Home > Uncategorized > Thanks To Tuesday, There Are A Few Cool Baseball Numbers To Calm Me

Thanks To Tuesday, There Are A Few Cool Baseball Numbers To Calm Me

I like coming on here and pointing out baseball happenings that strike my fancy every now and then. Most of my ideas come from things I see while flipping through the DirecTV package that night or when I’m actually at a game. And for the past week, I’ve been dying — yes, literally — to talk about team cycles in one inning.

See, I went to Wednesday’s Phillies-Dodgers matinée at Chavez Ravine, where 12:10 p.m. starts are an absolutely beautiful thing. In the second inning, the Dodgers hit for the cycle. After a couple of one-out walks, Matt Kemp singled and Juan Rivera hit a three-run home run. Following yet another walk, Dioner Navarro doubled and Jamey Carroll tripled. Jesus, that’s an awful lineup.

Anyway, I know that team cycles in one inning aren’t exactly the rarest of birds. I’ve heard of them in passing many times before, and the Royals actually did the trick against the Yankees tonight. But I just wanted to check it out, just see how much of the game they do own.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find my answer. I e-mailed my go-to site, Baseball-Reference.com, about it but got a response stating the website doesn’t have the capability right now to give stats within an inning. “Hopefully we will add this capability at some point in the future, though.”

Oh, boo.

These are the kind of things that depress me. I’ve been trying to find a suitable replacement to fill this hole in my heart, but nothing felt right.

Until today when the gods seemed to smile and give idiots like me not one, but three decent, semi-historical, number-centric subjects to talk about: triple plays, team triples in one game and walk-off grand slams.

I’m not performing some really in-depth research; I just think these things are kind of neat. So since I got a late start on this tonight, I’ll talk a little bit about one before addressing the next two topics over the next two nights. I’ll start with triple plays because that’s almost where I started last night.

I saw that the Dodgers grounded into four double plays while also hitting into a triple play Monday against the Brewers (Where was Matt Kemp going?). That’s a little too convoluted for me to try to compare against history with any meaningful result, but I can say that going as far back as 1990, we’ve had eight days where a team grounded into at least four double plays and hit into a triple play. But it was never the same team. By the way, the San Francisco Giants hold the record for double plays in one game with seven. That was some tough luck for Juan Marichal.

But triple plays in back-to-back days? Well, it was completed tonight, thanks to the Red Sox and the Rays’ Sean Rodriguez. Given Rodriguez’s respectable speed, that’s a really impressive play although it looks easy.

According to SABR, triple plays on consecutive days have now happened only 19 times since 1876, and that’s including both ends of the three-day period from May 29-31, 1927, when a triple play took place on each day. That’s a pretty small number, but it is actually blown out of proportion by including the days before World War II. It looks like at least 60 percent of the sport’s triple plays took place prior to 1941. Hell, there was a week in May 1914 when there were four triple plays turned!

But that high volume does give us amusing coincidences, like the fact that on June 6, 1908, the Boston Red Sox hit into a triple play against the Detroit Tigers. On June 7, 1908, they did it again. As you may imagine, they are the only team in history to do that in consecutive days.

In more modern terms, this has happened only seven times since 1928. The Red Sox were involved in another 1-of-1 piece of baseball history: They hit into two triple plays in the same game against the Minnesota Twins. And both of them, exactly like how the Red Sox performed it Tuesday, went 5-4-3 around the horn.

But hey, they didn’t supplement that with four double plays, so there’s a plus. If only the Dodgers had hit into two triple plays on Monday. Man, we would have really had something ….

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