Because it’s murder by numbers, one, two, three. It’s as easy to learn as your ABC’s. Murder by numbers, one, two, three. Easy to learn as your A-B-C. -The Police
What’s crack-a-lacking sports fans? I’ll tell you what’s crack-a-lacking. Baseball’s crack-a-lacking. Ahhhh baseball. Like my main man Terrence Mann always says, “America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.” It certainly has. As kids we marked the time by keeping score at the ball park. Nowadays, that type of thing is done for us. It’s all ballbearings now. Statistician Seymour Siwoff of the Elias Sports Bureau once said, “Anybody with a pencil could be a statistician back then (19th Century).” Now? Not so much. Now, statistics are the lifeblood of the game. No other sport studies, dissects and analyzes their numbers as vigilantly as baseball. So who am I to go against the grain? Nobody! That’s who. So let’s take a peak at some interesting 1st half numbers, shall we? Sure we shall!
The Steroid Effect
In Washington, D.C., the best pitcher of his era is on trial. In San Francisco, the best hitter of that said same era awaits the next stage of his own courtroom drama. The era in question is of course the Steroid Era. An Era that is now cemented in baseball lore alongside the Dead Ball Era. The Steroid Era probably began around 1992. That marked the beginning of hard evidence. That was when when Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, and Lenny Dykstra were all implicated. I thnk it’s safe to say, that now, the era has come to a close.
- In 2011, teams have averaged 8.4 runs per game. In 2010 it was 8.9, 9.2 in 2009, 9.1 in 2008, 9.4 in 2007 and 9.8 in 2006. 2011 is the lowest since 1992.
- In 2011, teams have averaged 1.8 home runs per game. In 2010 it was 1.9, 2.1 in 2009, 2.0 in 2008 and 2007 and 2.2 in 2006. 2011 is the lowest since 1993.
- In 2011, teams have a batting average of .253. In 2010 it was .259, .261 in 2009 and 2008, .264 in 2007 and .269 in 2006. 2011 is the lowest since 1972.
Justin Verlander’s Fantasticness
Sing it with me bitches. Follow the bouncing ball. Bless you boys, Detroit is gonna party. Bless you boys, Tigers on fire. Bless you boys, get me to the bleachers. Bless you boys, come on, cheer on! I’m cheering on. I’m cheering on Justin Verlander. I’m cheering on one of the greatest pitching runs I’ve ever seen. Right now, Veralnder is in the midst of pitching the best baseball of his career. A gorilla in the midst. Heck, he’s in the midst of pitching the best baseball of anybody’s career. Don’t believe me? Check this out. We all know about the No-no and close no-nos, but did you know-know that since the 2010 All-Star Game, Justin Verlander is 19-8? Did you know-know that since the 2010 All-Star Game, Justin Verlander has a 2.46 ERA. And did you know-know that since the 2010 All-Star Game, Justin Verlander threw 256 punchados. Well, like Bell Biv DeVoe, now you know. You should also know the last major-league pitcher to have that many wins with an ERA under 2.50 and at least 250 strikeouts from break to break was Randy Johnson for Arizona from 2001 to 2002. You know what else Randy Johnson did in 2002? Huh? Do ya? In 2002, Randy Johnson won the NL pitching Triple Crown en route to a Cy Young Award. That’s what Randy Johnson done did. I’m just sayin.’ I’m also just sayin’ Verlander has a real shot at this year’s AL Triple Crown and Cy Young Award. I’m also sayin’ that even though my boy Adrian Gonzalez is considered the first half MVP, Verlander has been more important and valuable to his team. So there!
Jose Bautista In A League of His Own
Chicks dig the long ball as do we here at JQP Productions. And, like my main man Jackie Wilson always sings, “That is why, that is why, we love Jose Bautista so.” Well he sang something like that. I’m singing this: Since the 2010 All-Star Game, Joey Bats has hit 61 bombs with a .312 batting average, 127 runs scored and 133 RBIs. Yikes! For those of you keeping score at home, only three other players in major-league history have gone break-to-break hitting .300 or higher with at least 60 homers, 125 RBIs and 125 runs scored. Only Albert Belle from 1995 to 1996 (.306, 63 HR, 149 RBI, 135 R), Ken Griffey, Jr. from 1997 to 1998 (.300, 61 HR, 142 RBI, 134 R), Sammy Sosa from 2001 to 2002 (.325, 63 HR, 135 RBI, 137 R). You get your name mentioned with Belle, Griffey Jr. and Sosa, you’re doing something. You’re doing something pretty gosh darned special.
This Just In: Phillies Still Good
As mentioned previously, scoring is down again across baseball. You know what that means boys and girls? Sure you do. That means pitching rules the day. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has better pitching than the Philadelphia Phillies. Don’t believe me? Just ask Brian McCann. McCann on what makes the Phillies the best team in baseball: “You’re walking into a buzz saw.” Said buzz saw allowed the Fightins’ to go 107-59 (.645) from the 2010 to 2011 All-Star Game. Big deal you say? Who cares you say? I say the other top five are nowheres close. I say the Giants went 97-69 to put them at .584. The Yankees? 92-70 for .568. Red Sox (93-71; .567), and Braves (93-73; .560). Wait! There’s more! The Phillies have a legitimate shot at becoming the first pitching staff in 22 years to post an ERA lower than 3.00. The 1989 Los Angeles Dodgers pitched their way to a 2.95 mark. But make no mistakes, this Phillies team is far far better than that Dodgers team. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known. World F’n Champions!
Peace out homies. Six two and even!