again, no modern teams make the list. I'm not sure why, but I had expected the lists above to be dominated by excellent teams. I guess I figured that teams who did a lot of in-game substitution had starters with obvious flaws (good hitters who were poor fielders, hitters who couldn't hit with a platoon disadvantage, and so on). But while there are great teams on the lists above (in particular, the 1939 Yankees and the 1919 Reds), there are also a fair number of mediocre teams, teams that perhaps failed to substitute more often because they selcom had any better options on the bench.

Here are the teams (again, with pitchers removed), who had the fewest complete games from 1916 to 2011:

Year Team    CG   IG   Pct    W   L
1978 OAK A  898  398  .693   69  93
1959 STL N  860  372  .698   71  83
1995 MIL A  809  343  .702   65  79
1958 BAL A  866  366  .703   74  79
1977 BAL A  909  379  .706   97  64
1999 MON N  923  373  .712   68  94
1955 BAL A  892  356  .715   57  97
1983 PHI N  935  369  .717   90  72
1986 SD  N  931  365  .718   74  88
1991 TEX A  930  366  .718   85  77

I also expected to see this list dominated by a few managers who couldn't sit still on the bench, but the only manager to direct more than one of the teams on the list above was Paul Richards, who was at the helm of the both the 1955 and 1957 Orioles.

Here are the teams with the highest and lowest percentage of complete games at each position, along with the player who started most often.

Pitcher:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1918 BOS A  105   21  .833  Carl Mays (30/3)
1918 BOS N   96   28  .774  Art Nehf (28/3)
1917 BOS A  115   42  .732  Babe Ruth (35/3)
1920 CHI A  109   45  .708  Red Faber (28/11)
1918 CHI N   92   39  .702  Hippo Vaughn (27/6)

Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
2007 WAS N    0  162  .000  Matt Chico (0/31)
2007 TEX A    0  162  .000  Kevin Millwood (0/31)
2007 FLA N    0  162  .000  Dontrelle Willis (0/35)
2011 SD  N    0  162  .000  Mat Latos (0/31) and Tim Stauffer (0/31)
2007 SD  N    1  162  .006  Jake Peavy (0/34) and Greg Maddux (1/33)
Catcher:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
2002 TB  A  160    1  .994  Toby Hall (82/1)
1970 CLE A  160    2  .988  Ray Fosse (118/2)
1973 BOS A  160    2  .988  Carlton Fisk (129/2)
2010 MIL N  160    2  .988  Jonathan Lucroy (74/0)
2011 COL N  160    2  .988  Chris Iannetta (103/2)

Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1975 OAK A   80   82  .494  Gene Tenace (61/53)
2006 SD  N   80   82  .494  Mike Piazza (29/70)
1965 CHI A   81   81  .500  John Romano (42/65)
1941 BOS N   79   77  .506  Ray Berres (47/64)
1977 CAL A   83   79  .512  Terry Humphrey (57/54)

Ray Fosse, the mainstay of the 1970 Indians, was also a backup catcher on the 1975 Athletics, finishing only 17 of this 41 starts.

Actually, once you get past the battery, all of the other positions have had several instances where there were no game substitutions, ranging from a high of 44 at first base to 14 at right-field. So from here on out, I will focus on the positions with the fewest complete games.

First Baseman:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1983 CHI A   62  100  .383  Tom Paciorek  (23/43)
1977 PHI N   75   87  .463  Richie Hebner (57/43)
2003 PIT N   77   85  .475  Randall Simon (37/39)
1972 MIN A   75   79  .487  Harmon Killebrew (52/76)
1965 CAL A   79   83  .488  Joe Adcock (32/62)
1999 ATL N   79   83  .488  Ryan Klesco (23/43)

Mike Squires played 122 games at first for the 1983 White Sox, starting only 27 of them. That season, he played in 143 games while coming to the plate only 180 times.

Second Baseman:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
2008 LA  N   75   87  .463  Jeff Kent (50/64)
1999 PHI N   76   86  .469  Marlon Anderson (57/64)
1973 OAK A   81   81  .500  Dick Green (55/67)
1966 CHI A   85   78  .521  Al Weis (24/21)
2009 STL N   85   77  .525  Skip Schumaker (61/63)
Third Baseman:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1974 CIN N   62  101  .380  Dan Driessen (36/86)
1969 MIN A   68   94  .420  Harmon Killebrew (38/58)
1965 LA  N   74   88  .457  Jim Gilliam (25/52)
1984 TOR A   79   84  .485  Rance Mulliniks (44/57)
2007 PHI N   80   82  .494  Greg Dobbs (14/43)

Killebrew also made the list as a first baseman.

Shortstop:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1992 ATL N   75   87  .463  Rafael Belliard (53/37)
1980 TEX A   77   86  .472  Bud Harrelson (34/43)
1954 NY  A   74   81  .477  Phil Rizzuto (50/47)
1979 SEA A   83   79  .512  Mario Mendoza (70/62)
1990 TEX A   83   79  .512  Jeff Huson (47/42)
Left Fielder:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
2007 PHI N   58  104  .358  Pat Burrell (46/92)
1994 ATL N   42   72  .368  Ryan Klesko (15/56)
1984 CHI N   61  100  .379  Gary Matthews (51/93)
2008 PHI N   62  100  .383  Pat Burrell  (58/96)
1998 CHI N   64   99  .393  Henry Rodriguez (41/71)

And Ryan Klesko also appeared on the first base list, while Burrell is the only player to appear on a single list twice.

Center Fielder:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1980 CIN N   73   90  .448  Dave Collins (38/81)
1962 MIN A   83   80  .509  Lenny Green (67/80)
1974 ATL N   87   76  .534  Dusty Baker (31/68)
1959 STL N   85   69  .552  Gino Cimoli (35/55)
1963 MIN A   89   72  .553  Jimmie Hall (40/50)
Right Fielder:
Year Team    CG   IG   Pct  Player(s) (CG/IG)
1988 MIN A   71   91  .438  Randy Bush (33/62)
1978 BAL A   72   89  .447  Ken Singleton (54/81)
1982 CAL A   77   85  .475  Reggie Jackson (59/78)
2011 DET A   78   84  .481  Magglio Ordonez (24/44)
1987 STL N   79   83  .488  Curt Ford (27/23)
2003 STL N   79   83  .488  J.D. Drew (27/20)

So what players have had the most incomplete games in a season? Well, not too surprisingly, you've seen some of these before:

Player             Year  CG  IG  Position(s)
Pat Burrell        2008  58  96  LF
Dave Collins       1980  48  93  CF(81), LF(10), RF(2)
Gary Matthews      1984  51  93  LF
Pat Burrell        2007  46  92  LF
Dan Driessen       1974  39  88  1B(86), RF(2)
Mickey Mantle      1964  48  84  CF(64), LF(12), RF(8)
Harmon Killebrew   1969  78  84  3B(58), 1B(26)
Ken Singleton      1978  55  84  RF(81), LF(2)
Frank Howard       1967  59  83  LF(82), 1B(1)
Greg Luzinski      1976  61  83  LF

And finally, here are the players who completed the fewest of their starts (50 starts minimum):

Player             Year  CG  IG   Pct  Position(s)
Stan Musial        1963  16  78  .170  LF
Greg Walker        1983  11  46  .193  1B
Ryan Klesko        1994  16  56  .222  LF,1B
Al Martin          2001  16  55  .225  LF
Mike Diaz          1986  12  40  .231  LF,1B,RF
Dane Iorg          1981  13  43  .232  LF,RF,1B
Dan Peltier        1993  13  38  .255  RF,LF
Pat Burrell        2011  13  37  .260  LF
Johnny Mize        1951  24  67  .264  1B
Brant Alyea        1970  20  55  .267  LF,RF

Defensive Juggling

Recently, Rob Neyer pointed out a game in which Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon made six defensive moves at one time (including five players changing positions) and wondered if this constituted a historical amount of maneuvering.

Well, not really. There have been several cases since the 1948 where a team replaced or repositioned it's entire team prior to an inning or play. Here they are, along with the number of players who moved from one position to another (rather than entered the game at that point):

Team  Date         Inn Moved
CHI A 1959- 9-27     6     0
CLE A 1971- 6-20(2)  8     4
PHI N 1977- 9-18     6     2
CHI A 1983- 9-15     7     0
NY  A 1993- 9-15     8     2
NY  N 1997- 9- 8     8     1
BOS A 2002- 9-22     9     2
ANA A 2004- 9-11     9     0
NY  A 2010- 9-23     8     2
NY  A 2011- 9-24     9     2

Not too surprisingly, all but one of these occurred during September. And that game was a contest that was suspended in June and resumed (with all those defensive changes) near the end of September.

So what teams moved the greatest number of defenders to new positions at one time? Well, five is the most I found. Here they are (not including Maddon's Rays), along with the total number of subs on the play:

Team  Date         Inn Total
BAL A 1958- 6-14     8     7
LA  N 1960- 6- 3    10     6
ATL N 1966- 4-21     8     6
BAL A 1973- 9-23     6     6
CAL A 1976- 7- 9     8     6
TEX A 2000- 9- 6     7     7
NY  A 2004- 7- 1    13     6
STL N 2006- 7-17     9     8
NY  N 2011- 8- 7     8     6

Two things of note. First, in that 1973 Orioles game, Earl Weaver had moved four defenders around two innings earlier. And second, the 2000 Rangers game was the one in which Scott Sheldon entered in the 4th inning with his team down 10-1 and proceeded to play all nine positions.

So which team had the most total defensive shifts and substitutions in a game? Well here are the teams that shifted positions the most time, along with the total number of substitutions:

Team  Date          Moved Total
TOR A 1988- 5- 2       37    41
CLE A 1959- 6-28(1)    34    35
CLE A 1959- 6-27       32    34
TOR A 1988- 5- 3       26    29
STL N 1988- 5-14       24    35
CHI N 1977- 7-28       23    33
DET A 2000-10- 1       19    29
MIN A 1968- 9-22       18    22

It's probably a good thing that Cleveland manager Joe Gordon gave up on his Woody Held/Granny Hamner experiment after two games. And the last two games on this list also featured players (Shane Halter and Cesar Tovar) who made the grand tour of all nine positions during the game.

When Winning Streaks Collide

The New York Yankees and Washington Nationals with play each other tomorrow night, and barring a tie, a six-game winning streak will end. This got me to wondering how often teams with winning streaks that long have played each other.

It was rarer that I thought.

The last matchup between two teams with streaks of six games or longer occurred on September 19, 2008, when the hot Phillies (winners of seven straight) met the even hotter Marlins (winners of eight straight). The Marlins pounded Brett Myers for a career-high ten runs and held on to win 14-8. The Phillies returned the favor the next night, ending the Marlins streak in a low-scoring but pitcher-filled 3-2 contest.

You have to go back to 1999 to find the next occurrence of two winning streaks of at least six games colliding. Here are the previous seven, along with the scores of the first two games of their series:

Date          Visiting     Home          Score(s)
1999- 7-27    TEX A ( 8)   BAL A ( 6)    8- 6 TEX   8- 6 BAL
1992- 6-18    CIN N ( 6)   ATL N ( 7)    7- 5 CIN   3- 2 ATL
1992- 4-13    NY  A ( 6)   TOR A ( 7)    5- 2 NY   12- 6 TOR
1985- 5- 1    TOR A ( 6)   CAL A ( 6)    6- 3 TOR   3- 2 CAL
1977- 8-10    CAL A ( 6)   BOS A (10)   11-10 BOS   7- 3 CAL
1976- 5- 7    LA  N (11)   PHI N ( 6)   10- 8 LA    6- 4 PHI
1975- 6-30    OAK A ( 8)   CHI A ( 8)    6- 1 CHI  10- 1 OAK
1971- 9-28(1) BOS A ( 6)   BAL A ( 8)   10- 2 BAL   5- 4 BAL

The winning streaks of the Yankees and Blue Jays in 1992 both included the last game of their previous year. And the Blue Jays win in that 1985 contest featured the first win as a starter in Jimmy Key's major league career.

So you have to go back to 1971 to find a matchup that did not result in a split of the series' first two games.

Here are the only three times that teams met with winning streaks of at least nine games each:

Date          Visiting     Home          Score(s)
1901- 9- 7    PIT N (10)   PHI N ( 9)    4- 1 PHI  11- 5 PIT 
1884- 9-13    STL U (12)   WAS U (11)   12- 1 STL   9- 5 STL
1875- 5-18    BOS n (16)   HAR n (15)   10- 5 BOS  13- 2 BOS

Both Boston and Hartford were undefeated when they met in 1875. The last loss for the Boston Red Stockings had come at the hands of Hartford in their last game of 1874 and Hartford's streak included three games from the previous year.

I would probably be remiss if I didn't at least take a brief look at the flip side of the coin: teams who met following skids of at least six games. It turns out that this has been more common lately, with four occurrences in the last four years. Here are the last time teams with losing streaks of at least six, seven, eight, nine and ten games met:

 # Date          Visiting     Home          Score(s)
 6 2011- 5-16    MIN A ( 8)   SEA A ( 6)    5- 2 SEA   2- 1 MIN
 7 2009- 9-25    BAL A ( 7)   CLE A (11)    4- 2 CLE   9- 8 CLE
 8 1919- 9-19    STL A ( 8)   PHI A ( 8)    3- 2 PHI   4- 0 STL
 9 1890- 9- 4    CLE N ( 9)   PIT N (23)    6- 2 PIT - a one-game series
10 1875- 5-26    NH  n (12)   ATL n (10)   14- 4 ATL - a one-game series

The Cleveland Spiders' loss to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys that day was part of a 2-18 skid. Which I suppose doesn't look so bad compared to their opponent's season ending 7-71 mark. Cleveland went on a tear right after their bad spell ended, winning ten straight. It was not as impressive as it sounds, however, since it included five games with Pittsburgh.

The Atlantics win against New Haven would be their last of the season, as they finished with 31 straight losses. New Haven would finally win the first game in their franchise's history when they defeated Washington on the last day of May, raising their season mark to 1-15.

On August 28, 1895, the St. Louis Browns, losers of seven straight, arrived in Washington to play the Nationals, winless in their previous six decisions. One of those teams would at last win a game. Well, not so fast. They battled to a 5-5 tie on the 28th and then came back the next day only to have that game end in a 9-9 deadlock.

For the Nationals, it marked their fourth tie in their last five games, the only time in major league history that a team has done that. The 1890 Rochester Hop Bitters came the next closest, tying four times in a seven-game span starting on September 24th. The shortest span since 1900 is eighteen games by the 1911 St. Louis Cardinals that began on September 14th.

But I digress.

Low-Hit Clusters

By now, everyone has probably heard about R. A. Dickey's back-to-back one-hitters and how he is the first pitcher since Dave Steib in 1988 to throw two consecutive low-hit games (no-hitters or one-hitters). But has anyone ever thrown three consecutive low-hit games? Well, no. But one pitcher came really close. Here are the fewest number of consecutive starts that includes three low-hit games from 1916 to 2011:

GS  Name                    First          Last
 4  Dave Stieb            9-24-1988      4-10-1989
 8  Pete Alexander        6- 5-1915      7- 5-1915
12  Sam McDowell          8-31-1965(2)   5- 1-1966
13  Phil Douglas          8-27-1920(2)   6- 4-1921    *
13  Ewell Blackwell       9- 2-1950      5-15-1951
14  Bob Feller            9-26-1941(2)   4-30-1946    **
14  Jim Tobin             4-23-1944(1)   6-22-1944(2) ***

* - includes a 5-inning one-hitter
** - includes one no-hitter
*** - includes two no-hitters, one a 5-inning game

Okay, I cheated with Pete Alexander. Knowing that he pitched four one-hitters in 1915, I checked his dailies by hand. And there may be other pitchers from 1915 and earlier who will be added to this list as the data becomes available (but not Rube Marquard, who pitched back-to-back one-hitters in 1911, because I checked his dailies by hand as well).

And if you wanted to be picky, you could argue that Stieb also belongs in second place with five starts, third place with six starts, and so on.

So who threw four low-hit games in the shortest span of starts? Here's that list:

GS  Name                    First          Last
21  Bob Feller            7-31-1946      5- 2-1947
23  Dave Stieb            5-31-1988      4-10-1989
29  Dave Stieb            9-24-1988      8-26-1989
30  Pete Alexander        6- 5-1915      9-29-1915
31  Bob Feller            9-19-1945      8- 8-1946(1) *
36  Bob Feller            9-26-1941(2)   7-31-1946    *
39  Nolan Ryan            4-23-1989      6-11-1990    *

* - includes one no-hitter

I had a feeling that Nolan Ryan would eventually make an appearance on one of these lists.

And note that Feller's top entry on this list does not overlap at all with his entry on the earlier list.

Since, as everyone knows, the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, here are the shortest span of starts containing five, six, seven and more low-hit games.

LHG   GS  Name                    First          Last
  5   38  Bob Feller            9-26-1941(2)   8- 8-1946(1) *
  6   49  Bob Feller            9-19-1945      5- 2-1947    *
  7   56  Bob Feller            9-26-1941(2)   5- 2-1947    *
  8  113  Bob Feller            7-12-1940      5- 2-1947    *
  9  132  Bob Feller            4-16-1940      5- 2-1947    **
 10  153  Bob Feller            6-27-1939      5- 2-1947    **
 11  160  Bob Feller            5-25-1939      5- 2-1947    **

* - includes one no-hitter
** - includes two no-hitters

For nearly an eight-year period, from early 1939 to early 1947, Bob Feller averaged a low-hit game about every fifteen starts.

Here is the same list, if you exclude Feller:

LHG   GS  Name                    First          Last
  5   48  Dave Stieb            5-31-1988      8-26-1989
  6   81  Dave Stieb            5-31-1988      9- 2-1990    *
  7  113  Nolan Ryan            7- 9-1972      6- 1-1975    **
  8  171  Nolan Ryan            7- 9-1972      4-15-1977    **
  9  211  Nolan Ryan            7- 9-1972      5- 5-1978    **
 10  256  Nolan Ryan            7- 9-1972      7-13-1979    **
 11  319  Nolan Ryan            4-18-1970      7-13-1979    **

* - includes one no-hitter
** - includes four no-hitters

So it took Nolan Ryan almost exactly twice as many starts as Feller to equal his eleven low-hit games.

And also note that, like Feller, there is no overlap between the entries on this list and his entry on the one above.

Finally, Cy Morong was wondering what starting pitcher had allowed the fewest hits over five consecutive starts. Here are the lowest from 1916 to 2011:

Name                 First         Last         IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   W   L
Steve Barber       9-23-1966(1)  4-30-1967(1)   29.1   5   3   2  28  20   2   1
Joe Decker         6- 6-1975     8-25-1975       6.2   5  16  16  25   1   0   2
Steve Barber       7-26-1966     4-23-1967(1)   18     7   5   4  13  16   1   1
Frank MacCormack   7-22-1976(1)  5- 3-1977       8.2   7   9   9  18   4   0   1

Those five starts were the last five of Frank MacCormack's career.

Wait a second. I went back and looked at Cy's question a little more carefully. He mentioned that Johnny Vander Meer had allowed only 17 hits over SIX consecutive starts (spanning 55 innings) and wanted to know if anyone had ever allowed fewer. So increasing the number of starts from five to six and requiring them all to be complete games, not too surprisingly, gives us a entirely different list:

Name                 First         Last         IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   W   L
Ferdie Schupp      9- 7-1916     9-27-1916(2)   54    17   3   2  10  24   6   0
Johnny Vander Meer 5-27-1938     6-19-1938      55    17   4   4  24  35   6   0  *
Nolan Ryan         9-11-1974     4- 7-1975      54    18  12  11  32  64   5   1  **
Ewell Blackwell    8-28-1950     9-20-1950(1)   53    20  10   7  25  35   4   2
Bob Turley         4-15-1955     5-11-1955      54    20  11  11  36  57   5   1
Nolan Ryan         9-15-1974     4-11-1975      53    20  10   9  32  59   5   1  **

* - includes back-to-back no-hitters
** - includes one no-hitter

Ferdie Schupp's performance helped the Giants win a major league record 26 consecutive decisions that month. Bob Turley's streak occurred in his first six starts for the New York Yankees following an off-season seventeen-player trade with the Orioles.

Consecutive Winless Starts

So far this season, Cliff Lee has made eleven starts without a victory. Through the first ten of them (and I picked ten because it's a nice round number and because he had ten winless starts when I first began working on this), he had an 0-3 record despite a relatively low (3.18) ERA. I thought this might be an especially low ERA for pitchers going through a winless span that long and so I went looking for lower ones. And found them. Without including overlapping streaks, here are the lowest ERAs from 1916 to 2011 in streaks that long:

   Start          End        Player           CG  IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   W   L   ERA
 5-27-1920     7-22-1920     Harry Harper      5  68.1  71  30  16  21  20   0   8  2.11
 7-26-1916     9- 7-1916(1)  George Mogridge   5  86    80  36  21  18  34   0   9  2.20
 5-20-1917(1)  7-28-1917(2)  Rube Schauer      6  81    74  46  21  29  23   0   9  2.33
 5-12-1978     7-15-1978     Craig Swan        1  68.1  58  18  18  20  45   0   3  2.37
 9-18-1974     9-15-1976     Al Downing        0  60    47  20  16  23  32   0   1  2.40
 8- 3-1971     9-13-1971(2)  Tom Murphy        3  74.1  51  23  20  20  29   0   4  2.42
 8-10-1988     9-24-1988     Rick Mahler       2  76.2  64  30  21  14  40   0   6  2.47
 9- 1-1917     7-15-1918     Dave Danforth     4  67.2  69  31  19  17  22   0   8  2.53
 7-29-2009    10- 3-2009     Clayton Kershaw   0  56.1  40  17  16  27  71   0   3  2.56
 4-12-1966     4-14-1967     Whitey Ford       0  59    60  29  17  13  27   0   5  2.59

Following his shutout on September 12, 1974, Al Downing would not win another start in his major league career, going 0-1 in his last twelve starts. And after pitching a shutout in his first start of 1978, Craig Swan went fifteen starts before his next win, but that started him on a seven-game winning-streak. He finished the year with a 9-6 mark and a league-leading 2.43 ERA.

Here are the longest streaks of winless starts from 1916 to 2011, along with their record in relief.

   Start          End        Player           GS  CG  IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   W   L   ERA  R-W R-L
 9- 6-1978     8- 8-1979     Matt Keough      28   5 167   213 121 101  76  95   0  18  5.44    0   0
 6-18-2008     5-25-2011     Jo-Jo Reyes      28   0 135   167 103  88  57  84   0  13  5.87    0   0
 4-28-1916     9-28-1916     Jack Nabors      27  10 166.1 151  87  64  72  56   0  19  3.46    0   0
 9-24-1960     9-23-1962     Bob Miller       27   0 135.1 158 104  88  64  83   0  15  5.85    1   2
 4-14-1992     5- 1-1994     Anthony Young    27   1 153   183 100  85  47 105   0  17  5.00    2  15
 6-14-1922     7-27-1923     Joe Oeschger     26   7 150.2 218 132 110  57  27   0  22  6.57    4   3
 4-21-1953     8-10-1954     Charlie Bishop   24   1 132.2 168 103 101  72  50   0  18  6.85    2   1
 8- 2-1976     9-23-1978     John D'Acquisto  24   0  90.2  95  66  56  80  77   0   6  5.56    4   2
 5-25-1991     6- 2-1993     Matt Young       24   1 108.2 133  91  84  67  76   0  13  6.96    0   1

Matt Young's streak extended until the end of his career, although he did win one final game, in relief, after his last major league start.

Finally, I thought it might be interest to look at the highest and lowest totals over ten starts during those years. First, the "highest" list:

CAT    Start          End        Name               CG SHO  IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   W   L   ERA
 CG  6- 6-1985     7-24-1985     Bert Blyleven      10   1  88    60  23  22  22  71   6   4  2.25  occurred 757 times
SHO  6- 6-1968     7-25-1968     Bob Gibson         10   8  90    51   2   2  12  75  10   0  0.20
 IP  7-20-1918     4-23-1919     Walter Johnson     10   3 114.1  81  19  13  23  69   9   1  1.02  also had 114.1 IP from 7-25-1918 to 4-28-1919
  H  6-24-1925     8- 3-1925     Howard Ehmke        9   0  82.1 121  67  46  27  25   1   9  5.03  occurred three times
  R  6-29-1940     4-29-1941     Chubby Dean         3   0  56.2 104  74  68  28  10   1   7 10.80  occurred twice
 ER  7- 9-1937     9-20-1937(2)  Jim Walkup          1   0  65.1 112  74  72  40  17   2   6  9.92
 BB  7- 4-1951(2)  8-28-1951     Tommy Byrne         4   1  81    65  37  33  77  38   2   5  3.67
 SO  8-19-1999     4- 9-2000     Pedro Martinez      2   1  76.1  42  11   9  11 130   8   1  1.06
  W  7-31-2011     9-18-2011     Justin Verlander    0   0  71    46  19  17  22  75  10   0  2.15  occurred 125 times
  L  9-26-1987     5-14-1988     Mike Boddicker      2   0  59.2  67  47  34  23  42   0  10  5.13  occurred 69 times
ERA  4-10-1990     5-29-1992     Kevin Ritz          0   0  18.1  32  35  32  34   7   0   8 15.71

If this occurred multiple times, the number is noted and the last is displayed.

And now, the "lowest" list, eliminating complete games, shutouts, wins and losses (where zero is pretty commonplace).

CAT    Start          End        Name               CG SHO  IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO   W   L   ERA
 IP  4-10-1990     5-29-1992     Kevin Ritz          0   0  18.1  32  35  32  34   7   0   8 15.71
  H  7-26-1966     5-14-1967     Steve Barber        1   1  38    19  17  13  41  27   2   4  3.08
  R  6- 6-1968     7-25-1968     Bob Gibson         10   8  90    51   2   2  12  75  10   0  0.20
 ER  6- 6-1968     7-25-1968     Bob Gibson         10   8  90    51   2   2  12  75  10   0  0.20
 BB  8- 7-1962     9-20-1962     Bill Fischer        3   0  64    80  34  30   0  17   2   7  4.22  also had no walks from 8-12 to 9-26
 SO  5-30-1928(2)  9-10-1928(1)  Les Sweetland       0   0  42.2  60  49  41  28   2   1   6  8.65  occurred three times
ERA  6- 6-1968     7-25-1968     Bob Gibson         10   8  90    51   2   2  12  75  10   0  0.20

A Tour of Team Batting Logs

In the last Retrosheet release, we added team batting, fielding and pitching logs. As an introduction to this new resource, I thought it might be interesting to look at some batting logs. And just so I don't have to keep saying it over and over again: whenever I mention that something is the most, longest, fewest or shortest, I mean that it holds true during the Retrosheet Era, which now extends from 1916 to 2011.

Okay, let's start with the batting log for the 1938 New York Yankees. What is unusual about this? Well, everyone knows that the 1932 Yankees and the 2000 Cincinnati Reds each went an entire season without being shut out once. And some even know that the 1979 Milwaukee Brewers would have joined the club had Jerry Koosman not shut them out in their season finale, or that the last-place 2001 Texas Rangers weren't blanked until their second-to-last game.

But the 1938 Yankees hold the distinction of going the longest without being held to fewer than two runs. And no one else is even close. From June 23rd to September 18th, they went 86 games without being held under two runs. Here are the streaks over 60, along with the starting pitchers who held them under on either side (and the runs allowed):

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 86 1938 NY  A  6-23     9-18(2)  Johnny Allen (1)     Lefty Mills (1)
 66 1999 TEX A  4-21     7- 3     David Cone (0)       John Halama (0)
 65 1931 PHI A  4-22     7- 5     Herb Pennock (1)     Bump Hadley (0)
 63 1937 NY  A  5-21     7-27     Thornton Lee (1)     Elden Auker (1)
 63 1994 CLE A  5-21     7-30     Pat Hentgen (0)      Jimmy Key (1)
 62 1933 NY  A  5-14(2)  7-19     Ed Wells (1)         Mel Harder (1)
 61 1935 DET A  6-11(2)  8-15     Lefty Grove (1)      Bump Hadley (1)
 61 1987 DET A  5-12     7-21     Mike Witt (1)        Dennis Lamp (1)

And here are the longest teams went scoring at least three, four, five - well, you get the idea:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 3  48 1994 CLE A  5-21     7-15       41 1930 PHI A  6-27(2)  8- 5
 4  28 1927 DET A  6-18     7-13(2)    27 1930 PHI A  7- 2(2)  7-28
 5  18 1950 BOS A  8-12     8-30       17 1934 PHI N  7- 2     7-18
 6  15 1929 NY  N  6-11     6-23       14 1936 DET A  6-21     7- 9
 7  11 1936 DET A  6-24     7- 9       11 1938 NY  A  6-23     7- 4(1)
 8   9 1930 PHI A  7-10     7-19        8 2001 CLE A  4-29     5- 8    * - happened 4 times, this is the last
 9   9 1930 PHI A  7-10     7-19        6 1930 CHI N  6- 1     6- 7    * - happened 2 times, this is the last
10   6 1929 NY  N  6-19(1)  6-22(2)     5 2006 ATL N  7-14     7-18    * - happened 5 times, this is the last

So what about the flip side? What teams went the longest without scoring more than one, two, three, ... runs in a game?

<=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 1   9 1963 HOU N  6-18     6-25        7 1978 OAK A  9-12     9-17    * - happened 3 times, this is the last
 2  11 1947 WAS A  5-11(1)  5-19       11 1978 STL N  5-17     5-29(1) * - happened 3 times, these are the last two
 3  19 1942 CLE A  8- 9(1)  8-26       17 1969 CAL A  5- 9     5-27    * - happened 2 times, this is the last
 4  26 1931 BOS N  8-13(1)  9- 4       26 1969 CAL A  4-29     5-27
 5  40 1971 PHI N  4-24     6- 8       40 1979 NY  N  8-17     9-25(2)
 6  63 1931 BOS N  7-12(1)  9-12       58 1918 BRO N  5-18     7-24
 7  88 1931 BOS N  6-28(2)  9-27(1)    86 1967 NY  A  5- 8     8- 5
 8 148 1942 PHI N  4-14     9-25(1)   118 1917 PIT N  5-17     9-19(2)

Four teams in this period went an entire season without scoring ten or more runs in a game: the 1942 Phillies, 1964 Colt .45s, the 1982 Astros, and the 1988 Padres. The Colt .45s/Astros had one stretch of 411 games from July 11, 1962 to April 20, 1965 in which they managed to hit double-digits in runs scored only once, although that one game is pretty well-known.

So much for runs scored.1

Here are the teams with the longest streaks of getting ten or more hits in a game:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 18 1922 STL A  8- 9     8-26   
 18 1925 CLE A  7- 2     7-16   
 15 1929 NY  N  6-11     6-23   
 15 1933 WAS A  6- 8(2)  6-25(2)
 15 1936 DET A  6-20     7- 9   
 15 1937 STL A  7-15     7-27   
 15 2009 FLA N  8- 4     8-19   

Here are the longest streaks of getting at least nine, eight, seven, six and five hits in a game:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 9  33 1933 WAS A  5-25     6-29
 8  33 1922 STL N  8-13     9-19       33 1933 WAS A  5-25     6-29
 7  71 1930 NY  N  7- 5     9-14(1)
 6  86 1923 CLE A  6-20     9-27
 5 121 1996 NY  N  5-19(2)  9-29   

The streak by the 1933 Senators began the day after they were held to one hit by Tommy Bridges (the one hit being an eighth-inning home run by Joe Kuhel). It was Bridges' third one-hitter in a span of nineteen starts dating back to 1932 and would be the last one of his major league career.

The streaks by the 1922 Browns and Cardinals overlapped by two weeks.

And admit it - you didn't expect to see the 1996 Mets on this list.

Several teams have gone a complete season without being held to fewer than four hits. The last one was the 2000 Texas Rangers. When five different Seattle Mariners pitchers held the Rangers to only two hits on October 6, 2001, it broke a streak of 352 consecutive games by the team with at least four hits, or ever since Brian Moehler held them to three singles on August 30, 1999.

And I realize I'm beating this topic to death by now, but here are the longest in which a team was held to two hits or less, three hits or less, and on on:

<=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 2   3 1969 CAL A  6- 7     6- 8(2)
 3   4 2003 DET A  4- 2     4- 5        4 2010 WAS N  9-27    10- 1
 4   5 2004 NY  N  9- 3     9- 8        5 2003 DET A  3-31     4- 5    * - happened 6 times, these are the last two
 5   8 1986 SEA A  4-16     4-24
 6  11 1968 HOU N  6- 5     6-16(2)
 7  16 1972 NY  N  7- 2     7-20
 8  22 1968 NY  A  4-10     5- 5(1)
 9  34 1972 NY  N  6-16     7-23

The 2003 Tigers started the season by getting a total of sixteen hits in their first five games. At that point the team had a .108 batting average. They had also been held to two hits in the last game of 2002.

Four days after the streak ended, the 1986 Seattle Mariners were held to three hits by Roger Clemens, but that's not what people remember about that game. Most people remember his record-setting twenty strikeouts.

And the 1968 Yankees' streak hits twenty-seven if you include the last five games of 1967.

Moving on. Here are the most consecutive games with at least one double:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 75 1996 CLE A  5-30     8-19   
 51 1999 ATL N  7- 1     8-25   
 45 2001 TB  A  8-12    10- 7   
 44 2008 PIT N  6-24     8-13   
 43 1924 DET A  7-26     9- 5(2)

The 1996 Indians were held without a double in the three games prior to their record streak.

Here are the teams walking ten or more times in three or more consecutive games:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
  4 1916 DET A  5- 9     5-12   
  3 1948 STL A  7-21     7-24
  3 1948 BOS A  8-20(2)  8-22

And the teams striking out ten or more times in the most consecutive games:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
  8 2011 SD  N  7- 9     7-20   
  6 1972 CIN N  5-29     6- 3   
  6 1997 SF  N  5- 9     5-15   
  6 2004 CIN N  9-18     9-24   
  6 2009 FLA N  4-12     4-18   
  6 2010 ARI N  9-10     9-15   
  6 2010 CLE A  5- 1     5- 8   

The six straight double-digit strikeout games by the 1972 Reds' hitters broke the mark of five set by the 1960 Phillies and were the first time that season they had struck out ten or more times in a game.

Here are the most consecutive games with at least one batter being hit by a pitch:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 10 2006 HOU N  7- 2     7-14   
  8 1918 CLE A  4-20     4-29   
  8 2003 TB  A  9-15     9-22   
  8 2005 WAS N  7-17     7-24   

There was a single hit batter in each of the Astros' ten games and I was a little surprised that Craig Biggio didn't get more than two of them. Chris Burke led the team during the streak with four.

The most consecutive games with a stolen base:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 29 1985 STL N  9- 4    10- 2   
 20 1981 PIT N  5-20     8-10   
 20 1986 STL N  6-17     7- 7   
 19 2009 TB  A  4-28     5-17   
 17 1918 PIT N  7- 4(2)  7-20(2)
 17 1919 PIT N  6- 2(2)  6-22   
 17 1976 OAK A  7- 8     7-26   
 17 2001 NY  A  4-19     5- 6   

Of course, the streak by the Pirates in 1981 included two months without games.

And finally, here are the most consecutive games without a stolen base:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 56 1950 CHI A  5-16     7- 7(1)
 50 1935 BOS N  4-16     6-17(2)
 49 1967 SF  N  4-11     6- 6   
 46 1964 BOS A  8-14    10- 4   
 42 1951 PIT N  5-13(2)  6-28   
 41 1950 STL N  8-11     9-23(1)
 40 1945 STL A  8-16     9-16(2)
 40 1953 CIN N  8- 7     9-19   

Both the 1935 Braves and 1967 Giants streaks were from the start of the season. If you count their previous seasons, the 1966-67 Giants hold the record with 62 straight games without a steal. By the time Willie McCovey had stolen the first base of the season for San Francisco, Lou Brock already had twenty-two.

Note:

1Some readers might have noticed that in our normal game logs we already have the score of every major league game ever played. So there is no need to restrict our search for runs scored records to the 1916 to 2011 period. But that would miss the point of this article, which was to show off the batting logs for those years. But just so fans of early baseball don't feel slighted, here are the marks that were actually set from 1876 to 1915:

The longest a team went scoring at least three, four, ... runs in a game:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 3  48 1887 PHI N  7-26     9-26     * - tied the 1994 Indians
 4  34 1895 PHI N  8-20     9-24
 5  25 1894 PHI N  8-23     9-29(1)
 6  23 1894 BAL N  5-31     6-26       23 1894 BOS N  6-14     7-10
 7  23 1894 BAL N  5-31     6-26       23 1894 BOS N  6-14     7-10
 8  12 1895 PHI N  8-30     9-10
 9  11 1876 CHI N  7- 8     8- 1
10   7 1894 BOS N  8- 4     8-11        7 1896 WAS N  6- 4     6-12   * - happened 3 times, these are the last two

And the longest a team went without scoring more than one, two, three, ... runs in a game:

<=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 2  12 1904 BRO N  7-22     8- 8       12 1907 BRO N  4-20     5- 7
 4  26 1906 BOS N  6-23     7-22     * - tied the 1931 Braves and 1969 Angels
 7  95 1909 WAS A  6- 1     9- 6

The 1907 Superbas scored only 39 runs in their first 27 games. And that included a 10-0 win on May 14th.

And in addition to the four teams mentioned earlier, both the 1908 Cardinals and the 1914 Chicago White Sox went their entire season without scoring ten or more runs in a game.

A Tour of Team Pitching Logs

Well, you probably saw this one coming. Here is a look at some pitching logs. In the last piece, I looked at each team's batting exploits; this time, we focus on the pitchers. And once again: whenever I mention that something is the most, longest, fewest or shortest, I mean that it holds true during the Retrosheet Era, which now extends from 1916 to 2011.

Well, since we started the previous article with the 1938 New York Yankees and their record of scoring at least two runs in 86 consecutive games, I supposes it's fitting to begin this with a list of the pitching staffs that allowed at least one, two, three, ... runs over the longest period:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 1 163 1993 COL N  4- 5    10- 3      157 1997 OAK A  4- 7     9-28     * - the entire 1993 Rockies season
 2  80 1925 STL A  5-10     8- 6(2)    66 1996 DET A  4- 7     6-20
 3  40 1927 PHI N  6-28     8- 7(1)    38 1925 BOS A  6-17(1)  7-25
 4  28 2006 KC  A  5- 9     6- 8       26 1923 PHI N  4-29     5-28(1)
 5  20 1924 PHI N  9- 3(1)  9-24       15 2001 COL N  6-18     7- 4     * - happened 3 times, this is the last
 6  11 1962 NY  N  5-25     6- 3       11 2003 DET A  9-13     9-23     * - happened 3 times, these are the last two
 7  10 1923 PHI N  5- 6     5-18       10 1936 STL A  4-29     5-11
 8   7 2000 BAL A  6-17     6-23        7 2000 SEA A  8-13     8-20     * - happened 4 times, these are the last two
 9   7 2000 SEA A  8-13     8-20        6 2002 KC  A  9- 4     9-10     * - happened 7 times, this is the last
10   6 1929 PHI N  6-19(1)  6-22(2)     5 1928 PHI N  7-31     8- 4(2)  * - happened 3 times, this is the last

The first shutout in the history of the Colorado Rockies didn't take place until David Nied and two relievers combined to hold the defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies to two hits on April 14, 1994.

The 1997 Oakland A's streak without a shutout continued for 41 games into the 1998 season, until Jimmy Haynes pitched the only shutout of his major league career.

And the fact that five different Phillies teams from 1923 to 1929 show up on the list tells you a lot about both their wretched pitching staff and their home park. And the list doesn't even include their worst year, 1930.

And all of those double-digits games in 1929 came against the New York Giants.

It's time to accentuate the positive. What teams went the longest without allowing more than one, two, three, ... runs in a game?

<=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 1   8 1919 CHI N  5-31     6- 7        8 1966 KC  A  9- 9     9-18
 2  17 1917 CHI A  5-12     6- 4       16 1916 NY  N  9-18(1)  9-30(1)
 3  20 1917 CHI A  5-12     6- 7       19 1916 NY  N  9-14     9-30(1)
 4  29 1916 NY  N  9- 6(1)  9-30(1)    24 1917 CHI A  5-12     6-12     * - happened 2 times, this is the last
 5  42 1916 BOS N  5-27(1)  7-16       40 1916 NY  N  8-25     9-30(1)
 6  61 1961 BAL A  7-23     9-22       48 1917 PHI N  7-21(2)  9- 6(1)
 7  93 1919 CHI N  5- 5     8-19(2)    89 1917 BOS A  6-16     9-12
 8 129 1917 BOS A  4-24     9-12      105 1976 LA  N  6-11    10- 3
 9 152 1970 OAK A  4-19    10- 1      146 1967 CIN N  4-10     9-12

Most people probably aren't used to seeing the Kansas City Athletics at the top of a "good" list.

Those streaks by the 1916 Giants occurred while they were winning twenty-six consecutive decisions.

I was a little surprised that no team from 1916 to 2011 went an entire season without giving up ten or more runs in a game.

I guess that's enough for runs allowed.1

Here are the teams with the longest streaks of allowing ten or more hits in a game:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 21 1945 PHI N  6-12     6-30   
 19 1923 PHI N  5- 6     5-28(1)
 19 1927 PHI N  7- 6(2)  7-28   
 19 1936 CLE A  7-19(2)  8- 6   
 15 1986 CHI N  8-30     9-15   
 14 1925 PHI N  6-26(1)  7- 7(1)

Another list dominated by the Phillies.

Here are the longest streaks of allowing at least nine, eight, seven, six and five hits in a game:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last
 9  29 1927 PHI N  7- 6(2)  8- 7(1)
 8  32 1934 STL A  5-20     6-21(1)
 7  57 1934 CIN N  4-17     6-23(1)
 6  85 1935 STL A  6-11(1)  8-31   
 5 129 1922 BOS N  4-12     9- 5(2)

The streak by the 1922 Braves was from the start of the season and the game that broke it only went five innings.

Several teams have gone a complete season without allowing fewer than four hits in a game. The last one was the 2007 Houston Astros.

Back to the more favorable lists, here are the teams holding their opponents to two, three, four, ... nine hits or fewer in the most consecutive games:

<=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 2   3 1992 CAL A  7-11     7-16        3 2000 LA  N  9-23     9-26    * - happened 5 times, these are the last two
 3   5 2008 NY  N  7- 8     7-12
 4   5 1975 LA  N  6-17     6-21        5 2008 NY  N  7- 8     7-12     
 5   8 1918 WAS A  7-25     8- 1
 6  11 1918 WAS A  7-22     8- 3       11 1968 BAL A  4-27     5- 7
 7  14 1972 CLE A  5- 2     5-20       14 2004 SF  N  9- 5     9-22
 8  21 1968 CLE A  4-27     5-18       21 2002 ANA A  9- 4     9-25
 9  35 1968 CLE A  4-27     5-31

It is a sign of the times that during the 2008 Mets' streak, their starting pitchers averaged five and a third innings and stuck around long enough to pick up only two of the victories.

Those twenty-one games by the 1968 Indians included four straight shutouts (with a total of fourteen hits allowed) by Luis Tiant.

Here are the most consecutive games with at least one, two, three, four and five home runs allowed:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 1  26 2001 HOU N  5-14     6-12       26 2004 SEA A  7- 6     8- 3(2)
 2   9 2001 CIN N  6-10     6-19        9 2003 SD  N  5-13     5-21
 3   5 1998 SF  N  8- 6     8-10   
 4   4 1956 CHI N  5-29     5-31        4 2003 PIT N  6- 7     6-11
 5   3 1977 NY  A  6-17     6-19

I was surprised to see one team each from the 1950s and 1970s crash the list. All of the 1977 Yankees' games took place in Fenway Park, where the Red Sox demolished the visitors in a three game sweep: 9-4, 10-4 and 11-1. Carl Yastrzemski had nine hits in the series, including four home runs, and knocked in ten runs.

Here are the teams walking ten or batters in three or more consecutive games:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
  4 1916 PHI A  5- 9     5-12   
  3 1948 WAS A  8-20(2)  8-22
  3 1987 MIN A  6- 2     6- 5

We saw the opponents of the top two teams (the 1916 Tigers and the 1948 Red Sox) in the previous article.

And striking out ten or more batters:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
  6 1990 NY  N  4-15     4-20
  6 2006 CHI N  9-18     9-24
  6 2008 CHI N  7-26     7-31

The 2006 Cubs did it the hard way, since one of their games only went five innings. In that game, Rich Hill struck out ten. He pitched the only complete game by any starter during the three streaks above.

The first team to hit double-digits in strikeouts in five consecutive games was the 1970 Mets, from September 8th to 11th, but it has become almost commonplace, with nine such streaks in the last five years.

And finally, here are most consecutive games with at least one hit batter:

  # Year Team   First    Last      
 10 2009 PHI N  9-19     9-28   
  8 1977 SEA A  4-23     4-30   
  8 2001 TEX A  9-20     9-28   
  8 2006 COL N  7- 9     7-19   
  8 2007 BAL A  5-16     5-25   

After taking a day off from plunking batters on September 29th, the 2009 Phillies pitchers hit batters in each of their next three games.

Note:

1Of course, we could have included the 1876 to 1915 games as well when dealing with runs allowed. Here are the marks that were actually set from 1876 to 1915:

The longest a team went allowing at least one, two, three, ... runs in a game:

>=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 2  99 1899 CLE N  6-26    10-15(2)
 3  53 1897 STL N  7-28    10- 3(2)
 4  37 1889 KC  a  5- 4     6-23
 5  29 1894 LOU N  8-14     9-18
 6  21 1890 PHI a  9-19    10-12
 7  16 1890 PIT N  8-12     8-28
 8  11 1890 PIT N  7- 5(1)  7-16
 9   9 1887 NY  a  8-25     9- 3(1)
10   7 1901 NY  N  9- 3     9- 6(2)     7 1894 WAS N  6-16     6-23    * - happened 4 times, these are the last two

The 1890 Athletics' streak was part of a franchise-ending twenty-game losing streak. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders' run also represented the final games played by that franchise.

The 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys' make two appearances on the list, and the streaks don't even overlap.

And the longest a team went without allowing more than one, two, three, ... runs in a game:

<=   # Year Team   First    Last        # Year Team   First    Last
 1   8 1906 NY  N  7-25     8- 3     * - tied the 1919 White Sox and 1966 Athletics
 4  29 1909 CHI N  9- 8    10- 6(2)  * - tied the 1916 Giants
 5  56 1908 PHI N  7- 6     9- 3(2)
 8 145 1909 PIT N  4-14     9-27(2)
 9 155 1909 CHI N  4-14    10- 6(2)

The streak by the 1909 Pirates was from the start of the season.

The 1909 Cubs are the only major league team to go an entire season without allowing ten or more runs in a game.