Monthly Archives: May, 2018

Today’s Sports Stat: May 27, 2018

With their Game Six win over Houston, the Golden State Warriors forced a Game Seven in the Western Conference Finals. By doing so, for the first time in almost 40 years we have both conference finals series going to a decisive Game Seven.

The last time both conference finals series went to a seventh game was in 1979 when the Seattle Supersonics beat the Phoenix Suns in Game Seven to advance to the ’79 NBA Finals and the Washington Bullets won Game Seven over the San Antonio Spurs to reach the finals that same year. The only other time both conference finals went to a seventh game was in 1963.

For the Celtics and Rockets this year, they have history on their side when it comes to conference finals Game Seven; the home team has won Game Seven of the conference finals 26 of the 33 times. The good news for the Warriors and Cavs is that there have been seven times when an away team has won Game Seven of conference finals. Those seven times:

1968: Boston
1971: Baltimore
1973: New York Knicks
1976 Phoenix
1982: Philadelphia
2002: Los Angeles Lakers
2005: Detroit

As you might expect, the Boston Celtics have had the most Game Seven wins in the conference finals (also called the division finals at one time). The Celts have won seven Game Sevens in conference/division finals. The Lakers are second in this category with five such wins.

On the flip side, the Indiana Pacers have lost the most conference/division finals Game Sevens with four. They are followed by the Celtics, Philadelphia76ers and St. Louis Hawks with three each.

One final stat: The 33 teams that have won a conference/division finals by winning Game Seven have only gone on to win the NBA Finals that year 16 times. Fatigue factor?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sports Stat: May 21, 2018

Not that the Houston Rockets needed any more bad news after their 126-85 drubbing at the hands of the Golden State Warriors in Game Three of their Western Conference Finals series, but suffering a 40-point loss in the conference finals did not bode well for previous teams who suffered such a classic beatdown.

The Rockets 41-point loss to Golden State was the sixth time in conference finals history that a team has been defeated by 40 or more points. And in four of the previous five times, the team that lost that blowout also lost the series.

Here’s a look at the six conference finals games where there was a 40-point differential in the score.

1958: St. Louis 145, Detroit 101 (44-point difference)

1973: L.A. Lakers 126, Golden State 70 (56-point difference)

1982: Boston 121, Philadelphia 81 (40-point difference)

1985: L.A. Lakers 153, Denver 109 (44-point difference)

2017: Cleveland 130, Boston 86 (44-point difference)

2018: Golden State 126, Houston 85 (41-point difference)

The only team to lose a conference finals game by 40 or more points and still win the conference finals series were the 1982 Philadelphia 76ers. Boston defeated the 76ers 121-81 in Game One of the series, a 40-point whupping, but the 76ers ended up winning the series in seven games and advanced to the NBA Finals that year.

Will the Rockets fall in the series, or will they be able to recover from this historic loss and win the series against the Warriors?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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.

 

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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