Stranded, Caught in the Crossfire

I’d intended to launch into a tirade about drawing seven walks against the opposing starter and losing, but it turns out that happens fairly often. Since 1920, teams are 2077-2158 in games where the starting pitcher allows at least seven walks. That’s a .490 winning percentage, which is both surprising and hardly cause for a tirade.

That said, failing to score against Jonathan Sanchez on Friday night irritates me — in much the same way that Sanchez himself irritates me (or letting Aubrey Huff beat you with his legs, but that’s another story). Actually, failing to score against a starter who issues at least seven walks is uncommon. Again going back to 1920, it’s happened just 181 times out of 4235 total 7+ walk starts, or a shade under 4.3 percent.

There were no such games in 2009, but Sanchez’s performance was the second this year. Edwin Jackson, you may recall, walked eight while tossing a no-hitter on June 25.

The most walks ever issued by a starting pitcher without allowing a run? Eleven, both by Yankees hurlers. On August 1, 1941, Lefty Gomez did it against the St. Louis Blues Browns. On May 21, 1970, Mel Stottlemyre victimized the Washington Senators.

Chase Headley for MVP?

Oops, my bad; that should read “Carlos Gonzalez”… I was looking at road numbers, so you’ll forgive my confusion:

Player    PA   BA  OBP  SLG HR
Headley  293 .297 .342 .450  7
Gonzalez 271 .288 .310 .450  7

I should have looked at their home numbers as well:

Player    PA   BA  OBP  SLG HR
Headley  300 .234 .310 .320  3
Gonzalez 287 .381 .429 .770 25

If there is a player who takes better advantage of his park than Gonzalez, I don’t know who it is. How cool would it be to magically transform from Juan Encarnacion into, oh, Jeff Bagwell v. 1994 whenever you return home from a road trip? I so want that super power.

Speaking of Splits

Have you noticed that the two best road ERAs in MLB this year belong to Ubaldo Jimenez and Mat Latos?

Player     IP  ERA  H/9 HR/9 BB/9   K/9
Jimenez 101.2 2.30 5.49 0.35 3.98  8.50
Latos    99.1 2.36 6.16 0.91 2.45 10.06

I just found it a little unusual that one pitcher who should be hindered by his home park and one who should be helped both end up at the top in less extreme environments. I think the take-home is that they’re pretty good.

Wonderful Advice

Strunk and White: Unless there is a good reason for its being there, do not inject opinion into a piece of writing.

Me: Thanks for injecting that opinion into your writing.

Eh, stuff just bugs me sometimes. Losing, for example…