Monthly Archives: August, 2014

TRIPLE PLAY: Cleveland Browns quarterbacks

Hoyer-Manziel

(One subject… three questions… Can you answer these three questions correctly and complete the TRIPLE PLAY?)

One of the biggest stories in this year’s NFL pre-season was the battle between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel for the starting QB spot with the Cleveland Browns. It was just announced today that Hoyer will be the starter when the regular season begins in three weeks. Since 2000, there have been 19 different players who have started a game at QB for the Browns. How well do you know your Cleveland Browns QBs?

1. Which QB has started the most games for the Browns since 2000? Your choices… Brandon Weeden, Tim Couch, Colt McCoy, Derek Anderson.

2. Johnny Manziel was the third quarterback this century that the Browns selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Can you name the other two?

3. The last time the Cleveland Browns played in a playoff game was in 2002. Kelly Holcomb was the starting QB in that game. The last time the Browns won a playoff game was in 1994 when they defeated the New England Patriots 20-13. Who was the Browns’ starting QB in that ’94 playoff win? Hint: He played 21 years in the NFL, three with Cleveland.

ANSWERS

1. Tim Couch has the most starts at QB for the Browns since 2000 with 45. Derek Anderson is second with 34; Colt McCoy had 21, and Brandon Weeden had 20.

2. The Browns selected Brandon Weeden in the first round of the 2012 draft and Brady Quinn in the first round of the 2007 draft.

3. Vinny Testaverde was the starting QB for the Browns when they last won a playoff game in 1994.

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Mike Fiers’ 14-strikeout performance was historic

MikeFiers

Milwaukee Brewers starter Mike Fiers will take to the mound on Tuesday hoping to duplicate his 14-strikeout performance last Thursday in Milwaukee’s 6-2 win over the Cubs.

With a few injuries to the Brewers starting pitching staff, Fiers has been a welcome addition to the staff over the past few weeks. The biggest surprise, however, was the 14 K’s in six innings pitched in last week’s game versus the Cubs. Prior to that game, the most strikeouts in a game for Fiers was 10, which he did three times in 2012. In fact, Fiers 14 K’s in six innings of work was historic; he became only the 10th MLB pitcher in the last 100 years to have 14 or more strikeouts in a game with less than seven innings pitched.

Detroit’s Max Scherzer on May 30, 2010 had 14 K’s in 5.2 innings of work in a 10-2 win over Oakland. That was the last time a pitcher had 14 or more strikeouts in less than seven innings in a game prior to Fiers’ game.

Here’s a look at the 10 pitchers who have had 14 or more strikeouts in a game in less than seven innings of work.

August 14, 2014: Mike Fiers, Milwaukee (14 K’s in 6 innings)
May 30, 2010: Max Scherzer, Detroit (14 K’s in 5.2 innings)
June 12, 2007: Kelvin Escobar, L.A. Angels (14 K’s in 6 innings)
June 6, 2005: A.J. Burnett, Florida (14 K’s in 6 innings)
September 27, 2001: Randy Johnson, Arizona (16 K’s in 6.2 innings)
June 3, 2001: Randy Johnson, Arizona (14 K’s in 6 innings)
April 27, 2001: Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs (14 K’s in 6 innings)
July 25, 1989: Nolan Ryan, Texas (14 K’s in 6 innings)
July 11, 1987: Ron Guidry, N. Y. Yankees (14 K’s in 6.2 innings)
September 18, 1966: Sam McDowell, Cleveland (14 K’s in 6 innings)
June 15, 1965: Denny McLain, Detroit (14 K’s in 6.2 innings)

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Current active streaks of winning seasons in pro sports

Yankees

Through games of August 14, the New York Yankees have a 61-58 record, three games over .500. Big deal, right? Well, should the Yankees falter and end the season at .500 or below, they would break a current streak of 21 seasons where they played above .500. The last time the Yankees did not finish a season above .500 was in 1992 when they went 76-86.

The Yanks’ streak of 21 seasons above .500 is not, however, the longest active streak in professional sports. The NHL’s Detroit Red Wings this past season had a .567 winning percentage. It was the 22nd straight year with a winning percentage above .500 for Detroit. The last time the Red Wings finished at .500 or below was in 1990-91 when they ended the season at .475.

Looking at the four major sports (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL), there are 23 franchises that have current streaks of five winning seasons or more. The NHL has more than half of those teams with 12. Baseball is next with five; the NBA has four such teams, and the NFL has only two teams that have finished above .500 in five (or more) of the last seasons.

Here’s a look at the 23 pro sports franchises that have current streaks of five or more seasons of finishing above .500.

Franchises, current streak of seasons above .500

Detroit (NHL)     22
New York Yankees (MLB)     21
San Antonio (NBA)     17
Vancouver (NHL)     14
New England (NFL)     13
San Jose (NHL)     10
New York Rangers (NHL)     9
Houston (NBA)     8
Pittsburgh (NHL)     8
Boston (NHL)     7
Chicago (NHL)     7
Philadelphia (NHL)     7
Washington (NHL)     7
Miami (NBA)     6
St. Louis (MLB)     6
Tampa Bay (MLB)     6
St. Louis (NHL)     6
Atlanta (MLB)     5
Texas (MLB)     5
Oklahoma City (NBA)     5
Green Bay (NFL)     5
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)     5
Phoenix (NHL)     5

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Peyton on verge of becoming NFL’s greatest ‘thirty-something’ QB

peyton

Here’s a quick trivia question for you…

Peyton Manning has thrown 491 regular-season TD passes in his NFL career. Have more of his TD passes come when Peyton was in his 20’s or when he was in his 30’s? (The answer will appear in the copy below)

Brett Favre is not going to be happy…

Barring injury, sometime early in the 2014 season Peyton Manning will likely throw his eighth TD pass of the season. That will give him a total of 255 TD passes in his 30’s, passing Favre who holds the NFL mark with 254 TD passes in his 30’s. In addition, 38-year-old Manning, who had 55 TD passes last year, will set his sights on the most TD passes by an NFL QB at age 38. Favre had 31 TD passes at age 38, most in NFL history. If Peyton has a year anywhere near what he had last season, he will shatter Favre’s TD-pass record for a QB age 38.

In his 20’s, Manning had 244 regular-season TD passes (trivia answer: He has more in his 30’s, 247). That was not, however, the most by an NFL QB in his 20’s. Miami’s Dan Marino holds the NFL record for most TD passes by a QB in his 20’s, 245, one more than what Manning had in his 20’s.

Looking at QBs who have played into their 40’s, Warren Moon has the most TD passes by a QB in his 40’s with 37. Second on the list? Favre with 36. (Maybe that will prompt Favre to “unretired” and look to toss two most TD passes to move past Moon on the list.)

As mentioned above, Peyton had 55 TD passes last season at age 37. That passed Kurt Warner who held the mark with 30 TD passes by a QB at age 37.

Here’s a look at the QBs who had the most TD passes at age 21 through age 47 (from 1960-2013).

Age, Quarterback with most TD Passes

21: Fran Tarkenton, 18
22: Dan Marino, 27
23: Dan Marino, Matthew Stafford, 41
24: Dan Marino, 34
25: Dan Marino, 43
26: Brett Favre, 48
27: Aaron Rodgers, 41
28: Peyton Manning, 49
29: Drew Brees, 34
30: Tom Brady, 50
31: Drew Brees, Jim Kelly, 33
32: Drew Brees, 46
33: Drew Brees, 43
34: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, 39
35: Brett Favre, 35
36: Y.A. Tittle, 38
37: Peyton Manning, 55
38: Brett Favre, 31
39: Warren Moon, 23
40: Brett Favre, 27
41: Warren Moon, 17
42: George Blanda, Warren Moon, 2
43: George Blanda, 6
44: George Blanda, Vinny Testaverde, 4
45: George Blanda, 1
46: (None)
47: George Blanda, 1

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Will the 2014 N.L. Central pennant race be the best ever?

NL Central

With less than two months remaining in the baseball season, 20 of the 30 major league teams either lead their division or are within 10 games of first place… 15 of them are either leading the division or within six games of the lead.

In the National League Central, the Milwaukee Brewers have a one-game lead over St. Louis. The third-place Pirates are 1.5 games back and the fourth-place Reds are just 4.5 games behind the Brewers. Of the six divisions, this is the closest race between four divisional teams (the fifth-place Cubs are 13 games back in the division).

Back in 1995 MLB went to three divisions in each league. Since then there have been some great divisional pennant races. In 2007, the N.L. West champs were the Arizona Diamondbacks. Divisional foes Colorado and San Diego each finished one game back. That has been the closest three-team divisional race since 1995. Two years prior to that, the N.L. East had a four-team race where first place and fourth place were separated by only seven games. The Braves won the division that year with Philly two games back and the Marlins and Mets seven games behind at the end of the year.

Here’s a look at the closest divisional races since 1995.

Closest race (3 teams)
American League:  A.L. West 2004 (three games)… Anaheim, champ; Oakland, one game back; Texas, three games back.
National League: N.L. West 2007 (one game)… Arizona, champ; Colorado, one game back; San Diego, one game back.

Closest race (4 teams)
American League: (tie) A.L. East 2008 and A.L. East 2010 (11 games)
National League: N.L. East 2005 (seven games)… Atlanta, champ; Philadelphia, two games back; N.Y. Mets and Florida, seven games back.

Closest race (5 teams)
American League: A.L. Central 2008 (14.5 games)… White Sox, champs; Minnesota, one game back; Cleveland, 7.5 games back; Kansas City, 13.5 games back; Detroit, 14.5 games back.
National League: N.L. East 2005 (nine games)… Atlanta, champ; Philadelphia, two games back; N.Y. Mets and Florida, seven games back; Washington, nine games back.

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