April 27, 2010
Each week, BLS stat doctor Alex Remington will bring you a few numbers that you need to know.
5 Matt Kemp's league-leading total of times caught stealing. Kemp has been caught in five of his seven attempted swipes, after getting caught just eight times all last year. That's about the only thing going wrong for the Dodger outfielder on the offensive side this year, of course — he's leading the National League in homers, RBIs, and total bases — but getting doused on the basepaths does hurt his chances for his first 30/30 season.
18 The number of consecutive starts in which Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners has pitched at least six innings, the longest streak in the majors. His offense couldn't help him with a win against the Royals on Monday night, but he's currently the hardest pitcher to send to the showers.
18 The number of consecutive games in which Austin Jackson has struck out. One of the keys in the Curtis Granderson trade, Jackson is having a fine rookie season as the Detroit Tiger center fielder, batting .316 with an .840 OPS. But he's also struck out in every game he's played — every single game of his major league career — and leads the majors with 32 strikeouts. (Justin Upton is second with 26.) Jackson always struck out a fair amount in the minors, but his 8/32 BB/K ratio is unhealthy in the extreme.
.229 The Atlanta Braves' batting average during their current six-game losing streak, a period in which they've scored only nine runs. The Braves are batting just .231 for the young season, and just .224 since their 16-5 blowout win on Opening Day. SS Yunel Escobar (.191), CF Nate McLouth (.159), and LF platoonmates Melky Cabrera (.175) and Matt Diaz (.195) are all under the Mendoza Line. They're leading the National League in walks, but that won't get them very far if their bats don't come around.
15 Kelly Johnson's major-league leading extra-base hit total with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This has been a good year for Braves' second basemen, past and present. While current Atlanta second baseman Martin Prado leads the majors with a .392 batting average, Johnson is tied for second in the majors in homers and doubles, and is leading the majors in slugging percentage and OPS. Johnson's success comes after a lost season last year, when he hit just .224 and lost his job to Prado in mid-June, and was non-tendered in the offseason. He's not a prototypical leadoff hitter, but why mess with success?
6.87 The difference in Carlos Silva's ERA in 2010 versus 2009. Did moving to the Friendly Confines cause him to remember how to pitch again? His strikeout-to-walk ratio has similarly flipped, from 0.91 last year to 5.0 this year, which is probably the single-biggest reason that he's had so much success. (That, and his 0.77 WHIP, which is also unsustainable.) Silva's ERA will certainly reach three figures at some point, but if he can keep striking out more than twice as many people as he walks, the Cubs pitcher will be the NL Comeback Player of the Year.
46 percent Colorado's major-league worst stolen base percentage. Sabermetric wisdom holds that the break-even point on stolen base attempts is around a 75 percent success rate — any less and the cost of the outs when you're caught stealing outweighs the value of the extra bases when you succeed in stealing. But the Rockies seem to be much more cavalier about it. Their two leading base stealers in 2009 were Troy Tulowitzki (20 SB with a 64.5 percent success rate) and Dexter Fowler (27 SB with a 73.0 percent success rate), and the team stole at a 65.8 percent rate as a whole. They pride themselves on aggressiveness, but they're really just running themselves into a whole lot of outs. In a competitive division, that could make a serious difference.