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Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Facts on AL surprising starts

By Jeremy Lundblad

Today’s Trivia: Set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in July, Bert Blyleven turns 60 today. Among those who have already been up for a vote, who now has the most career strikeouts for a pitcher not in the Hall of Fame?

Quick Hits: A quick look at the numbers behind the four most surprising starts in the American League.

Tampa Bay Rays
• Ian Kinsler and Jose Tabata have both scored more runs (7) than the Rays (6).
• In innings 4-6, the Rays are 2-for-38 (.053).
• It’s tough to start rallies when you are hitting .098 with no outs.
• The Rays are batting .105 in at-bats lasting longer than one pitch.
• Last season, the Rays were 86-36 when allowing five runs or fewer. This season? 0-4.

Boston Red Sox
• Much has been made about the Red Sox having a lefty heavy lineup, but consider this: Red Sox lefties are batting .300 against southpaws, while right-handed hitters are just 3-for-32 (.094).
• From the sixth inning on, the Red Sox are hitting just .125 (7-for-56).
• Boston’s 7-to-9 hitters are a combined 4-for-38 (.105).
• The first time through the lineup, opponents are hitting .171 off Red Sox starters. After that, they’re hitting .417.
• The Red Sox have allowed 12 runs in the fourth inning alone. That’s more than four teams have allowed all season.
• No team in MLB history has rebounded from a 0-4 start to win the World Series. Only the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals reached the World Series after starting the year with four straight defeats and they lost to the Kansas City Royals in seven games.

Baltimore Orioles
• Opposing 3-5 hitters are 4-for-45 (.089) this season.
• Through four games, the opposition has a total of two hits in the first two innings and a .077 batting average.
• The Orioles were 39-88 in 2010 when scoring less than six runs. This season? 4-0.
• Opponents are hitting .136 against the O’s starters, who have allowed a total of 12 hits. Matt Garza allowed that many in his first start for the Cubs.
• At 4-0, the Orioles are looking for their first 5-0 start since 1970, a year they won the World Series.

Kansas City Royals
• Kansas City’s relievers are 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA. Last season, the bullpen went 21-27 with a 4.46 ERA.
• Opponents are actually hitting .288 against the Royals, the fourth highest in the majors. But with runners in scoring position, they have a .180 batting average. That means opponents are hitting .323 when there aren’t runners in scoring position.
• The Royals have won consecutive games lasting longer than 11 innings for the first time since April 1969.

Trivia Answer: Among those that have already been up for a vote, Mickey Lolich‘s 2,832 strikeouts are the most for a pitcher not in the Hall of Fame.