Tuesday, May 10, 2011
MLB Daily: Jeter, Bucs and no-hit luck
By David Bearman & Kenton Wong
Today’s trivia: Roy Halladay pitches against Josh Johnson and the Florida Marlins tonight. Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins last year with Johnson on the mound. Only one pitcher has thrown multiple no-hitters against the same losing pitcher. Can you name the matchup?
Jeter on the rise?
Following a 2010 season when Derek Jeter had slash lines of .270/.340/.370 -- the lowest in his career for a full season -- critics argued that he was declining rapidly, both in the field and at the plate.
Entering play on Saturday, Jeter had been even worse: .250/.312/.268.
What was most alarming was the lack of power.
Among 239 players with at least 75 plate appearances entering the weekend, Jeter ranked 223rd in slugging percentage at .268. That gave him an Isolated Power (ISO) of .018. (ISO measures how good a player is at hitting for extra bases. Last season the league average was .145.) Jeter’s lowest ISO for a season is .100, which came last season.
Jeter also recently said that a couple of four-hit games would help get him back on track.
For the most part he was right.
Following a weekend during which Jeter went 6-for-11 with three extra-base hits (including his first two home runs of the season), his batting average jumped 26 points and his slugging percentage rose 82 points.
In terms of slugging percentage, Jeter had the second-best weekend among players with at least five at-bats, slugging 1.182. Only Carlos Gomez, who doubled twice and tripled in five at-bats for a 1.400 slugging percentage, topped Jeter.
The Yankees captain can build on his weekend by facing three Kansas City Royals pitchers that he's fared well against in his career. Jeter is a combined 21-for-55 (.382) with six extra-base hits against Kansas City's projected starters Kyle Davies, Bruce Chen and Sean O'Sullivan.
Bucs above .500
The Pittsburgh Pirates (18-17) have a winning record at the deepest point in a season since May 29, 2004, when they were 23-22. How do the Pirates -- who have finished with a losing record in each of the past 18 seasons -- have more wins than losses?
• 2.81 bullpen ERA -- 2004 was the last time the Pirates' bullpen finished with an ERA under four (3.59).
• 11 saves -- only the Rockies, Yankees and Giants have more. The last time the Pirates led the league in saves was 1991.
• 3.54 team ERA -- Pittsburgh has not had a team ERA under four since 1998. The Pirates' ERA has been above 4.50 each of the past five seasons.
• 11 road wins -- only the Angels have more (12). The last time the Pirates finished with a winning road record? 1992 (43-38), which was the last time they made the postseason.
Trivia answer: In 1973, Kansas City Royals pitcher Steve Busby no-hit the Detroit Tigers with Clyde Wright as the opposing pitcher. Busby’s second no-hitter came in 1974 against the Brewers, with Wright the opposing starting pitcher.