Monday, July 13, 2015

2015 All-Star Game Lineups

Ned Yost and Bruce Bochy just announced their starting lineups for Tuesday's All-Star Game at Great American Ballpark:

American League

National League


Let's go around the diamond for both squads and see who previously started an All-Star Game for that player's club at his position.


If you'd like to guess the players first, play this Sporcle quiz here.


















Los Angeles Angels ASG Starting Center Fielders

Albie Pearson 1963
Fred Lynn 1982
Fred Lynn 1983
Mike Trout 2015

Trout will make his third straight start and his first in center field. Only Rod Carew (1980-81, 1983-84) and Vladimir Guerrero (2004-07) have started four times as Angels. The other Angels starting outfielders are Wagner (1962-63 LF), Don Baylor (1979 LF), Reggie Jackson (1982, 1984 RF), Garret Anderson (2003 LF) and Guerrero (2004-05 RF, 2006 LF, 2007 RF). Trout batted first in 2013 and was the third Angel to do so, along with Jim Fregosi (1964, 1968) and Carew (1981, 1983).

Toronto Blue Jays ASG Starting Third Basemen

Josh Donaldson 2015

Donaldson is the first to start at the hot corner for Toronto, leaving the Astros, Nationals/Expos and Mariners as the only teams without an All-Star start at third base. Donaldson started last year as well, but as an Oakland Athletic. He's the 10th player to start at third for two different teams and the third to do so in consecutive seasons (Wade Boggs 1986-92 Red Sox, 1993-96 Yankees; Scott Rolen 2002 Phillies, 2003-04 Cardinals). With another start as a Red in 2011, Rolen is the only player to start as a representative of three different teams.

Los Angeles Angels ASG Starting First Basemen

Rod Carew 1980
Rod Carew 1981
Rod Carew 1983
Rod Carew 1984
Wally Joyner 1986
Albert Pujols 2015

Seattle Mariners ASG Starting Designated Hitters

Edgar Martinez 1995
Edgar Martinez 1997
Edgar Martinez 2001
Edgar Martinez 2003
Nelson Cruz 2015

Cruz is in good company with the best DH of all time, his hitting coach Edgar Martinez. He's the second Mariner to bat cleanup for the A.L., joining, you guessed it, Bret Boone in 2001.

Kansas City Royals ASG Starting Right Fielders

Jermaine Dye 2000
Lorenzo Cain 2015

Cain is the fourth Royal to draw an All-Star start in the outfield, along with Amos Otis (1973 CF), Bo Jackson (1989 LF) and Dye.

Baltimore Orioles ASG Starting Left Fielders

Frank Robinson 1966
Ken Singleton 1981
Brady Anderson 1997
Adam Jones 2015

Jones starts for the third straight time, but slides over to left after two years in center. Going back to their days as the St. Louis Browns, left fielder Sam West started in 1937. The other Baltimore outfield starts are Robinson (1969-71 RF), Anderson (1996 RF) and Jones (2013-14 CF). Browns CF Chet Laabs started the game in 1943.

Kansas City Royals ASG Starting Catchers

Darrell Porter 1979
Salvador Perez 2014
Salvador Perez 2015

Having also started behind the plate last year, Perez becomes the second Royal to start multiple All-Star Games (George Brett, nine starts, 1976-79, 1981-85).

Houston Astros ASG Starting Second Basemen

Craig Biggio 1995
Craig Biggio 1996
Craig Biggio 1997
Craig Biggio 1998
Jeff Kent 2004
Jose Altuve 2015

Altuve is the first Astro in the American League starting lineup. The last Houston player to start was Lance Berkman, who was at first base for the National League in 2008.

Kansas City Royals ASG Starting Shortstops

Freddie Patek 1978
Alcides Escobar 2015

The Royals are the third team to have an All-Star starter at catcher, shortstop and right field The 1952 Yankees had Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Hank Bauer, and the 1975 Reds had Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion and Pete Rose.

Look at that American League batting order...no Yankees, no Red Sox. This will be the 86th All-Star Game in MLB history, but the first with no Yankees or Red Sox in the A.L. starting lineup!

Houston Astros ASG Starting Pitchers

J.R. Richard 1980
Mike Scott 1987
Roger Clemens 2004
Dallas Keuchel 2015

Keuchel gets the nod over Chris Sale and Chris Archer, among others. Keuchel isn't quite the fireballer like the other three Houston hurlers, but brilliant nonetheless.


And now for the National League:

Pittsburgh Pirates ASG Starting Center Fielders

Matty Alou 1969
Andy Van Slyke 1992
Andrew McCutchen 2014
Andrew McCutchen 2015

McCutchen starts in place of the injured Giancarlo Stanton and leads off for the second straight year. The five other Pirates to lead off for the N.L are Paul Waner (1937), Arky Vaughn (1940), Dick Groat (both games in 1962), Roberto Clemente (1964) and Alou (1969). Bucs that started in left field are Ralph Kiner (1949-50), Bob Skinner (1958, both games in 1960), Willie Stargell (1965, 1971-72) and Barry Bonds (1992). Right field starters are Paul Waner (1937), Clemente (both games 1961-62, 1964, 1966-67), Dave Parker (1977, 1979-81) and Jason Bay (2006).

This will be the fifth All-Star Game with both center fielders leading off. The other years are 1951 (Dom DiMaggio & Richie Ashburn), 1995 (Kenny Lofton & Lenny Dykstra), 1996 (Lofton & Lance Johnson) and 2001 (Ichiro Suzuki & Luis Gonzalez)

Cincinnati Reds ASG Starting Third Basemen

Don Hoak 1957
Tony Perez 1970
Pete Rose 1976
Pete Rose 1978
Chris Sabo 1990
Chris Sabo 1991
Scott Rolen 2011
Todd Frazier 2015

Both third basemen will bat second for the first time in All-Star history. With the game in Cincinnati, we'll take a brief detour to look at host players. Frazier is the 11th third baseman to start in front of the home fans.

Jimmy Dykes (1933 White Sox)
Red Rolfe (1939 Yankees)
Bob Elliott (1944 Pirates)
George Kell (1951 Tigers)
Al Rosen (1954 Indians)
Eddie Mathews (1955 Braves)
Tony Perez (1970 Reds)
Chipper Jones (2000 Braves)
Alex Rodriguez (2008 Yankees)
David Wright (2013 Mets)
Todd Frazier (2015 Reds)

Here are the 12 host players to hit a home run:

Joe DiMaggio (1939 Yankees)
Ted Williams (1946 Red Sox) (hit two)
Vic Wertz (1951 Tigers)
George Kell (1951 Tigers)
Al Rosen (1954 Indians) (hit two)
Larry Doby (1954 Indians)
Jim Gilliam (1959 Dodgers)
Harmon Killebrew (1965 Twins)
Frank Howard (1969 Senators)
Hank Aaron (1972 Braves)
Sandy Alomar Jr. (1997 Indians)
Chipper Jones (2000 Braves)

The two host players to be named Most Valuable Player are Sandy Alomar Jr. (1997 Indians) and Pedro Martinez (1999 Red Sox).

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman joins Frazier on the N.L. squad and will likely pitch the ninth inning. Five host pitchers have recorded a save:

Mel Harder (1935 Indians)
Billy O'Dell (1958 Orioles)
Mickey Lolich (1971 Tigers)
Kazahiro Sasaki (2001 Mariners)
Glen Perkins (2014 Twins)

Six host pitchers picked up a win:

Johnny Vander Meer (1939 Reds)
Gene Conley (1955 Braves)
Stu Miller (1961 Giants)
Jerry Reuss (1980 Dodgers)
Jimmy Key (1991 Blue Jays)
Pedro Martinez (1999 Red Sox)


Five host pitchers have taken the loss:

Don Newcombe (1949 Dodgers)
Don Drysdale (1959 Dodgers)
Whitey Ford (1960 Yankees)
Jay Howell (1987 Athletics)
Roger Clemens (2004 Astros)

Washington Nationals ASG Starting Right Fielders

Bryce Harper 2015

Harper is the first Nationals player (or Expos player) to start an All-Star Game in right field. Alfonso Soriano represented the Nats in left field in 2006 and Harper drew the start in center in 2013. Looking at the franchise's days in Montreal, the Expos that started in left are Tim Raines (1982-83), Ivan Calderon (1991) and Vladimir Guerrero (2000). The three Expos to start in center are Andre Dawson (1981-83), Marquis Grissom (1993) and Guerrero (2002).

Arizona Diamondbacks ASG Starting First Basemen

Paul Goldschmidt 2014
Paul Goldschmidt 2015

Goldschmidt is the Senior Circuit's only returning starter from 2014. Arizona's other five All-Star starters are Matt Williams (3B, 1999), Jay Bell (2B, 1999), Randy Johnson (P, 2000), Luis Gonzalez (CF, 2001) and Curt Schilling (P, 2002). Goldy is the first player to hit fourth for the N.L. in consecutive All-Star Games since Sammy Sosa (2000-02).

San Francisco Giants ASG Starting Catchers

Walker Cooper 1946
Walker Cooper 1947
Walker Cooper 1948
Ed Bailey 1963
Buster Posey 2012
Buster Posey 2015

Posey earns his second start behind the plate and it's just the third by a Giant since their move to San Francisco.

Chicago Cubs ASG Starting Designated Hitters

Mark Grace 1993
Anthony Rizzo 2015

This won't be the first time that a Cubs first baseman slides over to DH. Mark Grace made the start in Baltimore in 1993. In 2011, the All-Star Game started using the DH even when the game was played in a National League park.

St. Louis Cardinals ASG Starting Shortstops

Leo Durocher 1936
Marty Marion 1943
Marty Marion 1944
Marty Marion 1946
Marty Marion 1947
Marty Marion 1950
Dick Groat 1963
Dick Groat 1964
Ozzie Smith 1983
Ozzie Smith 1984
Ozzie Smith 1985
Ozzie Smith 1986
Ozzie Smith 1987
Ozzie Smith 1988
Ozzie Smith 1989
Ozzie Smith 1990
Ozzie Smith 1991
Ozzie Smith 1992
Ozzie Smith 1994
Edgar Renteria 2003
Edgar Renteria 2004
David Eckstein 2005
Rafael Furcal 2012
Jhonny Peralta 2015

Peralta joins a list dominated by Ozzie Smith's 11 starts. The 24 starts at short by the Redbirds are the most of any team.

Los Angeles Dodgers ASG Starting Left Fielders

Joe Medwick 1940
Joe Medwick 1942
Augie Galan 1944
Jackie Robinson 1954
Wally Moon 1959 (1)
Wally Moon 1959 (2)
Tommy Davis 1962 (1)
Tommy Davis 1962 (2)
Tommy Davis 1963
Joc Pederson 2015

Pederson starts for the injured Matt Holliday. The Dodgers to start in center are Pete Reiser (1941-42), Duke Snider (1954-55), Jim Wynn (1974-75), Reggie Smith (1980), Andre Ethier (2010) and Matt Kemp (2011). The three to start in right are Dixie Walker (1944, 1946-47), Rick Monday (1978) and Yasiel Puig (2014).

Colorado Rockies ASG Starting Second Basemen

DJ LeMahieu 2015

LeMahieu starts in place of the injured Dee Gordon (don't slide headfirst into first base, kids!). He's the first Colorado player to start at the keystone corner, leaving four teams that have never had an All-Star starter at second base: the A's, Padres, Marlins and Rays.

Los Angeles Dodgers ASG Starting Pitchers

Whit Wyatt 1941
Ralph Branca 1948
Don Drysdale 1959 (1)
Don Drysdale 1959 (2)
Don Drysdale 1962 (1)
Johnny Podres 1962 (2)
Don Drysdale 1964
Sandy Koufax 1966
Don Drysdale 1968
Andy Messersmith 1974
Don Sutton 1977
Fernando Valenzuela 1981
Hideo Nomo 1995
Brad Penny 2006
Zack Greinke 2015

With Max Scherzer starting Sunday, the choice of Greinke becomes obvious. This will be the 15th All-Star start on the mound for L.A., only the Yankees have had more (19). Bochy's selection of L.A.'s Greinke gives us a battery of rivals with San Francisco's Buster Posey. It's not the first Dodgers/Giants pitcher/catcher starting combo in an All-Star Game. In 1948, Walker Cooper of the New York Giants was behind the dish catching Brooklyn Dodger Ralph Branca.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chris Heston and the Giants Pitching a No-Hitter in Four Consecutive Seasons

Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants no-hit the Mets last night.



He hit three batters, but those would be the only baserunners against him. It's only the third no-hitter since 1914 that had the only baserunners come on hit batsmen, but the other two only had one each (Lew Burdette 8-18-1960 and Kevin Brown 6-10-1997).


Only two other no-hitters since 1914 had multiple hit by pitches (Virgil Trucks 5-15-1952 and Bo Belinsky 5-5-1962). Those both had two HBP's, making this the first in at least the last century with three hit batsmen.


No-hitters have become an annual occurrence for the Giants. Matt Cain pitched a 15-strikeout perfect game in 2012Tim Lincecum threw a 148-pitch no-hitter in 2013, and Lincecum pitched another no-no last year. Heston's gem made the Giants the second team to pitch a no-hitter in four consecutive seasons:

1962-65 Dodgers

1962: Sandy Koufax (6-30-1962)
1963: Sandy Koufax (5-11-1963)
1964: Sandy Koufax (6-4-1964)
1965: Sandy Koufax (9-9-1965)

Sandy Koufax: Pretty Good.

The last of these was a 14-strikeout perfect game, the most in a perfecto along with Cain's masterpiece.


Let's take a look at the four other teams that have pitched a no-hitter in three consecutive seasons:

1916-18 Red Sox

1916: Rube Foster (6-21-1916), Dutch Leonard (8-30-1916)
1917: Babe Ruth and Ernie Shore (6-23-1917)
1918: Dutch Leonard (6-13-1918)

That 1917 game featured the greatest relief appearance in baseball history. Ruth walked the first batter of the game, Ray Morgan. He argued with home plate umpire Brick Owens, who ejected him from the game. Ruth responded by slugging Owens in the head and Shore was called in to pitch on two days rest. Morgan was immediately thrown out stealing second and then Shore retired all 26 batters. It's not an official perfect game because of the Ruth walk, but it goes down instead as a combined no-hitter.

1946-48 Indians

1946: Bob Feller (4-30-1946)
1947: Don Black (7-10-1947)
1948: Bob Lemon (6-30-1948)

Black is the relative unknown here. He beat Bill McCahan and the A's in his no-no, then McCahan no-hit the Senators two months later. Only three other pitchers have been on the wrong end of a no-hitter, then pitched MLB's next one (Hugh Daily 1883, Mal Eason 1906, Tim Lincecum 2013). We'll see if Noah Syndergaard pitches the major leagues' next no-no.

1967-69 Orioles

1967: Steve Barber and Stu Miller (4-30-1967)
1968: Tom Phoebus (4-27-1968)
1969: Jim Palmer (8-13-1969)

The combined no-hitter by Barber and Miller was actually a loss! The O's had just taken a 1-0 lead in the eighth on a Luis Aparicio sac fly, but Barber opened the ninth by walking the first two batters. He set down the next two and got two strikes on Mickey Stanley, but with runners on second and third, he uncorked a wild pitch that tied the game. He ended up walking Stanley for his tenth free pass of the game (!) and departed for Miller. From the SABR article about the game:
The first batter he faced, Don Wert, smacked a ground ball up the middle that shortstop Luis Aparicio ranged far to his left and caught on the run. Aparicio then gave a backhanded toss to second baseman Mark Belanger, who had just entered the game as a defensive replacement, for the force out. The normally sure-handed Belanger’s bare hand got in the way of the throw causing the ball to drop out of his glove. The error allowed Wood to score the Tigers' second run of the game. The next hitter, Al Kaline, hit a sharp grounder that caromed off third baseman’s Brooks Robinson’s glove. The ball took a fortuitous bounce into the waiting hands of Aparicio, who threw to Belanger covering second for final out of the inning.
This game was so strange that the great Mark Belanger made an error that allowed the winning run to score. Fred Gladding worked a 1-2-3 ninth and the Tigers beat Baltimore 2-1 despite being no-hit.

1973-75 Angels

1973: Nolan Ryan (5-15-1973), Nolan Ryan (7-15-1973)
1974: Nolan Ryan (9-28-1974)
1975: Nolan Ryan (6-1-1975)

This is like the Dodgers streak in that only one pitcher is responsible for it. With two outs in the ninth inning of the first no-hitter, Norm Cash came to the plate with a table leg instead of a bat. When home plate ump Ron Luciano told him he couldn't bat with a table leg instead of a bat, Cash (0-for-3, 2 K) said, "But Ron, I’ve got as much chance with this as I do with a bat." He popped up to short for the final out.