Today’s Sports Stat: May 20, 2018

Here’s some free advice for the Milwaukee Brewers marketing department: Get going on producing some t-shirts made for left-handed reliever Josh Hader. The slogan on the shirt should read…

“Don’t Be a Hader” … or… “Be a Hader”

Hader is certainly putting together a season that has never been seen in baseball history, let alone during the Brewers 50 years as a franchise. Through games of May 19, Hader has 56 strikeouts in the 16 games he’s pitched. Not all that impressive; but if you consider that Hader has 56 strikeouts in only 27.1 innings pitched, more than two strikeouts per inning, that’s pretty darn impressive.

Hader is on a pace to have just under 200 strikeouts (197 to be exact) over the season. Considering that Hader has compiled these gaudy numbers coming out of the bullpen as a reliever, it’s important to point out that no relief pitcher in history has ever had 200 strikeouts in a season.

Let me be more precise: The MLB record for most strikeouts in a season by a pitcher who did not start a game that year is 181. Dick Raddatz fanned 181 in 1964 for the Boston Red Sox as a reliever who did not start a game that season.

Here’s a look at the pitchers who fanned 150 or more batters in a season without the benefit of starting a game.

150 or more strikeouts/No starts

181: Dick Raddatz, 1964, Boston
166: Mark Eichhorn, 1986, Toronto
162: Dick Raddatz, 1963, Boston
157: Brad Lidge, 2004, Houston
153: Dick Selma, 1970, Philadelphia
151: Goose Gossage, 1977, Pittsburgh

The Brewers record for most strikeouts in a season by a pitcher who did start a game was set last year by closer Corey Knebel. He had 126 strikeouts. He is followed on this list by Julio Machado (98 in 1991), John Axford (93 in 2012), Will Smith (91 in 2015) and Tyler Thornburg (90 in 2016).

Will Hader break the MLB record? Will he shatter the Brewers mark? There are still a lot of games to be played this season. But I for one won’t bet against Hader. The Brewers and Craig Counsell have figured out a way to use Hader effectively and it is working. It’s definitely one thing I will keep an eye on as the season progresses.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sports Stat: May 14, 2018

Did Milwaukee Brewers fans get a peek at the future of their pitching staff when Freddy Peralta made his major League debut on Sunday by pitching one-hit ball and striking out 13 in 5.2 innings of work?

Peralta became only the fifth pitcher in MLB history to fan 13 or more batters in his first career game. The others:

JR Richard, Houston, 9-5-1971 (struck out 15)

Karl Spooner, Brooklyn, 9-22-1954 (struck out 15)

Stephen Strasburg, Washington, 6-8-2010 (struck out 14)

Cliff Melton, New York Giants, 4-25-1937 (struck out 13)

Peralta also broke the Brewers record for most strikeouts in a debut for the team. It was previously held by Steve Woodard who fanned 12 in his debut with the team on July 28, 1997 in a game versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 21-year-old Peralta, who is just a month shy of his 22nd birthday, became the 38th pitcher in baseball history to strike out 13 or more batters in a game before the age of 22. His 13 K’s at the age of 21-343 days, was the 69th time a pitcher under 22 had fanned 13 or more in a game.

Kerry Wood holds the MLB record for most strikeouts in a game by a pitcher under the age of 22. He had 20. Bill Gullickson and Bob Feller each had games with 18 strikeouts before 22, while Frank Tanana, Vida Blue and Feller (again) had 17 in a game before their 22 birthday.

Of the 38 pitchers who had 13+ strikeouts in a game before 22, Dwight Gooden did it seven times along with Bob Feller. Kerry Wood did it five times, and Frank Tanana, Jose Fernandez, Dennis Eckersley and Vida Blue did it three times each.

What might be even more amazing about Peralta’s performance, however, is that he became only the eighth pitcher in MLB history to have 13 or more strikeouts in a game with less than six innings pitched. It means that of the 17 batters he retired in the game, 13 came via a strikeout, a pretty remarkable feat.

Here are the eight pitchers who had 13 or more K’s in a game where they pitched less than six innings.

Max Scherzer, 14 strikeouts, 5.2 IP, May 20, 2010
Freddy Peralta, 13 strikeouts, 5.2 IP, May 13, 2018
Eduardo Rodriguez, 13 strikeouts, 5.1 IP, September 25, 2016
Jose Fernandez, 13 strikeouts, 5.2 IP, April 6, 2016
Alex Cobb, 13 strikeouts, 4.2 IP, May 10, 2013
Jeff Samardzija, 13 strikeouts, 5.2 IP, April 7, 2013
Zack Greinke, 13 strikeouts, 5.0 IP, September 25, 2012
Kevin Appier, 13 strikeouts, 5.2 IP, May 25, 1994

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: May 12, 2018

The next round of the 2018 NBA playoffs are set with the Boston Celtics taking on the Cleveland Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals and Golden State Warriors facing the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.

The home court advantage will likely be a factor in both series. The Celtics will have the advantage in the East, while the Rockets will host four of the potential seven games in the West.

Consider this:

Of the 64 games played so far in the NBA playoffs this season, home teams are 46-18, a .719 winning percentage. In fact, the four teams remaining in the playoffs are 23-2 at home in this post season (a staggering .920 winning percentage) while these same four teams are only 9-9 (.500 winning percentage) as the away team in this year’s playoffs.

Here’s a look at each of the remaining four teams’ records in home and away playoff contests this year:

Boston: 7-0 at home; 1-4 on the road
Cleveland: 5-1 at home; 3-2 on the road
Golden State: 6-0 at home; 2-2 on the road
Houston: 5-1 at home; 3-1 on the road

Let’s take a look back to 2010. The Celtics, Cavs, Warriors and Rockets have been regulars in the post season in the last nine seasons, although the Rockets have not played as many post-season games as the other three since 2010. Following are the home and away records in the post season of the four teams since 2010.

Team, Home record/Away Record
Boston, 35-16 (.686)/17-31 (.354)

Cleveland, 31-9 (.775)/26-15 (.634)

Golden State, 41-8 (.837/23-19 (.548)

Houston, 19-10 (.655)/9-17 (.346)

The Cavs and Golden State are the only two teams of the 30 NBA squads to have a winning percentage over .500 in road playoff games since 2010.

One final stat:

Home teams are 59-30 in conference finals since 2010, a .663 winning percentage.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: May 6, 2018

Green Bay Packers fans were a little surprised when they used one of their draft picks on a punter. But based on history, the Pack’s selection of punter JK Scott (Alabama) in the fifth round of the NFL Draft should not have come as a surprise.

Yes, drafting a punter is not a common choice of teams, especially in these days where the draft is only seven rounds. But the history of the draft has shown that punters do have their place in the draft.

Here are 12 stats you may not know about punters being taken in the draft.

  • According to Pro Football Reference.com there have been 169 punters drafted in the NFL since 1959.
  • There were four punters drafted in this year’s draft. The highest choice was Michael Dickson by Seattle in the fifth round with the 149th pick. The Packers chose Scott with the 172 pick in that round.
  • In their team history, the Packers have drafted 13 different punters. Six of them played at least one regular season game in the league.
  • Of the 169 punters drafted into the league, 122 played at least one regular season game.
  • The highest punter selected in the draft was Russell Erxelben by the New Orleans Saints in 1979. He was selected in the first round, the 11th pick. The only other first round selection of a punter was in 1973 when the Oakland Raiders picked Ray Guy with the 23rd pick in the first round. (Note: Erxelben was also a placekicker.)
  • Here’s a by-round (rounds one through seven) breakdown of when punters have been picked in the draft since 1959: First Round-2; Second Round-4; Third Round-14; Fourth Round-13; Fifth Round-26; Sixth Round-17; Seventh Round-18.
  • The highest selection of a punter by the Packers was in 1981 when they selected Michigan State punter Ray Stachowicz with the 62nd pick in the third round. The Packers also selected Ohio State punter BJ Sander in the third round with the 87th pick in the 2004 draft.
  • In NFL Draft history, the Packers have selected the most punters, 13. They are followed by the New York Jets with 11 and the San Francisco 49ers with 10.
  • The University of Tennessee has had the most punters drafted with seven. They are followed by Michigan State, Mississippi and UCLA with five each.
  • The Wisconsin Badgers have had one punter drafted: Brad Nortman. He was chosen in the 2012 draft by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round (207th pick).
  • The most punters chosen in an NFL Draft was in 1978 and 1979. There were seven punters chosen in each of those drafts. It’s important to remember that the NFL Draft years ago lasted upwards of 19 rounds. The draft these days lasts only seven rounds.
  • The most successful punter ever drafted by the Packers was probably Josh Bidwell. He was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 1999 draft, but was diagnosed with testicular cancer and did not begin his NFL career until the 2000 season. He played four seasons with the Packers and then had five years in Tampa Bay before he ended his career with four games with the Redskins. He played in 148 NFL games and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 with Tampa Bay.

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: May 3, 2018

When Zach Davies takes the mound on Saturday at Miller Park versus the Pirates, he could find himself at the top of a couple of team lists if he doesn’t pitch a complete game. Let me explain…

Davies is currently tied with Chuck Crim for most wins by a Brewers pitcher without a complete game with 33. His next win without a complete game will put him number one on this obscure stat. (Note: Of course if he ever pitches a complete game with the Brewers he will immediately come off the list, but that may… or may not… happen).

Here’s a look at the Brewers pitchers who have the most wins without a complete game on their stat sheet.

33: Zach Davies, Chuck Crim

29: Dan Plesac

26: Manny Parra, Chris Narveson

25: Zack Greinke, Bill Castro

23: Marco Estrada, Chase Anderson

21: Bob Wickman, Mike Fiers, John Axford

20: Carlos Villanueva, Shaun Marcus, Jimmy Haynes

Davies will be making his 74th career start for the Brew Crew on Saturday. His 73 starts for the Brewers without a complete game is second on the team list, one behind Manny Parra, who made 74 starts for the Brewers without a complete game.

Following are the Brewers pitchers who have 60 or more career starts with the team without a complete game.

74: Manny Parra

73: Zach Davies

70: Marco Estrada

62: Chris Narveson, Jimmy Haynes

61: Chase Anderson

For the record, the MLB record for most career wins without a complete game is 99 by Sparky Lyle. It’s not surprising that relief pitchers top this list. Lyle is followed by Kent Tekulve with 94, and John Franco and Don McMahon each with 90.

The MLB mark for most career starts without a complete game is 188 by Bud Norris. Second on the list is former Brewer Marco Estrada with 167 (he is tied with Tony Armas). Davies’ 73 career starts without a complete game currently ranks tied for 32nd for this stat.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp