Being old enough to remember 3 channels and changing the box with my hands instead of a remote I can also remember when getting information on the baseball season was essentially looking for a copy of The Sporting News or the Sunday edition of the sports page.
The Sunday section of the paper has it all, box scores, standings, upcoming games, and then the best part, team stats and qualifiers.
In my house that part of the paper tends to be a folded and dog-eared section that moves from room to room with pen marks on it and notations of things I found that interest me.
The structure is pretty stale, Runs, RBI, Hits, BA, ERA, BB, Strikes, W, L. Not exactly the sabermetric wet dream, but the format speaks volumes if you take the time to poke around and pull out the numbers that look off, odd or scary.
Yesterday the sun was out in Portland and the Reds had just had their first shutout of the season, what better way to celebrate it than partaking in a pint of IPA at the Hedge House with the Sunday Sports section? I myself can’t think of many, anyway before I digress in an ode to bitters and hops here are the 7 things that struck me as noticeable on that big page of stats.
1. The Astros are putrid on offense. Sure the Reds had their 1st shutout against them, it was their 9th after all it doesn’t seem to hard to do they have now been shut out in 18% of their games… pretty sad for a team that was 5th in the league in runs scored last season with 803. Shows what a Berkman/Beltran combo can bring to the table. This year unfortunately shows what happens when Phil Garner role-plays that he’s Bill Virdon in the Astrodome in 1980.
2. Arizona has 4 starters with sub 4.00 eras.
Halsey – 3.34
Webb – 3.39
Vasquez – 3.49
Estes – 3.79
Their big free agent pitcher Russ Ortiz has been “Miltonrific” this season allowing 69 hits in 55 innings and walking 8 more batters than he has struck out, he sports 5.20 era.
3. Speaking of free agent pitchers Milton has allowed 71 hits in 57 innings, Wilson 68 hits in 46 innings and Ortiz 54 in 36 innings pitched. That’s 54 more hits than innings pitched for about 13-14 million bucks. The Reds are the only team to have allowed more than 500 hits this season and that’s 149 more than the Brewers have allowed.
4. From the “Hey, he has stuff, but limited command” department. Shawn Chacon 46 innings pitched, 25 BB, 25 K’s, 3.28 ERA. Victor Zambrano 49 IP 34 BB, 39 K’s. The man he was traded for wunderkid Scott Kazmir 56 IP, 30 BB, 43 K’s. Junk guys doing the Balancing Act – Kirk Rueter 22 BB, 11 K’s, Scott Erikson 17 BB 8 K’s, Nate Robertson 26 BB, 23 K’s.
5. Top 3 worst road teams in the American League (Tampa, KC, Oakland) are a combined 17-59; the 3 worst in the NL (Astros, Rockies and Reds) are a robust 15-61
6. Chicago White Sox 224 runs scored 184 runs allowed 34-17 .667 winning %, Milwaukee Brewers 218 runs scored, 189 allowed 24-26 .449 Winning %
7. More on the Pale Hose, the Chicago White Sox lead the AL in caught stealing with 25, that’s after 50 games. In 2003 they were caught stealing only 29 times all season. In personal futility we can find Brady Clark with 4 steals and 7 caught stealing.
Brian first met the greatest game in Detroit in 1968, that team played in a league called the “American League”…. but I digress.
Later after a family move he started a dalliance with the Cincinnati Reds, who perchance were in the midst of their greatest era. It was a romance that was greater than many could hope to be.
After barely stomaching the strike of 1981 Brian headed West but never forgot the Reds, and even despite being surrounded by Giants and A’s fans who tried to entice him with things both Green and Orange he found himself wondering what was up with Kal Daniels and was that kid from Moeller ever going to make us forget Davey.
A long time member of SABR and a baseball history junkie he currently lives in Portland and can be followed at @baseballminutia