Stats & Info: Pete Rose

Nova, Yankees put win streak on line

September, 14, 2011

Denny Medley/US Presswire
Ivan Nova is 8-2 on the road this season and has won 6 straight road decisions.

The New York Yankees look to complete its first three-game sweep at the Seattle Mariners since August 13-15, 2009 on Wednesday Night Baseball (10 ET, ESPN). The Yankees are riding a three-game winning streak while the Mariners have lost four straight. New York is an AL-best 44-30 on the road this season.

On the mound
Rookie Ivan Nova (15-4) takes the mound for New York. According to our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1950, only four rookies have won at least 16 of their first 20 decisions in a season - Bob Grim (1954), Jack S. Sanford (1957), Wally Bunker (1964) and Tom Gordon (1989). Each started 16-4 in their rookie seasons.

Nova started the year 4-4, but has won 11 straight decisions, the longest streak by a Yankees pitcher since Roger Clemens won 16 straight in 2001. Prior to his Sept. 8 start against the Baltimore Orioles (a no-decision in which the Yankees lost), the Yankees had won his last 12 starts.

Jason Vargas, who has lost three of his last four decisions, will start for Seattle. Vargas is 0-3 with a 7.86 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Yankees in his career.

Since pitching two shutouts in four starts (June 3 against the Tampa Bay Rays and June 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies), Vargas is 3-9 with a 5.38 ERA in his last 14 starts.

Matchups to watch
The No. 1 hitter in the batting order is just 11-for-71 (.155 BA) against Nova this season. Cleanup hitters are hitting .339 with four HR against him.

Vargas hasn’t been able to finish off right-handed hitters with his two-strike changeup as he has in previous years. From 2009-10, right-handed batters recorded 72 outs against 24 hits against his two-strike changeup. This year, righties have made 45 outs against 23 hits against the pitch.

Stats of the game
Mariano Rivera recorded his 600th career save as he joined Trevor Hoffman as the only pitchers with that many saves in the Yankees 3-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday. His next save will tie Hoffman for most all-time (601). Rivera has notched all 600 of his saves with the Yankees, the most career saves all with one team. The next-highest is Jeff Montgomery, who had 304 for the Kansas City Royals.

ESPN's Stats and Information's Mark Simon brings you more on Rivera and his quest to tie Hoffman.

Derek Jeter needs one hit to reach 150 for the season, which would extend his streak of collecting at least 150 hits to 16 straight years. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only four other players in major-league history have had 150 or more hits in 15 consecutive seasons: Hank Aaron (17), Pete Rose (16), Honus Wagner (15) and Stan Musial (15, not including the 1945 season which he missed due to military service).

Mark Simon contributed to this post
The Los Angeles Angels pitching staff has been carried this season by Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. When Weaver, Haren or Santana starts, the Angels are 53-36 this season. When anyone else starts, the team is 24-29.

Those three will not be pitching when they face the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday Night Baseball on ESPN.

Instead, the Angels will hand the ball to Jerome Williams, who is 2-0 in his two starts this season for the Angels. One of those two starts came August 30 against the Mariners when he won while allowing four runs over seven innings.

Jerome Williams
Before this season, Williams -- a former first-round pick of the Giants in 1999 -- had last pitched in the majors in 2007. Williams had spent time in the minors in 2008 and 2009 before playing for the Uni-President Lions in Japan in 2010.

The Angels have scored a total of 20 runs in Williams’ 2 starts. He has allowed just one earned run in nine innings at home (1.00 ERA). He's allowed 8 ER in 8 ⅔ IP on the road (8.31 ERA) this season.

The right-handed Williams has been much more effective against left-handed batters than righties this season. Righties are hitting .359 with a .931 OPS against him while lefties have a .250 average and .656 OPS.

Williams has had a lot of trouble with the first five batters in the order. They are hitting .415 (17-41) against him while the rest are hitting .167 (5-30) against him.

The chances of Williams improving on his season numbers increase because he’s facing the Mariners, one of the league’s worst offensive teams.

Seattle enters the game with a league-worst .235 batting average. That would be the lowest batting average by a team in a non-strike season since the American League adopted the designated hitter in 1973.

It is also a continuation of the Mariners offensive struggles from last season. They have MLB’s worst batting average (.235), runs per game (3.3) and OPS (.639) in that span.

Even Ichiro Suzuki has been affected by the slump. He has 161 hits this season, which has him on pace for 184 for the season. That would end his MLB-record streak of 10 consecutive seasons with at least 200 hits. Ichiro’s 10 seasons of 200 hits are currently tied with Pete Rose for the most all-time.

Ichiro is also hitting .272 this season, which would be his first season without a .300 batting average in his 11 years in MLB.

The only time Ichiro has faced Williams came in that August 30 contest. He went 1-for-4 with two RBI in a 13-6 loss.

Tuesday's 1st Pitch: Closing Numbers

April, 13, 2010
Today’s Trivia: April 13 is the anniversary of both Pete Rose’s first hit (1963 off of Bob Friend) and his 4,000th hit (1984 off of Jerry Koosman). Which pitcher did Rose have his most hits against?

Quick Hits: More fun with tiny sample sizes. This time, with the help of Baseball Tonight researcher Mark Simon, let’s take a look at some strangeness pertaining to closers.

* Jon Rauch has had an odd go of it, so far. He's started 13 of 19 hitters with an 0-1 count. Those hitters are batting .385 against him. The six hitters that he's started with a 1-0 count are hitless.

* For the first time in his career, Jonathan Papelbon has more walks (2) than strikeouts (1) in a season.

* Via Fangraphs, hitters have only swung at 11 percent of pitches that Mike Gonzalez has thrown out of the strike zone. Last year, they swung at nearly 31 percent.

* Also via Fangraphs: In three appearances, hitters have made contact on 94.7 percent of their swings against Rafael Soriano. Last year, they made contact on 71.3 percent (16th-best among the 341 pitchers to throw at least 50 innings)

* Jose Valverde, who has always been more of a flyball pitcher, has induced eight grounders compared to only one fly.

* Matt Capps has allowed two doubles and five walks in four appearances, yet has only been charged with one run. Opposing hitters are 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Key Matchups: Brandon Inge is 0-for-14 in his career against Brian Bannister, which matches his history with Bruce Chen for Inge’s most at-bats without a hit against a pitcher. It is also the most Bannister has faced anyone without allowing a hit. Gary Sheffield is 0-for-12 against him.

Jorge Cantu is 6-for-20 all-time against Bronson Arroyo, which normally would not be significant enough to be mentioned in this space. However, Cantu is swinging for history on Tuesday. He has at least one hit and one RBI in all seven games this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he can tie the MLB record tonight for consecutive games to start a season with both a hit and an RBI. George Kelly did it in eight straight games for the 1921 Giants. The good news for Cantu? He has four hits in his last five at-bats against Arroyo, including a pair of home runs.

Today’s Leaderboard: Two of the hitters struggling most so far this season are leading the majors in pitches per plate appearance. David Ortiz leads the way with 5.0, followed by Milton Bradley. Are they struggling with patience or because of it? According to, Ortiz has been caught looking at 37 percent of the strikes thrown his way, well above his career average of 25 percent. He has also only swung at eight percent of first pitches. His career average is 28 percent.

Trivia Answer: Rose had 64 hits off of Phil Niekro, four more than he had against Don Sutton. A big part of that were 266 plate appearances against the knuckler, 72 more than against Sutton. Fun fact: Rose did not strike out once in his final 101 plate appearances against Niekro.