Nationals by the Numbers- September 17, 2017

 

dm_170914_MLB_Nationals_Robles_Triple

Rookie Victor Robles’ triple against the Atlanta Braves on September 14, 2017 electrified the crowd at Nationals Park.

Think of some of the most exciting things a fan can witness while attending a baseball game.  A booming home run, a walk-off hit, a pitcher striking out the side and a tremendous defensive play are among them but for me, seeing a batter hit a ball into the gap and make it all the way to third for a three bagger is right at the top.  In this edition of Nationals by the Numbers, we look at some details related to triples hit by the Nationals over their 13 years in Washington (thanks to Baseball-reference.com’s Play Index for making finding this information very quick and easy).

2

If a triple is a relatively rare occurrence at a Major League baseball game, a triple hit by a pitcher is more rare than a genial debate these days between Democrats and Republicans.

In the Nats’ history, two pitchers have hit triples.  On September 24, 2005 at RFK Stadium against the New York Mets, Livan Hernandez hit a three bagger against Tom Glavine.  Almost two years later at Shea Stadium on July 28, 2007, Joel Hanrahan did the trick against Mike Pelfrey and the Mets.  The triple was one of two for Hernandez in his 17 year Major League career, and the only one for Hanrahan.

4

Four players have had a Nats’ record two triples in game.

If you blinked, you might have missed infielder Bernie Castro’s time with the Nationals in 2006.  The switch-hitter played in 42 games for the Nats that season and hit only .227, but he had two triples in Washington’s 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on September 16th at RFK Stadium.

With 28 triples as a National, Cristian Guzman has the most in Nats’ history.  On April 7, 2008 at Nationals Park against Florida, Guzman had two triples in Washington’s 10-7 loss to the Marlins.

Speedy Denard Span patrolled centerfield valiantly for the Nationals from 2013 to 2015, and he hit 19 triples while playing in DC.  On May 31, 2013 at Atlanta, Span had two triples in Washington’s 3-2 victory over the Braves.

On August 13, 2016, Ben Revere became the fourth Nats’ player with two triples in a game. Revere’s pair of triples came in a 7-6 victory over the Braves at Nationals Park.

5

There have been five games in Nats’ history where a team record three triples have been hit.

On April 13, 2005 at Atlanta, Jamey Carroll, Jose Vidro and Terrmel Sledge all tripled in Washington’s 11-4 victory.  Later that season, Brad Wilkerson, Preston Wilson and Brandon Watson all tripled but the trio of extra base hits did not prevent Washington from losing 8-4 to Florida.

RFK Stadium’s spacious gaps in both left-center and right-center were lush breeding ground for triples, and the Nats had three there in a September 16, 2006 8-5 win over Milwaukee. The aforementioned Bernie Castro had a pair, with then-rookie Ryan Zimmerman chipping in with the other.

In recent years the Nationals’ offense has often come alive when playing at Miami, and it certainly did on April 14, 2014 in the Nats’ 9-2 victory over the Marlins. In that contest, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa and Anthony Rendon all tripled.

In addition to Ben Revere’s pair of triples on August 13, 2016, Trea Turner also had one in the Nats’  7-6 win over the Braves at Nationals Park.

11

Almost as rare as a triple by a pitcher is one by a player who toils behind the plate as a catcher. In Nats’ history, there have been 11 triples hit by catchers. Brian Schneider’s April 25, 2005 triple against Philadelphia at RFK Stadium was the first, and Jose Lobaton’s three bagger at home against Minnesota on April 22, 2016 was the most recent.

Former Nats’ backstop Jesus Flores holds the record for most triples by a catcher in his tenure in Washington with four.

12

If a garden variety triple is among the most exciting plays in baseball, a triple with the bases loaded takes the excitement level up several notches.

The Nats have had 12 bases loaded triples, with Daniel Murphy being the only player with more than one.  Murphy had one on April 7, 2016 in the Nats’ home opening loss to Miami and picked up another this April 25th in Washington’s victory at Colorado.

The 2017 Nats have a team-record three bases loaded triples in a season.  Trea Turner joined Murphy by having on on April 25th at Colorado, and Howie Kendrick drove home three runs with a triple on August 28th against Miami.

27

The 2017 Nats have 27 triples, with Trea Turner (6), Wilmer Difo (4) and Michael A. Taylor (3) leading the way. The team is only two three baggers away from the 2016 team’s total, but a far cry away from the Washington Nationals’ record of 38 set in the otherwise disappointing 103 loss 2009 season.

350

Washington has 350 triples since 2005, with 176 coming at home and 174 being hit on the road.  The Nats have hit 125 triples at Nationals Park since 2008, and hit 51 at RFK Stadium from 2005 through 2007.

On the road, the Nats’ had a team high 27 at Turner Field in Atlanta.  They’ve hit 17 at Marlins Park in Miami and 15 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.  The 12 triples hit by Nats’ players at Chase Field in Arizona is the high mark at non-NL East facilities.

As referenced earlier, Cristian Guzman’s 28 triples is the most for a Nationals’ player. Ian Desmond is next with 21, followed by Ryan Zimmerman (20), Denard Span (19), Bryce Harper (18) and Trea Turner (14).

Advertisements

Nationals Notes- July 30th

desmondwoffvaz

Former National Ian Desmond celebrates his walk-off home run on May 2, 2012 that gave the Nationals a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With the Nationals a comfortable 12.5 games ahead of the Miami Marlins in the National League East on the day before the 2017 trade deadline, here’s a look at a few notes of interest coming out of the past five games.

WELCOME BACK

What is not to like about former National shortstop Ian Desmond?  Desmond plays the game with passion, is beloved by all who have played with him and, by all accounts, is one of the finest people in baseball as well.

Desmond made his return to Nationals Park this weekend as a member of the Colorado Rockies, but unfortunately will not be able to participate in the series due to injury.

The Florida native was a three time Silver Slugger award winner for Washington, and was an integral part of the Nationals’ rise from cellar dwellers to National League East champions.

Probably the best season for Desmond came in 2012, when he hit. .292 with 25 homers, drove in 73 runs and made the National League All-Star squad in Washington’s first division winning season.   The talented infielder was particularly strong at Nationals Park that season, hitting .310 with 16 home runs and posting a .888 OPS.

BANG ZOOM X 10

Brian Goodwin joined the Nats’ double digit home run club by hitting his 10th in the Nationals’ eight home run effort in its 15-2 trouncing of Milwaukee on July 27th.  Goodwin became the sixth Nationals’ player with 10 or more homers in 2017, joining Bryce Harper (27), Ryan Zimmerman (22), Anthony Rendon (21), Daniel Murphy (17) and Michael A. Taylor (12).    The Nationals’ high mark for most players with 10 or more home runs in a season is eight, set in 2015 and equaled last season.  With Jayson Werth and Adam Lind standing at eight round trippers each and with Matt Wieters and Trea Turner both with seven, there’s a decent chance that the 2017 Nationals will be record setters in this category.

BANG ZOOM X 5

There have been 18 instances of a National League team’s hitting five or more home runs in a game this season, and the Nats lead the way with four such games. In addition to the record-setting eight home run performance on Thursday against the Brewers, the Nats clubbed seven in a 23-5 rout of the Mets on April 30th, hit five in a 13-3 win at Oakland on June 2nd and also hit five in their 14-4 win at Cincinnati on July 17th.

Since 2012, Washington’s 13 five plus home run games trails only Colorado’s 15 among National League teams.

MAKE ROOM FOR SOME HARDWARE

Nationals’ players stand at the top of the Wins Above Replacement totals among both National League batters and pitchers.

Among position players, Anthony Rendon’s 4.9 leads the league with teammate Bryce Harper next at 4.7. Harper comfortably leads the league in OPS at 1.075, with Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt a distant second at 1.017.

Max Scherzer’s 5.5 mark easily leads the way among hurlers, with teammate Gio Gonzalez second at 4.6.   Stephen Strasburg is eighth among National League pitchers at 3.2,

In his bid for his third career Cy Young Award, Scherzer is on pace to become only the second pitcher since 2003 to have 300 or more strikeouts in a season. Scherzer has a league leading 201 punch outs in his first 21 starts.

Gonzalez allowed only two runs in seven strong innings on Wednesday night, but got a no decision in Washington’s 8-5 comeback win over Milwaukee.  The lefty has allowed three or fewer earned runs in all 10 of his starts at Nationals Park this season.

ODDS AND ENDS

Infielder Wilmer Difo has eight RBI in his last 40 at bats after driving in seven in his first 110 of the season. In his last ten games, Difo is hitting .300 with ten runs scored and a pair of RBI.

New Nationals’ bench player Howie Kendrick is as consistent a player as they come.  In his 12 year Major League career, he’s hit .293 with a .753 OPS in games played at his home park while hitting .288 with a .751 OPS in games on the road. In the first halves of seasons Kendrick has a .287 average and a .746 OPS, while hitting .295 with a .740 OPS in road contests.   Among the reasons why picking up the veteran to fortify the Nats’ bench was a good idea is his performance against left-handed pitchers so far in 2017. In 38 at bats against southpaws, Kendrick is hitting .342 with a .918 OPS.

An unsung performer out of the Nats’ bullpen this year has been veteran Oliver Perez. The lefthander with the funky delivery struck out all three Rockies he faced on Saturday night, giving him 29 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched on the year.  Perez has been scored upon in only two of his last 18 outings, and has given up only six hits in 14 innings pitched during that span.