Billy-Ball Daily: 2009-4-10

4/10/2009
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

NINE TO KNOW

April 10, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.

1. Firsts for the Yanks – First win, first Burnett victory, first Teixeira homer, first Swisher homer, but still last in the AL East. NY 11-2 over the Orioles.

2. Sox earn a “D” – As in lousy pitching from Dice-K, six runners left on base by Drew, and a 4-3 D-feat to the Rays. Boston loses their first opening series since 1988.

3. Leyland may soon have another one to add – Tigers manager Jim Leyland showed off the lineup card from his final game as Pittsburgh manager in 1996. If Detroit keeps losing, he may have another final line-up card for “Show and Tell;” Jays win, 6-2.

4. They have `em right where they want `em – Texas completed their sweep of the Indians, 12-8. The Rangers went 3-0 in 1996 straight to the AL West title; the Tribe went 0-3 in 1996 straight to the AL Central title. Carl Pavano’s ERA is 81.00.

5. Why can’t the Red Sox get a centerfielder who hits like this? – Coco Crisp’s two-run homer leads the Royals over the ChiSox, 2-1. But don’t worry Mr. President, the White Sox have lost their opening series in each of the last four seasons.

6. Cain proves able – Matt Cain allowed one run and four hits in seven innings to win his first start of the season for the first time in his five-year major league career. Giants top Brewers 7-1.

7. Both in Somalia and in St. Louis, the Pirates are losing – Chris Carpenter and two relievers one-hits Pittsburgh as the Cards win 2-1.

8. Nothing hardy about Oliver as Reds get laurels – Oliver Perez gave up eight runs in four and a third as Cincy tops the Mets, 8-6.

9. The tragedy of Nick Adenhart is felt throughout baseball and by anyone who has a heart. Bill Shaiken writes in the LA Times about Adenhart’s dad following the fatal car crash.

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FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

1. In 2008, rookie Jay Bruce, had 413 ABs and hit .254 with 21 homers and 52 RBI. In 1986, rookie Barry B*nds had 413 ABs and hit .223 with 16 homers and 48 RBI.

2. Would somebody ask Joe Torre about the home run he hit on September 11, 1966? It was the first one that Nolan Ryan ever gave up.

3. Jeremy Hermida has hit 44 homers in his Marlins career starting with the pinch-hit grand slam he hit in his very first at bat on August 31, 2005. Mike Lowell was one of the players on base.

4. Over the last three seasons the Nats Josh Willingham has made four more plate appearances than the Yankees Xavier Nady. They each have hit 62 homers and while Nady’s batting average over that span is .289 (23 points higher than Willingham’s), Willingham’s OBP of .361 is .018 points higher because he has out-walked Nady 168 to 92.

5. Last season, the longest streak of any team hitting at least one homer in a game was when the Brewers went from July 1-24. They went 15-5 during that streak, hitting 31 homers.

6. The honors for the longest streak last year of a pitching staff surrendering at least one homer in game goes to the Royals who went from June 23 to July 10 giving up 22 homers in 17 straight games (they went 8-9).

7. In 2007, Zach Greinke threw 122 innings and gave up 122 hits; in 2008 he threw 202.1 innings and gave up 202 hits.

8. Dale Mitchell, who struck out for the final out in Don Larsen’s World Series Perfecto, had one double with the Dodgers and 168 with the Indians, his total equals the 169 doubles Grady Sizemore had entering the season.

9. Last season, Shin-Soo Choo was an important contributor to the Tribe following the All-Star break when his .343 average was exactly 100 points higher than the first half.

10. At the start of play this season, Chone Figgins, Michael Cudyer and David Wright had each struck out 499 times.

11. Over the last two seasons, J.D. Drew has 128 RBI and brother Stephen has 127 RBI.

12. Last season, Rich Harden struck out 181 batters in 148 innings; his rate of 11.01 Ks per nine innings was the best in baseball amongst starters.

13. The only two positions the Cubs Aaron Miles hasn’t played are catcher and first, he’s pitched in three games. He is the 164th player who has played for both the Cubs and White Sox.

14. The longest streak last year of a team getting one walk or less per game was when the Royals went 1-8 from May 23-31 totaling three walks. The Nats started their season with one walk in their first two games.

15. Brian Wilson now has 48 saves making him the all-time leader for pitchers born in New Hampshire (he was born in Londonderry), last season he overtook Stan Williams (of Enfield) who had 43 saves.

16. Josh Beckett is now 5-2-2 in his first starts of the season.

17. Throughout his career, the great Albert Pujols has a .399 OBP in the first three innings, a .445 in the middle three innings, and a .435 in the last three innings.
18. Last season, pitcher Cole Hamels was 1 for 3 as a pinch-hitter.

19. Last season, major league teams scored a total of 2,448 runs in the 7th inning and 2,448 runs in the 8th inning.

20. April 6, 1999, starting for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was the last and only time Tim Wakefield appeared in an Opening Day game.

Bill Chuck is the creator of Billy-Ball.com (www.Billy-Ball.com) and, with Jim Kaplan, is the author of the book, “Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales,” with a Foreword by Jon Miller, published by ACTA Sports, and available worldwide.

Bill Chuck is available for radio appearances, and writing for print or the web. Please contact me at Bill@billy-ball.com or by calling 617-566-2784.

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