News, Analysis & UpdatesApril 28, 2005

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Notes and Numbers: April 28

By Arlo Vander

Can Houston win on the road? Can Carl Pavano get some help from his fielders? Is Jose Reyes really the solution at the top of the Mets’ batting order? And for crying out loud, are the Rockies turning into a singles-hitting team? It’s time for another look at statistics from around the league.

No Place Like Home
At .777, the Astros have the best home winning percentage in the majors this year. Unfortunately, they also have the worst success rate on the road at just .091. Six of Houston’s ten road losses were by just one run.

I Can’t Wait to Be on the Road Again…
The Orioles, on the other hand, owe their surprising AL East lead, currently at three games over Boston, almost entirely to their road dominance. Baltimore is just 5-5 at Camden Yards, but 9-2 away from home, including a current five game road winning streak. The Orioles are hitting .346 on the road and have racked up nearly eight runs scored per away game, twice the number they average in games played in Baltimore.

Maybe It’s the Dizziness?
Milwaukee SP Ben Sheets has made three errors in five chances this season, giving him a fielding percentage of .400. Prior to this year, the Brewers’ ace had never made more than two errors in a season.

Getting on Base
Chipper Jones (.513), Derrek Lee (.500) and Jacque Jones (.500) are the last three players with an on-base percentage of .500 or more. Chipper Jones has a career OBP of .402, Lee’s stands at .357, and Jacque Jones owns a career mark of just .332.

What Coors Effect?
The Rockies have hit just 16 home runs this season despite playing 11 of their 19 games at Coors Field. Twenty-two teams have mashed more round-trippers than Colorado, led by Texas with 31.

Not Your Typical Leadoff Man
Jose Reyes, the Mets’ leadoff hitter, has yet to reach base by walking this year. In 590 career at bats, Reyes has taken just 18 free passes (which also happens to be the number of times he has struck out this season). Reyes’ 2005 OBP is .271.

It Feels So Empty Without Me
It just doesn’t seem right to see someone other than Barry Bonds leading the league in intentional walks, does it? Currently, Seattle’s Ichiro and Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez top the list with five each (which is two more than Ichiro’s unintentional bases on balls). Of course, if Bonds does return, it’ll only take him a couple of games to take the lead in this category…

Must’ve Gotten a Bad Call That One Time
Minnesota’s Brad Radke (1-3) has allowed just one walk in his first 33.2 innings pitched. (Carlos Guillen was the batter.)

No Re-run Yet
Lew Ford, whose speed-power combination (15 HR, 20 SB) was such a pleasant surprise to roto owners last season, has yet to steal a base this year. Ford was thrown out by Detroit’s Ivan Rodriguez in his only attempt of the 2005 season. (If you’re going to attempt just one steal, do you really want to do so against I-Rod?)

Someone Needs to Come to This Guy’s Defense
Carl Pavano has given up 17 runs in 29 innings of work en route to a record of 2-2. Seven of those runs, more than 40%, were unearned.

Coming Down to Earth, Slowly
Since the last installment of this column, Brian Roberts has gone 12-for-42 (.286) to drop his average from .444 to a still impressive .368. His slugging percentage has gone down as well, from a season high 0f .933 to .713, but his owners probably won’t be spending too much time complaining: Roberts swiped four bases and knocked in nine more runs during that span.

Mark Your Calendar
The Red Sox and A’s, whose pitching staffs are tied for the lead in hit batsmen with 15 each, face each other in two three-game series in May. Will Oakland replace Tampa Bay as Boston’s feud du jour?

Pitch Count Watch
No pitcher has seen more work so far than Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano, who has thrown 548 pitches in his five starts. Zambrano has topped 100 tosses in each of his outings, two of which went for less than five innings.

Arlo Vander’s fantasy team just picked up a save thanks to Miguel Batista.

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