Monthly Archives: July, 2011

British Open nuggets

Royal St George's Golf Club

Image by Pet_r via Flickr

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday

The 140th British Open begins play tomorrow at Royal St. George’s in Kent, England. Here’s a couple of stats to whet your appetite for this weekend’s play.

First, can you answer this trivia question? What two countries have placed one or more golfers in the top 10 of the British Open in each of the last 10 years? You’re probably pretty sure you know one of the two, but if you can correctly name both countries, you’ve aced the test.

The answer: The U.S. and South Africa. Following are the countries that have placed the most golfers in the top 10 of the British Open in the last ten tournaments.

United States………. 31

South Africa………. 16

England………. 15

Sweden………. 8

Austrailia………. 8

Spain………. 8

Denmark………. 4

Note: In the last three British Opens, England has placed 10 golfers in the top 10, most in that timeframe, followed by the U.S. with nine and South Africa with six.

Finally, in looking at the last 25 British Opens, in how many of those tournaments has the eventual winner been in the lead or tied for the lead after the third round? The answer: 48 percent. In 10 of the last 25 tourneys, the winner led after three rounds and in two tourneys the winner was tied for the lead going in to the final round.

Following are the scenarios of each winner in the past 25 British Opens:

Winner was the leader after the third round: 10

Winner was tied for the lead after the third round: 2

Winner was one shot back after the third round: 3

Winner was two shots back after the third round: 4

Winner was three shots back after the third round: 2

Winner was four shots back after the third round: 1

Winner was five or more shots back after the third round: 3


Bo knows All-Star Game hits… the Royals don’t!

Airman 1st Class Joseph Bowling (not pictured)...
Bo Jackson… Image via Wikipedia

(Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday)

One of the most memorable moments in MLB All-Star Game history was on July 11, 1989 when Kansas City Royals outfielder Bo Jackson made a great defensive play in the top of the first inning saving two runs and then homered to lead off the bottom of that same inning. Jackson was later selected the game’s MVP and cemented his legend as one of sports’ greatest two-sport athletes.

But that game in 1989 was also notable for another reason, although not necessarily a positive note for Royals’ fans. In the bottom of the fourth, Jackson collected his second hit of the game, a single to center. What makes that hit noteworthy is that’s the last hit a member of the Royals has collected in an all-star game, a current streak of 21 seasons where Royals hitters has gone hitless in the all-star game.

In the National League, the Milwaukee Brewers have had a similar batting drought. Since 2000, Brewers batters have only one hit in 24 all-star game at-bats, an anemic .042 batting average. Prince Fielder doubled in the 2009 game for their only hit since 2000.

Topping the list is Arizona with a .375 average; Yankee’s batters have the most hits, 20, since 2000.

Listed below are the batting averages of all MLB team hitters in all-star games since 2000.

 A.L. team, hits/at-bats, average     N.L. team, hits/at-bats, average

Chicago White Sox, 8-22, .364                 Arizona, 6-16, .375

Boston, 16-48, .333                                     N.Y. Mets, 13-39, .333

Toronto, 6-19, .316                                      St. Louis, 14-43, .326

Texas, 16-55, .291                                        Atlanta, 11-36, .306

N.Y Yankees, 20-69, .290                          L.A. Dodgers, 5-17, .294

Detroit, 7-25, .280                                       Chicago Cubs, 7-26, .269

Tampa Bay, 6-24, .250                               Houston, 6-23, .261

Baltimore, 4-17, .235                                   Philadelphia, 8-34, .235

Cleveland, 5-22, .227                                   Washington, 4-18, .222

Seattle, 9-41, .220                                        San Francisco, 4-20, .200

L.A. Angels, 6-31, .194                                Cincinnati, 3-15, .200

Minnesota, 5-26, .192                                 San Diego, 2-10, .200

Oakland, 1-7, .143                                        Florida, 6-36, .167

Kansas City, 0-7, .000                                Colorado, 4-25, .160

*****************                                        Pittsburgh, 2-17, .118

*****************                                       Milwaukee, 1-24, .042

Three or more Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards

Barry Bonds at the plate.

Barry Bonds... Image via Wikipedia

In 1980 the Silver Slugger Award was first awarded honoring the best offensive player at each position in each league. The Silver Slugger was instituted as sort of a hitting honor to go with the Gold Glove Award which honors the best defensive players at each position. The Gold Glove was first awarded in 1957.

Twenty-seven different players have won three or more Silver Slugger awards and three or more Gold Glove awards. Topping the list are catcher Ivan Rodriquez and outfielder Barry Bonds. Rodriquez has won the defensive honor 13 times and seven Silver Sluggers. Bonds had 12 Gold Gloves and eight silver bats.

Following, by position, are the players who have won three or more Gold Gloves and three or more Silver Slugger honors.

Position… player, GG (Gold Gloves), SS (Silver Sluggers)

Catcher: Ivan Rodriquez (13 GG, 7 SS), Lance Parrish (3 GG, 6 SS), Gary Carter (3 GG, 5 SS), Joe Maurer (3 GG, 4 SS), Benito Santiago (3 GG, 4 SS)

First Baseman: Todd Helton (3 GG, 4 SS), Don Mattingly (9 GG, 3 SS), Eddie Murray (3 GG, 3 SS), Mark Teixeira (4 GG, 3 SS)

Second Baseman: Ryne Sandberg (9 GG, 7 SS), Roberto Alomar (10 GG, 4 SS), Craig Biggio (4 GG, 4 SS), Lou Whitaker (3 GG, 4 SS)

Shortstop: Barry Larkin (3 GG, 9 SS), Derek Jeter (5 GG, 4 SS), Alan Trammell (4 GG, 3 SS)

Third Baseman: Mike Schmidt (10 GG, 6 SS), Matt Williams (4 GG, 4 SS)

Outfielder: Barry Bonds (12 GG, 8 SS), Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 GG, 7 SS), Tony Gwynn (5 GG, 7 SS), Kirby Puckett (6 GG, 6 SS), Dave Winfield (7 GG, 5 SS), Andre Dawson (8 GG, 4 SS), Dale Murphy (5 GG, 4 SS), Ichiro Suzuki (10, GG, 3 SS), Larry Walker (7 GG, 3 SS)

Will road woes kill Brewers division title chances?

Miller Park is the home stadium of Major Leagu...

Miller Park in Milwaukee... Image via Wikipedia

As the Milwaukee Brewers leapfrog back and forth at the top of the N.L. Central division, fans at Miller Park have one big question… and no, it’s not will Prince Fielder re-sign with the club (although that’s probably number two on the list). The big question is: When will this year’s team start winning with some regularity on the road?

Will the Brewers paltry record in away games hurt their chances for their first N.L. Central division title since they moved to the N.L. in 1998 and first in the franchise’s history since 1982? How about a little statistical history to help answer that question.

First, since 1995 (the last 16 seasons) no team with 20 or more wins at home than on the road has won a division title; the Brewers are already at plus-13 with 29 wins at home and only 16 on the road (as of Sunday, July 3). In fact, only nine teams out of a possible 96 division winners (1995-2010) have won a title with 14 or more wins at home than on the road. Here’s a look at those nine:

Team, season                            Home wins     Road wins        Diff.

Chicago White Sox, 2008                       54                       35                    19

Oakland, 2003                                          57                       39                    18

Tampa Bay, 2008                                     57                      40                    17

Atlanta, 1996                                             56                      40                    16

Atlanta, 2005                                            53                       37                    16

St. Louis, 2006                                         49                       34                   15

Los Angeles Angels, 2007                      54                       40                   14

San Francisco, 2003                                57                       43                   14

Minnesota, 2002                                      54                      40                   14

Some other notes on division winners from 1995-2010 when looking at their season-ending records at home and on the road.

* Of the 96 division winners since 1995, only 17 (17.7%) had a losing record on the road. Over the last six seasons, however, 10 of the last 36 divisions winners (27.8%) had a losing record in away games.

* The average division winner since 1995 has won about 5.5 more games at home than on the road.

While it doesn’t look good for the Brewers winning a division title if they continue (and increase) their +13 pace, getting a Wild Card berth has been a little more forgiving when it comes to performance (or lack thereof) on the road. For example:

* Of the 32 Wild Card teams since 1995, 13 (40%) had losing records on the road.

* The average Wild Card team won an average of 11.5 more games at home than on the road.

* The Atlanta Braves last season had a plus-21 with 56 wins at home and 35 wins on the road when they won the N.L. Wild Card. That was the highest disparity between home and road wins of a Wild Card representative since 1995.

(Note: For the sake of this post, I only went back to 1995 because MLB went to a three-division system for each league in 1994 (although there was no playoffs in 1994 due to the work stoppage in August that cancelled the remainder of the ’94 season)

Thanks to Dr. Bob for the suggestion for this post.