Strange stats early in MLB season
Orioles sluggers flex muscles, Halladay, Hamels lit up in Philly
There is plenty to discuss 10 days into the Major League Baseball season.
How about the panic that has set in among some fans in Toronto after the Blue Jays dropped five of their first seven games with a loaded roster that includes R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion?
Two closers, Carlos Marmol with the Chicago Cubs and Canadian John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers, have already lost their jobs and several more appear in jeopardy.
Baltimore’s Chris Davis (17 RBIs) and Adam Jones (.500 batting average) are tearing the cover off the ball along with Justin Upton (six homers) in Atlanta while Colorado’s Todd Helton (.095 batting average) and the Los Angeles Angels’ $125-million man Josh Hamilton (.138, zero HRs) have struggled.
Here, we take a look at some early-season surprises, positive and negative, by the numbers.
8: Runs allowed each by reigning Cy Young Award winners David Price and R.A. Dickey on April 7.
.360: Batting average for seemingly washed-up outfielder Vernon Wells, who appears rejuvenated in a New York Yankees uniform.
.135: The Toronto Blue Jays' batting average with runners in scoring position through seven games this season (5-for-37).
7: Losses by the Jose Reyes/Josh Johnson/Mark Buehrle-less Miami Marlins, who are off to their worst start since they began the 1998 season with a 1-11 mark.
14: Runs batted in for New York Mets catcher and two-time Blue Jay John Buck, who leads the National League in the category.
1.04: Combined earned-run average of Boston Red Sox starters Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester through four starts. Their respective ERAs last season? 4.56 and 4.82.
6.95: Combined ERA for Yankees relievers through Week 1 of the season. Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain et al also allowed 32 hits over 22 innings.
25: Combined earned runs surrendered by Phillies starting pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. Halladay, whose velocity was down at spring training, sports an ugly 14.73 ERA.
.157: Combined batting average of the Mariners’ Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, Kyle Seager and Justin Smoak (16-for-102) who have teamed for only three extra-base hits in nine games.
2.78: Earned-run average for Colorado’s starting pitching in six starts before Juan Nicasio allowed four runs (all earned) in five innings of a no-decision on Tuesday night.
.095: Todd Helton’s batting average through eight games and 21 at-bats. The Colorado Rockies first baseman has posted a batting average above .300 in 13 of his previous 16 seasons.
11: Walks issued by (former?) San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum in 11 innings this season. Last season, he walked 90 in 186 innings.
115: Times human target Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres has been hit by a pitch in his career, which works out to about once every six games. The outfielder took one off the right forearm (x-rays were negative) and his return to the lineup is unknown.
24.30: Earned-run average of former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford’s in 3 1/3 innings pitched this season.
10,9,9: Outs, hits and earned runs posted by Axford, who hails from Port Dover, Ont.
1.100: Justin Upton’s slugging percentage over his first nine games with the Atlanta Braves. He slugged .430 last season when he battled a lingering thumb injury while playing for Arizona.
4:4: Strikeout-to-walk ratio of Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis. A very small sample, yes, through seven games, but he had a 169:37 K:BB ratio over 515 at-bats last season.
12: Strikeouts in 13 at-bats for Houston Astros outfielder Rick Ankiel following a home run in his first at-bat this season.
2,000: Hits banged out by Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter during his major league career that has also included stops in Minnesota and California with the Los Angeles Angels. Hunter is the 14th active player to reach this milestone.
2: Hits in 27 at-bats this season for Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who posted a team-leading .280 batting average in 2012 with 42 home runs.