Wacky stats abound throughout MLB in 2014
The baseball season is strange, striking and stupefying -- and we've got the statistics to prove it.
From the crazy to the comical to the unforeseen to the illustrative, below is merely a small sampling of the noteworthy numbers that have caught my eye in this 2014 campaign. Feel free to contribute your own in the comments section. (A tip of the cap to the STATS LLC and Baseball-Reference.com databases. All stats are through Thursday's play.)
172: Jose Abreu's league- and ballpark-adjusted OPS+. The only other rookie to have a mark of 170 or higher was Shoeless Joe Jackson (172) in 1911.
4.57, .778: Wade Davis' ERA and opponents' OPS in his career as a starter.
0.94, .403: Davis' ERA and opponents' OPS out of the Royals' bullpen this year.
2.56: Tanner Roark's ERA, dating back to his Aug. 7, 2013, debut. Among starters with at least 200 innings in that span, only Clayton Kershaw (1.68), Johnny Cueto (2.25), Zack Greinke (2.30) and Jon Lester (2.38) have fared better. Good company for a guy who might not even be in the Nationals' playoff rotation.
11.0: Phil Hughes' strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Twins. Just one pitcher in the modern era finished a season with a K/BB ratio that high: Bret Saberhagen (also 11.0) with the 1994 Mets. Cliff Lee (10.28 in 2010) is the only other modern-era pitcher with a K/BB rate of 10.0 or higher.
21: Shutouts recorded by Rays pitchers, the most by an American League club in the designated hitter era (since 1973). Ten pitchers started those 21 shutouts, with Matt Moore, whose season ended in April, the only Tampa Bay starter not to take part in one.
.180: The Dodgers' batting average with the bases loaded. In the past 20 years, only three teams -- the 2012 Astros (.130), '11 Reds (.169) and '02 Phillies (.172) -- have fared worse in those situations.
.571: The Rangers' winning percentage (24-18) in day games.
.327: The Rangers' winning percentage (36-74) in night games. No team has a bigger discrepancy. Too bad Texas has played the second-most night games.
64: Number of players used by the injury-riddled Rangers this season, a new record.
3: The number of five-hit (or more) games logged by the Rockies' Charlie Blackmon this year. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other guys to have as many in a season were Ty Cobb (1922), Tris Speaker ('23), Stan Musial ('48), Tony Gwynn ('93) and Ichiro Suzuki (2004). All of them are Hall of Famers or, in Ichiro's case, an expected Hall of Famer.
.226: Team batting average for the Padres, the lowest of any club since 1972, when the Mets hit .225 and the Rangers hit .217.
.422: Jose Altuve's batting average against left-handed pitching. That's the 10th-highest split since 1974.
9: The Yankees' "spread" from most games over .500 to most games under .500 this season. They've never been more than seven games over or two games under. According to Diane Firstman of the Value Over Replacement Grit blog, the Yankees will tie the 1998 Dodgers and 2011 Blue Jays for the lowest spread in a 162-game season, making them masters of hovering around .500.
.269: Hunter Pence's batting average (101-for-376) with nobody on base.
.377: Pence's average (40-for-106) with runners in scoring position.
.452: Pence's average (19-for-42) with runners in scoring position and two out, by far the best mark in the Majors.
33.7: Percentage of Albert Pujols' RBIs that have driven in the go-ahead run.
.135: Freddie Freeman vs. the Marlins (10-for-74).
.432: Freeman vs. the Nationals (32-for-74).
.293: Freeman vs. everybody else (125-for-426).
13.04: The number of plate appearances between walks, on average, in MLB. This is the highest mark since the famous "Year of the Pitcher" in 1968.
3.64: The Nationals' pitching staff's collective strikeout-to-walk ratio. That's the best mark in the modern era.
3.7: Walks per nine innings allowed by Pat Neshek from 2006-13.
1.1: Walks per nine innings Neshek has allowed out of the Cardinals' bullpen this year.
0.83: Kershaw's WHIP this season, currently the sixth best in the modern era, trailing only Pedro Martinez in 2000 (0.74), Walter Johnson in 1913 (0.77), Addie Joss in 1908 (0.81), Greg Maddux in 1995 (0.81) and Ed Walsh in 1910 (0.82).
31, 40: Homers and strikeouts, respectively, for Victor Martinez. In a 162-game season, only two other guys have hit at least 30 homers while striking out no more than 40 times -- Don Mattingly (in 1986 and '87) and Gary Sheffield ('92). Martinez can strike out up to four more times and have only one other name join that list -- Barry Bonds, who hit 45 homers with 41 K's in 2004 and 37 homers with 43 K's in 1994.
.387: J.D. Martinez's slugging percentage in his first 975 plate appearances in the Majors (all with Houston).
.569: Martinez's slugging percentage with the Tigers this year.
Sept. 10: The day the Red Sox, who won 97 games and the World Series championship last year, were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Sept. 13: The day the Astros, who lost a Major League-high 111 games last year, were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
17.63: Strikeouts per nine innings for the Reds' Aroldis Chapman. That is the highest in history by almost a full point. The Braves' Craig Kimbrel had a 16.66 mark in 2012. Chapman's 3.75 hits per nine innings mark is also the lowest all-time.
10.8: The number of relievers, on average, with at least 50 innings pitched who finished the season with an ERA under 2.00 from 2009-13 (with a high of 14 in '13).
23: The number this year.
540: The number of times Terry Francona (or someone filling in for him when he's been ejected) has summoned a reliever this year. With seven relievers used in Thursday's 2-1 win over Houston, the Indians tied the AL record of 540 relievers used, which was set ... by the Indians last year. The National League record is 588, set by the 2007 Nats.
17.93: At-bats between home runs for Mark Trumbo from 2011-13. He went deep 95 times in that span.
32.56: At-bats between home runs for Trumbo this year. He has nine homers.
0: Ben Revere's home runs, in 1,400 plate appearances from 2010-13.
2: Revere's home runs for the Phillies this season.
159: Total Major League innings pitched by veteran Chris Young from 2010-13, including zero last year.
162: Innings for Young in the Mariners' rotation this year. With a 3.33 ERA, he's been one of baseball's best comeback stories.
22: Number of days (Aug. 18-Sept. 8) it took the Brewers to go from three up to six back of the Cardinals in the NL Central.
33: Number of days (Aug. 11-Sept. 12) it took the A's to go from four up to 11 back of the Angels in the AL West.
.483: David Wright's career slugging percentage against right-handers, prior to this season.
.335: Wright's slugging percentage against righties this season.
.194: Anthony Rizzo's career batting average against lefties prior to this season. It was the fifth-lowest mark from 2011-13.
.303: Rizzo's average vs. lefties this year.
1.728: Scott Van Slyke's OPS on first pitches (29 plate appearances), best in the big leagues.
.400/.413/.578: Jayson Werth's slash line in 0-2 counts, covering 46 plate appearances for the Nats.
.411: Jose Bautista's on-base percentage the first time an opposing pitcher goes through the order, the best in baseball by more than 50 points.
24 years, 290 days: Giancarlo Stanton's age when he hit his 150th homer. Among "active" players, only Pujols (24 years, 212 days) and Alex Rodriguez (24 years, 250 days) got there quicker.
26, .196: Home runs and batting average for Baltimore's Chris Davis. The only other players in history to have that many homers with an average of .196 or less were Mark McGwire (29, .187) in 2001 and Carlos Pena (28, .196) in '10.
76: Edinson Volquez's ballpark-adjusted ERA+ from 2009-13. In other words, 24 percent worse than league average.
110: Volquez's ERA+ this year for the Pirates. In other words, 10 percent better than league average. Another victory for Bucs pitching coach Ray Searage and Co.
0.52: Average number of replay challenges per game in the first season of expanded replay usage.
47.8: Percentage of reviewed plays that had resulted in an overturned call, per baseballsavant.com.
1: Number of times a team challenged a ruling to have its own runner called out. That would be the Blue Jays, on July 3. They did it to overturn an out call at second, thereby eliminating a double-play forceout at home so they could score a run.
0: The number of players with 40 home runs. Nelson Cruz entered play on Friday with 39. The most recent time Major League Baseball didn't have a 40-homer guy was 1982, when Reggie Jackson and Gorman Thomas led everybody with 39.