Results tagged ‘ Josh Willingham ’

Cooperstown’s Seamhead Notes: Stats, Beast Mode and Journeymen

By TREVOR HAYES

Last week kicked off the first Seamhead Notes of the season and we talked about Jamie Moyer’s age and artifacts which have already arrived at the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Jamie Moyer pitching for the Seattle Mariners. (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Before we get in to this week’s cliff notes, there was a stat about Moyer having faced 8.9 percent of all major league batters. So, while I’m admittedly terrible at math, let me throw some numbers at you. Moyer has faced 1,430 batters at least once (totaling 17,374 plate appearances against him). As of today, 17,751 players have played in the majors, however not all have been “major league batters” thanks mostly to relief specialists, the designated hitter rule and in some part to guys who maybe played one or two games as a pinch runner or defensive replacement only. How many players have played in the majors to never get a plate appearance? There have been 1,690. Subtract that from the total number of players, then divide Moyer’s batters faced by the result: 8.9 percent of all MLB hitters since 1871.

Couple other quick residual facts from that research: Toronto’s Jason Frasor has appeared in the most games without a plate appearance at 482 and counting, followed by Arizona’s J.J. Putz. Most plate appearances without an AB award goes to Jose Parra with four (walking twice with two sac hits). Who has Jamie Moyer faced most? Former NL West rival Garrett Anderson (112 PA), while Manny Ramirez has taken him deep most (10 times) and Bernie Williams has the most hits (35 to Anderson’s 34).

Okay, the last week in history: 

Quick Hits: The Blue Jays broke the longest active triple play drought on Friday, turning three for the first time since 1979 – the third longest in history behind the Dodgers 47 years and 50 day drought from 1949 to 1996, and the Yankees’ 41 years and 323 days, from 1968 to 2010… Josh Willingham matched but could not break a Twins franchise record, etching his name next to two Hall of Famers in the process. He hit in 15 consecutive team games to start the season, equaling Goose Goslin in 1927 and Kirby Puckett in 1994… On Tuesday, Chipper Jones belted his fifth career birthday home run – this one marking his 40th b-day celebration. He is the seventh player go deep on his 40th-or-older birthday since 1900, including Hall of Famers Joe Morgan (1983) and Wade Boggs (1998) and current Phillie Jim Thome (2011)… On Wednesday, Paul Konerko passed Andres Galarraga and Hall of Famer Al Kaline on the all-time list with his 400th home run.

Willie Mays staggering career statistics include 3,283 hits and 660 home runs. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

KeMVP?: If Matt Kemp was in Beast Mode last season when he made a run at the Triple Crown and finished second in MVP voting, he’s cranked Beast Mode up to full blast. Playing in his 14th game last Friday (April 20), he collected three hits and two RBIs, bringing him to 26 hits and 20 RBIs. In the span of 50 years, two other players reached 25 hits and 20 RBIs by their 15th game: Hall of Famer Willie Mays in 1962, who finished second in the MVP race, and 1997 MVP Larry Walker.

Furthermore, the following day Kemp and his partner Andre Ethier each drove in two more, giving them 22 and 21 respectively. The 1949 Red Sox are the only other team to boast teammates with more than 20 RBIs in their team’s first 15 games as Hall of Famer Ted Williams and Vern Stephens each had 21. Williams would win the AL MVP that season.

To go along with his 22 RBIs, Kemp had 27 hits and nine homers by the end of play on Saturday, April 21. Willie Mays in 1964 is the only man that can top those numbers through the first 15: 29 hits, 10 homers, 25 RBI.

New in Cooperstown: New this week in artifacts arriving at the Hall of Fame was the cap worn by Detroit’s Octavio Dotel on April 7 when he made his debut for the Detroit Tigers. A 19-year vet, Dotel has now pitched for a record 13 major-league teams, passing Matt Stairs, Ron Villone and Mike Morgan, who each played for 12 teams.

Trevor Hayes is the editorial production manager at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

The grand game

Berowski_90.jpgBy Freddy Berowski

7-30-09-Berowski_LazzeriRobinson.jpgThere are 289 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Only two of them have hit two grand slams in one game: Tony Lazzeri and Frank Robinson.

But one day after Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice and Joe Gordon took their rightful place in Cooperstown, Senior Circuit batters launched an attack on several grand slam records.

The Washington Nationals’ Josh Willingham hit a record-tying two grand slam home runs in back-to-back innings. Willingham’s eight RBI on the day matched a franchise high, and it was the third time in National League history that a batter has had two grand slams in a game, the last being Fernando Tatis with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999.

7-30-09-Berowski_Willingham.jpgWhen Tatis clubbed his two grand slams on April 23, 1999, they both came in the same inning. Even more amazing is that the third inning blasts came off of the same pitcher, the Dodgers’ Chan Ho Park. Ironically, Tatis was one of three National Leaguers to hit grand slams Monday when his eighth-inning, pinch-hit shot off recently recalled Franklin Morales propelled the Mets to victory over the wild-card leading Colorado Rockies.

Alfonso Soriano added to the fireworks on Monday when his 13th-inning walk-off grand slam led the surging, first place Chicago Cubs past one of their division rivals, the Houston Astros.

According to David Vincent of the SABR Home Run Log, the National League mark of four grand slams in one day was established on  May 21, 2000.  On that day Shawn Green and Adrian Beltre of the Los Angeles Dodgers, J.T. Snow of the San Francisco Giants and Brian Hunter of the Philadelphia Phillies connected for bases-loaded round-trippers.

Coincidentally, the only time four grand slams were hit on the same day in the American League was also in 2000, when Ben Grieve, Joe Oliver, Richie Sexson and Jose Macias went deep with the bags full on July 22.

Freddy Berowski is a library associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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