Through Sunday night’s game in Anaheim, the Dodgers had scored an average of 3.46 runs per game, the lowest total in the league. Thing is, they’re allowing even fewer runs–only 3.03 per game. It’s an odd formula, as if concocted from the lovechild of Whitey Herzog and Hal Lanier, but for the most part, it’s been working.
Has the Dodgers performance thus far been historically significant? You bet your Lasorda. Since the end of the deadball era, no team has turned in a performance so out of line with the rest of the league. In the table below, I’ve listed those teams since 1920 whose runs scored plus runs allowed represented the lowest percentage of league average…
the Diamondbacks are back in the race after an amazing run–and yes, they’ve done it without Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Schilling looks like he’ll win the race back, but he may be rushing himself slightly. He’s due for a rehab start on Wednesday and the Snakes think he’ll get in one start in the majors before the ASB. Johnson, as we’ve known, will head to Triple-A one night later with his first MLB start just after the ASB. Johnson made it through his side sessions with a minimum of problems, so things are looking up in the desert. I guess the Rockies read UTK Tuesday and decided they’d better do something with Shawn Chacon. I think they had an idea something was wrong well before reading my column, however. Chacon heads to the DL with an elbow strain, but an MRI ruled out major damage inside his pitching arm. Chacon’s been pitching way over his head, but it stinks to see a guy come back to earth like that. When you look up “cascade” in the dictionary, there should be a picture of J.D. Drew. His knee problems have led to hip and ankle injuries. His hip injury has now caused problems in his surgically repaired right knee. Add in back injuries and a swing he’s had trouble getting on track and you wonder why the Cardinals don’t drop him on the DL and try to get him healthy. Oh, that’s right, it’s far too logical for TLR. We knew Drew would be slow coming back, but it may be 2004 before he’s close to full-go.
BP correspondent Steven Goldman sees the Twins messing with top young players Johan Santana and Bobby Kielty and reflects back on Casey Stengel’s handling and mishandling of young players.
As mentioned in yesterday’s Prospectus Triple Play, the Red Sox’ offense is chugging along rather well; at the half-way mark–they played their 81st game last night–they are on a pace to score 1030 runs, the highest total since the 1936 Yankees. The team is also chasing several other historic numbers. The Red Sox are not doing it via the home run, although their 99 dingers is fourth in the AL and seventh in the majors. And the offense is not being carried by a few monster seasons, only Nomar Garciaparra is having a year worth MVP consideration. They are simply crushing the ball–home runs, triples, and especially doubles–and getting contributions up and down the lineup. With the understanding that the Red Sox are playing in a high-offensive era, that they are playing with a designated hitter, and that a lot of things could happen in the remaining half-season, I thought we could take a look at how their offense stacks up with the better ones in history.
Brad Fullmer’s down in Anaheim, setting back the defending champs just that much more; the Indians are beginning their youth-movement; Mike Sweeney is taking some time off in Kansas City just when the Royals need him most; Brandon Claussen finally makes it back after the long road through surgery; and BP favorite Kevin Young gets shown the door in Pittsburgh. All this and much more news from around the league in your Wednesday edition of Transaction Analysis.
Matt Riley and Tim Raines Jr. are inching closer to the majors for the Orioles. Brian Fuentes’ production for the Rockies has trumped Jeff Cirillo’s in Seattle thus far. Roberto Alomar’s trade clears the way for Mets Ken Phelps All-Star Marco Scutaro. Plus other news and notes out of Baltimore, Colorado, and New York in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.