Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Howard’

One-Out Wins: More Than You Needed To Know

Posted by JD on May 7, 2011

Ryota Igarashi picked up his second win last night, both of which he received after retiring just one hitter (he almost had a third earlier in the season, but the stars didn’t line up that night). This served to remind me that nothing highlights the uselessness of pitcher wins as a statistic more than the one-out win. Think about it: the other pitchers on the staff combined to get 26 (or more) outs and one pitcher comes in, records one out, and gets all the credit (and I didn’t even mention the offense’s role, which is obviously more important as well). It’s a loophole, but boy does it highlight how silly the stat is.

That being said, let’s take a look at one-out wins using Baseball Reference’s Play Index tool. First, the obvious: the one-out win is much more common than it once was, most likely due to the heightened focus on pitch counts and increased specialization in the bullpen. There were 545 one-out wins from 2001 through last night, 431 in the ’90s, 233 in the ’80s, 144 in the ’70s, 142 in the ’60s, and 150 prior to that (the Play Index goes back as far as 1919, so that’s a little more than 40 years). Seeing as how there were more one-out wins in the past 20 years than in the previous 70, it should come as no surprise that most of the leaders in this fluky stat are all from that era. In an interesting coincidence, quite a few of them have ties to the Mets.

11-15 (tie, six one-out wins): Hector Carassco, Alan Embree, Al Hrabosky, Scott Schoenewies, Mike Stanton.

8-10 (tie, seven one-out wins): Buddy Groom, Joe Hoerner, Dan Plesac.

2-7 (tie, eight one-out wins): Paul Assenmacher, Dennis Cook, Pedro Feliciano, Goose Gossage, Felix Heredia, Scott Radinsky.

1 (nine one-out wins): Jessie Orosco.

Quite a few LOOGY-types up there, which makes sense when you think about it. They tend to come in two face a key lefty hitter late in close games, so it figures that they’d be the pitcher of Even Jesse Orosco’s one-out wins (largely) fit this pattern: eight of the nine came in the ’90s after he’d transitioned from closer to LOOGY. Even the one that he got with the Mets came in 1986, a year he split the closing duties with Roger McDowell. Goose Gossage and some of the others don’t fit this usage pattern, but I think it’s safe to say that luck played as much of a role in their one-out wins as it did for the LOOGY’s

One final point for the record: only one of Pedro Feliciano’s one-out wins came on a Ryan Howard strikeout. I would have bet money that the number would have been higher given that he’s faced Howard in 38 plate appearances, but I guess that’s why I shouldn’t gamble. I was in attendance at CBP that day, so that was sweet.

Posted in Flushing Frivolities, Mets, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Caught Looking

Posted by JD on October 25, 2010

Steve Lombardi at the Baseball Reference Blog had an interesting post the other day listing all of the players who ended their team’s post season by taking a called strike three. The post was inspired by the season-ending strike outs of Ryan Howard and Alex Rodriguez this weekend. The last occurrence prior to that was, of course, Carlos Beltran’s season ending backwards K against Adam Wainwright. No surprise there.

What is surprising (at least to me, anyway) is that Beltran wasn’t the first Met in that situation: Howard Johnson took a called strike three to end the 1988 NLCS. Hojo’s K was slightly less dramatic than Beltran’s: the Mets were trailing the Dodgers 6-0 at the time and Orel Hershiser was working on a complete game, five hit shutout. Those circumstances likely spared Hojo from the treatment Beltran has received in the past four years. In fact, I could only find two Hershiser-centric articles that briefly mentioned Hojo in passing (here and here). Given the pounding Beltran’s taken, I wish Johnson had been a little more vocal about his experience (though part of me understands: it’s never easy to talk about negative events).

Another ex-Met on the list also stands out, even if his post-season ending moment didn’t happen in the orange and blue: Willie Randolph took the final strike against the Royals’ Dan Quisenberry in 1980. Now, I could swear I remember Willie mentioning his strike out in defense of Beltran at some point, but I can’t find it in a Google search. While I’ll trust my spotty memory to give Willie the benefit of the doubt, I’m still frustrated with the media (and fans) who refuse to give Beltran a pass. It’s past time to move on and let it go, but Beltran’s career as a Met is doomed to be overshadowed by that one at bat.

In the interest of thoroughness, three other players with connections to the Mets appear on the list: former Met Randy Myers struck out Omar Vizquel to end the 1996 ALDS, future/former Roberto Alomar K’d looking against Jose Mesa to end the 1997 ALCS (in another twist, both series pitted the Indians against the Orioles), and Derek Lowe punched out former Met Terrance Long to end the 2003 ALDS. Throw in the fact that A-Rod and Alomar will both eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame and Vizquel has a decent shot, Beltran isn’t exactly keeping poor company here. But I’m sure that fact will go unreported, too.

Posted in Carlos Beltran, Flushing Frivolities, Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Game Recap: Dickey Delivers

Posted by JD on May 25, 2010

R.A. Dickey brought his knuckleball to the mound, and it was the first time the Phillies faced knuckleballers in consecutive games since 1983, when they saw Joe and Phil Niekro. The Mets took advantage and had a (relatively) easy time of it. Here are a couple of notes from today’s game:

  • R.A. Dickey gave the Mets exactly what they needed tonight, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. He pitched six scoreless innings and struck out seven Phillies, but he allowed seven hits, walked three, and worked out of three bases-loaded jams in the top of the second and third. With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the second, Dickey induced Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz into a 1-2-3 double play (I love the 1-2-3 DP: I think it looks awesome on a scorecard). However, he walked Juan Castro to reload the bases before getting Jamie Moyer to strike out to end the inning. Then, in the top of the third, he loaded the bases again before getting Raul Ibanez to line out to Jose Reyes to end that threat. Dickey even survived getting drilled on his left (non-pitching) elbow by a Ryan Howard liner. He played with fire but he didn’t get burned, and the Mets got a quality start from their new knuckleballer.
  • Jamie Moyer also allowed seven hits and only walked two Mets, but he didn’t fare nearly as well as Dickey. Jose Reyes led off the game by grounding one “past a diving Polanco”, advanced to second on a Castillo bunt, stole third, and scored on a hard groundout to short from Jason Bay. It was a classic “Reyes run” and the Mets never looked back (Reyes also had an RBI triple in the top of the ninth).
  • Even though Bay’s streak of reaching base ended at eight consecutive plate appearances, his hard hit grounder was enough to score Reyes. He’s still locked in at the plate and producing.
  • Speaking of producing, Jeff Francoeur had three consecutive productive plate appearances. He missed some very hittable pitches in his first at bat but reached out and pulled an outside change-up to left to knock in the Mets’ second run in the bottom of the second. In the bottom of the fourth, he hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field to score David Wright. He then lead off the bottom of the sixth with a double and scored the Mets’ fifth run on a pinch-hit single from The Animal, Chris Carter. Frenchy is still a below-average hitter, but hopefully tonight’s performance will get him started again.
  • Raul Valdes relieved Dickey in the top of the seventh. He struck out Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and induced Jayson Werth to ground out to Wright. He walked Castro with two outs in the top of the eighth but quickly retired pinch hitter Ben Francisco, then hit a two out, RBI double over Werth’s head in the top of the ninth. He would stay in to finish off the Phightin’s in the top of the ninth, giving the rest of the bullpen an extra day off.
  • The Mets scored three consecutive two-out runs in the bottom of the eighth off of ex-Met Nelson Figueroa, highlighted by Valdes’ double and Reyes’ triple. It was a great relief to see them add to their lead: it’s been awhile since they’ve had nice easy win.

It was a nice, easy win, but tomorrow is another day. Your starters will be Joe Blanton for the Phillies and Hisanori Takahashi for the Mets. Hopefully the Mets will keep the pedal to the medal and pick up some more ground in the NL East. Let’s go Mets!

Posted in Jeff Francoeur, Jose Reyes, Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thank You, Philly!

Posted by JD on April 26, 2010

The Phillies signed first baseman Ryan Howard to a five-year, $125 million extension (with a team option for a sixth year, which, if exercised, would make the total value $138 million). Thank you, Ruben Amaro!

There are two reasons for my reaction: the impact on the Phillies’ payroll, and the ripple effect throughout the league. Let’s tackle them in that order.

The Phillies’ Payroll: According to Cot’s Baseball Contract’s, the Phillies payroll for this season is about $138 million. That’s bound to increase next season as they already have commitments to 17 players exceeding $134 million. They can basically kiss Jayson Werth goodbye, and they better hope their farm system produces a few cheap replacements, because they’re not going to be able to spend a lot on the open market.

Now, you can’t blame that on entirely on the extension because 2011 is the final year of Howard’s current deal: the Phillies were already committed to (over)paying him. The extension starts in 2012 and the Phillies payroll for that season is already $86 million (for just eight players). Now, this is where it starts to get fun. Howard will be 32 that year and, mostly likely, he’s going to be an old 32. Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder will both be free agents heading into that season (barring any trades or extensions, obviously) and will be 30 and 28, respectively. The Phillies commitment to Howard, who can’t play anything but first (and not very well at that), takes them out of the market for Gonzalez and Fielder. As much as we all love Ike Davis, the Mets would have to get involved. With the Yankees committed to Mark Teixiera and the Phillies out of the game, they’d probably have only the Red Sox as competition, meaning Davis would be moving out to the outfield in 2012.

The Ripple Effect: This is what makes me positively giddy. Howard is inferior to both Gonzalez and Fielder, yet the Phillies just signed him to an extension that has an average annual value greater than everyone other than A-Rod. Think their agents aren’t sending gift baskets to Citizen’s Bank Park? What’s particularly intriguing about the scenario is that Milwaukee and San Diego are two of the smaller markets in the league. They don’t have the resources to devote $25 million to one player. The Mets do, and they’re aided by an additional factor: Carlos Beltran’s $17 million contract comes off the books after 2011, giving them even more payroll room*. It’s like the Perfect Storm: the Phillies took themselves off the market, but elevated the price tags to the point that only the large market teams can afford to pay them.

*As much as I love Beltran, I’m slowly coming to grips with the fact that he may never be the awesome force that he once was. He’ll turn 35 in 2012 and will likely still be dealing with the fallout from his current injury. I just don’t know how wise it would be to resign him to a big-money deal. Only time will tell, but for purposes of this discussion I’m going to assume that the Mets will look to move on.

And then there’s the elephant in the room: if a 32 year-old Ryan Howard is worth $25 million a year, what is a 32 year-old Albert Pujols worth? $35 million? $40 million? More? The Cardinals have substantially more flexibility in 2012 than the Phillies with only $31 million committed to just four players (but my gosh, how horrible does that $12 Kyle Lohse commitment look now?). But I have to think that if Pujols refused to give the Cardinals a discount, they’ll be hard pressed to meet his demands.

If Pujols does hit the market, the Mets will face competition from both the Yankees and Red Sox (regardless of who they have under contract at the time). Landing Pujols would be a long-shot, but stranger things have happened. And we would have one of our most hated rivals to thank for making it all possible.

Posted in Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.