Sunday, September 23, 2007

Glavine Can't Stop Now

Tom Glavine Only 17 Strikeouts Short of Spahn's Lifetime Record
by Evan T. Pritchard

As followers of Amazine know, lefty Tom Glavine has always been haunted by the ghost of lefty Warren Spahn, even while Spahn was alive. And yet Tom "The Professional" Glavine has beaten most of Spahn's lifetime records, and even has a slightly better ERA. The good news is he is only 17 strikeouts short of tying Spahn's lifetime strikeout totals. The bad news is that there are only 7 games to play in the regular season, and Tom G can't pitch them all. He'll be lucky to pitch two. He also never gets more than 5 whiffnpoofs a game, so he can't possibly get more than 10 strikeouts during the rest of the year. That leaves 7 unaccounted for.

So he obviously can't really tie Spahn this year, an event that we have been building the hype for over a period of 22 years. So, World Series or none, Glavine has to come back, preferably with the Mets, to complete the remaining 17 (or less, depending) strikeouts. That is a big disappointment, but having the Mets in the post season should help soothe our furrowed brow.

And you can forget what I said about Reyes having a shot at beating Babe Ruth in the hits department, his batting average fell about 30 points this month, and he only has 186 hits, and will probably end up where he did last year in the hits department.

Its such a shame, but nothing beats winning, and Randolph professes that he for one does not care about individual records. He wants team players.

Go figure!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Stolen Bases

Mets’ Stolen Base Stats and Other Tasty Tidbits
By Evan Pritchard for Amazine
Copyright 2007

Stolen Bases
August 19th, 2007

Stolen bases are an exciting part of baseball, and right at the moment, the Mets are leading the Major Leagues in stolen bases, and have the majors’ fastest 1-2-3-4 hitters in the line up as well.

Here are some interesting and unusual stats for your perusal.

Here are the fastest teams and their stolen base totals:
LA Dodgers..103
Devil Rays...96

The Mets have a huge lead over the rest of baseball in numbers of stolen bases so far this year. The Yankees are eighth in stolen bases. Here are the Mets’ starting four players at the top of the lineup and their stolen base averages, ie the steals per at bat.

Reyes.... 515 ....63 80.8% ...122 (One every 9 AB!!!)
Castillo ...71.....3...100%......042
Wright.....462....25 ..89.3%.. ..054
Beltran... 407....16 ...88.9%. .042

The Mets’ starting four players in the daily lineup have a combined stolen bases average (per at bat) of .0735. Here are the best four stealers of the best-stealing teams, in order of standing, and their stealing average.

Angels (113)
C. Figgins.... 375......33.. 0.040
O. Cabrera... 488......16.. 0.033
R. Willits..... .334.....25.. 0.075
G. Matthews....435..... 13.. 0.030
Totals..........1632.....87.. 0.053

Orioles (109)
Roberts.... 479 ..36.. 0.075
Patterson ..398 ...35.. 0.088
Markeakis ..478 ...16.. 0.033
M. Mora ..345 .....8.. 0.023
Totals ...1700 ....95.. 0.056

Furcal 478 13 0.027
Pierre 510 50 0.098
Kemp 167 5 0.030
Martin 435 20 0.046
Totals 1590 88 0.055

Phillies (100)
Rollins 539 25 0.046
Iguchi 89 4 0.045
A Rowand 450 6 0.013
Utley 399 7 0.018
Victorino 409 32 0.653
Totals 1406 74 0.053

Here are the resulting SBAS, stolen base average standings for the top four players on each team.

Mets 0.074
Orioles 0.056
Dodgers 0.055
Phillies 0.053
Angels 0.053

As you see, the Mets are far ahead of the pack.

AUGUST 19th, 2007

National League Team Batting Averages

The Mets are only two points behind the NL leader in team batting average. Here are the standings:

Rockies .276
Braves .276
Phils .275
Mets .274

Cross-League Team ERA Leaders

Padres 3.49
Red Sox 3.80
Athletics 3.95
Mets 3.97
Blue Jays 3.99

The Mets are second in the NL and fourth in the majors in team ERA.

The Mets are currently the best road team in baseball.
Mets 38-26
Tigers 37-29
Red Sox 34-27
D’backs 34-31
Braves 31-28

However, even though the Mets are 32-22 at home, ten games over .500, they are far down in the “best at home” race.
Dodgers 40-17
Yankees 41-24
Mariners 41-24
Milwaukee 40-25
Red Sox 40-23
D’backs 37-23
Indians 38-26
Rockies 35-23
Mets 32-22

Then, of course there is the OBABY (Overall Best in All Baseball, Yes!) award. The Mets currently have the fourth best record in baseball, and are second in the NL.

Red Sox 74+50 .597
Dodgers 72+51 .585
Mariners 69+52 .570
Mets 70+53 .569
D’backs 71+54 .568

El Duque is winning the race for the Lucky Shower award: The Mets are 11-1 in his last 12 starts.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reyes Could Pass Babe Ruth in Most Hits Per Season

Reyes is on a Pace to Get 81 Stolen Bases This Year, and 206 Hits (More Hits Than Babe Ruth Ever Got in a Single Season!)
By Evan Pritchard for Amazine

Just in case you were not paying attention, Reyes is on a pace to get 81 stolen bases this year and 206 hits. So what? You had to ask. Now I have to tell you.

The Mets, after the horrid collapse of the dam which is their bullpen in Pittsburgh, reminiscent of the Johnstown Flood (in that it was one of those really bad days) have now played 120 games. They are just about at the ¾ mark for the season. To figure out what they are on a pace to achieve at this juncture, just multiply everything (except ERA of course) by 1.35. In spite of a couple of bad days, they really are healthy in the stats department. Especially Jose Reyes.

Reyes has 60 stolen bases so far, which puts him on a pace to get 81, which would be a career high for him and a single-season high for the Mets. Of course Rickey Henderson, a base coach for the Mets, had an unbelievable 130 stolen bases in one year, and that is the all time record, but he wasn’t in a Met uniform at the time, so the honors fall to “Jolly” Roger Cedeno who had 67 stolen bases for the Mets a few years ago. Reyes is about to swallow that record and spit out the bones.

That 81st stolen base would be number 295 for Reyes lifetime. Not bad for five years, an average of 59 per year, but the top 50 list starts with Steve Sax with 440 lifetime. At that average pace Reyes will pass Steve Sax in April of 2010 and (probably) enter the top 50 All Time. However, please note that Reyes raised his season totals from 13 to 19, to 60, 64 to 81 (projected) stolen bases, so if you extend that trend, he might steal 100 in 2008 and 120 in 2009, which would have him passing Sax in June of 2009. You never know in this game. He might get 131 stolen bases in 2010, and break Rickey Henderson’s mark for good. Even if he were to revert to his average 59 pilfered bases per year, (if he, say, moved to Alaska, ate whale blubber, and gained 150 pounds over the winter) he would pass Maury Wills (586) in another five years, placing 19th on the all-time career list.

But then there’s the hits. I have been writing about this matter of Reyes’ hits since one year ago, (and wrote him an impassioned letter which he has yet to answer, except in the language of hits) and we are beginning to see the writing on the wall. I told him that very few players have ever broken the 200 hit mark and about half of those who do go to the Hall of Fame, pass GO and collect $200 dollars, figuratively speaking. Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Carl Yazstremski, three Cabalieros of Red Sox lore, never did it. Few Yankees have done it, and only one Met, Lance Johnson. Mike Piazza did it before becoming a Met, but just barely, and only once.

What is truly amazing is that if Reyes gets 206 hits this year, which he is on a good pace to do, he will have done something Babe Ruth never accomplished, gotten more than 205 hits in a single regular season. Of course, Babe only had 154 games a season to play in, but that hits per season record is a huge one, and looms big for those baseball plutocrats in Cooperstown who sit at mahogany tables in smoky back rooms deciding who will enter the Hall of Fame and who won’t. “More hits than Babe Ruth ever got? Yeah, we’ll put him on the guest list.”

Babe Ruth passed the 200 hit mark three times, and got 204 hits in 1921, 205 hits in 1923 and 200 hits in 1924. He never broke the 205 mark in spite of his remarkable ability to get on base, but all Reyes has to do is keep up his current season pace and he’ll be zipping past The Big Bam like Road Runner past Coyote. It could happen in about six weeks. Last season, Reyes had a long shot of hitting 200 right on the nose, but sat out of some games in September and fell short. This year, I think he’s going to make it.

All he has to do then to get into the Hall is pass Rickey Henderson in stolen bases and NOT GAMBLE. Pete Rose passed 200 hits almost every year, and stole a lot of bases, but gambled and lost his shot at the Hall of Fame. Somehow, Reyes does not seem the type. And, Oh yes, a World Series appearance or two would help a lot!

Home runs and stolen bases tend to occur in inverse quantities throughout baseball history.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Glavine Enters 300 Club on National TV, Outdraws Bonds

Last Sunday, Tom Glavine beat the hot-hitting Cubs to post his 300th career victory. Earlier that day, Bonds tied Hank Aaron's home run record, and over a million people watched, but the Post reported that many more viewers (some say about 2 million) saw Glavine notch his number 300. That just shows you how popular the Mets are too.

On Sunday, August 12th, Glavine pitched well but failed to get his 301st, due to a poor bullpen performance by certain people named Mota. That would have brought him to within ten of former Met Jerry Koosman.

He has about 64 more wins to go before tying his idol Warren Spahn in the wins department, (Spahn leads all lefties in wins) and may never make it, but Glavine is so close yet so far away when it comes to strikeouts.


After Sunday's winless outing, Glavine has 2,549 lifetime strikouts, only 34 short of Warren Spahn, who finished his career with the Mets with a lifetime total of 2583. While Pedro Martinez could get 34 Ks in three games, Glavine has pretty much lost the use of his splitter, his strikeout pitch, and relies greatly on placement. He generally only gets three or maybe four strikeouts a game these days. He needs to up that total to about 5 and pitch 7 more games in order to break Spahn's record this year. That will require him to change his whole approach to the game, but from a statistitians' point of view, its the one to watch.

Glavine has made noises that there is a chance he won't resign with the Mets or anyone else next year, depending on how the season goes. It is almost unthinkable that Glavine will pass Koosman or anyone else this year on the wins list, but as mentioned in a previous article, he can pass alot of guys on the all time strikeout list this season, and it will greatly change the way he is presented in the Hall of Fame and in the record books.

Not that the team isn't interesting enough, or that the pennant race isn't important, its turning out to be a tight squeeze these days to stay in first. But a Tom Glavine race against Warren Spahn for most strikeouts would be pretty exciting for baseball nerds and nebbishes.

And that's who pays the light bill at Shea stadium these days!


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Flushing Fever!!

Just Released!!
This newest book by Evan Pritchard is a must-read for every Mets fan.
Even if you only missed watching one game of the New York Mets 2006 season, you owe it to yourself to read this riveting account of one of the most colorful seasons in recent baseball history.
Go to and order this e-book at $12.95.
Filled with never-before-published stats, behind-the-scenes stories, humorous narratives and editorials, this book will change the way you see baseball.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

FLUSHING FEVER--Preview of the Back Cover

It was the summer of ’06 and Flushing Fever was in the air…
but could America’s favorite underdogs win the Championship?
It would all come downto one pitch.

Join historian, poet, and creator of the popular baseball blog AMAZINE,
Evan T. Pritchard as he takes you on a game by game journey into the
heart of one of the most amazing and puzzling seasons by any team in
sports history. It is the story of the unforgettable 2006 New York Mets.
Where did they come from?Why were they so successful? Why did they
collapse at the end?

In this humorous and yet factual account by Flushing University’s
Professor Emeritus, we find out that the success of the quirky
and lovable Mets was dependent not only on a genius named Omar Minaya,
but on a scraggly goatee, a ham and cheese sandwich, a divorce trial,
a tongue that kept sticking out, a Metallica song, a ghost from
the Boston Braves, a miraculous birth, and an Achilles’ heel that
wouldn’t heal. Add to that an aversion to rain, a wonderboy named
Maine, and bloggers going insane, and you have the formula for a
great American baseball saga, one that has yet to be told in all
its glory and pathos.

In this book, you will find a ton of weird stats,and amazing trivia
not published anywhere else,(except at Amazine and Flushing University).
For example, did you know the Mets at times led the major leagues in
Scoring Efficiency? In winning percentage in the first two weeks of all
calendar months combined? In Runs Margins Ratios (moreruns than
opponents?) In grand slams in July? In percentage of divisional wins?
That Mota led the league in wins per innings pitched? Or that Reyes
just missed being only the second player in a Met uniform to get 200
hits, with more triples than the Los Angeles Dodgers? Are you ready
for Totally Intangible Stats such as the “Hit With Authority Index,”
the “Two Out Madness Index,” or “The Lucky Shower Award?”

Flushing Fever celebrates the game of baseball as an individual subjective experience, and a communal religious ritual, with an eye for the ethnic details of the American landscape, in the tradition of W.P. Kinsella, George Vecsey, and Bart Giamatti. One thing is for sure, you will never see the game of baseball the same way again.

Coming Soon!
ebook $12.50 paperback $24.95 US
Flushing University Press an imprint of Brandywine New Media ISBN 978-1-423-4431-4
Or write Evan Pritchard at PO Box 1028 Woodstock, NY 12498

Glavine Has Spahn's Records In His Sights

I was at Shea Stadium this evening (July 25th) and watched as southpaw Tom Glavine enjoyed a somewhat glorious 299th win after a rough first innning where he basically walked the bases loaded. The Mets won 6-3. Glavine is now within one of 300 wins, which would tie him with Lefty Grove, and enter into the 300 wins club with man they called The Invincible One, Warren Spahn, the winningest leftie in the game, with 364.

Glavine's boyhood in Concord, Mass, was spent idolizing Warren Spahn, or so the legend goes. If you read my new book from, Flushing Fever (p. 54) you will learn that his career and Sphan's have followed a strangely similar pattern, and will also learn that at the end of 2006, Glavine still had given up 54 less losses than Spahn, a career ERA of 3.46, which was .19 better than Spahn's; 112 less homers allowed, and most importantly, was only 102 strikeouts short (2481) of Spahn's lifetime total of 2583.

Just before today's opening pitch, Glavine had 60 strikeouts on the year (131.2 innings) and had a total of 2541 Ks, which was only 42 short of Spahn's record. He is projected to pitch 206 innings this year, fanning 94 batters, based on his current rate, but the fact is he needs to really get a bee in his bonnet (Spahn had a B ON his "bonnet" when he was in Boston, then they moved to Milwaukee and it changed to an M) and pass Spahn THIS YEAR!

This season, Glavine has been averaging only 0.457 strikeouts per inning. His projected 206 innings is probably accurate; he is unlikely to surpass that by much, so at that strikeout rate, he is likely to fall 8 strikeouts short, with 94 Ks on the year. This would be a terrible shame.

Spahn spent his 21st season as a Met and then after a short stint elsewhere in September, he retired. Most of those last strikeouts were tossed as a Met. This is Glavine's 21st year. He is also a Met. It is fitting that he should complete his lifetime conquest of Spahn's legacy this year, and as a Met. Glavine's future after this year is a little uncertain.

Glavine will certainly end the year in the 300 club with Spahn, and could do so by Tuesday. He will also be ahead of him in the home runs allowed department by year's end. His lifetime ERA is now up to 3.49 thanks to a rough outing last week, but he is still safely ahead of Spahn's mark of 3.84. But the strikeouts, that's what has me worried.

At first pitch, Glavine most likely had 75 innings left in the regular season, and he needed 42 more Ks to tie, and 43 to beat. To get the 43 more strikouts, he would have to up his strikeout rate to 0.57333 Ks per inning (75x 0.57333=43) for the rest of the year, not a big increase, but an important one, less than one more strikeout per start.

OR he needed to pitch 94 more innings while keeping his strikeout rate the same (94x 0.457 = 42.958) approximately 43 strikeouts. Since Glavine rarely goes past the sixth, this would mean three extra starts beyond his current rate. This seems unlikely. So in order to fulfill his destiny as a Met, Glavine must find a way to get one extra strikeout every time he goes out to pitch.

Here's another way to look at it. Glavine is likely to have about 11 more starts this year. He can't really count on more than that. He needs to strive to get 4 strikeouts per start from here on in, ie 44 more Ks this year, bringing his season total to 106 (including the two from Wednesday, his 61st and 62nd on the year, 2542, 2543 lifetime). That would put him over the top by 4, and bring his lifetime total strikeouts to 2587 while in a Met uniform. He would by then have passed Jerry Koosman, #27 on the all time list with 2556, Bob Feller, who is #25 on the all time list with 2581, and most importantly for him, Warren Spahn who is #24 on the top strikeouts list with 2583, something that those boys (and girls) up in Cooperstown keep careful track of.

Here's a possible scenario, one that would be very exciting for Mets fans: Let's say Glavine pitches every sixth day, and gets four strikeouts per game from here on in. His ascent up the All Time Strikeout Kings roster would look like this--
date strikeouts
July 25th 2543 (current, #28 just ahead of Christy Mathewson)
July 31st 2547
Aug 6th 2551
Aug 12th 2555 (one short of Jerry Koosman)
Aug 18th 2559 (passes Koosman #27)
Aug 24th 2563 (passes Tim Keefe #26)
Aug 30th 2567
Sept 5th 2571
Sept 11th 2575
Sept 17th 2579
Sept. 20th 2583 (passes Bob Feller #25, ties Spahn, #24)
Sept. 26th 2587 (passes Warren Spahn, #24)

Even if it means one less fielding gem per game by Jose Reyes, Glavine needs those 44 more strikeouts (10 more than predicted) as much as he needs 300 wins. Both are things that should be in the prayers of every Mets fan as Glavine completes this senior season.