News, Analysis & UpdatesApril 17, 2005

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Notes and Numbers: April 17

By Arlo Vander

From pitchers sorely in need of better run support to hitters still flirting with the magical .400 mark (plus quite a bit on Baltimore’s Brian Roberts thrown in for good measure), here are the latest stats and stories from around the majors to catch my eye…

Don’t Blame the Pitching Staffs
Despite leading the majors with an astonishing team ERA of 1.58, the Marlins’ record is just 5-6. Neither of the two other teams with ERAs below 3.00, Houston (2.95) and Milwaukee (2.96), has a winning record, either.

Practice What You Preach
Billy Beane’s A’s and JP Ricciardi’s Blue Jays have both stolen just one base this year (as have the Cincinnati Reds). Paul DePodesta’s Dodgers, on the other hand, have already swiped six bags. The Dodgers, incidentally, have yet to be caught stealing.

How Long Before Somebody Starts a Steroids Rumor?
Brian Roberts is off to an amazing start this year. With five home runs in just 45 at bats, the erstwhile light-hitting infielder has already equaled his single-season home run mark, and his .933 slugging percentage is second in the majors behind Washington’s Vinny Castilla. Roberts’ career SLG: .377.

But Hey, He’s Not Just a Power Hitter
Roberts hasn’t contented himself with simply tearing the cover off the ball, he’s also tied with Bobby Abreu, Julio Lugo and Omar Vizquel for the big league stolen base lead with five successful swipes.

So Guess Who’s Leading the League in Triples?
Not surprisingly, Brian Roberts has the most three-base hits in the majors with three, out-tripling 19 teams.

They Say That Good Teams Win the Close Ones
The White Sox (8-3) are 5-0 in one-run games. Four of those victories came at the hand of the Cleveland Indians (4-7).

So Much for Helping Out in 6×6 Leagues
If you drafted Jim Mecir, Ricardo Rincon or Travis Harper in the hope of picking up a few holds, you’ve been out of luck so far: the Marlins, A’s and Rays are the only three teams without a hold to their credit.

How About Some Run Support?
Despite giving up just one earned run in two of his three starts and posting a WHIP of just 1.11, Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook’s record now stands at 0-3. The Tribe was shut out in his first start, an 0-1 loss to Mark Buehrle and the White Sox, scored one run in his second outing, and managed to cross the plate twice in his last game. Will the Indians manage to score three runs the next time Westbrook takes the mound?

Speaking of Jake Westbrook
At 6.29, Westbrook has by far the highest ground out to air out ratio in the league. Chris Carpenter ranks second at 4.25.

You Get Used to Playing in Thin Air
The Rockies, owners of a .500 mark at home, have lost all six of their road games this year. Fortunately for Colorado, nine of the team’s next eleven games are at Coors Field.

Then Again, You Can’t Blame Coors for Everything
The Rockies are the only team whose pitchers have allowed more walks (56) than they have recorded strikeouts (47).

And Then There Were Six
Among players with at least 3.1 plate appearances per game on the schedule, only six still have batting averages of .400 or more. Edgardo Alfonzo tops the list at .459, followed by Vinny Castilla (.452), Brian Roberts (.444), Ichiro (.432), Clint Barmes (.421) and Jeff Kent (.405).

Arlo Vander is always on the lookout for interesting, meaningful or merely entertaining baseball stats.

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