Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Ryan Braun: Celebrating the 5th anniversary of his first career HR!

Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

This weekend many of us will be celebrating Memorial Day and the contributions of the countless men and women who served our country and fought for our freedom.

Brewers fans this weekend also have something else to celebrate. Today, May 26, 2012, is the fifth anniversary of Ryan Braun‘s first career home run. On May 26, 2007, Braun hit a solo HR off Padres pitcher Justin Germano in the third inning in San Diego.

In honor of the fifth anniversary of Braun’s first round-tripper, here’s a few stats regarding the 174 homers Braun has hit up to this point in what many Brewers fans hope will be a long career with the club.

* Braun was hitting second in the order when he hit his first career home run. It is the only time that he has hit an HR while batting second in the order. He has hit 163 from the third spot, nine from the clean-up spot, and one from the eighth spot in the order.

* Braun has hit most of his home runs in the first three innings (72). He has 62 four-baggers in innings four through six, and 40 HRs from the seventh inning on.

* Braun has hit 101 home runs when he has seen three or less pitches. He has 73 home runs when he has seen four or more pitches in an at-bat.

* Braun has hit the most home runs (64) when the Brewers are behind in the game. He has hit 62 when the Brewers are ahead and has hit 48 when the game is tied.

* He has 92 HRs at Miller Park and 82 in away games.

* When it comes to strikes in the count, Braun’s home run stroke has been most successful with one strike. He has 68 homers with one strike in the count; 57 home runs with two strikes in the count; and 49 four-baggers when there are no strikes in the count. When it comes to balls in the count, Braun has hit more HRs when there are no balls in the count (59). He has 48 home runs with one ball in the count; 47 home runs with two balls in the count; and 20 long balls with three balls in the count.

* Braun has 64 home runs with no outs in the inning… 56 home runs with one out in the inning… 54 home runs with two outs in the inning.

* Braun has hit the most home runs in July (35). Other monthly HR counts: March (1), April (29), May (27), June (26), August (26), September (28), October (2).

* Braun’s 173rd home run was on May 21 when he hit a two-run homer in the 8th inning against the Giants to tie the score at 3-3. It was the 12th time in his career that he has hit a home run in the 7th inning or later to tie the score or put the Brewers ahead in the game.

* Of the 15 National League teams, Braun has hit the fewest home runs against the New York Mets (2). He has hit the most HRs against the Houston Astros (24).

Research Source: baseball-reference.com

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

NBA Playoffs: 10 Game Seven stats that might determine who wins Saturday’s Celtics-76ers game

Photo of game between Boston Celtics and Miami...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will square off in Boston Saturday in Game Seven of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. This will be the seventh Game Seven the Celtics have played in the last eight years. This will be Philadelphia’s first Game Seven since the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals when they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the NBA Finals. The 76ers did play a decisive Game Five in 2002 in a five-game first-round series against the Celtics. The Celtics won that contest.

Here’s a look at the last 21 Game Sevens (since 2005) and a handful of statistics that may determine who wins Saturday’s game.

1. Points: In the past 21 Game Sevens, the winning team has averaged 98.5 ppg while the losing team has averaged only 82.9 Teams that have scored 100 or more points have won eight and lost two. Teams that score 90 or more points are 15-7; teams that score 80 or more points are 20-11. The winning team has given up 90 or more points in only seven of the 21 Game Sevens.

2. Point Differential: None of the last 21 Game Seven have been decided by three or fewer points. Eight of the games were decided by four to nine points. Teams won by 10 or more points in seven of the games; teams won by 20 or more points in six of the Game Sevens.

3. Home Team: The home team won 14 of the last 21 Game Sevens, including seven of the last eight. The last away team to win a Game Seven: This year when the Clippers defeated Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.

4. Game Six: There doesn’t seem to be an advantage for the team that wins Game Six. The team that won Game Six only won eight of the last 21 Game Sevens.

5. Leads at the end of the quarter: The team that leads at the end of the first quarter won 18 of the 21 games. The team leading at halftime won 19 of 21. The team leading going into the fourth quarter won 17 of 20 (there was one tie at the end of the third quarter).

6. 20-Point Scorers: The team that won Game Seven had at least one player score 20 or more points in 20 of the 21 games. The losing team had a 20-point scorer in 14 of the 21 games. The Game Seven winning team had two 20-point scorers in 10 of the 21 games; the losing team had a pair of 20-point scorers in five games.

7. Turnovers: Committing fewer turnovers was not a significant stat in the last 21 Game Sevens. The winning team had fewer turnovers in only nine of the 21 games.

8. Shooting Percentage: The winning team had a higher field goal percentage in 16 of 20 games (in one game both teams had the same percentage). In 19 of the 21 games, the winning team made a higher percentage of three-point shots made than their opponents.

9. Rebounds: The Game Seven winning team had more rebounds than the losing team in 15 of 19 contests (in two games the teams had the same number of rebounds).

10. Game Seven Appearances: The Boston Celtics have played in six of the last 21 Game Sevens, tops in that category. The Celtics are 3-3 in those games. The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have each played in four Game Sevens since 2005. The Lakers won three of those four games; the Rockets lost all four of their Game Sevens since ’05. Detroit, San Antonio and Atlanta have each played in three Game Sevens since 2005.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Philip Humber: Is a ‘perfect game’ curse haunting him?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Philip Humber

Philip Humber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber gets his eighth start of the season and sixth since his perfect game tonight at home against the Minnesota Twins. Since his perfect game on April 21 in Seattle, Humber has an 0-2 record with three no decisions and an ERA of 7.86 (more on that ERA in a second). He may be thinking that the perfect game was more of a curse than a blessing considering his performance since that game.

There may be something to this “Perfect Game Curse,” at least for some of those pitchers. Of the 17 pitchers who threw a perfect game in the last 100 years (since 1912) their record in the next start was 5-8 with four no decisions. Also, we can make a case that there might be a “White Sox Perfect Game Curse” when you look at Humber and Mark Buehrle‘s post-perfect game starts (see numbers below).

While Humber became the 19th pitcher in modern baseball history to throw a perfect game, his ERA in the next five starts among those other perfect game brethren is at the bottom of the list. Humber’s 7.86 ERA in his next five starts after the perfect game is the highest of any perfect game pitcher.

Following are the perfect game pitchers who had the best ERA in the five starts after their perfect game. (Note: Game stats were not available for Cy Young (May 5, 1904) and Addie Joss (October 2, 1908) to evaluate their first five starts after their perfect games so they are not included in this research.)

ERA in five starts after Perfect Game, Player (Date of Perfect Game)

1.54 Sandy Koufax (September 9, 1965)

2.63 Jim Bunning (June 21, 1964)

2.85 Len Barker (May 15, 1981)

3.00 Roy Halladay (May 29, 2010)

3.18 Mike Witt (September 30, 1984)

3.41 Tom Browning (September 16, 1988)

3.45 David Cone (July 18, 1999)

3.45 Randy Johnson (May 18, 2004)

4.00 David Wells (May 17, 1998)

4.09 Dennis Martinez (July 28, 1991)

4.15 Charlie Robertson (April 30, 1922)

4.45 Dallas Braden (May 9, 2010)

5.51 Catfish Hunter (May 8, 1968)

5.85 Mark Buehrle (July 23, 2009)

6.41 Kenny Rogers (July 28, 1994)

7.11 Don Larsen (October 8, 1956)

7.86 Philip Humber (April 21, 2012)

In taking a look at the last 17 pitchers to throw a perfect game (from Robertson to Humber) and their won-lost records in the first five starts after their “perfecto,” these pitchers won 30 games and lost 35 (with one tie) and 19 no decisions. Only two pitchers, Browning and Johnson, were undefeated in their next five starts after their perfect game. Here’s a look at the records of each perfect game pitcher after that historic performance.

Record, Pitchers

5-0: Johnson

4-0: Browning

4-1: Wells

3-1: Koufax

2-2-1: Hunter

2-2: Robertson, Bunning, Barker

2-3: Halladay

1-3: Witt, Martinez, Cone

1-4: Rogers

0-1: Larsen

0-2: Humber

0-3 Buehrle, Braden

Did you know? In the five starts following his perfect game, Koufax threw three shutouts. In the five starts after his perfect game, Barker had four complete games.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @ StatsonTapp

Can a team win an NBA title without a 20-point scorer?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs,...

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which team would you guess has won the most NBA championships: A team that had no player average 20 points or more during the regular season, or a team that had two players average 20 or more points per game (ppg) in the regular season?

Before we answer that question, let’s look at the six remaining teams in this year’s playoffs. The Thunder are in the Western Conference Final and will face the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder feature the high-scoring twosome of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant led the league with 28 points per game while Westbrook was at 23.6 ppg. The Spurs, on the other hand, did not have a player with a 20 ppg for the season; Tony Parker led them in scoring with a 18.3 ppg.

Of the four teams fighting for the two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference Final, Miami is the only team with two players who averaged 20+ ppg in the regular season, LeBron James (27.1) and Dwyane Wade (22.1). The other three teams did not have a single player with a 20 ppg for the season. Paul Pierce led Boston with 19.4 ppg; Danny Granger led Indiana with 18.7 ppg; and Lou Williams led eighth-seeded Philadelphia with 14.9 ppg.

In the past 65 years of NBA playoffs, a team with no player who averaged 20 or more points during the regular season won 13 titles. Teams that had two players who averaged 20 or more points per game in the regular season won 18 titles.

Here’s a look at the 13 teams that won titles with no player who averaged 20 ppg in the regular season.

Year, Team, Player who led team in scoring (ppg)

2008 Boston, Paul Pierce (19.6)

2004 Detroit, Richard Hamilton (17.6)

1990 Detroit, Isiah Thomas (18.4)

1989 Detroit, Adrian Dantley (18.4)

1979 Seattle, Gus Williams (19.2)

1978 Washington, Elvin Hayes (19.7)

1976 Boston, Dave Cowens (19.0)

1964 Boston, John Havlicek (19.9)

1963 Boston, Sam Jones (19.7)

1955 Syracuse, Dolph Schayes (18.5)

1954 Minneapolis, George Mikan (18.1)

1951 Rochester, Arnie Risen (16.3)

1948 Baltimore, Kleggie Hermsen (12.0)

Here’s a few more interesting stats:

* Miami was the last team to play in the NBA Finals with two players who averaged 20+ ppg in the regular season: That was last season with Wade (26.7) and James (25.5).

* The 2006 Miami Heat were the last team to win an NBA title with two players who averaged 20+ ppg in the regular season. Wade averaged 27.2 ppg and Shaquille O’Neal averaged 20.0 that season.

* The last time two teams that had two players average 20+ ppg in the regular season faced off in the NBA Finals was in 1995 when Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon (27.8) and Clyde Drexler (21.4) defeated the Orlando Magic with Shaq (29.3) and Penny Hardaway (20.9).

* The last time the NBA Finals featured two teams that did not have a 20+ ppg scorer was in 1978 when Washington defeated Seattle for the title. Leading scorers for the teams were Washington’s Hayes (19.7) and Seattle’s Gus Williams (18.1).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Los Angeles Dodgers: MLB’s best record since August 1, 2011

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Current logo using "Dodgers" Script

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Los Angeles Dodgers not only have the best record in the majors this season at 29-13 and a seven-game lead in the National League West, but when you add in the last two months of last season, they also have the best record in the majors since August 1, 2011. The Dodgers have won 63 of their last 96 games for a .656 winning percentage. The two-time A.L. World Series representative Texas Rangers have the second-best record (26-17) in the A.L. this season (behind Baltimore’s 27-16). They have the best record in the A.L. since August 1 last year with a 61-35 mark.

Eight teams last season played .600 or better ball the last two months of the season: In the A.L., it was Detroit (.704), Texas (.660) and Tampa Bay (.636). Each of those teams played in the postseason last year. This season Tampa Bay and Texas have winning records; the Tigers are a game under .500 at 20-21. In the N.L., five teams played the last two months of the season abover.600: Milwaukee (.679), Arizona (.648), Los Angeles (.630), Philadelphia (.618) and St. Louis (.611). All but Dodgers made the N.L. playoffs in 2011. Of these five teams, the Dodgers and Cardinals are the only two with a winning record this season.

Here’s a look at the records of each team since August 1, 2011 through May 21, 2012.

American League East: Tampa Bay 60-38 (612); Baltimore 54-46 (.540); New York 54-46 (.540); Toronto 50-47 (.515); Boston 45-53 (.459).

American League Central: Detroit 58-37 (.611); Cleveland 50-48 (.510); Chicago 48-50 (.490); Kansas City 42-53 (.442); Minnesota 27-68 (.284).

American League West: Texas 61-35 (.635); Oakland 47-50 (.485); Los Angeles 45-51 (.469); Seattle 42-57 (.424).

National League East: Washington 54-42 (.563); Philadelphia 55-43 (.561); Atlanta 52-44 (.542); New York 44-52 (.458); Miami 42-54 (.438).

National League Central: St. Louis 56-40 (.583); Milwaukee 53-42 (.558); Cincinnati 48-47 (.505); Chicago 43-53 (.448); Houston 40-56 (.417); Pittsburgh 38-60 (.388).

National League West: Los Angeles 63-33 (.656); Arizona 54-43 (.557); San Francisco 47-49 (.490); San Diego 40-56 (.417); Colorado 37-60 (.381).

In looking at the last 12 World Series champions (since 2000) 11 of the 12 played .500 or better from August 1 until the end of the season. The 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the only champion since 2000 to play under .500 in their title season; they had a winning percentage of .439 (25-32) after August 1.

The 2004 Boston Red Sox had the best winning percentage after August 1 of the 12 teams. They were 42-18 (.700).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp