Let’s call this one “Stats Saturday” shall we? Personally I love stats. I think it comes from my childhood when what mattered the most to me was not finishing my homework, or learning obscure math formulas, but studying the backs of hockey cards. I swear most years I could recite the stats off the back of every card before I could tell you what a preposition or a quadrilateral triangle was…
And of course baseball loves stats. Baseball IS stats. Some say it’s because there’s so much standing around, you might as well figure out how many time Barry Bonds hit home runs with an orange undershirt on vs. the home supplied white one. Stats make the game – and while any gambler will admit you can’t predict game winners using stats, you can certainly dissect the past with precision to wow and amaze your friends.
The WCL actually keeps extremely good and accurate stats. In the golden age of information sharing and standardization, the PointStreak service the WCL uses is top-notch for being able to pull and report at both the team and player level. And that’s where I spend a good portion of my prep-time for these posts. Every time I’m in there, it seems I find another amazing stat. This time, there’s just too many good ones not to share!
For instance, did you know that before the first game of Friday’s double-header in Cowlitz, Brad Pluschkell was on a 13-game hitting streak, hitting safely in every game he’d played to that point. As you guess by the tone, he was held without a hit yesterday, but still owns the longest hit streak of the season in the WCL.
How about Griffin Andreychuk – he’s currently on a 19-game on base streak that began June 14, which is also a league-best this season and counting.
And of course when you’re not losing games, your pitchers tend to get on their own streaks as well. Will McAffer and Austin Dondanville have WCL-best 4-game winning streak going, tied with Yakima’s Zach Draper. Josh Mitchell is a game back on a 3-game win streak.
Of course the big streak, the 19 game win streak that ended a week ago was well documented – but the streak is still alive in some respect: the HarbourCats are 15-0 at home this year, because the loss was as the visiting team in the double-header. The quest for perfection “at home” is still underway.
Stats aren’t all about streaks of course, and the HarbourCats have been piling up some amazing ones this season. The team is 18-0 this season when leading after five innings. So get ahead early, and the bullpen is doing their job holding the lead. Only one other team boasts that same stat – this weekend’s opponent the Bend Elks are a solid 8-0 when leading after 5. Victoria is 15-1 when scoring the first run of the game, and 17-1 when they are the last to score. And in a nod to outstanding pitching, if the HarbourCats score 4 or more runs in a game? Forget it – they are 13-1.
When you look at single game results, Victoria’s highs on offense this year include 14 hits in a game, 4 doubles in a game, 9 walks in a game, and 6 stolen bases in a game. On the mound, no more than 12 hits or 8 walks have been surrendered in a single game, and in no game have Victoria pitchers given up more than a single home run.
Looking at Stats, it’s easy to see this year couldn’t be much better. Leading or at the top of almost every offensive category, and within the top two or three on the pitching side points to an all-round consistent performance by the Cats.
A quick preview of Bend… The Elks comes to town with a 13-17 record, winners of 5 of their last 10 games. They are 4-8 on the road. The Elks have been led all year by outstanding 2B/SS George Mendazona. He’s hitting .358 and has hit safely in 13 of his last 14, hitting .428 over that period. Returning 1B Tommy Lane is also having a good year, driving in 26 to lead the team, including 3 home runs. He’s a bit of a free swinger though, striking out a team-leading 35 times, which doesn’t help his .255 average. As a team, the Elks are hitting a respectable .249.
On the mound, we may see staff ace Riley Newman, fresh of a complete game 1-run win last week against Kitsap. We will also likely see returning reliever Sam Boone, who comes in with 33 Ks in 23.1 innings, and a 1.15 ERA. Overall their team ERA of 3.25 is almost a run higher than Victoria’s 2.29.
In this series, Bend has not announced their starters yet. Victoria will send Will McAffer (4-1, 1.30 ERA) Saturday, Jack Wolger (101, 3.46 ERA) Sunday, and Cameron Schneider (1-0, 3.60 ERA Monday.
Here’s the tale of the tape on the two teams…
|Base on Balls||134*||107|
And on the mound
|Earned Run Average||2.29||3.25|
|Hits Given Up||145*||254|
|Runs Given Up||79*||122|
|Earned Runs Given Up||64||97|
|Base on Balls Issued||87||92|
|Home Runs Given Up||6||5|
|Opposition Batting Average||.179*||.250|
|Batters Hit By Pitch||17*||33|
* denotes league leader