Monthly Archives: August, 2019

Today’s Sportstat: August 12, 2019

Brewers reliever Alex Claudio on pace to set team single-seaosn record for most games pitched

Back in 1971, Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Ken “Bulldog” Sanders led the American League with 83 games pitched. Those 83 games pitched has been the team record for more than four decades. Ray King fell one game short of the record in 2001 when he pitched in 82 games for the Brew Crew.

The record, however, may be seriously challenged this season if Brewers skipper Craig Counsell continues to use left-handed reliever Alex Claudio the way he has in the first 119 games of this season.

Through games of August 11, Claudio, who came to the Brewers last December in a trade with the Texas Rangers, has appeared in 63 games for the Brewers. He is on a pace to finish the season with 86 games pitched, which would surpass Sanders 48-year record for most games pitched in a season.

Claudio has been a workhorse over the past three seasons having appeared in 70 games for Texas in 2017 and 66 for the Rangers last season.

Here’s a look at the Brewers leaderboard of most games pitched in a season:

83-Ken Sanders, 1971
82-Ray King, 2001
78-Will Smith, 2014; Francisco Rodriguez, 2012; Todd Coffey, 2009
77-Derrick Turnbow, 2007
76-Five tied

The major league record for most games pitched in a season is 106 held by Mike Marshall. He pitched in 106 games for the Dodgers in 1974. Following are the nine times in MLB history where a pitcher appeared in 90 of more games in a season. Two pitchers, Mike Marshall and Kent Tekulve, did it three times each… Marshall did it with three different teams.

106-Mike Marshall, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1974
94-Salomon Torres, Pittsburgh, 2006
94-Kent Tekulve, Pittsburgh, 1979
92-Pedro Feliciano, New York Mets, 2010
92-Mike Marshall, Montreal, 1973
91-Kent Tekulve, Pittsburgh, 1978
90-Kent Tekulve, Philadelphia, 1987
90-Mike Marshall, Minnesota, 1979
90-Wayne Granger, Cincinnati, 1969

Claudio has now appeared in 60 or more games in three seasons in his career. While an impressive feat, consider this… Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees reliever (and all-time saves leader) and recent inductee to Baseball’s hall of Fame, appeared in 60 or more games in 15 different seasons, tops in baseball history. Mike Stanton is second on this list with 13 season with 60 or more appearances.

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Today’s Sportstat: August 8, 2019

NFL 2018: Did preseason success predict regular season success last season?

I think most NFL experts would agree that the NFL preseason is mostly about teams finding out which players will ultimately fill out their 53-man rosters. While teams would say they “want” to win, winning a preseason contest seems to be less of a focus than playing a lot of players and evaluating talent.

That having been said, they do keep score and there are still winners and losers in these preseason games. So we must ask the question: Does having success via a win-loss record in the preseason predict regular season success?

To answer this question (at least for the time being) let’s look at the 2018 NFL season to see how the preseason records compared with the regular season records. Here are a few bullet points:

  • Of the 12 playoff teams in 2018, nine won at least two preseason games. In fact, each of the six AFC playoff teams won at least two preseason games.
  • The Baltimore Ravens were the only team to go undefeated in the preseason last season. They made the playoffs with a 10-6 record.
  • There were four teams that did not win a preseason game in 2018: Dallas, Atlanta, Tennessee and Seattle. The Cowboys and Seahawks, however, did make the 2018 playoffs.
  • The 13 teams that won three or more preseason games in 2018 won an average of eight regular season games.
  • The nine teams that won two preseason games in 2018 won an average of 8.6 games in the 2018 regular season.
  • The six teams that won only one preseason game in 2018 won an average of 6.2 games in the ’18 regular season.
  • The four teams that did not win a preseason game in 2018 won an average of nine regular season games last year.
  • The 12 2018 playoff teams won an average of 2.2 preseason games last season.
  • The 20 teams that did not make the 2018 playoffs won an average of 1.95 preseason games last season.

Not very conclusive evidence either way, is there? It is interesting to note that five of the 12 playoff teams last season won three or more preseason games: Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, New England and New Orleans.

But I’m not ready to claim there is a clear link between preseason success and regular season success in the NFL. As I stated earlier, the focus on the preseason contests seems to be less about winning and more about getting reps for younger players and evaluating talent. Winning these preseason games seems to be secondary.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: August 5, 2019

Is Christian McCaffrey ready to become the NFL’s next 1,000-1,000 running back?

In a recent article, Carolina Panthers all-purpose running back Christian McCaffrey mentioned that a goal he has for the 2019 season is to become the next 1,000-1,000 running back… a running back that gains 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards via pass receptions.

McCaffrey, who is starting his third season in the NFL, came close last season: He had 1,098 rushing yards and 867 yards receiving. In the history of the NFL, only two running backs have accumulated 1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving in a season… San Francisco’s Roger Craig did it in 1985 and in 1999 Marshall Faulk became the second member of this exclusive club as a member of the St. Louis Rams

Here’s a look at the running backs who have reached 1,000-1,000 yards in both rushing and receiving in a season along with those who are members of the 900-900 and 800-800 yard clubs.

1,000-1,000 Club (Rushing yards-receiving yards)
Roger Craig, 1985, San Francisco, 1,050-1,016
Marshall Faulk, 1999, St. Louis, 1,381-1,048

900-900 Club
Marshall Faulk, 1998, Indianapolis, 1,319-908
Charlie Garner, 2002, Oakland, 962-941

800-800 Club
Marshall Faulk, 2000, St. Louis, 1,359-830
Steven Jackson, 2006, St. Louis, 1,528-806
Matt Forte, 2014, Chicago, 1,038-808
Le’Veon Bell, 2014, Pittsburgh, 1,361-854
David Johnson, 2016, Arizona, 1,239-879
Christian McCaffrey, 2018, 1,098-867

For Packers fans wondering how close a Green Bay running back came to joining any of the above clubs, there have been four different running backs who have gained 500 or more rushing yards and 500 or more receiving yards in the same season. Edgar Bennett and Ahman Green accomplished the feat twice.

Following are the 500-500 running backs for the Pack in their history.

Gerry Ellis, 1983, 696-603

Edgar Bennett, 1994, 623-546

Edgar Bennett, 1995, 1,067-648

Dorsey Levens, 1999, 1,034-573

Ahman Green, 2000, 1,175-559

Ahman Green, 2001, 1,387-594

 

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Today’s Sportstat: August 1, 2019

Brewers not ‘California Dreamin’ on the west coast

Why is it that every time the Brewers head off on a road trip to the west coast I think something bad is going to happen? Something like a road trip where they go 2-7 or get swept in a series or two on the road out west?

Well, this year the Brewers’ trips out west have not been very successful… and it could be that if they miss the playoffs that lack of success on west coast road trips could be the reason.

Through games of August 1, the Brewers had a 7-18 record in 2019 (a .280 winning percentage) in road games played in the Pacific Time Zone, otherwise known as Pacific Standard Time (PST)… games against the Angels, A’s and Mariners (American League teams) and games versus the Dodgers, Giants and Padres (National League teams. With their recent three-game series in Oakland where they won only one of three games against the A’s in a short three-game series out west, the Brewers are done playing games this season in the PST.

As mentioned above, the Brewers will end the 2019 campaign with a record of 7-18 in games in the PST, again, a winning percentage of .280. That means that with a 57-53 record at the end of the day on August 1 that the Brew Crew are 50-35 (.588 winning percentage) in games not played in the PST. That’s a pretty significant gap between .588 in non-PST games and .280 in PST games.

Last season, the Brewers were 13-7 (.650) in PST games. In 2017, their record in games played in Pacific Time Zone was 11-9 (.550).

Let’s take a look at how well the Brewers have played in games in the Pacific Time Zone since 2009. Against the Angels, Dodgers, A’s, Padres, Mariners and Giants in their home parks, the Brewers have a record of 57-64 (.471). Here is Brewers road record against each of these six PST teams from 2009-2019.

Los Angeles Angels 2-4

Los Angeles Dodgers 21-14

Oakland A’s 2-3

San Diego 16-18

Seattle 3-3

San Francisco 13-22

That’s a losing record against four of these teams, a .500 record against one team, and a winning record against only one PST team since 2009… the Dodgers.

If the Brewers fail to reach the post-season this season, they may look at their paltry 7-18 record against teams on the west coast as one reason for their struggles. Time will tell.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp