Monthly Archives: June, 2015

SIX STATS you may not know about… 2014 NBA Draft choices


Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

This past Thursday 60 players were drafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. Last year, the same number of players were drafted by the 30 NBA teams in two rounds. Here’s a look at six stats you may not know about the players who were drafted in 2014 and their performances in their first year in the NBA (2014-15 season).

1. Of the 60 players drafted in 2014, 15 played in 50 or more NBA games in the 2014-15 season. Three players played in all 82 games: Andrew Wiggins (#1 pick of Cleveland who was traded and played for Minnesota this past season); Dante Exum (#5 pick of Utah); and Elfrid Payton (#10 pick of Philadelphia who was traded to and played for Orlando this season). Wiggins played the most minutes of any player selected in the 2014 draft with 2,969.

2. Four of the 60 players drafted averaged 10 or more points for the season. Wiggins led the group with a 16.9 average. He was followed by Jabari Parker (#2 pick of the Bucks) at 12.3 points per game, Jordan Clarkson (the #46 pick of Washington who was traded and played for the Lakers) at 11.9/ppg, and Zach LaVine (the #13 pick of the Timberwolves) who averaged 10.1/ppg. Twenty-eight of the 60 players drafted scored at least 100 points in the 2014-15 season.

3. Jusuf Nurkic led those players in the 2014 draft with 382 rebounds. He was drafted 16th by the Bulls and was traded and played for Denver in 2014-15. Elfrid Payton led 2014 draftees with 533 assists.

4. Three players from the 2014 draft ended their first season in the NBA with at least 200 points, 200 assists and 200 rebounds: Zach LaVine, Eldrid Payton and Marcus Short, the sixth pick of the Boston Celtics.

5. Forty-two of the 60 players drafted in the 2014 NBA Draft played in the league last year. Of the 18 that did not play in the NBA last season, four were drafted in the first round, 14 were second-round selections. The four first-rounders who did not play in the NBA last year: Joel Embiid (the third overall pick of Philadelphia who missed the whole season due to an injury); Darro Saric (the #12 overall pick by Orlando who played professionally in Turkey); Bogdan Bogdanovic (the 27th overall pick of Phoenix who played professionally in Turkey); and Josh Huestis (the 29th pick of Oklahoma City who played in the NBA-D League).

6. Three second-rounders scored 400 or more points last season in the NBA: K.J. McDaniels (the #32 pick who was drafted by Philadelphia and scored 487 for the 76ers and Houston); Jerami Grant (the #39 pick  of the 76ers who scored 411 points for the team); and Jordan Clarkson (the #46 pick who scored 703 points for the Lakers in 2014-15).

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Is K-Rod primed for another perfect save season for the Brewers?


With a save on Wednesday against the New York Mets, Milwaukee’s Francisco Rodriguez picked up his 15th save this season in 15 opportunities. He is one of five relievers this season who have 10 or more saves and have not blown a save, a perfect 100% save percentage. The others: Glen Perkins (24 saves with Minnesota), Andrew Miller (17 saves with the Yankees), Jonathan Papelbon (13 saves with the Phillies) and Shawn Tolleson (10 saves with Texas).

In the Brewers history, only one relief pitcher has gone a whole season with 10 or more saves and not have a blown save… you guessed it, K-Rod did it for the Brewers in 2013 when he had 10 saves in 10 attempts.

Here’s a look at the Brewers relief pitchers who have saved 90% or more of their save attempts (minimum of 10 saves to qualify for the list) in a season:

Francisco Rodriguez, 2013, 100.0% (10 saves)
John Axford, 2011, 95.8% (46 saves)
Doug Jones, 1997, 94.7% (36 saves)
Doug Henry, 1991, 93.8% (15 saves)
Curtis Leskanic, 2000, 92.3% (12 saves)
Danny Kolb, 2003, 91.3% (21 saves)
Derrick Turnbow, 2005, 90.7 (39 saves)
Trevor Hoffman, 2009, 90.2 (37 saves)
Mike DeJean, 2002, 90.0 (27 saves)

There have been seven pitchers in MLB history who have a 100% save percentage (minimum of 20 saves in a season). The last relief pitcher to accomplish this feat was Jose Valverde of the Detroit Tigers in 2011. He had 49 saves that season and no blown saves. Eric Gagne holds the MLB mark with 55 saves and no blown saves in 2003 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The other pitcher with 40-plus saves and a 100% save percentage is Philadelphia’s Brad Lidge in 2008 when he was perfect in 41 save attempts.

Can K-Rod finish the season without a blown save and become the second relief pitcher in MLB history (with a minimum of 10 saves in the season) to have a 100% save percentage in two different seasons (Rod Beck is currently the only pitcher to achieve this; he had 28 saves in 28 save opportunities for the Giants in 1994 and 20 saves in 20 attempts for the Padres in 2003)?

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Pitchers with no-hitter and one-hitter in the same season

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer

Back on June 14 Washington’s Max Scherzer tossed a one-hitter versus the Brewers. In his next start six days later, Scherzer did it one better by pitching a no-hitter against the Pirates. In tossing a one-hitter and a no-hitter in the same season, Scherzer became the 24th pitcher in the last 75 years to do so.

Here’s a rundown of those 24 pitchers in the last 75 years with both a no-hitter and one-hitter in the same season.

2015: Max Scherzer, Washington
2012: Matt Cain, San Francisco
2001: Hideo Nomo, Boston
1998: Tom Browning, Cincinnati
1997: Kevin Brown, Florida
1990: Nolan Ryan, Texas
1977: Dennis Eckersley, Cleveland
1974: Nolan Ryan, California
1973: Jim Bibby, Texas
1973: Nolan Ryan, California (two no-hitters and one one-hitter)
1970: Vida Blue, Oakland
1969: Jim Maloney, Cincinnati
1968: Gaylord Perry, San Francisco
1967: Dean Chance, Minnesota (two no-hitters and one one-hitter)
1965: Jim Maloney, Cincinnati
1965: Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers
1964: Jim Bunning, Philadelphia
1959: Sam Jones, San Francisco
1952: Virgil Trucks, Detroit (two no-hitters, one one-hitter)
1948: Rex Barney, Brooklyn
1946: Bob Feller, Cleveland (one no-hitter, two one-hitters)
1944: Jim Tobin, Boston Braves (two no-hitters, one one-hitter)
1941: Lon Warnecke, St. Louis
1940: Bob Feller, Cleveland

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Will Brewers pitching staff have a 20-game loser this season?

Kyle Lohse

Kyle Lohse

When you have the second-worst record in the majors you are bound to have more than a few times when your team or your players’ names will appear in a negative stats column. Case in point: The Brewers have two pitchers who are among the six tied for the most pitching losses this season with nine. Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse each have lost nine games (through games of Sunday, June 21); Garza  is 4-9, while Lohse has a 3-9 record. That means that Garza and Lohse (and the other four hurlers with nine defeats) are on a pace to lose 20 for the season.

Twenty-game losers, however, are pretty rare. In fact, the last 20-game loser was Detroit’s Mike Maroth who lost 21 in 2003. Prior to that, Brian Kingman lost 20 games for the Oakland A’s in 1980. That’s right, only two pitchers have lost 20 games in a season since 1980. From 1901-1979, there were 199 20-game losers in the majors.

There are a lot of reasons for the decline in 20-game losers in baseball: The increased dependence on bullpens, fewer starts by pitchers, and starting pitchers who are taken out of games when they can’t lose the game (they are replaced when the tying run is at the plate and the relief pitcher takes the loss if more runs score).

The reason I think 20-game losers have become a rare breed is simply that teams, managers, players (and agents) don’t want to see pitchers tabbed as a 20-game loser. Because of that, teams are shutting down starting pitchers when they get to 18 and 19 losses for the season. There’s some mythical sore arm or other malady, or the team is looking to give others pitchers more work. That way the staff doesn’t have the stigma of having a 20-game loser. Note: Since 1980 there have been 39 pitchers who lost 18 or 19 games in a season.

Which gets us back to the Brewers. Their only 20-game loser was Clyde Wright in 1974. They have had 24 pitchers lose 15 or more games in a season. Three of those pitchers lost 15 or more multiple times: Jim Slaton (four seasons), Cal Eldred and Skip Lockwood (twice each). Here is a look at the Brewers pitchers who have lost the most games in a season.

20: Clyde Wright (1974)
18: Danny Darwin (1985), Jerry Augustine (1977), Jim Slaton (1975), Lew Krausse (1970)
17: Jimmy Haynes (2001), Bill Parsons (1971)
16: Glendon Rusch (2002), Cal Eldred (1993), Jaime Cocanower (1984), Bill Travers (1976), Pete Broberg (1975), Jim Slaton (1974), Ben Sheets (2002)

The Brewers have had two or more pitchers lose 15 or more games in six seasons (1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 2002). They had three pitchers lose 15+ games in 1976.

So, will the Brewers have a 20-game loser in 2015? First, there is still a lot of season left and the team could turn things around and start winning a little more. That would certainly lessen the chance of one of their pitchers losing 20 games. If, however, their season continues with winning less than 40% of their games, the possibility will increase. My opinion is that there will not be a 20-game loser in Milwaukee. Trades are likely where Garza and/or Lohse could be dealt to teams looking for a middle of the rotation starter for a pennant run; if either is still around towards the end of the season and approaches 20 losses, I think the club will shut them down and go with youngsters to give them a chance.

What do you think?

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The record former Padres manager Bud Black did not want

Bud Black

Bud Black

The San Diego Padres this week fired long-time manager Bud Black. The team was hovering around the .500 mark and with several free agent moves this past season, the team was hoping for a better run at the top spot in the National League West in 2015.

Black compiled a 649-713 (.477) record in eight-plus seasons with the Padres. He was the 2010 N.L. Manager of the Year when the team was 92-70 and finished two games out of first and one game short of winning the league wild card that season. He had two seasons over .500 and no post-season appearances during his tenure.

Black’s Padres never won a division title during his eight full seasons. That’s the ultimate answer to the statement made in the title of this blog. Black’s 1,362 games with the Padres are the most games managed by a National League manager who never saw his team finish in first place. Fortunately for Black, he does not hold the MLB record; Chicago White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes, who skippered the White Sox from 1934-46, managed the White Sox for 1,850 games and never saw Chicago’s Southsiders ever finish in first place during that time.

Here’s a look at the 19 managers who managed a team for 1,000 or more games yet never saw the team finish in first place.

Games, Manager, Team (Years)

1,850, Jimmy Dykes, Chicago White Sox (1934-46)
1,364, Clark Griffith, Washington Senators (1912-20)
1,362, Bud Black, San Diego Padres (2007-15)
1,333, Bill Rigney, L.A./California Angels (1961-69)
1,332, Gene Mauch, Philadelphia Phillies (1960-68)
1,235, Bill McKechnie, Boston Braves (1930-37)
1,209, Jimmy McAleer, St. Louis Browns (1902-09)
1,186, Bobby Valentine, Texas Rangers (1985-92)
1,180, Phil Garner, Milwaukee Brewers (1992-99)
1,159, Clint Hurdle, Colorado Rockies (2002-09)
1,127, Gene Mauch, Montreal Expos (1969-75)
1,119, Pinky Higgins, Boston Red Sox (1955-62)
1,085, Frankie Frisch, Pittsburgh Pirates (1940-46)
1,078, Bucky Harris, Detroit Tigers (1929-33; 55-56)
1,065, Leo Durocher, Chicago Cubs (1966-72)
1,063, Paul Richards, Baltimore Orioles (1955-61)
1,020, Buck Rodgers, Montreal Expos (1985-91)
1,004, Mel Ott, New York Giants (1942-48)
1,003, Bobby Valentine, New York Mets (1996-2002)

Note: Two managers appeared twice on the above list, Gene Mauch and Bobby Valentine.

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