Stats & Info: Jamie Moyer

Jamie Moyer will make his ninth start of the season for the Colorado Rockies on Monday when he faces the Miami Marlins.

Forty games into the season and the Rockies will look to the 49-year-old lefty to be the first Colorado pitcher to win back-to-back starts this season. (Moyer beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in his last start.)

The Rockies are the only team that does not have a pitcher who has won consecutive starts this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Moyer will oppose Mark Buehrle, marking the first time in almost four years that opposing starters had made a combined 1,000 starts. On Sept. 19, 2008, Barry Zito and the Giants beat Greg Maddux and the Dodgers, in what turned out to be the final loss of Maddux's career.

Also when Moyer takes the mound on Monday at Marlins Park, it will be the 50th major-league stadium he’s pitched in during his 25-year career. The only active stadium that Moyer has not pitched in is Target Field in Minnesota. Among players to debut since 1900, Moyer has pitched at the most parks (regular-season games only), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The matchup will also feature a pitcher with more than 250 wins (Moyer, 269) against one who has thrown two no-hitters. According to Elias, the last time a pitcher with at least 250 wins opposed a pitcher with at least two no-hitters was June 21, 2005, when Randy Johnson faced Hideo Nomo.

- Kenton Wong, Doug Kern and Nate Jones contributed to this post.

Darvish whirls best with early strikes

May, 17, 2012
Kevin Jairaj/US PresswireeYu Darvish is tied for the major-league lead in wins after improving to 6-1 with a win Wednesday against the Athletics.
Yu Darvish picked up his sixth win of the season, tied for most in the majors, as the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1.

Darvish has struck out at least seven batters in each of his last five starts after striking out 14 and walking 13 in his first three starts. That’s the longest streak off seven-strikeout games by a Rangers' pitcher since Bobby Witt in 1987.

The key for Darvish has been the most important pitch in baseball – strike one. When he throws a strike on the first pitch to a batter, they hit .146 and strikeout nearly eight times as often as they walk. A 1-0 count leads to a .308 average and more walks than whiffs.

Over his first three starts, Darvish fell behind in the count more often than not. He threw first-pitch strikes to only 42 of 88 batters (48 percent). In his most recent five starts, he has upped that percentage to 60 percent (84 of 139). On Wednesday, he threw a strike on the first pitch to 17 of 28 hitters, right at his average over his last five starts.

This has allowed him to rely less on his fastball and slider and more on his changeup and curveball. In his first three starts, nearly half of his pitches were fastballs and opposing hitters hit .343 against his heat. He was forced to go with the fastball when he fell behind in the count, recording 11 walks and just three strikeouts on the pitch in his first three starts.

In his last five starts, he has used the fastball just over a third of the time while unveiling a changeup that he didn’t throw in the first three contests and increasing his curveball frequency from 11 percent to 17 percent.

For the season, opposing hitters have only 3 hits in 38 at-bats (.079) and have struck out 24 times against his curveball. That’s the most strikeouts that he has recorded with any pitch, even though it’s only the fourth-most used pitch in his arsenal.

Around the Diamond
• Adam Jones hit a game-winning home run in the 15th inning as the Baltimore Orioles won in Kansas City. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first major leaguer with two game-winning home runs in the 15th inning or later in the same season since 1988. That year, Mark McGwire hit game-winners in the 16th inning of back-to-back days in July.

• Also from our friends at Elias, Jamie Moyer became the oldest player to drive in a run in a game. Julio Franco was nearly six months younger when he drove in his final run in 2007.

• Gio Gonzalez gave up his first home run of the season after 48⅓ innings. He was the last qualified starter – meaning a minimum of one inning pitched per team game – to allow a homer this year.

Lee Singer contributed to this post.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. WORKING OVERTIME: The Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in OT to take a 2-1 series lead. FROM ELIAS: All three games in the Chicago-Phoenix series have been decided in overtime. It’s the fifth series in NHL history in which each of the first three games were decided in overtime. The other four were Boston-Toronto in 1933, the Montreal-Toronto Stanley Cup Final in 1951 in which all five games went to OT, Edmonton-Los Angeles in 1991 and Colorado-Minnesota in 2008.

Jamie Moyer
2. HISTORIC WIN: Jamie Moyer gave up two runs (both unearned) in seven innings to get the win as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 151 days old. Jack Quinn was the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 70 days old on September 13, 1932.

3. PANTHERS COME BACK: FROM ELIAS: The Panthers trailed 3–0 after only 6:16 had been played in Game 3 of their series against the New Jersey Devils but Florida made a goaltending change at that point and Scott Clemmensen blanked his former team the rest of the way while the Panthers rallied for a stunning 4–3 victory. It was only the second time in the last 25 playoff years that an NHL team won a playoff game in which it trailed by three goals in the first seven minutes. The Flames did that in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Sharks in 2008. San Jose scored three goals in the first 3:33 but Calgary came back to win 4-3.

Carmelo Anthony
4. 'MELO GETS HELP: Carmelo Anthony recorded his second career triple-double as the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak each had 20-point games with Smith and Novak doing so off the bench. FROM ELIAS: The last time an NBA team had a player score 30 points in a triple-double while three of his teammates scored at least 20 points in a non-overtime game was on January 15, 1991 when the Trail Blazers did it in a 132-117 win at Minnesota. Clyde Drexler had the 30-point triple-double while Mark Bryant, Jerome Kersey and Terry Porter all scored at least 20 points.

5. RED SOX HAMMERED: The Texas Rangers hit six home runs on their way to an 18-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. FROM ELIAS: It was the 10th time in Red Sox history that they lost a game by 15 or more runs in a game played at Fenway Park, with the last such embarrassment coming on June 19, 2000, when they lost 22-1 to the Yankees.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

Phil Mickelson
1. FINAL PAIRING AT THE MASTERS: Peter Hanson has a one-shot lead heading into the final round at the Masters Tournament. It’s the first time Hanson has a 54-hole lead at a major. Phil Mickelson is just one shot back after shooting a six-under 66. It’s the first time in his career that he shot six-under or better on the weekend in a major. He’s playing in the last group on Masters Sunday for the fifth time. He’s won the Tournament the previous three times.

2. BECKETT BLASTED BY TIGERS: Josh Beckett allowed five home runs as the Boston Red Sox lost 10-0 to the Detroit Tigers. Beckett didn’t allow his fifth home run last season until June 28. Meanwhile, the New York Yankees lost 8-6 to the Tampa Bay Rays. It is the first time since 1980 that the Red Sox and Yankees both started 0-2.

3. MOYER TAKES PLACE IN RECORD BOOKS: Jamie Moyer pitched five innings for the Colorado Rockies. The 49-year-old hurler was the second-oldest pitcher to start a MLB game. Only Satchel Paige was older (58 years old). He is the oldest player to pitch in a MLB game since Hoyt Wilhelm, who pitched at age 49 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1972.

4. HOWARD SEEING 20-20: Dwight Howard had 20 points and 22 rebounds against the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s the 41st time that Howard has scored 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in game, tying Charles Barkley for the third-most and just one behind Hakeem Olajuwon for second-most since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77.

Steven Stamkos
5. STAMKOS SCORES 60: Steven Stamkos scored his 60th goal of the season in the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 OT win over the Winnipeg Jets. Stamkos is just the fifth player to score 60 goals in a season since 1993-94 and the first since Alex Ovechkin scored 65 in the 2007-08 season.

6. LET THE POSTSEASON BEGIN: The NHL Playoff matchups are set with the New York Rangers getting the top seed in the East and the Vancouver Canucks getting the top seed in the West. Vancouver clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the second-straight season. However, having the most points in the regular season doesn’t guarantee playoff success. The 2008 Detroit Red Wings were the only team in the last nine years to win the Stanley Cup after winning the Presidents’ Trophy.

Moyer looks to make history in Colorado

January, 19, 2012
**This post has been updated since its original post to correct the list of oldest pitchers to win a major league game in the regular season. Jack Quinn is the only pitcher to win a game after his 49th birthday and when the season begins, Moyer will be older than Quinn was at the time of his last MLB victory.**

Jamie Moyer signing with the Colorado Rockies didn't turn heads like the Albert Pujols or C.J. Wilson signings, but Moyer could make history with his new club this season.

Moyer is 49 years old, and if he wins a game this season, he’ll be the oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a regular season game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Only Jack Quinn has won a regular season game after his 49th birthday and he was 49 years and 70 days old. Moyer will be well past that age when this season begins.

Feel free to make the joke that Moyer is older than dirt, but the truth is he’s older than rocks. When the Rockies played their first game in 1993, Moyer had already pitched in 141 games and threw exactly 700 innings in his career. In Rockies franchise history, only six pitchers have reached the 700-inning mark.

You can’t blame the majority of current Rockies players for missing Moyer’s major-league debut on June 16, 1986 against the Philadelphia Phillies. That’s because 14 players on the Rockies current 40-man roster hadn’t even been born yet, 35 percent.

Jamie Moyer
But for those players who missed Moyer’s debut, it was held at Wrigley Field, and we can safely assume it was a day game, because Wrigley wouldn’t add lights until more than two years later.

Moyer’s opposing pitcher that day? Steve Carlton, who made his debut in 1965, when Moyer himself was only two years old.

Moyer’s first opposing batter? Current Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Moyer’s contract is a minor-league one, and the Rockies current triple-A team, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, wasn’t reincarnated in triple-A form until 1988.

Despite all the jokes, Moyer could have an impact in the major leagues this season. In 2010, Moyer’s WHIP was a 1.10, the second-lowest mark of his career, trailing only the 1.08 he put up in 2002.

In 2001 and 2003, when Moyer finished in the top five in AL Cy Young voting, his WHIP was higher both seasons.

Statistically speaking, 2010 was one of Moyer’s finest seasons in quite some time, as his rates of hits, walks, and strikeout-to-walk ratio were among the best of his career.

However, missing the 2011 season after having Tommy John Surgery could have a major effect on his comeback effort. As could pitching in Colorado, where in two career starts, he’s 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA.
Zack Greinke
Zack Greinke made waves with his comments regarding St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter heading into Game 1 of the 2011 NLCS.

The Milwaukee Brewers pitcher will have a chance to back those words up at Miller Park, a place he has not tasted defeat since being acquired by the team this offseason.

Greinke went 11-0 at home this season. You have to go al the way back to Billy Pierce of the San Francisco Giants in 1962 for the last time a National League pitcher had 11 or more wins at home without a loss.

In fact he was one of only four pitchers since 2000 to go undefeated at home with a minimum of 10 decisions, joining Cliff Lee in 2008 (10-0), Johan Santana in 2006 (12-0) and Jamie Moyer in 2005 (10-0) as the only pitchers to do so. Lee and Santana were awarded the Cy Young in the years they accomplished the feat.

While Greinke won't be walking away with a Cy Young this year, his acquisition was a key move in the Brewers reaching the LCS for the first time since 1982, when they were still in the American League.

He is the perfect guy to start Game 1 as among the Brewers top four starters, only Greinke posted an ERA against the Cardinals (3.15) that was lower than his season ERA (3.83).

Greinke has made three starts against the Cardinals this season and lost just once, his last start against them in September.

In that start, the Cardinals were aggressive early in the count, swinging at the first pitch 43 percent of the time, the second highest by any opponent against Greinke in a start this season.

Four of the Cardinals' eight hits and both runs they scored that game were driven in on the first pitch. When Greinke has been able to get deeper into the count against the Cardinals this season, he's been dominant.
Today’s Trivia: When Bartolo Colon, 37, takes the mound Wednesday for his first start with the New York Yankees, he will be the oldest pitcher to start a game this season. Who currently holds that distinction?

Quick Hits: With some of the hottest pitchers set to take the mound, Wednesday sets up to be quite a day for pitching.

• Of the 34 starters scheduled for Wednesday, 11 have an ERA under 2.00 and nine are looking to start 3-0 or better. Eight of the MLB’s top ten in ERA draw starts Wednesday.

Gio Gonzalez
• Gio Gonzalez, Justin Masterson, Aaron Harang, Jered Weaver and Matt Harrison are all scheduled to pitch. Each has allowed 1 ER or fewer in 6+ innings in each of their first three starts. (According to, the last pitcher to start a season with four straight such starts was Cliff Lee in 2008 (who did it in five straight).

• The last time multiple pitchers started the season with four straight starts of 1 ER or fewer in 6+ innings was 1998: Chuck Finley and Greg Maddux.

• Weaver (4-0, 1.30 ERA) looks to become the first pitcher in MLB history with five wins by April 20, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• He faces Harrison (3-0, 1.23 ERA), who looks to be the first Texas Rangers pitcher to win each of his first four starts since Darren Oliver in 2001.

• Gonzalez (2-0, 0.47 ERA) faces the Boston Red Sox with the MLB’s best ERA. He’s boasts a streak of 17 scoreless innings and opponents are 0-for-13 with RISP.

• Masterson (3-0, 1.33 ERA) has held right-handed hitters to a .103 BA (3-for-29).

• Jaime Garcia (2-0, 1.35 ERA) takes on the Washington Nationals. In his career, he is 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA. In seven career April starts, he’s never allowed more than two earned runs.

Dustin Moseley
• Dustin Moseley is 0-3 despite a 1.83 ERA. A big reason? The San Diego Padres haven’t scored a run in any of his three starts. According to Elias, the only pitcher in the last 30 years whose team was shut out in each of four consecutive starts was Arizona's Randy Johnson in June-July 1999.

• Harang (3-0, 1.50 ERA) draws the second start of the day for San Diego. He looks to become just the third pitcher to win his first four starts of a season with the Padres. Only Randy Jones (1976) and Andy Hawkins (1985) have done so. Dennis Rasmussen won his first four starts with the Padres in 1988, but was a midseason acquisition.

Trivia Answer: Derek Lowe, who also takes the hill Wednesday, is the oldest pitcher to start a game so far this season. Also 37, he’s just eight days younger than Colon. Last season, Jamie Moyer (47) and Tim Wakefield (44) were the oldest to start a game.
Today’s Trivia: On this date in 1993, Nolan Ryan made the final appearance of his career. No active pitcher even has half of his career strikeout total. However, four active pitchers have 2,000 career strikeouts. Can you name them?

Quick Hits: On Tuesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks struck out six times to reach 1,403 on the season. That broke the single-season record of 1,399 set by the 2001 Milwaukee Brewers.

• The Diamondbacks have played 65 games this season where they have struck out at least 10 times; that's 17 more than the team with the second most. Even that 2001 Brewers team only had 56 of them. Not surprisingly, the Diamondbacks are just 15-50 when fanning at least 10 times.

• They’ve only had nine games of striking out five times or fewer. Since 1920, the fewest such games is 17 by those 2001 Brewers. This season, the Florida Marlins have the next fewest with 24. By contrast, the Chicago White Sox have 82.

• They’ve already set a record by having five players with 130 or more strikeouts. The 2002 Chicago Cubs and 1991 and 1992 Detroit Tigers claimed the old record with four.

Reynolds• Mark Reynolds already has his third straight 200-strikeout season, but he’s all but secured an even more embarrassing statistic. With 202 strikeouts and a .203 batting average, it seems extremely likely that he won’t hit his strikeout total. Even Rob Deer didn’t do that back in 1991 when he struck out 175 times and hit .179. In fact, the "record" total of strikeouts that was above a player’s batting average belongs to pitcher Dean Chance. In 1968, he struck out 63 times while hitting .054. Among position players, it’s never happened to a player who actually recorded a hit.

• Reynolds has fanned 629 times since 2008. Among pitchers, only Tim Lincecum, Dan Haren, CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander have more strikeouts than that.

• In 2002, the Los Angeles Angels won the World Series after striking out only 805 times in the regular season. Even if you didn’t count their outfielders, the Diamondbacks have already exceeded that total.

• As researcher Mark Simon points out, the Diamondbacks are averaging a strikeout every 4.1 plate appearances. That's roughly equal to the career rate of Jim Thome, the man with the second most strikeouts of all time.

Today’s Leaderboard: Not surprisingly, Reynolds strikes out at the highest rate in the league in addition to having the most strikeouts. So who is the toughest to strike out? Among qualifying players, that distinction belongs to Jeff Keppinger.

Key Matchups
• On July 31, the Texas Rangers beat the Angels 2-1 as Rich Harden outdueled Dan Haren, who was making his second start since getting traded. At that point the Rangers were 25-22 on the road. Since then, Texas is just 10-19 away from home. Which brings us back to Haren, who is scheduled to start Wednesday against the Rangers. The key hit in that July game was a two-run home run by Vladimir Guerrero. He’s a .414 career hitter against Haren, and no one has more career home runs (three) or RBI (10) against the Angels hurler.

• Just 9-11 in September, the Atlanta Braves look to avoid the sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies. They’ll have to deal with Roy Oswalt, who is 7-0 with a 1.41 ERA in his last eight starts. However, Oswalt is 0-3 with a 7.58 ERA in seven career starts against the Braves, the only NL team (besides Houston) that he’s yet to defeat. Atlanta might find its offense from an unlikely source. Alex Gonzalez is 10-for-23 lifetime against Oswalt with a pair of homers. That .435 average is fourth-best among those who have faced him 20 times.

Trivia Answer: Jamie Moyer, Javier Vazquez, Andy Pettitte and Tim Wakefield are the only active pitchers with 2,000 career strikeouts. Moyer is one of three active players who struck out against Ryan.

Braden, Beckett and the speed of games

September, 18, 2010
The clock. It controls so much of our everyday lives -- what time to wake up, what time to be at work or school, what time we can leave work or school.

In sports, baseball is one of the few that's not beholden to the clock. There's no 60- or 48- or 40-minute limit. There aren't timeouts to stop the clock. We could care less about tenths of a second. When you start a game, there's no telling when it will end. To some, it's the beauty of the game; to others, it's the biggest frustration.
Braden Beckett
In these days of commercials and warmup pitches and elaborate player routines (both at the plate and on the mound), even a two-hour game is the exception. Although most games come in under three hours, you can't bank on that. Rule changes to speed games up have largely been ignored. Seriously, have you ever seen a pitcher charged with an automatic ball for violating the "12-second rule" with nobody on base? Go ahead, we'll wait.

Here at Stats & Information, we've tracked the game times of every Major League Baseball contest this season. We can recommend some pitchers and teams to see, regardless of which side of the "clock argument" you fall on. For example, it's not a myth that the Chicago White Sox's Mark Buehrle pitches quickly. Or that the Boston Red Sox's Daisuke Matsuzaka takes forever. Or that you will get a marathon out of nearly any New York Yankees game.

While the official game times do adjust for rain delays, power outages and the occasional tornado outside Citi Field, there are obviously a few other factors at play. The speed of the pitcher's opponent isn't taken into account. A starter might get roughed up and turn things over to a slow- (or fast-) moving bullpen, but when you think of fast workers and slow workers, the list is pretty accurate.

Random fact: The total number of minutes consumed by all the games this season (through Thursday) is 383,639. That's more than 266 days. If you watched every game back-to-back, starting on Opening Night (April 4), you'd already have enough baseball to last you until Dec. 27. With no breaks.

Anyhow, this got us to thinking, which teams give you the most baseball for your money? If you want to watch as much baseball as possible in terms of time, which team's season tickets should you buy? Similarly, which teams are "cheating you" by playing really short games all the time?

Adjusting for extra innings, we can get the average length of a nine-inning home game for each team this season. We didn't adjust for home victories where the bottom of the ninth doesn't get played. (We figure you'd sacrifice those extra seven minutes in exchange for seeing the home team win.)

The Cleveland Indians have been involved in both the shortest and longest nine-inning games this season. The Detroit Tigers' Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game against the Indians on June 2 was the fastest nine-inning game played this season -- one hour, 44 minutes. As for the longest? The Indians and Yankees combined to score 24 runs on May 27, a game the Yankees won 13-11. That game lasted four hours and 22 minutes. There have been just four games this season played in less than two hours, compared with six games that have lasted longer than four hours.

1st Pitch: Decisions, decisions, decisions

July, 8, 2010
Quick Hits: With LeBron James’ “Decision” set for tonight at 9 ET… what better time to dive into the wonderful world of decisions? In this case, wins and losses.
  • Jamie Moyer (9-8) has a decision in all 17 starts this season. The pitcher with the next most starts in which he recorded a decision each time out is Jhoulys Chacin with 12 (though he also has appeared twice in relief).
  • It’s been 20 years since a pitcher had 33 decisions in a season. In 1990, Jack Morris, Dave Stewart and Bob Welch all had 33.
  • Will Ohman has made 42 appearances without registering a decision in 2010. He’s currently tied with Mike Flanagan (1992) for the most appearances without a decision in Orioles history.
  • In 14 starts, Craig Stammen (2-3) only has five decisions, which is the lowest rate among all those who have started 10 games.
  • With 13 decisions, Tyler Clippard (8-5) is on pace for about 24 decisions, all in relief. The last pitcher with 20 or more decisions without making a start was Scot Shields (10-11) in 2005. The last with at least 24? Rollie Fingers (13-11) had 24 in 1976.
  • The Orioles rotation has only 14 wins this season, and no one on the team has more than three. But with 44 losses, their rotation has fewer than only the Pirates (45).
  • The Angels’ starting pitchers have recorded the decision in 72 of 87 games, or 82.8 percent of the time. That’s the most in the majors.
  • By contrast, the Nationals’ rotation has just 49 decisions this season, representing a mere 57.6 percent of their contests. In fact, Yankees starters have almost as many wins (44) as the Nationals starters have decisions.
Today’s Trivia: Who has the most home runs in Indians history among players born in Ohio?

Today’s Leaderboard: The Braves and Tigers both have bullpens with an 18-7 record, tied for the best in the majors. But on the other end of the spectrum is Florida. The Marlins bullpen is just 6-16, giving it the worst win percentage of any relief corps.

Key Matchups: If you had to guess Vladimir Guerrero’s nemesis, how long would it take until Jeremy Guthrie’s name came up? In 17 career at-bats, Guerrero has managed just one hit against the Orioles starter, a .059 batting average. That includes a current 0-for-11 stretch dating back to 2007, during which Guerrero is averaging just 2.4 pitches per plate appearance. His next-worst batting average against a pitcher he’s faced 15 times is .105 against Robert Person.

Lance Berkman has a home run in three straight games after managing just seven over his first 67 games. Could he make it four games in a row? Berkman is a .462 career hitter against Ross Ohlendorf with a home run. On three occasions, Berkman has homered in four consecutive games, most recently in 2007. Morgan Ensberg has the Astros record with six consecutive games with a home run back in 2006.

Trivia Answer: David Justice’s 96 home runs are the most in Indians’ history for a player born in Ohio. Justice was born in Cincinnati, though he went to high school in Kentucky. Mike Schmidt is the all-time home run leader from Ohio, while Justice ranks third.

1st Pitch: Career All-Star snubs

July, 2, 2010
Quick Hits: The All-Star rosters will be unveiled on Sunday. A year ago, Tim Wakefield, then 42, was selected for the first time in his career. With 188 wins at the time, he was the winningest pitcher of the All-Star era never to have made the team. With his selection, that distinction returned to Mike Torrez and his 185 career wins. Let’s look at some other notable active players who have never been selected:
  • With 135 career wins, Jeff Suppan is the winningest active pitcher never to make an All-Star Game.
  • Suppan is followed by Darren Oliver and A.J. Burnett, both of whom have won 106 games. An interesting case can be made for Oliver and his 1.49 ERA, which is third among AL relievers.
  • Of the 74 active pitchers with 1,000 career innings, Burnett has the lowest ERA (3.92) among those never selected.
  • Most notably snubbed in 2002 and 2008, Pat Burrell has the most career home runs (272).
  • Adrian Beltre, who ranks second in the majors in batting average and leads all AL third basemen in OPS, has the second most career home runs (262) among active players without an All-Star bid.
  • A snub in 2009, Huston Street’s 130 saves are the most among active pitchers who have never been.
  • Among those with 3,000 career plate appearances, Nick Markakis (.298) has the highest career batting average. He barely qualifies though. He had his 3,000th career plate appearance last night.
  • Travis Hafner has the highest career OPS (.903) for any player in major league history never selected as an All-Star (among those to play in the All-Star era). With four 100-RBI seasons, he’s the only active player with more than two who has never made it. In 2006, he hit .322 with 25 home runs – including a record 5 grand slams – but didn’t make the team.
Today’s Trivia: Who was the last player to win the Cy Young Award after having not been an All-Star that season?

Today’s Leaderboard: For the first time this season, Tim Wakefield and Jamie Moyer – and their combined 90 years of age - are starting on the same day. On May 7, they both pitched, but Wakefield was in relief. So perhaps it’s fitting that Moyer can make some history (again). First, he could pick up his 10th win of the season. It would be his 16th time reaching that total, but just the second time he’s done it before the break. Moyer is going for his 104th win after turning 40, while Wakefield goes for his 41st. Moyer would tie Jack Quinn for the 2nd-most wins after turning 40.

Key Matchups: The Diamondbacks young trio of Justin Upton, Chris Young and Mark Reynolds have combined to hit .163 against Hiroki Kuroda. In 49 at-bats, they’ve struck out 22 times. Perhaps not the welcome to the ranks of big league managers that Kirk Gibson was hoping for.

Chris Iannetta is 6-for-12 in his career against Tim Lincecum. He’s also walked eight times and twice been hit by a pitch against the two-time Cy Young winner. That gives Iannetta a .727 on-base percentage. He’s managed to reach base in all eight games in which they’ve faced one another.

Trivia Answer: In 2004, Johan Santana was just 7-6 with a 3.78 ERA at the break. He went on to win the Cy Young after going 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA in the second half. Jimmy Rollins in 2007 is the last player to win MVP after not being an All-Star.

The Closer: Baserunning fundamentals

June, 27, 2010
You often hear talk about "five-tool players" in baseball. We had plenty of hitting for average on Sunday (Jose Guillen and Josh Hamilton both extended their hit streaks to 21 games). We had some power-- more than 70 extra-base hits and two dozen home runs (including the longest one by distance this season). Fielding and throwing didn't give us too many issues.

Baserunning, on the other hand...

No matter which game you watched, there was bound to be at least one of those "head-scratcher" plays. The ones where you look at your TV and say, "what was he thinking?" At the risk of Monday-morning, er, Sunday-night quarterbacking, we present a sampling of the unnecessary, and sometimes obscure, outs that were run into on the basepaths Sunday.

Tampa: Justin Upton on third. Chris Young grounds back to the pitcher. Upton gets run back and tagged out. Young thinks the defense isn't paying attention and tries to take second, where he's also tagged out.

Tampa: Pinch runner Carl Crawford doubled off first when Sean Rodriguez lines one to third base.

Chicago: Gordon Beckham strikes out, but his backswing gets in the way of Geovany Soto as he tries to nail a stealing Alexei Ramirez. Ramirez gets called out for the interference of his teammate.

Cincinnati: Corky Miller thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.

Anaheim: Jason Giambi thrown out at third trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt.

New York: Jeff Francoeur thrown out trying to tag and take third on a ball to shallow right.

Oakland: Jose Tabata's ground ball hits runner Pedro Alvarez between first and second. Oh, by the way, it's the final out of a one-run game.

(Bonus question: If you're keeping score, how do you write THAT down?)

Florida: Jorge Cantu is called for interference while trying to break up a double play at second base. The batter, Dan Uggla, is called out as a result.

Milwaukee: Rickie Weeks thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.

Baltimore: Miguel Tejada thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.

Baltimore: In the bottom of the eighth in a tie game, Julio Lugo legs out a double and then immediately gets himself picked off second.

(Bonus answer: Infield single for the batter. The putout is awarded to the closest fielder, in this case the first baseman.)

** The trunk with the Mets' bats in it finally arrived back at Citi Field. Six consecutive Mets batters went double, homer, homer, triple, single, single, during the fifth inning on Sunday. That's 15 total bases in a single inning. The Mets hadn't had 15 total bases in a GAME since last Tuesday.

** The aforementioned triple was off the bat of Jason Bay, marking his 1,000th career hit. The last time a player had a triple for his 1,000th career hit was almost exactly three years ago, when then-Oriole Aubrey Huff did it on June 29, 2007.

** The Pirates committed four errors and managed to lose Sunday's game to Oakland without allowing an earned run. Even for them, that's impressive. They haven't done that since June 29, 2002, when the Tigers scored on a missed catch at home plate and a passed ball to beat them 2-1.

** One afterthought on the Oakland/Pittsburgh series: On Saturday, the two teams donned "throwback" uniforms from the 1970s. (They say styles have a 30-year cycle, so watch for neon green to make a comeback soon.) But you have to forgive those two teams for wanting to "turn back the clock". During the '70s they combined for five world championships, including four straight from 1971-74. Since then, they have ONE (Oakland's in '89).

** Jamie Moyer didn't quite pitch IN the '70s, but at the rate he's going, he might well pitch INTO his 70s. Moyer became the all-time leader in home runs allowed on Sunday when Vernon Wells took him deep in the third inning.

Bonus question #2: Those 42 parks include ALL of the current 30 stadiums except two. We'll spot you Target Field because it just opened. What's the other current park where Moyer has yet to surrender a dinger? ** After being no-hit by Edwin Jackson on Friday, the Rays put together a two-hit attack against Arizona on Sunday. They did at least score a run this time. Ironically, the last team that was held to two or fewer hits twice in a series was these same Diamondbacks. That was in late May against the Giants.

** Combined with their amazing five-hit performance on Saturday, the Rays ended up with seven base hits over the entire three-game series. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the last team to finish with seven or fewer hits in a three-game series was the 1965 New York Mets. They were one-hit by the Milwaukee Braves on both September 10 and 11 before "exploding" for five hits (and a 1-0 victory!) in the series finale on the 12th.

Bonus answer #2: Busch Stadium in St Louis. Moyer surrendered three long balls in the PRIOR Busch Stadium (which closed in 2005), but has made only two visits to the current building.

1st Pitch: History chasing Moyer Tuesday

June, 22, 2010
Quick Hits: Jamie Moyer gets the start against the Indians on Tuesday with history looming. The southpaw has allowed 504 home runs in his career, one shy of Robin Roberts' record. Using’s Home Run Log, let’s take a look at the 504 that got away:
  • The player that has faced Moyer the most times without a home run happens to be a likely future Hall of Famer. Roberto Alomar was homerless in 49 plate appearances.
  • Moyer has 478 career at-bats without hitting a home run himself. Only three active players have a longer career drought: Reggie Willits (863 PA), Ryan Dempster (548), and Ben Sheets (496).
  • Moyer has allowed 87 home runs in the first inning alone. Christy Mathewson allowed 89 over the course of a 17-year career.

  • Moyer is 149-67 in his career when not allowing a home run, and 116-134 when he does.
  • Moyer has allowed seven grand slams, which is not even the most among active players. Brad Penny, Kevin Millwood and Cliff Lee have all been victimized eight times. Lee has allowed 368 fewer home runs than Moyer, yet more grand slams.
  • Manny Ramirez has the most home runs against Moyer with 10, followed by Carlos Delgado’s eight.
  • The only player to homer in his lone plate appearance against Moyer? Kurt Abbott in 1993.
  • In part because of his extended time in the AL, Moyer has never allowed a home run to a pitcher. By contrast, Phil Niekro allowed 12.
  • The lone walk-off home run against Moyer belongs to Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the 18th inning on June 24, 2004. Soriano also has one of the 18 home runs off of Moyer to lead off a game.
Today’s Trivia: Which current manager hit the first home run that Jamie Moyer gave up?

Today’s Leaderboard: The Indians, whom Moyer faces on Tuesday, have only managed nine home runs against lefties this season, tied for fourth fewest in the majors. The Dodgers are last with only seven, while the Red Sox and Yankees share the league lead with 28. The Indians’ nine have come in 739 at-bats. The rate of one HR per 82.1 AB vs lefties in second worst in the majors. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have one per 23.5 AB.

Key Matchups: So who is the most likely culprit to go deep against Moyer on Tuesday? A pair of Indians have a history of success against Moyer. Jhonny Peralta is the only current Indian with a home run against Moyer, and has a lifetime .500 average in 10 at-bats against him, while Austin Kearns is 7-for-16 (.438) against Moyer. If it’s anyone other than Peralta that takes Moyer deep, it would mark the 322nd different batter to homer off of him.

Kevin Kouzmanoff is swinging one the hottest bats in the majors at the moment, and Tuesday he gets to face the pitcher he does the most damage against. In June, Kouzmanoff is hitting .418 (4th in the AL) with five HR (t-4th in AL). In 16 career at-bats against Bronson Arroyo, he’s hit .688 with a pair of long balls. That batting average is by far his best against any pitcher he’s faced at least 10 times.

Trivia Answer: Juan Samuel, current interim manager of the Orioles, hit the first homer off of Jamie Moyer almost exactly 24 years ago today (June 23, 1986). He wasn’t the only current manager to appear in that game. Terry Francona came on as a defensive replacement for Moyer’s Cubs.

The Closer: Moyer magic

June, 17, 2010
He's won 265 games, but Jamie Moyer's win against the Yankees Wednesday was a little more meaningful. Moyer at 47 years, 210 days old became the oldest pitcher to beat the Yankees passing Phil Niekro. In this edition of The Closer, we'll show you how Moyer got the job done in the Bronx and how Tim Lincecum has bounced back to win his last two starts after going winless in his previous four starts.

How Jamie Moyer beat the Yankees:

- Struck out four Yankees with his fastball (yes, his fastball). That's the second most strikeouts with his fastball all season.

- Also tied for the second most chases with the fastball this season (6)

- Got the 1st batter out all eight innings he pitched

How Tim Lincecum beat the Orioles:

- Tightened up with runners on: Lincecum allowed 12 baserunners, tying a season-high, but was able to overcome some tough spots by throwing more strikes and missing more bats.

Lincecum fans 10 for first time in last eight starts:

Tim Lincecum struck out 10 batters in six innings in his win over the Orioles. It was the 23rd double-digit strikeout game for Lincecum in his four seasons in the majors but his first since May 4, when he fanned 13 versus the Marlins. The seven starts Lincecum made in the interim was his longest stretch without a 10-K game in two years, since a seven-start span in May/June 2008.

1st Pitch: A different player at home

June, 16, 2010
Quick Hits: With Todd Helton and Joe Mauer in opposing dugouts this week, it has highlighted the fact that neither slugger has hit a home run at home this season. Some other intriguing home/road notes:
  • Denard Span is hitting .378 at home and .172 on the road. That .206 discrepancy is the largest in baseball.
  • On the other hand, Ryan Braun is hitting .370 on the road, but just .216 at home, the largest discrepancy in the other direction.
  • Chris Young has hit 10 of his 12 home runs at home. Paul Konerko is next, having hit seven more homers at home.
  • Nine of Justin Morneau’s 11 home runs have come on the road, while David Wright has hit eight more homers on the road than at home. Meanwhile, all seven of Ian Stewart’s homers are away from Coors.
  • Of Ryan Sweeney’s 28 RBI, 23 have come at home.
  • At .391, Martin Prado is on track for the highest home batting average since teammate Chipper Jones hit .399 at home in 2008.
  • Over the last 55 years, only two Yankees have posted a higher home batting average than Brett Gardner’s .385: Paul O’Neill (.409 in 1994) and Mickey Mantle (.387 in 1957).
  • Casey Kotchman’s .175 batting average at home would be the fifth worst among qualifying players over the last 50 years.
  • Jason Heyward has 17 more walks on the road than at home, the biggest difference in the majors.
Today’s Trivia: If Alex Rodriguez returns to the lineup against Jamie Moyer on Wednesday, it will mark the second time that a player with 500 career home runs has faced a pitcher who has allowed 500 long balls. The only other instance occurred in 1966. Who were the players involved?

Today’s Leaderboard: The best hitters at home this season? A pair of players that could find themselves playing elsewhere in a couple months. Who knows if Paul Konerko will still be calling U.S. Cellular Field home after the trade deadline, but for now Konerko is crushing the ball at home. His 1.201 OPS at home is the best in baseball, and is on track to be the best since Barry Bonds in 2004. Second on the list is Kelly Johnson’s 1.133 OPS.

Key Matchups: David Ortiz faced Rodrigo Lopez each year from 2003 to 2006 as AL East foes. In 50 plate appearances, he’s hitting .326 with a .932 OPS. That includes a memorable two triple game in 2004, the only in Ortiz’s career. However, one thing has eluded Ortiz against Lopez: A home run. Ortiz is homerless in 50 plate appearances, the most he’s faced any pitcher without going deep. Even stranger? Despite that .932 OPS, Ortiz only has one RBI against Lopez.

Alex Rodriguez is expected back in the Yankees’ lineup on Wednesday, and he’ll face Jamie Moyer in a matchup that dates back to 1996. They’ve faced each other 59 times in total, and A-Rod is a .389 hitter against Moyer with a 1.218 OPS. This will be the first meeting since 2005, but in his last nine at-bats against Moyer, Rodriguez is 7-9 with four home runs.

Trivia Answer: When Willie Mays stepped in against Robin Roberts on August 6, 1966, he had 529 home runs to his credit. In his previous start, Roberts became the first pitcher to allow 500 career home runs when Hank Aaron took him deep. It was Aaron’s 429th career home run.