Monday, April 19, 2010
1st pitch: Guess who leads the team
By Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN Stats & Info
Today’s Trivia: Joe Mauer turns 27 today. Who is the only player younger than Mauer who has more career hits?
Quick Hits: Early on, there are some interesting names who currently reside as team statistical leaders:
* After closing out Saturday’s marathon, Mike Pelfrey now leads the Mets in wins (two) and saves (one).
* David Ortiz only has six hits on the season, but with five doubles, he leads the Red Sox.
* Despite pitching solely out of the bullpen, Casey Janssen leads the Blue Jays with three wins. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first pitcher in 18 years to win three of his team’s first six games. The last to do it was Jose Melendez for the 1992 Padres.
* Joey Votto leads the Reds with four stolen bases, which matches his total from last season.
* Jeff Mathis is tied for the Angels’ team lead with two stolen bases, which matches his career-high.
* Lyle Overbay might be hitting just .080, but he leads the Blue Jays in triples. Granted he’s hit the team’s only triple thus far.
* Jeff Keppinger leads the Astros with 17 total bases.
* Cliff Pennington, who never hit more than eight homers in the minors, leads the A’s with two.
* Tyler Clippard, who has only appeared as a reliever, leads the Nationals in strikeouts with nine.
Key Matchups: Bobby Abreu, one of the most patient hitters in the game, has faced Dontrelle Willis 35 times in his career and only walked once. To be fair, the two haven’t squared off since 2005. Willis was the runner-up for the NL Cy Young that year, and hadn’t yet begun to struggle with his control. However, Abreu has only faced two pitchers more without drawing multiple walks. Both Roy Halladay (39 PA, 0 BB) and Curt Schilling (44 PA, 1 BB) are famous for pinpoint control.
After missing the final 129 games of 2009, Conor Jackson is still getting back in the groove for Arizona. He has hit safely in 10 of 11 games, but only has one extra-base hit and one multiple hit game. Against Brad Penny, Monday could be a breakout game. Jackson is a .474 career hitter against Penny, his second highest average against any pitcher he’s faced 15 times. David Wright (.579) is the only hitter with a higher average against Penny with at least 20 plate appearances.
Today’s Leaderboard: Early in 2010, Joel Pineiro, who starts Monday against the Tigers, has continued his renaissance by using the ground ball to his advantage. He currently has a 6.50 ground out to air out ratio, which is nearly double that of any other pitcher, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Trivia Answer: Jose Reyes turns 27 in June and has 105 more hits than Mauer, though in 645 more plate appearances. Miguel Cabrera almost qualifies, but he turned 27 yesterday.