King Felix Hernandez has set a major league record with 16 consecutive starts of seven or more innings allowing two runs or less and he is still going. He is doing something never before done in major league baseball and is the front runner for the American League Cy Young award. But he is not close to having done what fellow mound mate Chris Young has accomplished.
Young has 25 career starts of at least six innings allowing two hits or less. He is the active leader and if you go back to 1980 he still ranks number seven. Young has more of these starts then recent Hall of Fame inductee Greg Maddux. That is impressive. The King, well, he has 14 career starts.
After last nights win against Toronto, Young is 11-6 with a 3.20 ERA. He has given up 112 hits in 141 innings. And though Young has been touched for 19 home runs, as a fly ball pitcher with nearly a 3-1 ratio of fly outs to grounds outs, it is not surprising.
His most wins was 12 in 2005 with Texas when he went 12-7 with a 4.26 ERA and the next year in San Diego was 11-5 with a 3.46. Those were the only two years he won in double figures. Injuries derailed intervening years. A torn labrum was one and most recently a thoracic outlet syndrome that affects a pitchers shoulder and neck. In 2013 he made 9 minor league starts trying to make a comeback and was not effective. The Washington nationals released him just before spring training ended. Seattle picked him up and he is having a career year at the age of 35. He signed a 40 day contract, the same one lefty Randy Wolf would not sign.
Thank you Randy for not wanting to take a chance with Seattle. Where are you by the way?
As good as Felix has been, better than any pitcher in history; as good as advertised Robinson Cano leading the Mariners, it could be argued Chris Young is the teams MVP. Of course there is slightly over six weeks left in the season and the future is unknown, but at this point everything old is young again.
When camps broke this spring Hector Noesi was a Seattle Mariner. After pitching in two games for a grand total of one inning he was unceremoniously released by Seattle. The 27-year old was not sent to Tacoma, he was dumped, exiled, jettisoned, banished; in other words released. In that one inning he struck out two, but gave up two hits and three runs. Not great, but only one inning. It seemed Lloyd McClendon and Jackie Z did not like poor old Hector for some reason.
But in two starts with the Chicago White Sox he has killed the Mariners.
Before going to Chicago the Texas Rangers had Noesi for three games. In 5.1 innings he gave up 11 hits, 7 runs. Texas, even with all their injuries, said adios Hector and the White Sox picked him up.
With Chicago his numbers reflect a backend starter. An ERA 0f 4.15. In 115 innings, 113 hits, 82 strikeouts and 43 walks. But in two starts against the Mariners, one in Chicago and one in Seattle last night, Noesi is 1-0 in 13.2 innings, allowing 10 hits, 3 walks , and striking out 9. Even more stunning is that he has not allowed an earned run. The run Saturday night came after Noesi had retired the first 11 batters of the game. Thoughts of a perfect game ended when Beckham made an error on the third out of the inning. Noesi did not contain the little error. Morales singled and Seager doubled in the unearned run.
Including the third out of the inning Noesi then retired the next 8 batters before Zunino had a one out single in the 7th. Noesi then got Morrison to hit into a double play.
With Seattle Noesi was pitching in relief and at the time nobody knew Seattle would have the best bullpen in baseball, so his release at the time was surprising. He may not have gotten a chance to start with Seattle even if he did well in Tacoma, but we will never know. He has done okay with Chicago, but against Seattle, Noesi pitches like Cy Young.
The Mariners do not play Chicago after today’s game, so they do not have to worry about Noesi. Next year Hector could be pitching anywhere, but if he pitches against Seattle he will be ready. He is a Mariner killer.
When Clayton Kershaw pitched a no-hitter I kept hearing it was the 22nd no-hitter in franchise history. The information is wrong. It was the 25th.
The difference of three is found in the 1880’s. The Dodgers, known as the Brooklyn Athletics in 1884, had the franchise’s first no-hitter thrown by Sam Kimber on October4th. Play was stopped after ten innings in a scoreless game. But it was a no-hitter.
The other two no-hitters were thrown by Adonis Terry, one on July 24, 1886, in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Browns. His other no-hitter was in May of 1888, a 1-0 win over the Louisville Colonels.
Franchises are sold through time and the sale of a franchise in the 1880’s is no different than one sold in the 20th century. Nicknames may change, but the franchise is the franchise, even if it moves from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Ownership has been passed from hand to hand beginning in 1883 when George Taylor, Charles Byrne, Joseph Doyle, and Ferdinand Abel financed the first Brooklyn nine. Today the baton has been passed to Magic Johnson and a large investment consortium.
Yet for some reason there is a prevailing attitude to be dismissive of the past when it is in the 19th century. The rules may have been different, but it was still baseball. Of Cy Young’s 511 wins 257 came before 1900, but they are still counted among his 511 wins.
Years ago they changed the rules for no-hitters eliminating the no-hitters for pitchers who pitched 8 innings and lost because the pitcher was on the road team, thus no reason for playing the bottom of the 9th. But it was a complete game. They also eliminated those that were rain shortened. Even though it was a legal game, it was not a no-hitter.
Discrepancies are often found in researching or analyzing baseball statistics and when they are the 19th century gets short shift for some reason. I wonder if in the 23rd century-provided the world is still existing-and baseball has changed its rules, will present statistics be getting the short shift. Could it be that every athlete is on some kind of performance enhancing drug and there are now two separate record books. One for pre 22nd century baseball when substances were banned, but players used them anyway and one for post 22nd century baseball when everything was legalized.
Never happen you say. I thought the same in the 1960’s regarding marijuana. But guess what?
In the end, as in the beginning, the Dodgers have 25 no-hitters. Put that in your hookah.
Baseball fans know career records like Cy Young‘s career win total of 511, Walter Johnson’s 110 shutouts, or Nolan Ryan‘s record of 5, 714 strikeouts. But few if any know that Guy Wehring has a career record too. Guy is the career leader in hit batsmen with 277. He accomplished this record pitching from 1887-1901. And just because he pitched and died before any of us were born and that it was not set in the modern era does not belie the fact he holds the record.
Who holds the record for issuing the most intentional walks? That dear friends is relief pitcher Kent Tekulve with 179 (1974-1989). How a relief pitcher can hold a record like this is curious, but he did pitch 1,437 innings. The player receiving the most intentional passes was Barry Bonds with 688, far surpassing Hank Aaron‘s total of 293. Just another Hank Aaron record the cheater broke.
There are records I did not know existed, but someone at MLB is keeping track. The following only holds true for the modern era. The number of fly ball outs a pitcher has recorded belongs to Livan Hernandez with 3,248 and the batter who has aired out the most is Carlos Lee with 2,785. Switching to the ground Tim Hudson has recorded the most ground outs with 4,355 and the batter with most ground outs is Juan Pierre whose current 3,253 is 17 ahead of Derek Jeter, with Ichiro third.
We know Mariano Rivera is the career leader in saves with 652, but did you know Arthur Rhoades is the career leader in holds with 231? Thought not. Now you can one up your buddies.
One modern pitcher holds two records I find fascinating. Mark Buehrle holds the career record for getting hitters to hit into double plays with 310 and he holds the record for picking runners off base with 88. Andy Pettitte who gets praise for his ability to pick off runners is second with a mere 51, far behind Buehrle. Tip of the hat to Mark for his two distinguished records. Cal Ripken has hit into most double plays, logging in at 350. Alas no record found on which runner leads in getting picked off.
But there is a record for most pitches thrown, the record holder being C.C. Sabathia with 43, 552. Again a modern record, which I am sure if numbers had been kept we would see Cy Young’s name at the top. The batter who has seen the most pitches is Bobby Abreu at 33, 582, seventeen ahead of Ichiro.
Another blast from the past, like Wehring, is from the forgotten era, and that is Tony Mullane’s (1881-1894) record of 343 wild pitches. Who knew they kept track of wild pitches in those days?
Most balks is 90 by Steve Carlton, doubling the 45 of second place holder Bob Welch.
Most sacrifice flys goes to Eddie Murray with 128, beating out former teammate Cal Ripken who had 127.
And finally one record that will never be broken is 512, the number of sacrifice bunts held by Eddie Collins (1906-1930). The game has little small ball left, it is a power game. But throughout baseball history it is a game of numbers. And now you have some more to chew on.
The Good Ship Mariner hit choppy waters rounding Cape Disappointment, their streak of not losing a series since the Houston fiasco April24-26, ending in Cleveland. Seattle lost two heartbreakers Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s loss with Felix on the mound.
What? Felix losing a game. It happens. Justin Verlander gave up eight or nine runs the other night, so Cy Young pitchers can and do have an off night. Felix struck out eight in five innings, pretty powerful, but he threw 107 pitches, gave up eight hits and six runs, five earned. That would be what he normally gives up in a few games. It was a matter of location and he was locating in the hitters zone and they were hitting.
I mentioned in a recent blog the Mariners were taking one step forward and two steps back as they would flirt getting to within two game of .500 then fall back. This time after beating New York 3-2 Thursday they were within one game of .500 at 20-21. Now they are 20-24 after running their ship aground near Lake Erie.
It is as if the Mariners might have stage fright or fear of success. Their comfort zone is playing below .500 and when they get close to achieving success, for them being .500, or, God forbid, playing above .500, they lose a few games. I think if the Mariners got on another hot streak, an extended one against the Angels Tuesday and Wednesday in Disneyland against the Angels, then against Texas at home, playing a home and home against San Diego, then on to Minnesota, the Mariners could be above .500. If that happens Mariner fans will get dizzy with the rarified height this team has gone.
That streak could start Monday in a wrap up game with Cleveland. Emperor Iwakuma takes the mound. Can Cleveland beat the King and the Emperor two days in a row? So far this year, after beating Felix, the Indians have a 7-1 record against former Cy Young winners. The Indians are playing great baseball, so anything can happen. The Emperor must stop the Indians, the Mariners must start a new streak. They must prove to themselves they have no stage fright, prove they have no fear of success, prove they belong in rarified heights.
The Mariners need to re-excite the fans, keep the energy flowing in the right direction, get the Good Ship Mariner past Cape Disappointment.
King Felix is the Mariners first ace, he with the Cy Young, the perfect game, Felix’s Court out in left field, and his love for the city of Seattle. But the Mariners have a second ace and one not up their sleeves, but out in the open for all to see. At the rate these two are pitching it would be a major crime akin to David Stern killing the Sonics for them not to make the all-star team.
Emperor Iwakuma’s numbers are a royal flush. In nine starts he is 5-1 with a 1.84 earned run average. In 59 innings the opposition is batting .183 against him and he has struck out 55, walking only 8.
While some still doubt his ability, the game he is dealing is not one where the jokers are wild. Mariner fans remember his 2012 start when he was in the bullpen, used as often as David Stern uses Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” By the all-star game he was 1-1 with an earned run average of 4.84 with one start on July 2nd. But after the all-star break he was 8-4 with a 2.50 ERA.
Since he joined the rotation July 15 of 2012 he has started 24 games with a 13-5 record and a 2.23 ERA. His performance since then puts him in the ace category. A good record, even better when you consider he has pitched for a team that scored runs last year as often as David Stern fly’s to Seattle for a cup of Starbuck’s mocha java.
In this five card stud game, the Mariners have two in King Felix and Emperor Iwakuma. It is up to Brendon Maurer, or Joe Saunders-on the road as well as home- to step up and become the third stud. I would mention Aaron Harang, but he is an old war horse, a Seattle Slew soon to go to the stud farm, or the glue factory. He can still be effective, but is too wizened to be a stud pitcher.
As far as Chancellor Stern, he is as much of a stud as Pee Wee Herman in a porn theatre. I look forward to Stern’s retirement to the bunker with Eva.
Despite having all the numbers showing he is the best defensive shortstop in baseball and despite winning the Fielding Bible Award, which indeed said he was, Seattle Mariner shortstop Brendan Ryan did not win a gold glove. The voters chose J.J. Hardy instead.
Managers and coaches are the voters and they just don’t get it. They need to look at the actual award shown to the right. It is a glove, not a bat. Yet year after year, Gold Gloves often go to good defensive players who have solid, if not outstanding offensive numbers. As mentioned in previous blog, Rafael Palmeiro won a Gold Glove one year for his play at first base in a year he played less than 30 games at the position. He was the DH, not a position player. Apparently managers and coaches in the American League had faulty memories, confused and addled, with onset of senility.It is ludicrous to weigh offensive numbers for a defensive award. If the numbers say Brendan Ryan is the best shortstop then he should be awarded the Gold Glove, not get the Golden Fleece.
To me it is just as stupid as giving an MVP award to a pitcher. That is what the Cy Young award is, to honor the most valuable, the best pitcher in the league. Hitters can not win a Cy Young because they do not pitch, so why should pitchers win an MVP award. To say that in some years there is no standout offensive player and that a pitcher may indeed be more valuable does not matter. As I said, the Cy Young designates the most valuable pitcher.
Gold Glove awards mean nothing. In a game measured by statistics, numbers, sabremetrics, theorems, formulas, ands space age mathematics, these awards are subjective, and a thoughtless subjectivity at that.
And by the way, how did Mike Trout of the Angels not win a Gold Glove? In another study he was chosen as the best defensive player in baseball. Period.
But being the best shortstop in baseball and the best defensive player in baseball is not good enough for a Gold Glove. What a joke.