Stats & Info: Ryan Rowland-Smith

The Closer: Pair of Aces

June, 11, 2010
6/11/10
3:27
AM ET
Why Roy Halladay deserved better against the Marlins:

-The Marlins finished 0-10 against Halladay's off-speed pitches. A season-low 30.0 percent of these were in the strike zone, according to Inside Edge. However, 65 percent of them went for strikes thanks to a chase percentage of 42.0. 6 of Halladay's 8 strikeouts came on his off-speed pitches, which tied a season-high. 5 of them came on pitches out of the strike zone.

-Halladay threw a season-high 67 pitches in the outer third of the strike zone. The Marlins swung at 31 of them and missed on an incredible 14! The 14 swing-and-misses were the most Halladay has induced in that area in the last 4 seasons.


Why Josh Johnson dominated against the Phillies:



-Johnson threw a season-high 15 sliders in the middle third (vertically) of the strike zone, leading to a season-high strike percentage of 77.1 on the pitch. It didn't matter, however, as the Phillies were 0-6 against the pitch in that location and 0-10 for the game, including 3 of Johnson's 5 strikeouts.

-Johnson was lights out when he got ahead in the count. The Phillies finished 0-12 when Johnson was ahead. 7 of the 12 outs came off his slider.


Hitter of the Night

Brandon Phillips (CIN): 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B

The Reds second baseman got his average above .300 (.301) for the 1st time all season after his big game Thursday. The Giants decided to attack Phillips with the fastball (18 of the 20 pitches he saw were heaters) and the plan didn't work. Phillips collected all 4 hits off the fastball and was 0-1 against a changeup.

The "fastball-only" approach is a unique one against Phillips. For the season, 58.5 percent of the pitches he sees are fastballs - nowhere close to the 90.0 percent he faced Thursday.

The 4 hits came on 4 different locations in the zone: down/away (triple), down/in, middle/in and middle/up.


Hit Tracker

Thursday's longest home run was hit by Texas' Josh Hamilton. The outfielder belted a 450-foot blast off Seattle's Ryan Rowland-Smith in the 1st inning of the Rangers' 12-3 win.

1st pitch: Crazy ratios after three weeks

April, 26, 2010
4/26/10
2:26
PM ET
Today’s Trivia: On Sunday, Joakim Soria became the all-time saves leader among pitchers born in Mexico? Whose record did Soria break?

Quick Hits: Let’s take a look at some of the more stunning ratios as we hit the three-week point of the young season.

* Brian McCann has 16 walks and only four strikeouts. Rather amazing for a player who has never had more walks than strikeouts, and had only 49 walks compared to 83 strikeouts last season.

* David Eckstein only has fanned once in 63 plate appearances. No qualifying player last decade had a PA per K greater than 30.0. In fact, the last to do so was Tony Gwynn in 1995.

* A ridiculous 79 percent of Kelly Johnson’s hits have been for extra bases. His career high is just 46 percent. Meanwhile, all 16 of Juan Pierre’s hits have been singles.

* According to Baseball-Reference.com, 33 percent of the fly balls hit by Travis Snider have been infield flies.

* With a 4.33 groundout to air out ratio, Derek Jeter is on track to lead the majors in that category for the second straight year.

* Ryan Rowland-Smith has allowed more home runs (six) than he has strikeouts (five), and has the worst strikeout percentage in the majors.

* Of all the fly balls to the outfield against Cole Hamels, 20.6 percent have been home runs, easily the highest percentage in the majors.

* Carlos Silva has a 0.63 WHIP. Last season, he allowed 0.73 extra-base hits per inning pitched.

* Carl Pavano has a 17-to-1 K-BB ratio. Last season, he had three walks in his first recorded inning of work.

* The Astros pitching staff surprisingly leads the majors with a 2.62 K-BB ratio.

* The Giants, Padres, and White Sox have more strikeouts than hits allowed.

* Of the hits allowed by the Pirates, 45 percent have gone for extra bases. Meanwhile, it’s just 25 percent for the Tigers, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Today’s Leaderboard: The Indians have struck out only 90 batters in 18 games, but have walked 77. That is just 1.17 strikeouts for every walk. Over the last 20 years, the worst K-BB ratio belonged to the 1995 Brewers at 1.16. Last decade, only the 2000 Angels (1.27) had a K-BB ratio below 1.3.

Key Matchups: One way to know if Vernon Wells is really back? If he hits Josh Beckett like it is 2006. That was the last year Wells made an All-Star team, and that honor was largely courtesy of Josh Beckett and the Red Sox. In his first 10 games of 2006 against Boston, Wells hit eight home runs. Four of those came off Beckett. However, Wells is just 3-for-18 off of the right-hander since.

Zach Duke is 0-5 with a 7.38 ERA at Miller Park, as the Pirates have lost 21 straight there. That’s the longest road losing streak against a single opponent in Pirates history. Duke’s head-to-head matchups with Corey Hart are the complete opposite of what you’d expect. Hart is a .444 career hitter in Pittsburgh against Duke, but just .150 at home.

Trivia Answer: Aurelio Lopez had 93 saves over an 11-year career that ended in 1987. Considering there have been 68 Mexico-born pitchers in MLB history, Soria’s total is rather small for a “save king.” Countries that can boast a pitcher born there with more saves: Germany (Craig Lefferts, 101), Vietnam (Danny Graves, 182), and Japan (Kazuhiro Sasaki, 129).

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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