The Bill Chuck Files of October 27, 2019

Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)

There’s no place like away

  • In this World Series, the two teams combined are hitting .272. The Astros are hitting .289 and the Nationals are hitting .254.
  • In this World Series at home, the two teams combined are hitting .227. The Astros are hitting .257 and the Nationals are hitting .194.
  • In this World Series abroad, the two teams combined are hitting .313. The Astros are hitting .320 and the Nationals are hitting .307.
  • The Astros have scored nine runs at home and the Nationals have scored two runs at home
  • On the road, the Nationals have scored 17 times and the Astros have scored 12.

World Series Grand Slams

There have now been 20 slams hit in the Fall Classic with Elmer Smith of the Indians hitting the first one in Game 5 in the 1st inning off Burleigh Grimes of the Dodgers in a 0-0 game.

There have been only three World Series homers hit when a team was trailing. The most recent was White Sox’ Paul Konerko‘s slam against the National League champion Houston Astros’ Chad Qualls in the 7th inning of Game 5 in 2005 with the Sox down 4-2. Chicago won that game when Scott Podsednik hit a 9th inning walkoff homer off Brad Lidge giving the Sox a 7-6 victory. So that game had both a walkoff and a slam, pretty, pretty good.

In 1988, Jose Canseco hit a slam against the Dodgers’ Tim Belcher, in the top of the 2nd, to give the A’s a 4-2 lead. You might remember that game because in that Game 1, Kirk Gibson came off the bench to hit a two-run 9th inning walkoff homer off Dennis Eckersley as LA won 5-4. That was the last Series the Dodgers have won.

The first Series slam hit when a team was trailing was a blast by the Cardinals’ Ken Boyer off the Yankees in Game 4 of the 1964 World Series. St. Louis was down 3-0 entering the 6th inning and Boyer’s blast gave them the lead. No walkoff homer occurred in this game as that homer completed the scoring and gave the Cardinals a 4-3 victory. The homer was allowed by Yankee lefty Al Downing, who also gave up Hank Aaron‘s 715th home run.

There was a slam last night

In 136 bases-loaded plate appearances in his long career, Fernando Rodney has allowed one regular-season grand slam (Marco Scutaro of the Red Sox Sox hit it on July 28, 2010). The granny that Rodney allowed to Alex Springer in Game Four of the 2019 World Series was just the second postseason homer that Rodney has allowed, the first was a two-run homer to Daniel Murphy of the Mets in the 2015 NLCS when Fernando was a Cub.

The only player 30-years old or older who hit double-figure homers on pitches 95+ mph was Freddie Freeman, who hit 10. Nelson Cruz was next with eight.

In 15 games this postseason, Astros starters are 5-6 with a 3.22 ERA. In 14 games this postseason, Nationals starters are 9-4 with a 3.15 ERA.

This year, in 19 of his 33 regular-season starts, Gerrit Cole gave up one or no earned runs totaling 13 ER allowed. In 2018, in 21 of his 32 regular-season starts, Jacob deGrom gave up one or no earned runs totaling 12 ER allowed.

The Nationals scored 873 runs during the regular season. With no outs, they scored 185 runs (21.1%); with one out, they scored 328 times (37.5%); and with two down, they scored 360 runs (41.2%). So far in the postseason (through four World Series games), the Nats have scored 64 runs. With no outs, they scored 16 runs (25.0%); with one out, they have scored 17 times (26.5%); and with two down, they have scored 31 runs (48.4%).

After play on May 23, the Nationals were 19-31. Yes, I know that you have heard that repeatedly, so this is not about them. This is about Cody Bellinger who is favored to win the NL MVP. Through May 23, Bellinger was hitting .394 with an OBP of .478, slugging .765 and had an OPS of 1.243 with 17 homers and 44 RBI in 48 games. After May 24, Bellinger hit .265 with an OBP of .374, slugging .570 and had an OPS of .944 with 30 homers and 71 RBI in 108 games.

Dept. of Meaningless (but fun) Stats:

These six players had the same number of RBI and Runs Scored. In 1966, the great Frank Robinson drove home 122 runs and scored 122 runs.

Player RBI R Tm
Juan Soto 110 110 WSN
Paul Goldschmidt 97 97 STL
George Springer 96 96 HOU
Danny Santana 81 81 TEX
Hunter Renfroe 64 64 SDP
Chris Taylor 52 52 LAD

If Eduardo Perez (yes, he is the son of Tony Perez) gets the Mets managerial job, feel free to build a story around the fact that he hit 79 homers in his career but four against Randy Johnson and three walkoffs. The last homer of his career was off Jon Lester, then of the Mets.

17 pitchers (aged 34+) made at least 10 starts in 2019

Player Age Tm GS G CG SHO W L W-L% IP BB SO ERA WHIP BA
Justin Verlander 36 HOU 34 34 2 1 21 6 .778 223.0 42 300 2.58 0.803 .172
Charlie Morton 35 TBR 33 33 0 0 16 6 .727 194.2 57 240 3.05 1.084 .215
Mike Fiers 34 OAK 33 33 1 1 15 4 .789 184.2 53 126 3.90 1.186 .243
Zack Greinke 35 TOT 33 33 0 0 18 5 .783 208.2 30 187 2.93 0.982 .228
Jeff Samardzija 34 SFG 32 32 0 0 11 12 .478 181.1 49 140 3.52 1.108 .225
Jon Lester 35 CHC 31 31 0 0 13 10 .565 171.2 52 165 4.46 1.497 .294
Adam Wainwright 37 STL 31 31 0 0 14 10 .583 171.2 64 153 4.19 1.427 .273
Anibal Sanchez 35 WSN 30 30 0 0 11 8 .579 166.0 58 134 3.85 1.271 .236
J.A. Happ 36 NYY 30 31 0 0 12 8 .600 161.1 49 140 4.91 1.295 .258
Jason Vargas 36 TOT 29 30 1 1 7 9 .438 149.2 63 124 4.51 1.363 .249
Cole Hamels 35 CHC 27 27 0 0 7 7 .500 141.2 56 143 3.81 1.391 .260
Max Scherzer 34 WSN 27 27 0 0 11 7 .611 172.1 33 243 2.92 1.027 .222
CC Sabathia 38 NYY 22 23 0 0 5 8 .385 107.1 39 107 4.95 1.407 .265
Edwin Jackson 35 TOT 13 18 0 0 3 10 .231 67.2 32 52 9.58 2.025 .351
Rich Hill 39 LAD 13 13 0 0 4 1 .800 58.2 18 72 2.45 1.125 .223
Clay Buchholz 34 TOR 12 12 0 0 2 5 .286 59.0 16 39 6.56 1.492 .306
Clayton Richard 35 TOR 10 10 0 0 1 5 .167 45.1 18 22 5.96 1.566 .298

Donald Trump is the only president since William Howard Taft in 1910 not to have thrown a first pitch at a major league game, probably since neither could get their little pudgy hands around a baseball.

Congrats to Ron Guidry, Louisiana Lightning, who will be inducted into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, November 3rd. Also congrats to Howie Rose, the Voice of the New York Mets, who will be inducted as well.

Congrats to the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor who will be honored in January as he was named among the six players for the University of Virginia Baseball 2020 Hall of Fame class.

New Cubs manager David Ross and the World Series

Now I know you know that David Ross won World Series rings with the 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. But did you know that David Ross appeared in 80 games for the Auburn Tigers between the 1996 and 1997 seasons, making 41 starts and helped them land in the 1997 College World Series with his teammate Tim Hudson. And then in 1998, Rossie transferred to Florida and that team as well reached the College World Series.

For those of you tracking the time of this Series versus the last time Washington won the World Series

1924 World Series Time Length
Game 1 3:07 12 innings
Game 2 1:58 9 innings
Game 3 2:25 9 innings
Game 4 2:10 9 innings
Game 5 2:30 9 innings
Game 6 1:57 9 innings
Game 7 3:00 12 innings
1924 Totals 17:07 69 innings
2019 World Series Time Length
Game 1 3:34 9 innings
Game 2 4:01 9 innings
Game 3 4:03 9 innings
Game 4 3:48 9 innings
1924 Totals 15:26 36 innings