News, Analysis & UpdatesSeptember 11, 2004

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Fun with Numbers

By Arlo Vander

All baseball fans love stats. From ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratios to most sunflower seeds spit out of the dugout, from old-school numbers such as RBI, wins and ERA to the latest sabermetric formulas, there are numbers attached to everything that happens in the game of baseball, and we drink them all in. Here are a few interesting ones that recently caught my eye:

Good Thing They Invented Floodlights
The AL Central-leading Twins have a 57-37 record in night games, but are only playing .500 ball by day.

But What If He Played in Arizona?
Mariano Rivera has more saves this year (46) than the Diamondbacks have wins (43).

They Say Good Teams Win the Close Games
Of the 16 clubs with records over .500, only three (the Red Sox, Cubs and Giants) have won less than half their one-run games.

And He Doesn’t Play Home Games at Coors, Either
Barry Bonds’ league-leading .612 OBP is more than .150 points higher than that of runner-up Todd Helton (.460).

Rob Mackowiak has just one hit in his last 12 games, dropping his average from .267 to .253. Mackowiak owners in OBP leagues haven’t taken quite as hard a hit, however, thanks to his seven walks in that span.

What Coors Effect?
No Rockies pitcher ranks among the majors’ top 20 in home runs allowed (Jason Jennings is tied for 21st with 26).

Everybody Runs on This Team
Which team leads the majors in steals? It’s not Scott Podsednik’s Brew Crew or Carl Crawford’s Rays, but the Anaheim Angels, whose top thief, Chone Figgins ranks just tenth in the league in swipes. However, Jeff DaVanon, Adam Kennedy, Darin Erstad, Vladimir Guerrero and David Eckstein have each stolen over a dozen bases.

Just Don’t Mention K/BB
Kazuhisa Ishii has compiled a 13-7 record despite recording more walks than strikeouts (85 vs. 83).

Beating the Groundzilla Rap
Hideki Matsui has a ground-out/air-out ratio of 0.91 in 2004. Seventy-eight big-leaguers have grounded out more often this season than Godzilla.

Home Sweet Home
Remember the talk of Roger Clemens’s fantasy value suffering due his move to Minute Maid Park? His ERA this season is 2.72 at home, 4.03 on the road.

Looks Like He Doesn’t Mind Playing for Houston, Either
Over the last month, Carlos Beltran has swiped 11 bases (tied for second in the majors) and hit 11 home runs (tied for fourth). Now that’s a speed-power combo.

And Speaking of Success at Home
Alfonso Soriano is batting .319 in games played in Texas, but a dismal .238 away from home.

Beanball in Beantown
Three Red Sox pitchers are among the majors’ top six in hit batters: Bronson Arroyo (1st), Tim Wakefield (4th) and Pedro Martinez (tied for 6th).

Should Have Given Him the First Month Off
Take away Ichiro’s lackluster April and the Mariners’ right fielder is hitting .400 for the season.

As the Cafe’s editor, Arlo Vander tries to keep that typos/season mark down.

Spot an interesting statistic? Share it with the Cafe regulars!

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