CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 23: Chris Heisey #28 is congratulated by Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Redsafter scoring a run during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park on July 23, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
It's Friday afternoon, and there's nothing going on. Or at least, there's nothing going on as I write this. So let's get lost in some numbers! Splits are fascinating!
Fridays are slow days in the real world, and they're also slow days on the Internet. This is bad for the former, but doubly bad for the latter. The success of the latter depends on two things: responses to real-life events, and works of original creativity. When there aren't a lot of real-life events, and when normally original brains aren't feeling their most creative, the Internet suffers. Suffers grievously.
Thankfully, at least in the baseball corner of the Internet, we have statistics. So many statistics, some of which no man has ever seen. These statistics allow a baseball writer who isn't feeling particularly creative to go in, pull out a few numbers, and point at them and say "Wow, aren't those interesting!"
That's what I'm going to do here. There's nothing going on and I'm feeling uncreative, so, statistics.
The theme here is offensive splits. I didn't want to just present a bunch of stats with nothing to do with one another, and everybody loves splits. Splits are numbers you're comfortable with, arranged in little groups. The following splits come courtesy of Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs. On we go. There are seven! Or arguably ten!
Everybody understands that Petco Park is a pitcher-friendly park. Most have made peace with it. Everybody knows what it means. But it still has to be kind of a bummer for the Padres' hitters that the park is so extreme, because even though people get that the park makes the offense look worse than it is, they still have the same visceral reaction when they see it: "wow, this offense is really bad." Intellectually it's easy to separate the players from the ballpark, but emotionally they're harder to pull apart. Even though the Padres' offense has not been horrible, it has been perceived as horrible, in large part because it struggles at home. Why, that's not much of a home at all! That's more of a house!
Not Jose Reyes. Not Hunter Pence. Not Dustin Pedroia or Peter Bourjos or Rajai Davis. Pablo Sandoval. This split is a lot more interesting and weird until you realize that Sandoval has gotten here by leaning on grounders that get through to the outfield grass, rather than the infield variety. Pablo Sandoval does not lead baseball in infield hits. He's not even anywhere close. Dang it.
"High-leverage situation," in short, is a fancier way of saying "clutch situation." A high-leverage situation is one in which the game kind of hangs in the balance. It turns out that, when the game has kind of hanged in the balance, pitchers have had very little success challenging the greatest hitter in the world. Wow!
Yuni has batted 57 balls to the right side, and collected four singles and a double. Gonzalez has batted 110 balls to the left side, and collected 32 singles, 16 doubles and eight home runs. Adrian Gonzalez has more home runs to the opposite field than Yuniesky Betancourt has hits. By 60 percent.
Those are pulled balls to left field, because Chris Heisey is a right-handed hitter. On the Reds. Who is 26. He plays the outfield. Now you know some things about Chris Heisey. Here is a picture I just found of him:
He looks nice, although looks can deceive.
(6) The best offense in baseball over the past 30 days has been Oakland's
By one measure, anyway. Over that span of time, the A's have posted a team .839 OPS, while the Yankees are second at .810. The A's lead in slugging, they lead in OBP, they're second in average, and they're third in runs. The Oakland A's. Best as I can figure, the A's know that nobody watches their games anymore, so they and their scheduled opponents have just taken the days off and Billy Beane has faxed the commissioner's office with box scores he made up in his office.
The Angels are in first by four, while the Red Sox are in last by four. Peter Bourjos has 11 bunt hits of his own. The Red Sox's team leader in bunt hits is Josh Reddick, who has one. He is tied with Adrian Gonzalez, who has one. Last year the Red Sox had seven bunt hits. The year before that, they had 13 bunt hits. The 2011 Angels have more bunt hits than the 2009-2011 Red Sox, by six.