Baseball by the numbers

Written By BY BILL CHUCK | @billyball Posted: 06/22/2014, 02:32am
Array Chicago Cubs starter Jake Arrieta pitches to the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game in Miami, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter) ORG XMIT: FLJC105

This week’s names and numbers in baseball:


1. In 20 seasons, Tony Gwynn had a .338 batting average, a .388 on-base percentage and a .459 slugging percentage. He played the equivalent of a full season against the Cubs (168 games), and his slash line was very similar: .333/.387/.439. At Wrigley Field, he was .335/.392/.434 in 85 games.

2. Partying like it’s 2008: The last time the Cubs had a winning record in June was 2008, when they went 15-12. But their team ERA that month was a fat 4.44.

3. Jake Arrieta has started 18 games for the Cubs and has allowed no runs in four and only one run in eight.

4. On Wednesday, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each had three hits in the Cubs’ victory against the Marlins. Rizzo has had at least three hits four times this season. Castro has 12 such games, tying him for the major-league lead with Troy Tulowitzki.

5. Nate Schierholtz could benefit by showing a little more patience at the plate. In 2012, he saw four pitches per plate appearance. In 2013, he saw 3.9. This season, he’s seeing 3.87. Also, from 2009 to 2013, Schierholtz swung at the first pitch he saw 28.9 percent of the time. This season, he’s up to 33.9 percent.

6. As long as we’re talking about pitches per plate appearance, the major-league average is 3.84, and both the Cubs and White Sox average 3.85. Ryan Sweeney sees the most pitches on the Cubs at 4.23, followed by Luis Valbuena at 4.20. Welington Castillo sees 3.62 and Starlin Castro 3.69.

7. Jack Taylor, who went 44-for-189 (.233) in 1902, holds the Cubs’ record for most hits in a season by a pitcher. More recently, Carlos Zambrano went 28-for-83 (.337) in 2008. Travis Wood went 14-for-67 (.222) last season and is 8-for-29 (.276) this season.

8. The Cubs, Marlins, Rangers and Blue Jays are the only teams not to give up an 0-2 home run this season. Cubs pitchers have only allowed 21 hits on 0-2 counts, the fewest in the majors.

9. On the subject of homers, Cubs starters had allowed a major-league-low 32 entering play Friday, with Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood yielding half of them with eight each.


1. On the Kittle watch: Jose Abreu became the eighth White Sox rookie to have a 20-home-run season. Ron Kittle hit 35 when he was the Rookie of the Year in 1983. When Tommie Agee was the Rookie of the Year in 1966, he hit 22 homers.

2. Jose Abreu has the most homers by a Sox player this season, but Adam Dunn has the longest. His 444-foot homer May 16 was estimated to be a foot longer than Abreu’s on May 9.

3. Chris Sale has faced 243 batters this season and has gone 0-1 on 133 of them and 1-2 on 112.

4. While we’re on the subject: Among pitchers who have thrown 60 or more innings, nobody has as low an OPS allowed as Sale. His .460 OPS allowed is significantly better than Johnny Cueto’s .503.

5. The Sox lead the majors with seven homers on 0-2 counts. Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn have three each, and Avisail Garcia has the seventh.

6. The Sox lead the American League with a .314 batting average on balls in play. The major-league average is .298. Adrian Nieto has a .452 BABiP and Tyler Flowers has a .400 BABiP. On the low end, Paul Konerko’s BABiP is .218 and Alejandro De Aza’s is .245.

7. The Paul Konerko stat of the week: From June 22, 1998, to Sept. 2, 2007, Paulie went 1,350 games without being caught stealing. He stole five bases during that time. Konerko has nine career stolen bases, and no player who has played at least 2,300 games has that few.

8. In the Sox’ first 74 games, they were 9-36 when allowing four or more runs and 28-14 when scoring four or more runs.

9. The Sox are 13-23 in games in which there have been more than 22,000 fans in the ballpark and 22-16 when there have been fewer than 22,000. Did you ever think they might be shy?


Chicago player anagram • Scroll down for answer


June 23 is the 30th anniversary of ‘‘The Sandberg Game.’’ At Wrigley Field, Ryno went 5-for-6 with game-tying home runs against this Cardinals closer in the ninth and 10th innings. He drove in seven runs to lead the Cubs to a 12-11 victory in 11 innings. It was the only time this Hall of Famer gave up two homers to the same batter in the same game.

The week ahead:

The Cubs host the Reds and the Nationals in what might prove to be a very difficult week. The White Sox continue their longest road trip of the season with three in Baltimore and four in Toronto. I hope everybody remembered their passports.

Chicago-gram answer:

Bruce Sutter

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