Bits and Pieces Midseason Thoughts Weekend Edition

The regular season is now about 60% over. Some of us now know that our teams are wonderfully bad. Some of us now know that our teams are teams are wonderfully good. Some of us now know that our teams are boringly merely bad but not horrible. Some of us know that our teams are kind of okay but not that good.

Yet there are still about 70 games to be played, not counting the playoffs, and the cold dark night of winter is still a long warm journey away. Of course the journey must end but we’re into something good.

 

Cardinals 18 Cubs 5 | Mets 7 Yankees 5 | Braves 8 Nationals 5

We Are Watching History

Projected 2018  (not including last night’s games)

Wonderous Losers: The Beloved Royals 116 | The Adorable Fightin O’s 115 | The White Sox 106

Triumphant Trio: Red Sox 112 | Yankees 106 | Astro’s 105

There has not been three teams with 100 or more losses and three teams with 100 or more wins in the same season since 2002.

2002’s Determined Losers; Tampa 106 | Tigers 106 | Brewers 106

2002’s Triumphant Trio: Yankees 103 | Athletics 103 | Braves 101

Although 2002 does replicate the feat, as you can see this years likely results crush the 2002 totals. However, the 2002 totals include a wonderful Tigers team that was just hitting its stride. More on that in a bit.

Phillies 1 Padres 5 | Blue Jays 8 Orioles 7 | Red Sox 1 Tigers 0

The Fabulous 2002 – 2003 Detroit Tigers

The Tigers followed up their sparkling 2002 season with a historic 119 losses in 2003. It ranks as the sixth most losing season since 1900. The 1962 Mets lay claim to fifth with 120 losses, but I’d put an asterisk next to that since the Mets were an expansion team while the 2003 Tigers employed about 100 years building their roster.

Watch out Tigers and Mets, there are three teams with a realistic chance of catching or passing you. And don’t forget the team with the best chance since it’s their privilege to play the Red Sox and Yankees a bunch more, the Adorable Fightin O’s, just traded their best player. They lost last night and are keeping their foot on the pedal, but don’t count out the Beloved Royals who may respond with a move of their own. Bye Bye Moustakas?

Pirates 12 Reds 1 | Marlins 6 Rays 5 | Indians 9 Rangers 8 (11)

I Was Still a Baby In His Crib When It Next Happened

It came close to happening in 1962 when 3 teams soared to 100 losses or more (including the Magnificent Mets) and 2 teams won 100 or more, but you have to go back to 1955 to see it happen again, sort of.

Since 1960 was the first year 162 instead of 154 games were played, I changed the criteria to be the win loss percentages needed to win 100 or more or lose 100 or more (.383 / .617) over 162 games. And since prior to 1960 there were only 16 teams, I thought it fair reduce the criteria from 3 teams to 2 teams

1955

Washington Senators 53-101 (34.4%) / Fightin O’s 57-97 (37.0%)

Yankees 96 -58 (.623) /  Brooklyn Dodgers 98 – 55 (.641)

But still crushed by our likely 2018 outcomes.

Dodgers 6 Brewers 4 | Royals 6 Twins 5 | Giants 5 Athletics 1

Wanna Know How Much Strikeouts Are Up?

This is about 8 minutes long and like strikeouts is really boring so you don’t have to watch the whole thing but I did because I have rule for myself that I don’t post a vid unless I’ve seen the whole thing.

For the first time in Major League history there were more strikeouts in a month than hits in a month. At the end of April, there were 7,335 strikeouts and 6,992 hits. And then it happened again, last June there were 6,776 strikeouts and 6,641 hits.

We’re on pace this for a MLB team average of 1358 total strikeouts achieved.

2008 – 1096

2000 – 1045

Rockies 11 Diamondbacks 10 | Mariners 3 White Sox 1

Something For Stex and an Excuse to Get This Vid In

From Wikipedia

The Houston Astros broke the record for the fewest runs allowed since 1920 (live ball era) in a 50-game span with 126 runs. The previous record was 128 set by the Cleveland Indians in 1968.

Astro’s 3 Angles  1

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17 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces Midseason Thoughts Weekend Edition

  1. 2002 Braves…Chipper was only a few years off of his MVP season, we still had The Big Three plus a young, decent Kevin Millwood, Andruw, Javy Lopez… It was basically the last hurrah of the 90’s Braves except in the early 2000s. The next year it was all over but the shouting, imo.

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  2. Yeah I was going to say something about the SO/H ratio in the league. The league has a very good chance of having more batter strikeouts than hits. For about 3 seconds I was surprised, and then I thought about it and I wasn’t.

    In related news, I think home runs will get stale. Call me crazy, but saturation and repetition do not make for good viewing. I mean, Jed freaking Lowrie has 16 HR.

    Me, I want to see so-called “boring” small ball back. I wanna see Rod Carew/Wade Boggs type hitters who were so consummate at their craft that they could (particularly Boggs) do virtually anything they wanted at the plate. Boggs proved he could hit home runs when he hit 24 in 1987. But that wasn’t the kind of hitter he wanted to be. I want to see discipline and good contact at the plate, not just a bunch of walks and home runs.

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    • I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a resurgence of interest in the OBP as being underrated, sabatimus. I’m not sure I see small ball coming back because some elements of it give you a high probability of scoring one run BUT ONLY one run in an inning. But I think the league needs an infusion of contact hitting and consistent slap hitters can add a lot of fun.

      One qualifier. I am absolutely opposed to league rules limiting the infield shift. They are already dumbing down the game for ratings. Let strategies prevail.

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      • No dumbdowner was dumberdown than the arrival of designatedhitterball, nor will anything ever be dumberdowner even if MLB broadcasts were exclusively carried on Twitter.

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        • How about on Snapchat, one frame at a time and then deleted so you couldn’t even have context? But I disagree on eliminating the DH, if that’s what you’re implying. I’ve always liked the rule and for only one reason: pitchers are a specialty and they aren’t trained to hit. I mean, they REALLY can’t hit, so it’s embarrassing to put them up there. If everybody had to pitch occasionally, I’d be OK with getting rid of the DH.

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        • This will come as shocking news to Babe Ruth and Shohei Otani. Pitchers can’t hit because there’s a bad habit of not learning or being taught to hit once they’re identified as pitchers. Then, there’s Lewis Brinson….

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    • And more fantastically acrobatic defensive plays, more base runners safe or out by inches.

      If I had a magic wand I’d change every stadium’s dimensions so that the outfield walls would be 400 feet away at the poles and 500 feet away in dead center.

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        • Not only that there would be fewer hulking home run hitting corner outfielders and more line drive hitting speedy ones.

          I think we got it figured out. Now all we have to do is get 30 franchises and their host cities to spend millions of dollars each modifying their stadiums. We could start by streaking the next home run derby.

          BTW talk about balls dropping in the outfield, the Twins managed a little while ago to turn a bloop single by noted speedster Drew Butera into an inside the park home run.

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  3. I don’t know what Lorenzo Cain was thinking there, he’s better than that. (Maybe he was thinking “It’s just Butera, he’ll never make it all the way home.”) But on the streaking idea, how about if we Crowd Fund it first, you know, all expenses paid?

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