Thursday, July 3, 2014

2014: COMPLETE GAMES #57, #58, #59

We are amused (and chagrined...) to discover that some of you are eager enough to read these blog posts that you get to them just as soon as the little notification thingee does its thang (hmm...thingee doin' its thang...the seventies just refuse to die, don't they?).

Half-a-Million Contac™ Tiny Time Pills, by Victor Landweber
And we have a lazy habit here of posting a tease right before midnight to ensure that we don't have too many posts on the same day (because we HATE that...) and we don't want to fiddle with the mechanisms permitting the blog entry to have a timed release, but we've always been dubious about those "tiny time pills" and the one time we actually tried to use that feature we discovered that our blog entry was nowhere to be found.

So, in deference to some of you who have been a bit peeved by this practice of ours, we're gonna do the following. Whenever we pull this stunt, we're going to put an asterisk (*) in the title line. That way you'll know to wait for the next notice, which (unless we get more loopy than what those "non-tiny time pills" have been doing to us) will be asterisk-free and will contain a bit more content (but not too much more, of course...) than the cryptic phrase "coming soon."

OK? OK. So that's all good, and we'll see you later.

He may be red hot, but we like him in blue...
Oh, wait--right...there are some more of those pesky CGs to report (pays to actually read the title of the essay, n'est-ce pas?). While we're here, then...

Rick Porcello (7/1) threw the first complete game in 2014 in which the pitcher didn't strike anyone out. The lowest total previously in 2014? Two, by Lance Lynn in his CG from 5/27.

We were wondering if paucity of K's had anything to do with what happened to a CG guy in his very next start. (You may recall that we're tracking the "game after the complete game"--the current averages, BTW, are: 48-11, 0.60 ERA in the CG; 20-21, 4.16 ERA in the game after the CG.) Do guys who go all the way without a lot of K's do worse than their high-K counterparts? (We'll leave it to you for the "Special K" jibes...go ahead, get it out of your system.)

The answer--at least according to the sample of CG pitchers in 2014 who fanned five or less--is no. Their ERA in their follow-up games is 4.17, so you can offically throw a blanket over these guys with impunity (and no asterisk, either).

BTW, that was Rick's second straight CG shutout. We'll have to dig through Forman et fils to come up with the pitcher who last had three consecutive CG shutouts...

The Padres' Tyson Ross (7/2) tossed CG #58 vs. the Reds down in Petco Park, where the pitcher-friendly confines have been a significant factor in his career turnaround. (Tyson's lifetime ERA in Petco Park, spanning 120+ IP over the past two years, is 2.05. Elsewhere, it's 4.77.)

And yesterday (7/3), the Jays' R.A. Dickey gave his bullpen a rest, going all eight innings in what tured out to be the eleventh CG loss of 2014. Dickey has been nothing more or less than a league-average pitcher since his acrimonious departure from New York in the 2012-13 offseason following his Cy Young year. The Jays have a $1M buyout clause after 2015, and right now we strongly suspect that they'll exercise it.