Albert Pujols is, as you might know, a very good baseball player. He is one of the finest hitters in the game today and probably one of the finest hitters to ever play the game of baseball. He is, by virtue of the free agent contract signed this past winter with the Los Angeles Angels, insanely wealthy and a shoo-in Hall of Famer.
Despite being one of the premier sluggers of his generation, Albert Pujols does not strikeout very often. He is the only hitter in the big leagues this year to strike out less than 12% of his plate appearances while posting an ISO over .200 (min 400 PAs.) As such, Albert Pujols does not strike out three times in a single game very often at all, earning this dubious hat trick just ten times in his career and not since 2010. Make that eleven, after last night – the first time against a single pitcher. Read the rest of this entry »
The final Getting Blanked of the week! Today’s episode features the kind of raw, unfettered realness you’ve come to expect from the GB crew: mea culpas and breathless fanboyism – the total package.
We talk about the Wild Card races, a Jeter injury and the unstoppable A’s. Then Parkes falls on his sword for last week’s Prop Hate before we fire up an all-new edition of Prop Hate. Also: I talk to Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. Seriously.
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There is a good line in a movie I saw once, wherein an Oscar-winning actor declares “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.” While the character stating this economic truth is a homicidal maniac, the point stands.
The Seattle Mariners are not homicidal maniacs, nor do they share the Joker’s keen understanding of supply and demand. The Mariners celebrated the recent perfect game of Felix Hernandez last night, turning their usual “King’s Court” collection of diehards loose on the entire stadium. The SUPREME COURT saw the Mariners give away 34000 t-shirts emblazoned with the now-famous image of their franchise cornerstone’s iconic celebration.
The Mariners created a joyous atmosphere at Safeco Field, somehow convincing nearly 40000 fans to trek down to the park on Tuesday night to watch the Mariners host the Cleveland Indians. Impressive, right? Not exactly. They Mariners blew it on multiple levels.
What could we possibly talk about today? Oh, that’s right… everything happened on Wednesday. Drew, Parkes, and Stoeten break down yesterday’s perfect game from Felix Hernandez, Melky Cabrera’s 50-game suspension for PED use, and Dan Duquette’s strange condemnation of the cut fastball. It’s Thursday, so the guys play some Proposition Hate, and Drew chats with Chicago White Sox pitcher (and star of The Machinist) Chris Sale in an instalment of Geekin’ Out.
Here’s a visual representation of Felix Hernandez’ perfect game. It is NOT an infographic. It’s, for want of a better phrase, data art. It uses information to make graphic art.
I’m still experimenting with the idea, but, basically, what’s going on is I wanted to find a way to visually represent what happens between which bases during a game. This is the fourth experiment I’ve done.
What is going on here is each event involving a batter or runner is recorded with a coloured line. A hit, for example is pink. The width of the lines shows somewhat vaguely the amount of that thing occurring. There is a lot of grey on these “diamonds,” they represent outs. A lot of the Mariners’ outs occurred between home plate and first, via ground balls and fly balls. Strikeouts are represented by the circle in the centre of the diamond. You can see on the Rays’ side of the chart, Felix struck out way more than the Rays’ pitchers did.
Anyway, this, as I said, is not an infographic. It doesn’t really do what an infographic is supposed to do; that is use graphic elements to aid understanding of data. What it does do, though, is give a quick and, I think, attractive, overview of a game.
If you want to see the previous three “diamonds” charts, here are some links:
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners threw a perfect game yesterday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field. In some ways, it was the perfect set up. One of the best young pitchers in baseball took the mound against a team that had been no-hit on three different occasions since 2009 at a stadium that had already hosted a no-hitter and a perfect game this season. In no way does this make anything that King Felix accomplished less remarkable.
In fact, you could argue that after some early game luck, Hernandez took control of his own destiny by striking out five of the final six batters he faced, including the 27th out, to end the day with 12 strikeouts. It’s his first no-hitter and perfect game, and his eighth career shutout.
There really isn’t a lot to add at this point. Felix Hernandez, former Cy Young winner and Only Remaining Interesting Player on the Mariners, threw a perfect game against the Rays this afternoon. The perfect storm for a perfect game, as the Rays were no-hit for the fifth time in franchise history and were on the losing end of a perfect game for the third time since 2009.
Felix records the first perfect game in Mariners history at Safeco Field, the site of an amazing three no-hitters this season alone, with Phillip Humber also throwing a perfect game with cool train sounds in the background. Two perfect games in the same ballpark? Considering how well King Felix threw, they could have played this game at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport and the outcome would remain the same.