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Mr Stats notes the different ways to read more statistics

I proposed a rule for baseball to dramatically shorten games. I can’t save 10 minutes of game time in every game, but I may lose 10 minutes that way in many.

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I presented a new baseball rule on national television seven years ago. I remarked that while I couldn’t save 10 minutes of play in every game, I could certainly lose 10 minutes in a lot of them. If the visiting club led by more than five runs, I would suggest eliminating the top of the ninth inning.

I was attempting to cut out hundreds of pointless at-bats during the season. I did this since we’ve been playing 8 12 inning games for more than 125 years (when the home team leads, there is no bottom of the ninth).

Over the course of the season, Major League Baseball reduced around the same amount of at-bats that I suggested. Only important, high-value at-bats have been eliminated by the installation of automatic runners on second base to begin each half-inning in extra innings.

Do you recall when baseball games used to go 12 innings? 13 frames? 14 frames? Longer? If you ever had the good fortune to watch one of those games, it surely ranks among your most treasured baseball memories.

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These games are getting harder to find.

The Oakland A’s defeated the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night in 12 innings, 14-7. By number of innings played, it was one of the season’s longest games.

There had already been 1,313 games played in 2022 as of Wednesday. That represents 54% of the 2,430 regular-season games. Only two of those 1,313 contests have lasted more than 12 innings (and none have gone longer than 13 innings).

Longest Games by Inning in 2022

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10 June: 13 Cubs vs. Yankees

20 May: Rays at Orioles, 13

Only seven games this season have gone 12 innings, including Tuesday night’s contest between Texas and Oakland. There have only been nine games (1,313) with more than 11 innings.

Do extra innings occur less frequently now? There are, indeed.

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264.12 innings of “free baseball” in 2022 (on pace for 484 innings)

891 innings of “free baseball” in 2019

880 innings of “free baseball” in 2018

In total, there will be around 400 fewer extra innings during the season.

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Or, if you’d prefer, we may view it from the perspective of at-bats.

2022: 976 extra-inning at-bats (on pace for 1,807 AB)

3,308 extra-inning at-bats in 2019

3,307 extra-inning at bats in 2018

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I am aware that MLB intended to put runners on base to begin extra innings in order to safeguard pitchers’ arms. The staff would be impacted for a few days as managers would literally run out of pitchers.

We currently have managers using position players for pitching mop-up duty, even without lengthy, extra-inning games (another reason for my proposal to cut out some portion of the blowouts).

I now understand that just because a game lasts longer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most thrilling. Consider this season’s 13-inning games. The Cubs struggled in the long Cubs-Yankees game, going 0-18 with runners in scoring position. The only hit in the game with RISP was Jose Trevino’s game-winning hit off Alec Mills for the 1-19 Yankees. Was it outstanding pitching or fruitless offense?

On the other side, the Orioles and Rays’ 13-inning game on May 20 was a thrilling, noteworthy matchup that was among the top games of the season. The Orioles’ 15-game losing streak to division opponent Tampa Bay was snapped thanks to a walk-off home run by Rougned Odor. Furthermore, it happened the day after Anthony Santander’s walk-off home run against the Yankees the day before. These wins marked the beginning of a 50-game run for Baltimore during which the squad is 30-20. The Rays grabbed a three-run lead in the top of the fifth inning in that 13-inning win over Tampa Bay, but the Birds tied it up in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the 10th inning, the Rays took a two-run lead, but the Birds tied the game in the bottom half. In the top of the eleventh, the Rays seized the lead, but Baltimore responded once more. Odor launched his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th inning.

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Stats we like and don’t like

Due to a foot issue, Whit Merrifield of the Royals missed the opening game of their doubleheader against Detroit on Monday. Merrifield’s streak of straight wins ended after 533 games. Matt Olson, who has participated in 223 straight games (or 8.4% of Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games) is the new active leader. Trea Turner of the Dodgers has participated in 127 straight games following Olson.

Even though Matt Olson leads baseball in consecutive games played, I’m more struck by the fact that he also tops the league in a significant but frequently ignored category.

MLB’s Olson is first with 33 doubles. Is that a lot?

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With seven fewer than the MLB record, Matt is on pace to record 60 doubles this year.

In 1931, Earl Webb set the record with 67 doubles. Webb never led the league in any statistic before or after becoming a nondescript player for a mediocre Red Sox team. With the exception of 1931, he never had more than 30 doubles in a season.

Olson’s goal of 60 doubles is on track. Hugh Duffy established the franchise record for the Braves in 1894 with 51. Marcus Giles has the franchise record for the modern age (49 doubles in 2003).

In case you were wondering, Hank Aaron never had a season with more than 46 doubles (1959). Never hitting more than 42 doubles, Chipper Jones (2007).

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No player has hit 60 doubles in a season since Ducky-Wucky Medwick (64 doubles) and Charlie Gehringer (60 doubles) achieved it in 1936.

On track to reach 60 is Matt Olson. Todd Helton has recorded the most doubles since 1936 with 59 in 2000. And Nick Castellanos hit 58 doubles in 2019.

Whether Aaron Judge will hit 60 home runs this season is a hot topic. But I’m also curious to see if Olson hits 60 doubles.

Slugging percentages are still declining.

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Olson’s milestone amazes me in part because he is achieving it in a year in which both offense and slugging are down.

Olson isn’t just accumulating two-baggers, by the way. In extra-base hits, he is tied for second place behind only Jose Ramirez and is expected to reach 86.

This year, the Major League SLG percentage is.395. 2021 had a.411 increase. 2020 had a.418 increase. 2019 saw a.435 increase.

Nine players qualified who had a slugging percentage over.600 for the 2020 60-game season. Only Yordan Alvarez and Aaron Judge have a slugging % that high thus far this season, as of Tuesday. Mike Trout, whose slugging percentage has exceeded.600 over the previous five seasons, is at.599.

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I really, really dislike this statistic: How can I despise saving opportunities? It appears so simple and straightforward.

Do you know who is currently leading the field of “savings in consecutive opportunities”? Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees has succeeded in 23 of his previous 24 chances to make a save.

Huh?

Chappy came into the game on April 14 against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium with a 3-0 advantage. It was, is, and will be a chance to intervene. Inability to locate the plate caused Aroldis to walk three hitters in a row, loading the bases. The ball was taken away from him by Aaron Boone, who then introduced Michael King. King got Bo Bichette to line into a game-ending double play after striking out George Springer.

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Chapman entered the game with a save opportunity, but since he didn’t retire a batter, his “streak” was still in place.

In Cleveland on July 2, Chapman entered the contest with a 10-2 advantage. It would have been a three-inning save for Chapman if he had pitched the remainder of the game and the Yankees had prevailed. I see a save opportunity there. Before departing the game, Aroldis walked each of the three batters he faced.

Despite these circumstances, Chapman has successfully completed all nine of his save opportunities this season, according to MLB and the Yankees. It is the Majors’ longest active streak at present. Only a 29-save streak (from July 4, 2014 to May 30, 2015) and a 27-save streak are longer in Chapman’s career (June 26, 2012 to September 4, 2012).

Future All-Star Game

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The significance of the All-Star Game has changed over time. But it’s enjoyable; it feels more like a gathering than a contest. Here is my forecast. The first home run of Albert Pujols’ career will be hit in an American League game.

Extra Innings, Extra-Base Hits, and Extra Thoughts by Mr. Stats were first published on NBCSports.com.

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