Stats & Info: Taylor Teagarden

It was a game of comebacks at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as the Baltimore Orioles outlasted the Detroit Tigers 8-6 in 13 innings.

It was the fourth time this season that the Orioles played at least 13 innings. That’s the most in the majors, and Baltimore is a perfect 4-0 in such games this season.

The O’s are 10-2 in extra innings this season, the most wins in the majors. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Orioles have 31 extra-inning victories, also tops in MLB. The Cincinnati Reds, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings Saturday, are third on the list with 27.

The hero was Taylor Teagarden, who made his Orioles debut by entering the game as a defensive replacement in the 11th inning. Teagarden’s two-run homer provided the winning margin and was his first career walk-off hit.

Teagarden bailed out Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, who allowed a season-high three runs in picking up his second blown save of the season. Entering the game, Johnson had allowed only five runs in 37⅓ innings.

J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones also got into the action with game-tying hits in extra innings. Jones tied the game in the 11th and leads the majors with four game-tying or go-ahead hits in extra innings this year. Hardy hit a solo homer in the 13th, the first time in his career that he has tied a game by going deep after the ninth inning.

There have been nine home runs hit in the 13th inning or later in the majors this season, and the Orioles have four of them.

That offset the efforts of Quintin Berry, who was in line to be the hero for the Tigers. After picking up his first career game-tying ninth-inning hit to force extra innings, he got his second career extra-inning go-ahead hit in the 13th.

Diamond Dust
• The hero in Cincinnati was less of a surprise. Ryan Ludwick hit his fifth career walk-off home run as the Reds downed the Cardinals 3-2 in 10 innings.

• The Atlanta Braves rallied late to cost R.A. Dickey the win, but he has made 15 straight starts without a loss. That’s the fourth-best streak in New York Mets history. Tom Seaver (1969-70), Dwight Gooden (1985) and Johan Santana (2008-09) all have 18-game streaks without a loss.

• Andrew McCutchen homered in three straight games for the first time in his career. Since he hit his first long-ball of the season on May 8, only Jose Bautista has more home runs.
Today’s Trivia: On Thursday, the San Diego PadresRyan Ludwick makes his first trip back to St. Louis since getting traded. Who is the only player with 50 career home runs for both the Padres and Cardinals?

MORTONQuick Hits: Charlie Morton gets the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates today, which opens the door for all sorts of fun notes on notably poor seasons. But he isn’t the only young player suffering from a steep learning curve.

• Morton is 1-11 in 56 2/3 IP, which would be the most losses ever for a pitcher with fewer than 60 innings. Rick Langford (1986 Oakland Athletics) and Johnny Murphy (1942 New York Yankees) both had 10.

• Among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched, Morton (9.05 ERA) has the highest ERA since 2000, when a pair of hurlers were even worse. One was Sean Bergman (9.66), but the other provides some hope for Morton. Roy Halladay had a 10.64 ERA that season, the highest ever for a pitcher who threw at least 50 innings.

• Morton has 11 losses in just 13 starts. The Elias Sports Bureau was able to provide some context looking ahead to today’s start. Over the last 30 seasons, the only NL pitcher with 12 or more losses in a span of 14 starts was Omar Daal for the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000.

• After a hitless Wednesday, Oakland’s Chris Carter is now 0-for-24 this season (and in his career). If the season ended today, he’d have the third-most at-bats without a hit in a season for a non-pitcher. Last year, Houston’s Jason Smith finished 0-for-25. The all-time mark belongs to Hal Finney, who was 0-for-35 for the Pirates in 1936.

• When you allow pitchers into the equation, Bob Buhl’s 0-for-70 season in 1962 takes the cake.

• If Morton can take solace in Halladay’s season, there must be similar hope for Carter. How about a pair of Hall of Famers? Tony Perez was 2-for-25 in his first cup of coffee, while Brooks Robinson was 2-for-22.

Taylor Teagarden is back up in spot duty for Texas. He has 30 strikeouts in 62 at-bats this season. Since 1900, the only player was more strikeouts in a season of 70 or fewer at-bats was Jack Cust (32 K in 65 AB) in 2002.

• Well, this one can only be characterized as bizarre. In 14 1/3 innings, Atlanta’s Mike Dunn hasn’t allowed an earned run. The last rookie with a season of more innings without allowing an earned run was Fernando Valenzuela, who went 17 2/3 innings in 1980. Here’s where it gets strange. Dunn has issued 15 walks – more than a walk per inning. If the season ended today, he’d hold the MLB record for most walks in a season without allowing a run. That distinction currently belongs to Bob McClure, who walked 14 in 1975, but was unscored upon.

Today’s Leaderboard: Troy Tulowitzki’s September has been astounding. But rather than show each leaderboard, take a look at how far ahead he is in several categories.

Key Matchups: Trying to get lefties in against Chad Billingsley, Bruce Bochy got creative with his lineup on Wednesday. Regulars like Pat Burrell and Jose Guillen were benched in favor of Eugenio Velez and Nate Schierholtz. But that should change with lefty Ted Lilly taking the mound on Thursday. Shouldn’t it? Burrell is just 1-for-9 in his career against Lilly, while Jose Guillen is 3-for-20 with nine strikeouts. The only lefty Guillen has a worse average against (min. 20 PA) is Billy Wagner.

Tim Stauffer gets the start for the Padres, who sit just a half game up on the San Francisco Giants. His 0.64 road ERA is the lowest in the majors (min. 25 IP), with Mariano Rivera (1.30) a distant second. However, Stauffer is 0-3 in three previous appearances against the Cardinals. Among active pitchers who have pitched at least 10 innings against St. Louis, Stauffer’s 10.13 ERA is the third highest.

Trivia Answer: Jack Clark is the only player with 50+ HR for both the Padres and Cardinals. In fact, no other player has 30 for both franchises.

Sabathia has Whitey Ford in his sights

August, 17, 2010
8/17/10
11:40
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• The Detroit Tigers’ Austin Jackson hit a leadoff home run on the first pitch that CC Sabathia threw. It was the seventh leadoff HR allowed by Sabathia in his career and the first since 2007. However, it's the first time Sabathia has allowed a HR on the first pitch of the game.

• Sabathia (7 IP, 2 ER) extends his streak of pitching more than six innings and allowing three earned runs or fewer to 15 starts, the longest streak by a Yankee since Ron Guidry (also 15) in 1978.

• From the Elias Sports Bureau: Sabathia is now undefeated in his last 19 home starts. That’s tied for the second-longest streak without a loss at home by a Yankees starter in franchise history.

• The Minnesota Twins' Jim Thome hit a walk-off HR in the 10th inning to give the Twins a 7-6 win. It was his 12th career walk-off, which is tied for the most in major league history. The other players with a dozen walk-offs: Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth.

• The Tampa Bay Rays roughed up Texas Rangers starting pitcher Tommy Hunter early on Tuesday. In the 1st inning, the Rays scored three runs on three extra-base hits and drew two walks. In his previous 13 starts, Hunter had allowed just one run and three extra-base hits, holding opponents to a .156 batting average. Tuesday was also the third time in his last four starts that Hunter lasted just three innings.

• The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Torii Hunter robbed the Boston Red Sox’s Adrian Beltre of a home run in right field in the 2nd inning. According to Baseball Info Solutions, Hunter led the majors with five home run robberies from 2007 to 2009. This was his first of 2010.

• Ryan Kalish is the second Boston Red Sox rookie to hit a grand slam this season (Daniel Nava being the other). Boston is the first team since the 2008 Texas Rangers (Taylor Teagarden, David Murphy) with two rookies to hit a grand slam. The last time the Red Sox had two rookies hit a grand slam in the same season was 1992: John Valentin and Bob Zupcic.

• Paul Konerko hit his 30th home run, his sixth 30-HR season of his career (all with the Chicago White Sox). Only Frank Thomas (8) has more 30-HR seasons in franchise history.

• Jose Guillen hit his first home run as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Guillen now has hit a home run with 10 different teams (Pirates, Devil Rays, Diamondbacks, Reds, Athletics, Angels, Nationals, Mariners, Royals and Giants). Among active players, only the San Diego Padres’ Matt Stairs has hit a HR with more different teams (11).

• The San Diego Padres blanked the Chicago Cubs, 1-0. It’s their fifth 1-0 win of the season, matching the Dodgers for the most this season. As for the Cubs, they lose a 1-0 game for the first time since June 16, 2007 … against the Padres.

1st pitch: Strangely still at zero

April, 15, 2010
4/15/10
1:53
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Today’s Trivia: Who is the all-time home run king while wearing No. 42 on the back of his jersey?

** On the day where baseball honors Jackie Robinson, everyone will be wearing number 42. Mariano Rivera is the last remaining player to call that number his own. Using Baseball-Reference.com’s Oracle of Baseball, you can get from Jackie Robinson to Mariano Rivera in a mere 4 steps. Robinson played with Gil Hodges who played with Ed Kranepool who played with Jesse Orosco who was Rivera’s teammate ever so briefly in 2003.

Quick Hits: Inspired by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira both being homerless after 38 plate appearances, here are some other players with an unexpected zero in a stat column:

* Taylor Teagarden is hitless in 18 plate appearances, which is seven more than the next player, Andres Torres.

* Pedro Feliz has nine hits but has not scored a run.

* Rafael Furcal has 12 hits but zero RBI.

* Fresh of a 100-RBI season, Nick Markakis does not have one in 39 plate appearances.

* Jason Giambi has 10 plate appearances, but hasn’t hit a ground ball.

* Albert Pujols finished second in the NL with 45 doubles this season, but doesn’t have one this year. Of course, he does have those 5 home runs.

* Carlos Pena is tied for the MLB lead with five infield hits. Denard Span, who had 40 infield hits last season, doesn’t have one.

* Ramon Troncoso has thrown 5 2/3 innings with a 1.59 ERA but has no strikeouts.

* Wilton Lopez has allowed five hits, but zero singles.

* John Danks has allowed 10 hits, but none for extra bases.

* In 2006, Jake Westbrook led the majors by inducing 35 double plays. In 14 GIDP situations this season, he hasn’t had one.

Today’s Leaderboard: April 15 is Tax Day, so let’s see which bullpens have been the most taxed this season. The Nationals have averaged 4.4 innings per game out of their pen, which is currently sporting a 5.86 ERA. The Mets have the second most used relief staff, but sport a 2.08 bullpen ERA.

Key Matchups: Notoriously difficult to strikeout, David Eckstein has yet to fan this season in 31 plate appearances. But that hasn’t traditionally been the case against Tim Hudson, who has struck out Eckstein 13 times in 66 at-bats. No other pitcher has struck out Eckstein even half as many times.

Scott Kazmir has a 2.67 lifetime ERA against the Yankees, and it’s easy to see why. Derek Jeter is a .111 (4-36) hitter against him, his worst average against any pitcher he has faced 20 times. Alex Rodriguez has hit just .125 (3-24) against Kazmir, his second worst average against any pitcher he’s faced at least 30 times. However, this might be the game where Mark Teixeira breaks out. He is 7-for-11 against Kazmir with five walks.

Trivia Answer: Mo Vaughn, who wore No. 42 for his entire career, hit 328 home runs, most of anyone wearing that number.

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