Texas Rangers: Next Level
July, 29, 2014
By ESPN Stats & Information
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsYu Darvish was able to hold the Yankees offense to 2 solo homers by Brett Gardner in a win Monday.
Gardner owns Darvish
Rangers’ starter Yu Darvish was able to withstand a big game from Brett Gardner, who launched two home runs off of him. After picking up three hits in four plate appearances Monday, Gardner is now 5-11 in his career against Darvish in 12 plate appearances. Four of those five hits are home runs.
Gardner’s four home runs are tied for the most that Darvish has given up to any player in his career. The others to take the Rangers ace deep that many times are Mike Trout and Brandon Moss.
Darvish limits the damage
Darvish improved to 3-1 in his career against the Bronx Bombers. In 31 1/3 innings against Darvish, the Yankees have lived up to that nickname by hitting six home runs. Unfortunately for New York, all six of those home runs have been solo shots.
Monday, Darvish threw a strike on 74 percent of his pitches, the highest strike rate of his career. He also locked in when there were men on. With the bases empty, the Yankees were 7-17 (.412 BA) against him. With men on, Darvish held the Yankees to two singles in 12 plate appearances.
Jeter passes Yaz
Derek Jeter also had a big game, going 3-4 to give himself 3,420 career hits. That allowed him to pass Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski for seventh-most all-time in MLB history. Next up, and likely the only other player Jeter will pass on the list, is Honus Wagner who currently has 10 more hits than Jeter.
Did you know?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Dennis Martinez and Mike Morgan are the only two pitchers to allow a hit to both Derek Jeter and Carl Yastrzemski in their careers.
Martinez is the only one to allow a homer to both.
May, 22, 2014
By ESPN Stats & Information
AP Photo/David ZalubowskiPrince Fielder was struggling to produce even before his recent injury.If Prince Fielder’s herniated disk in his neck costs him the rest of the season, it would be a surprise turn for a player who had been among the most durable in baseball.
Since his first full season in 2006, Fielder has missed a total of 13 games over a span of eight seasons. His 1,283 games played during that stretch were more than any other player in baseball.
The slugging first baseman has already missed five games this season, matching the most he’s missed in a single season in 2006 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Fielder’s absence is just the latest in a long line of maladies that have afflicted the Texas Rangers. They have used the disabled list 17 times already this season, four more than the next closest team, the Cincinnati Reds.
Signs of decline
Even before his injury, Fielder had been struggling to replicate the power numbers that he had in the past. After posting a .981 OPS in his last season with the Brewers in 2011, his OPS has decreased in each of the last 3 seasons, bottoming out at .720 so far this season.
Due to the fact that Fielder doesn’t contribute much on defense or the basepaths, his diminished hitting has resulted in -0.3 wins above replacement this season, making him one of the least productive first basemen in baseball.
Back in 2011, 22 percent of Fielder’s fly balls ended up as home runs. That number dropped to 16 percent in 2012, then 13 percent last season. Through 42 games this season, only eight percent of his fly balls are turning into home runs. This season his average fly ball distance is just 272 feet – that ranks outside the top 100 in baseball.
Opposing teams have taken notice. Fielder is seeing more pitches in the strike zone and more fastballs than he had previously in his career. Although he seems to be seeing no shortage of hittable pitches, he’s no longer doing anywhere near the damage with pitches in the strike zone that he used to, slugging just .402 against pitches in the strike zone on the season.
Justin Havens and Lee Singer contributed to this post