Was Babe Ruth ever poor

Grand Slam on Thursday 18/2019

May 2nd, 2019 by Silversurger

May has come and the MLB has a new top team: With 20 wins from 30 games, the St. Louis Cardinals are currently right at the front. Her former top prospect Alex Reyes shouldn't feel like celebrating: First he was transferred to the minor league because of poor performance, then things didn't go well there in the first start and finally a wall had to be used for the pent-up frustration apparently resisted with full force. In any case, Reyes broke his little finger, is now out for several weeks and is hereby officially nominated for the MRI Award 2019. Logan Webb, the top pitching prospect of the San Francisco Giants, has done a bit more stupid: he has apparently tried to improve his performance with the banned substance dehydrochloromethyltestosterone. After the positive test for the doping agent, he was banned for 80 games and should have missed the chance to make the leap into the MLB roster this year.

National League
The teams in the National League East haven't had a particularly good week. The only exception to this are the Philadelphia Phillies (17-13). Their 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins (9-21) is responsible for the fact that they are the only ones in the division with a positive record. The New York Mets (15-15) and the Atlanta Braves (15-15) have not yet found their rhythm and are just keeping afloat with fluctuating performances. With the Mets in particular, you have to doubt whether this will go well for a long time, because with a run differential of -20 and the most permitted runs (169) in the entire NL you are usually not at 15-15. The Washington Nationals (12-17) are already one step further on the way into the crisis, which means: They are right in the middle of it. They have only won one of the last seven games and that took 11 innings against the Padres. Now, of all times, the Nationnals are facing a difficult away tour (Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers).

With wins in ten of their last eleven games, the St. Louis Cardinals (20-10) are currently not giving anyone an opportunity to get close to them at NL Central. But at the weekend it could be exciting, because the Chicago Cubs (16-12) welcome the Cardinals for a three-game series for a top duel (see "TV tip"). The Cubs got off to a really bad start in the first two weeks of the season. Since then they have not lost a series and have now achieved the strongest run differential (+38) in the NL. The Milwaukee Brewers (17-15) cannot keep up with a run ratio of -9, but with successes in two out of three games against the Mets and the Rockies they seem to have overcome their intermediate low. The upcoming series against again the Mets and the Nationals sound like solvable tasks. The Pittsburgh Pirates (14-14) should have little to do with the playoffs, but with two wins against the Rangers at least the free fall of eight defeats in a row is stopped for the first time.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (20-13) are right on track in NL West, but have to deal with two setbacks: first, a 1: 2 lost series at arch-rivals San Francisco Giants (13-18), second, an injury to centerfielder A. J. Pollock. The latter is an infection in the right elbow, which had to be operated on in 2016. At that time a metal plate was used; a screw must now be removed from this, which probably caused the problems. Pollock will be out for a few weeks after the procedure. The Dodgers now have three games to play with the San Diego Padres (17-14), while the Colorado Rockies (14-17) face the Arizona Diamondbacks (18-13) in Denver. So it will be a really interesting weekend in NL West with lots of direct duels between the four best teams in the division.

American League
Can the Tampa Bay Rays (19-11) stay at the top of the American League East forever? A 2-0 sweep at the Boston Red Sox (14-17) last weekend gave hope, but the lost double header in Kansas City yesterday was a bitter setback. Fortunately for the Rays, the New York Yankees (17-13) could not capitalize on it as they lost their two games in Arizona. The big news for the Toronto Blue Jays (14-16) was the long-awaited arrival of super talent Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which was announced last week. So far, Vlad Jr. could not justify the hype, in five games he hit a slashline of .167 / .286 / .222. But five games are next to nothing in baseball; So there is still no reason to be disappointed.

The Minnesota Twins (18-10) are anything but a disappointment so far. They now have the best record not only for AL Central, but also for the entire AL. Most recently there were two wins from three games against the Astros, before that a sweep against the Orioles. Max Kepler contributed four home runs to the three victories over Baltimore, and “our” man in the MLB is also playing a very good season (.277 / .349 / .564, 7 HR). In second place are the Cleveland Indians (16-13), who not only had to digest a 2: 4 at the Marlins last night, but also the much worse news that they will have to do without their ace Corey Kluber for a while. Kluber was hit in the pitching arm by a comebacker from Brian Anderson and suffered a fracture. After Danny Salazar and Mike Clevinger, he is already the third starter for the Indians to be out for at least a few weeks.

In the AL West, the Houston Astros (18-13) could not convince this week - a split against the Indians was followed by two defeats in three games against the Twins - but that didn't hurt them because the pursuers weakened even more. Both the Seattle Mariners (18-15) and the Texas Rangers (14-15) have lost seven of their last nine games - and recorded their only wins in the 2-2 split in direct clashes. The Oakland Athletics (14-19) are also falling. After a 6-0 balance from the games in Toronto and Boston, they only have the station in Pittsburgh so that they do not return home from their east coast trip empty-handed.

Scene of the week
Actually, I wanted to pay tribute at this point to the beer shower that Ryan Braun from the Milwaukee Brewers (!) Was given in Citi Field when he tried to catch a flyball from Pete Alonso (note the poorly hidden message "This Bud's for you" in the Background):

The Dodgers fan would also have been worth seeing, who first gave up a portion of French fries in the hunt for a foul ball - and an inning later threw the pizza piece that he had got as a replacement:

But Yankees pitcher C. C. Sabathia leaves me no choice but to focus on another scene. With his 3,000th strikeout, the 38-year-old reached a milestone that only 16 people before him had mastered and was rightly celebrated for it:

Statistics of the week
1.998. Albert Pujols has achieved so many RBIs in his career so far. This is a smaller number than the strikeouts of C. C. Sabathia, but it is even more impressive. Pujols is officially in third place in the all-time ranking, on which he has overtaken Lou Gehrig (1.994) and Barry Bonds (1.996) in the last few days. Only Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) are ahead of Pujols. Incidentally, it is unofficially “only” in fifth place; that's because RBI wasn't introduced as a statistic until 1920, so some of Babe Ruth's 2,214 RBIs and all of Cap Anson's 2,075 RBIs don't count towards the MLB's record list.

Game of the week
Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates had a lot to tell. The first was the story of two older men: Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill (39) returned from his injury break and formed with catcher Russel Martin (36) what is probably the oldest battery duo that the MLB currently has to offer. Things went rather mediocre for Hill - although he completed 6 innings in which he scored 6 strikeuots and only allowed one earned run, these values ​​are somewhat flattering because an error in the second inning prevented him from being credited with another four runs. The second story was that of a very young man: Cody Bellinger, 23, brought the first run with a sac-fly, the second run with a home run and the seventh and last run of his team over the record with a single. Incidentally, the home run was the 14th in the current season, which Bellinger set a record: Only four players have ever managed to achieve so many home runs before May 1 of a season - Albert Pujols in 2006, Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger 2019. The third story was that of a team that flew high and fell low in the young season. The Pirates gave up a 5-1 lead and ended up losing their eighth game in a row by 6-7. But luckily it's baseball and in the next game it was the Pirates themselves who celebrated a dramatic comeback.

My switch-on tip
A heated duel between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs has broken out in NL Central. The three game gap between the two comes from the Cubs' weak start to the season, but shouldn't hide the fact that both teams are in absolutely impressive form at the moment. From Friday to Sunday, the Cubs have three home games against the Cardinals and therefore have no bad chances of reducing the gap or even catching up. Unfortunately, DAZN completely ignores this interesting series, so you can only follow it via mlb.tv. Both on Friday (8:20 p.m.) and Saturday (10:05 p.m.) the games come at European-friendly times, while the game on Sunday (1:05 ​​a.m.) is more for night owls.

Posted in Grand Slam, MLB Tagged with: Aaron, Anson, Bellinger, Bonds, Braun, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Gehrig, Giants, Guerrero, Hill, Kepler, Kluber, Martin, Pirates, Pollock, Pujols, Reyes, Rodriguez , Ruth, Sabathia, Webb

The greatest baseball player of all time: Babe Ruth

January 15th, 2019 by Silversurger

If this series about the greatest baseball players were not in chronological order but in order of importance, there would be no question of who should be number one. George Herman Ruth, popularly known as Babe Ruth, is the greatest star that baseball has seen to this day and by whom everyone else has to be measured to this day.

In Ruth's early childhood, there was little to suggest that he would become a top athlete. His parents of German descent, who ran a saloon in Baltimore, couldn't get along with him. In the first year of school he often skipped school and secretly drank beer. Eventually, at the age of seven, he was sent to a Catholic reformatory. It turned out to be a godsend for him. Despite or maybe because of the strictly regulated everyday life, he felt comfortable in the home. Above all, a priest discovered and promoted his talent for baseball there. At 19, Ruth was signed by his hometown team, the Baltimore Orioles. After just a few games in the minor league, he was sold to the Boston Red Sox.

In Boston, Ruth first established himself as a pitcher and won the World Series in 1915, 1916 and 1918 with the Red Sox. As a batter, he was already drawing attention to himself, especially because of his new approach to targeting home runs over the fence. In 1918 he led the league with eleven home runs, although he played far fewer games than most batter because of the rest breaks necessary as a pitcher. In 1919 he hit an unbelievable 29 home runs for the time. Although he was a good pitcher, he was used less and less because he was wanted in the lineup every day. The Red Sox played a poor season that year, but because of the spectacular Ruth, the audience numbers exploded compared to the previous year.

It was followed by the fateful January 3, 1920, when the then owner of the Red Sox, Harry Frazee, sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $ 125,000. This transaction is considered to be one of the biggest mistakes in baseball history. Ruth went from being an already very good player to possibly the best player of all time. In his first year in New York, he hit 54 home runs and pulverized the best value he had set himself the year before. In 1927 he cemented the mark with 60 home runs - a record that would last for 34 years. In total, he hit 714 home runs, the third most in MLB history to date.

The Yankees, who had never reached the World Series before, rose to become the dominant team in their sport with Ruth. With him they won the first four of their now 27 championships. The Red Sox, on the other hand, sank into mediocrity for decades after the sale of Ruth and a few other players. They had to wait a whopping 86 years until they won a World Series for the first time in 2004 and finally broke the “curse of the Bambino”.

Babe Ruth was an exceptional athlete who never lived like one: he smoked, drank, ate hot dogs in large quantities and surrounded himself with frequently changing women. But he was also very involved in social projects and was always accessible to his fans. He had a particularly good connection with children - presumably because he always remained a child's head to a certain extent.

Together with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth formed the first Hall of Fame class in 1936. He died of cancer in 1948 at the age of 53.

(1) Source: Wikimedia, author: Paul Thompson (PD-US)

Posted in The Greatest Baseballers, MLB Tagged With: Babe Ruth, Ruth, The Babe, The Colossus of Clout, The Great Bambino, The King of Crash, The Sultan of Swat, The Titan of Terror

What can the new DRC + statistics do?

December 9th, 2018 by Silversurger

Once again there is a new statistic on the market. Deserved Runs Created Plus, or DRC + for short, is the name of the indicator developed by Baseball Prospectus and presented this week. DRC + provides an overall assessment of a player's performance as a batter.

The most important contribution to DRC + is the results of the plate appearances of the player in question - hits, walks, strikeouts, groundouts and everything else that can happen. These results are then weighted - firstly according to the amount of contribution they make to achieving runs (e.g. a double has a higher positive contribution than a walk, a strikeout, on the other hand, has a negative contribution and leads to a double play even more negative); second, according to the extent to which the batter himself is responsible for them (i.e. one tries to isolate one's own contribution from the influences of chance, fellow players, opposing field players, etc.); thirdly, according to the context in which they were scored (e.g. in which ball park, against which pitcher, etc.).

The plus in DRC + is known from other statistics such as ERA +, OPS + and so on. It means that the indicator is put into an easy-to-read form by defining a value of 100 as the average. So you can see directly whether the DRC + of a battery is above or below 100, whether it is an above or below average batter. As a rule of thumb, you can speak of a good batter from 120 DRC + and an excellent batter from 145 DRC +.

That sounds interesting, but of course you involuntarily ask yourself what does this new parameter do differently - and ideally better - than known indicators with a comparable claim, e.g. wOBA, wRC + or OPS +. In fact, all of these indicators show relatively high statistical correlations in comparison with each other and with DRC +. So they measure largely the same. According to the calculations presented by Baseball Prospectus, DRC + provides more accurate measurements compared to the other values, i.e. a smaller assumed random error and a greater predictive ability. The latter is achieved above all by the fact that DRC + places a stronger emphasis than the other values ​​on isolating and subtracting random and externally caused influences on the battery's performance.

It remains to be seen whether DRC + will succeed in replacing OPS + and wRC + as the most cited Sabermetrics for batting performance. The approach is promising in any case, and I am curious to see how the other institutions of baseball statistics - especially fangraphs and baseball references - react to the advance of Baseball Prospectus.

Of course, I don't want to end the article without giving a few specific figures. According to the new statistics, the best batter of the 2018 season was Mike Trout with 180 DRC + ahead of Mookie Betts with 174 DRC +. The first five places in the ranking are firmly in the hands of the American League, Christian Yelich (145 DRC +), the first player from the National League, is only in sixth place. Historically, Babe Ruth was the best batter over his career with 197 DRC +, followed by Ted Williams (180 DRC +), Barry Bonds (175 DRC +) and Lou Gehrig (168 DRC +). It should be noted that DRC + has so far only been calculated for the period from 1921; therefore, for example, the early years of Babe Ruth and much of Ty Cobb's career are not taken into account.

Posted in MLB, Statistics Tagged With: Baseball Prospectus, DRC +, Ruth, Trout

Bundesliga: detention after Wilhelm's perfect day

September 18th, 2018 by Silversurger

Honestly, who's heard of Ernie Shore? The name didn't mean anything to me so far, but a little more than a hundred years ago the good gentleman achieved an achievement that is still considered the best Rellieve appearance in MLB history: On June 23, 1917, Babe Ruth started as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox versus Washington Senators. He walked the first batter and then flew off because he complained massively to the umpire about the umpire's decision. In his place, Ernie Shore came into play. The runner he had inherited from Ruth was thrown out on a steal attempt and Shore worked off all 26 batter who faced him without allowing another baserunner. It was a perfect game of his, but it did not find an entry in the official list of the Perfect Games because he was missing the one batter who had the walk against Ruth.

Why do I tell age-old stories from America, even though this is supposed to be about the Bundesliga? I would like to help with the classification of what an unbelievable event happened on Sunday in Bonn. It was the fourth game in the semi-final series between the Capitals and the Regensburg Legionnaires. Regensburg had previously won two out of three games and therefore only needed one win to move into the final. Bonn absolutely needed the win to force a fifth game. Accordingly, both teams fought doggedly. Regensburg took a 2-0 lead, Bonn equalized shortly before the end and after nine innings it was 2-2. From the tenth inning onwards, Maurice Wilhelm took over the mound for the Capitals and he succeeded in something that no pitcher has ever succeeded in in the MLB (and almost certainly in the Bundesliga): He fired a full nine innings as a reliever, without a single opponent Base to come. Since the game neither started nor ended with him as pitcher - after inning number 18 it was still 2-2 - the game cannot be rated as the second perfect game in Bundesliga history, even if it is to be equated with one.

In the 19th inning of the game in question, the Bonn team finally managed to hit the winning run home after having brought runner onto the bases but no one over the plate in every extra inning. Incidentally, the walk-off run after a hit by Danny Lankhorst scored - listen and be amazed! - Maurice Wilhelm. With this game, the MVP of the years 2016 and 2017 in the Bundesliga North set his own monument.

After a five-and-a-half-hour marathon duel, you probably have something else in mind than to start another game right away, but that was exactly what had to be on Sunday in Bonn: With the win, the Capitals had equalized the series to 2-2 and the decisive fifth game was scheduled, to take place immediately after the fourth. The legionnaires were anything but happy because they had run out of pitchers in the meantime and it was already foreseeable that the game could not be played to the end due to the onset of darkness. But the game started at 6 p.m. and played until the bottom half of the fifth inning. At the time of the cancellation, Bonn had just taken a 3-2 lead and had two runners on their bases. The game will continue with exactly this game situation, but not until two weeks later, on September 29th. An appointment next weekend was not possible because the German U15 youth championship is taking place in Bonn. For this reason, the DBV decided to start the finals for the German championship from 29./30. September to October 3rd.

Heidenheim Heideköpf can prepare for these games in a relaxed manner. The champions of the Bundesliga South lived up to their role as favorites against the Solingen Alligatos in their semi-final series and brought them over the stage with smooth 3-0 victories. Game one (9: 8) was still a close affair, games two (11: 0) and three (15: 0) were played so well by the Heathers that they ended after seven innings by the 10-run grace rule .

Posted in Baseball in Germany, MLB Tagged with: Alligators, Capitals, German Championship, Heideköpfe, Lankhorst, Legionaries, Ruth, Shore, Wilhelm

Grand Slam on Thursday 35/2017

August 31st, 2017 by Silversurger

The Los Angeles Dodgers are beatable and they won't break the record for most regular season wins this year. That is probably the central realization of this MLB week after the strongest team in the league has just lost four times in a row. The winners of the week, meanwhile, are the Baltimore Orioles, who are back in the fight for a wild card in the AL, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have probably finally booked their wild card in the NL, and the Cleveland Indians, whose strong second half of the season is most likely in Division victory will culminate.

American League
In the American League East the decision is approaching: After the Boston Red Sox (76-57) have just won three times in a row against the Toronto Blue Jays (61-72) and the New York Yankees (70-62) just as often against the Cleveland Indians lost, the gap between the two is already five and a half games. Over the weekend, the Red Sox travel to the Yankees in the hope of closing the sack in the four direct encounters. The Yankees need at least a 3-1, but better a sweep to keep hopes of division victory alive. Otherwise, your eyes will inevitably be directed downwards, because the Yankees' lead in the wild card race has melted into a single game. Unexpectedly, the pursuers no longer come from the other two divisions, because everything is suddenly possible again for the Baltimore Orioles (68-65) after seven victories in a row.

Meanwhile, AL Central is increasingly differentiating itself: What was a close three-way battle for the division title not so long ago is now first of all a clear dominance of the Cleveland Indians (76-56); second, a good prospect for the Minnesota Twins (69-63) to participate in the wild card game; third, a largely over-run season for the Kansas City Royals (65-67). The first and third development resulted from the direct duel between the Indians and the Royals last weekend, which the Indians won with an impressive shutout sweep (4: 0, 4: 0, 12: 0). Max Kepler (.247 / .315 / .435) scored the second Grand Slam of his young MLB career for the Twins on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Congratulations, Max!

The AL West is still sovereignly led by the Houston Astros (79-53), who of course have every right in the world, given the natural disaster that has befallen their city, not to concentrate fully on baseball at the moment. Nevertheless, a "home" series is currently being played in Tampa Bay against the Rangers, in which the two previous games 2:12 and 1: 8 were lost. But on Saturday it's back to their own stadium (see “Game of the coming week”) and I can well imagine that the Astros will be carried away by a mood that will now give everything for their city and its residents. In any case, the division leadership is not in danger, the attention of the Los Angeles Angels (69-65) is entirely on the wild card race. In the division they are clearly ahead of the Texas Rangers (66-66), who they will meet over the weekend in a possibly decisive three-game series. The Seattle Mariners (66-68) are almost out of the running after five defeats in a row.

National League
The National League East almost got interesting again - not when it comes to the division victory, which nobody has been contesting the Washington Nationals (81-51) for a long time. But the Miami Marlins (66-66), supported by Giancarlo Stanton's unbelievable homerun power, gave the impression for a short time that they could reach the wild card again. But then they let the Nationals sweep them in three games and the gap to the Colorado Rockies is again five and a half games, which they probably won't catch up - and if they do, the Milwaukee Brewers are in between. In the end, the Marlins will probably have no more than the prestige of second place in the NL East, which will not be taken from them by either the Atlanta Braves (59-72) or the New York Mets (58-74). Not from the Philadelphia Phillies (49-83), still the worst team in the league, anyway.

The St. Louis Cardinals (66-66) are doing similarly to the Marlins: They too briefly hoped to get close again, but after only three wins from the last ten games, the train should have left. This applies to both the wild cards and the battle for division victory in NL Central. The Chicago Cubs (72-60) are still at the front, the Milwaukee Brewers (69-64) are staying close. They are three and a half games behind the Cubs, three to the Colorado Rockies on the second wild card place - both are still absolutely feasible.

It is certainly not feasible to intercept the Los Angeles Dodgers (91-40) in NL West. Still, it's worth reporting that the Dodgers have just lost four games in a row for the first time this season and tonight they have to be careful not to get the season's first sweep from the Arizona Diamondbacks (75-58). The Diamondbacks have undoubtedly come out of their intermediate lows and built a cushion of six games in the wild card race. The Colorado Rockies (72-61), on the other hand, have to tremble a little, who walked in step with the Diamondbacks for a long time, but have recently slacked off significantly and can feel the Brewers' breath on their necks. To make matters worse, the Rockies will have to play the Diamondbacks or the Dodgers in eleven of the next fourteen games.

Scene of the week
At this point I would love to talk about Kevin Pillar's fabulous catch or the mistake of Ian Happ, who ran into leftfield to third base on a flyout and thought he had just made the cycle. Unfortunately, this and all other great baseball moments were overshadowed by the brawl between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers. Four hit-by pitches (and at least one more attempted), three major scuffles between the entire teams, eight dismissals against players and coaches as well as five later bans were the result of what was probably the ugliest game of the season. Interestingly, the two pitchers who had triggered the riot got away without a ban: Detroit's Michael Fulmer with a pitch on the hand of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and New York's Tommy Kahnle with a pitch behind the back of Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, which then freaked out and the first real brawl began. What it was really about is not entirely clear - Fulmer's pitch could have been a “punishment” for Sanchez hitting his fourth home run in the series an inning earlier, but it could also have been the continuation of a conflict that had started on July 31st - at that time it was also Fulmer and Kahnle who had dealt hit-by-pitches.

Statistics of the week
11. The number of home runs in a rookie's first 18 MLB games is a record. This best was set up by Rhys Hoskins of the Philadelphia Phillies - even though he started his MLB career with 0 hits from the first 10 at-bats. I pulled out a few numbers to compare: To beat Hoskins' 11 home runs, Babe Ruth (2), Hank Aaron (2), Barry Bonds (3), Giancarlo Stanton (2) and Aaron Judge (3) would have to do the Merge home runs from their first 18 games.

Game of the week
Sometimes it is a single game that maps out the rest of the season for both teams. There was a game like this between the Brewers and the Cardinals last night. The day before, the Cardinals had won the first game of the short series. With another win, the Cards would have kept their own playoff hopes alive and put a damper on those of the Brewers. But things turned out differently, the Brewers won 6: 5 after an exciting game with several changes in the lead and a chase by the opponent, which was stopped by a heroic homer-unavoiding catch by Keon Broxton.

Next week's game
When the New York Mets double header at the Houston Astros on Saturday, the name "Harvey" will be on everyone's lips, for better or for worse. In the bad because Harvey is the name of the tropical cyclone that caused terrible flooding and devastation in Houston. The Astros had to move to Tampa Bay for the current series against the Texas Rangers, but will return to the local Minute Maid Park much earlier than everyone expected to give the residents of Houston a piece of normalcy. In a good way, because their former pitching ace Matt Harvey (5.25 ERA, 6.17 FIP) will make another comeback attempt for the Mets in the first game (Saturday, 8:10 p.m. European time) after various form crises and injuries. Brad Peacock (3.12 ERA, 2.69 FIP) is expected to start the game for the Astros.

Posted in Grand Slam, MLB Tagged with: Aaron, Astros, Bonds, Brewers, Cabrera, Cardinals, Dodgers, Fulmer, Happ, Harvey, Hoskins, Judge, Kahnle, Mets, Peacock, Pillar, Ruth, Stanton