Games lasting 19 innings are pretty rare in baseball, so fans take notice when they happen. When they happen to the same franchise in consecutive seasons, each at what could be considered a pivotal point in its season, that’s when I take notice. On July 26, 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates were experiencing unaccustomed success. Not […]
The most famous games of our time have their excitement measured
A fresh attempt to measure the excitement of baseball games
It’s a classic of early baseball writing, but is it reliable?
We are now pretty deep into the 2012 baseball season, and while there’s been plenty of action on and off the field, there is one fairly common event that we have not yet seen. To date, not one major-league manager has been fired. Judging subjectively by the flow of reportage and rumor, there aren’t even […]
Billy Martin’s and George Brett’s day of infamy had its beginnings eight years earlier
If five was ever Justin Verlander‘s lucky number, it isn’t this morning. The Tigers All-Star and reigning MVP gave up five earned runs in the first (and his last) inning of Tuesday’s All-Star Game. That’s obviously a rare occurrence. How rare? That’s why you come to The Hardball Times: so borderline-obsessive stats-craving fans like me […]
The odds of a perfect game, and why you really can’t calculate them
This week marks the 65th anniversary of Larry Doby integrating the American League. His debut with the Cleveland Indians came on July 5, 1947, and I suspected other THT writers—yes, Chris Jaffe especially—might mention the occasion on Thursday. So I chose to make my remarks today, observing the day that Cleveland owner Bill Veeck purchased […]
Players who made the most of their only season
We may as well officially declare this R. A. Dickey Day at The Hardball Times. Troy Patterson tops the homepage with his article examining Dickey’s remarkable strikeout totals with his knuckleball. Patterson may have thought it was well-timed, coming soon after Dickey’s 12-strikeout one-hitter on June 13 against the Rays. Little did he know—okay, by […]
In case you missed today’s “And That Happened” entry by Craig Calcaterra (and you shouldn’t have), along with all the other sports news since late last night, Alex Rodriguez got into the record books again. When he hit a grand slam in the eighth inning against Atlanta, he did more than sweep away a 4-0 […]
On the intersection of competition, obsession, and tragedy
It took over 50 seasons and more than 8,000 games (8,020, to be precise), but the New York Mets now have done something they had never done before. Johan Santana, two months into his comeback from shoulder surgery, threw 134 pitches to do it, far more than he has ever thrown in his career. He […]
Cole Hamels may have learned the wrong lesson from history.
Trends and milestones in the transition to night baseball
I got my first chance to watch my nine-year-old nephew Holland play baseball on Friday. His game was, unsurprisingly, a very different experience from watching the big leaguers. I won’t give all the gory details, but a short example from the third inning will show what made an impression on me. Holland reached base on […]
Which pitching staffs did the most good with their bats?
“Uncle Shane, what if a player hit a home run every time?” I’ve been hearing questions like that a lot lately. My sister just moved up to Asheville with her two children. Among doing other things, this has thrown me in pretty close with my nephew Holland, who is a pretty fair ballplayer for nine. […]
The most memorable games played before the emptiest stands.