1st Pitch: Trends coming out of the 'pen

June, 21, 2010
6/21/10
1:14
PM ET
Quick Hits: When Luke Gregerson walked Matt Wieters on Sunday, it snapped a streak of 118 batters faced without issuing a walk. The Padres’ reliever still sports the best BB per 9 IP among relievers this season. Let’s take a look at some other interesting numbers coming out of the bullpen:
  • Pedro Feliciano has already appeared in 40 games. With 19 games to go before the All-Star break, he’s on track to break Mike Stanton’s Mets record of 49 appearances before the break. Over the last 30 years, Salomon Torres’ 53 pre-break appearances for the 2006 Pirates are the most for any reliever.
  • Opponents are hitting just .104 against Jose Valverde. Over the last 50 years, the lowest opponent batting average for a pitcher with at least 50 innings was .133 against Eric Gagne in 2003.
  • The Astros’ Wilton Lopez has not allowed any of 19 inherited runners to score, nor have any of the 14 runners inherited by Joe Thatcher scored. According to STATS LLC, the best inherited runners scored percentage over the last 30 years belongs to Robb Nen, who allowed only one of 28 to score in 1994.
  • Mike Adams and Gregerson are tied for the MLB lead with 17 holds. Thus, both teammates are on pace for almost 40 holds, breaking the record of 36 shared by Tom Gordon (’04 Yankees) and Scott Linebrink (’06 Padres), according to STATS LLC.
  • The Padres’ 2.52 bullpen ERA is on pace to be the lowest since the 2003 Dodgers (2.46).
  • The bullpens for the Braves and Tigers are both 16-6. That .727 win pct would be the best since the 1998 Yankees bullpen went 28-9 (.757).
  • The Diamondbacks’ 7.14 bullpen ERA is on track to be the highest over the last 50 years –- and it’s not even close. The 2007 Rays had a 6.16 bullpen ERA. Opponents are hitting .304 against Arizona’s bullpen, which would be the highest since opponents hit .315 against the Tigers pen in 1953.
Today’s Trivia: The Yankees and Diamondbacks meet on Monday for the 10th time since Arizona took Game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Only three Diamondbacks who appeared in a game in that World Series are still active somewhere in the majors. Can you name them?

Today’s Leaderboard: According to STATS LLC, the Padres have allowed only 15.4 percent of inherited runners to score, on pace to be the lowest over the last 35 years. Meanwhile, the Angels have allowed 48.2 percent of inherited runners to score. That would be the second highest in the last 30 years, behind only the 2003 Royals (48.7).

Key Matchups: Derek Jeter is a .448 career hitter against Rodrigo Lopez, whom he faced extensively as AL East foes from 2002 to 2006. That’s his fourth highest average against a pitcher he has faced at least 30 times. His four home runs and 11 RBI are both the second most he has against any pitcher, with five HR and 13 RBI against Sidney Ponson leading the way.

Jason Kendall has an 11-game hitting streak against Livan Hernandez dating back to 1998. A .353 career hitter against Hernandez in 26 plate appearances, the two first squared off in 1997, the only game in which Kendall didn’t get a hit.

Trivia Answer: Craig Counsell, Miguel Batista and Rod Barajas are the only active major leaguers who appeared in the 2001 World Series for Arizona.

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