Stats & Info: Howie Kendrick

Top stats to know: Angels vs. Yankees

April, 27, 2014
Apr 27
The star power will be out in full force as the New York Yankees host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday Night Baseball. That starts on the pitchers mound, as the Yankees will start rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka.

Let’s take a look at some of the statistical storylines our broadcast crew will be following.

Trout and Pujols may not be the biggest concern
The biggest Yankees-killer among the Angels hitters is not one of their big-time stars, but second baseman Howie Kendrick.

Kendrick is hitting .351 in 211 career at-bats against the Yankees, including a 20 for 47 stretch over the last three seasons.

The only active player with at least 150 plate appearances and a better batting average is Miguel Cabrera, .373.

Kendrick has swung a hot bat recently regardless of opponent. He’s 17 for 44 (.386) with a pair of opposite-field home runs over his last 10 games.

What to Watch for from Tanaka: First Time Through
Buster Olney walked you through the Tanaka-Mike Trout matchup, as it relates to Trout’s issues with splitters (hitters chase the Tanaka splitter 61 percent of the time).

One other thing to keep an eye on is how long it takes Tanaka to get going.

Opponents are hitting .306 with an .852 OPS the first time through the order against Tanaka, but only .151 with a .436 OPS the rest of the game.

Worth noting along those lines: Trout is hitting .455 with five homers in the first inning of games this season. His only other homer this season came in the ninth inning.

What to Watch for from Richard: Two-Strike Success
Garrett Richards is facing the team against whom he made his major league debut a few seasons ago, but he’s come a good ways since then. Richards has a 2.52 ERA in four starts this season. In two of those games, he pitched at least six innings and allowed one hit.

Opponents are hitting .155 against Richards this season. They are 2 for 41 against him in two-strike situations.

Richards’ premier two-strike pitch of choice is a slider that drops below the knees, against which opponents are 0 for 15 (with two walks).

Jeter streaking
Derek Jeter is 3 for 6 in this series and carries a note of distinction into tonight’s game. His current 15-game hitting streak against the Angels is his longest active one versus any opponent.

His career-long hitting streak against the Angels is 16 games, from 1998 to 2000. His longest hitting streak versus any team is a 25-gamer against the Tigers from 1999 to 2001.

Jeter’s next run scored will be the 1,882nd of his career, matching Hall-of-Famer Tris Speaker for 11th-most all-time.

Watch the Shift
The Yankees have had 149 shifts against batted balls in play this season, which ranks second-most in baseball entering Sunday, behind only the Astros (243) and well ahead of the third-place Indians, 102.

The Angels have several hitters who figure to see shifts today, most prominently Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez.

Pujols has been shifted the third-most often of any right-handed hitter since the start of last season (Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista rank 1-2).

He’s hitting .250 when hitting a ground ball or short line drive against the shift this season. That’s considerably better than Ibanez who has hit 25 grounders and short liners against shifts this season, but has only two base hits.
Today’s Trivia: Want to feel old? Los Angeles Angels starter Tyler Chatwood was born 16 days too soon to be the first pitcher born in the 1990s. Who was the first pitcher born in the 1980s to appear in an MLB game?

Quick Hits: Let’s take a look at some surprising league leaders so far this season.

• Howie Kendrick leads the majors with five HRs off of left-handed pitchers. That’s three more than he had last season.

Sean Rodriguez
• Your MLB leader in triples? Sean Rodriguez with three. Though he’s hitting just .206, six of his seven hits this season have been for extra bases.

• Jonny Gomes leads the league with five home runs in day games, one more than he had last season.

• Juan Pierre has been caught stealing five times already. The last time an AL player was caught more in April? 1988, when both Rickey Henderson and Mark McLemore were caught six times.

• Billy Butler has already been intentionally walked five times, just three shy of his career high. Over the past 50 years, the most intentional walks for an AL player in April is seven (Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993 and Travis Hafner in 2007).

• Teammates Ryan Raburn (25) and Austin Jackson (24) have struck out more than any other hitters. Combined, those two have more strikeouts than 22 of the other 29 outfields in baseball.

A.J. Burnett
• A.J. Burnett already has six wild pitches. Over the past 50 years, only three AL pitchers have had more in April: Ricky Romero in 2010, Jaime Navarro in 1997 and Bobby Witt in 1986.

• Clay Buchholz has allowed six home runs, after allowing seven all last season. But that’s not even the more surprising number in the AL. Erik Bedard’s seven home runs allowed are the most in the majors. He’s never allowed more than 19 in a season.

• David Price has already hit four batters, most in the majors and one shy of his career high.

• Brad Thomas has pitched just 6 2/3 innings, but has still allowed the most sac flies this season (5).

Trivia Answer: In April 2001, CC Sabathia became the first pitcher born in the 1980s to appear in a game.
Today’s Trivia: With the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees set to square off on Monday Night Baseball. Who are the only two players with 40 or more home runs for both franchises?

Quick Hits -- A look back at some fun home runs numbers from an eventful opening weekend:
Howie Kendrick

• There have been 17 home runs hit by second basemen this season, most of any position. That includes three from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Howie Kendrick. He has more home runs than all shortstops combined (2).

• Cincinnati Reds catchers Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez are a combined 9-12 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. By contrast, the Tampa Bay Rays are 12-91 with 1 HR and 3 RBI.

• The Texas Rangers have 3 HR with the count full. Last season, the Seattle Mariners had just 5 HR coming on full counts.

• Ike Davis’ home run on Sunday came on a 3-0 count. The New York Mets didn’t have a home run on a 3-0 count last season, and Carlos Delgado in 2009 was the last player to do it for New York.

• Scott Rolen’s home run on Saturday came on an 0-2 count. Last season, the Reds only had one 0-2 homer.

• The Boston Red Sox have allowed at least three home runs in three straight games. Last season, the Red Sox never allowed three home runs in back-to-back games, much less three in a row.

• The Rangers hit 11 home runs in three games against Boston. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other team in MLB history hit as many as 11 home runs in its first three games of a season. That was the 2006 Detroit Tigers with 15.

• Also from Elias: Boston tied the 1955 Milwaukee Braves' record for home runs allowed in a team's first three games of a season.

• Texas’ 11 HR are already more than either the Mariners or Houston Astros had last April (both had 9).
Clay Buchholz

• Clay Buchholz allowed four home runs Sunday after allowing nine all last season. He’s allowed 37 HR in his career, but 12 of those have come in three starts.

• The Angels have more extra-base hits (20) than runs (18). That’s in part due to eight of their nine home runs coming with the bases empty. In fact, they have more solo home runs (8) than hits with runners in scoring position (7-42).
• There have been 108 HR hit through 46 games. There were 98 hit through 47 games last year.

Trivia Answer: Chuck Knoblauch and Roy Smalley are the only players with 40+ home runs for both the Twins and Yankees. Dave Winfield (31 HR for the Twins) came close.

1st Pitch: July numbers to rely on

July, 1, 2010
Quick Hits: With the calendar turning to July, certain players are anxious for a fresh start, while others would prefer we just skip to August. Let’s take a look at what history tells us to expect.
  • CC Sabathia will get right to it with a start against the Mariners on Thursday. That might not be a good thing. Sabathia is 17-23 with a 4.61 ERA in July, compared to 128-61 with a 3.43 ERA in all other months combined.
  • Tim Hudson is 22-8 in July, a .733 win percentage. Among careers starting in the last 50 years, only two pitchers with at least 30 decisions have a higher win percentage: Storm Davis (.781) and Pedro Martinez (.750).
  • Brad Lidge is 37-for-38 in save opportunities in July, and has converted 21 straight in the month going back to 2006.
  • Hideki Okajima finished June with a 6.52 ERA, so July could not have come soon enough. He’s only allowed three earned runs over 29 July innings in his career.
  • It’s tough to know what we should expect from Carlos Zambrano at this point, but July has traditionally been his best month. He’s 27-10 with a 2.86 ERA in his career. Over the previous three seasons, he is 12-3 with a 1.93 ERA in July.
  • Rod Barajas is a .200 career hitter in July, the lowest of any active player (min. 300 PA). He hasn’t hit over .200 in the month since 2005.
  • Perhaps the fresh scenery will help Russell Branyan avoid a poor July. Over the previous three seasons, the slugger has hit just .166 in the month.
  • Over the previous two seasons, the Angels are 38-13 in July, best in the majors.
Today’s Trivia: July 1 is Canada Day. It’s also the final day of All-Star voting. Can you name the five players born in Canada to have made three or more All-Star Games?

Today’s Leaderboard: This is Howie Kendrick’s month to shine. He’s a .398 hitter in July, compared to .282 in every other month combined. Chase Utley’s injury status remains up in the air, which means he could miss the month where he performs at his best. He has the second best average among active players, followed by Robinson Cano. Throw in Skip Schumaker (fifth-best), and apparently July is for second basemen.

Key Matchups: Ichiro Suzuki is a .396 career hitter against CC Sabathia, whom he faces on Thursday. Even against an elite pitcher, a high batting average is nothing particularly notable for Ichiro. However, a .708 slugging percentage is quite noteworthy for a player known as a singles hitter. It’s his highest against any pitcher that he’s faced 35 times. Ichiro has eight extra-base hits (including three home runs) off of Sabathia, his most against any pitcher.

For the second straight year, Nelson Cruz will celebrate his birthday by facing Jered Weaver. Let’s just say it probably wasn’t his first choice. Cruz, who turns 30 today, is a .190 career hitter against Weaver with seven strikeouts in 21 at-bats. John Lackey is the only pitcher against whom Cruz has more strikeouts. In last year’s birthday meeting, Cruz went 1-for-2 against Weaver before leaving the game with back stiffness.

Trivia Answer: Larry Walker’s five All-Star Games are the most for a Canadian. Eric Gagne, Fergie Jenkins, Justin Morneau, and Jason Bay have all been named three times. On the subject of Canada, Jason Bay is 0-for-18 on Canada Day since 2006 according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

1st pitch: May flowers and May flounders

April, 30, 2010
Today’s Trivia: The Mets and Phillies square off on Friday with first place in the NL East on the line. Who are the only two pitchers with 20 career wins for both franchises?

Quick Hits: A player’s history in a given month isn’t always a harbinger of things to come. Just ask Adam LaRoche, a .195 career hitter in April, who is hitting .299 thus far. Or how about Troy Tulowitzki? He came into the season with a .194 April batting average, but is currently hitting at a .318 clip. But for every surprise, there are several players who are true to form. Jhonny Peralta and Gavin Floyd are characteristically starting slow, while Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome are off to traditionally hot starts. So what does history tell us that May has in store?

* Cody Ross has only played 51 games in May, but he has 15 home runs. Only Ryan Howard hits them out more frequently in May.

* Even though it’s his worst month from a batting average perspective, an incredible 40 of Howard’s 97 hits have been home runs.

* Ichiro Suzuki is a .365 hitter in May, best among active players and his highest average in any month.

* Hunter Pence is a .358 hitter in May and a .270 hitter in every other month.

* Brian McCann has a .350 May average and just .283 otherwise.

* May is when it usually all falls apart for Howie Kendrick. A .321 hitter in April, Kendrick has hit just .171 in the second month of the season. No non-pitcher with 100 plate appearances in May has a lower average.

* Jason Bay loves May. He has 45 home runs in the month, 10 more than he has in any other month. His 1.008 May OPS is behind only Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman among those with 200 plate appearances.

* Troy Tulowitzki only has two home runs in 55 career games in May.

* Felix Hernandez is just 6-12 in May with a 5.25 ERA. It’s his only month with a losing record or an ERA over 3.50.

* Mike Pelfrey is just 2-9 in the month and 30-23 otherwise.

* Hideki Okajima has a mind-blowing 0.68 ERA in 40.0 career May innings.

* Pitching in the majors for the first time since 2007, Colby Lewis is 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA. Let’s see how he fares in May though. Lewis has a 12.69 career ERA in the month.

* With 164 wins, the Red Sox were the winningest team of last decade in May. They had nine more wins than the Yankees.

Today’s Leaderboard: Tim Lincecum, a perfect 7-0 in May, is the only active pitcher with 10 starts in the month that has never lost.

Key Matchups: Alex Rodriguez is hitless in his last 19 at-bats. Good thing Freddy Garcia is coming to town. Rodriguez has reached base in six consecutive plate appearances against the White Sox starter. In his career, A-Rod has five home runs and a 1.485 OPS against Garcia. That is the second highest OPS against Garcia among those with 20 plate appearances and Bobby Higginson is the only other player with five homers.

Jeff Niemann simply dominated the Royals last season. He went 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA, striking out 16 and walking only one in 17 innings. The lone blemish was a solo home run by David DeJesus. In fact, current members of the Royals have hit just .089 against Niemann. As a staff, the Rays were 9-1 with a 2.40 ERA against Kansas City last season.

Trivia Answer: Tug McGraw won 47 for the Mets and then was traded to Philadelphia where he won 49 games. Meanwhile, Jerry Koosman is one of the only three Mets pitchers with 100 wins. He finished his career off with the Phillies, winning 20 games over two seasons.

1st pitch: Players with unfamiliar numbers

April, 16, 2010
Today’s Trivia: Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the Indians trading Rocky Colavito to the Tigers for Harvey Kuenn. At the time, Colavito was just 26 and the reigning AL home run champ. Kuenn lasted just one season with the Tribe before he too was shipped off. Can you name the only four players with last names beginning in the letter C who have more career home runs than Colavito?

Quick Hits: Some players have already entered uncharted waters this season.

* James Loney has stolen third base three times this season, which leads the majors. Loney had never even attempted to steal third prior to this season.

* In 16 plate appearances, Ryan Raburn has been hit by three pitches. In 669 plate appearances entering the season, he’d only been hit twice.

* Jeff Mathis already has two bunt hits. Last season, Gerald Laird was the only catcher with more than two bunt hits. He had seven.

* Howie Kendrick has grounded into four double plays, tied for the most in the MLB. Last year, Kendrick only had eight GIDPs.

* Chris Young has three game-winning RBI. He had four all of last season.

* In 8 2/3 innings Tyler Clippard has allowed three sacrifice flies, tied for the MLB lead. He had allowed one sacrifice fly in his first 97 2/3 innings.

* David Price has allowed two triples. He had never allowed a triple before this season.

* Trevor Hoffman has already allowed more extra-base hits (8) than he did all of last season (7).

* Chris Carpenter has already been the victim of more unearned runs (2) than he was all of last season (1).

* Ryan Rowland-Smith went all of last season (96 1/3 innings) without allowing a stolen base. He has already allowed two this season.

Today’s Leaderboard: In his debut, opponents swung at 38.7 percent of Mike Leake’s first pitches. That’s the third highest rate among starers this season. Given the seven walks he issued in his debut, that seems destined to change today.

Key Matchups: When Jason Bay opted to return to the National League, he had to know it meant facing Chris Carpenter again. As NL Central rivals, they clashed regularly from 2004 to 2006, with Carpenter often coming out on top. Bay is a career .077 hitter against Carpenter with 12 strikeouts in 26 at-bats. He is hitless in his last eight at-bats with six strikeouts. No pitcher has struck him out more (Doug Davis also has 12 K), and the .077 average is Bay’s worst against a pitcher he has faced 20 times.

It’s a similar story for Carlos Pena against Josh Beckett. Last season, Pena struck out in all eight at-bats against Beckett, though he did manage a walk. Overall, Pena is 3-for-25 with 16 strikeouts against Beckett.

Trivia Answer: Jose Canseco (462), Joe Carter (396), Orlando Cepeda (379) and Norm Cash (377) are the only players beginning in C with more homers than Colavito (374), who is the next player Albert Pujols will pass on the all-time list.