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Helping Your Own Cause July 10, 2011

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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Yesterday, Cliff Lee of the Phillies scored the only run for his team by homering to right center in the bottom of the third inning. Cliff’s lead held until Dan Uggla led off the fifth with a homer of its own, and the score stayed tied until the top of the eleventh when Alex Gonzalez and Brian McCann batted three in for the Braves to set up Craig Kimbrel for the save. Lee’s homer prompted a couple of searches that led readers here – specifically, people are curious about pitchers hitting home runs.

It’s uncommon, but not as rare as I’d expected. Fifteen home runs this year (out of 2410, so about 0.6% of MLB home runs) were hit by pitchers. They’re last in the majors for home runs by position – even pinch hitters hit more (54) – but third from the bottom are designated hitters with 154. Interestingly, even doubling DHs’ home runs puts them third (behind first basemen and right fielders).

One pitcher – Zach Duke of Arizona – has hit two home runs, with the remainder hitting only one each. The World’s Worst Sports Blog’s favorite player, Yovani Gallardo, combined with Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to put up three pitcher homers for Milwaukee, tying Duke and Barry Enright‘s Diamondback total. No pitcher has surrendered more than one home run to another pitcher, but two have both allowed one and scored one: Greinke and Travis Wood. Besides Lee, four pitchers – Enright, Wood, Zach Britton, and Tim Hudson – have homered to break a 0-0 tie.

This year or last year, no game had home runs hit by pitchers from both teams. I scanned manually, and there were a few dates with multiple home runs by pitchers, but I couldn’t find a game with home runs by both teams’ pitchers until I got back to April 13, 1997. The Montreal Expos’ Carlos Perez homered off of Colorado starter Kevin Ritz, who was lifted (in the top of the fifth) after one more batter for reliever Darren Holmes. Holmes allowed another earned run, but got out of the inning and then led off the bottom of the fifth with a homer of his own. Pitchers for both teams homered not only in the same game, but the same inning, separated by only six batters.

Fire Up The Hot Stove November 2, 2010

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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Although I’m usually fairly heavy on the statistical content, I can’t help but mention a few impressions from Game 5 of the World Series last night.

  • If I didn’t have Baseball-Reference.com to tell me different, I’d have assumed Aubrey Huff wasn’t an everyday first baseman from the way he played last night. He was competent and made some nice picks, but he didn’t seem to have the ankle-preservation instinct that most everyday 1Bs do. He seemed to have his heels back quite far on the bag most of the time.
  • The rumors about the Yankees pursuing Cliff Lee strike me as cartoonish supervillainy. “If I cannot defeat you, I will simply BUY you!”
  • Game 3 was the Lee vs. Tim Lincecum gem that we all assumed Game 1 would be.
  • Somewhere, Bengie Molina is secretly pouring champagne all over himself.
  • If the postseason came before voting, Buster Posey would be a lock for Rookie of the