Stats & Info: Jeff Mathis

1st pitch: Guess who leads the team

April, 19, 2010
4/19/10
1:44
PM ET
Today’s Trivia: Joe Mauer turns 27 today. Who is the only player younger than Mauer who has more career hits?

Quick Hits: Early on, there are some interesting names who currently reside as team statistical leaders:

* After closing out Saturday’s marathon, Mike Pelfrey now leads the Mets in wins (two) and saves (one).

* David Ortiz only has six hits on the season, but with five doubles, he leads the Red Sox.

* Despite pitching solely out of the bullpen, Casey Janssen leads the Blue Jays with three wins. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he was the first pitcher in 18 years to win three of his team’s first six games. The last to do it was Jose Melendez for the 1992 Padres.

* Joey Votto leads the Reds with four stolen bases, which matches his total from last season.

* Jeff Mathis is tied for the Angels’ team lead with two stolen bases, which matches his career-high.

* Lyle Overbay might be hitting just .080, but he leads the Blue Jays in triples. Granted he’s hit the team’s only triple thus far.

* Jeff Keppinger leads the Astros with 17 total bases.

* Cliff Pennington, who never hit more than eight homers in the minors, leads the A’s with two.

* Tyler Clippard, who has only appeared as a reliever, leads the Nationals in strikeouts with nine.

Key Matchups: Bobby Abreu, one of the most patient hitters in the game, has faced Dontrelle Willis 35 times in his career and only walked once. To be fair, the two haven’t squared off since 2005. Willis was the runner-up for the NL Cy Young that year, and hadn’t yet begun to struggle with his control. However, Abreu has only faced two pitchers more without drawing multiple walks. Both Roy Halladay (39 PA, 0 BB) and Curt Schilling (44 PA, 1 BB) are famous for pinpoint control.

After missing the final 129 games of 2009, Conor Jackson is still getting back in the groove for Arizona. He has hit safely in 10 of 11 games, but only has one extra-base hit and one multiple hit game. Against Brad Penny, Monday could be a breakout game. Jackson is a .474 career hitter against Penny, his second highest average against any pitcher he’s faced 15 times. David Wright (.579) is the only hitter with a higher average against Penny with at least 20 plate appearances.

Today’s Leaderboard: Early in 2010, Joel Pineiro, who starts Monday against the Tigers, has continued his renaissance by using the ground ball to his advantage. He currently has a 6.50 ground out to air out ratio, which is nearly double that of any other pitcher, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Trivia Answer: Jose Reyes turns 27 in June and has 105 more hits than Mauer, though in 645 more plate appearances. Miguel Cabrera almost qualifies, but he turned 27 yesterday.

1st pitch: Players with unfamiliar numbers

April, 16, 2010
4/16/10
1:44
PM ET
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.

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