Thursday, April 7, 2011
Rangers, Reds go streaking
Today’s Trivia: The Boston Red Sox last started 0-5 in 1996. Which starting pitcher got the win to break that losing streak?
Quick Hits: Let’s dive into the two remaining undefeated teams.
Texas Rangers – 6-0 - Best start since 1996 (7-0)
• Timely hitting has been key. The Rangers are batting .320 with RISP and just .235 otherwise.
• Of their 30 hits with no one on base, 10 have been home runs.
• The Rangers lead the majors with 32 extra-base hits, while their 23 singles are tied for the fourth fewest.
• In the first three innings, Texas is hitting .217 (though six of 15 hits are home runs). From the fourth inning on, the Rangers are hitting .320.
• In three-ball counts, opponents are batting .114 with a .373 OBP. Last season, they hit .248 with a .573 OBP.
• The 1-2 hitters in opposing batting orders are a combined 8-fo-47 (.170).
• Over the past two seasons, Rangers starting pitchers have a 2.21 ERA before April 15.
Cincinnati Reds – 5-0 – Best start since 1990 (9-0)
• The Reds’ bullpen has a 1.29 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .189 BA.
• Eight of the 17 runs allowed this season have come in the first inning, and the Reds have trailed going into the second inning in three of five games. After the first, Reds pitchers have a 2.03 ERA.
• The top three hitters in the order – Drew Stubbs, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto – are hitting a combined .406.
• Catchers Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez have combined for a .476 BA and 1.405 OPS.
• The Reds lead the league with a.339 BA. Take out the pitchers, and the Reds are hitting .349 as a team thus far.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, today’s Houston Astros-Reds game will be the first between a 5-0 or better team and a 0-5 or worse team since 2003. It happened three times that season.
This Date in Baseball History
1977 - The expansion Toronto Blue Jays began their major league odyssey with a 9-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium. Al Woods, pinch hitting for Steve Bowling in the fifth inning, became the 11th pinch hitter with a home run in his first at-bat.
1979 - Ken Forsch of the Houston Astros pitched a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves to duplicate the no-hitter tossed by his brother Bob of the St. Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 16, 1978. They are the first brothers to pitch no-hitters.
1984 – The Detroit Tigers’ Jack Morris pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox despite giving up six walks. It was the first Tigers no-hitter since Jim Bunning's in 1958.
Trivia Answer: Making his first start with the Red Sox, Jamie Moyer picked up the win to put an end to Boston’s 0-5 start in 1996. Moyer, now an ESPN analyst, held the Kansas City Royals to one run and four hits in 7⅓ innings.