Cereal Update 5

In honor of Alex Cobb’s historic four (and two-thirds) innings pitched against the Padres on May 10,

here are four thoughts on the past week:

1. The Odd Game of Alex Cobb.

Like most baseball statheads, I love scouring the box scores and stumbling across something unique.  “Unique” would be one way to describe Alex Cobb’s start against the Padres; although “unprecedented” would be a more appropriate adjective:

IP ERA WHIP K WP HBP Balk
4.2 5.79 1.50 13 1 1 1

ESPN’s Jayson Stark has a great entry on Cobb’s game.  Some highlights include:

• No pitcher has ever recorded 13 Ks while pitching so few innings (it should be noted that Cobb did record 15 outs as one batter reached first on a third strike wild pitch).  Zach Greinke had a 13 K, five inning turn last September 25.

• Cobb recorded nine punchouts after three innings.  The last AL pitcher to do that was Louisiana Lightning, Ron Guidry on May 10, 1986.

• Cobb had 11 Ks through four innings.  Only two other AL pitchers have accomplished that feat: Zach Greinke last season and Nolan Ryan on April 8, 1978.

• Here is the action from the third inning: Strikeout/wild pitch, steal of second, strikeout, steal of third, strikeout, run-scoring balk, strikeout.  This was the first time a pitcher struck out every batter he faced and still surrendered a run.

• Until this start, the starter in each of the Rays’ games this season went at least five innings–the second longest streak ever by a team to start a season.

2. Res Ipsa Loquiter

While Cobb’s line against San Diego requires a bit of analysis, these gems spun by members of the Killers’ pitching staff speak for themselves:

Position Player Opp Status IP W SV K ERA WHIP
SP M. Harvey CWS W, 1-0 9.0 0 0 12 0.00 0.11
RP B. Parnell CWS W, 1-0 1.0 1 0 2 0.00 0.00
Total       10.0 1 0 14 0.00 0.10
Position Player Opp Status IP W SV K ERA WHIP
SP Wainwright COL W, 3-0 9.0 1 0 7 0.00 0.33

3. Random events of the past week: (i) The Killers picked up Tony Cingrani and (ii) I overheard someone demand “extra cheese on that slice” when ordering a pizza, which reminded me of Radio Raheem’s similar (yet not so polite) request in Do the Right Thing.

So, it got me thinking–which paesano starting pitchers would Sal and Pino have put up on the wall over the past 24 years? I must admit that after doing some limited research the picking are quite slim and I am not sure if any of the following SPs, who placed in the top 10 in ERA for at least one season since 1989, would justify occupying any of the limited real estate in Sal’s Famous.

Year Player ERA MLB Standing
2005 Pettitte* 2.39 2
2004 Pavano 3.00 8
2002 Zito 2.75 5
2000 D’Amico 2.66 4
1994 Fassero 2.99 8
1993 Candiotti 3.12 10
1991 Candiotti 2.65 6
1990 Viola 2.67 7

*OK, he is half French/half Italian, close enough.

Sweet Music looking like he is ready to devour some pie (or Al Newman’s head):

In bocca al lupo, Cingrani!

4. Mendoza Watch

Player Average Last Week
Big Donkey .137 .143
B.J. Upton .157 .149
Hamilton .207 .207
V-Mart .220 .221

This is starting to get a bit depressing.  Dunn is now sporting the lowest average in all of baseball and Upton has the third lowest.  Both are now firmly ensconced on the bench.  Hamilton’s struggles continue, although he did go yard in two consecutive games this week (both solo shots, unfortunately).  Looking on the bright side, Beltre is no longer on the list.

Standings: 6th place with 51-1/2 points, 2 points away from Steroid Sluggers for 5th and 28.5 points behind Fightin’ Cubbies for first.

Overall Points

   
Batting
Pitching
 
Rank
Team
1. Fightin’ Cubbies 8 4 6 10 5 9 10 10 8 10 80
2. Hackers 7 8 7 6 8 3 9 2 10 9 69
3. Raging Rhinos 10 10 5 4.5 10 8 3 9 5 3 67.5
4. Nelson Muntz 6 9 9 9 4 6.5 2 5 6 6 62.5
5. Steroid Sluggers 9 7 8 4.5 9 5 5 4 1 1 53.5
6. Cereal Killers 2 5 3 3 2 6.5 7 8 7 8 51.5
7. bench warmers 4 6 10 8 7 1 1 6.5 2 2 47.5
8. Iron Horse 1 3 1 2 1 10 5 6.5 9 7 45.5
9. ANSKY 5 2 2 7 6 2 8 1 4 4 41
10. Motorboaters 3 1 4 1 3 4 5 3 3 5 32

Overall Stats

   
Batting
Pitching
Rank
Team
1. Fightin’ Cubbies 358 203 44 190 38 .338 309.1 23 35 323 2.85 1.05*
2. Hackers 346 198 59 193 26 .359 256.0 14 34 245 2.46 1.05*
3. Raging Rhinos 338 208 61 184 25 .381 256.0 19 23 300 3.62 1.25*
4. Nelson Muntz 374 195 60 210 31 .326 278.0 18 22 272 3.27 1.18
5. Steroid Sluggers 343 207 57 195 25 .372 266.0 17 24 250 4.20 1.25*
6. Cereal Killers 347 168 46 165 21 .318 302.1 18 27 291 3.21 1.07
7. bench warmers 352 181 50 211 30 .355 280.0 8 11 274 3.83 1.25*
8. Iron Horse 358 166 43 160 18 .311 307.0 25 24 274 2.84 1.11
9. ANSKY 304 191 41 161 27 .339 204.0 10 32 202 3.71 1.24
10. Motorboaters 354 169 38 168 17 .321 250.2 15 24 246 3.77 1.20
 

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