Stats & Info: Adam Jones

Top stats to know: 2014 Home Run Derby

July, 14, 2014

Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY SportsYoenis Céspedes looks to be the 1st back-to-back-winner since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and 1999.
The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby gets going at 8 p.m. ET from Target Field in Minnesota (ESPN and WatchESPN).

The competition features some new rules this season.

Five players from each league bat in the opening round, with seven outs instead of 10. The player who hits the most home runs from each league gets a bye to the third round. The two players with the next-most home runs go head-to-head in the second round. The head-to-head winners will face their league's top seed in the third round, with the winners from each league going against each other in the final round.

Here's a look at the numbers for each of the 10 participants.

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Bautista will captain the American League team. The last four Home Run Derby champs have been from the American League. The last NL winner was Prince Fielder in 2009. Bautista was the runner up to Fielder in 2012 when Fielder was a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Bautista is a huge fan of Target Field. He has a .966 slugging percentage and 11 home runs in 59 at-bats there.

A player’s home run park percentage is the percentage of stadiums at which a home run would have gone over the fence under calm conditions (70 degrees Fahrenheit, no wind). Of the 31 players to hit at least 15 home runs in the first half, Bautista has the highest home run park percentage, 94.7 percent (meaning on average, his home runs would have been out of 30 of the 32 parks).

Yoenis Céspedes, Oakland Athletics
Céspedes, the defending champion, is looking to become the first back-to-back winner since Ken Griffey Jr. won in 1998 and 1999.

Céspedes hit a total of 32 home runs in last year’s Home Run Derby, which was eight more than any other contestant.

Target Field has a shorter power-alley in left center field than last year’s host park, Citi Field (377 feet versus 385 feet), though it does have a slightly longer distance to the foul pole (339 feet versus 335 feet). Twenty-six of Cespedes’ 32 home runs in last year’s Home Run Derby were hit to the left of center field.

Cespedes has not shown the power he showed in 2013. Last season, he averaged 403 feet per home run. This season, he’s averaging 383.5 feet per homer.

Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
Donaldson has 20 home runs this season, with 15 coming on the inner half of the plate, or off the inside corner.

Donaldson would be expected to pull the ball on Monday night, but he has very good opposite-field power. His seven home runs to the opposite field are one shy of Nelson Cruz for the major-league lead.

Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Dozier will be trying to join Ryne Sandberg as the only players to win the Home Run Derby in their home ballpark. Sandberg did so in the early days of the event, in 1990.

Dozier’s home runs have a distinct characteristic. He likes to hit them on pitches up at his shoulders and above. His six home runs on pitches above the top of the strike zone are twice as many as anyone else in the majors.

Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
In contrast to Dozier, Jones likes the ball low. Eleven of his 16 home runs (69 percent)have come against pitches in the lower-third of the strike zone or below. The only player in the majors with more such home runs is Mike Trout with 16.

Jones is trying to become the first Orioles player to win the Home Run Derby since Miguel Tejada in 2004.

Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
Tulowitzki finished tied for the NL lead with 21 home runs in the first half, with 14 of them coming at Coors Field.

He’s trying to become the first Rockies player to win the Home Run Derby.

Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
Frazier has already matched his career high for home runs in a season with his 19 at the All-Star Break. Though he’ll likely take aim for left field at Target Field, he might poke a few out to the deepest parts of the park. Frazier has seven home runs to straightaway center field this season. Only Carlos Gomez (eight) has more.

Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies
Morneau is the only left-handed hitter in this year’s Home Run Derby.

Seven of the past nine and 14 of the past 18 Home Run Derby winners have been left-handed hitters. The only right-handed hitter to win in the last six Derby's is last year’s winner, Yoenis Céspedes of the Oakland Athletics.

Morneau is very familiar with Target Field from his time with the Minnesota Twins. His 20 home runs there are second-most by a left-handed hitter, trailing Jim Thome’s 24.

Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
Puig hit 12 home runs in the first half, but he hit them pretty far, averaging 417.3 feet per home run (fourth-best in the majors).

Puig’s shortest home run of the first half was 390 feet, making him one of two players to hit 10 home runs and have all of them calculated at 390 feet or more (Jay Bruce is the other).

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Stanton averaged 423.8 feet per home run in the first half, the best of anyone in baseball with at least 10 home runs.
He also led in average speed off bat (109.5 miles per hour), 425-foot home runs (nine) and 450-foot home runs (five).

Stanton’s 484-foot home run on April 4 is the second-longest home run of the year (Mike Trout, 489 feet on June 27 is the longest).

Inside the at-bat: Jones vs  Rivera

July, 7, 2013
The New York Yankees were two outs away from winning their seventh straight game and sweeping the Baltimore Orioles.

But Adam Jones, who has had a penchant for hitting big home runs the last two seasons, hit one of his team's most notable homer in 2013, a two-run game-winner off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Let's take a closer look at the home run.

The rarity of the home run
The home run marked the sixth time in his career that Rivera allowed a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning or later with his team winning at the time.

But it’s only the second time that a player hit such a home run in Yankee Stadium. The other was hit by Bengie Molina of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2004.

Rivera had his streak of 41 straight save conversions at Yankee Stadium snapped. That’s an impressive run, though it’s not his longest save-conversion streak at Yankee Stadium.

His longest is tied with Eric Gagne for the longest of all-time, a 51-save streak from 2007 to 2010.

Breaking down the matchup
Jones’ go-ahead HR off Mariano Rivera came on a 93 mph fastball.

It was only the third homer that Rivera has allowed on a pitch of 93 mph or faster over the last five seasons, the first since one by Reed Johnson of the Chicago Cubs on June 18, 2011.

The homer came on an inside pitch, Jones' eighth homer homer this season on a pitch on the inner third of the plate or further inside. Only two AL players have hit more homers on inside pitches: Mark Trumbo (11) and Miguel Cabrera (10).

Right-handed hitters have a .695 OPS against Rivera this season, 168 points higher than what they had against him from 2009 to 2012 (albeit in a much smaller sample).

The other big AB
Right before Jones homered, Nick Markakis reached by singling on an 0-2 pitch.

Rivera tried to freeze Markakis with a fastball on the outside corner of the knees, but got too much plate with it and Markakis whacked it into center field.

Markakis is 7-for-20 (.350 batting average) for his career against Rivera. That's 10th-best among those hitters with at least 15 at-bats against the Yankees' closer (combining regular season and postseason).

Edgar Martinez has the best batting average against Rivera-- .579.

Other notables from the game
There were a couple of other notable things to happen in this game.

Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda returned from injury and allowed no runs in seven innings.

Kuroda is tied with Clayton Kershaw and Justin Masterson for the major-league lead in starts of seven innings or more with no runs allowed with five.

And Orioles third baseman Manny Machado made one of the strongest throws of the season, from way out on the grass in foul territory to throw out Luis Cruz.

It netted Machado his 10th "Baseball Tonight" Web Gem of the season. That's the most in the major leagues, two ahead of Brandon Phillips and Alcides Escobar.

The Orioles are tied for the major-league lead in Web Gems with the Kansas City Royals with 24.

Did You Know?
Rivera blew a save against the Orioles for the ninth time in his career, the most by any pitcher against Baltimore. But keep in mind that his 76 saves against the Orioles are 40 more than any other pitcher and his most versus any opponent.

Jones is the third Orioles player to hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later against the Yankees with his team trailing at the time. The others to do so since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954 are Don Buford (1968) and Brady Anderson (1995).

Jones also leads the majors in go-ahead homers in the ninth inning or later over the last two seasons with five.

Top stats to know: Baltimore Orioles

February, 27, 2013

Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SportsMatt Wieters has made consecutive All-Star teams and won back-to-back Gold Gloves.
With Baseball Tonight visiting Baltimore Orioles spring training camp today, here’s a look at notable “Stats to Know” about the team that was among baseball’s biggest surprises last season.

No Star Power
The Orioles won last year without a superstar everyday player. Their Wins Above Replacement leader among position players was Adam Jones (3.4).

Three other teams had no position players record a 3.5 WAR or higher and they (Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners) combined for a .399 winning percentage.

The Orioles WAR leader among pitchers was Jason Hammel (2.9), making Baltimore one of 10 teams that had no pitchers with a WAR of 3.0 or better. Of those, only the Orioles and Brewers (83-79) had winning records.

Tough to replicate this
The Orioles will be challenged to replicate their success in close games last season.

They went 29-9 (.763) in one-run games, the best winning percentage in baseball history among teams to play at least 30 one-run games. They also went 16-2 in extra-inning games, had 24 last at-bat wins (most in the majors), only five last at-bat losses (fewest in the majors), and went 74-0 in games in which they led after seven innings.

What a relief!
The Orioles got the most out of their bullpen last season. Baltimore was the only team in baseball that ranked in the top five in both innings pitched and lowest ERA by relievers in 2012.

The Wieters effect
Matt Wieters has been very valuable to the Orioles, not just for his offense, but for his work behind the plate.

Wieters has made consecutive All-Star teams and won back-to-back Gold Gloves. His 31 Defensive Runs Saved since 2009 are second-most in the majors among catchers behind Yadier Molina.

Over the last two seasons, Orioles pitchers have a 4.15 ERA with Wieters catching and a 5.33 ERA with others behind the plate.

Player to watch: Manny Machado
Expectations are high for third baseman Manny Machado, who was valued at 1.5 Wins Above Replacement for his 51-game stint late last season.

Perhaps most impressive was the power he displayed at age 19. Since 1920, only three third basemen had a higher slugging percentage than Machado (.445) during their age-20 season or younger and among them are Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx and Eddie Mathews.

Pitcher to watch: Miguel Gonzalez
Miguel Gonzalez, who didn’t make his debut with the Orioles until late May, was one of the team’s best starting pitchers down the stretch.

Gonzalez was 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his last seven starts of the season (including his playoff start against the Yankees).

Gonzalez significantly improved the areas in which he had the most control, as noted in the chart on the right.

The year in MLB heat maps

December, 31, 2012
With 2012 about to come to a close, we thought we'd take one more look at the baseball season.

We'll do so both in words and with heat maps-- visual images that may bring back a memory, or tell you something about the greatness of a particular moment or performances.

The Year of the Triple Crown

Miguel Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the Triple Crown. He produced one of the most memorable baseball seasons in recent memory.

Cabrera helped the Detroit Tigers all the way to the World Series, by outhitting and outsluggling everyone in his path.

He solidified his finish and the Tigers pennant hopes by hitting .333 with 11 home runs and 30 runs batted in in September/October.

Cabrera would go on to win the AL MVP in a much-discussed resounding victory.

The Year Buster Posey Returned

Sidelined for a good portion of 2011, Buster Posey returned to form in the latter part of 2012 to cop MVP honors and help the San Francisco Giants to the World Series.

Posey hit .385 after the All-Star Break, a batting average 35 points better than anyone else in the majors and a number topped only three times in Giants history.

The Giants have won two World Series in three seasons with Posey as of their most important figures. He's establishing very early in his career that he'll be a player not to be forgotten.

The Year of Trout

Mike Trout lived up to his billing as one of baseball's most touted prospects. It didn't take long before he was the best player in the game.

Trout was a five-tool player who seemed like he could do almost anything at bat or in the field.

He hit .326 and finished one stolen base shy of a 30-homer/50 steal season.

He also robbed four players of home runs with his running, leaping catches at the fence.

...and Harper
Bryce Harper had some weaknesses in his game, but improved significantly upon those in helping the Washington Nationals to the NL East title.

Harper showed he would not be intimidated by stealing home after Cole Hamels hit him with a pitch.

His numbers in the season's final month were among baseball's best.

The AL and NL Rookies of the Year showed the ability that has many thinking they’ll be two of the biggest stars of this generation.

Each brought an intensity and skill that wowed fans of all ages.

The Year of Josh Hamilton's Extremes

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton looked like he was going to be the one contending for the Triple Crown in the early part of the season.

In his first 27 games, he hit .406 with 14 home runs and 36 RBI, capped by a four-homer game against the Baltimore Orioles.

What was most interesting about those four homers is that they came against pitches on the outer-third of the plate.

Those same pitches would give him quite a bit of trouble later in the season.

As good as Hamilton was early in the season, he struggled almost as much in the year's final weeks.

In his last 26 games (including the one-game playoff against those same Orioles), Hamilton struck out 39 times and missed on 45 percent of his swings.

Pitchers took advantage of his overeagerness repeatedly getting him to chase pitches out of the strike zone.

Hamilton went 2-for-17 in his last four games, a rough end to his Rangers career.

But his greatness was still enough to net him five years and $123 million from the Angels this offseason.

The Year of Perfection

There were a major-league record three perfect games in 2012, thrown by Philip Humber, Matt Cain, and Felix Hernandez.

Humber's was special for its unlikely nature. His 11 wins entering his perfecto start were the second-fewest by anyone at the time of their perfect game.

Cain's was magical, remembered both for his strikeout total (14, tying Sandy Koufax's record for strikeouts in a perfect game) and the great defensive play by Gregor Blanco to save it.

Hernandez's was great because of his dominance with both his fastball and his offspeed pitches. All 12 of his strikeouts came with his offspeed stuff.

The Year of the Knuckleball

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey brought the knuckleball to new heights in 2012.

Dickey found a way to command and dominate with a pitch that baffled opposing hitters.

Dickey resorted to a few new tricks, throwing it a little harder than usual and a little higher than usual.

The image at right shows Dickey’s success vs lefties. He whiffed as many in 2012 (110) as he did in 2010 and 2011 combined.

He finished with 230 strikeouts in all, becoming the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award.

The Year the Orioles Flew High

No one figured on the Baltimore Orioles making the postseason in 2012, but this overachieving group put together one of the more improbable runs on its way to winning a wild card spot.

Buoyed by timely hitting and a great bullpen, the Orioles won 16 straight extra-inning games.

The Orioles didn't have anyone who ranked among baseball's best in Wins Above Replacement, but their sum was greater than their parts.

Adam Jones epitomized Baltimore’s late-game magic by smacking four game-winning extra-inning homers.

The Orioles outlasted the Rays and challenged the Yankees for the AL East title, then took New York to five games in the ALDS.

The Year of the Unlikely Athletics

After a major offseason overhaul, the 2012 Oakland Athletics roster was comprised of a cast of unlikely standouts, who somehow knocked off the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels to win the AL West.

Grant Balfour was among many who achieved beyond their usual means and had a little something left at season’s end. He closed the season with seven saves and a win in his last 10 appearances.

Lefties hit .157 against Balfour in 2012. The last 13 to face him were retired.

The Year of the Scutaro

Marco Scutaro was an afterthought to many in baseball after the Giants picked him up late in the season, but he’d be anything but an afterthought the rest of the way.

Scutaro hit .362 in the final 61 games of the regular season. Then, after nearly being taken out of the series on a hard slide from Matt Holliday, he bounced back up and finished as NLCS MVP with a .500 batting average.

To cap off the amazing end to the season, Scutaro got the winning hit for the Giants in extra innings in their World Series-clinching win against the Tigers.

2012 HR Awards: Stanton reigns supreme

November, 10, 2012
Without further ado, we present you with our end-of-season Home Run Tracker Awards.

*Please note: All information goes back to the 2006 season, the first year of the ESPN Home Run Tracker database. In addition, this excludes inside-the-park home runs unless otherwise indicated.

2012 Winner: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins (494 feet)

Giancarlo Stanton won the award for longest 2012 home run by hitting a 494-foot blast on August 17 off Josh Roenicke at Coors Field. It was the fifth-longest home run since ESPN HR Tracker began in 2006.

B.J. Upton
2012 Winner: B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays (323 feet)

B.J. Upton hit a 323-foot home run off Ervin Santana on April 24, the shortest home run of the season and the shortest home run at Tropicana Field since the beginning of ESPN HR Tracker in 2006.

2012 Winner: Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies (162 feet)

Todd Helton’s walk-off home run off J.J. Putz on April 14 had an apex of 162 feet, the ball hanging in the air for 6.92 seconds. It had the highest apex since 2009, when Alex Rodriguez hit a 390-foot home run with a 169-foot apex.

2012 Winner: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles (43 feet)

Adam Jones’ 354-foot home run off Edwin Jackson on June 23 had an apex of 43 feet, the lowest by an Oriole player and the lowest at Camden Yards since the beginning of ESPN HR Tracker in 2006.

2012 Winner: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins (122.4 mph)

Giancarlo Stanton’s second award set a record, as his 462-foot home run off Jamie Moyer on May 21 had a speed off bat of 122.4 miles per hour -- the fastest since the beginning of ESPN HR Tracker in 2006.

2012 Winner: Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Ervin Santana gave up 39 home runs this season, the most in the majors. Jason Vargas and Phil Hughes tied for second with 35. Since 2006, only Bronson Arroyo has given up more home runs than Santana.

Nelson Cruz
2012 Winner: Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers (418.6 feet)

Nelson Cruz averaged 418.6 feet per home run this season, beating out teammate Josh Hamilton by an average of 2.9 feet. Cruz’s 484-foot home run on June 3 was the fourth longest of the season, and he had home runs of 470 and 464 feet as well. Only six of his 22 home runs went less than 400 feet.

Orioles return to Gold Glove glory

October, 30, 2012
Getty ImagesMatt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones were rewarded for their defensive prowess this season.

The Baltimore Orioles returned to winning in 2012 and they returned to their successful past in putting a trio of players on the Gold Glove winners list.

The Orioles had three victors in 2012- catcher Matt Wieters, shortstop J.J. Hardy and centerfielder Adam Jones.

Wieters and Jones each won for the second time in their careers.

Hardy won his first award and became the first Orioles shortstop to win the award since Cal Ripken Jr. in 1992. Of the three, he put up the best defensive numbers-- he finished second to Brendan Ryan of the Seattle Mariners among AL shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved and was finished first in fielding percentage.

Wieters threw out 36 percent of baserunners attempting to steal, second-best in the AL.

Jones didn’t fare well in the advanced defensive metrics, but led all outfielders in putouts by a wide margin. His 439 were 56 more than the man with second-most, Michael Bourn.

The Orioles of the 1960s and 1970s, with the likes of Brooks Robinson and Paul Blair, used to regularly put three or more players on the Gold Glove squad.

Last year's team had two (Wieters and Nick Markakis), but this marked the first time Baltimore had three winners in the same season since 1998, when Mike Mussina, Rafael Palmeiro and Roberto Alomar won.

All-Yankees right side of the infield
For the third straight year, the AL winners on the right side of the infield came from the same team. For the second time, that combo was New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and second baseman Robinson Cano.

For Teixeira, who led major-league first basemen with 17 Defensive Runs Saved, it was his fifth Gold Glove Award. He previously won in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010. Teixeira is the eighth player to win at least five Gold Glove Awards at first base.

Cano joined Bobby Richardson, who won five times, as the only Yankees second basemen to win multiple Gold Glove Awards (the Gold Gloves have been awarded since 1957).

Other Winners
Notes and nuggets on the other Gold Glove winners …

The vote for pitcher finished tied for the first time. Both Jake Peavy and Jeremy Hellickson won their first career Gold Glove Awards.

Peavy’s win extended a streak of four straight years that a Chicago White Sox pitcher won. Mark Buehrle won it the previous three years. Hellickson became the first pitcher in Rays history to win one.

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre won his fourth Gold Glove and second straight. He and Buddy Bell are the only Rangers third basemen to win the award.

Both of the corner outfielder selections led their respective positions in Defensive Runs Saved.

Kansas City Royals leftfielder Alex Gordon did so by a wide margin with 24, which helped him win for the second straight season. Gordon’s stats were helped by his 17 assists, most by an AL leftfielder.

Oakland Athletics rightfielder Josh Reddick led those at his position with 22 Defensive Runs Saved and tied for second with 14 outfield assists. He’s the first Athletics outfielder to win a Gold Glove since Dwayne Murphy in 1985.

Sabathia goes the distance in clincher

October, 12, 2012
The New York Yankees turned to their ace on Friday, and CC Sabathia delivered.

Sabathia fanned nine and allowed one run in a complete game, as the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 to advance to the ALCS.

Sabathia is just the third Yankees pitcher – and the first in 50 years – to throw a complete game in a winner-take-all postseason game. Ralph Terry (1962) and Johnny Kucks (1956) pitched shutouts in World Series Game 7s.

No Yankees pitcher had thrown a postseason complete game since Roger Clemens in the 2000 ALCS, and no southpaw had done so since Whitey Ford in the 1961 World Series.

During the regular season, no one recorded more strikeouts with his slider than Sabathia’s 136. It was more of the same on Friday. The Orioles were 0-12 with seven strikeouts on at-bats ending in his slider. Six of Sabathia’s nine strikeouts were on pitches outside the zone.

Sabathia is now undefeated in his last 8 postseason starts, the fifth-longest streak in Yankee history. Since joining the Yankees, he is 7-1 with a 3.09 in the postseason.

With nine strikeouts Friday, Sabathia moved past Whitey Ford and now has the fifth-most postseason strikeouts for a southpaw.

Though Sabathia stood at 111 pitches entering the 9th, manager Joe Girardi opted to let him finish the game. The Yankees are now 93-0 when leading after 8 innings at home in the postseason.

The Yankees advance despite hitting just .211 in the series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, you’d have to go back to the 1962 World Series to find a series in which the Yankees had a lower batting average and still won.

Of course, the Orioles’ offense was even worse. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters combined to hit .116 with 0 RBI in the ALDS.

Including a 4-30 effort on Friday, Baltimore hit .187, which is the lowest in an ALDS since the 2009 Red Sox hit .158.

Pitch selection key for Hammel, Sabathia

October, 12, 2012

Dale Zanine/US PresswireJason Hammel has allowed only 2 hits in 17 at-bats that end with a slider against the Yankees in four games this season, including his Game 1 start.
The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees play the third winner-take-all game in this year’s League Division Series on Friday.

The Orioles are 1-3 in winner-take-all postseason games, with their only win coming against the Texas Rangers in the AL wild-card game this year. The Yankees have lost three straight such games (their last win came in 2003 against the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS).

Let’s take a closer look at today’s pitching matchup.

Jason Hammel's key: Slider
For Hammel to help the Orioles to their second straight winner-take-all victory, he’ll need continued success with his slider.

In four games against the Yankees this season, Hammel has held them to two hits in 17 at-bats with the slider (0-for-5 in Game 1 of the ALDS).

CC Sabathia's key: Pitching inside to righties
The key for Sabathia to have success is pitching inside to righties.

In Game 1, Orioles righties were 1-for-10 in at-bats ending with a Sabathia pitch inside. For the season, Baltimore is 7-for-39 with 14 strikeouts against Sabathia in at-bats ending with a pitch inside.

In Game 1, 22 of Sabathia’s 28 offerings to righties inside were with the fastball and just three were sliders (he averaged 14 fastballs and 14 sliders in three regular season starts).

Struggling Stars
Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano struggled in Game 4, going a combined 1-for-15 with five strikeouts. For the series, they are 5-for-50 with 19 strikeouts. Of the 50 outs, 25 have come on pitches in the strike zone.

The Yankees aren’t the only team to have high-profile players struggling in this series. Baltimore’s Adam Jones hit .287 with 32 home runs in his breakout 2012 campaign, but he’s putting up one of the worst performances in a postseason in some time, hitting .105 with no walks in the series.

In fact, when you factor in the wild-card game against the Rangers, Jones is hitting .091 with a .178 OPS. It’s also clear that the Yankees can survive a lesser A-Rod, but Jones is crucial for the Orioles.

There can be no denying that Jones is seeing significantly more breaking balls in this postseason than he did during the regular season, and he’s chasing a lot more pitches overall than he did in the regular season.

Did you know?
After a historically close race for the division title (the Yankees and Orioles were separated by no more than 1.5 games from Sept. 3 through Oct. 2), the two teams are engaged in a similar battle inning by inning in the ALDS.

Through the first four games of the series, the score of the game has been either tied or within one run after 41 of the 43 innings played! Only a five-run ninth inning in Game 1 for the Yankees, which broke a 2-2 tie, and the Orioles scoring a sixth-inning run to take a 3-1 lead in Game 2 (which the Yankees immediately answered next half-inning with a run) have prevented the teams being within one run of each other after every inning of the series.

Elias says with the scoring margin no greater than one run in 41 of 43 innings in 95.3 percent of the innings played would stand as the highest in major league history. The “current” record is the 1970 NLCS between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates (24 of 28 innings, .857 pct in three games). The record for a series of at least five games is the 1980 NLCS between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies (41 of 50 innings, .820 pct).

Orioles have been all about perfect timing

September, 13, 2012
U.S. Presswire/Greg CooperChris Davis' relief win will be among the many treasured moments for the Orioles this season.

It was another day of Baltimore Orioles magic, one that kept the AL East race even-steven heading into the weekend.

The Orioles have now won 13 straight extra-inning games, tied for the second-longest single-season streak in major-league history (Elias tells us: the 1949 Indians won 17 straight and the 1995 Indians won 13 straight). There’s all sorts of intrigue in mining the notes from Thursday’s win.

The Orioles are now 27-7 in one-run games this season. If their .794 winning percentage holds up, it would be the best all-time

The key to the win, once again, was the Baltimore bullpen.

Orioles relievers allowed one earned run in 15 innings in the series, striking out 17 and walking five. They won all three games in the series.

Manny Machado, who won Wednesday’s game with his glove, won Thursday’s with his bat, knocking in the winning run in the 14th inning. He got a hit on a pitch that jammed him up-and-in.

Machado had only one hit in 10 previous major league at-bats that ended with a pitch in the upper-third of the strike zone or higher, that was also on the inner-third of the plate or closer to him.

His second came at the perfect time. And this streak has been all about perfect timing.

Here are the highlights from this amazing run.

April 16: The streak begins with a 10-4 10-inning win over the White Sox.

Elias stat of the day: Matt Wieters hits a grand slam in the 10th inning, the first Orioles player with a grand slam in extra innings since Harold Baines in 1999.

May 6: The Orioles win a wacky one, 9-6 in 17 innings over the Boston Red Sox. Adam Jones hits the go-ahead home run in the 17th inning and first baseman/designated hitter Chris Davis gets the win with two innings of scoreless relief, including a strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez.

Elias stat of the day: Davis is the 1st player to go 0-for-8 and be the winning pitcher since Hall of Famer Rube Waddell in 1905.

June 9: The Orioles win the first of consecutive games in extra-inning walk-off fashion, taking this one on Adam Jones’ game-ending home run in the 12th inning.

Elias stat of the day: Jones tied the Orioles record for extra-inning homers in one season, established by Frank Robinson in 1969 and tied by Eddie Murray in 1978 and Rafael Palmeiro in 1998, with that one.

July 14: The Orioles rally from a deficit in the 11th inning and another in the 13th inning, winning on a walk-off home run by Taylor Teagarden.

Elias stat of the day: Teagarden is the first player in franchise history to hit a walkoff homer in his first game with the club. Before Saturday, no one had done that in his first game for any major-league team since April 4, 2005, when Joe Randa did it in his debut with the Reds.

August 7: The Orioles rally from a 5-0 deficit to win in 14 innings, beating the Mariners on a game-ending hit by Jones.

Elias stat of the day: Jones is the first player with three go-ahead hits in the 14th inning or later in the same season in the expansion era (since 1961).

Thursday: The Orioles complete a three-game sweep with a 14-inning win over the Tampa Bay Rays, winning on Manny Machado’s walk-off hit.

Elias stat of the day: The Twenty-year-old Machado is the youngest player with a walk-off hit in the 14th inning or later since 19-year old rookie pitcher Don Gullett of the Reds singled home the winning run against the Braves on May 17, 1970.

Robertson pays price for missing his spot

September, 7, 2012

ESPN Stats & InformationThe difference between where David Robertson wanted to throw his pitch to Adam Jones (top of image) and where the pitch ended up (right side of image).
One often hears about a pitcher “missing his spot.” On Thursday, David Robertson paid the price for that.

Adam Jones’ go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth put the Baltimore Orioles ahead for good in a 10-6 win over the New York Yankees.

On a 1-2 count, the strategy was clear. Notoriously a free swinger up in the zone, the Yankees were betting that Jones would chase a high fastball. Russell Martin set a high target, about as high as he could without standing up.

Jones swings at 55 percent of pitches in the upper-third of the zone or higher. In the American League, only Derek Jeter swings at a higher percentage of high pitches. Of those swings, Jones misses 26 percent of the time.

In other words, the logic was sound for Robertson to finish Jones off with a high pitch. It was the execution that failed the Yankees. Robertson missed his spot.

ESPN Stats & InformationAdam Jones struggles with pitches up in the zone, but feasts on balls middle-in.

Martin’s target was above the zone, in an area where Jones misses on 36 percent of his swings.

However, the pitch wound up middle-in, a zone where he misses just 8 percent of the time.

In fact, when an at-bat ends with a middle-third/inner-third pitch, Jones is hitting .360 with 7 HR in 75 AB. His 7 HR is tied for 4th-most in MLB. The .360 batting average is 84 points better than MLB average.

Jones wound up with his MLB-leading 18th game-tying or go-ahead HR this season. All stemming from a missed spot.
The Baltimore Orioles hit six home runs against the New York Yankees on Thursday for the first time in franchise history (according to the Elias Sports Bureau) to pull into a tie atop the American League East.

Three of those homers came in the eighth inning, breaking a 6-all tie entering the frame. It’s the first time Baltimore hit three home runs in a single inning in the eighth inning or later since June 2008. Baltimore improves to 61-0 this season when leading after seven innings.

The Orioles are 8-3 in their past 11 meetings with the Yankees after losing the first four meetings this season and have totally outplayed the Bombers head to head this season despite the 8-7 record.

Mark Reynolds hit two home runs Thursday, his third multi-HR game against the Yankees this season. Elias tells us that Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, who did it for the Detroit Tigers in 1938, is the only other player with three multi-HR games against the Yankees in the same season.

Reynolds has six home runs against the Yankees the season, matching Mark Trumbo for the most against the Bronx Bombers. Reynolds also had six against them last season, matched then only by Jacoby Ellsbury.

He has eight homers in just the past seven days, the most in the major leagues, and the same number he had in his previous 63 games combined.

Matt Wieters got things started with his first-inning home run, giving him a 15-game hitting streak against the Yankees this season. That's the longest single-season hitting streak against the Yankees in Orioles history.

According to Elias, the last player in franchise history with a single-season streak as long as Wieters' was the Browns' Red Kress in 1931 (15 games).

Wieters is hitting .404 with a home run every 14.3 at-bats against the Yankees this season and just .217 with a home run every 26.1 at-bats against the rest of the league.

Lost in Reynolds' joining David Ortiz and George Brett in baseball lore as official Yankees-killers was the clutch hitting from Adam Jones.

Jones' blast in the eighth inning was his fifth go-ahead HR in the eighth inning or later this season and his 14th tiebreaking homer -- both numbers lead the majors.

His homer came on a pitch that Inside Edge labels “middle-third/inner-third.” Jones misses that pitch only 9 percent of the time, and when an at-bat ends with a middle-third/inner-third pitch, Jones is hitting .360 (84 points better than the MLB average) with seven home runs (tied for fourth most in MLB) in 75 at-bats.

The outright division lead is now on the line Friday night at Camden Yards as Phil Hughes goes to the mound, and that could be a bad sign for the visitors. The Yankees are 1-2 against Baltimore when Hughes has started this season. And there's the high probability for more fireworks as no one in baseball has allowed more home runs than Hughes (32) this season.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezThe Giants hit just two home runs at home in July, both by Buster Posey.
ESPN's Home Run Tracker analyzes video of each home run hit this season and as far back as 2006. Each month, the tracker will detail the best and worst home runs, as well as some other interesting statistics pertaining to the long ball. With the exception of the final day of the month, below are the notable home runs for the month of July.

No Doubter of the Month: Longest true distance HR
June Winner: Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers (484 feet)
July Winner: Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres (485 feet)
On July 2 at Chase Field, Maybin hit a 485-foot shot to left-center field. Not only was it the longest home run of his career, but the second-longest at Chase Field since ESPN began tracking home runs in 2006.

Wall-Scraper of the Month: Shortest true distance HR
June Winner: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers (329 feet)
July Winner: Cody Ross, Boston Red Sox (338 feet)
On July 19 at Fenway Park, Ross hit an Addison Reed pitch into the monster seats for a walk-off home run. The 338-foot HR is the longest “wall-scarper” this season. It was Ross’ shortest home run since he hit one 337 feet off Hiroki Kuroda in 2008.

Moonshot of the Month: Highest apex HR (maximum vertical height ball reaches)
June Winner: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds (152 feet)
July Winner: Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians (154 feet)
Hafner’s 363-foot HR off Ricky Romero on July 13 was the third-highest in 2012. The two home runs with higher apexes in 2012: 366-foot home run by Todd Helton on April 14 that had an apex of 162 feet, and a 419-foot bomb by Paul Goldschmidt on April 6 that reached a height of 156 feet.

Liner of the Month: Lowest apex HR
June Winner: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles (43 feet)
July Winners: Ryan Ludwick, Cincinnati Reds and Casey Kotchman, Cleveland Indians (47 feet)
Ludwick’s 361-foot HR on July 14 was his lowest apex since the beginning of the tracker in 2006. Kotchman’s 354-foot shot on July 4 also had an apex of 47 feet, the lowest at Progressive Field since May of 2010.

Mother Nature: Most climate-impacted HR
June Winner: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds (+67 feet)
July Winner: Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies (+50 feet)
On July 28, the wind was blowing out at Coors Field when Michael Cuddyer’s 363-foot home run was aided by a 13 mph wind. That carried the ball an extra 50 feet. Only four home runs at Coors Field have been more wind-aided since 2006.

Masher of the Month: Player with greatest average distance (min. 5 HR)
June Winner: Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks (425.8 feet)
July Winner: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (424.9 feet)
Cabrera’s nine home runs in July had an average distance of 424.9 feet, more than five feet more than the next closest player, Edwin Encarnacion. Four of Cabrera’s nine July home runs went at least 440 feet, including his 300th career HR, which went 457 feet.

Team Power Outage of the Month: Team with fewest HR
June Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers (6)
July Winner: San Francisco Giants (14)
After relinquishing the June award to their NL West rivals, the San Francisco Giants once again take the award for fewest home runs. The Giants hit just 14 in July, three more than the 11 the Giants hit in May. Only two of the Giants’ 14 HR in July were hit at home.

AP Photo/Reed SaxonMatt Kemp hit his sixth career walk-off home run as the Dodgers beat the Phillies
The Los Angeles Dodgers needed somebody to stop the bleeding after heading into Wednesday's game on a four-game losing skid. Who better than Matt Kemp?

Regulation baseball didn’t treat Kemp nicely as he went 0-4 with three strikeouts through the first nine innings. As it turned out, he was merely saving it for later.

After coming up with a game-tying infield single in the bottom of the 10th inning, Kemp went deep off of the Philadelphia Phillies Jacob Diekman in the bottom of the 12th for his eighth career walk-off hit.

Six of Kemp's eight walk-offs have cleared the fences including both this season. All six walk-off homers have come since 2010, two more than any other player in the majors and more than 12 entire teams.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kemp is the first Dodger to have a game-tying hit in extra innings and then follow it up with a walk-off homer since the team moved to Los Angeles. The last non-Dodger to accomplish the feat was Mike Young of the 1987 Baltimore Orioles.

The all-world centerfielder has been limited to 41 games this season due to nagging hamstring injuries, but drove in three huge runs Wednesday - all in extra innings. In fact his three RBI match the extra-inning total the Dodgers had as a team entering the game.

Kemp’s home run looked similar to many of the others he has hit this season in that it came off of a fastball and he didn’t pull the pitch. Of Kemp’s 13 home runs, 10 have been off of heaters – all of which went out to center or right.

With seven opposite-field home runs, Kemp is tied for second in the majors. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen has more with eight.
It was a game of comebacks at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as the Baltimore Orioles outlasted the Detroit Tigers 8-6 in 13 innings.

It was the fourth time this season that the Orioles played at least 13 innings. That’s the most in the majors, and Baltimore is a perfect 4-0 in such games this season.

The O’s are 10-2 in extra innings this season, the most wins in the majors. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Orioles have 31 extra-inning victories, also tops in MLB. The Cincinnati Reds, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings Saturday, are third on the list with 27.

The hero was Taylor Teagarden, who made his Orioles debut by entering the game as a defensive replacement in the 11th inning. Teagarden’s two-run homer provided the winning margin and was his first career walk-off hit.

Teagarden bailed out Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, who allowed a season-high three runs in picking up his second blown save of the season. Entering the game, Johnson had allowed only five runs in 37⅓ innings.

J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones also got into the action with game-tying hits in extra innings. Jones tied the game in the 11th and leads the majors with four game-tying or go-ahead hits in extra innings this year. Hardy hit a solo homer in the 13th, the first time in his career that he has tied a game by going deep after the ninth inning.

There have been nine home runs hit in the 13th inning or later in the majors this season, and the Orioles have four of them.

That offset the efforts of Quintin Berry, who was in line to be the hero for the Tigers. After picking up his first career game-tying ninth-inning hit to force extra innings, he got his second career extra-inning go-ahead hit in the 13th.

Diamond Dust
• The hero in Cincinnati was less of a surprise. Ryan Ludwick hit his fifth career walk-off home run as the Reds downed the Cardinals 3-2 in 10 innings.

• The Atlanta Braves rallied late to cost R.A. Dickey the win, but he has made 15 straight starts without a loss. That’s the fourth-best streak in New York Mets history. Tom Seaver (1969-70), Dwight Gooden (1985) and Johan Santana (2008-09) all have 18-game streaks without a loss.

• Andrew McCutchen homered in three straight games for the first time in his career. Since he hit his first long-ball of the season on May 8, only Jose Bautista has more home runs.

Bautista, Trumbo best AL choices for derby

July, 9, 2012
Here is a breakdown of the American League players in the Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 ET) field as well as players not in the field who merit consideration based on analysis from information provided by ESPN Home Run Tracker. Click here to check out our National League breakdown.

Of the 64 home runs hit at Kauffman Stadium this season, 24 have gone to left field (37.5 percent). The average home run distance there is 413.0 feet, second only to Coors Field in Colorado (414.2 feet). The participants likely to have the most success Monday night will have power to left field and have a high average home run distance.

Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista
Bautista is tied for the league lead in home runs with 27, 19 of which have gone to left field. He has two 450-foot home runs, tied for the most in the field with Mark Trumbo.

Prince Fielder
At first glance, Fielder doesn’t look like an ideal candidate. He has only 15 home runs, none of which have gone to left field. However, all but one of his homers would have been out of Kauffman Stadium and he averages 411.7 feet per home run.

Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo
Trumbo averages 419.5 feet per home run, the best in baseball (min. 15 home runs). Ten of his 22 home runs have gone to left field, he has two of more than 450 feet and only four have failed to travel 400 feet. In addition, 17 of his homers would have left Kauffman Stadium.

Robinson Cano
Thirteen of Cano’s 20 home runs would have been out of Kauffman Stadium, but he does not have a homer of more than 450 feet and only one homer went to left field.

Other AL players who are not in the field but warrant consideration:

Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton
Hamilton ruled himself out early on, but he averages 416.2 feet per home run, second to Trumbo, and 19 of his 27 homers would have been out of Kauffman Stadium. His 469-foot blast off Mark Melancon on April 17 is tied for fifth longest this season.

David Ortiz
Fifteen of his 22 home runs would have left Kauffman, but he doesn’t have a 450-foot homer this year, averages slightly more than 400 feet per home run (403.8) and only two of his home runs went to left field. Ortiz declined an invitation.

Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn
Twenty of his 25 home runs would have been out of Kauffman Stadium, the most in the majors. Dunn averages 412.3 feet per home run, which is fifth best in baseball (min. 15 home runs), and has 18 homers of more than 400 feet.

Adam Jones
Although he averages fewer than 400 feet per home run (398.3), 12 of his 20 home runs have gone to left field and 15 would have been homers in Kansas City.

Edwin Encarnacion
Could have been considered had he made the All-Star team. Encarnacion’s average home run distance is 412.5 feet, the third best in baseball (min. 15 home runs). In addition, 16 of his 23 homers would have been out of Kauffman Stadium.