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That's Got to be a Typo - July 4th Edition
by Asher B. Chancey, BaseballEvolution.com
July 4th, 2007
Certain players continue to impress us with certain statistics which simply seem too odd to be true. In case you haven't noticed them, here is a quick look.
(Speaking of typos, by the way, my rough draft of this article was titled, "That's Got to be a Typo - July 4th Addition.").
49 extra-base hits; 15 triples – Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers
After 81 games, Curtis Granderson is on pace for 46 doubles, 30 triples, and 22 homeruns. Not bad for a guy with only 9 stolen bases and a .339 on-base percentage.
34 doubles – Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers
Some teams play in pitchers' parks and can't hit. The Tigers play in a pitchers' park and simply get extra-base hits. Ordonez's 34 doubles through 80 games already exceeds by 2 his total from all of last season. The 68 doubles he is on pace for would break Earl Webb's single season record, set in 1931, by one.
0.82 home ERA – Chris Young, San Diego Padres
Young has failed to give up an earned run in seven of his 17 starts, and has given up only one earned run in four others. Even pitching in Petco Park, that is impressive.
103 singles – Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners
Ichiro leads the major leagues in hits with 124. If you counted only his singles, he would still be eleventh. Pretty impressive. Unless of course you value extra base hits.
10 or more wins – 10 pitchers, Major League Baseball
Following the first season in the history of Major League Baseball in which no pitcher managed to win 20 games, ten pitchers are currently on pace to hit or surpass the mark this season. There are also 11 pitchers with nine victories; barring a meltdown, there will be 20 game winners this season.
6 BB in 93.2 innings – Paul Byrd, Cleveland Indians
Byrd walked two batters in six innings in his first outing of the season, and has subsequently walked only four more batters. Ironically, Byrd also gave up no earned runs in that first start, and has subsequently failed to go a single outing without yielding a single run. Indeed, Byrd has not been particularly good this season, but his low walk rate is shocking.
.346 batting average – Hunter Pence, Houston Astros
In his first ever major league action, Pence has ripped up opposing pitchers on his way to a .972 OPS and 151 OPS+. His performance is particularly intriguing in light of the rest of the Houston squad's poor hitting this season. One cause for concern though – his 47 strikeouts and only ten walks; indeed, his OBP is only 31 points higher than his batting average. When he hits his first slump, he will not have his plate patience to fall back on.
.325/.409/.577 – Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
How it is that Chipper continues to produce at peak levels at an age when third basemen usually run out of steam is not so much a mystery when one considers the current era, but is impressive nonetheless.
.201/.298/.392 – Andruw Jones, Atlanta Braves
How it is that Andruw Jones has struggled so mightily at the young age of 30 when he should be in his prime is indeed a mystery. Andruw is on pace to strikeout over 162 times, while scoring a near career-low number of runs. We thought Andruw became a leader in 2005. Is it possible that he is ready to pass the torch a mere two years later?
Entire Stat Line – Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins
The Marlins second baseman is having an incredible year. He is on pace for 60 doubles and 34 homeruns, over 125 runs, and almost 100 RBI.
The Marlins second baseman is having a terrible year. He is only hitting .251, with a .320 on-base percentage, and his .823 OPS is only good for a 119 OPS+. He has already hit into more double plays than he did in 154 games last season, he is currently on pace for roughly 170 strikeouts, and he is currently third in the NL in outs, well on his way to join the 500 outs club.
61 hits, 20 homeruns – Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
Howard is the closest thing to Mark McGwire we have in today's game. If he had not missed time due to injury, he would be on pace for well over 150 RBI and strikeouts. He can't get his average up, but he walks enough and hits enough homeruns to make it worth it.
3 complete games, 3 losses – Derek Lowe, Los Angeles Dodgers
Derek Lowe is throwing some good, durable ball this season. Too bad the Dodgers' hitters haven't showed up on the days Lowe is pitching. I don't think Lowe will deserve the Cy Young this season, but he will deserve much more consideration than he will get.
2 or more starts – 12 New York Yankees pitchers
Last season, only four teams featured 12 or more pitchers who started two or more games – The Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, and Chicago Cubs. None of them had particularly good seasons, and the Nats, Royals, and Cubs were three of the worst teams in baseball.
.237 batting average – Chicago White Sox as a team
It simply makes no sense. It hasn't made sense all season, and it doesn't make sense now.
Numbers during the last 162 games – David Ross, Cincinnati Reds
In 2006 and 2007 combined, Reds catcher David Ross has played exactly 162 games:
Lest we give him too much credit, Ross has hit 22 of his 34 homeruns at home, where his OPS during that period has been 200 points higher than on the road.
4 homeruns, 5 earned runs in 35.2 innings – Takashi Saito, Los Angeles Dodgers
The 37 year old, second year Japanese pitcher has an ERA of 1.26, and has only given up one run other than by homerun. He has also walked only 3 batters while striking out 45.
The 2007 Season – Dmitri Young, Washington Nationals
This was supposed to be Ryan Zimmerman's team. First base was supposed to be Nick Johnson's, held down only by Young and Robert Fick until Johnson returned from injury. But Young has had other ideas. The 33-year old is currently third in the National League in batting average, and tenth in doubles, and is on pace for a career high in walks, average, on-base percentage, OPS, and hits.
Questions? Concerns? Comments? Asher lives in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at email@example.com.
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