- Dumb Luck Wins
- Tough Luck Losses
- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
Programming Note: JunkStats On Hiatus For Next Few Weeks The All-Adverb Team
JunkStats returns from its long hiatus with a look at the pitchers who were used to get exactly 3 outs the most consecutive times.
Craig Kimbrel of the Braves recorded only 2 outs last night (he came on with 1 out in the 9th inning and closed out an 8-5 victory). This is notable because in each of Kimbrel’s previous 35 appearances, he had pitched exactly 1 inning.
That seemed like a really long streak, which of course inspired me to do some research to see exactly how long it was, historically speaking. Using Baseball-Reference’s marvelous Play Index, I found that Kimbrel’s 35 straight games of 1 inning makes for the 12th-longest such streak of all time. Here are the top 12 streaks:
EDIT 2/6/12: Updated to include the end of Axford’s streak. He threw a third of an inning in a 2-0 Brewers loss on August 24th
Cordero’s 62-game streak lasted for nearly an entire year. It was preceded by a 1-out save and ended when he was brought in to get 1 out at the end of a road loss. That streak-ending appearance is really strange in context. Cordero hadn’t pitched in a week, so it made sense to get him some work, but why wait to bring him in until the there was only 1 out to go? He only threw 2 pitches (a hit and a groundout), and his Reds were down 4 runs at the time. Whatever your opinion on proper bullpen usage, that’s just a strange time to use your ace reliever.
Trevor Hoffman, unsurprisingly, makes the list 3 times. He should rightly be considered the king of the 3-out appearance. Mariano Rivera has been a better pitcher, but his longest streak of 1 IP appearances lasted only 17 games; Hoffman had 8 streaks of at least 20 games! And that includes 4 streaks of 30+ games and the 53-game streak that is
–for now, anyway–the second-longest all time the third-longest of all time. Closing in quickly on Passing Hoffman at #2 is his successor as the Brewers’ closer, John Axford. After starting this year with two straight appearances of 0.2 innings, Axford has reeled off an amazing 52 58 straight appearances of exactly 1 inning. That 52-game streak is already the single-season record, and it could easily surpass Cordero’s streak for #1 overall before the end of the year nearly surpassed Cordero’s record. Exciting! (Who needs a pennant race when you can monitor a junk stat streak like this?)
The era of the “1-inning reliever” is commonly thought to have begun in the late 80′s or early 90′s, but as you can see from the list above, it’s hit a whole other level in the 2000′s. In fact, of the 88 streaks of at least 20 games, 84 of them happened in the 2000′s. The only exceptions are Jose Mesa’s 45-game streak (listed above), another 27-gamer by Mesa from ’95 to ’96, a 33-gamer by Lee Smith from ’95 to ’96, and a 22-gamer by Tom Henke in 1992.
In other words, Trevor Hoffman had twice as many 20-game streaks in the 2000′s as everyone in baseball history combined had had up to that point.
The longest streak of 1-inning appearances before 1990 is a measly 13-game streak by Jeff Montgomery in 1989. That doesn’t even crack the top 200 streaks of all time, but it was quite long at the time. Before 1988, no MLB pitcher had gone exactly 1 inning in more than 8 straight games. Trevor Hoffman alone has had 21 streaks longer than that. There have also been 49 longer streaks just during the first 3/4 of the 2011 season.
It’s a brave new world that we’re living in.
Tagged with: Brad Lidge bullpen management closer usage Craig Kimbrel Eddie Guardado Francisco Cordero Heath Bell Jeff Montgomery John Axford Jose Mesa Lee Smith Mariano Rivera Rafael Soriano specialization streaks the 2000s Todd Jones Tom Henke Trevor Hoffman
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
What I’ve Done For You Lately
- The Braves Won 2 Straight Games With No RBIs
- The All-Time Labor Day Team
- Jason Vargas Could Make Home Run History
- The Most Runs Scored On A Small Number Of Hits
- Most Team Games Scoring Exactly __ Runs In A Season
- The 2012 Astros And The Longest Extra-Inning Loss Streaks
- The 2012 Orioles And The Longest Extra-Inning Win Streaks
- Most Doubles Allowed By A Pitcher In A Game
- Most RBIs While Driving In All Of A Team’s Runs
- Player Hits Three Homers, Team Scores Three Runs
GraffitiA's Albert Pujols bad pitching Billy Wagner Brad Lidge Braves Carlos Zambrano CC Sabathia Craig Kimbrel Diamondbacks Dodgers dumb luck wins Giants good bad games Greg Maddux Hank Aaron home runs Indians Kelly Johnson Kenny Rogers Livan Hernandez Mark Reynolds Mets names Phillies Pirates Prince Fielder Randy Johnson Rangers rare feats Reds relief pitching Roberto Clemente Roy Halladay Ryan Howard Sammy Sosa streaks strikeouts Theme Teams tough luck losses Twins walks week in JunkStats Willie Mays Yankees