29 September 2011

Wacky baseball night!

Baseball fans in the US are now well familiar with the epic collapse of the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves.  Last night was probably the most exciting night of baseball I have seen in at least ten years.  There are many, many places to read about what happened to the Red Sox and Braves.

I wish to point out something else that interested me last night.  There were four shutouts last night, three of which were complete-game shutouts by starting pitchers.  The most important of the four was Chris Carpenter's gem against the Houston Astros.  Carpenter gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out 11.  Also throwing a two-hit shutout was Miguel Batista of the New York Mets.  He blanked the Cincinnati Reds as the Mets finished the season at 77-85.

The one run the hapless Minnesota Twins scored for Carl Pavano was enough as Pavano shutout the Kansas City Royals while giving up five hits.  The win kept Minnesota's loss total for the season at 99.

Finally, the Seattle Mariners were shutout last night by two pitchers for the Oakland A's.  Gio Gonzalez gave up just two hits in eight innings; Andrew Bailey got the save after pitching a scoreless 9th inning.  It is a fitting end to the Mariners' season as they finished dead last in baseball in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, batting average, and runs scored.  The team's on-base percentage was 0.292 for the season.  Ouch.  Scoring just 556 runs in 162 games, the Mariners averaged about 3.43 runs per game.  The American League ERA average was 4.08 with the Angles leading the pack at 3.57.  Pitching against Seattle this past year meant that every team was better than the best pitching staff in the league!

There were 323 shutouts in major league baseball this past season; four of them took place last night.  There were 2429 total games played (the Dodgers and Nationals missed a game against each other), meaning shutouts happened in about 13.3% of the games.  There were four shutouts last night in the 15 games played, or about 26.7% of the games, which is double the seasonal average.  I know not to make much out of single points of data, but I did find it interesting that four shutouts took place on the last day of the regular season.

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