Stats & Info: George Sherrill

Tantrum Tuesday

July, 21, 2010
There were seven ejections Tuesday, which is the most this season. Here's a recap of players and managers who got to take an early shower:

- The Yankees Joe Girardi was ejected by Paul Emmel in the bottom of the 5th for arguing a safe/out call.

- The Pirates John Russell was ejected by D.J. Reyburn in the bottom of the 6th for arguing.

- The Dodgers Bob Schaefer was ejected by Adrian Johnson in the bottom of the 6th for arguing.

- The Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Joe Torre were ejected by Adrian Johnson in the Top of the 7th because Kershaw hit the Giants Aaron Rowand after both teams were warned.

- The A’s Coco Crisp was ejected by Bob Davidson in the Bottom of the 10th for arguing.

- The Red Sox’s John Farrell was ejected by Bob Davidson in the bottom of the 10th for arguing a check swing.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time seven or more players and managers were ejected on the same day was May 15 of last year.

The Joe Torre ejection in the Giants-Dodgers game in part led to the Giants beating the Dodgers 7-5. Bench coach Don Mattingly - thrust into the manager's role after Torre was tossed - was charged with two trips to the mound, despite leaving the dugout only once. With the Dodgers leading 5-4 in 9th, the Giants had the bases loaded with one out. Mattingly went to the mound to discuss strategy. Mattingly left the mound and headed back to the dugout, but then stepped back on the mound when James Loney asked him a question. This constituted two trips to the mound, forcing closer Jonathan Broxton out of the game. With no time to warm up, George Sherrill's gave up a double to the left-center gap by Andres Torres, giving the Giants a 6-5 lead.

1st pitch: The most without…

April, 23, 2010
Today’s Trivia: Justin Smoak, a South Carolina native, is expected to make his MLB debut on Friday. Who has the most career home runs for a player born in South Carolina?

Quick Hits: Reggie Willits appeared in his 300th game on Thursday, and a career-long trend continued. He went 0-for-3, and still does not have a home run in his career. The active position player with the next most career games without a homer is Jose Morales with 55. In fact, Willits has more career plate appearances without a home run (819) than any pitcher. Ryan Dempster is next at 518. So with that in mind, and the help of STATS, here are some notable “most withouts” among active players:

* Angel Pagan has the most plate appearances (881) without being hit by a pitch.

* Chase Utley has 83 stolen bases, but has never even tried to steal third.

* Alex Rios has the most stolen bases (120) for a player that has never been picked off.

* Ryan Garko has been on base more times (602) than any other player without a stolen base.

* John McDonald has nearly twice as many plate appearances (1,889) as the next player who has never been intentionally walked.

* Ramon Castro has the most plate appearances (1,400) without a triple.

* Edinson Volquez has the most plate appearances (77) without a walk. Tommy Manzella (45) has the most for a position player.

* Ryan Perry has the most appearances (60) and innings (69 2/3) without a win.

* Cla Meredith has the most relief appearances (270) without a save.

* Scott Olsen and Claudio Vargas have the most starts (114) without a complete game.

* Andrew Bailey has pitched the most innings (88 1/3) without hitting a batter.

* Jon Garland has pitched the most innings (1,851 1/3) without a balk.

* Carlos Silva has the most innings (1,147 2/3) without a pickoff. Interestingly, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are next.

* George Sherrill has the most innings (256) without allowing a triple.

* Brad Ziegler has the most innings (142) without a wild pitch.

Today’s Leaderboard: In the spirit of today’s theme, CC Sabathia’s 292 starts are the most for an active pitcher without a relief appearance. He’s followed by Ben Sheets (225) and Jake Peavy (219). Carlos Zambrano has 21 relief appearances to his name, but none since 2002. His streak of 241 straight appearances as a starter is likely to be broken this weekend. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Zambrano’s streak is the fifth longest among active pitchers. Livan Hernandez’s last 415 appearances have been as a starter.

Key Matchups: The top five hitters that the Royals used yesterday are 41-94 lifetime against Carl Pavano. That’s a .436 batting average. It’s no wonder that Pavano is just 4-5 with a 7.84 ERA in his career against Kansas City.

Adrian Beltre is just 1-for-18 in his career against Jeremy Guthrie. That .056 batting average is his worst against any pitcher he has at least 20 plate appearances against.

Whenever Albert Pujols meets Tim Lincecum, it warrants mentioning. Pujols is 3-for-8 in his career against Lincecum, but has just one hit in their last seven meetings at the plate.

Trivia Answer: Jim Rice’s 382 home runs are the most for a player born in South Carolina. He’s followed by Reggie Sanders (305). The active leader? Orlando Hudson with 78.

One2Watch4: Dodgers RPs Ramon Troncoso & Ronald Belisario

March, 13, 2010
Ok, ok, so technically, this is Two2Watch4. But given the fact that Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers Ramon Troncoso and Ronald Belisario are used to sharing the spotlight, appearing in the same game 35 times last season. Most would credit the Dodgers success last season to the emergence of young hitters like Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in combination with a patchwork pitching staff and a dominating setup/closer combination in George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton. All of those players do deserve a lot of credit, but we shouldn’t look past the importance of the Dodgers middle relievers, especially Troncoso and Belisario.

Los Angeles led all of baseball with a 3.14 bullpen ERA last season, and it wasn’t even close. The San Francisco Giants were second at 3.49. The strength of the bullpen was all the more impressive considering the demand that was placed on it. Dodgers starters averaged fewer than 6 innings per outing last season, forcing the bullpen to provide 553 innings of work, the third-highest total in the league. A huge chunk of that work was provided by Troncoso and Belisario.

Troncoso’s 82 2/3 innings of relief work not only led the Dodgers in 2009, it was the third-most relief innings in the league. In his second year of major league work he lowered his ERA from 4.26 to 2.72, the second-best ERA by a reliever with at least 80 innings. This despite the fact that his K/BB ratio dropped from 3.17 to 1.62 and his WHIP rose from 1.29 to 1.42. What was the difference? Not giving up the long ball was a big part of it. Although he only allowed two HR as a rookie, he threw 44 2/3 more innings in 2009 but allowed just one more homer. In fact, his 0.33 HR/9 IP ratio led all of baseball for pitchers with at least 80 innings.

Belisario didn’t get quite as much work as Troncoso, pitching only 70 2/3 innings thanks to being on the disabled list from July 6 to August 8 with a strained right elbow, but he did the most with his appearances. Among relievers with at least 70 innings of work, Belisario’s 2.04 ERA was second-best in baseball and his .201 opponents BA was seventh-best. He also limited right-handed batters to a .157 BA.

With a combination of Sherrill and Broxton, the Dodgers hope to win games by turning them into 7-inning affairs. The fact that the Dodgers staff is again headlined by Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, two pitchers that ring up high pitch counts and early exits, Los Angeles will likely come to depend on the bridge that Troncoso and Belisario provide. Their performances this season will likely have a much greater impact on the success or failure of the Dodgers than most realize, just like it did a year ago. With neither pitcher having more than two years of MLB experience, the Dodgers need to hope their breakout 2009 seasons were not just flashes in the pan.