For the overwhelming majority of its historical past, the memoir of baseball has been told by its numbers. That’s how we pick the standings. That’s how we join and compare eras. That’s how we contextualize participant performance. These experiences are assuredly potent, highly effective, suspenseful, even inspirational.
However assuredly … they are fully absurd. Love, the more or less stuff that, were you to publish it to your inventive writing trainer in high college, would come assist with crimson edits in every single space and a level to to “explore me after class.”
These are the experiences we plot to expose here in our annual peek at essentially the most bonkers stats this 2021 baseball season has produced. (All stats are by Thursday’s play.)
Properly, for certain we needed first of all essentially the most bonkers baseballer of this, or any, season. We could per chance well refill this entire section with superior Shohei Ohtani statistics. The Angels’ ace and DH has had an unfathomable twelve months — arguably essentially the most spectacular particular particular person season within the historical past of the sport (certain, we said it).
However enough hyperventilating. Let’s let these two numbers carry out the talking. The principle number is Ohtani’s slugging share as a hitter. The second is his opponents’ slugging share when he’s a pitcher.
What this means is that Ohtani could per chance well quit a home flee to the next 32 batters he faces, and his opponents’ SLG would aloof be two sides lower than his delight in.
Here is White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal‘s on-deplorable share. OK, that’s excellent. However what makes it so particular?
Properly, Grandal’s batting realistic is excellent .230. Per Baseball-Reference, there hold easiest been three gamers in historical past to log on the least 200 plate appearances with an OBP of on the least .410 and a batting realistic of .240 or below: Wally Schang (1929 St. Louis Browns), Eddie Yost (1956 Washington Senators) and Gene Tenace (1977 Padres).
With 69 walks and 49 hits, Grandal is on tempo to turn out to be excellent the 10th participant in historical past with more than 60 walks and fewer than 60 hits. The latest used to be Jay Buhner (69 walks, 59 hits) with the 1999 Mariners.
… is the number of hit batsmen for Padres pitcher Austin Adams. Certain, the hit-by-pitch rate across MLB has been rock climbing persistently right by the last decade. However Adams leads the Majors on this category by five HBPs.
Within the usual generation, courting assist to 1901, there had been 34 times whereby a pitcher plunked on the least 20 batters in a season, most no longer too long within the past when the Cubs’ Kerry Wood hit 21 batters in 2003. So while Adams’ complete is weird, it’s no longer precisely unparalleled … moreover that … wait a minute … Adams is a reliever! He’s done this in easiest 46 2/3 innings of labor!
None of the varied pitchers who hit 20 batters had fewer than 178 2/3 innings pitched. We regret to expose you Adams gained’t be breaking Chick Fraser’s file of 32 hit batsmen with the 1901 Philadelphia Athletics. However he aloof has a shot on the put up-Deadball generation of 23 hit batsmen, pickle by Howard Ehmke of the 1922 Tigers.
… is the times Dodgers (and aged Nationals) pitcher Max Scherzer has reached deplorable in 53 plate appearances. He’s already damaged Wei-Yin Chen’s file of 49 plate appearances without reaching deplorable by hit, stroll or hit-by-pitch, which used to be pickle in 2016 with the Marlins.
However wretchedness no longer. Scherzer is now not any longer going to hold enough plate appearances to contact comely-hander Bob Buhl’s all-time file for loads of at-bats with no hit — pickle when Buhl went 0-for-70 for the Cubs and Milwaukee Braves in 1962 (Buhl reached deplorable seven times by technique of stroll and hit-by-pitch, hence the excellence from Chen).
That said, given the safe possibility that the NL adopts the designated hitter next season, the trace Scherzer has pickle could per chance well without prolong turn out to be unbreakable. (He’s aloof a glowing excellent pitcher, even supposing.)
Be wide awake that “Slam Diego” storyline built off the Padres’ unparalleled success with the bases loaded closing season? Properly, here is the varied of that.
Here is the Twins’ opponent OPS with the bases loaded. Certain, this could maybe be a brand unique file, surpassing the trace pickle by the 2015 Tigers (1.215). However what makes this powerful more amazing is that the 2020 Twins pitching workforce had a .404 opponent OPS with the bases loaded — the fifth-easiest trace all-time (albeit in a shortened season).
At the least the Twins hold company, for the reason that Nationals’ pitching workforce (1.099 by Wednesday) is on tempo to pickle the all-time NL trace.
The no-hitter count. You realize this one, however that doesn’t get it any less bonkers.
Thank you to Joe Musgrove, Carlos Rodón, John Ability, Wade Miley, Spencer Turnbull, Corey Kluber, Zach Davies/Ryan Tepera/Andrew Chafin/Craig Kimbrel and Tyler Gilbert for matching the top in all probability-season no-no file pickle in 1884. What’s more, we’ve had two no-hitters in a seven-inning recreation (Madison Bumgarner and a five-pitcher effort by the Rays) and two no-hitters damaged up within the ninth inning (Germán Márquez and Patrick Sandoval).
The Mariners, Rangers and Indians were every no-hit twice (no workforce has ever been no-hit Thrice in a season).
Home runs for Salvador Perez. That makes him excellent the sixth catcher in historical past with a 40-homer season and the first since the Braves’ Javy Lopez hit 43 in 2003. Perez aloof has a right shot at Corridor of Famer Johnny Bench’s single-season file for a catcher (45), pickle in 1970.
All of that is glowing very excellent, however what makes it doubly so is that Perez, who’s 31 years old and has caught more than 8,600 innings within the mountainous leagues, had no longer the least bit hit more than 27 homers in a season. Lopez and Roy Campanella (1953) are essentially the most attention-grabbing assorted catchers with a 40-homer season at age 31 or older, and each of them had on the least one assorted 30-homer season of their profession.
We’ve long identified the Rockies are a clear ballclub at Coors Topic. However here is ridiculous. Here is the differential between Colorado’s 2021 home winning share (.625) and toll road winning share (.275). That’s an expanse as wide as the Rocky Mountains. And looking on how these last few weeks disappear, it could per chance well smartly be historical.
Currently, essentially the most significant fat-season differential between home and toll road winning percentages within the usual generation is held by Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s in 1945, after they went 39-35 at Shibe Park (.527) and 13-63 some establish else (.171) — a differential of .356.
We’re making an strive to focal level this section on season-long traits, no longer snapshots from obvious segments of the season. However this used to be so weird, we excellent needed to level it out. This used to be the number of groups that had a toll road losing crawl of 20 games or more this season. The D-backs pickle an MLB file with 24 straight toll road losses — a crawl in the end snapped on June 26. Perchance they were impressed by the Orioles, who excellent one evening earlier had snapped a 20-recreation toll road losing crawl of their very delight in (sooner than in the end embarking on a crawl whereby they misplaced 19 straight overall).
In accordance with Elias, this marked the first time since 1894 that two groups had toll road losing streaks of 20 games or more. That twelve months, the Louisville Colonels misplaced 20 in a row and the Washington Senators misplaced 21 in a row.
However excellent to amass this all even crazier, there’s aloof an opportunity that neither of these clubs finishes up with the worst toll road file in baseball this season. Coming into Thursday, the backside five in toll road winning share were the D-backs (.246), the aforementioned Rox (.265), the Pirates (.282), the Rangers (.282) and the Marlins (.309). Certain, the Orioles misplaced 20 in a row on the toll road but aloof hold “easiest” the sixth-worst toll road winning share (.333).
Blown saves by the Phillies. Whereas this number is orderly, it is miles rarely but in actuality bonkers. Or no longer it is miles the ninth-most all-time.
Be wide awake, even supposing: We’ve bought some games left. No subject dramatically reshaping a bullpen that closing twelve months posted the ideal ERA in 90 years, the Phillies stand a right likelihood of rock climbing into this top eight:
Most blown saves in a season
1. 2004 Rockies, 34
2. 2002 Rangers, 33
3. (tie) 1973 Braves, 32
1996 White Sox, 32
5. (tie) 2006 Royals, 31
2008 Mariners, 31
1998 Cardinals, 31
2008 Cardinals, 31
That the Phillies are aloof in postseason competitors despite the overall blown saves is oddly spectacular. On the varied hand, within the event that they carry out in a roundabout scheme discontinue up on the above checklist, chances are they gained’t hold any probabilities to turn out to be or blow saves in October.
… is the number of steals for Starling Marte. A nice complete, even supposing no longer bonkers. What’s bonkers is how he’s divvied up the thefts evenly between the NL and AL.
Marte had 22 steals for the Marlins sooner than he used to be dealt to the A’s in July. He’s swiped 22 baggage since. That places Marte within the head 10 in every league in stolen bases — a feat no participant has done. Truly, Marte could per chance well in a roundabout scheme discontinue up finishing within the head five in every league. He’s fifth within the AL in steals, and his NL complete is aloof fourth … even supposing his closing capture for Miami used to be more than six weeks within the past!
MLB.com reporter and researcher Sarah Langs contributed to this memoir.