The patchwork of the Cubs, four pitchers, eight walk-no-hitters on Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, reminds me of my no-no forecast from a month ago.
At this point, when there were already six no-hitters on the books, I gave a 50% chance there would be two more for the season; at most I thought there would be 10 or four more. I remain satisfied with these forecasts. The Los Angeles Cubs collaboration, a record-breaking seventh place among the majors, was the first no-hitter in five weeks.
In other Go Figure Quick Pitches:
Hendricks on a crucial role
Almost as remarkable as his eight best straight career wins is that Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks has made decisions on all but one start this season. By early 2021, he had 117 decisions in 174 starts, or two-thirds of the time. This year he’s 10-4 to 15 starts.
Of the 69 other MLB pitchers with at least 14 starts (through Thursday), only three others have similar accolades: Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (8-7 in 16 starts), Frankie Montas of the Oakland A’s (7-7 in 15) . Starts) and Jake Arrieta of the Cubs (5-8 in 14 starts).
With pitchers leaving earlier in games, the likelihood that a starter will make a decision has decreased as teams swap leads in the later innings.
Long ball stress creates disappearing breed: Big RBI type
Between 1930 and 1950, according to StatMuse.com, 18 MLB batterers drove a total of 23 100 or more runs in a season without getting up to 10 homers.
For the past 70 years only Tom Herr von der Karten (8 Homer, 110 RBI in 1985) and the twins Paul Molitor (9 Homer, 113 RBI in 1996) have reached this anomaly.
The common ground for Mr. and Molitor – both were incredibly capable of coupling these seasons: Mr. with a .356 with men on the base, .333 with runners in the points position, but a mediocre .249 when the bases were empty. Molitor meanwhile was consistently great, doing .344 / .335 / .338 in these situations. Amazingly, the future Hall of Famer turned 40 that season.
As of Friday, 39 players had accumulated at least 42 RBIs in the major leagues. The number from that group that had less than 10 homers: zero.
Meet them where they are not, Yermin-ator!
Over the past four weeks, the 7-for-68 skid of White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes has sent his average nose jump from .340 to .270. But a closer look shows that he was more unlucky than hard times.
Although he’s hit more often (all four for clubs in the last month versus every five or six for clubs before), a look at his average batting average for balls in play (BABIP) is instructive.
During Mercedes’ most recent slump, its BABP was 0.137 (7-for-51), less than half the league average of 0.288. If those baseballs hit found holes near the norm, the Mercedes average would still be above 0.300.
The result: the 28-year-old is neither the budding batting master he appeared to be like at the start of the season (remember his 8-for-8 start), nor is he the bully under the Mendoza line, the youngest Suggest box scores.
Jacob deGrom or Jacob deGone?
The 0.50 run average earned on 12 starts by New York Mets ace pitcher Jacob deGrom is historic – so much so that betting outfits list him as the front runner for the National League MVP Award.
My Opinion: At best, he will be the Cy Young Award winner (for the third time). It’s not smuggling in, considering your pain. In fact, it is a decision whether or not he will even qualify for the ERA title (162 innings is the minimum or one inning per game).
• Matt Baron complements his baseball expertise with Retrosheet.org for research.