If you are anything like me, one of the best aspects of the game of baseball, and all sports, is its ability to act as an incredible outlet for statistics nuts. Without trying to come off as an uber-dork, I love statistics, in any fashion, so when they can be “analyzed” in the form of something I love–namely, sports–I just can’t get enough. That being said, this may be a running segment. The ridiculous part is because I doubt that I will always be able to give credibility to these stats because a lot of them may be from announcers or sports talk radio or just some guy on the street that told me something. (Or maybe, the ridiculous part is how ridiculous it is that anyone could possibly care about this stuff, but whatever.) I just want a bit of an outlet for some of the astonishing statistics that come from the world of sports. Some of them might not be amazing–or, they might just be weird. I don’t know…
So, here are the first set of ridiculous numbers that I heard…somewhere:
1). Ryan Howard is hitting almost .370 (and slugging almost .800) when he puts the ball in play.
Granted, this is not a good stat for the image of Mr. Howard because everyone knows that he’s hitting around .240, so this just goes to further the already overdone impression of how much he strikes out. However, I think that, is taken in a positive light, this could show how hard Howard hits the ball, and that if he just figures out the strike zone a little better, he could actually be that .300 hitter that he was in the minors.
2). Joe DiMaggio hit 361 career home runs…and only struck out 369 times
Speaking of strikeouts, I heard this stat the other day, and it completely blew my mind. My grandad (and every other Italian-American born before 1925) may not have been so crazy in telling me from the time I knew what a baseball was that “no one will every be better than Number Five.” In fact, in looking up Joltin’ Joe’s numbers, over the course of his 16-year career, he never struck out more than 39 times in a single season, and he had 7 seasons (including 5 in a row) in which he hit more home runs than had strikeouts. Oh, and in an MVP campaign in 1941, Number Five put up the following numbers in 139 games played: .344 BA, .440 OBP, .643 SLG, 43 doubles, 11 triples, 30 home runs, 125 RBIs, 122 runs scored, 76 walks, and ONLY 13 STRIKEOUTS. Uh…wow!
3). The Minnesota Twins are on pace to have a better team batting average with runners in scoring position than any other team in the past half-century
This really goes to show you what wins in baseball these days. If you have a solid pitching staff, a good bullpen, and timely hitting, you can win about 40 more games than your talent says you are capable of.
4). Trever Miller, of the Tampa Bay Rays, just broke the modern baseball record for most consecutive appearances without recording a decision (121)
I have no idea if this is good or bad. I would guess that this just goes to say that the guy rarely pitches to more than one batter, and that he might not come into close games. Maybe? So, I guess this is not exactly a “good” record to have. But, then again, he has never blown a lead. I don’t know. Either way, this is a pretty strange phenomenon.